About Team Argonaut

Argonaut provides contract manufacturing in the life science and biotech arena. We come with a broad range of industry skills from Thermo Fisher Scientific, Ion Torrent, Life Technologies, Althea, Applied Biosystems, Affymetrix, Allergan Pharmaceuticals and more.

Our team has one goal; support yours. You can’t tell much about a person in a few sentences, but our backgrounds here might give you a sense of our experiences.

Meet The Argonaut Leadership Team

Wayne Woodard
Wayne WoodardCEO / Board Member
With 28 years of management experience in operations, supply chain and general management, Wayne’s primary focus (in three different industries) has been on building global operations capabilities with particular emphasis on working with external manufacturing services companies. Wayne most recently worked at Thermo Fisher/Life Technologies through its Ion Torrent acquisition. He previously worked at Affymetrix, Electroglas and Ridge Technologies. Wayne began his career in manufacturing at Sun Microsystems. Wayne focuses intensely on execution and detail, which is why he also bottles his own wine.
Jeremy Nickolenko
Jeremy NickolenkoBusiness Development VP
With over 16 years of business experience in the life sciences and applied markets, including molecular diagnostics (MDx), Jeremy excels in composing productive corporate partnerships. Across a diversity of assignments in product areas (reagents, hardware & software) as well as commercial functions (product management, alliance management, business development, licensing, business unit leadership) he has gained increasing levels of leadership, responsibility, and spans of control. Since moving to the West Coast in 2015, Jeremy loves the theory behind surfing, but real life experience suggests paddle boarding is his safer option. Plus, it’s a blast!
Patrick Yount
Patrick YountCFO
Patrick is an experienced financial executive with over twenty years’ experience providing financial leadership as a Chief Financial Officer to medical device, medical products, health care services and life science companies. His extensive background in global manufacturing companies (including Hudson RCI, BioSensors International, and Aperio Technologies) is built on leading continuous improvement efforts in operations and supply chains, managing working capital, and balancing flexibility with active fiscal controls in audit and compliance. A qualified Command Pilot for the non-profit foundation Angel Flight West, Patrick is also an avid road cyclist.
Robert Cook
Robert CookVP of Operations
Robert’s strong credentials in manufacturing and operations include Site Leader for Distribution & Logistics for Thermo Fisher Scientific, Production Manager for Life Technologies and Sr. Supervisor of five departments for Allergan Pharmaceuticals. He has managed teams in strict compliance under FDA, EU, ISO, SOX, OSHA, and cGMP requirements. Robert excels at Lean Manufacturing principles and Six Sigma process controls, and graduated with a BBA in Entrepreneurship and Management from Baylor University. When not improving operation systems, he enjoys spending time with his wife, sailing and snorkeling with giant creatures of the sea.
Ann Hornby
Ann HornbyPrincipal Scientist and Technology Transfer Expert
Ann’s specialty is getting products to market – from traditional product development to technology transfer. She has launched products in sequencing, micro-arrays, fragment analysis, and more during her work at Applied Biosystems and Affymetrix. With a Ph.D. in Genetics, she understands the science while her MBA balances the business needs. Ann prefers to indulge in sprint triathlons when not launching products.
Niels King
Niels KingDirector of Quality Control
With nearly 30 years combined tenure in both the Medical Device and Biopharmaceutical industries, Niels brings extensive experience in manufacturing, technical support, and quality control. Most recently, as part of the management team at Althea Technologies, Niels provided analytical support for Biologics and sterile drug manufacture of Parenterals within the CMO space. Prior to this, Niels held positions in Quality Control for Hybritech Incorporated, Matrix Pharmaceutical, and Cardinal Health. Niels enjoys hockey, playing music, and travelling through Canada and Europe. Both Niels and his wife are San Diego natives.
Leigh Amini
Leigh AminiDirector of Quality
Leigh’s mastery of quality assurance covers over 20 years of experience in biotechnology. From qualifying to developing to implementing quality control systems, Leigh has both the managerial and documentation chops to get the job done with her background in FDA (Code of Federal Regulations Part 210, 211) and ISO9001 compliance. Her stint at Althea gives her the experience breadth from start-up to success. Leigh cherishes moments of peace on Free Parking when playing Monopoly with her two children.

Argonaut is Backed by Telegraph Hill Partners

Rick HancockBoard Chairman
With 34 years of life sciences experience in senior management, R&D, operations, and quality, Rick was most recently the CEO of Althea Technologies Inc. Prior to Althea Technologies he was the senior director of operations at The Immune Response Corporation. Rick has significant experience in cGMP manufacturing, regulatory affairs, scale up, operational protocols, and team management. He also worked at Hybritech as a quality control analyst, research associate, and laboratory supervisor.
Paul Grossman, Ph.D.Board Member
Before joining THP, Paul Grossman was Head of Strategy and Corporate Development for Life Technologies, holding a similar position at Invitrogen Corporation prior to the merger with Applied Biosystems. Paul has held a variety of leadership and executive roles in R&D, Legal and Corporate Development teams, including spearheading the acquisition or divestment of more than 25 businesses.
Alex HerzickBoard Member
Before joining THP, Alex worked at Genzyme Corporation in the Oncology / Multiple Sclerosis Business Development Group, where he sourced, evaluated, and executed strategic M&A and licensing biopharma transactions. Prior to Genzyme, he worked as a portfolio manager at BlueMountain Capital Management, and as an investment banking analyst at Banc of America Securities.
Deval Lashkari, Ph.D.Board Member
Deval Lashkari has worked in the life sciences area since 1988 developing and commercializing novel technologies and is a founding partner at Telegraph Hill Partners (THP). He gained corporate and business development experience through senior management positions in a number of life science companies. He was a founding Research Director at Synteni, which was acquired by Incyte Genomics, where he became Director of Product Development. He also worked with Operon Technologies (acquired by Qiagen), and Genometrix.