President, CEO and Board memberPete Buzy joined the company in 2014 as the Chief Operating Officer later moving into the role of President & Chief Executive Officer. Bringing with him over 25 years of successful executive management experience, Pete has grown the company into a premier CDMO with a leading position in gene therapy and next-generation vaccines. With expertise in growing companies and increasing their value, he has been instrumental in leading the company to successfully achieve double-digit growth by building a business that provides valuable end-to-end customized manufacturing through a collaborative partnership with its clients.
Prior to Paragon, Pete spent over 13 years as a senior executive at Martek Biosciences Corporation (NASDAQ: MATK), a leader in the innovation, development, production, and sale of high-value products from microbial sources. He played a key role in transforming Martek’s business from an R&D company to a fully integrated and profitable commercial organization with over $470M in annual sales. Pete’s responsibilities also included overseeing a CMO business unit as well as managing annual R&D spending of over $6M including research activities in algal genomics and pharmaceutical cell line development. He also directed two significant GMP facility expansions totaling over $150M involving the addition of 200+ manufacturing employees during a two-year period.
While at Martek, as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Pete successfully raised over $300M in both private and public financing. He successfully oversaw several large corporate acquisitions, collaborations, and licensing arrangements, cultivating company growth while setting the stage for Martek’s sale to Royal DSM NV in 2011 for nearly $1.1B. He also earned the 2011 Chief Financial Officer of the Year Award from the Technology Council of Maryland.
Prior to Martek, Pete spent 13-years at Ernst & Young, where he advanced to Partner in the Northern Virginia High Technology and Life Science Practice, serving a variety of private and publicly traded biotechnology companies. A member of Paragon’s Board of Directors, Pete received a BBA in Accounting, from Salisbury University in Maryland and serves on the Board and Executive Committees of the Technology Council of Maryland.
John Conner, MS
Chief Manufacturing Officer
John brings more than 30 years of experience in the areas of Process Development, Manufacturing, Technical Transfer and Analytics for all phases of clinical development as well as commercial manufacturing of complex biologics. Mr. Conner has oversight responsibility for all cGMP Manufacturing operations. Prior to Paragon he has spent much of his career successfully meeting the challenges of providing manufacturing services to the biotechnology industry. He was most recently Senior Vice President of Operations at Cytovance Biologics, a start-up CDMO where John was responsible for building the operations team, manufacturing facilities and GMP systems to provide world class GMP manufacturing over several biologic platforms the past 11 years. He led the GMP Manufacturing and Manufacturing Science and Technology Teams in the development and production of therapeutic proteins using Mammalian, Microbial and Transgenic processes to produce Monoclonal Antibodies (IgGs, IgMs), Therapeutic Enzymes, Fusion proteins, and Cytokines. He has also been responsible for the implementation of Flex Suite strategy at Cytovance for the flexible and custom development and manufacture of specialized biologic products such as Vaccines, Cellular Immunotherapeutics, Stem Cell therapeutics, Gene Therapy products, Conjugations, Tissue/Extracellular Matrix Products, Unique platforms (Insect cell lines, transgenic) and Medical Device or Combination Products. Prior to his tenure at Cytovance, past positions have included serving as Associate Director, Technical Support of CancerVax Corporation, where he was responsible for process development, manufacturing, technology transfer as well as the design, construction and operation of two biologics manufacturing facilities for clinical and early commercial production. In addition, he has held management positions at the John Wayne Cancer Institute and Gene Therapy Laboratories, where he managed complex immunotherapeutics and gene-therapy vector development and production. Mr. Conner is also the Senior Author on several Industry Publications Biotechnology Entrepreneurship: Starting, Managing and Leading Biotech Companies, Chapter 26 The Biomanufacturing of Biotechnology Products, Shimasaki, Elsevier 2014 and a PDA publication Pharmaceutical Outsourcing: Quality Management and Project Delivery: Chapter 11 CMOS For Early Phase Biologicals Production: Contract Manufacturing and Controls, Deeks, Ginsbury and Schniepp, PDA 2013. John attended Texas Tech University and holds a B.S. in Microbiology and completed his M.S. Graduate Studies in Biological Sciences from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Philip W. Wills, PhD
Chief Commercial Officer
Philip is a seasoned executive and scientist with over 15 years of contract manufacturing experience, primarily focused in viral vectors and other complex biologics. He has been with Paragon since 2002 and is heavily involved in Paragon’s corporate strategy. Prior to his current position as SVP of Commercial Manufacturing, Philip was the VP of Business Development and Principle Scientist at Paragon. Preceding to that role, Philip has held positions as the Corporate Scientific Liaison as well as the Group Leader for Paragon’s Analytical Department. Philip started his career at the University of Maryland and worked in a variety of scientific roles in both the School of Medicine and Cancer Center. Philip obtained a BA in Chemistry from The Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Maryland.
