Avara is led by a team of experienced, entrepreneurial industry leaders with proven backgrounds in pharmaceutical manufacturing, healthcare, and technical services.

Avara Pharmaceutical Services is an affiliate of the American Industrial Acquisition Corporation (www.aiac.com).

Paul Fioravanti, MBA, MPA, CAGS

Chief Executive Officer

Paul Fioravanti is the CEO of Avara Pharmaceutical Services. Paul is a proven leader with extensive experience in C-level roles, including leading a startup company to the Inc. 500 for four consecutive years. Among his various business transformations, he led the turnaround and sale of the one of the largest NYC metro based wireless infrastructure companies, successfully sold to a $4 billion private equity group, and was instrumental in the turnaround and sale of a $250 million recreational marine vessel manufacturer, the restoration to profitability of a $300 million industrial manufacturer, and managed advisory for the divestiture of a large healthcare specialty practice chain to a publicly held company.

Earlier in his career, Paul worked directly for the Chairman and CEO of a publicly-held regional energy holding company, as well as in privately-held manufacturing and service companies across a variety of industries . He has also spearheaded and advised early stage startups, strategic and financial exits of businesses, successful post-merger integrations and has led LEAN- and 6S- based process redesign in manufacturing.

Paul holds three degrees from The University of Rhode Island (BS, MPA, MBA), an advanced degree from Bryant University (CAGS) and is a graduate of Leadership Rhode Island. He has served as an advisor and board member to a variety of companies, private equity groups, angel funds, and community and civic organizations during his career and has taught MBA- level courses at four different universities.

Jim Scandura

Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

Jim Scandura has a wealth of pharmaceutical industry experience through projects with i-Solutions – a Life Sciences specialty consulting company. He has managed three major pharmaceutical manufacturing network change programs, three consent decree recovery efforts, over 30 manufacturing site audit and operational improvement efforts, integration of a large R&D center, the direct management and integration of several manufacturing sites. Mr. Scandura has experience working for Bristol Meyers Squibb, GSK, Roche, Valeant, Patheon, Aptuit and many other pharmaceutical companies. Previously, he was Senior Vice President at Johnson Controls Inc. and, prior to that, served in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine Service.

Bill Pasek

Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer

Bill Pasek has over 25 years of experience in sales leadership roles. He served as Director of Sales, Regional Vice President and most recently as National Business Director for Quintiles, and has managed and led sales teams ranging from 90 to 450 salespeople. He is a consummate leader in the pharmaceutical industry.

Mr. Pasek started his pharmaceutical career with GSK, where he helped build and lead the dermatology division and established GSK as the most admired company in that therapeutic category. During his time at GSK, he launched 11 brands in the dermatology market. In 2002, he joined Sepracor, which later became Sunovion.

He was a founding member of the Sepracor commercial team and was instrumental in deciding the overall size and structure of the Sepracor sales team. During this time, he helped the organization grow from $200M in sales to $1.4B. He played a significant role in the launch strategy and execution of Lunesta – one of the top 10 pharmaceutical launches at the time.

Mr. Pasek has a degree in Business Economics from the University of Southern Connecticut.

Rick Mark

Chief Human Resources Officer

Rick Mark's career has spanned five industries, including pharmaceuticals, distribution, consumer products, pharmaceutical services and nuclear power generation. During his career, Mr. Mark has led human resources due diligence/integration efforts resulting in acquisitions valued at $1 billion, and covering 10,000 employees in 40 countries.

He has extensive experience in change management, mergers and acquisitions, and leadership development. In previous HR roles, he led safety, health, and facilities departments in addition to human resources for global organizations. Mr. Mark is also a recognized public speaker on workplace violence prevention.

Mr. Mark has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Mike Kays

Executive Vice President Global Planning and Supply

Mike Kays has extensive experience in project management, supply chain, operations, and customer stewardship. He has built strong relationships and has recognized expertise across multiple industries, including process equipment, cryogenics, cold chain technology, and pharmaceutical manufacturing, including isolation and high containment systems.

His career responsibility progressed from engineering through global operations leadership. Mike served as CEO for a leading supplier of custom design/build equipment for major pharmaceutical customers across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. He then became Senior Vice President of Global Supply for Valeant Pharmaceuticals, leading a manufacturing restructuring and global outsourcing initiative. He later joined Aptuit, Inc. as Executive Vice President of Global Operations Planning, including Client Project Management, Technical Proposals, and Global Procurement.

Mr. Kays holds a B.S. degree from Alfred University in New York. He is a past board member of the ISPE International Leadership Forum, and remains a Board member and executive advisor to various academic and business interests.

