Past Conference - 2015

Did you know that medical device manufacturing is a $110 billion market in the US?

The SME Silicon Valley Chapter 98 has organized an exciting annual event to keep manufacturing Silicon Valley professionals in front of the latest trends in technology, process and regulatory developments.

Learn more about developments in robotic surgery, prosthetics, and how robotic arms can double as 3D printers. Hear examples and practical tips for accelerating new product development and integrating lean and compliant techniques. Explore how the Bay Area and SME teams continue to lead innovation and set the pace for industry.  Gain new ideas. Meet people who share your interests. Topics include:

• Robotic trends in surgery and prosthetics
• 3D printing with new materials for high strength applications and personalized medicine
• Lean product development acceleration
• Financial incentives for R&D and manufacturing
• On-site demonstrations: robotics, laser, and 3D printing 
• Career development and current job openings

Executives, scientists, product designers and developers will have the opportunity to network. Or explore opportunities for career development, and pathways into the biomedical device field.


This conference is held in collaboration with the Design-2-Part Show  as well as with the SME North Bay and SME Sacramento chapters.  Other local  organizations that support SME include IEEE-CPMT, ASME-SCVS, ASQ Northern CA Biomedical Division, Bio2Device Group,  IIE SV/BA, SJSU BMES, SWE-SCV, SVEC, San Jose State University, Laney College, and DeAnza College.  Contact Conference Chair Joanne Moody at for help.

Price  includes light breakfast, lunch and a mixer with light reception and no host bar.

SME members: $75

Non-Members:  $125

New membership (plus conference) $175

Mixer only (raffle ticket not included)  $20

Free parking.

Who Should Attend?

The SME Silicon Valley Chapter 098 is hosting an exciting one day conference for people in:

  • R&D, product development engineers, "makers", designers, manufacturing professionals, technologists, manufacturing engineers, and managers.

  • Students and professionals who are seeking employment opportunities and career growth. We have companies attending the conference who are currently hiring such as Intuitive Surgical.
  • VCs and business executives who are interested in government financial incentives for R&D and manufacturing.

  • Quality and regulatory affairs professionals with strong interest product design, manufacturing, and medical devices.
Eventbrite - Medical Device Trends - Robotics and Accelerated  Product Development Conference


8:00 - 8:30 am Registration, Coffee, Tea, and Danishes

Morning Session (8:30 - 11:30 am) -  Medical Device  Opportunities in the Bay Area

8:30 - 8:35 am  - Introduction - Conference & SME  SV (5 min)

  • Cynthia Cook - 2015 Chair, SME Silicon Valley Chapter 98

  • JoAnne Moody - 2015 Conference Chair,  SME Silicon Valley Chapter 98, Zeta Scientific LLC

  • Dr. John Smugeresky - 2015 Master of Ceremonies - Additive Manufacturing Consultant,  Sandia National Laboratories

8:35 - 9:05 am -  Bay Area Biomedical Manufacturing Opportunities (30 min)  - Keynote Speaker

Learn about the Bay Area Biomedical manufacturing consortium with opportunities for business assistance, technology transfer, education and training, networking, and economic development.

  • Dr. Gregory Theyel - Program Director - East Bay Biomedical Manufacturing Network

9:05- 9:30 am - Trends in Prosthetics (25 min)

Learn about prosthetics trends in areas of 3D printing and robotics, and how prosthetics  improves people's lives.

  • Keith Sardo - Area Clinic Manager, Hangar Prosthetics

9:30- 10:30 am - Career Pathways for Career Development -  Panel Discussion (60 min)

Learn about the programs to provide technology and manufacturing awareness to our young people, providing educational pathways for job growth in product development and manufacturing.

