Our story is simple really. It’s about people with vision, passion, and dedication who are determined to make a difference. It’s about men and women who genuinely love farming, science, and technology and are motivated by the opportunity to make a difference.
SumaGrow® was born from the desire to support our farmers, protect our food and water supply, and sustain our resources for this generation and the next. Our co-branded products are developed by a diverse and spirited team. BSEI allocates significant resources to the continued advancement of our technology through research and development, strict quality control management, and data collection while sustaining technological improvements to meet the needs of producers.
Bio Soil Enhancers, Inc. (BSEI) has built a team of scientists, farmers, engineers, and marketers who share the common mission to ensure that products containing SumaGrow® continue to meet the needs of agricultural producers to grow higher yielding, healthier crops using more sustainable practices.
As we have grown from a company staffed by three into a network that includes domestic and international licensees, investors, consultants and customers, we remain a family of people motivated by the same principals and driven by the same passion to leave a legacy of hope, good stewardship, and possibilities. Won’t you join us?
Co-founder Wayne Wade grew up on a small farm in south Mississippi. His understanding of conventional farming and plant needs coupled with his experience in microbial remediation for waste management bolstered his desire to experiment with natural alternatives to promote healthy plants and soil.
He currently operates the production facilities at BSEI’s headquarters in Hattiesburg, MS. Additionally, he oversees the technical and marketing support for SumaGrow® licensees worldwide. Mr. Wade’s passion foragriculture continues as he travels the world introducing producers to the benefits of products containing Sumagrow®.
Louis H. Elwell, III
Chief Executive Officer
Louis Elwell has extensive experience in managing, and building new companies. He has been an officer and director of several public companies and was primarily responsible for the financing of Silhouette Brands, Inc. (“Skinny Cow”) whose initial investors received a 31.5 times return on their investment.
Mr. Elwell received his Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in both Finance and Entrepreneurial Management, and was also a Teaching Fellow in the Entrepreneurial Center. Mr. Elwell manages and directs the company toward its primary objectives, based on profit and return of capital through establishing current and long range objectives.
Sean McKeehan is former Navy who then became a government contractor, working within the logistics department for the military. He has extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies and regulations, both foreign and domestic, which has been an asset to the company.
Sean now serves as the General Manager in addition to directing Registration and Compliance, ensuring all licensees, their sales force, and BSEI remain in compliance with federal, state, and international laws. He also assists licensees in obtaining registrations and import permits, domestically and internationally, as well as overseeing staff and facility management at BSEI’s headquarters.
Director of human resources
Sabrina Baio received her Bachelor of Science in Business, with emphasis in accounting, from William Carey University with highest honors in 2012. She then went on to pursue her CPA license in the state of MS. While pursuing her CPA, she worked with Alexander, Van Loon, Sloan, Levens & Favre, PLLC; a well-respected CPA firm in South Mississippi.
Prior to receiving her degree and CPA license, Sabrina previously worked for BSEIl at its inception in 2007 as bookkeeper and office manager. In December 2014, Sabrina decided to once again join the Bio Soil team as our in-house CPA and Director of Human Resources.
Registration and Compliance Coordinator
Erin received her B.A. in Anthropology from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) in 1999 and obtained her M.S. in criminal justice from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2003. She then began work on her Ph.D. in Administration of Justice and is currently only lacking the completion of her dissertation.
She joined the Bio Soil team in 2009 and has served as bookkeeper, shipping coordinator, and executive assistant. She currently works in Registration and Compliance where her background in criminal justice and legal reading helps her navigate through the legalities of import permits and registrations.
Orders and logistics coordinator
Shelly Jackson is a graduate of William Carey University with a B.A. in Education. Prior to joining Bio Soil’s team, she worked for the Alumni Association at the University of Southern Mississippi and at the University Physical Plant as a work control specialist handling campus work orders.
Ms. Jackson is currently BSEI’s Orders and Logistics Coordinator which entails receiving and processing all incoming orders as well as working to assist licensees with their individual shipping needs, both domestically and internationally.
Development and Production Team
Christopher Flood, Ph.D.
Director of Research and Development
Dr. Flood received his Associate in Science from Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Natchez, Mississippi in 2004. He continued his studies at the University of Southern Mississippi where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Biology, with emphasis in environmental biology, in 2007 and was conferred his Doctorate in Molecular/Environmental Microbiology in 2013.
Dr. Flood has served as a research assistant and a laboratory manager at The University of Southern Mississippi and has a strong interest in microbiology and how it relates to human health. Dr. Flood currently manages all research and development, and assists in production and field trial management for BSEI.
Jerrid Boyette, M.S.
Assistant Director of Research and Development
Jerrid Boyette received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Southern Mississippi with highest honors in 2011 and completed his Master of Science in Environmental Ecology in 2015. Mr. Boyette received his Associate of Arts in Nursing in 2004.
Mr. Boyette has taught courses on genetics and anatomy and physiology. As a research assistant, he has conducted studies on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Mississippi’s coastal marshes, on the role of fungi in plant litter decomposition, and on the effects of prescribed burns on soil respiration. Mr. Boyette currently serves as the Assistant Director of Research and Development.
Stephanie Koury received her Bachelor of Science in Biology with an emphasis in environmental biology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2009. She returned to USM in 2012 as a member of the microbial ecology laboratory and is currently completing her Master of Science in environmental biology. Her thesis research focused on the role of ectomycorrhizal fungi in the environment, specifically focusing on their role in carbon and nutrient cycling.
