Board of Directors
Richard Hegberg – Executive Chairman of Vesper Board of Directors and CEO
Rick Hegberg’s executive career began in sales and marketing at an early-stage memory company after graduating from Marquette University with advanced studies at Wharton School of Business, MIT, and Harvard. With advancing responsibilities, he has worked at notable technology firms such as AMD, ATI, Lucent, Micron, Qualcomm, SanDisk and others. Hegberg brings experience from a career that spans roles like CEO, general management, sales and marketing, private equity funding, and venture capital. Most recently, Hegberg was the senior vice president of global pathways and alliances for NetApp, a cloud data storage and management company.
Robert Littrell – Director and CTO
Bobby Littrell is the recognized thought leader in piezoelectric MEMS acoustic transducers, is widely published and holds numerous patent filings in the area. He developed Vesper’s piezoelectric-acoustic MEMS transducer design, based on his PhD thesis at the University of Michigan.
Bobby is also a successful entrepreneur. At Vesper, he raised significant funding from NASA, NSF and NIH to perfect his microphone design, supporting the manufacture of several generations of prototype devices. Bobby received both a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a Department of Homeland Security Graduate Research Fellowship. He earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton. He holds dual MS degrees in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Matt Crowley – Director and CSO
Matt Crowley’s passion for bringing disruptive technologies to market is fully evident at Vesper, which pioneered groundbreaking technology by developing the world’s first piezoelectric MEMS microphone. With five rapid product rollouts in just five years and millions of units shipping to tier one clients across the globe, Matt has grown Vesper from a research-oriented startup to a bonafide commercial business.
Matt and his team are at the forefront of the sensing revolution. Under his leadership, Vesper has earned an impressive collection of awards including a 2019 “Best of Sensors” Award; recognition as Company of the Year in Hardware, Robotics and Transportation at the New England Venture Capital Association’s 2018 NEVY Awards; CES 2018 and 2019 Innovation Award nods by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™; an IHS Markit Innovation Award for the home audio category; and two Annual Creativity in Electronics (ACE) Awards for Innovator of the Year and Ultimate Products.
In his role as President of Cape Point Advisors, Chuck Swoboda offers management consulting focused on growth and technology challenges. As former Chairman and CEO of Cree (NASDAQ: CREE), a worldwide manufacturer of LED and semiconductor solutions for wireless and power applications, Swoboda helped turn a $177 million company into a $1.6 billion global market leader. His 30 years of experience in technology, semiconductors, industrial, automotive and e-commerce in addition to management expertise in strategy, marketing, manufacturing and intellectual property make him an ideal fit for Vesper’s board. Swoboda holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Marquette University.
Hassan Ahmed has more than 30 years of experience in engineering and management. He currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Affirmed Networks, a cloud-native mobile core solution company. Prior to Affirmed Networks, Ahmed worked as a senior advisor at Charles River Ventures and spent 10 years as Chairman and CEO of Sonus Networks (NASDAQ: SONS), a global leader in secure and intelligent cloud communications. Ahmed is known for growing Sonus from an idea into a publicly traded company focused on enabling the transformation of telephony to IP. Before Sonus, he served as EVP and GM of the Core Switching division of Ascend Communications and VP Engineering and Chief Technology Officer of Cascade Communications. He has also held key leadership positions at Motorola and Analog Devices. Ahmed holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Carleton University as well as a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
Jeff Fagnan is a founder of Accomplice, where he focuses on emerging companies in enterprise and Internet infrastructure. Jeff is well known as a founding investor, working with most of his portfolio since inception, sometimes as a co-founder including Veracode (Sold to CA Technologies). Jeff sits on the board of many scaling startups including AngelList, CoinList, Carbon Black (CBLK), dataxu, Earnest (sold to Navient), Edgewise, Freshbooks, Hopper, InsightSquared, Integral Ad Science (sold to Vista Equity Partners), Perch, PillPack (sold to AMZN), Recorded Future, Teachable, Vesper, Willing, and Threat Stack. He is the founder of Spearhead, a program that provides funding and mentorship for new angel investors; Maiden Lane, the first investment vehicle built on top of AngelList; Boston Syndicates (BOSS), a federated movement to create stronger angel substrate in New England; and TUGG (Technology Underwriting Greater Good), a nonprofit foundation harnessing the power of the tech ecosystem to catalyze social innovation in New England. In 2016 he received the National Venture Capital Association annual American Spirit Award. In 2017 he received the Boston Business Journal’s CEO Social Leadership Award.