Jeffrey B. Shealy is our CEO. He has over 20 years’ experience in RF/Wireless focused on building businesses around solid-state materials and electron device innovation. He spent 13 years at RF Micro Devices, Inc. (now Qorvo) as Vice-President and General Manager. Mr. Shealy is a Howard Hughes Doctoral Fellow and spent 7 years with Hughes Electronics at Hughes Research Labs (now HRL Labs) and Hughes Network Systems (now Hughes). He founded two previous high-tech start-up ventures including RF Nitro (acquired by RFMD in 2001) and Avogy, Inc (a Khosla Ventures company). Mr. Shealy holds an MBA degree from Wake Forest University, Master of Science and Doctorate degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), and a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from NC State University.
Jerry D. Neal, Co-Chairman at Akoustis, founded RF Micro Devices Inc. (now, Qorvo, Inc.) in 1991 and served as its Executive Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Development from January 2002 to May 31, 2012. Dr. Neal served as a Vice President of Marketing of RF Micro Devices Inc., from May 1991 to January 2000 and its Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Strategic Development from January 2000 to January 2002. Prior to joining RF Micro Devices Inc., he was employed for 10 years with Analog Devices, Inc., including Marketing Engineer, Marketing Manager and Business Development Manager. Dr. Neal also founded Moisture Control Systems for the production of his patented electronic sensor for measurement of soil moisture for research, which was later sold to Hancor, Inc. He has been a Director of Jazz Semiconductor, Inc. since November 2002. Dr. Neal served as a Director of RF Micro Devices Inc. from February 1992 to July 1993. He also held various positions in Hewlett-Packard. Dr. Neal received his Associate’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Gaston Technical Institute and North Carolina State University and his doctor of business management degree from Southern Wesleyan University.
Art Geiss, Co-Chairman at Akoustis, is currently the manager of AEG Consulting, LLC. AEG Consulting offers guidance concerning manufacturing, operations, and process development to technology companies. Prior to establishing AEG Consulting, Mr. Geiss served as VP Wafer Fab Operations at RFMD (now Qorvo, Inc.). He was responsible for the start-up and operations of Gallium Arsenide epitaxial-growth and wafer-fabrication. Previous to RFMD, Mr. Geiss held management positions with Alpha Industries, Inc. (purchased by Skyworks Solutions, Inc.) and before that at ITT Gallium Arsenide Technology Center (purchased by Cobham plc). At both companies he was responsible for process and device development and wafer fabrication operations. Prior to these, Mr. Geiss held a research position at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (now PARC, Inc.). At PARC he investigated the structure of vitreous materials and amorphousthin-films using Raman spectroscopy. Mr. Geiss has served as a Member of the Executive Committee of the IEEE GaAs IC Symposium (now CSICS) and as a Member of the Executive Committee of the GaAs Manufacturing Technology Conference (now CS Mantech). He has numerous patents and publications on electronic devices, processing, and manufacturing. Mr. Geiss earned a B.S. degree at Lafayette College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at Brown University, all in physics.
Steven P. Denbaars is a Professor of Materials and Co-Director of the Solid-State Lighting Center at UC Santa Barbara. Professor Denbaars joined UCSB in 1991 and currently holds the Mitsubishi Chemical Chair in Solid State Lighting and Displays. Prof. Denbaars has been in the LED business for over 25 years starting with his prior work at Hewlett-Packard Optoelectronics division in 1988 and involvement in over 2 LED startups. Specific research interests include growth of wide-band gap semiconductors (GaN based), and their application to Blue LEDs and lasers and energy efficient solid state lighting. This research has lead to over 759 scientific publications and over 168 U.S. patents on electronic materials and devices. He has been awarded a NSF Young Investigator award, Young Scientist Award of the ISCS, is an IEEE Fellow, IEEE Aron Kressel Award,Visiting Professor at Nanyang Technological University(NTU), Singapore, and the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) HKUST. He was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering (2012), and elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (2014).
Jeffrey K. McMahon is a Managing Director with North Highland, a global management consulting firm, and is currently the Market Lead for North Highland’s largest market. He has an extensive background in business and information technology consulting in the financial services, energy, and telecommunications industries. He has 20 years of experience helping Fortune 100 companies drive revenue, optimize processes, improve customer experience and manage risk. His areas of expertise include marketing, strategy articulation and realization, strategic execution, business process management and merger integration. Prior to joining North Highland, Mr. McMahon was a Manager in Accenture’s process practice area. Mr. McMahon received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University.
John was VP Finance of Cree, Inc. and Chief Financial Officer of Wolfspeed, a Cree Company, from 2015 until March 2017. He is currently providing consulting services to a number of businesses. Prior to his employment at Cree, Mr. Kurtzweil was an independent consultant beginning in 2014. From 2012 until 2014, Mr. Kurtzweil served as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Special Advisor to the CEO of Extreme Networks, Inc., a provider of high-performance, open networking innovations for enterprises, services providers, and Internet exchanges, and also served as its Chief Accounting Officer. From 2006 to 2012, Mr. Kurtzweil served as Executive Vice President, Finance and as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Cree, Inc. From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Kurtzweil was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Cirrus Logic, Inc., a fabless semiconductor company. Mr. Kurtzweil also currently serves as a director of Axcelis Technologies, Inc., a provider of equipment and services to the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Mr. Kurtzweil served as a Board member for Meru Networks, Inc. for a portion of 2015. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant with his MBA from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul MN, and his BA in Accounting from Arizona State University, Tempe AZ.