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Industry Experts Providing Turnkey Solutions

We are a highly focused team of industry experts and professionals who are driven to push the advancement of portable bonding technology as the industries we serve move forward.  We work as a collaborative partner to provide turnkey solutions – from situation analysis, research and development, testing, deployment, through job completion.  Every member of our team is driven to find a better way.

OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM

John M. Griffin

Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO

John is a business executive with over 40 years of wide ranging commercial and industrial business experience, including founding, co-founding, and developing several successful startups.  In the 1980's, Mr. Griffin turned his focus to the energy industry, starting and managing a series of successful upstream firms including APPCO Oil & Gas Corp. and TDC Energy Corporation.

During the 1990's, John co-founded and launched a mid-stream and down-stream industrial technology and service business that provided fugitive emissions control and maintenance services to the oil refinery and petro-chemical industry.  John successfully nurtured that startup business, Industrial Leak Sealers, through several growth stages and expansions into the Safe Seal Company, which was successfully launched and developed using proprietary industrial technologies.

Over a period of seven years he successfully helped guide the company through significant sales and operational growth stages and mergers that lead to the development of InVaTec, a NASDAQ-listed industrial company and consolidator of industrial service companies that completed a successfully $43M IPO in 1997 that was purchased by the Flowserve Corporation in 2000.  In 2004, John co-founded and launched Forge Tech, an industrial technology and services company focused on developing and deploying advanced portable friction welding technology onshore to the midstream and downstream energy markets.  He served as Chairman, President, and CEO until 2015.

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Joseph Polanin

Executive Vice President, Operations, and Chief Operating Officer

Captain Joseph Polanin, a career U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Officer, retired in May 2020 after 30 years of active military service. He grew up in Carteret, New Jersey, and was the Valedictorian of Carteret High School's class of 1986. He was then appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD and deployed around the world frequently for combat, counterinsurgency, and expeditionary military operations.

 

Joe was promoted to the top 1% of senior leaders and has more than 21 years of experience as a successful CEO and COO leading highly specialized, globally integrated teams. He specializes in strategizing against complex threats in high-risk environments. He is focused on disciplined business operations and strategy implementation for multi-billion-dollar budget management, 400K+ people leadership, and transforming global organizations. 

 

Joe earned his MBA with honors from Grand Canyon University and MA with honors (#1 of 76) from National Defense University.

 

He joined Fusematic as COO in February 2022 and resides in Tampa, Florida with his wife Deanne and daughters Kiana and Sydney. 

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Ernest Levert

Vice President, Welding Technology

Ernest’s professional career spans over forty years, with high-level experience in production operations, manufacturing engineering, production engineering, and advanced manufacturing technologies. His skills managing teams of engineers while directing major engineering projects from concept to completion were honed in the aerospace and maritime defense industry.

 

Over thirty years of his professional experience was spent with Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control Division, where he served as a Lockheed Martin Fellow and the Subject Matter Expert for Welding Engineering and Materials Joining. His background and education in Welding Engineering allowed him to serve as the SME for technical tasks in support of Space, Air and Missiles Defense, and Ground Combat Vehicles Programs. During his time in the role, he provided welding engineering consultation to US Defense efforts that included Army Tactical Missile System, Persistence Threat Detection Systems, EBW Missiles Components, and International Space Systems. Additionally, he frequently served as a technical consultant for the business development team.

 

Ernest graduated from the Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Welding Engineering in 1982 and earned the distinction of Registered Professional Engineer in 1987. From 2002-2003, he served as President of the American Welding Society, an organization 50,000 members strong and among the largest in the world.  He also served as President of the Federation of Materials Societies (750,000 members).  He now serves on the International Institute of Welding (56 Countries) Board of Directors and is Chairman of IIW Commission IV-Power Beam Process: Electron Beam Welding.

 

Ernest served ten years in the US Navy, where he supervised shipboard systems and maintenance activities, and was selected to attend the prestigious Broaden Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training (BOOST) Program for top enlisted personnel.

Daniel Dougherty, ChFC, AIF, RICP

Vice President, Corporate Development

Dan is a financial services veteran with over a 30 year track record of serving clients in meaningful ways.

