BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Manex Board of Directors is one of the company’s strongest assets. As a group, our board members have backgrounds that represent diverse aspects of manufacturing, distribution, and supply chains.
Steve Tessler – Chairman of the Board
Executive Vice President and Director of Sales for California Bank of Commerce
Steve Tessler is a long time Manex board member and has been associated with numerous economic development and manufacturing causes in California. His financial and bank acumen bring rigor to the board as well as his tireless pursuit of promoting and developing both Made In America and Made In California. Mr. Tessler reports to the Chief Executive Officer of California Bank of Commerce (CBC) and is a member of CBC’s Executive Management Committee. He joined CBC in August 2007. Before joining CBC, Mr. Tessler spent three years as Manager of Business Development and Marketing for Diablo Valley Bank. As a member of the management team, he spearheaded sales and marketing while helping the bank grow to nearly $250,000,000 in assets in just over three years. Mr. Tessler has also worked for City National Bank, CivicBank of Commerce and Wells Fargo Bank. In addition, he has ten years of public accounting experience with a focus on serving the diverse needs of small to mid-market companies.
President and CEO of Manex
Gene Russell is President and CEO of Manex and has over 30 years of senior executive strategic planning, operational management, and consulting experience in the manufacturing and technology sector. With his extensive knowledge of manufacturing operations, he has developed and implemented key strategic initiatives for companies, allowing them to improve performance and achieve profitable growth. He has a strong background in sales and business development and a keen understanding of manufacturing strategies in the global environment. Prior to joining Manex, Mr. Russell served as CEO of Pilgrim Home and Hearth, where he restructured operations in the U.S. and China, diversified and revamped product lines, expanded distribution channels domestically and internationally, and developed a management team to produce record results. Mr. Russell’s previous experience also consists of key leadership roles with a variety of manufacturing and technology firms, including Oregon Scientific, Haier America, SOS Wireless Communications, SDI Technologies and AT&T. Mr. Russell holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Executive Director of the Economic Development Alliance for Business
Bruce Kern has over 40 years in economic and business development serving in executive positions at both the local and state governmental levels. He was the founding Director of the East Bay’s Economic Development Alliance and for the last 20 years has been a leader in promoting job growth and investment in both Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. Mr. Kern is the incoming Chairman of the state-wide California Association for Local Economic Development representing over 800 members, including many California cities, counties and community development corporations. He is also the vice chairman of Northern California’s Manex Board providing technical support and resources for manufacturers, and is a member of the United Way of the Bay Area’s Community Investment Committee. In 1998 he was the recipient of the “Golden Bear Award” for his outstanding contributions to the economic development profession in California.
Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary of Heat and Control, Inc.
George Lotti is the Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary for Heat and Control, Inc., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of food processing and packaging equipment systems. He brings over 17 years of financial leadership and expertise in Manufacturing and Consulting, driving financial performance and prudent business practices. Prior to joining Heat and Control, Inc., Mr. Lotti worked with Hood & Strong LLP in their audit and tax department. Mr. Lotti is also on the Board of Trustees for CMTA boilermaker Employee Trust Board of Directors and is on the Board of Directors for Unconditional Love Animal Rescue and Placement. He holds a BS in Accounting from Santa Clara University.
President and CEO of Architectural Glass and Aluminum
John Buckley is the President and CEO of Architectural Glass & Aluminum, one of the largest, vertically integrated glass and glazing subcontractors in the United States. Mr. Buckley successfully negotiated a management buyout of the previous owners of AGA in early 2007, and joined AGA as part of this management buyout. Prior to his arrival at AGA, he spent 20 of his first 22 working years pursuing a career in banking. His banking experience began with commercial construction lending at Bank of America and culminated with nine years at Bay View Bank. As EVP at Bay View Bank, he was responsible for a $4.5 billion loan portfolio, and was also Chairman of the Credit Committee, and Risk Management Committee, as well as a Director of two subsidiaries. While managing the above described activities, Mr. Buckley was also busy working with the rest of Bay View’s executive team pursuing Mergers and Acquisitions. John is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Denver, with a B.S. degree in Finance.
