| Philpott | Orchard | Werber | Leson
Baccetti | Pless | Colon | Lopez-Chicheri | Associate Members
Frank A. Riccio, Jr.  

Frank A. Riccio, Jr. joined the Kimberly Clark Corporation in 1970. During his tenure with KCC he directed international marketing and product development initiatives, developed his skills in the international marketing of specialty and technical products as well as his knowledge of the fiber sciences and resources and markets.

Departing KCC in 1982, Frank co-founded Danforth International Trade Associates, Inc. a premier supplier of specialty fibers and pulps to the paper, textile, nonwovens and composite materials industries. Under his direction, the company was instrumental in expanding the opportunities for and the use of nonwood resources in the range of industrial applications and advancing the research and development of emerging technologies and markets.

Frank is the founder of and a senior partner in IfTech. He is the Chairman of the Nonwood Plant Fibers Committee of TAPPI, a founding member and current C.E.O. of the Center for American Flax Fiber at Clemson University and co-founder of the ASTM D13-17 subcommittee on flax.


732.892.4454 (Phone)
Mail to Frank Riccio

  John Philpott  

During his 35 years in the industry, John W. Philpott has established a broad base of experience and expertise in the manufacturing of pulp and technical and specialty papers, with a reputation for his insight and keen management abilities.

John began his career with Eastman Kodak in the development of photographic paper manufacturing technologies. Moving to Riegel Paper he was responsible for the development and manufacture of products ranging from glassine and coated specialties, to tissue grade papers.

John joined the Kimberly Clark Corporation in 1971 holding key manufacturing and management positions in the Specialty and Technical Products Division and served as the Vice President of Manufacturing with responsibilities covering all manufacturing and production operations. Following the spin-off of the Division in 1995, he held the equivalent position with Schweitzer-Mauduit International, retiring in 1999. Following his retirement John founded the Lee Pulp and Paper Group, which specializes in technical support and manufacturing assistance in the production of technical, and specialty papers.

John is an active member of TAPPI and is a senior partner in IfTech.


413.243.2733 (Phone)
Mail to John Philpott

  Dr. Lewis P. Orchard  

For more than twenty-five years Dr. Lewis P Orchard has been working in positions of R&D and business management. After completing a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Plant Pathology), Lewis joined Spenco Medical Corporation (a Division of Kimberly-Clark Corporation) as the Director of Research and Development. Spenco’s core competency included combining fibers, absorbent materials and various polymers in unique products, primarily for health-care markets. While at Spenco, Lewis led the company’s technology and product development efforts with results which included four patents, a five-fold increase in the company’s technology base, and forty new products that fueled a three-fold increase in company sales over four years.

Subsequently, Lewis applied his interest in technology, business strategy and product development to new business development generally and to technology-based business start-ups in particular. He has co-founded two and served as president of three start-ups, two in agricultural biotechnology and one in medical devices. Each of these involved licensing and developing proprietary intellectual property, strategic product development, business planning, and new venture financing. His consulting projects have included work with clients in chemical, health care, and agricultural biotechnology industries.

Dr. Orchard was a co-founder of the Center for American Flax Fiber and serves as its C.O.O., and was a founder and first Chairperson of the ASTM D13-17 sub-committee on flax. Lewis is a senior partner in IfTech.


505.299.0490 (Phone)
Mail to Dr. Lewis Orchard

  Dr. Frank X. Werber  

Dr. Frank X. Werber started his career in 1948 in polymer research with the B.F. Goodrich Corporation. Frank joined the W. R. Grace Corporation in the 1950’s serving as their Vice President of Research and Development until his departure in 1964 to join the J. P. Stevens Corporation.

Frank was Vice President of R & D at J.P. Stevens until his retirement from the private sector in 1984. Subsequently Frank was appointed the National Program Director for Fibers and Materials at the U.S.D.A.-ARS. Dr. Werber was responsible for targeting government research on cotton, kenaf and flax to the needs of industry and was instrumental in establishing the policy of direct, effective communication and dialogue between industry and cooperative research programs.