Warren Horton

Executive Vice President Global Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs

Warren has 35 years of industry experience with a broad pharmaceutical background and extensive experience in manufacturing management, quality assurance, quality control and operational excellence. He joined Abbott Laboratories and the pharmaceutical industry in 1986 and has had successive levels of leadership and responsibility in manufacturing and quality assurance. Warren has experience in new plant start-ups, remediation of consent decrees and warning letters, quality system integration and data integrity remediation. He has worked for Abbott Labs, Alpharma, DSM and Patheon in manufacturing and quality leadership roles up to VP, Global Quality at Patheon.

Warren is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University.

Charlie Lickfold

EVP Chief Information Officer

Charlie Lickfold is an IT leader with extensive experience in IT transformations, corporate M&A, and business change programs. He was previously CIO for Gilbarco Veeder-Root (GVR), where he led the IT transformation and support of new technology product innovation.

Prior to his time at GVR, Mr. Lickfold spent 17 years in the pharmaceutical industry. He held numerous IT leadership positions including Vice President, Head of Global IT at Patheon Pharmaceuticals where he successfully established and supported global quality, manufacturing, lab and business systems. Prior to that, he was Senior Director of IT at Valeant Pharmaceuticals responsible for the company’s SAP center of excellence as well as the transition to a new set of global IT services for network, datacenter, end user computing.

Mr. Lickfold began his career as a management consultant in the life sciences practice for Ernst & Young LLP. He has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Kentucky.

Mark Hembarsky

EVP Operational Excellence

Mark is a seasoned operations and general management executive. Over the last 28 years of his career he has gained a wide range of experience across the pharmaceutical industry, including discovery, development, drug substance and drug product manufacturing for clinical and commercial supply, supply chain, and logistics.

Prior to joining Avara this year, Mark held executive roles at GlaxoSmithKline, Valeant, Aptuit, and more recently Marken. For the first ten years of his career, he managed major capital engineering and construction projects at Exxon.

Mark has led global, regional and local operations and technical support functions, driven strategic change, and deployed Operational Excellence programs in four companies.  He spent 12 years as an expatriate in several locations in Europe, lived and worked in multiple cities in the United States, and conducted business around the world. Mark has experience on both the client and the supplier side of the industry.

He holds a B.S.C.E degree from Lehigh University and is a licensed Professional Engineer.

Peter Bigelow

Senior Advisor

Peter Bigelow is a senior advisor to Avara Pharmaceutical Services worldwide. Peter has held executive leadership roles and provided management consultation within the biopharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer goods industries for over 28 years. His expertise includes global pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply chain operations, outsourcing strategies, quality systems, compliance excellence, building high performance teams, organizational restructuring, and driving operational efficiencies with lean processes.

Peter has been involved in major operational restructuring, has driven significant network wide improvements in Quality, Cost and Customer Service and has turned around underperforming factories. He has broad capabilities in driving change and managing Manufacturing and Supply Chain Operations.


  • Improved KPI results including a 10% improvement in Customer Service and Quality (RFT) in just nine months for a leading pharmaceutical company
  • Consolidated supplier base by 40% by establishing innovative management structure a large pharmaceutical company
  • Improved serious quality and supply issues by restructuring site and driving Operational Excellence Program while overseeing successful reinspections a leading pharmaceutical company
  • Led 2nd largest global P\pharmaceutical CMO/CRO and oversaw $700 million publicly traded company through leadership transition
  • Oversaw global manufacturing and supply chain operations for $3.0 billion worldwide consumer healthcare business for major products in US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Europe and China.

Ronald Small MBA, BS Pharm, ScD (Hon), FAPhA, FASHP, CEC


Ronald Small’s experience is unique as he has held executive positions in healthcare organizations and has served as an Executive Strategic Advisor to c-suite leaders in Hospitals and Health Systems, Group Buying Organizations (GPOs), The Joint Commission, Pharmacy Professional Organizations and the Pharmaceutical Industry.

Career Highlights include:

  • Board of Trustees for American Pharmaceutical Association
  • Vice-President, Quality, Safety and Service Excellence and Chief Pharmacy Officer at Wake Forest University Baptist Health for approximately 37 years.
  • Interim CIO for the Medical Center’s Informatics Center and for two years as Chief Procurement Officer.
  • Consultant for 5 years with the Joint Commission Resources and Joint Commission International.
  • Contributed to the professional body of knowledge on such topics as quality leadership and quality improvement, Lean Six Sigma, antimicrobial utilization stewardship, drug cost reduction strategies, the safe adoption of technologies in the medication use process and quality of care improvement strategies.
  • Invited speaker in the US and internationally addressing patient safety, leadership for quality improvement, and issues related to improving IV medication practices.