Leadership

Ricerca Biosciences was established in 1986 and over the past 27 years has built a rich tradition and culture by serving clients with scientific excellence and innovative services. The Company delivers outstanding value and service guided by a seasoned leadership team that starts with an entrepreneurial Board of Directors with widespread healthcare experience, a Chief Executive Officer with extensive experience and knowledge of the industry and an executive management team with deep industry related experience across the Company’s three key service areas — Drug Safety & Metabolism, Chemical Development, and Agrochemicals. The Company supports the outstanding delivery of science and service through an experienced team of associates with a dedicated pursuit of meeting customers’ needs and a relentless striving towards operational excellence in everything they do.


Clifford W. Croley
Chief Executive Officer


Mr. Clifford W. Croley serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Ricerca Biosciences LLC and is responsible for providing strategic and operational hands–on leadership for the company. He has previously worked professionally to revive over 100 privately held underperforming companies and has participated at the Board level (as both a Board Member and Board Special Advisor) in numerous situations. Clifford has served as the Chief Executive Officer for many companies across a diverse range of industries including healthcare, construction, distribution, and automotive manufacturing. He is a business and community leader and currently sits on the boards of multiple middle–market companies. Clifford has invested in a number of middle market businesses over the last two decades both individually and in partnership with well–known private equity firms.

Clifford has achieved a B.S. and M.S and M.B.A. degree.


Dorothie L. Okleson
Vice President Finance And Company Treasurer


Dorothie Okleson is responsible for finance and serves as Treasurer for Ricerca Biosciences, LLC. In this role, she manages the Finance Group, and is responsible for all accounting and financial reporting requirements. Dorothie manages all audits, tax preparations, and banking activities on behalf of the company and investors. She supports all business operations and program management within the company, controlling budgets and cash flow while managing all investments. Dorothie has served many finance roles in her 33 years of service with the company. She received her BS in Accountancy from Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio. She is also a Certified Public Accountant.


Michael D. Contenza, PE
Senior Director, Business Management, Chemical Development


Michael Contenza is responsible for Ricerca’s Chemical Development Division which provides comprehensive support for successful development, scale–up, and manufacture of small–molecule pharmaceuticals, intermediates, regulatory starting materials and performance chemicals. Mr. Contenza’s 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries consists of a broad range of operational and technical responsibilities including technology assessment, development and transfer; process & project engineering, capital planning & management; quality/cGMP compliance; and environmental, health and safety management. He has a record of accomplishments associated with developing and advancing technology including the manufacture of new chemical entities in support of clinical trials and market development.

Mr. Contenza is chemical engineering graduate of Case Western Reserve University, a registered & licensed professional engineer in the State of Ohio, an active member of several professional societies and provides industrial advisory support to universities in the Cleveland area.


Farhad Sayyarpour, Ph.D.
Director, Bioanalytics, Agrochemical Product Development


Farhad has over twenty years of analytical/bioanalytical chemistry experience in the US pharmaceutical and Contract Research Organizations. He has broad analytical, bioanalytical and quality experience which includes extensive development and deployment of operational and quality compliance systems for research and development, and laboratory testing facilities. He is an expert in small molecule and peptides method development and analysis via a variety of analytical instruments. Farhad is a leader in establishing turn arounds in laboratories by positively influencing colleagues and stakeholders resulting in compliance with quality systems and regulatory requirements. He excels at building cross functional teams, and customer and global relationships, thru management of strategy, vision, execution and measurement. Farhad received his BSc. From Austin Peay State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Memphis.


Connie Collins, RVT, RLATG
Director of Operations


Ms. Connie Collins is a laboratory animal professional with over 15 years’ experience in veterinary medicine, drug development, and harmonization of regulatory agencies concerned with animal welfare and compliance. Ms. Collins is Director of Operations and runs the daily operations of Ricerca’s Drug, Safety & Metabolism (DSM) group. In addition to operational duties, Ms. Collins chairs Ricerca’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), As Director of Operations for DSM, she routinely provides directional oversight of the technical and support staff while overseeing the implementation of the proposal in accordance with signed projects. Ms. Collins regularly ensures that resources are properly allocated to meet study and schedule requirements. Furthermore, she maintains and updates financial forecasting, divisional profitability, and study progress to enable accurate financial tracking while collaborating with business development teams and fostering client–relationships. Ms. Collins facilitates all animal welfare agency inspections and serves as primary contact for USDA, OLAW and AAALAC. Ms. Collins is a Registered Veterinary Technician in the State of Ohio and a Registered Laboratory Animal Technologist with the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science.


Roger Hawks, Ph.D., DABT
Senior Scientist, Manager


Dr. Roger Hawks has over 20 years of experience in the fields of pharmacology and toxicology. In addition to supervising the senior scientists and day–to–day scientific aspects of Ricerca’s Drug Safety & Metabolism (DSM) group, Dr. Hawks also is Study Director on complicated studies. Dr. Hawks’ primary role is to design, initiate, monitor, and interpret/report results for Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and non–GLP studies to evaluate the potential toxicity of chemicals and pharmaceuticals. He routinely directs and oversees staff conducting toxicology and pharmacology studies while regularly communicating study progress with clients. As Manager of the Study Director group of DSM, Dr. Hawks is responsible for review of protocols and reports generated by other study directors, providing scientific and technical review of prospective proposals for research, and assisting in the development of in–house training programs for the technical staff. Prior to joining Ricerca, Roger was employed by BASi and XOMA Corporation as a Study Director/Scientist, and also was employed by BASF Corporation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Office of Pesticide Programs) as a Toxicologist. Dr. Hawks received his Ph.D. and Masters of Science from the University of Rochester in 1997.