  • Raya Zion - Director of College Relations,  SME Silicon Valley Chapter - Panel Leader
  • Harry Wachob - President & Founder, Bio2Device Group 
  • Guna Selvaduray - Ph.D.,Biomedical Engineering Coordinator, Professor, Materials Engineering, College of Engineering, SJSU
  • Wendy Plew - Career Technical Education Specialist - California Teachers Association
  • Theresa Rowland - Career Ladders Project
  • Natalie Lowell - SME CMfgT Manager, Member Engagement

10:30 - 10:50 am - Break (20 min)

10:50 - 11:20 am - Robotics in Surgery (30 min)

Learn about the surgical robotics benefits,  challenges, and new developments.

  • David Robinson, Sr. Dir Systems Engineering, Intuitive Surgical Inc.

11:20 - 11:30 am -  Robotics Competition in Bay Area Schools (10 min)

Learn about FIRST robotics program competition in our Bay Area  Schools
  • Angelo Riccardi - FIRST Robotics Volunteer

11:30 am - 1:00 pm - BREAK for Design-2-Part Tour, Technology Demonstrations,  and Sponsor Interactions (Lunch included)

  • Interactive 3D Printing, Laser, and Robotics demonstrations available at the conference

Afternoon Session (1:00 - 4:00 pm) -  Re-thnking Medical Device Development and Financial Incentives

1:00 - 1:10 pm - The New Reality of 3D Printing as a Viable Manufacturing Process Ideally Suited for Personalized Medicine

Learn about breakthoughs in additive manufacturing that have unlocked the potential of (1)  medical materials with the highest performance thermoplastics,  and composites and (2)  high-powered cloud software and FEA optimization.  The talk will include a discussion of 3D printing process and material validation for medical applications.

  • Riley Reese - Co-founder, Arevo Labs
1:10 - 3:40 pm - Accelerating Medical Device Product Development

Explore common misconceptions about regulatory requirements for medical device development.   Learn practical approaches to apply lean methods to accelerate product development and improve regulatory compliance.

  • Geetha Rao - CEO, Springborne Life Sciences
  • Roger Tang - Principal, H R Tang Consulting
  • Aaron Joseph - Sr Consultant, Product Realization Group
1:10 - 1:35 pm – Knowledge-Driven Product Development  (25 min)

1:35 - 1:50 pm – Interactive Exercise: Identifying Knowledge Gaps (15 min with break)

1:50 - 2:15 pm – Reconciling Lean with Regulations  (25 min)

2:15 - 2:30 pm – Interactive Exercise: A3 Method (15 min with break)

2:30 - 3:10 pm – Real Life Examples, Dos & Don'ts, Q&A (40 min)

3:10 - 3:25 pm – Break

3:25 - 3:55 pm – Financial  Incentives for Manufacturing and R&D  - Panel Discussion (30 min)
Learn about available government funding and subsidies for manufacturing and R&D.


  • Kyle MacLeod - Senior Manager, Gallina LLP - Panel Leader
  • Jason Rancadore - Assistant Deputy Director, GO-Biz (CA Governor's Office)
  • Robert Meyer - Director of Economic Development, ETP
  • Jesse Wutke - Senior Manager, Gallina LLP

3:55 - 4:00 pm - Closing & iPad Drawing, Four TechShop 1-Month Passes, One Free SME Membership- JoAnne Moody (15 min)

4:15 - 7:00 pm - Mixer & Light Reception with no host bar

Eventbrite - Medical Device Trends - Robotics and Accelerated  Product Development Conference

Speakers & Panelists

  • Gregory Theyel - E. Bay Biomedical Mfg Network
  • John Smugeresky - Sandia National Laboratories
  • Keith Sardo - Hangar Prosthetics
  • Riley Reese - Arevo Labs
  • Harry Wachob - Bio2Device Group
  • Guna Selvaduray - SJSU
  • Windy Plew - CA Teacher's Association
  • Theresa Rowland - Career Ladders
  • Jason Rancadore - Go Biz
  • Angelo Ricardi - First Robotics
  • Jessie Wutke - Gallina
  • Raya Zion - SME SV College Relations
  • David Robinson - Intuitive Surgical
  • Geetha Rao - Springborne Life Sciences
  • Aaron Joseph - Product Realization Group
  • Roger Tang - HR Tang Consulting
  • Robert Meyer - ETP, State of CA
  • Kyle MacLeod - Gallina LLP
  • Natalia Lowell - SME National
  • JoAnne Moody - Event Director
  • Cynthia Cook - Chapter Chair

