Meet the Cypress Team

Surround yourself with people who make you hungry for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul. ~Unknown
We Are Cypress

Meet The Team

“I’m not afraid of failure, I’m afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
~William Carey

Paul Willis

President/CEO

Paul is married to Susan, his wife of more than 40 years. They have three wonderful grown sons, three amazing daughter-in-laws, and five (3-girls, 2-boys) adorable and perfect grandbabies. Although he travels extensively, both domestic and internationally, staying connected and engaged with family is his top priority. When time permits, Paul enjoys fly fishing, hand gun competitive shooting and backpacking/hiking/camping—almost anything to be outdoors.

He has a core commitment to serve others, in a local inner city school, empowering those with barriers of entry for employment, assisting various non-profits to accomplish their missions, and most of all, living out the “Golden Rule” in daily living. In his heart of hearts, his passion is serving the global health, nutrition and economic wellbeing of women and children, too often considered the most vulnerable and “least of these.” “It is my firm belief, that the success of any society rests on the wellbeing and legacy of the women and children. When generations of women and children are neglected and abused, the core foundation of the society is weakened and will never reach the full potential and social impact.”

The Bible says: What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep ones self from being corrupted by the world. “I have success and failures on both counts, but I thank God daily for His grace and mercy, and remain committed to do everything to His glory.”

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” ~Winston Churchill

Mark Whitacre

Chief Science Officer

Mark Whitacre has a strong passion for redemption and second chances, because he himself has experienced a second chance. Mark spends a full Saturday each month, during the past several years, mentoring inmates in a federal prison near his home. Mark also travels the country weekly speaking at large events and conferences to share his inspirational story of redemption.

Mark Whitacre has over two decades of executive management experience in both Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial companies, including broad international experience. Mark Whitacre earned a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry while doing selenium research at Cornell University where he studied under a world-renowned selenium scientist, Dr. G.F. Combs, Jr. In addition to his lead research role for Cypress, Mark is also COO and National Director of an 89-year old non-profit called Christian Business Men’s Connection (CBMC), an organization that has impacted his life greatly over the past two decades. His unique life story can be reviewed in greater detail on his personal web site: www.markwhitacre.com

“Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.”
~Ronnie Oldham

Melody Boates

Marketing & Business Development

Melody’s work ethic encompasses giving 110%, while also creating value, harmony and interconnectedness with everyone she comes into contact with. Melody spent a chunk of time in the Air Force as a Flight Engineer doing combat search and rescue in Iraq, Afghanistan and Hurricane Katrina and enjoys tackling problems and getting things done. She has a big heart for animals and especially dogs working with Doc’s Dogs for Vets, who facilitate getting stray dogs paired up with convicted felons for initial training and then matching them to veterans for PTSD rehabilitation. At Cypress, Melody has an extensive background in digital content production and takes a lead role in our Marketing department. When she’s not at work, you can find her hiking, taking a class to learn something new or volunteering at our community Makerspace, Ideaworks, repurposing propane and air compressor tanks to make steel drums.

“The ideal operating system of relationships is love, which means little until intentionally and continually expressed by internal actions such as patience and empathy as well as external actions that leave others better than you found them.”
~Roland Geiger

Roland Geiger

QI Business Operation & Customer Support

Roland believes sustainability is a partnership with nature, and that the long-term health of people and the planet depends upon businesses and individuals aligning with nature. He advocates for this partnership as a member of and secretary for the board of directors for the International Green Industry Hall of Fame (IGIHOF). He is also actively involved in community development (from site planning to furniture moving) to alleviate homelessness as a member of the board of directors for Eco Village Project of Fresno and through his participation with the Fresno-Madera Continuum of Care (FMCoC) and Wings Advocacy Fresno.

Roland Geiger earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) through Fresno Pacific University and graduated summa cum laude. His business background includes successfully establishing and managing four entrepreneurial small businesses.

“Failure is just feedback. It’s just data that can help you learn your limits in a way that you can’t with success”
~Jarvis Johnson

Daniel Perez

Customer Relations Manager & Warehouse Operations

Daniel is always determined to get things done and is proud of his role, whether it is assisting the intricate needs of our customers or making sure the warehouse here at Cypress Systems’ is in tip-top shape. Daniel has the heart of a servant. He lives by the old English proverb of “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” He loves spending time helping others and helped start a groundbreaking food pantry called “The RAM Pantry” at Fresno City College. It was such a big deal around here, the local news came out to help support its effort to fight a growing hunger problem among students. He continues his community outreach with Wings Advocacy of Fresno, moving furniture and lending a hand to those in need. On his down time, Daniel loves to travel. Japan is a favorite place, but he’s especially fond of the coast, even in the off season.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world” ~Mahatma Gandhi

Diana Navis

Inside Sales

Diana and her husband, Michael of 29 years enjoy spending time with their four children who range in ages from 27-16 years old. Diana is passionate about her family and is most happy when they are all together whether it is during holidays or traveling around the U.S. on vacation together.

Diana’s family truly believes that their role in this world is to make it a better place by serving others. Diana has been a volunteer at their church as a meal minister delivering meals for parishioners and as a religion teacher for two years.  Each year the students and parents in the religion class made blankets to donate to the local homeless shelter. Our family also volunteers at a local foodbank often and each holiday when the family is gathered together we volunteer at Feeding America. Diana and her husband are proud that throughout the years their children have grown up with the “service to others” mantra and have given back themselves in so many ways. We believe you can never give too much care and compassion to those in need.  In her spare time, Diana enjoys cooking, gardening and spending time outdoors with the family and their dog.

As the newest member of the Cypress team, Diana is excited to continue the level of excellence and service to the Cypress customers that they have come to expect.  She is proud of all that the company is doing for human and animal nutrition, but especially proud of what they are accomplishing by serving the needs of mothers and children throughout the world. Be The Change!