Board of Directors
Paul J. Travers
CEO, President and Director
Paul Travers was the founder of Vuzix and has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since 1997 and as a member of our board of directors since November 1997. Prior to the formation of Vuzix, Mr. Travers founded both e-Tek Labs, Inc. and Forte Technologies Inc. He has been a driving force behind the development of our products. With more than 30 years' experience in the consumer electronics field, and 25 years' experience in the virtual reality and virtual display fields, he is a nationally recognized industry expert. He holds an Associate degree in engineering science from Canton, ATC and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical and computer engineering from Clarkson University.
CFO, Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Director
Grant Russell has served as our Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President since 2000 and as a member of our board of directors since April 2009. From 1997 to 2004, Mr. Russell developed and subsequently sold a successful software firm and a new concept computer store and cyber café. In 1984, he co-founded Advanced Gravis Computer (Gravis), which, under his leadership as President, grew to become the world's largest PC and Macintosh joystick manufacturer with sales of $44 million worldwide and 220 employees. Gravis was listed on NASDAQ and the Toronto Stock Exchange. In September 1996 it was acquired by a US-based Fortune 100 company in a successful public tender offer. Mr. Russell holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in finance from the University of British Columbia and is both a US Certified Public Accountant and a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant.
Alexander Ruckdaeschel joined our board of directors in November 2012. Since March 2001, Mr. Ruckdaeschel has worked in the financial industry in the United States and Europe as a co- founder, partner and/or in senior management. Mr. Ruckdaeschel cofounded Herakles Capital Management and AMK Capital Advisors in 2008. Mr. Ruckdaeschel has also been a partner with Alpha Plus Advisors, from 2006 to 2010, and Nanostart AG, from 2002 to 2006, where he was the head of their US group. Mr. Ruckdaeschel has significant experience in startup operations as the manager of DAC Nanotech-Fund and Biotech-Fund from 2002 to 2006. Following service in the German military, Mr. Ruckdaeschel was a research assistant at Dunmore Management focusing on intrinsic value identifying firms that were undervalued and had global scale potential. From October 1992 to October 2000 Mr. Ruckdaeschel was in the German military and supported active operations throughout the Middle East while also participating as a professional biathlon athlete.
Edward Kay has been a director of the Company since April 2016. Mr. Kay is a Certified Public Accountant who spent his 33-year career with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) working with companies in a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing, distribution, software and technology. Mr. Kay served as PwC's Rochester NY Office Managing Partner for 13 years from 1999 to 2012 and, for a time, Managing Partner of the firm's Upstate NY practice and had been the Leader of PwC's high technology practice in Dallas, TX from 1993 to 1999. Mr. Kay was formerly a Board member, Executive Committee member, and Audit Committee Chair of IEC Electronics (NYSE: IEC) from 2013 to 2015, and is currently on the board of a large private company in the product distribution business. During Mr. Kay's tenure at PwC and through his service on other corporate boards, he accumulated extensive experience in financial, securities, and business matters, including significant leadership roles in dealing with accounting and auditing matters related to public companies.
Timothy Harned has been a director of the Company since June 2017. Mr. Harned is an investment banking, corporate development, and financial advisory veteran with more than 30 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions and related activities. Mr. Harned is also a technology specialist with more than twenty years of experience in various technology fields and another ten years working with consumer and industrial companies. Mr. Harned is currently the Founder and Managing Partner of 8Nineteen Advisory, LLC where he serves as a strategic consultant regarding growth matters and provides financial advisory services, with a specialty in mergers and acquisitions and corporate and business development. He has been with 8Nineteen Advisory, LLC since December 2016. He began his career at Lehman Brothers (1987 to 1992) within the mergers and acquisitions group and later joined Banc of America Securities (1996 to 2000) where he became a Managing Director. Mr. Harned subsequently joined Morgan Stanley & Co. (2000 to 2002), where he served as an Executive Director focused on merger and acquisition and capital markets advisory for technology companies. Mr. Harned also spent more than a decade (2003 to 2016) with several technology-focused financial advisory boutiques and has also served as a corporate development executive (1994 to 1996).