Board of Directors
Andrew Ritter – Board Member
Noah Doyle – Board Member
Michael Step – Board Member
Thomas J. Adamek – Board Member
Steve Markowitz – Board Member
Daniel A. Nathanson – Board Observer
Mr. Ritter has extensive experience creating, building and managing diverse business enterprises. His success has been his ability to take ideas and grow major businesses. He currently serves as Chairman of Ritter Pharmaceuticals. In addition he provides corporate management, strategic planning and financial consulting for a wide range of market segments. In the health and beauty sector, Mr. Ritter was President and Vice-Chairman of Quality King Inc, the nation’s largest wholesale distributor for health care products with $5 billion in annual revenues (ranked the 18th largest privately held company, Forbes Top 100 List). Simultaneously, he worked as President and Chairman of Rockwood, a business he developed that produced private label HBA products for major national retailers including GNC and K-Mart. In the entertainment sector he served as Chairman of ON-TV, a division of Oak Industries (NYSE Company), where he managed the television division initiating exclusive broadcasts of Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York professional baseball, basketball, and hockey games. During 1980-1985, he produced the first televised home shopping program and directed development of the largest “pay-per-view” channel system for its time. In the personal services market, Mr. Ritter grew a people-to-people business, Elite Personal Search and Lifemates personal matchmaking service, in the U.S. and Canada. In the finance field, Mr Ritter served on the board of directors for the Martin Lawrence Art Galleries (NYSE Company). During his 20 years as a publisher, he produced monthly national consumer magazines including Playgirl. and released books that included It’s OK to Say No childrens’ series and Patti Regan Davis’ Homefront. Mr. Ritter also has a long history of public service that includes appointments by three Governors to several State of California Commissions, including eight years served as Commissioner on the California Prison Industry Authority. In 1981, Mr. Ritter was honored with the City of Hope’s Man of the Year award.
Andrew Ritter is the Founder, President and CEO of Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading research and development company specializing in the microbiome and the discovery of treatments for digestive diseases. Mr. Ritter founded Ritter Pharmaceuticals upon his own person affliction with lactose intolerance. He has been actively studying the field of lactose intolerance for over 15 years and currently holds four patents with over a dozen pending patents. Ritter Pharma’s lead product, RP-G28, is a novel therapeutic treatment for lactose intolerance. It recently completed Phase II clinical trials and has the potential to become the first prescription drug to treat lactose intolerance.
Since 2010, Mr. Ritter has also acted as Managing Partner of Stonehenge Partners, a private investment fund which provides working capital and executive leadership to a variety of businesses and industries. Those industries include: Real Estate, Tech, Biotech, Entertainment and Service businesses. In addition, Andrew is a guest lecturerof entrepreneurship at various graduate and undergraduate schools throughout Los Angeles including: Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, Anderson School of Business, University of California of Los Angeles and Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management.
Los Angeles Mayor, Richard Riordan, appointed Andrew to serve as a Los Angeles City Commissioner from 2000-2002 (The youngest appointed Commissioner in Los Angeles history.) Mr. Ritter holds a Bachelor Degree in Political Science and a minor in Business from the University of Southern California and was a member of the 2002 Pac-10 Champion baseball team. He graduated from the Stanford Graduate School of Business’ Executive Education on Influence and Negotiation Strategies.
Mr. Doyle has been an entrepreneur and investor for over 20 years. As an angel investor prior to forming Javelin Venture Partners, Noah has supported over a dozen start-ups including Keyhole (Google), Cantametrix (Gracenote), Amae Software (Verint), Nuvon, Aquea Scientific, Emdigo, Magnacash (Yaga), and i-mint India. Mr. Doyle most recently directed the enterprise product line for Google’s geospatial products, Google Earth and Google Maps. Prior to Google, he managed the Sales and Corporate Development functions at Keyhole, Inc., the venture capital backed company that created the first Web hosted digital earth model and was acquired by Google in 2004.Prior to Keyhole, Mr. Doyle helped establish the Internet loyalty rewards marketplace as a co-founder of MyPoints.com, the largest Internet loyalty program with over 6 million active members, where he led product management and business development functions from the company’s inception through an initial public offering and subsequent acquisition by United Airlines. Prior to MyPoints, Noah was based in Tokyo where he managed overseas sales and marketing for the OEM channel of Matsushita’s (Panasonic) communications equipment subsidiary in Japan. In other roles, he was chairman of the management board of the University of California, Berkeley’s campus bookstore, a $17 million retail operation, and also held product management and operations management roles at IBM/Rational (Pure Atria) and Oracle. Mr. Doyle holds M.B.A. and B.A. Economics degrees, as well as certificates in Management of Technology and Global Management from University of California – Berkeley.
