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.
Jeffrey B. Shealy is our Founder & 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 previously founded RF Nitro, Inc., a Gallium Nitride RF power high-tech start-up (acquired by RFMD in 2001). 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.
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 UCSB. Professor DenBaars joined UCSB in 1991 and currently holds the Mitsubishi Chemical Chair in Solid State Lighting and Displays. He is also a current Board member of Aeluma, a privately held start-up engaged in the manufacture high performance InGaAs sensors. Professor Denbaars was formerly a co-founder and board member of a privately held GaN start-up companies, Soraa Laser Diode Inc. Professor DenBaars has been in the compound semiconductor business for over 30 years starting with his prior work at Hewlett-Packard Optoelectronics division in 1988 and involvement in more than two LED companies and one laser diode company. Professor DenBaars’ 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 led to over 1,140 scientific publications and over 190 U.S. patents on electronic materials and devices. He has been awarded an NSF Young Investigator award, Young Scientist Award of the ISCS, IEEE Aron Kressel Award, and he is an IEEE Fellow and a Visiting Professor at 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). We believe that Professor DenBaars adds value to our Board of Directors based on his years of experience in the LED industry and his extensive research involving wide-based gap semiconductors and their application to high power electronic devices.
Jeffrey K. McMahon is the Vice President at Experient Group, an Atlanta-based business and IT consultancy, and Charlotte Market Lead. 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 Experient, 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.
Suzanne Rudy was appointed to Akoustis Technologies’ Board of Directors on July 18,2017. Prior to joining Akoustis, Suzanne was Vice President of Tax & Corporate Treasurer, Compliance Officer and Assistant Secretary until November 2015 at Qorvo, Inc. (Nasdaq: QRVO), a leading supplier of semiconductor solutions for the wireless communications market. She sat on the steering committee for Sarbanes-Oxley, was a director for all 40 subsidiaries of Qorvo, Inc. and a member of the investor relations team presenting to analysts around the world. Prior to Qorvo, Suzanne was the Controller at Precision Fabrics Group, Inc. a textile spin-off of Burlington Industries. Additionally, she spent six years as a CPA and manager at the international accounting firm, BDO Seidman, LLP. From 2012 to 2016, Suzanne was a Director for Delta Apparel, Inc., where she served on the audit and compensation committees. From 2008 to 2011, she was a director for CommunityOne Bank – acquired by Capital Bank Financial Corp in 2016, a $2B publicly traded company – where she served as chairwoman of the audit committee and chairwoman of asset & liability committee. Suzanne earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master’s of Accounting Degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Mr. McGuire served as CEO at Grant Thornton, LLP (“GT”) from 2014 to 2019, where during that tenure, the firm posted record revenue and earnings. He is credited with transforming the structure of the company focusing on talent, technology, infrastructure, and growth. Prior to becoming CEO, McGuire served on the firm’s senior leadership team as national managing partner of operations and previously was managing partner of the firm’s Carolinas practice. He joined Grant Thornton in 2002 after a 20-year career at Arthur Andersen. He has significant experience in capital markets transactions ranging from venture capital to IPOs and has advised numerous companies on M&A strategies, due diligence and deal structure. He has served on more than 35 community boards during his career. Mr. McGuire received a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, Accounting and Management Information Systems, from Bowling Green University in 1982.
Michelle L. Petock has 25 years of legal, tax, investment banking, hedge fund, and investment management experience in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Ms. Petock currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of W Greig & Company, an investment platform which invests and manages the capital of a single-family office. Ms. Petock has served in this role since May 2017 and is responsible for sourcing and performing due diligence for investment opportunities, allocating capital, and managing a portfolio of private equity, private credit, venture, real estate, and commodity related investments. Ms. Petock previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of Datum 9 Analytics LLC, an SEC-registered investment management firm which offered hedge fund investment opportunities to institutions and qualified clients. Ms. Petock has also worked at both Morgan Stanley and Citigroup, where she was a trader on the Global Structured Products and the Global Capital Structuring desks. A corporate tax lawyer by training, Ms. Petock also spent many years practicing law in the tax group at Shearman & Sterling LLP and in the international and cross-border transactions group at Holland & Knight LLP, where she focused on the taxation of financial products and cross-border structured finance. Ms. Petock earned a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and a Juris Doctorate, summa cum laude, from the George Washington University Law School.