Our Team

James Szarko

President & CEO

An entrepreneur at heart, James brings to Botaneco® a vast array of experiences in technology-focused start-ups through every stage of their development. Involved as an investor, advisor, executive and board member, James has run the gamut of entrepreneurialism and, as Botaneco®’s President and CEO, is committed to crafting Botaneco® as a truly global business with a focus on excellence and a commitment to building a high performing team. James believes that a strong balance of grit and determination and focusing on what really matters are key to cultivating a healthy organization.

David Dzisiak

Chief Operating Officer

David enjoyed a 38 year career with Dow AgroSciences/Corteva with experiences in sales management, marketing management and global business unit leadership. In his last role he led the North America Grains and Oils commercial team which was responsible for the business strategy and commercialization of a portfolio of traits in canola, sunflower, soybean and wheat targeted to the food and feed industry. His group worked across the value-chain with growers, oilseed processors, food companies and opinion leaders in nutrition and policy. David joined Botaneco® in April of 2019 as the Chief Operating Officer. 

Paul Siracusa

Chief Technical Officer

Dr. Paul A. Siracusa joined Botaneco in June 2019. Dr. Siracusa brings a wealth of experience with 35+ years in R&D consumer products, specialty chemicals, and product innovation including Personal Care, Food and Consumer HealthCare categories.  The last 20 years of his career was highlighted by executive leadership in the consumer product industry, including board positions and chairperson roles most notably with Church & Dwight Co., Inc as the Executive Vice President of Global R&D. Most recently, he was the Sr. Vice President of R&D at KIND Snacks where he was accountable for delivering the innovation program across KIND’s categories of healthy snacks and granola. Dr. Siracusa holds his Doctorate of Engineering Science and Master of Science degrees from Columbia University’s School of Engineering.

Kristin Brancato

General Manager & Chief Innovation Officer

Dr. Kristin Brancato has over 17 years of experience in technical and executive positions in the consumer products space primarily focusing on new product development for home care, personal care, women’s health, and the nutraceutical markets. Bringing invaluable knowledge and expertise, she plays a key role in establishing and delivering Botaneco®’s innovation and technology strategy. Kristin has a Ph.D. in Bioinorganic Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame, a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Pennsylvania State University, and is the holder of six patents.

Kent Shafer

Operations Manager

Kent Shafer has 15 years of experience within process design, research and development, supply chain and production management. With a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences and six years of formal training as a chef, Kent offers invaluable knowledge, innovation management and manufacturing facility design expertise. On deck next for Kent is manufacturing automation design and logic programming to further aid production quality and full scale manufacturing capabilities.