As Chief Executive Officer, Ricky brings his extensive background in battery, EV and hybrid powertrain technology. Ricky has a broad experience in technology scaleup, global manufacturing, automation, quality control, management of supply chain and implementing cost reduction initiatives.
Prior to Ion Storage Systems, Ricky most recently served as SVP of Operations at Eos Energy Storage Systems and was responsible for overall operations management, battery mechanical design and automation strategy.
Previously, Ricky served as Executive Director of Battery Operations for Apple at the company’s Cupertino, CA headquarters. From 2008 to 2014 he was CEO of California-based EV manufacturer Electric Vehicles International. Ricky spent ten years prior at Texas-based advanced storage company Valence Technologies (now a Lithium Werks company), where he rose to VP of Worldwide Operations and oversaw supply chain and manufacturing operations spanning from China, Mexico and Northern Ireland to the United States.
Dr. Hitz led the development of the multilayer garnet structure and co-founded Ion Storage Systems.
Greg’s leadership and organizational experience has helped establish Ion Storage Systems’ operations, plan and execute the manufacturing plan, and build a world class team. Greg brings his experience in Good Manufacturing Practice to the company’s research culture, leading to an efficient transition from lab research to manufacturing operations. Greg received his PhD in Materials Science & Engineering and bachelor’s Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland.
Ben brings over 20 years of experience in corporate finance, treasury, and operations in early-stage and publicly traded companies to Ion Storage Systems. He has significant experience in capital raising, budgeting, forecasting, financial modeling, working capital management, and government grant administration.
Prior to joining Ion, Ben was the Chief Financial Officer at Pixelligent Technologies, an early-stage advanced materials manufacturer focused on the display, AR/VR, sensors, and optics markets, where he led the Finance and Administration functions. From 2009 to 2015, Ben held positions of increasing responsibility at W. R. Grace, a global chemicals manufacturer, where he was the Finance Leader for the $400+ million Engineered Materials business unit. Ben started his career at JPMorganChase working in multiple finance operations roles in the Investment Bank and Asset Management lines of business. Ben received his B.S. and M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Dr. Santori has conducted battery R&D and testing across multiple technologies, for both the US Government and within the private sector. In her previous role with the USG, Dr. Santori managed application testing for custom prismatic Li-ion cells, which will directly translate to the evaluation of ION’s solid-state cells for the critical requirements of the U.S. military. As a Staff Scientist at Lockheed Martin, she worked on the development of an advanced grid scale battery, leading technical cross-company efforts in battery testing and materials evaluation. Dr. Santori served as a Fellow at ARPA-E in the U.S. Department of Energy, identifying technology opportunities beyond current investments and assisting leadership in launching new funding areas in solar and electrochemical technologies. Dr. Santori received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech in 2012.
Neil Ovadia is the VP of Supply Chain at ION Storage Systems and joined the company in 2021. An industry expert with 20 years of operations experience working in both early-stage and publicly traded companies, Neil contributes his extensive experience in operations, corporate strategy, relationship building, supply chain, manufacturing, and project management.
Spending most of his career in startup environments, Neil has excelled in bringing structure and growth through short- and long-term strategies while maintaining tempo, corporate objectives and identity.
Prior to ION, Neil most recently served as VP of Strategic Sourcing at Eos Energy Storage Systems and was responsible for all supply chain and logistics as well as new product introductions, unified program management and scheduling.
Dr. Wachsman, Ion Storage Systems Founder and Executive Chair, and former CEO, also serves as Director of the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute, and the Crentz Centennial Chair in Energy Research in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, and Chemical Engineering at University of Maryland (UMD).
Eric is President of The Electrochemical Society, and a Fellow of The Electrochemical Society and the American Ceramic Society, a member of the World Academy of Ceramics, and Editor-in-Chief of Ionics, Editor of Science Reports, Energy Technology, and Energy Systems, and an expert in solid state ion conductors and devices, with more than 270 publications and 22 patents. Eric has over 30 years’ experience leading large multidisciplinary sponsored contracts, including DOE ARPA-E, EERE, and NASA solid state battery contracts, from guiding the multi-investigator team effort to achieving performance metrics and technical deliverables.
In his role as Executive Chair he will provide company vision and scientific expertise, and as a UMD Distinguished University Professor he will focus on advancing solid state battery performance using state-of-art facilities at UMD, and in so doing meet and exceed performance metrics for next generation batteries.
Mark G. Fields is a Partner at Alsop Louie Partners (“ALP”), serving since 2017. ALP is a San Francisco-based early-stage venture capital firm. Prior to joining ALP, Mark was CEO & President, and board member at Wickr, Inc., an end-to end encrypted communications platform which was acquired by Amazon in 2021.