Dan graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Widener University and obtained the prestigious Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation from the American College in Bryn Mawr, PA.  Dan is a managing director and co-founder of Prestige Strategies LLC, a consulting and planning firm offering advance planning concepts for business owners and executives regarding wealth management and estate planning.  A major part of Prestige Strategies is offing C-Suite level executives innovative ways to recruit, retain and reward key executives.   Dan is an Independent Advisory Representative providing valuable insight into risk management concepts and structuring investment portfolios for security and sustainability.  This enables him to meet the financial planning needs of those in or nearing retirement.

Dan has held various advisory positions at securities firms and banking institutions.  His broad and overall experience has enabled him to share financial stewardship with those who wish to be financially prudent.

Mark Andrew Smith

Vice President, IP Strategy

Mark’s legal practice concentrates on Intellectual Property and builds on his prior experience, both as a Partner in an IP boutique and in-house as Attorney and Senior IP Counsel at leading R&D, software and energy companies.  This experience spans patent prosecution, licensing and other IP related transactions, dispute resolution (including leading and/or managing litigation, mediation and arbitration), trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks and export controls.  Further, Mark brings deep domain experience acquired in over 20 years in the oil and gas industry including leading IP efforts for Exxon’s offshore systems and Shell’s offshore deepwater, shelf, subsea and pipeline sections as well as other E&P design, R&D and operations clients within both these operator companies and within Halliburton on the services side of the industry.  His interest in IP strategy led to founding a separate and independent business consultancy, TechCrossings, LLC, serving emerging technology companies.

 

Having enjoyed serving as an adjunct professor of law, Mark now gives back at the intersection of law and business.  Aiding graduate students and entrepreneurs interested in commercializing new technologies, he frequently mentors teams and judges business plans in related industry, academic and accelerator programs.  Active in the Licensing Executive Society, Mark serves on the Board of the LES Foundation and as VP leading the mentorship faculty of the Foundation’s annual international business plan competition for early stage start-ups.   Additionally, Mark chairs the local Austin and Texas Hill Country Chapter of LES.

 

Mark has been admitted to the Texas Bar and the USPTO, is credentialed as an RTTP (Registered Technology Transfer Professional, Association of Technology Transfer Professionals) and has engineering and law degrees from SMU, an LL.M (Int’l Law) from UH and an MSTC (technology commercialization) from UT/McCombs.

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Pamela Kane

Vice President, Accounting and Finance

Pam Kane has over 30 years of experience in accounting and operations management for both large corporations and small business units, giving her the well-rounded knowledge that enables her to skillfully guide Fusematic Corporation from a financial standpoint. Pam is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and is also certified in Production and Inventory Management (APICS). She began her career as a staff accountant at Coopers and Lybrand in Boston, MA, and spent time managing operations at Sun Coast Credit Union.

 

Her most recent experience was with Teledyne Technologies, a diversified multinational corporation, where she held the role of Controller and Security Administrator for the ERP system. Pam has a stellar track record for compliance with corporate reporting deadlines and has managed large teams and multiple projects with success. Pam is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, as well as involved with the Association for Operations Management.

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Christina Bartnikowski

Vice President, Marketing and Business Development

Christina Bartnikowski has over 20 years of experience in the alternative investment industry, having a career that spans both hedge funds and private equity focusing on investor relations, marketing strategy, and operational leadership. Ms. Bartnikowski is a Managing Member of Arcade Advisory LLC, where advises businesses on marketing and branding strategies, creating integrated growth plans, as well as investor relations. Formerly, she was the Director of Sales and Capital Introduction at Clear Street. Her responsibilities included prime brokerage business development as well as leading capital introductions. Prior to Clear Street, she was the Head of US Allocators at Apex Fund Services focusing on institutional investor relations. Previous to
Apex, she headed global marketing for Kase Learning, a hedge fund education platform. Prior to Kase Learning, Ms. Bartnikowski was the Director, Head of Corporate Development for FocusPoint Private Capital, a private equity placement agent. From 2003 to 2010, she was the Chief Operating Officer at Quilcap Management, LLC, a short-biased hedge fund, as well as a Research Analyst with Renck Capital.  

 

Ms. Bartnikowski graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of Delaware and holds a Masters in International Business from the Grenoble Graduate School of Business in Grenoble, France.

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Ossiel Bustos

VP, Field Operations & Product Support Services

Ossiel Bustos is a highly skilled professional with 13 years of experience in friction welding, maintenance, and project management. Throughout his career, Ossiel has developed a deep understanding of the intricacies of friction welding techniques, allowing him to consistently deliver high-quality results. In addition to his expertise in friction welding, Ossiel also possesses extensive maintenance experience. He has successfully managed and executed maintenance projects, ensuring the smooth operation of equipment and minimizing downtime.

