Our Management Team

Ralph Whitten – President

Ralph has led the development and commercialization of complex MEMS and integrated circuit products for over 30 years. He has led the engineering and development efforts at four successful start-ups in the MEMS field including Silicon Light Machines, Aptix Corporation, FormFactor Inc, and Nanogen, Inc.

At Silicon Light Machines, Ralph was Director of Engineering and was responsible for commercialization of the Grating Light Valve technology licensed from Stanford University. This work was partially funded by DARPA and resulted in a very successful commercial company that was acquired by Cypress Semiconductor. At Aptix Corporation, Ralph was a founder and Director of Technology Development. These efforts lead to commercial products including programmable printed circuit boards and system emulation products.

At Form Factor, Ralph was responsible for developing a commercial, wafer-level, burn-in system, winning a “Best New Technology” award on introduction. At Nanogen, Inc, Ralph served as Senior Director of Biosensor Research and Development and was responsible for commercializing cantilever-based biosensor products.

Ralph holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and currently holds 23 patents in the field.

Mark Brandemuehl – Senior VP Sales and Marketing

Mark brings a broad background in sales and marketing at technology leaders and successful start-ups to NevadaNano.

He started his career as a product engineer at Standard Microsystems and quickly advanced to leading the company’s product engineering team and introducing the company’s first CMOS products. With a break to get an MBA, he joined KLA as product manager in the mask inspection division, leading the successful introduction of KLA’s 300 series next generation reticle inspection tools. After KLA, he joined Tyecin Systems as Eastern Region Sales manager and brought in several new accounts, including major deals with Texas Instruments and IBM. Mark then rejoined KLA-Tencor as Director of Product Marketing for KLA-Tencor’s recently formed yield management software solutions division.

He joined FormFactor in 1998 as the company entered the memory probe card market. As leader of probe card marketing, he set product strategy that drove growth from $7M in sales to $150M in sales by 2003.  During his tenure, the company grew to the #1 probe card company in the world and was the first successful tech IPO after the dot com bust.

In 2005, Mark joined Movoto, an online real estate start-up, as employee 5 and spent the next several years leading marketing, sales and operations as Movoto grew to a $10M company with a network of over 4,000 real estate agents around the United States. Movoto was acquired by Recruit Holdings in 2013 and Mark was promoted to COO for the integration with Recruit.

Mark has a BSEE from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Ronnie Mack Vice President – Manufacturing

Ronnie has more than 30 years of Silicon Valley immersion as an executive, engineer and as a seasoned professional in the semiconductor and solar start-up space. He participated in 5 Silicon Valley technology ventures where he directed worldwide engineering organizations in areas of Product, Test, Manufacturing and Operations.  He personally commissioned over ten manufacturing centers throughout Japan, India, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan and Indonesia.

Most recently, at Solaria, as the Senior Director of Product and Test Engineering, Ronnie successfully directed the efforts in design, development and manufacturing of Solaria’s  concentrator photovoltaics solar technology including installing two 100 MW manufacturing lines in Pune and Hyderabad, India.

Prior to Solaria, Ronnie directed the global test operations and manufacturing engineering organizations for Xilinx, Inc., a $1.6 billion dollar semiconductor company. In this capacity, Ronnie was responsible for the corporate test budget, capacity planning, forecast, COGS and CapEx governing more than 10 SEA manufacturing nodes including native test facilities in San Jose CA, Ireland and Singapore.

Ronnie has been awarded 9 patents in semiconductor design and test methodologies with an additional 3 patent submissions in solar test and solar signature analysis techniques.

Ronnie earned a BSEET from Cogswell Polytechnical College and is a US Navy veteran.

He also carries certifications as a Six Sigma Black Belt and as a Project Management Professional.

Rick Shaff – Chief Financial Officer

Rick has a managerial financial background with extensive executive leadership experience at startups as well global public companies. His public company experience includes serving as CFO and CEO of iGo Corporation (IGOC) and being a senior executive with International Game Technology (IGT).  His stint at IGT included serving as Managing Director responsible for IGT subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

In addition, Rick also was instrumental in the Fallbrook Technologies acquisition of Hoydon LP, eventually serving as Fallbrook Technologies – APU Division President.

Rick’s career includes company turnaround successes, strategic planning, government relations, building distribution and service networks, and leading and assisting in strategic acquisitions.  Rick has a B.S. degree from the University of Nevada, Reno and is currently an adjunct professor.