Ms. Koury currently works for BSEI as a member of the lab/production team, overseeing the production of the microbial organisms used in the SumaGrow® product.
Quality Control Manager
Janiece McWilliams received her Bachelor of Science in Biology with an emphasis in environmental science from the University of Southern Mississippi and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Microbiology.
Ms. McWilliams has worked extensively with compliance testing and wastewater testing and treatment. Ms. McWilliams worked for Bio-Solutions Corporation, a microbial bioremediation company, from 2004 until 2007. In 2007, she joined BSEI’s research and development team where she helped oversee the SumaGrow® double blind field trials. She is currently in charge of Quality Control and works with production for BSEI.
Field Services Team
Knox Flowers, M.S.
Director of Field Services
Knox Flowers received his Bachelor and Master of Science in Environmental Biology, with emphasis in plant ecology, from the University of Southern Mississippi. During his graduate research, he worked to quantify the impacts of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill on marsh carbon cycling processes as well as the effects of prescribed burning on soil CO₂ efflux rates.
Utilizing his educational background and past experience in landscaping and habitat restoration, he oversees experimental design on projects, greenhouse and field trials as well as functioning as a brand ambassador for BSEI domestically and internationally to provide support in incorporating the product into existing cultivation practices.
Drew Pigott, R.F.
Field Services Coordinator
Drew graduated with a degree in Forestry from Mississippi State University and is a Registered Forester in the State of Mississippi. His interests include: silviculture, citrus production, and beef cattle.
Drew Pigott works as a field technician for BSEI. He assists in implementing field trials, data collection, and analyzing soil analyses as well as answering customer’s technical questions. Drew travels domestic and internationally to meet with producers to study their existing management strategies to help integrate SumaGrow® products into existing cultivation practices.
Field Services Coordinator
Ethan Currie received his Bachelor degree in Biological Sciences, with an emphasis in Environmental Biology, from the University of Southern Mississippi. While there, he specifically tailored his curriculum around plant science.
Mr. Currie has assisted graduate students with a broad scope of research topics ranging from bird migration dynamics to the effects of prescribed burning on soil CO2 efflux rates. Ethan works as a field technician for BSEI assisting with the setup and management of field trials as well as speaking with farmers and growers domestically and internationally to aid in integrating SumaGrow® products into existing cultivation practices.
Chuck Grantham, M.S.
Independent Field Consultant
Chuck Grantham received a Bachelor of Science in agriculture and extension education and a Masters in agriculture education from Mississippi State University. He taught agriculture for five years and served as a County Extension Agent for twenty-five years.
Mr. Grantham has received several certifications and recognitions including Master Tree Farmer, ISA Board Certified Arborist, Beef Quality Assurance Certification, Master Urban Forester, National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) Achievement Award, NACAA Excellence Award, and Outstanding County Extension Director. Mr. Grantham is an agricultural consultant for BSEI and provides support to farmers and licensees.
Public Relations/Marketing Communications Manager
Aimee developed her sales, communication, and negotiation skills through the marketing and sales of the family’s produce at their family farm and local farmers’ market. She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi, receiving a BA in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations and landed her first post collegiate job as an outside sales manager for Automatic Data Processing.
She later became the fundraiser, event planner and public relations coordinator for the Albuquerque Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Aimee has served as the Public Relations and Marketing Communications Manager for BSEI since 2011.
Michelle Simmons Hartfield
Michelle Hartfield received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art, with an emphasis in Graphic Communication, from the University of Southern Mississippi, graduating Summa Cum Laude.
Ms. Hartfield worked in the Polymer Science Learning Center at the University of Southern Mississippi designing material to enhance science education for children before later accepting a job as an adjunct instructor of web design at Southern Miss. There, she also served as an advisor to Honors College students working on their undergraduate thesis. Michelle joined BSEI in 2014 as Graphic Designer and Webmaster and uses her skills to promote a distinct visual identity and brand cohesion for the company and its licensees.
Glen Shearer, Ph.D.
Glen Shearer received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Murray State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Science in Microbiology from the University of Oklahoma and rounded out his degrees with his Doctorate in Microbiology from the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Shearer completed a Natural Institutes of Health Research Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Washington University School of Medicine and then served as Researcher I and Lecturer at the University of California Medical School in Irvine. Dr. Shearer became a consultant to BSEI in 2013 assisting in several research and development projects.
Dmitri Mavrodi, Ph.D.
Dr. Dmitri Mavrodi received his Master of Science in Microbiology from Kuban State University in Kasnodar, Russia, and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Russian Academy of Sciences at the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Moscow, Russia.
He has received awards for his research, most recently the Dynasty Foundation Travel Award to present a series of seminars at the Puschino Scientific Research Center of Russian Academy of Sciences and Perm State University in Russia. Dr. Mavrodi and his wife are currently working as consultants for BSEI conducting research through the University of Southern Mississippi into mobility of microbes in SumaGrow® products in the soil.
Olga Mavrodi, Ph.D.
Dr. Olga Mavrodi received her Bachelor of Arts in Botany from Kuban State University in Russia, and her Master of Science in Biology with emphasis in Environmental Biotechnology from the Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms at the Russian Academy of Sciences. She then completed her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at Washington State University.
Dr. Mavrodi is a member of several professional associations including The American Phytopathology Society and the American Society for Microbiology. Along with her husband, Dr. Mavrodi is currently working as a consultant for BSEI conducting research through the University of Southern Mississippi into mobility of microbes in SumaGrow® products in the soil.