 

Ossiel’s attention to detail and proactive approach have earned him a reputation for excellence in maintaining and optimizing equipment. Furthermore, Ossiel is a proficient project manager, capable of overseeing complex projects from conception to completion. He excels in coordinating teams, allocating resources, and ensuring that projects are delivered on time and within budget. His strong leadership skills, coupled with his technical knowledge, enable him to effectively communicate with stakeholders and drive successful project outcomes.

 

With his comprehensive skill set and years of experience, Ossiel Bustos is a valuable asset with extensive knowledge in friction welding, maintenance, and project management. His dedication, expertise, and commitment to excellence make him an ideal fit for the Fusematic team of professionals.

ADIVISORS

OUR ADVISORY BOARD

Dr. Charles R. Cushing, PE, MS, PhD, ScD

 

Dr. Cushing is the President of C. R. Cushing & Co., Inc., an international firm of naval architects and marine engineers, since 1968.  From 1961 to 1968 Dr. Cushing was Chief Naval Architect for Sea-Land Service, Inc. Dr. Cushing is a professional engineer, member of the National Academy of Engineering and numerous other professional organizations. 

 

He is a graduate of USMMA, SUNY Maritime, MIT, and Cardiff University.

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Dr. A. P. (Tony) Reynolds, 

Tony is currently the Frank B. Herty Bicentennial Chair in Engineering at the Department of
Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Carolina. He obtained his PhD in Materials Science from the University of Virginia in 1990.  Subsequently, he spent five years at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia working in aerospace alloy development and development of specialized mechanical test techniques for fatigue and fracture evaluation. In 1995, he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Carolina where he was promoted to Full Professor in 2007. 

 

Since 1998, Tony has been performing research primarily in friction-based processes for joining, forming, and microstructural modification.  Since 2004 he has been the USC site director for the Center for Friction Stir Processing which originated as an NSF-I/UCRC.  During his time at USC, Tony has been PI on more than $10M of funded research and published numerous papers. Sponsors of his research include NASA, ONR, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Airbus, Bombardier, Alcoa, Alcan, Constellium, Kaiser Aluminum and many others. 

 

Tony serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Fatigue, Science and Technology of Welding and Joining, and Metallurgical and Materials Transactions.  In addition, Tony has mentored eleven PhD’s and eighteen master’s students to completion of their degrees.

Paul DeVivo, MBA

Paul is an independent strategic advisor for Fusematic Corporation. His extensive leadership and technical experience across multiple industries adds considerable value to Fusematic’s global business development. DeVivo is the retired former CEO of Gulf Oil International and Houghton International, bringing extensive experience as a senior executive leading global technical marine supply organizations. DeVivo has a bachelor of science in marine engineering from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, along with a MBA from University of Miami.

Murray W. Burns, PE

Murray has spent forty-eight plus years in the offshore upstream oil and gas industry. He began his career with Shell Oil Company in 1969 as a Facilities Engineer and progressed to managing the design and execution of offshore topsides projects in the Gulf of Mexico.  Murray was a principal founder of CBS Engineering in 1980 and acted as Project Manager and Project Sponsor on offshore and onshore projects in various parts of the world.

After the acquisition of CBS by Technip in 1997 he continued to act as Vice President and President of CBS until the company was integrated into the Technip USA organization in 2002.  Murray was Senior Vice President – Engineering and Vice President – Topsides and Fixed Platforms in the Offshore Division prior to his retirement from Technip in 2013.

Murray provides consulting services through MBurns Consulting. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University in Civil Engineering.  He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Marine Technology Society.  He serves on the Advisory Board for the PennWell Topsides, Hulls and Platforms conference and on the Society of Petroleum Engineers Advisory Board for Projects, Facilities and Construction.  Murray is also an independent Director of Gulf Island Fabrication, Inc. (GIFI).

Richard A. Jackson

 

Richard has extensive knowledge and experience in underwater maintenance and repair of Navy equipment and systems.  His knowledge and experience includes the development of special tooling, rigging techniques, methods of disassembly, assembly and procedures to safely and reliably perform work underwater.  The results of these efforts have provided the Navy with many successful underwater repairs that have saved the Navy substantially in cost and schedule.  Many of his procedures have been adopted by other Shipyards and the Navy’s Underwater Ships Husbandry Group (NAVSEA OOC Washington D.C.).