William D Thomas, Jr, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Thomas has more than 20 years of experience in the development and manufacture of vaccines and monoclonal antibodies. He spent the past fifteen years with MassBiologics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where, as Deputy Director, he was responsible for Product Discovery, Process Development, and Manufacturing. Among his many accomplishments while there, Bill was responsible for the development of monoclonal antibodies against C. difficile that were shown to be effective in a Phase III trial recently completed by Merck. Additionally, under his leadership, MassBiologics modernized its TD manufacturing process to meet FDA standards. Bill began his career with OraVax (formerly Acambis, now Sanofi Pasteur) where he held a series of positions of increased responsibility and was responsible for vaccine discovery and clinical manufacturing, developing vaccines and adjuvants for use against C. difficile and H. pylori. He discovered the toxoid vaccine and developed a manufacturing process for the C. difficile toxoid vaccine currently in Phase III trials by Sanofi. Bill received his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the Medical College of Virginia, where he studied genetic mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in Staphylococci. Bill holds 17 patents for vaccines, adjuvants, and monoclonal antibodies, and has published more than 25 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Chief Financial Officer
Gerard Fleury is an accomplished C-level leader with more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries. Prior to Paragon, Gerard held the role of Chief Financial Officer at Pharmaceutics International, Inc. (
Gerard graduated from Towson University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting. He has served on the boards of directors of or as an advisor to software, internet, data center and utility companies.
Thomas Vancott, PhD
Chief Technology and Strategy Officer
Dr. VanCott joins Paragon following 14 years as the President and CEO of Advanced Bioscience Laboratories, Inc. (ABL), a contract manufacturing and laboratory research services company focused on bringing vaccines and therapies from clinical stages to the commercial marketplace. Previously, Dr. VanCott served as Executive Vice President of Operations and Director of Product Development at ABL. Before joining ABL, he held several positions at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine. He also served as a U.S. Army Captain in the Medical Service Corps at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from University of Virginia and a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Dickinson College.
Senior Vice President, Quality, Validation & Regulatory Affairs
Ms. Wild is an accomplished Quality Executive/Leader with 30 years experience. Most recently she ran a thriving consulting practice, for over 14 years, leading Quality Assurance focused initiatives for high profile clients such as Genentech, TEVA, Polynoma, Cytovance, CMC Biologics, etc. Managing her consulting on the side, Ms. Wild occupied full-time roles at Polynoma as VP of Quality Systems and VP of Manufacturing and Supply Chain at Victory Pharma. Prior to launching her practice, she spent over 17 years at Genentech ending there as Director of Contract Manufacturing. Through her experience, Ms. Wild has earned a strong reputation for adding to company growth strategies by effectively transforming Quality organizations into strong business partners. Additionally, Ms. Wild was a member of our armed forces serving in the Army having been deployed to Desert Storm towards the end of her enlistment. She began as a Private First Class and left having achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Organizational Development
Ruby Hofmann brings over 25 years of human resources experience to Paragon. Ruby is a dynamic HR Business leader with demonstrated success in creating business-driven HR strategies. Her passion is leading culture and talent transformational initiatives which result in fueling business growth.
Recognized for her business acumen and client-focused HR solutions, Ruby has had a successful career partnering with business leaders to create executable strategies leading to HR and Business Transformation. She has HR expertise in developing focused, results oriented solutions that advance organizational performance, deliver a strong workforce, and develop exceptional leadership. She works with leaders to proactively identify change management opportunities and create plans to mitigate business risk.
She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Hofstra University and an M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University.
Senior Vice President, of ManufacturingRandy Henrickson has over 20 years of experience in site leadership, process development and technical support in the biotechnology field. His experience spans from early development to commercial launch of biological and vaccine products. During his career, he has worked for a variety of companies ranging from large pharmaceutical, start-up biotechnology, and contract manufacturing/development organizations (CDMO). Most recently, he was the SVP of Operations & Site Head at KBI Biopharma, a world-class CDMO. In this role, he led all aspects of site operations including business/client development. Before KBI Biopharma, he was the Director of Biological Tech Ops at Merck & Co., Inc. leading a development group that produced several clinical product candidates. He was also a Process Engineering Mgr at Insmed Therapeutic Proteins. Randy has a Masters of Chem Engineering from Lehigh University and BS in Chem Engineering from Purdue University.