President and Owner of Scandic Springs
Hale Foote is the President and Owner of Scandic Springs in San Leandro, the largest stamping and spring company in Northern California. Scandic was founded in 1969 and has a worldwide customer base of industry leaders in the electronics, medical, and automotive industries. Mr. Foote joined Scandic in 1991, after a career practicing law in Washington, DC. In addition to the Manex board, he serves on the national board of the Precision Metalforming Association and the board of The Bishop’s Ranch in the Episcopal Diocese of California. He received an A.B. degree in Literature and a law degree, both from Georgetown University, and was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar.
Mark Martin, Ph.D.
Regional Director, Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development at Laney College
Mark Martin, Ph.D. has over 25 years experience in manufacturing and engineering, including product development, manufacturing and design research, teaching, and workforce development – at the high school, community college, university, and professional development levels. His product design and manufacturing expertise focused on methods for designing and developing new products. Dr. Martin has worked in the medical device field developing electro-mechanical products, as well as founding and running an educational and consulting company focused on product development and manufacturing. His specialties include engineering program management – balancing technical, schedule, and budget constraints in the design of products; project forecasting, scheduling, and management of milestones from initial concept through production; product development process; manufacturing processes; and cross-functional experience (working in research, marketing, sales, engineering, manufacturing, quality, regulatory, finance).
Vice President of Operations for Tulkoff Food Products West
Alec Tulkoff is Vice President of Operations for Tulkoff Food Products West, a premier private label manufacturer of specialty condiments and sauces in the foodservice industry. Tulkoff Food Products West has been family owned and operated for eight decades and four generations. Its corporate headquarters are in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1997, a distribution and manufacturing facility was opened in Pittsburg, California. Mr. Tulkoff has led operations on the west coast since 2006 and successfully guided the company through changes to safety requirements in the food industry. Under his leadership the company has attained Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) compliance under BRC Global Standards and Safe Quality Food (SQF) standards.
Vice President and Treasurer of Ramar Foods
PJ Quesada is Vice President and Treasurer of Ramar Foods, a 3rd generation family owned and operated specialty food manufacturer. Mr. Quesada oversees all operations including manufacturing, logistics, compliance, and expansion. He is the Co-founder and Chairman of the Filipino Food Movement, a non-profit focused on promoting Filipino cuisine. He enjoys cooking cuisines from around the world and has a natural love for Southeast Asian cuisine, most notably Filipino. Mr. Quesada received a bachelor of science degree in Strategic Business Management from John F. Kennedy School of Management and graduated with honors. In 2013 and 2014, he served as the President of the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Vice President of Sales for Plastikon Industries
Mark Petri is Vice President of Sales for Plastikon Industries, which is headquartered in Hayward, California. Founded in 1982, Plastikon was established with the mission to be recognized as a world-leading plastic and contract manufacturer. Today, Plastikon continues to provide award-winning services to and plays an essential part in many of the world’s most successful companies in their respective industries including medical, automotive and electronics. Harnessing state-of-the-art technology and dedicated employees, Plastikon has built a global reputation of exceeding customers’ expectation. Our core values are simple: deliver on our commitment to provide the highest quality and value with corporate and social responsibility. Our success depends on the Plastikon team, which includes our 700 plus dedicated employees and associates at locations in Hayward California, Leitchfield Kentucky, Lawrence Kansas, Suzhou China, and Don Guan China. Mr. Petri has been with Plastikon since 2010. In addition to sitting on the Manex Board and Plastikon Board, he sits on two other boards that Plastikon has formed joint-venture companies with. He received his bachelor of science in Industrial Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He is married and has two children.
President and CFO, Vintage 99 Label Mfg., Inc.
Kathleen Gonzales is president and CFO of Vintage 99 Label Mfg., Inc., a wine label manufacturing company with locations in the East Bay and Sonoma County. Kathleen has over 30 years of experience in the corporate world. She has held management positions for large corporations such as Safeway, Charles Schwab and Ross Stores. She developed corporate policies and procedures, including accounting/finance, customer credit, and customer service and plant operation policies. Additionally, Ms. Gonzales has a broad background in system implementation and integration, accounting, human resource management and compliance. She brings her expertise to the manufacturing sector by leading Vintage 99 towards sustained growth for over 20 years in a competitive industry.