Richard spent 31 years as either a Rigger/Diver or Supervisor of Rigging & Diving at either Mare Island Shipyard or Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.  He is currently the owner and president of Dive & Rig Safety International, providing diving and rigging safety oversight to companies who hire divers and need assistance.  Richard provides consulting and planning services regarding diving and rigging.

From 1996 to 2006 he was Rigging Supervisor 2, Senior Diving Supervisor at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.  He also spent 11 years of experience as a Rigger General Foreman in charge of Rigging, Diving and Crane Operations, where he supervised as many as 5 different teams at multiple locations simultaneously.  His responsibilities included; quality, budget, and schedules on each project as well as being accountable for the safety of all personnel.

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Steven Gonzalez

Steven González had over 32 years of experience at NASA in strategy development, seeding and implementing innovation initiatives, and identifying private/public collaborations. He specializes in collaborating with the innovation community to accelerate or transfer space technology while creating mutually beneficial coalitions between entrepreneurs, tech firms, and public organizations. The ability to manage teams and successfully navigate new partnerships that, at the onset, have diverging perspectives and requirements, is a unique skill that Steven has honed over his career.

Steven also brings a wealth of knowledge on long range strategic planning to the Fusematic Corporation, from his time at NASA developing and managing investment strategies and technology processes. Based in the Houston, TX area, Steven is optimally located to initiate and nurture partnerships with industry, universities, end users, and other government agencies in a key geographic region for both the oil and gas and space industries.

Jonathan Rago, SPHR

Jon brings more than 25 years of strong business and investment experience, having worked with some of the world’s largest corporations. He has served as a key leader in numerous mergers and acquisitions, complex manufacturing, and supply chain projects. Jon has extensive experience working with startups, mergers and acquisitions in the Americas and Asia Pacific regions.


Before joining the Fusematic advisory board, Jon was the North America Director of Human Resources for Velcro Companies, where he led the Human Capital Management function in North America for the iconic global manufacturer of textiles and adhesives. Prior to his experience at the Velcro Companies, he was an international business consultant and worked with Carrier Enterprise Florida, a joint venture between Carrier, a United Technologies’ Company, and Watsco Inc.

 

Jon spent the bulk of his management career with Anixter Inc., a leading global provider of network & security, electrical & electronic, and power solutions, where he gained significant experience in the global markets. His earlier work in new business development and P&L management provide Jon with insights into all aspects of startup operations.

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G Subrahmanya VRK Rao

Dr G Subrahmanya VRK Rao (Dr Rao) is currently associated with Dhana Inc. USA as Chief Technology Officer,  with upGrad - India as Industry Expert Data Science Mentor & Coach, with BelfricsBT Sdn. Bhd, Kuala Lumpur as Associate Head of R&D,  and with Newchip Accelerator, USA as Mentor. Dr Rao has 26 years of work experience which include Government, Industry, Academia and Research careers. 

 

While Dr Rao earned multiple International Technology awards from ITU (United Nations), EPA (USA), Computerworld etc., Dr Rao was also awarded multiple Government / Industry / Public Private Partnership (PPP) Research grants from Intel, NWO (The Netherlands), DEiTY (Govt. of India) etc.  A Ph.D Gold-medalist, Dr Rao did his Postdoctoral Research work at Telkom Center of Excellence attached to University of Fort Hare, South Africa. Dr Rao is a passionate Research & Development professional with 7 US patents, 85 Refereed International Research Publications, 9 other publications and 5 book chapters published and also authored a book entitled ‘WiMax-A Wireless Technology Revolution’ and Editor of the book entitled ‘Web Services Security and E-Business’. 

 

Dr Rao is the Founder and Organising Chair for ‘Cloud for Business Industry and Enterprises (C4BIE)’.  He is a Senior Member of IEEE and a Senior Member of ACM, and his Bio is available in multiple editions of “Who’s Who in the World.”  Dr Rao is an active (White Hat) Ethical Hacker.

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Dr. Oz Erdem

Dr. Oz  Erdem is the Chair Emeritus of the NADEC board of directors, Chair of the Central-North Florida District Export Council, and Vice Chair of Government Contractors Council.

He has extensive experience in Global business development and International trade, Export control, and Cyber security with a strong background in electronics, computer, software, industry automation, material processing, mobility/transportation, defense technologies and manufacturing industries for more than 23 years. His focus areas are U.S. EAR, ITAR, OFAC and NRC compliance, Cyber security, NIST security framework, Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), government sanction programs, compliance program development, audit, training, global technology transfers and export documentation. 

