Chief Executive Officer, Board Member
Rob Reali is an experienced leader in the areas of operations, sales and marketing for emerging technology companies. Reali specializes in early-stage companies and possesses a track record of working hands-on with innovators and founders to raise funds, build teams and to bring products to market. Most recently, Reali led TrueVision Systems as its co-founder and COO from its beginnings as a start-up. He forged the team from two employees, brought in capital, and was instrumental in the company’s expansion to sustain multimillion-dollar growth, strategic spin out and successful exit of the parent company. Prior to TrueVision, he was an investor and business development executive for Advanced Propulsion Technologies (APT) where his contributions led to an exclusive IP license opportunity with Bill Gates and Vinod Kholsa to create and fund a new company based on APT patents. While at the University of California, Santa Barbara he co-founded a software company and executed an IPO early on that catapulted the company to become an internet infrastructure firm for twenty years. Notably, the company created a real-time, auction-based, neutral exchange for buying and selling online advertising that was acquired by Microsoft.
Chief Technical Officer, Board Chairman
Mike Ricci is the driving force behind LaunchPoint’s “Propulsion By Wire” electric aircraft propulsion system and has spent the last decade leading projects developing hybrid-electric propulsion technologies. He is actively engaged with the aerospace research community and is a regular contributor and speaker at electric aviation conferences and workshops. Mr. Ricci has extensive experience in power electronics; electromagnetic and mechanical systems; embedded software development; and control system design. As the systems designer Mr. Ricci uses model-based design combined with nonlinear optimization to successfully design products ranging from ventricular assist devices and oxygen concentrators, to hybrid electric aviation propulsion systems. He has served as VP of Engineering at LaunchPoint Technologies Inc. and has worked as a mechanical engineer with Spectra F/X, a theme park engineering company, where he served as Project Engineer on large custom systems with high cycle rates, intimate man-machine interfaces, and high human-safety concerns. Mr. Ricci holds an MS in Control Systems Engineering from UCSB and a BS in Engineering in Applied Sciences from Caltech.
BRAD PADEN, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist, Board Member
Dr. Brad Paden is an active technical team member, advises on business strategy and operations, and participates in recruiting business and technical talent to EPS. As the former CEO of LaunchPoint Technologies Inc. (the parent company of LaunchPoint Electric Propulsion Solutions), he negotiated the license of LaunchPoint’s artificial heart technology to World Heart Inc. (now Medtronic/HeartWare) and managed the business aspects of LaunchPoint’s founding equity positions in Inogen Inc. and Gravity Power, LLC. Dr. Paden is Professor Emeritus at UC Santa Barbara and a Fellow of the IEEE, ASME, and AIMBE. He was the recipient of the ASME 2010 Charles S. Draper Innovative Practice Award; the 2001 IEEE Control Systems Society Technology Award; and the 1993 Kalman Best Paper Award from the ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control. Dr. Paden has co-authored over 100 publications and holds 24 patents in the field of engineering systems. He holds PhD, MS and BS Engineering degrees from UC Berkeley.
Mark Maire started his career in sales in 1991 after graduating from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. After 5 years in medical device sales, 7 years in consulting to large hospital systems and 4 years in banking, in 2008, Mr. Maire joined TrueVision Systems, Inc. in Santa Barbara, CA as Eastern Region Director of Sales and was later promoted to Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development for the company. Mr. Maire developed TrueVision’s partner strategy which created the first cash positive quarters. In 2017, he was promoted to Chief Revenue Officer. Mr. Maire brought in both Alcon ($7B spin-off from Novartis) and Aesculap ($2B division of B. Braun) as key strategic partners ultimately selling the ophthalmology assets to Alcon for 10x earnings. The spin-off company, True Digital Surgery, is positioned for acquisition. Mr. Maire was named in the Alcon acquisition and currently works as a surgical consultant in 3D visualization.
BURTON TRIPATHI, Ph.D.
Dr. Burton Tripathi is currently General Manager and Head of Visualization R&D at Alcon. Prior to Alcon Dr. Tripathi was Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Board Member and former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at TrueVision Systems, from 2011 to 2018. As CEO he guided the complex legal and financial transaction of spinning out the non-ophthalmology businesses of TrueVision to become Digital Surgery Systems, Inc. (dba TrueDigital Surgery) and the acquisition of TrueVision by Alcon (then Novartis).
