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.
John joined Akoustis on July 17, 2017 as CFO. Prior to his appointment as CFO, John served on the Board of Directors at Akoustis. John’s past work experience includes; 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 (WI) 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.
Cindy C. Payne / VP of Finance & Corporate Controller
Cindy C. Payne joined us in 2015 as CFO and Treasurer and in July of 2017, after two years of serving as CFO, transitioned to the role of Vice-President of Finance and Corporate Controller. At the time, she joined Akoustis, she brought over 20 years of experience in financial management. Prior to joining the Company Ms. Payne served as the CFO for Amerock LLC, a private equity owned hardware distributor in Mooresville, NC and prior to joining Amerock, Ms. Payne held the position of CFO for Tolt Service Group, a private equity owned technology services provider, from 2010 until the company’s sale in 2014. Her experience prior to Tolt included the role of Director of Financial Planning and Analysis in the Soft Trim Division of International Automotive Components, a Tier I supplier to the automotive industry and the role of Controller of NewBold Corporation. NewBold Corporation, located in the Roanoke, Virginia area, offers both manufactured products and technology services to retail and healthcare markets. Ms. Payne graduated Magna Cum Laude from Western Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in the state of Virginia.
David M. Aichele Vice President of Business Development
David M. Aichele / Corporate Vice President, Vice President of Business Development
David M. Aichele is Vice President of Business Development responsible for leading the sales and marketing efforts of the company. Dave joined the company in May 2015, bringing over 20 years of international sales, business development, and marketing experience with him. Prior to Akoustis, Dave was EVP Sales & Marketing for T1Visions, a high tech software start-up company achieving 2014 INC 500 fastest growing private companies in the US. Dave held Director positions at RFMD (previously Qorvo), where he was responsible for the business development and launch of new RF semiconductor products targeting the cellular market, as well as senior management positions at Tessera and TE Connectivity, where he led business development and sales teams. Dave holds a BSEE from Ohio University and an MBA from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado.
Rohan Houlden is Vice President of Engineering and brings over 29 years of experience in design engineering, business development and management in the RF and wireless industry. Prior to joining, he was the General Manager of the Connectivity Business Unit at Qorvo (RFMD+TQNT merger), Inc., responsible for CPE Wi-Fi, Smart Energy and Automotive product lines, where he managed the product development and production ramp of custom Front End Modules (FEMs) and BAW filters to leading enterprise and retail OEMs and automotive suppliers. Prior to the merger, he was General Manager of the Wireless Connectivity Business Unit at RFMD for 7 years, responsible for Wi-Fi and Smart Energy product lines. In addition, he also managed the product development and production ramp of custom Front End Modules (FEMs) to all leading wireless OEMs – including tier 1 and tier 2 Smartphone OEMs, as well as key OEMs involved in emerging Internet-of-Things (IoT). He was at RFMD for a total of 17 yrs. Prior to RFMD, Rohan worked in various business and engineering leadership positions at Rockwell Semiconductor/Conexant(now Skyworks). Mr. Houlden holds an MBA from University of Iowa, Masters of Science from Iowa State and a Bachelor of Science from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology(Australia).
Mary Winters is Vice President of Wafer Fab, responsible for wafer manufacturing operations and MEMS R&D process development. She brings over 18 years of experience in MEMS fabrication and process commercialization. Prior to joining Akoustis, Mary held various senior management and technical positions focused on the commercialization of inertial, optical, and BioMEMS devices. She has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester and a M.E. from the University of Illinois.
Shawn Gibb is Chief Material Scientist and has over 19 years of experience in the epitaxial growth and processing of III-Nitride materials and devices for optoelectronic and high frequency RF applications. Prior to joining Akoustis in May 2015 he served as the Vice President of Engineering at Crystal IS having direct responsibility for the bulk crystal growth, wafering, and polishing of their proprietary Aluminum Nitride (AlN) substrate materials. Additionally, he directed the research and development of epitaxial growth for all Ultraviolet Light Emitting Diode (UV-LED) products, ultimately commercializing the world’s first commercial products on single crystal, bulk AlN. Mr. Gibb has also worked for RF Micro Devices (now Qorvo) where he was responsible for the development, and transfer to production of III-N materials and devices used in their 2.14 GHz transistor product offerings. In addition, Mr. Gibb served as principle investigator and program manager for several III-N specific research contracts in cooperation with the Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Shawn has a M.E. in Materials Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology as well as B.S./B.E. degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from New York University and Stevens Institute of Technology respectively. He also has seven (7) issued patents relating to the growth and processing of wide bandgap materials and devices.
Dr. Rama Vetury is Chief Device Scientist and brings over 18 years of experience in the research and development of group III-Nitride (III-N) devices and a proven track record in technology commercialization. Prior to joining Akoustis, Rama worked at RFMD (and subsequently, Qorvo) in a variety of technical and management roles, including managing RFMD’s external commercial foundry business and as a principal investigator and program manager for programs with US Department of Defense (DoD) agencies and DARPA. At RFMD, he was responsible for leading the development of RFMD’s first GaN HEMT process from concept through qualification and for developing RFMD’s first GaN HEMT based high power RF switch products. Prior to Qorvo, he worked on 40Gbit/s transceiver technology at GTRAN Inc. Rama has a Ph.D. and M.S in electrical engineering from UC Santa Barbara and a B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai.