Our Team

Greg Mellinger

CEO and Founder,
HighQuest Group



Office:     +1 978.887.8800 x102

Mobile:   +1 914.456.1524 

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Mr. Mellinger is Chief Executive Officer and Founder of HighQuest Group, overseeing the firm’s consulting, conference, and media divisions. He formulated the company’s Global Food and Agribusiness focus in 2003 and spearheaded the acquisitions of Soyatech’s publishing and research business in 2006. and SJH & Company’s consulting practice in 2010 that helped strengthen HighQuest’s industry depth and expertise and launch of its highly successful conference business. In addition to leading the company’s divisions day to day, Mr. Mellinger works with HighQuest’s global clients as a senior advisor for the development of new strategies to achieve key business growth, investment and corporate governance goals. He plays an active role and derives much professional satisfaction though working with HighQuest Consulting on the practice’s go-to-market strategies and positioning with clients globally. Mr. Mellinger is often working closely with clients on their grain origination, export, trading, transportation, investment/M&A, performance improvement, and marketing initiatives globally. 


Prior to HighQuest, Mr. Mellinger served in executive and corporate development roles at PRT Group and RCM Technologies, which provided consulting services to Fortune 500 companies from US, Japan, India, and Europe. Mr. Mellinger served as a Board member of PRT Group from 1995-1999 and as an Advisory Committee member of Mitsui & Co. (USA), Inc. from 2002-2008. He currently sits on the Advisory Council of ASSOCOM India’s Bakery Technology & Management Institute.


Prior to consulting, Mr. Mellinger was an officer in the U.S. Army and is a 1989 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.


Mark J. Zavodnyik

Project Manager


Office:     +1 978.887.8800 x108

Mobile:   +1 574.274.3099 

Mr. Zavodnyik is a Project Manager at HighQuest Consulting.

Prior to joining HighQuest, Mr. Zavodnyik was the lead Tropical Oils Trader at AAK USA where he was responsible for all palm, palm kernel, and coconut oil sourcing, trading, and risk management for AAK facilities in the United States. As part of this role, he was responsible for the due diligence analysis of the raw material sourcing & risk management function of potential acquisition targets.

Mr. Zavodnyik has spoken at a number of industry conferences providing an overview of the supply/demand factors impacting tropical oil markets, as well as the efforts the industry has undertaken to make palm oil more environmentally sustainable.

Prior to joining AAK, Mr. Zavodnyik was a Senior Associate with KMPG LLP's regulatory advisory practice, consulting investment advisers, hedge funds and other financial firms on a variety of issues impacting the financial regulatory landscape. Mr. Zavodnyik received his BA degree from the University of Notre Dame.

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Philippe de Lapérouse

Consulting Co-Head


Office: +1.314.994.3282

Mobile:   +1 314.960.1632 

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Mr. Lapérouse has more than 30 years of senior level experience working with leading global companies in the agro-industrial and value-added food chains, including Ralston Purina and Bunge North America, as well as working as an investment banker at the beginning of his career. As Managing Director of HighQuest, he has led over 60 engagements, advising investors globally across the food, biotech and bioenergy value chains on making informed decisions regarding resource allocation, new business opportunities and investment strategies to address food security challenges. Mr. Lapérouse is the author of the report, “Private Financial Sector Investment in Farmland and Agricultural Infrastructure” (2010) which was commissioned by OECD in 2010 to provide insights on this emerging asset class.  


Prior to joining HighQuest Consulting, LLC, Mr. Lapérouse was Director of Business Development for Bunge North America, Inc., where he spearheaded the development of export markets in Latin America, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.  Previously, he held senior line management positions with Ralston Purina International where he managed operations and was responsible for functions including marketing, sales and developing dealer distribution networks targeting the industrial livestock and poultry sectors in Europe


He received his B.A degree from Trinity College and an M.B.A. degree from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.  Mr. Lapérouse is fluent in French, English and Spanish.



  • Agricultural Inputs

  • M&A Strategy and Transaction Due Diligence

  • Farmland & Infrastructure Investment Strategy

  • International Business Development

  • Value- Added Food 

  • Early Stage Investing

  • Technology Assessment

  • Bioenergy

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