Leadership Team

Our leadership team is driven by the idea that we don’t just make a physical product. We make patients’ lives better. They know this level of innovation isn’t easy. It takes time, and the courage to act. But together, we can accomplish anything. Our leadership team is responsible for instilling our core values in all our employees and leading the drive to meet the expectations of customers.



James G. Hall

President Mr. Hall was appointed President in June 2017.  Mr. Hall served as Vice President and General Manager since July 2013, Vice President of Operations since 2006 and was Director of Manufacturing Operations and Engineering since 2001; prior to that he was the Manager of Engineering and Operations at Lifecore. Mr. Hall brings over 30 years of pharmaceutical and combination product manufacturing and development experience.

Jackie Q. Klecker

Vice President and General Manager Ms. Klecker was appointed Vice President and General Manager in June 2018. She served as the Company’s Senior Director of Quality Assurance & Regulatory Affairs from June 2014 to June 2018 and as the Company’s Director of Quality from July 2010 to June 2014. Ms. Klecker has a Chemical Engineering degree and has over 30 years of industry experience in quality, manufacturing, and development areas.

Darren Hieber

Vice President of Corporate Development and Partnerships Mr. Hieber was appointed the Vice President of Corporate Development and Partnerships in November 2021. Darren brings over 20 years of senior level management experience to Lifecore, specifically focused in business development working in high growth environments in the pharmaceutical space, most recently at Catalent Pharma Solutions.  He has a passion for strategic business development and growth, executive level business support, and driving results.

Rick Sitarz

Vice President of Commercial Development Mr. Sitarz was appointed the Vice President of Commercial Development in June 2015. He is responsible for new business development, marketing, strategic planning and project management. Rick brings over 30 years of biotech experience to Lifecore. He served most recently as the Vice President of Peripheral Interventions Marketing at Boston Scientific.

Kipling Thacker, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President Dr. Thacker was appointed Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President in October 2010. Dr. Thacker was appointed Vice President of New Business Development in November 2004. Dr. Thacker served as Director of New Business Development from 2000 to November 2004 and is the co-inventor of the Lifecore hyaluronan fermentation and manufacturing process. He held various research and business development positions at the Company from 1981 to 2000.

Scott J. Collins

Vice President of Finance Mr. Collins was promoted to Vice President of Finance in June 2017. He served as the Sr. Director of Finance from January 2010 to May 2017 and the Company’s Controller from July 2007 to December 2009. Mr. Collins held various finance positions within the Company from January 2001 to July 2007. Mr. Collins has over 20 years of financial experience.

Steve W. Laninga

Vice President of Operations Mr. Laninga was appointed Vice President of Operations in January 2020.  Steve began his career as an engineer and moved into leadership positions in engineering and operations within the pharmaceutical industry.  Steve brings over 24 years of pharmaceutical manufacturing experience to Lifecore.  He served most recently as the Vice President of Operations & Site Lead at Perrigo.

Kara Morley

Vice President of Human Resources Kara is responsible for leading the human resources function at Lifecore, bringing over 25 years of progressive HR experience.  She began her HR career in the staffing industry and quickly moved into corporate HR where she has supported teams in the banking, services, retail, CPG and distribution industries.  Most recently Kara was the Vice President of HR at Werner Electric before joining Lifecore in October 2021.