Mr. Step has over 20 years of business development and corporate development experience in the pharmaceutical industry. In addition to his position on the board, Mr. Step is a Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Santarus. Prior to joining Santarus, he was Vice President, Corporate Development for Amylin Pharmaceuticals. In this capacity, he was responsible for leading corporate development activities, including product licensing, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions evaluations. Before his position at Amylin, he was Senior Director, Business Development at Dura Pharmaceuticals. In this position, his duties included licensing of marketed pharmaceutical products. Prior to that, he served in corporate development and strategic planning at Hoffmann-La Roche and sales and management roles at Roche Labs and Syntex Labs. Mr. Step holds a B.A. in political science from Vanderbilt University and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California.
Mr. Adamek is a co-founding member, president, and managing director of Stonehenge Capital Company LLC, where he is responsible for asset management and business development activities. He is also a member of its board of managers. Stonehenge is a national specialty finance company with expertise in structured tax credit finance in a variety of industries. Additionally, Stonehenge provides private debt and equity solutions to growing companies.He began his professional career with Louisiana National Bank, which was the predecessor of Bank One Corporation. From 1983 through 1999, Mr. Adamek held various positions with Bank One, culminating in a managing director role that focused on venture capital, investment banking, and capital markets activities.In 1999, Mr. Adamek co-founded Stonehenge, which today has 35 employees in nine states with partner level oversight in Louisiana and Ohio. Mr. Adamek holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from LSU.
Mr. Markowitz is an active private investor, with a particular interest in and passion for applied science. He was a seed investor in Ritter Pharmaceuticals. Prior to private investing, Steve was founding chairman and CEO of MyPoints.com, the membership marketing company that he took public on NASDAQ in 1999. During his tenure, Steve led MyPoints in growing membership to 16 million consumers and annual revenue to $64 million. Before MyPoints, he worked as a securities analyst at Fidelity Investments and as a financial journalist at Dow Jones & Co., where his coverage included pharmaceutical companies.Steve earned his MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and his B.A. in East Asian Languages (high honors), also from UC Berkeley. Steve is a guest lecturer in the Entrepreneurship and New Venture Finance courses at Haas. He was honored as a Richard H. Holton Teaching Fellow in 2009.
Dr. Nathanson is an entrepreneur, executive, investor, consultant and educator. He has a 25-year record of success in building businesses, creating financial value and helping entrepreneurs succeed. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management where he teaches Small Business Management, Business Plan Development and is a Faculty Advisor in the AMR, GAP and SMR programs.In 1999, Dr. Nathanson founded and currently serves as CEO of Washington Square Capital Fund (WSCF), a formalized angel group that invests in early-stage companies. In 2000, Dr. Nathanson left the Stern School to become the CEO at Tickmark Solutions. In less than 18 months, under Dr Nathanson’s leadership, the revenues of this software company rose from $500,000 to almost $4 million. In 2002, he engineered the sale of company and investors realized a 40% return on investment in a very difficult market environment.Dr. Nathanson then went on to serve as the CEO and President of a promotional products firm followed by an asset management venture. In 2008, Dr. Nathanson accepted a teaching position as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and has resumed his mission of Helping Entrepreneurs Succeed as the CEO of the Entrepreneurs Resource Group. Dr. Nathanson holds a Ph.D. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from NYU’s Graduate School of Business and a BA from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.