George Buchman, PhD
Vice President, Preclinical Services and Process Development
Dr. Buchman brings over 25 years of highly cross-functional experience in the biotechnology industry to Paragon, including roles in IVD R&D, leadership roles in manufacturing, fermentation and process development, global program management, business development and custom protein and VLP production. Before joining Paragon in 2014, George spent 8 years at Chesapeake PERL(C-PERL) as Vice President Operations and Chief Scientific Officer, primarily as Principal Investigator on multiple grants and contracts across a number of federal agencies, and as subcontractor to Prime Contractors for the custom production of proteins and VLPs. Prior to C-PERL, George worked for 5 years in global program management and business development roles at Celera Genomics and GeneLogic Corporation, both informatics businesses. George started in his post-doctoral career at Life Technologies, where he worked in a series of cross-functional roles and was a member of the Global Leadership team. George provided oversight for build-out of a cGMP-compliant protein production facility, and gained substantial experience directing groups in DNA and protein-related manufacturing and process development. George received his BS in Biochemistry from Albright College, and received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Vice President, Finance
Anne Shiflett brings over 25 years of managerial, financial and accounting experience to Paragon, joining the company in 2014. Anne has expertise in leading the start-up and rapid growth of new and emerging companies in information technology, real estate brokerage and life sciences. She has been in the life sciences industry for the past ten years, most recently as Vice President, Finance, and Administration at Corridor Pharmaceuticals and Alba Therapeutics. Anne has been involved in raising over $90 million in various forms of financing to include preferred stock, bridge financing, bank financing and venture back debt. With her experience in supporting the finance and accounting aspects of drug and clinical development companies to contract research organizations, she brings critical perspectives to managing the financial management side of Paragon’s customer and vendor relationships. Anne received a BBA in Accounting and an MBA in Business Management from Loyola College of Maryland and is also a CPA.
Vice President, Quality Assurance and Compliance
Ms. Krohn joined Paragon in July 2017 as Senior Director, Quality Assurance, and will continue to serve as the strategic leader and operational manager for quality assurance and compliance. She has more than 20 years of experience in quality assurance roles where she had the opportunity to build robust quality systems from early clinical stage through licensure and launch. Prior to joining Paragon, Ms. Krohn was most recently Senior Director, Development and Compliance for Novavax, where she managed and developed global compliance operational strategies. She previously held quality leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Shire Pharmaceutical and WuXi Apptec. She received her B.S. degree in Biology from Millersville University.
Vice President, Facilities & Engineering
Chris is an accomplished operations leader with more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries. He has developed and managed teams consisting of Facilities, Engineering, EHS, Sustainability, Receiving, and other operational functions. Prior to Paragon, Chris most recently held the role of Senior Director, Facilities & Engineering at MacroGenics, Inc. (MGNX), a biopharmaceutical organization providing monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics, where he was responsible for all facilities and engineering operations of the company. He has substantial experience in
Chris holds a BS in Public Affairs/Environmental Science from Indiana University as well as an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. He serves on the advisory board of the local chapter of International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE).
Vice President, Information TechnologyWith over 17 years’ experience, Dermot joins the Paragon team from Merck having spent his career there starting as a Quality Control Inspector in the Pharma Manufacturing and Packaging area and ending as the Director of Global IT Research. Prior to his last position, he spent 5 years leading a small team that was responsible for developing and implementing the technology strategy for the Biologics and Vaccines Research area. There he was tasked with interfacing with CRO/CMOs in establishing the technology strategy that appropriately aligned with that of Merck’s. Dermot holds an MSE in Technology Management from Penn Engineering and Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State.
VP, Quality Control and Analytical Development
Dr. Gombold joined Paragon following 11 years with Charles River Laboratories as Senior Director of Technical Services, Site Director of Biologics Testing Solutions and Director of Testing Services. In his most recent role as Senior Director, he was responsible for providing guidance and oversight in scientific and technical capacities for the company’s global biologics organization. Prior to Charles River, he worked at Wyeth as both Director/Associate Director of Vaccine Analytical and Formulation Development. Before Wyeth, Dr. Gombold was with Merck & Co., served as Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University, and also served as Research Associate at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in Virology from Baylor College of Medicine and his B.S. degree in Microbiology from the Indiana University in Bloomington.