Diamond Sponsors

  • MANEX Consulting

Platinum Sponsors

  • Intuitive Surgical
  • NUTEK Corporation
  • EIS
  • TechShop

Gold Sponsors

  • Gallina LLP
  • Product Realization Group
  • Hawk Ridge Systems
  • Inland Metal
  • Test-O-Pac Inc.

Silver Sponsors

  • General Foundry Service
  • DEG

Program Committee

  • JoAnne Moody, Conference Co-Chair
  • Cynthia Cook, SME SV Chapter Chair
  • Phil Ogaz, Treasurer & Logistics
  • Bill Browne, MC for Conference
  • Rob Eichner, Design-2-Part Show VP
  • Raya Zion, SME SV College Relations
  • Geetha Rao, Springborne Life Sciences
  • Aaron Joseph, Product Realization Group

Extended Committee

  • Diana Helka, SME
  • Natalie Lowell, SME
  • Kevin Gregerson, SME SV
  • Dave Winslow, SME SV
  • Kyle MacLeod, SME SV
  • Guy Dellavecchia, SME SV
  • Joe Katzman, SME SV
  • Fernando Albayeros, SME SV
  • Gerard Bessette, SME SV
  • Parag Patel, SME SV
  • Thi Ngyen, ASQ Northern CA Biomedical group
  • Michael Keer, Product Realization Group

Professional Societies

  • SME North Bay Chapter
  • SME Sacramento Chapter
  • ASQ Northern CA Biomedical Division
  • SWE - SCV
  • IIE - BA/SV


Gold Sponsors

  • Product Realization Group


David W. Robinson, PhD - Sr. Director Systems Engineering - Intuitive Surgical

David is presently the Sr. Director of Systems Engineering for New Product Development at Intuitive Surgical. David’s team develops teleoperated surgical systems for minimally invasive robotic assisted surgery. While at Intuitive Surgical, David has been a part of the development of two generations of surgical systems, the da Vinci Si and the recently launched da Vinci Xi. He has also worked on advanced surgical instruments such as the Endowrist Stapler.
Prior to Intuitive Surgical, David joined the original development team for the Segway PT as a Vehicle Dynamics and Controls Engineer for his first job out of school. At Segway, he got hooked on how much fun it could be to make products that delight customers. David continued at Segway and led the Vehicle Dynamics and Controls Team through the development and launch of the second generation Segway PT.
David earned a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University and Masters and Doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. David thinks that being an engineer is the greatest and considers it a privilege to have been part of amazing engineering teams throughout his professional and academic career.

Gregory Theyel, Ph.D. - Program Director of the Biomedical Manufacturing Network - Keynote Speaker

Dr. Theyel has worked for over 20 years with large and small biomedical technology companies assisting with business, technology, and production planning. He is currently the Program Director for the Bay Area Biomedical Manufacturing Network leading a $2.2M grant with UC-Berkeley and others to assist over 1,000 California biomedical companies with technical and strategic planning. Dr. Theyel was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom where he led the £1M High Value Production Program that conducted research on the management of global value chains and manufacturing networks and the adoption of advanced manufacturing technology. Dr. Theyel earned a doctorate from Clark University and has published widely in operations and management journals. He has taught undergraduate, graduate, and executive courses in production planning, international business management, business strategy, and technology management in the United Kingdom, US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Moscow, Brazil, and Switzerland.

Keith R. Sardó - CPO - Area Clinic Manager - South Bay Hanger Clinic

Mr. Keith Sardó, CPO has 19 years of experience in the Prosthetics & Orthotics industry, having worked with several major corporations such as Hanger Clinic and Coyote Design. Currently, he is the Area Clinic Manager for eight office in the South & East Bay of Hanger Clinic.  He has worked on various aspects of medical devices including pre-clinical and clinical development of products, beta testing products on patients, research on product efficacy, and development of novel technologies.

