When Maypro Industries was founded in 1977 by the Japanese entrepreneur Steve Yamada, it was a small company with a big vision — to improve human health and happiness by importing the best-quality nutraceutical ingredients and fine chemicals to the US market from Asia.
At the time, the United States had the population to support massive growth of its fledgling dietary supplement industry, but suffered from a dearth of innovative ingredients. Japan, on the other hand, was developing groundbreaking nutraceuticals at breakneck speed, but its small population limited the ingredients’ growth potential. Maypro became the bridge between the two countries.
Many of today’s specialty blockbuster ingredients — such as CoQ10, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and alpha lipoic acid — were first introduced from Japan to the US market by Maypro. As the United States started to develop proprietary, patented nutraceutical ingredients in the 1990s, the bridge became two-way, with Maypro pioneering the introduction of Citrimax®, Pycnogenol®, Tonalin®, Neopuntia® and Liposan Ultra® and many other products to the Japanese market.
Today, Maypro has grown into one of the largest global suppliers of nutraceutical ingredients and fine chemicals, with six strategically located companies in the US, Japan and China and a global staff of over 50. We continue to build global bridges, expanding into Europe and Latin America, and now service hundreds of countries worldwide.
Our Executive Team
Steve Yamada Chairman and CEO
After moving to the U.S. from Japan in 1971, Steve founded Maypro 40 years ago to bring the best-quality nutraceutical ingredients from overseas to the U.S. to fulfill his mission of helping improve human health and happiness. Under Steve’s entrepreneurial leadership, Maypro established itself as the pioneer of novel specialty ingredients, being the first to introduce such mainstream products as CoQ10, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, alpha-lipoic acid, chitosan and other ingredients to the United States.
Having built a successful raw material ingredients business in North America, Steve expanded his operation in early 2000s, opening subsidiaries in Tokyo and Shanghai and launching a finished products business: Quality of Life. In 2007, Steve was recognized as the Finalist at the 15th Annual Convention of Seiwa Jukku – a global entrepreneurship organization consisting of 8,200 members in Japan, the United States, China, Brazil and Taiwan. That same year, Steve was honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nutrition Business Journal. And in 2013, Steve was presented with the highly prestigious Inamori Management Award by Kazuo Inamori, Japan’s legendary business leader who founded the electronics giant Kyocera and the leading telecom provider KDDI. Steve holds a BA from Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, a BS from Osaka City University and an MBA from Baruch Business School at the City University of New York.
Tac Kurihara President
Maypro Japan & China
Taka-Aki (Tac) Kurihara is a Maypro veteran who has been with the company for almost 30 years. Tac opened Maypro’s office in Tokyo before relocating back to the United States as the company Vice President. He also launched our CoQ10 business which became and remains one of Maypro’s flagship products. In 2010, Tac was appointed the President of Maypro Japan. Under his leadership, the Tokyo operation achieved dramatic growth in both its ingredients and OEM business. Tac also continues to play an active role in Maypro’s relationships with its core group of suppliers in Japan and is a core member of Maypro Group’s Management team.
Eric Ripoli Vice-President of Finance
Bill is a seasoned financial executive and CPA who has been with Maypro for 10 years. Bill is responsible for maintaining the finances of 6 Maypro Group subsidiaries and oversees banking and auditor relations. Under his leadership, Maypro’s financial accounting systems were updated through the full implementation of the MAS90 accounting package. Prior to joining Maypro, he served as the Controller for Pittsburgh Coca Cola Bottling Co. where he had financial responsibility for three bottling plants. In addition, Bill has been involved with several successful startup companies and turnaround opportunities. Bill began his career in the audit division of KPMG, one of the world’s leading accounting firms. He received his BS from Fordham University.
Isabel Elias-Castro President & COO
Ms. Elias-Castro has been with Maypro for over 15 years and is responsible for managing Maypro’s international business worldwide. She has lead the company’s expansion into Europe, Latin America, Australia and Asia focusing on commodities, proprietary branded ingredients and finished products. In addition, Isabel manages Maypro’s Human Resources Department and oversees risk management within the organization. She is attracted to challenging analytical projects and developing long-term sales opportunities with key partners.
Isabel has managed numerous successful product launches including Tonalin® - one of Maypro’s first proprietary branded ingredient in Japan as well as Pycnogenol®, NeOpuntia® and Liposan Ultra® to name a few. Under Isabel’s leadership, Maypro’s global reach now extends to over 150 markets worldwide. Isabel received her Bachelor’s degree suma cum laude in International Management and a Master’s degree in Leadership and Strategic Management from Manhattanville College. She is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.
Jimmy Huang COO
Mr. Huang has 18 years of experience in the nutraceutical industry and has been with Maypro for 12 years. Jimmy manages all of Maypro's operations in China including raw material sourcing and sales into the domestic market. He has been actively involved in developing strategic partnerships with key manufacturers, ensuring stability of supply, performing regular audits of production facilities, structuring long-term purchase contracts and ensuring that all of Maypro's products meet our stringent quality standards. In addition, Jimmy is constantly monitoring the market to keep Maypro's purchasing managers and salespeople abreast of new developments and trends so that Maypro can provide valuable market intelligence to its customers.
Jimmy has also been actively involved in locating unique emerging ingredients and has supported their introduction into the US, Japan and Maypro's other export market. Prior to joining Maypro, Jimmy spent several years at Shanghai Medicines & Health products Import & Export Corporation, China's leading Pharmaceuticals and health ingredients products export company. He holds a Bachelor degree from the Shanghai University of Chinese Traditional Medicine.
Dan Lifton President
Dan has been with Maypro for over 9 years and is responsible for developing and managing Maypro’s portfolio of proprietary branded ingredients. Under his leadership, Maypro has formed strategic distribution partnerships with a number of Japan’s leading food and beverage companies, significantly expanded its portfolio of products and developed new branded ingredient business with over 100 customers. Dan was also responsible for Maypro’s strategic partnership with Bioactives, a developer of patented highly bioavailable bionutraceutical compounds. Over the last 5 years, he oversaw launches of two Nutracon award winning ingredients - Oligonol and BioPQQ as well a number of other leading products. Dan’s prior experience includes investment banking at Deutsche Bank in London, trade finance at Citigroup in New York and venture capital at Draper Fisher Jurvetson Gotham Ventures. He holds an MBA with honors from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor’s degree cum laude from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. Dan also completed a year-long degree program at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and is a Certified Holistic Coach. He is fluent in French, Spanish and Russian.