Before his tenure with TrueVision Systems, Dr. Tripathi worked with the Lap-Band® business at Allergan, Inc. (previously Inamed Corp.) and robotic surgery devices at Intuitive Surgical (previously Computer Motion, Inc.). At the start of his career, Dr. Tripathi worked as a Management Consultant with the firm of McKinsey & Co. where he focused on High-Tech, Life Sciences, and Corporate Finance.
Dr. Tripathi is a published scientific author, an inventor with 15 issued patents, and a frequently invited speaker. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. from the California Institute of Technology in Mechanical Engineering/Material Science and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.
VP Business Development and Sales
Chris Grieco brings over two decades of technical and business management experience in power generation, renewable energy, energy storage and transportation. He has been an EVP with Gravity Power, a bulk energy storage company with global power business activities. Previously he served as Head of Technology for Dehlsen Associates, LLC, the founders of Zond Wind (now GE Wind) and Clipper Wind (UTC Wind). Mr. Grieco spent 3 years as Chief Operating Officer building a startup company later backed by Bill Gates and Vinod Khosla (EcoMotors). His initial career was 12 years with the Ford Motor Company in engineering and mergers and acquisitions. While at Ford, he received the Henry Ford Technology Award, the highest technical achievement for a new technology commercialized system for Ford Truck Operations. He was also involved in complex M&A transactions across design, telecom, racing, powertrain and additional areas. Mr. Grieco received an MSME from the University of Michigan, a BSME from The Ohio State University and holds several global patents.
Chief Financial Officer
Cy Morici is a finance professional with over two decades of finance and accounting expertise. Cy held various financial roles at public, private, private equity back organizations, and is a Big-4 accounting firm alumnus.
As CFO for Pacific Design Technologies, Cy professionalized the finance and accounting functions, implemented strategic pricing initiatives, and positioned the company for a successful exit to AMETEK for $125mm one and half years into his tenure with the company.
Prior to joining PDT, Cy led the finance function for NuSil Technology – the global leader in specialty silicone manufacturing. He transformed the accounting function from a basic transaction level focused department to full-service finance service organization. Among his successes include due diligence for two strategic / highly accretive acquisitions, raised over $700mm through JP Morgan and Credit Suisse, and led the IPO readiness initiative to file the Form S-1 with the SEC in a timely, strategic fashion.
Cy held other finance and advisory positions with PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Milard Group Ltd., and Ericsson. Cy graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with High Honors and holds a B.A. in Business Economics with an emphasis in Accounting.
VP Engineering and Operations
As head of engineering and operations, Brian Clark leads the company’s engineering team in the design, development, and manufacturing of the company’s electric propulsion and power generation systems. As a key leader of the technical team, Brian interfaces with internal and customers’ technical teams to oversee the vital coordination of commercial and government programs. Brian also heads the operations team at EPS and ensures the seamless implementation of sustainable and affordable operational processes and procedures to meet EPS’ current and future business requirements.
Brian began working with EPS parent company, LaunchPoint Technologies, Inc. in 2010, on the electric and hybrid-electric aircraft propulsion and power generation programs as Sr. R&D engineer. Prior to LaunchPoint, he was an R&D engineer for Global Energy Science (GES), leading their research and development programs. The GES startup was focused on advanced electrochemical systems and yielded 14 issued patents and additional patents pending, as well as valuable prototype and simulation data that are currently being utilized by several academic research groups and industry partners. Brian studied Physics and Applied Physics at UC Santa Barbara and CSU Channel Islands; he earned a BS in Applied Physics from CSU Channel Islands.
VP Manufacturing and Sr. Mechanical Engineer
Dave Paden manages manufacturing and the production team for the company’s hybrid electric propulsion systems. As a senior mechanical engineer, he is also involved with the development of LaunchPoint’s dual Halbach-array electric motor and electronic engine hardware systems. Prior to LaunchPoint Electric Propulsion Systems Dave was the President and Co-Founder of LaunchPoint Technologies, our parent company since 1992.
Over his tenure at LaunchPoint, he was lead mechanical designer and project manager for the NIH-funded PediaFlow ventricular-assist device (VAD) program and involved in the mechanical design and fabrication of other VAD programs including Streamliner VAD project that reached animal trials in 1998, and as lead mechanical designer for the Levacor VAD.
His prior mechanical design and manufacturing process experience includes expertise with magnetic bearings, oxygen concentrators, and MEMS resonator design. With his broad engineering experience, Mr. Paden provides a responsive solutions-based interface to EPS’s technology partners. Dave received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1992.