Riley Reese - Co-founder, Engineering - Arevo Labs

Mr. Reese is the materials engineering lead at Arevo Labs, researching and developing composite, high strength filament formulations and developing technology for FFF additive machines for high temperature operation. Prior to Arevo, Riley worked at Stryker Endoscopy as an Advanced Quality Engineer implementing design improvements and validating surgeon use prior to product launch. He studied at UC Berkeley, where he received a B.S. in Bioengineering and Materials Science and Engineering. He also received his M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering at UC Berkeley and researched polymer scaffolding for heart tissue replacement. 

John E. Smugeresky, Ph.D. - Additive Manufacturing Consultant, Sandia National Laboratories

Dr. Smugeresky has worked 20+ years on additive manufacturing technology, materials processing, and microstructure-property relationships. Most notable is in the development of Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS™).  His experience includes studies of both ingot metal thermo-mechanical and powder metal near net-shape processing technologies, for a variety of steel, titanium, and aluminum metal alloys.  Smugeresky has also worked on composite flex-circuit materials and epoxy encapsulants, on a number of materials engineering projects. His work has been published in a number of well-known peer-reviewed publications.  He earned a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and has participated in a number of professional society activities.  One of which is as a life long member of the TMS society, where he organized numerous symposia, and served as Program Director, and Director of the Materials Processing and Manufacturing Division (MPMD).

Geetha Rao, Ph.D. - CEO, Springborne Life Sciences and CEO, Technology Frontiers Collaborative

Dr. Geetha Rao has over 25 years of experience in high-risk technologies with a focus on emerging business challenges and operational excellence that meets best-in-class, international standards. She is an internationally recognized expert in medical device quality systems and risk management and has established, audited, remediated, and maintained quality system processes and documentation for clients. She supports international regulation and policy bodies, and standards development organizations with establishing standards and guidance documents in quality systems and risk management. 

Dr. Rao has served on the faculty of FutureMed at Singularity University, Stanford University’s Biodesign Innovation Program. She supports several academic institutions on technology commercialization, including the University of Chicago’s Innovation Network for the Physical Sciences Division, UCSF surgical innovations advisory board, and Ryerson University Office of Research and Innovation. She was a contributor on the 2013 World Economic Forum research project on Sustainable Health Systems, a TEDMED scholar, and has addressed numerous industry forums and the press. Previously, for 6 years she produced MedTech Frontiers, an educational forum exploring the intersection of leading-edge science and technology with medicine. 

Dr. Rao holds a doctorate from MIT and a masters from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Jason Rancadore - Assistant Deputy Director,  CA Governor's Office of Business & Economic Development (GO-Biz)

Jason Rancadore is the Assistant Deputy Director for the California Business Investment Services (CalBIS) unit at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).  GO-Biz is the primary economic development office for the State of California. Mr. Rancadore and his staff consult regularly with companies who are looking to relocate or expand their business in the State of California. Services that the CalBIS unit provides are Site Selection, Incentives, and Coordination with local governments and economic development organizations. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Rancadore was a Data & Research Specialist in the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and a Senior Business Development Specialist in the CalBIS unit. Prior to joining the State of California, Mr. Rancadore did business development and grants administration for various private sector companies.  Mr. Rancadore graduated with a master’s degree in Public Policy and he has a bachelor’s degree in Government.

Robert Meyer - Director of Economic Development - Employment Training Panel (ETP)

Robert has over 20 years with ETP and leads the development and implementation of the Panel’s statewide interagency engagement and marketing strategy. Prior to this role, Robert gained extensive experience working with the Panel’s strategic planning, policy, eligibility, and contract development functions.  Robert also represents ETP as a primary point of contact for the Panel’s workforce and economic development initiatives.  Robert plays and referees a lot of soccer and tries to keep up with his two children, Shay and Colm (Coll-um).  He lives in East Sacramento.

