Manuel A.H. Brocke-Benz was named our President and Chief Executive Officer on January 3, 2013. From July 25, 2012 to January 3, 2013, Mr. Brocke-Benz served as our interim Chief Executive Officer, while also serving as the Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Europe, Lab and Distribution Services, a position he held since January 2006. Prior to assuming his position as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Europe, Lab and Distribution Services, he served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Continental Europe from 2003 to 2005 and as Corporate Senior Vice President, Process Excellence from 2001 to 2003. Mr. Brocke-Benz initially joined the Company in 1987. Mr. Brocke-Benz earned a law degree from Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany.
Gregory L. Cowan is our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, a position he has held since June 2009. In his current role, Mr. Cowan is responsible for our financial operations on a global basis and for overseeing our Investor Relations activities. Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Cowan served as our Vice President and Corporate Controller since December 2004. Since joining us, Mr. Cowan has overseen compliance efforts, the development of global policies and procedures, as well as internal and external reporting processes. He has also been directly involved in various strategic projects involving commercial activities and changes to systems and infrastructure. In the past five years, Mr. Cowan also served as a Director of Emtec, Inc. Mr. Cowan earned a B.A. in accounting from Rutgers University.
Peter Schüle is our Senior Vice President and President, EMEA-APAC Lab and Distribution Services. Mr. Schüle has served as our Senior Vice President, Europe Lab and Distribution Services since June 2013, and in January 2014, was given additional responsibility for our Asia-Pacific business. In his current role, Mr. Schüle is responsible for our sales, marketing, services and operations for the European and Asia-Pacific business. Prior to joining us in 2013, Mr. Schüle served as the vice president supply chain for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Sigma-Aldrich Corporation. Mr. Schüle earned an M.B.A. from Heilbronn University in Heilbronn, Germany.
Mark T. McLoughlin is our Senior Vice President and President, Americas Lab and Distribution Services, a position he has held since November 2014. In his current role, Mr. McLoughlin leads all sales, marketing, services and operations for our business in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. McLoughlin served as our Senior Vice President and President, U.S. Lab and Distribution Services from July 2012 to November 2012 and as Senior Vice President of Category Management and Senior Vice President of Emerging Businesses after joining the Company in September 2008. Mr. McLoughlin is currently a member of the Board of Directors at Cytomedix, Inc. and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Services Leadership, W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Mr. McLoughlin earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Arizona.
Theodore C. Pulkownik is our Senior Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development, a position he has held since July 2004. Mr. Pulkownik’s responsibilities include global mergers and acquisitions, corporate-center led initiatives and strategy and several of our businesses in the Americas, including Central and South America, global mining, North America Export and our serum business. Mr. Pulkownik earned a B.A. in business administration from the University of Wisconsin and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Gerard J. Christian is our Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, a position he has held since August 2012. In this role, Mr. Christian is responsible for our global information services, including the management of business unit and corporate shared application services, business continuity, infrastructure and operations, and information security and risk management. From January 2011 until August 2012, Mr. Christian served as Vice President of Shared Services as well as Vice President, Pricing and Contract Administration and from March 2007 until December 2010, as Vice President and Country Manager for VWR Ireland. Mr. Christian earned a B.S. in accounting from Canisius College and an M.B.A. from the University of Buffalo, with a concentration in finance.
Stephan W. Labonté is our Senior Vice President, Marketing, a position he has held since October 2012. In his current role, Mr. Labonté is responsible for our supplier relationships, marketing and category management functions on a global basis and the customer segment teams in Europe. Mr. Labonté joined us in 1995. Prior to his current role, Mr. Labonté served as Senior Vice President of EU Marketing from February 2009 to September 2012. Mr. Labonté earned an M.S. in biology from Johann Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.
Ulf Kepper is our Senior Vice President for VWR Services, a position he has held since June 2014. In his current role, Mr. Kepper is responsible for our global service offerings under the VWRCATALYST brand including onsite services to support our customer’s operations. Prior to this role, Mr. Kepper served as Vice President for Global Marketing Services responsible for product data management, marketing communications and e-business. Mr. Kepper earned degrees in computer science and economics from the University of Darmstadt in Darmstadt, Germany.
George Van Kula is our Senior Vice President, Human Resources, General Counsel and Secretary. Mr. Van Kula has served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since May 2006, and in March 2013, Mr. Van Kula was given additional responsibility for our Human Resources organization. Mr. Van Kula earned a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.
Douglas J. Pitts is our Vice President and Corporate Controller, a position he has held since July 2013. In his current role, Mr. Pitts is responsible for our internal and external reporting, as well as managing our system of internal controls. Prior to this role, Mr. Pitts served as Vice President, Internal Audit from 2011 to June 2013 and Vice President and Assistant Corporate Controller from 2007 to 2010. Mr. Pitts earned a B.S. from the University of Illinois. Mr. Pitts is also a Certified Public Accountant.