CATS Industrial Advisory Board
The CATS industrial advisory board (IAB) provides industrially-relevant advice and guidance on Center operations and strategic direction. The IAB meets twice a year, spring and fall. The spring meeting coincides with the CATS annual technology showcase and dinner with the participation of all CATS partners.
• Paul Burton, independent Consultant
• Alex Cable, Founder and President, Thorlabs
Alex Cable is the founder and President of Thorlabs based in Newton, New Jersey. Founded in 1989, Thorlabs is a leading manufacturer of laser and fiber optic components and instrumentation. Thorlabs has manufacturing and sales offices in the US, Germany, United Kingdom, Sweden and Japan, with 400 employees worldwide.
Alex began his diverse working life as a dishwasher, then chef, restaurant manager and machinist before returning to his formal education. He earned his BS at Rutgers University while studying physics, and did his graduate work in Materials Science at Stevens Institute. Before founding Thorlabs, Alex worked with Nobel Prize winning Physicist Steve Chu and his group at Bell Labs on the seminal “optical molasses” atom trapping project. It was at Bell Labs that Alex discovered that the dynamic emerging field of photonics would become his home.
Alex is a founder and board member of photonics companies located around the world, including KDD FiberLabs of Tokyo, Menlo Systems, GmbH, and Stratophase Ltd. In 2006 he acquired both Nova Phase, Inc. and Optics for Research and brought them into the Thorlabs family of companies.
• Dr. Gordon Calundann, CTO, BASF Fuel Cell
Dr. Calundann is the Chief Technology Officer of BASF Fuel Cell, Inc (formerly PEMEAS GmbH). Over his 40-year career in research and research management with Celanese Corp., Hoechst-Celanese Corp. and BASF Fuel Cell he has made many contributions to the development of commercial high performance thermoplastic resins, fibers and electrolytic membranes.
Prior to the acquisition of PEMEAS by BASF AG, Dr. Calundann was instrumental in the corporate formation of PEMEAS GmbH/USA and in making PEMEAS technology uniquely competitive in the field of high temperature membrane electrode assemblies.
Dr. Calundann holds more than 60 U.S. patents and has received a number of honors including induction into the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame at the NJ Institute of Technology and the 1996 American Chemical Society Award for Industrial Chemistry. The ACS honor was awarded for the invention and development of the Vectra® and Vectran® classes of engineering plastics and fibers, now products of Celanese Corp. Vectra liquid crystalline polyesters, manufactured by the Ticona division of Celanese, are used in a broad range of electronic, medical and industrial applications. Vectran fiber was selected by NASA for use in the 1997 Pathfinder mission to Mars, and was again used for the 2003 US and British Martian missions.
Recent patent activity has focused in the field of high temperature polymer electrolyte membranes. He is also a co-inventor of PEMEAS’ Celtec-P® and Celtec-V® proton conducting membrane products for fuel cell use. PEMEAS was acquired by BASF in December, 2006. Dr. Calundann received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Purdue University in 1966.
• Tom Coller, Owner, Progressive Machine and Design
• David Gross, Director, Manufacturing Systems Technology, GlobalFoundries
• Linda Dickerson Hartsock, Executive Director, Clean Tech Center
Linda Dickerson Hartsock is Vice President, Innovation and Technology for CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CEO), a 12-county regional development organization that focuses on: business growth and attraction; innovation and entrepreneurship; infrastructure and urban initiatives; workforce and talent initiatives; and regional marketing.
In that capacity, she manages The Tech Garden, a 35,000 sq. ft technology incubator located in Syracuse NY and serves as executive director of The Clean Tech Center, a NYSERDA-funded clean energy incubator located at The Tech Garden. In this capacity, she directs strategic initiatives around an innovation ecosystem that commercializes technologies in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as other emerging technologies.
Linda was previously a senior member of the state’s economic development team, serving as Central New York Regional Director for Empire State Development Corporation, and also previously served in the role of President and CEO of the Cortland County Business Development Corporation and Industrial Development Agency.
A native of the Hudson Valley, she was President and CEO of Pattern for Progress, the region’s leading policy and development organization, spanning a nine county geography between Manhattan and Albany. She was also a long-time faculty member at Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY.
She has helped organize regional development efforts across New York State, and structure complex economic and community development projects. She is the recipient of numerous federal and state achievement awards, including the Inaugural Governor’s Quality Communities Award for Excellence, Empire State Development’s Nonprofit Organization of the Year Award, and the U.S. SBA’s Small Business Advocate of the Year Award. The Clean Tech Center is also the 2010 winner of the North America Sustainable Enterprise Award from the Institute for Sustainable Development.
Ms. Hartsock has served on numerous state task forces and advisory committees over the years, and is actively involved with a number of state and regional organizations, including the New York Business Development Corporation, of which she is an executive board member.