JoAnne MoodySME SV Conference Co-Chair,  Zeta Scientific LLC

JoAnne has over 35 years experience in adhesives, coatings, smart materials, and medical device materials.  Ms. Moody has worked for 3M, Boston Scientific, Raychem Corporation (now Tyco Electronics),  EndoSonics Inc., and Liquidity Corporation.  As principal at Zeta Scientific LLC, Ms. Moody's industry experience includes medical devices, electronics, and  consumer product companies - from  startups to large international corporations. Ms. Moody has a special talent at providing creative assistance to companies in early phase product development, design for manufacturing as well as design transfers to manufacturing.

Ms. Moody earned her BA degree in Chemistry from Hamline University, St. Paul, MN and MS degree in Chemical Engineering & Material Science from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. Ms. Moody has served as Silicon Valley SME Chair, Conference Chair, Chair-Elect, and Newsletter Editor as well as delegate board member for the Silicon Valley Engineering Council (SVEC).

Harry WachobFounder and President,  Bio2Device Group

Harry Wachob is the Founder and President of the Bio2Device Group. The B2DG is 12 years old and has over 1600 members who are in various life science industries and corporate positions.  Harry is an experienced engineering leader in materials science, biomedical device engineering and R&D. He has directed and mentored multidisciplinary teams in solving complex technical issues in order to improve the safety, reliability, and performance of medical devices. Previously, he was the Managing Materials Scientist at Xoft, and Director of Engineering for Aerogen, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in novel aerosol drug delivery. Prior to that, Harry was Managing Engineer at Exponent/Failure Analysis Associates where he guided research and development, and product failure investigations covering a broad range of medical and industrial applications. He received a BS, MS and PhD in Materials Science & Engineering from Cornell University.

H. Roger Tang, PhD - Principal, H R Tang Consulting

Roger has spent his entire professional career applying engineering principles to creating tools for studying biology and solving medical problems. Currently, he specializes in providing Project Science, Engineering, and Management support to  life  sciences  and  medical  technology companies  as  an  independent consultant. Previously,  Roger  managed  the  Research  Group  and  ideation  activities  at Molecular  Devices.   The  Research  Group’s  primary  mission  is  to  provide scientific guidance and support in developing hardware and software tools to meet the unique needs of biology research scientists, primarily utilizing optical detection, imaging, and electrical measurement technologies. Roger's industrial career started in 2001 at a biotechnology startup, Signature BioScience, which developed some of the first label-free assay technologies based on bioimpedance.  Signature’s technologies were eventually commercialized as the CellKey® 96 and 384 Systems, currently part of the Molecular Devices portfolio.  Before his industrial career, he was an Assistant Adjunct Professor in Radiology at the University of California, San Francisco, where his research focused on cancer imaging (primarily using x-ray CT and molecular imaging).   Roger received his PhD in Bioengineering from the Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering at the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco in 1998.  He also holds an MS in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona and a BS in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology.

Aaron Joseph - Sr Consultant, Product Realization Group

Aaron is a biomedical engineer with over 15 years of experience in medical device development over a wide range of technologies, from complex capital equipment to disposable devices.  His product development experience includes a digital x-ray fluoroscopy system, surgical robotic system, laser eye surgery system, heart-lung bypass machine, robotic catheter system, drug inhaler device, x-ray catheter for brachytherapy, and endoscopy instrument with RF ablation.  Aaron specializes in product validation, risk management, and other design controls for medical device development.    Recently, at Intuitive Surgical, he helped engineering teams comply with quality system requirements while developing new surgical tools and software for robotic-assisted surgery.  As a consultant, Aaron works closely with product development teams in performing risk analyses, designing test plans, developing new test methods, writing and executing test protocols, refining product requirements, supporting regulatory submissions, and training R&D staff.  He has broad experience implementing and managing design controls at large and small companies.  He received a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Rice University and a MS degree in Bioengineering from the University of Washington.

