To be the leading innovator in product ideation and formulation for the dietary supplement market.
To create a seamless experience for our clients and work cooperatively towards their success.
Growing up as a son of immigrants, Adel learned the value of hard work first hand from his parents. In his early high school years, his interest, passion and success in baseball taught him discipline and hard work, where he credits his early achievements. Adel went to attend California State University Northridge (CSUN), and obtained his degree in Biochemistry with an emphasis in Nutritional Biochemistry in 2001.
Shortly after, Adel was hired as a part time employee with a company called Natrol. Adel’s dedication, eagerness to learn and willingness to try his hands in various departments, from Customer Service to QC Lab Tech to Marketing, Product Development and Regulatory, led him to venture out on his own. Adel has devoted his entire professional career to Nutraceuticals. “It was plain curiosity to see whether I could make it, paired with my ambition to lead and develop teams that believe in a shared mission,” Adel says about starting his first company, Avidia Nutrition Group, a supplement manufacturing firm in 2003. The truth is that the hard lessons he learned at Avidia, were the basis of Lief Labs’ success today!
In 2008, Adel started Lief Labs. At the time, an 8,000 sq. ft. facility but equipped with big dreams and humble beginnings, Lief has now grown into a 114,000 sq. ft. premier formulation and product development innovator and manufacturer of dietary supplements. Adel’s industry knowledge, bringing on strong staff of leaders and doers, and vision allows Lief to stay ahead of trends and recognize opportunities for collaborations with entrepreneurial firms and help them build premier brands that stay relevant well beyond product expiration dates.
Today, Adel is all about giving back and he is passionate about sponsoring non-profit organizations such as Vitamin Angels and Heart of the Brain that are dear to his heart. At Lief, he has created a great internship program that gives students the opportunity to start gaining professional experience from the beginning. Adel is also very committed in speaking to students, as a proud alumnus, of his high school (SFHS) and University (CSUN). He hosts open houses and tours at the company’s Valencia headquarters for students and faculty to give business insights and mentoring opportunities to inspire and share his experience as an entrepreneur.
Adel states, “I love what I do, and it’s helped me mature and grow personally and professionally.” He is proud to help young kids achieve that same love for something that can help them flourish in their careers. Adel states, “I love being a part of the professional and personal growth, whether it is students, staff or clients. I am committed to building great relationships and spreading quality supplements worldwide.”
Adel is also a graduate of the UCLA – Anderson School of Management Executive Program and Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management.
Helder brings to Lief over 14 years of experience as an innovative business strategist. His extensive financial expertise includes working with small to midsize organizations in the energy and technology sectors in the U.S. and internationally, including Portugal, Germany and Canada. His previous experience includes finance and business strategy roles at Envent Corporation, as well as senior finance positions at other firms, such as Primetag, General Electric, Martifer and Crowe Horwath.
Helder is a former Lief board member and is committed to propelling Lief’s growth, expansion, and momentum.
“I’m very excited to be a part of this project and to be working with Adel and the team again, to help bring to fruition his vision of taking the company to the next level.”
Helder is a graduate of the UCLA – Anderson School of Management Executive Program and he earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of Minho, Portugal.
Nathan’s passion for health and fitness started early in life while he was in the fire academy. It was there where he learned the importance of proper supplementation and how it can help maximize training results.
After completing his Bachelors in Communications Advertising from Cal State Fullerton, he started to build some industry experience working in sales for various pharma and manufacturing companies. Nate quickly discovered that his interests went beyond just the sales side; he wanted to learn how to build and expand a company through sales, business development and innovation.
That is what ultimately lead him to Lief. “I became obsessed with the idea of creating. Seeing a product being sold on a shelf that I was a part of developing became addicting. I took pride in my work and quickly learned every aspect of the industry to accelerate my growth. And I knew that Lief would provide the support and resources to make some of my ideas come to fruition. Seeing products sold worldwide that I played a role in is very rewarding. I will continue my education in the industry so I can be the best asset to my loyal brands. At the end of the day, if our customers succeed then Lief does too.”
When Dieng Bui and Adel Villalobos met back in college, both majoring in Biochemistry… they vowed to one day work together, but little did they know just how circuitous that path would be. Early in Dieng’s career he thought that the world of the Pharmacist was his calling, and it was Adel that convinced him to get more involved in the Science and Operational side of things, which lead to his first job at Natrol, a company, which at the time, was a real pioneer of the supplement manufacturing world and paving a path of growth and expansion for the industry as a whole. It was at Natrol where Dieng really cut his teeth and garnered the experience needed to one day lead an Operations Department of his own. Dieng spent 17 years of his career, like a sponge, absorbing as much knowledge and experience as he could with cGMP and FDA guidelines and patiently moved up the corporate ranks at Natrol with great alacrity. At this point Dieng knew that he was ready for a change, and so was Lief. After years of keeping in touch and supporting each other’s careers from a distance, Lief, was fortunate enough to have Dieng join its team as its Vice President of Operations in September of 2017. “Dedication and Loyalty are some of the qualities that I value most, Dieng not only possesses both these attributes in spades, but he is also a very strategic and empathetic leader. He understands what it takes to get the job done and delivers on time for our customers” – says Adel Villalobos, Dieng Bui’s CEO.
Mr. Fernandez is a Managing Director and Founder of Envisage Advisors and its predecessor firm, R2F Investment Bankers. He has 20 years of experience in corporate and investment banking, including acquisition finance, real estate finance, financial advisory and debt underwriting and distribution.
Prior to founding R2F Investment Bankers, Mr. Fernandez was a Managing Director for Columbia West Capital, LLC, a boutique investment banking firm focused on the Southwestern United States. He was responsible for sourcing and executing mergers and acquisition and capital raising assignments for middle market companies in California and Nevada. Before joining Columbia West Capital, Mr. Fernandez was the co-head of CIBC World Markets’ West Coast Leveraged Finance and Gaming, Lodging and Leisure practices. In Mr. Fernandez’ ten years at CIBC, he worked actively with numerous strategic companies and private equity firms to originate, structure and distribute high yield issues, bank financings and private placements in various industries. Prior to joining CIBC, he was a bond analyst for Trust Company of the West’s High Yield Bond Group as well as a generalist in the Specialized Finance group at Union Bank of California. Mr. Fernandez is on the Board of Directors of Latino Deal Makers.
Mr. Fernandez holds degrees in Economics and History from Claremont McKenna College. Mr. Fernandez is registered with the FINRA (formerly NASD) and has a series 7 and 63 securities license.