James A. Mish

James A. Mish

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Mish was appointed Chief Executive Officer in June 2020. He has an outstanding track record of delivering profitable growth at both privately-held and publicly-traded science-driven companies with a focus on pharmaceutical and consumer products commercialization. Prior to joining 22nd Century, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Purisys, a synthetic cannabinoid API, ingredients and solutions provider to pharmaceutical and consumer products companies, and Noramco, a global leader in the production of controlled substances for the pharmaceutical industry. There, Mr. Mish led the private equity carve out of Noramco from Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceuticals and spearheaded the subsequent creation and spinoff of Purisys from Noramco. Mr. Mish began his career at Pfizer in research and development before holding positions of increasing responsibility at several companies including as President of Ashland Specialty Ingredients - Consumer Specialties, a major division of Ashland Corporation, a premier, global specialty materials company serving customers in a wide range of consumer and industrial markets.

Michael Zercher

Michael Zercher

President & Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Zercher was appointed as our Company’s Chief Operating Officer in June 2019 and as our President in December 2019. From 2016 to 2019, Mr. Zercher served as our Company’s Vice President of Business Development.  Prior to joining 22nd Century, Mr. Zercher headed Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company’s international business operations based in Zurich, Switzerland, where he built a thriving international business with significant sales in twelve countries. Mr. Zercher has more than twenty years of experience in the tobacco industry in marketing, sales, operations and business development in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Richard Fitzgerald

Richard Fitzgerald

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Fitzgerald was appointed Chief Financial Officer in November 2021, bringing 35 years of progressive corporate finance, capital markets, and operational leadership experience supporting both public and private life science companies. Mr. Fitzgerald’s other roles include serving as Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of CleanTech Acquisition Corp (Nasdaq: CLAQU), a SPAC focused on the cleantech sector. Prior to joining 22nd Century Group, he was a consulting CFO for Atrin Pharmaceuticals, a novel DNA damage repair focused oncology platform; Co-Founder and CFO of SIRPant Immunotherapeutics; and CFO of Immunome (Nasdaq: IMNM), where he helped lead the company’s initial public offering onto the Nasdaq exchange. Additionally, Mr. Fitzgerald has held financial executive roles at Sesen Bio (Nasdaq: SESN), Annovis Bio (NYSE: ANVS), and Pavmed (Nasdaq: PAVM), among others. He began his career as a senior manager in audit and transactions services at Coopers & Lybrand LLP, now PricewaterhouseCoopers. He holds a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, Accounting from Bucknell University.  Mr. Fitzgerald is a current member of the Bucknell University Alumni Association Board of Directors and also serves on the Finance Committee of Force Blue.

John Franzino

John Franzino

Chief Administrative Officer

Mr. Franzino was appointed Chief Administrative Officer in November 2021 and previously served as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer from June 2020. He has a successful track record of strategic financial leadership in high-growth, highly regulated, consumer-facing industries as well as not-for-profit higher education organizations. Most recently, Mr. Franzino served as Chief Financial Officer of the West Point Association of Graduates, which supports the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Prior to his experience in higher education, Mr. Franzino served as Chief Financial Officer of Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, a subsidiary of Reynolds American, Inc., and as Chief Financial Officer of Labatt USA, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch. In both roles, he was responsible for the financial planning and control function as well as information systems and technology. Mr. Franzino is a certified public accountant and holds a Master of Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine at Farmington.

Steven Przybyla

Steven Przybyla

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Mr. Przybyla joined 22nd Century Group as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary in July 2020. Prior to joining 22nd Century, Mr. Przybyla served as President of the Medical Division at Jushi, Inc., a publicly traded, global cannabis and hemp company, where he led a variety of regulatory, legislative affairs, and strategic planning initiatives to advance Jushi’s medical cannabis and industrial hemp businesses. Mr. Przybyla also previously served as General Counsel for the Dent Neurologic Group, LLP and Seneca Development Corporation. He holds a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Washington and Lee University.

Juan Sanchez Tamburrino

Juan Sanchez Tamburrino

Ph.D., MBA, Vice President of Research and Development

Dr. Tamburrino was appointed Vice President of Research and Development in December 2017. Following six years of post-doctoral research at the Rockefeller University in New York, Dr. Tamburrino served as an Associate Professor at Universidad Tarapacá in Chile before becoming the Research Manager at Pioneer Hi-Bred International (now known as DuPont Pioneer). In 2009, Dr. Tamburrino was appointed the head of the Plant Biotechnology Division of British American Tobacco in Cambridge, England, where he was responsible for biotechnology strategy related to tobacco leaf. Dr. Tamburrino holds a Ph.D. degree in molecular biology and genetics from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences at Cornell University, a partnership program with the Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Institute, and he is a Master of Business Administration candidate at the University of Bradford in Bradford, U.K.

John D. Pritchard

John D. Pritchard

Vice President of Regulatory Science

Mr. Pritchard joined 22nd Century Group as our Vice President of Regulatory Science in April 2019. Prior to that time, Mr. Pritchard was the Head of Regulatory Science for Imperial Brands, where he led that company’s technical regulatory strategy and external scientific engagement on global product regulation. Before joining Imperial Brands, Mr. Pritchard was a Toxicologist with both the U.K. Health Protection Agency (now, Public Health England) and Charles River, a leading global contract research organization for the pharmaceutical industry. Mr. Pritchard received a Master of Science Degree in Toxicology from the University of Birmingham, England and his Bachelor of Science Degree with honors in Pharmacology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.