Raya Zion - Career Services and Biomedical Engineering Technology Program Manager, Laney College

RAYA ZION has been in workforce development for the past 20+ years, starting as a manager of a staffing agency, moving from there to recruiting in the biotech industry, then into work at local county government agencies specializing in the job placement of retrained workers.  While employed by the San Mateo County Central Labor Council, Raya was the job developer and business services representative for the Biotech Workforce Network (BWN) which focused on retraining dislocated workers via a collaborative which included Skyline College, Ohlone College, Alameda County WIB and San Mateo County WIB. This Biotech Workforce Network facilitated the re-training and employment of over 600 people into technician level positions with in the life sciences industry sector. Due to the Biotech Workfoce Network's achievements, the Alameda County WIB won the national award from the U.S. Department of Labor for "Building an Industry Driven Workforce Investment System."  After six years with San Mateo County workforce development, she was tapped by Alameda County to lead their CleanTech and BioTech initiatives.

Presently, at Laney Community College, she engages with life sciences companies in providing industry education and job opportunities for graduates from Laney College's Biomedical Engineering Technology, as well as its Bio-mandufacturing Certificiate programs.   Her workforce development experience is supplemented by her love of music. In addition to hosting a weekly radio show, she is the lead vocalist and manager of the Tribal Blues Band and The Groove Objective.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from San Francisco State University.

Guna Selvaduray - Director - SJSU Biomedical Engineering

Guna Selvaduray, director, Biomedical Engineering, joined San Jose State University in Fall 1984.  He obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science & Engineering from Stanford University, and his B. Eng. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology.  Prior to joining SJSU he worked in industry for 10 years.  His research interests include materials issues for biomedical implants, Pb-free solders, corrosion, and surface and interfacial interactions, among others.   He has been leading the College of Engineering’s development of curricula and research capabilities in biomedical engineering and biomedical devices, including the B.S. and M.S. Biomedical Engineering programs.  His research and scholarly activities have attracted funding from a variety of government agencies and private companies.  He has over 100 publications and has made over 120 technical presentations.  Guna is also a consultant to industries in the USA and Japan.  

Theresa Fleischer Rowland - Senior Director, Pathway and Sector Development, Career Ladders Project
Theresa has over 25 years experience in education and human services. Her expertise focuses on large-scale initiatives which increase the capacity of community colleges and their partners to leverage regional and statewide assets to prepare a diverse and inclusive workforce. She leads statewide initiatives centered on access to high skilled, high wage careers with multiple partnerships, including instituting Communities of Practice across industry sectors such as manufacturing, transportation, health, public service and law. Theresa works with faculty, administrators, employers, and community organizations to implement evidence-based practices which enhance accelerated adult learning and promote college and career advancement opportunities. Before joining CLP, she served as Vice President of Economic Development at De Anza College, Executive Director of the Occupational Training Institute for the Foothill–De Anza Community College District, Assistant Employment Coordinator at Long Beach City College and on the counseling faculty at Pasadena City College, San Diego City and Mesa Colleges. Theresa has provided leadership for many educational collaboratives serving regional communities, including the Bay Area College IT Consortium, Bay Area Workforce Development Deans, and the Carl Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act 2000 State Plan Committee. She has authored, staffed and administered over $20 million in grants with public and private foundations, and provided oversight for programs and operations in higher education. She holds an M.A. in Counselor Education from San Diego State University, a B.S. in Education from the University of Southern California, and a certificate in Community College Administration through the University of California at Los Angeles.

Wendy  Plew is a former Science and Robotics teacher who now works as a Career Technical Education specialist for the California Teachers Association.  An important piece of her work is helping to foster new Manufacturing career pathways and help to connect together education and industry throughout California.  As a school board trustee in Campbell Union High School District she has been successful in assisting the district in obtaining a California Career Pathways Trust grant to start a “Design for Manufacturability” pathway from two CUHSD school, articulating to De Anza College or San Jose State.