He managed export and import compliance activities at different Siemens companies and he served as the global export compliance manager at Texas Instruments. In these positions, Dr. Erdem played critical roles regarding ongoing compliance with the export regulations that are applicable to company products, systems, software, and related technology.  

 

Mr. Erdem regularly presents on Global business and exporting, Cyber security, ITAR/EAR compliance, and Defense compliance related seminars and webinars. Prior to his experience in trade compliance, Dr. Erdem led challenging projects including design of networks and infrastructure for secure telecommunications systems at governmental organizations and defense industry. He was also member of the NATO Information Security subcommittee between 1998 and 2001 and took several roles in design, implementation and deployment of NATO messaging systems.

 

Mr. Erdem obtained his B.Sc. degree in Mathematics and his Ph.D. degree in Electronics & Computer Engineering from Oregon State University in 2005. His research topics included security protocols for mobile networks.

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KahKan Chan, PE, API 653

Mr. Chan has been the Chief Operating Officer of Roundtable Engineering Solutions, LLC, a full-service engineering company specializing in energy and renewable energy, since 2003. He is a registered professional engineer in several states, Vice Chairman for API SCAST Subgroup Fabrication, and an API 653 Certified Inspector.

Chan is a customer-oriented person who focuses on solving problems holistically. He has extensive experience in business development, engineering, inspection, construction, technology, finance, and management. He focuses on customer relationships, business growth strategies, new business/product developments, and new MSAs.

Chan graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, a Master of Science in Civil Engineering, and an MBA.

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Greg Renwick

Greg Renwick is a seasoned global petroleum executive with more than 40 years of experience in technical and executive leadership roles.  His highly diversified background includes positions in junior oil companies, major international petroleum firms, government advisory positions and U.S. Investment Banking. 

 

Mr. Renwick began his petroleum career as a geophysicist with Mobil Oil Canada.   Over his 25-year career with Mobil, he held technical, technical management, executive management, and business development executive roles in Canada, the U.S., Indonesia, the Middle East, and Central Asia.  Assignments included positions as Geophysical Manager in Canada and the U.S., Exploration Manager in Indonesia, VP Business Development, CIS, and Manager Financial Analysis for Mobil’s E&P Division and General Manager, Mobil Oil Turkmenistan.

 

Greg has extensive experience in the Middle East, holding management and advisory positions with Kuwait Foreign Petroleum, Dana Gas PJSC and Centurion Petroleum International.  Greg was also President and CEO of East West Petroleum, a publicly traded upstream oil firm in Canada.  He has held executive and non-executive Board of Director positions with East West Petroleum, North American Oil and Gas, and TransAtlantic Petroleum. His most recent activities include Business Development advisory roles for Trident M&A Advisors, a U.S. Investment Bank and Fusematic Corporation.

 

Greg received a BSc. In Chemistry from the University or Western Ontario and a MSc. in Geology from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. He and his family reside in Dallas, Texas.

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Gabriel Romano

Gabriel has 19 years of experience in sales and marketing positions covering EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa) in the defense, security and IT sectors. For almost a decade, Gabriel helped large corporations like 3M and Seiko Epson grow their business and shape their go-to-market strategy in the area. He helped Small Medium-sized Enterprises commercialize new products in new territories and access national and international funding.

Gabriel graduated from the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City in 1999 as an International Student. Based in Greater London, Gabriel holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration from Warwick Business School.

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Rich Sutherland

After a career spanning over 3 decades in program management and logistics, Rich Sutherland now provides his expertise to fledgling businesses as a mentor, investor, and consultant. He began his career as an Integrated Logistics Support Analyst with EG&G Technical Services (now AECOM) in Washington DC.  For the US Navy Los Angeles and VIRGINIA Class Submarine Program he managed Logistics and Supply Chain Management, shipboard training, and business development.

Following AECOM, Rich managed the VIRGINIA Class Submarine and Teleport Satellite Earth Terminal Acquisition Logistics and Supply Chain, shipboard training, and business development with Booz Allen Hamilton for the next eleven years, also in the DC Metro area.

At Orbis as a Senior Program Manager, Rich ran business development and was instrumental in submarine and ship construction. His responsibilities included Foreign Military Sales and life cycle sustainment planning.

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