Dr. Werber is a senior partner in IfTech.


860.767.2823 (Phone)
Mail to Dr. Frank Werber

  Dr. Gero Leson  

Dr. Gero Leson has over 15 years of first hand experience in applied environmental research and fiber technologies. As the principal of Leson Environmental Consulting he has worked with various Fortune 100 companies and major European firms both on short-term remedial and long-term strategic solutions. Gero was instrumental in implementing biological air polllution control technologies in the U.S. and is an acknowledged expert on the use of agricultural resources and residual materials in industrial applications. He has also managed research and development projects related to the use of fiber plants for novel technical applications and been intregrally involved in project implementation. Projects for the forest products and related industries included environmental audits of pulp mills, problem resolution with local interest groups and governments, the evaluation of air emission control technologies and, the use of alternative nonwood fibers. Gero brings to IfTech an understanding of and experience with the complexity of projects involving the sustainable use of natural resources, their local and global environmental impacts and potential mitigation strategies.

Dr. Leson is an active member of TAPPI and is a senior partner in IfTech.


510.525.9533 (Phone)
Mail to Dr. Gero Leson

  Jean Claude Baccetti   

Jean Claude Baccetti began his career with the Kimberly Clark Corporation (France) in 1969 working in international marketing and product development of technical and specialty paper and reconstituted tobacco products.

Jean Claude departed KCC in 1994 and took on the responsibilities of European Marketing Director for Mundet Industries, a premier converter and printer of specialty and technical paper products.

He founded Aquarius S.A.R.L. a marketing and sales consulting firm and C.E.R.A.P. a technical research, product and market development organization focusing on pulp, paper and fiber related industries. Both companies are headquartered in Biarritz, France and are allied with International Fibre Technologies Group, Inc.

Mr. Baccetti is a Senior Associate with IfTech.

  Dr. Petra Pless  

Dr. Petra Pless has 10 years of experience in environmental research and consulting both in Germany and the U.S. With a background in biology she has managed registration projects for synthetic pesticides and projects in the area of industrial ecology and sustainable use of renewable resources.

Fiber technology projects include the technical feasibility and environmental life-cycle impacts of using cellulose fibers in insulation materials and their comparison to glass fiber products. Petra has also conducted assessments of markets for products from natural fibers and their technical suitability for specialty paper applications. Her broad scientific background and diverse professional experience allow for her interdisciplinary approaches to multi-faceted, complex issues.

Dr. Pless is a Senior Associate with IfTech..

  Ms. Magnolia Colon  

Ms. Magnolia Colon, IfTech’s Director of Administrative Services started her career with the Daewoo Corporation in 1978 and after a brief hiatus to raise her family, became Director of Administrative Services with Danforth International Trade Associates, Inc. Maggie’s 20+ years of experience and expertise in the management of support services, project coordination and logistics control and her in-depth knowledge of fiber related business development is an essential component of IfTech’s thorough and efficient record of successful projects.

  José Ignacio Lopez-Chicheri  

José Ignacio Lopez-Chicheri is a Market Research Associate with IfTech. Ignacio has been involved in the fiber industries since his youth in Spain and has been a research assistant with Danforth International Trade Associates, Inc. and Eastern Cellulose Tehcnologies, Inc. since 1995. Following his attainment of a Bachelor of Science Degree from Kean University he has joined IfTech as a member of the research and support services staff. “Nacho” is currently a candidate for his Master’s degree in Information Technologies at Kean University.

  Associate Members   

Dr. Roy Dodd - Professor, Agricultural Engineering Department, Clemson University.

Karel Domas - Former Director of Project Engineering with IBM & President, Globus, Inc.

Robert Hurter - President, HurterConsult Incorporated, Ottawa, Canada.

Jeffrey P. Silberman - President, Silberman Associates, Inc.