The Leadership Team
Dean Francis | Chief Executive Officer
Dean is the chief executive officer for Sweet Green Fields. As CEO, Dean is responsible for the company’s strategic leadership, shareholder relationships, execution of key plans, and manages Sweet Green Fields’ vast intellectual properties, including stevia plant research, extraction methods and formulations. His father founded the company and Dean joined in 2007 to spearhead the commercialization for Sweet Green Field’s intellectual properties.
Dean is passionate about Sweet Green Fields because he sees the long term potential for a sweetener that is healthier for humans, and can help combat the increasing global health risks stemming from over consumption of sugar. He prides himself on the daily innovation his team creates through research, application, and development to find results that deliver on taste, cost, and quality.
Prior to Sweet Green Fields, Dean was the owner and CEO of Olafson’s Baking Company, a large producer and distributor of premium value bakery products. Dean holds a bachelor’s degree in business with a focus in marketing from the University of Hawaii. In his free time, Dean enjoys skiing, sailing, and spending time with his daughters.
Shanyuan Dai | Chief Operation Officer
Ms. Shanyuan Dai is the Chief Operating Officer for Sweet Green Fields. As COO, she is responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations and keeping the CEO apprised of significant events, creating operations strategy and policies, especially securing the supply-chain, optimizing the process and executing expansion of production-line, communicating strategy and policy to employees, fostering employee alignment with corporate goals, and overseeing human resource management.
Shanyuan is an expert and pioneer of the herb extract industry. She has more than 40 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and food supplement industry. She is known as a great leader of unique herb extract with high quality standards. She enjoys working and devotes herself to exploring more useful natural ingredients for humans. She is also a pharmaceutical engineer and a senior economist.
Prior to founding Sweet Green Fields’s production base, she was General Manager of a well-known Chinese Traditional Pharmaceutical Plant.
James McMurtry | Chief Financial Officer
As chief financial officer for Sweet Green Fields, James supports this business in strategic planning, financial management/reporting, stock procurement/planning, and legal matters. He has more than 20 years of experience in various roles for Sweet Green Fields’ major stakeholder, Sanitarium, an Australian & New Zealand health and wellness company. This has included Corporate Secretary, VP Finance and Operations and Commercial Manager.
James enjoys the dynamic nature of the healthy sweetener market SGF operates in because it continually drives the business to keep innovating and evolving for growth and success.
James is a bachelor of business graduate from Avondale College, near Sydney, Australia, and holds his CPA Australia certification. Outside of work, his family time is so very important (because there is never enough of it) along with volunteering and serving on the local Christian school board.
Michael Quin | Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing
As SVP of Sales and Marketing for Sweet Green Fields, Mike is responsible for strategic planning and execution of SGF’s sales and marketing strategy, management of strategic accounts and media outreach.
Prior to joining Sweet Green Fields in 2007, Mike served as vice president of strategic accounts for Expedia Corporate Travel. He also served as director of business development for the private label business group he started – Expedia’s Worldwide Travel Exchange (WWTE). In addition, he was one of the original members of the vacation package group and e-commerce group. Prior to Expedia he worked as advertising sales manager for Microsoft Corp’s MSN.
Mike holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration degree from San Diego State University. In his free time Mike enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, hiking with his golden retriever, scuba diving, skiing and reading up on technology.
Mel Jackson, PhD | Chief Officer of Science
Mel is the chief officer of science at Sweet Green Fields and is responsible for all science-based product development and oversees quality assurance. A seasoned industry veteran, he brings more than ten years of experience to the team and has logged considerable accomplishments for both Sweet Green Fields and the industry, including developing the only U.S. patent released to-date for high purity extraction methodology of glycosides from stevia.
In his role, Mel oversees all plant research for Sweet Green Fields, which aims at developing the most effective plants and practices to ensure the highest quality final product. Before joining Sweet Green Fields, Mel served as director of product development and services at the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center, a Sweet Green Fields partner.
Mel holds a joint bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and economics as well as a Ph.D. in biochemistry from University of Keele in Staffordshire, England. Additionally, he was a post-doctoral research fellow and affiliate faculty member at the University of Hawaii. In his free time, Mel enjoys spending time with family, playing chess and fishing.
Jay Helsing | Vice President of Sales
Jay is the vice president of sales at Sweet Green Fields and is resposible for key accounts and distribution management in Asian, European and South American markets.
Prior to joining Sweet Green Fields in 2015, Jay served as Global Product Manager for EPC for 4 years in charge of global business development of stevia. He also served the largest media group in Latin America —-Brazilian O Globo for 5 years as correspondent in China.
Jay holds a Bachelor of International Trade and Economy degree from Beijing University of Technology. In his spare time, Jay enjoys spending time with family, playing basketball and jogging.