Jesse K. Wutkee - Senior Manager, GALLINA LLP

Jesse is GALLINA LLP’s firm-wide Tax Credits & Incentives (“TC&I”) Practice Leader. His primary focus involves developing new and maintaining existing client relationships and serving as the Firm’s technical resource on TC&I matters. Specifically, Jesse and the TC&I practice focus primarily on research and development tax credits, hiring credits, 179D and cost segregation studies, and Interest Charge – Domestic International Sales Corporation (“IC-DISC”) studies.

Though based out of GALLINA’s Roseville office, Jesse oversees projects spanning all twelve GALLINA offices throughout the western United States, including northern and southern California, Nevada, Utah, and Washington. In addition, Jesse’s role has him overseeing the technical and soft-skills training and development of professional staff and the implementation and compliance of best practices within the TC&I practice.

Prior to joining GALLINA, Jesse began his career with a Big 4 Firm in the Sacramento area where he gained valuable experience working on medium and large sized corporate income tax compliance projects.  He graduated with a B.S. in Accounting from James Madison University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA).

Rick Riccardi - FIRST Robotics

Rick Riccardi is an advocate for hands on experience learning as a complement to traditional academic classroom.  Rick has been a Project & Systems Engineer involved in the design and development of fighter jet cockpit displays and ground vehicle updates for the defense industry for more than 30 years.   Since 2008, Rick has also been a volunteer for student robotics experiences in FIRST and SeaPerch programs.  As founder and continuing mentor for Prospect, Westmont and Gateway High School Robotics FRC Teams, Rick shares his knowledge, experience and decision process to students in the 'sport of the mind' that provides both learning and exciting real world experiences.  Rick and students provide a short overview of the FIRST program that was founded by Dean Kamen as a way to enrich and prepare the next generation of technologists.

Kyle MacLeod - Senior Manager, Gallina LLC

Kyle primarily provides attest and consulting services to companies in the manufacturing and distribution industries. Before joining the team at GALLINA, Kyle worked with a large national CPA firm leading their Bay Area manufacturing and distribution practice. His experience includes complex audit and accounting issues, inventory management, cost accounting, business combinations, financial planning, and strategic planning. Kyle also has several years of experience working in private industry where he successfully led the accounting department of a nationally known company through a period of transformation and rapid growth.
In addition to being a CPA, Kyle’s expertise in cost accounting is reflected in his status as a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) as well as a Chartered Global Management accountant (CGMA). He frequently spends time teaching colleagues and outside groups on technical topics as well as serving as a guest speaker at the University level.

Cynthia Cook - Chair - SME Silicon Valley Chapter Chair

Cynthia Cook is the Chair of the SME Silicon Valley Chapter, a 401(c) non-profit. Ms. Cook is focused on acquiring and providing knowledge and connections for leading edge product development, manufacturing, student outreach and workforce development in the community.  Ms. Cook has over 17 years in manufacturing including lean, quality and new product introduction with Acuity Lighting, and Carrier Corporation.

Ms. Cook earned her Bachelor degree in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA and MS degree in Management Science from the University of Dayton's School of Engineering, Dayton, OH. Ms. Cook has served as Silicon Valley SME Chair-Elect.  Ms. Cook is a senior member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, served in several leadership positions within the Dayton, OH chapter, and holds a SixSigma green belt. Ms. Cook is a member of ASQ. 

Natalie Lowell, CMfgT – Manager – Member Engagement – Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)

Natalie Lowell is Member Engagement Manager for SME Membership in the Southwest/West Coast territories. Lowell is a knowledge delivery system engineer with more than 20 years’ experience dedicated to continued education and best leadership practices in the manufacturing industry. She is a highly motivated and organized leader with the unique ability to manage cross functional teams on multiple projects concurrently in diverse and complex environments. Lead by example manager with a career history of utilizing manufacturing principles, training, communication, and strategic planning to drive change and increase productivity, resulting in organizational excellence. Natalie has been a contributing member in SME since 1995. Ms. Lowell is completing a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from the Horace H. Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan, and has a B.A. from the University of Michigan. 

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