Daniel Yohannes, Ph.D., MBA

Daniel Yohannes joined the Sawtooth Board in 2018. Daniel is the CEO of Renaissance Fiber LLC, a Winston-Salem based company bringing hemp-based fiber to the textile industry, after having joined the company as COO in 2019. Prior to Renaissance Fiber, he had spent over 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry, including in senior level positions in multiple companies. In the Wake Forest community, Daniel supported academic drug discovery efforts a Director of Therapeutics Commercialization at Wake Forest Innovations, and before that, he was the Sr. Director of Drug Discovery and Development at Targacept, Inc.

Daniel received his Bachelors in Chemistry with honors from Sterling College in Kansas. He completed his Ph.D. in Organic Synthesis at Purdue University and then spent two years at Yale where he received postdoctoral training as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow. Daniel also holds an Executive MBA from the University of Rhode Island, and has founded or supported three startup companies over several years as an entrepreneur.

Daniel is married to an artist, Tracy Sainte Marie, and lives in Winston-Salem with his wife and two sons. Supporting arts education thus comes naturally to their family, with both Tracy and their children having attended classes at the Sawtooth, while the boys both attend/attended the Arts Based School. Both boys have additionally taken extensive years of piano instruction, and Daniel founded and led a vocal jazz group for a few years after college. “Winston-Salem is a richer and more interesting community because of the Sawtooth School for Visual Arts. It will always be my first impression of Winston-Salem from the first time I came to the city, seeing the building and thinking that a city with such an accessible arts instruction facility has got to be a good place to live”.