Hoyt Thomas is president and CEO of OpenAlgae and is a member of the board of directors. In addition to his responsibilities at OpenAlgae, he also leads the commercial operations of Organic Fuels Holdings, Inc. (OFHI).
OpenAlgae, LLC was created in 2008 to commercialize technology developed at the University of Texas (U.T.) focused on bio-energy
technologies, including oil and biomass recovery from algae. OpenAlgae is a collaborative venture between Organic Fuels Technologies, Inc. (an OFHI subsidiary) and the Board of Regents at U.T. Beginning with a Sponsored Research Agreement, Organic Fuels fostered research at U.T. regarding algae cultivation and processing for fuel, food, pharmaceutical, and other applications. Mr. Thomas has been providing leadership to the technology development and commercialization efforts of OpenAlgae since summer 2009, was elected to the board of directors in January 2010, and continues to provide leadership, focus and direction.
Mr. Thomas has over 25 years of business experience as a results-oriented change agent with large and small, public and private companies. He specializes in designing successful plans, translating the plans into specific steps, and achieving required results. Mr. Thomas has assisted companies in energy, technology and life sciences fields with business strategy and implementation planning through both consulting and the Houston Technology Center, a non-profit small-business incubator and accelerator that he has supported since 2003.
From 2004-2007, Mr. Thomas was executive vice president and chief operating officer of RhinoPak, L.P. (now ZXP Technologies), a $22 million, 300-employee contract blending and packaging company. Improved results led to the sale of RhinoPak to packaging-industry investors in 2007. He began his career in the petrochemical and refining industry as a chemical engineer at Exxon (now ExxonMobil) in 1977, later working with manufacturing, technology and energy companies, including international operations in Asia.
Mr. Thomas earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, a Master in Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, and an MBA at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. He has taught undergraduate and continuing education courses as an adjunct professor, serves on the board of directors of The Jones Partners , and is an advisor to the Houston Technology Center, Rice Alliance, Rice University’s Jones School, the Greater Houston Partnership, and the Houston Angel Network.