Prior to Wickr, Fields was a Managing Director at CME Group. During his time at CME, Fields and team took CME public, did over $20Bn of M&A, and founded CME Ventures, CME Group’s corporate venture capital group. At CME Ventures, Fields and his team led investments and served on the boards of Wickr, 1Qbit, Dwolla, Powerlytics, Ripple, and Nervana. In 2015, Fields was recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business Tech 50.
Fields currently serves on the Board of Directors at Ion Storage Systems, Ascent Technologies, Baton Systems and as an observer at Nabaco. Fields holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
Nitin is a seasoned executive with both Fortune 500 and high growth entrepreneurial companies. He has created and run business units within large corporations, driven business development at both global corporations and start- up companies, led the acquisition of public and private multi-million-dollar enterprises, and done Corporate Venture investing.
Currently at IBM he is responsible for developing and managing multi-million $ commercial research and development collaborations globally, including strategic alliances, joint venture creation, intellectual property licensing and joint development agreements. Nitin also drives the corporate venture investments in Quantum computing and sustainability and is one of the faces of IBM Quantum in the book “The Quantum Decade”.
Previously he led Xerox PARC’s hardware and cleantech business development activities, including strategic research/co-development engagements, IP licensing and spinouts.
Nitin serves as Director on the Boards of Ion Storage Systems and Openwater.In, is a Board Observer at Volcat (JV for Plastics recycling between Under Armor, Technip Energies and IBM), and a Venture Advisor with Tokyo Electron Venture Capital. He has previously been a Board Advisor to companies in Sweden and France in the solar and semiconductor sectors.
Nitin holds BS and MS Chemical Engineering degrees from University of Wisconsin, Madison and Stanford University respectively, and an MBA from UCLA.
Todd is the Managing Partner at Clear Creek Investments (“CCI”). CCI is a California based investment manager that has an energy (transition), food, and water sectoral focus and invests through a lens of innovation and sustainability across both private and public markets. Todd’s responsibility includes managing the day-to-day activities of the firm and identifying, managing, and monitoring portfolio investments on behalf of CCI’s limited partners. Prior to founding CCI, Todd served as the Chief Investment Officer of a multi-family office overseeing an investment team managing assets across both private and public markets. He brings over twenty years of principal investing, portfolio management, and business experience to CCI and their portfolio companies from various global financial institutions.
Todd is a CFA Charterholder, holds a BA, Industrial Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a MA, International Business from the University of California at San Diego. He sits on the boards of the San Diego Habitat Conservancy, Encinitas Education Foundation, and the Sharp Healthcare System’s Investment Committee. Todd enjoys being in the ocean and mountains with his family.
For over two decades Joseph has been committed to accelerating the energy transition through technology, finance and hands on construction. Starting at GE his pioneering work laid out pathways to decarbonize under market forces. He developed the offshore wind asset management playbook and designed built and tested solid oxide fuel cells. To develop a whole systems perspective of the energy transition Joe went on to work at Arup, Georgia Tech and RMI. Notable accomplishments include leadership of a DoE sponsored incubator for solar technologies and startups, catalyzing the community scale solar and storage market, and expanding the decarbonization landscape for heavy industry with Amory Lovins. Since 2019 Joe has been deploying and refining his whole systems view of the energy transition through public and private equity/venture finance.
Along the way though, Joe has helped launch 5 climate tech companies, earned a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering a PhD in Architecture and gained the title he’s most proud of, Dad, to his twin boys.
Venkataraman ThangaduraiFounder and Science Advisor
Dr. Venkataraman Thangadurai is full professor of chemistry at the University of Calgary, Canada. He has over 25 years of experience in solid state materials science and technology. His current research activities include discovery of novel solid electrolytes and mixed conductors for all solid state batteries, solid oxide fuel cells, solid oxide electrolysis cells, and electrochemical gas sensors. He has published 190 scientific papers in international refereed journals and 4 patent applications. In 2016, he received the prestigious Keith Laidler Award from the Canadian Society of Chemistry for his outstanding contributions to physical chemistry.
Andrew Konigsberg is an accomplished business professional with forty plus years of experience, including three decades as a management consulting partner with Deloitte LLP, advising market leading energy and infrastructure companies throughout five continents and more than thirty-five countries. During his successful career with Deloitte, Andy served as a senior leader advancing the Firm’s annual revenues to nearly US$50 billion and 300,000 professionals globally. Andy is known for his expertise in business development, technology and business strategy, corporate governance, and performance management.
Since 2016, Andy has served as an independent strategic advisor to institutional and private equity investors active in sustainability and energy. He presently serves as Chair of the Eco-Entrepreneurship Advisory Council at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Andrew holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.