Tesla NanoCoatings’ Talented and Dynamic Management Team
Todd Hawkins, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer
Steel corrosion is a costly disruptor in industries worldwide. As a petroleum engineer and geologist, Todd Hawkins was determined to find a solution. With an innovative vision and entrepreneurial spirit, he founded Tesla NanoCoatings. Along with the best scientific minds in nanotechnology, Hawkins has perfected the Teslan® Carbon NanoCoating formula. Under his leadership, the company has commercialized its technology and has cultivated a strong partnership with the University of Akron.
Prior to founding Tesla NanoCoatings, Hawkins served as president and owner of GeoTech Chemical Co. in Tallmadge, Ohio. Previously, he was chief development officer at Midwest Industrial Supply and held senior-level positions at Lockheed Martin Tactical Defense Systems. Hawkins earned an M.B.A. from the Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University and a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering and Geology from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio. A resident of Massillon, Ohio he is an active member of the Society of American Military Engineers, NACE International and SSPC.
Velecia Valentine, Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer, Velecia Valentine, CSCP, is the driving force behind Tesla NanoCoating’s domestic and global growth. As a Certified Supply Chain Professional, she brings a deep knowledge of supply chain and production planning along with more than 25 years of experience. Previously, Valentine worked for Newell Rubbermaid-Home Solutions Segment, where she led the Global Supply Chain and Sales and Operations Planning for Rubbermaid, Goody, and Levelor and Calphalon brands.
Joe Davis, Vice President, Sales Engineer
Recognized throughout the industry as an authority on corrosion prevention and protection, Joe Davis maintains certifications as a NACE Level III certified inspector as well as SSPC C1 and C2, and a Protective Coatings Specialist. He serves as chairman of the AWWA D102 Coating of Steel Water Tank Committee and as chairman of the NACE International Institute’s NIICAP Oversight Board. He most recently served as vice president of the technical service group for TNEMEC Company Inc., in Kansas City, Mo., where he helped establish the company’s strategic vision, and coordinated the efforts of the technical service department, analytical lab, and panel sample lab, with the marketing and research and development groups.
Joseph Barone, Vice President Marketing
Joseph Barone knows that even the best product requires keen marketing to drive sales. As a seasoned marketing consultant, Barone has worked for several high-profile advertising agencies, including starting his own firm. Throughout his advertising career, he has spearheaded marketing campaigns for numerous blue chip companies, such as Sunoco Logistics, FMC Corporation, PECO Energy, Deloitte & Touché, and Yale Materials Handling Corporation. Previously, Barone served as an adjunct professor at New York University and the M.B.A. programs at Drexel University and St. Joseph’s University. As president of ShaleDirectories.com, the leading online directory servicing the oil and gas industry in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions, he recognizes the need for anti-corrosion technology within the oil and gas industry.
Jorma Virtanen, Chief Nanoscientist
Jorma Virtanen, Tesla’s chief nanoscientist, is one of the leading scientific minds in the fields of carbon nanotechnology and biophysics. A world-renowned researcher and chemist, Dr. Virtanen played an integral part in the development of the patented corrosion-resistant Teslan coating formula. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry, an M.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Helsinki.
Fletcher Birmingham, Continuous Improvement Director
Quality and efficiency. Those are the two words guiding Fletcher Birmingham in his role as continuous improvement director and designated management representative for Tesla NanoCoatings. Birmingham manages the review of key processes and Tesla NanoCoatings’ quality management system, which follows the requirements specified in ISO-9001. He has expansive experience in quality assurance, as a former board member and fellow of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). Birmingham is an ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, Reliability Engineer, Quality Engineer, Quality Auditor and Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence. Malcolm Bridge Award judge.
Merdith “Bo” Temple, Senior Board Adviser
Steel corrosion is a costly battle for the United States military. Retired U.S. Army General Merdith “Bo” Temple has experienced the corrosion challenge firsthand. It’s what motivates him in pursuit of anti-corrosion technology to reduce the life cycle costs of infrastructure. As the former commanding general and chief of engineers for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Gen. Temple brings keen development insights and more than 20 years of infrastructure project experience to the Tesla NanoCoatings team. Temple received a B.S and M.S. in civil engineering from Virginia Military Institute and Texas A&M University, respectively. He is a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and a certified project management professional. Recipient of numerous professional awards, he is a fellow in both the Society of American Military Engineers and American Society of Civil Engineers.
Mark Manhart, Board Member and Vice President, Business Development
As a member of the Tesla NanoCoatings board and director of strategic planning, Mark Manhart brings a wealth of experience in financial services and business development. He previously worked as a Certified Public Accountant and Auditor for Arthur Anderson & Co. and Director of Business Development for Ocwen Financial Corporation. Currently, he is a partner at Gateway Commercial Finance in Delray Beach, Fla. Manhart has a B.S.B.A in accounting from Ohio State University and an M.B.A. from Florida International University.