• Gordon Hirschman, Executive VP, Infoscitex (Chair)
• Bill Hoffman, VP and CTO, Kitware
• Jeff Lawrence, Executive VP, Technology, Center for Economic Growth (CEG)
Jeff has more than 20 years manufacturing experience in engineering, quality, and operations management. Prior to joining CEG in 1994, Jeff was employed for ten years by E.I. Dupont’s Remington Arms Company in llion, New York where he gained experience in new product design and development, process and material research, process and project engineering, operations management and quality control. In 1990, Jeff joined General Electric Silicones in Waterford, New York, in the Maintenance management area. At Silicones, Jeff achieved increased equipment reliability through problem definition and root cause analysis, cost analysis and control, union negotiation, and performance analyses and feedback. Jeff later joined the scheduling engineering team that improved customer service levels by increasing product throughput and reducing cycle time, operation expense and inventory. As CEG’s Executive Vice President, Jeff is responsible for manufacturing and technology programs. Jeff is also responsible for the programmatic interaction and oversight of the Chief Executives Network for Manufacturing with CEG. Jeff earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
• Shaun Mahoney, President and CEO, NextRidge
• Frederick Miller, CEO, Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group
Frederick A. Miller is the CEO and Lead Client Strategist of The Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group, Inc. In his thirty-plus years of experience, he has consulted for such renowned companies as Apple Computers; Allstate; Alyeska Pipeline Services Co.; DuPont; EILEEN FISHER, Inc.; Foxwoods Casino; Merck & Co., Inc.; Mobil; Omega Institute; Northeast Utilities; Singapore Telecommunications; Toyota; and United Airlines.
Fred specializes in turning around organizations through his Inclusion as the HOWSM approach, developing and implementing strategies that increase engagement, team and individual performance, and alignment of people with the organization’s marketplace needs. As part of his work, Fred inhales the overall culture, then works to create connections and synergies that link elements of a comprehensive strategy together. When aligned and working in unison, those elements create a breakthough strategy that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Fred also has worked with many founders as their organizations move from a "founder-centric" environment to a professional management staff.
In 1972, as a manager and then officer with Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (now CIGNA), Fred helped pioneer one of the nation’s first corporate diversity and inclusion efforts.
As a member of the Social Venture Network, Fred and Judith H. Katz (Executive Vice President at The Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group, Inc.) have worked with socially responsible organizations to build environments in which they can live their values, accomplish their mission, and address the triple bottom line (people-profit-planet). He is a former board member of the NTL Institute, the American Society for Training & Development, and the Organization Development Network--the only person to have served on all three professional boards.
• Miriam Pye, Senior Project Manager, Industrial Research, NYSERDA
Miriam Pye is a Senior Project Manager at New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Her focus is promoting energy efficiency through improved industrial productivity. She also represents NYSERDA on a variety of national activities, and serves on the editorial board for the international journal, Environmental Quality Management. Prior to joining NYSERDA, Miriam was a Research Associate at a Washington DC research group, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), where her research focused on the relationship between industrial energy efficiency, pollution prevention, and profitability. Prior to her career in energy efficiency, Miriam was a financial analyst at Clorox and Columbia Pictures, and was VP/CFO for a $25 million printed-music company, CPP-Belwin. She also served in the Peace Corps in Poland in a small-business development group. Miriam has a BS from Cornell University, an MBA from UCLA, and a Masters in Environmental/Energy Studies from the University of Illinois.
• George Rodgers, Director, Western Region Technology, Northrop-Grumman
• Dan Sexton, Program Manager, GE Global Research
As a project manager working for GE’s Global research department, Mr. Sexton has been leading and participating in research projects in wireless communications and wireless sensor system development. He is current leading a project for the Department of Energy to develop wireless sensors and networks for use in industrial environments. Mr. Sexton has 25 years of experience in industrial automation, controls and communications. He holds 19 granted US patents in both the communications and automation technologies. He is a leader in the ISA SP100 activity to define wireless systems for industry. He holds a Bachelors (1978) and Masters degree (1982) in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and is a member of IEEE.
• Patricia Strickland, CEO, Ceralink
Patricia Strickland is the chief executive officer for Ceralink Inc, a materials engineering and technology commercialization company in Troy, NY. Ceralink specializes in developing and commercializing microwave and RF technologies for ceramics, glass and composites industries.
Ms. Strickland has served as the company’s CEO since 2008. In this position, Strickland’s key responsibility is growing the company. She is responsible for developing and implementing Ceralink's business strategy, managing and monitoring all aspects of the company, and ensuring that Ceralink's business growth opportunities are realized.
Strickland has over 15 years experience in business management, finance, contracts, marketing and new business development. Prior to 2008, Strickland served as Ceralink’s business manager since 2001, where she helped build the company from the ground up, successfully managed a wide range of support functions and targeted new business opportunities. Prior to 2001, Strickland worked in finance and served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Strickland holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Alfred University.
Strickland is a native of Alfred, New York. She moved to East Greenbush in 2004 when the company relocated to the Capital District. She is an admitted extreme sports enthusiast. Among her hobbies include snowmobiling, skydiving, motorcycling and target shooting. Strickland is also an accomplished photographer with numerous awards and publications, including a cover photo for Ceramic Industry Magazine. She is best known for her nature and macro photography.
Strickland strongly believes in giving back to the community. She has donated her photography to several organizations, including the local WMHT for their annual charitable auctions. Patricia has also contributed her marketing expertise to the historical Berkshire Scenic Railroad Museum, accounting assistance to the American Red Cross, income tax assistance through VITA and grant writing assistance to the North Hornell (NY) Volunteer Fire Department where she successfully secured a $40k grant from FEMA for new safety equipment.