Board of Directors
Bjørge Gretland, PhD (Chairman)
Mr. Gretland holds a Siviløkonom (Master of Economics) and a Dr. Oecon (PhD) in strategy and finance from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH). He was a Research Scholar at Stanford University 1989-1991 and has broad international experience from venture capital, mergers & acquisitions and capital markets. Bjørge is the owner of the Norwegian venture investment company Convexa AS which invests in early-stage/growth technology companies.
Mr. Hursever is a Partner at LGT Lightstone responsible for direct private equity investments with over 20 years of investment experience. Prior to joining LGT, Mr. Hursever spent eight years with Capital Group Private Markets, the private equity business of Capital Group, responsible for private equity investments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to Capital Group Private Markets, Mr. Hursever spent ten years at private equity group CCMP Capital and its predecessor JPMorgan Partners in London, focusing on growth capital and LBO investments across Europe. Prior to that, he worked in the mergers & acquisitions group of Salomon Brothers (now part of Citi) in New York and London. Mr. Hursever holds a B.A. in economics and mathematics from Macalester College, Minnesota, USA.
Chris Logan is the Investment Director of Canica International AG. His career prior to Canica includes four years as an accountant at Deloitte and six years at Goldman Sachs in London where he was responsible for European infrastructure research and was a three-time ranked analyst in the Greenwich and II surveys. He was also a founding partner of investment bank Liberum Capital in London, and Head of Research for Swiss-based hedge fund B1 Capital. His 20 years of capital markets experience includes corporate valuation, mergers & acquisitions, financing solutions and investment management. Mr Logan is a Chartered Accountant (ACA) and holds a B.A (Hons) in Economics from the University of Nottingham.
Kim Lopdrup has been the Chief Executive Officer of Red Lobster, the world’s largest seafood restaurant chain company, since 2014. Under his leadership, Red Lobster has greatly improved its food and service, and today all of Red Lobster’s seafood is traceable, sustainable and responsibly sourced. Before joining Red Lobster, Kim was the Chief Operating Officer, North America, for Burger King Corporation. He led the company’s 8,500 North American restaurants to record guest satisfaction scores in both company-owned and franchised restaurants, contributing to a turn-around of declining same-store sales.
Sonny Perdue served as the United States Secretary of Agriculture from 2017 to 2021, where he initiated USDA’s Ag Innovation Agenda. Prior to his time as Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny served as Governor of Georgia from 2003 to 2011 and a Georgia State Senator from 1991-2002. As a state senator, he was often praised for tackling issues when no one else had the courage to do so and for his ability to grasp the nuances of complex problems. Sonny was recognized as a leading authority on numerous issues including agriculture, transportation, education, emerging technologies and economic development.
A seasoned executive with experience in the food, travel, and tourism industries, Maria Sastre brings with her over 25 years of executive leadership and experience and currently sits on the boards of esteemed, Fortune 500, multibillion dollar public and private companies, including General Mills and O’Reilly Auto Parts. Sastre also served on numerous civic and non-profit boards such as the Greater Miami Visitors and Convention Bureau(Chair), the Executive Advisory Board of Florida International University School of Hospitality,and the Executive Board of the United Way of Miami-Dade County. She has been recognized as one of the Top 80 U.S. Hispanics and Top 20 Latinas and has received numerous awards in the travel and hospitality industry sectors. Sastre’s education includes a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s in Business Administration, both from New York Institute of Technology.
Erik Sauar, PhD
Dr. Sauar holds a doctorate degree in Thermodynamics from the Department of Physical Chemistry at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and a Master in Anthropology from the University of Trondheim. Dr. Sauar has more than 20 years of management experience from the global PV industry and was one of the co-founders of Renewable Energy Corporation, where he served for 12 years as the Chief Technology Officer – developing the company from the beginning to about USD 2 billion revenue. He has served on the Board of Directors of several international PV institutes and companies. During the last 7 years he has invested in and assisted/managed start-up companies in the clean tech space with a particular attention to solar energy and energy storage. Dr. Sauar is the inventor of about 35 patents and patent applications and has co-authored over 20 scientific publications.
Camilla has considerable experience from domestic and international transactions, and has served as lead partner in several Norwegian and cross-border transactions. She represents large investment funds, Private Equity funds and venture capital firms, as well as publicly and privately owned companies. Camilla is known to be a strong negotiator and an efficient project manager. She currently holds board positions in several private companies and has extensive experience with corporate governance, strategic processes and business development.
Camilla is ranked as “Leading Lawyer” by the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) in the category “M&A”. The Legal 500 promotes Camilla as one of the leading lawyers in the category “Commercial, corporate and M&A”. Camilla is ranked as “up and coming” in Chambers Global and Europe 2019.