MEET AUBERGE TEAM
THE PEOPLE BEHIND AUBERGE’S TECHNOLOGICAL AND DESIGN INNOVATION
Sean McMurray | President
Sean founded ALVA in 2009 with the goal of accelerating the adoption of solid state lighting by developing high quality LED-based decorative light fixtures. Prior to ALVA, Sean spent 20 years working in the electronics industry in various sales and marketing roles. From 2003 to 2009, Sean led Nu Horizons’ LED lighting organization and worked closely with leading manufactures to offer customers LED solutions. Sean is combining his passion for lighting with his experience in LEDs and electronics. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Sean studied at the Universita’ Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Italy.
Brandon Neustadter | Director of National Sales
Brandon is responsible for all sales for the North American market. He is an experienced business development and sales professional with over a decade of experience in varying roles at both fortune 500 companies and start-ups. He has always been focused on educating his customers and providing them with an outstanding customer experience. Five years ago, Brandon pivoted into the LED Lighting market where he was a key part of growing Elemental LED’s Business Solutions division and Diode LED’s specification business. Brandon is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Daniel M. Mahoney Jr. | Executive | Board Member
Dan Mahoney is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience in the semiconductor and solid state storage industries. Early in his career he held a series of increasingly responsible marketing and sales management positions at Fairchild, National, Cypress and Hitachi Semiconductor. Between 2002 and 2012, he served as the CEO of Renesas Electronics America (comprised of the semiconductor businesses of Hitachi, Mitsubishi and NEC). In 2012 Dan became CEO of Fastor Systems, an innovative Solid State Drive (SSD) start-up. He led fund raising, the development of the company’s NVMe SSD and the sale of the company to SMART High Reliability Solutions, LLC in 2015, where he remained through 2016. Dan is Chairman of the Advisory Board of Gonzaga University’s School of Professional Studies in Spokane, WA. He is also an adjunct professor at Whitworth University’s Graduate School of Business in Spokane, WA. Dan is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY and served as an Army Officer for five years.
Richard Nickson | VP of Domestic Sales, Linear Technology, Inc. | Board Member
Richard is responsible for all sales for the North American market. With over 30 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, Mr. Nickson held various sales management positions at Linear Technology including European Sales Director and Northwest Area Sales Manager. From April 1991 to August 1993, he was President and Co-founder of Focus Technical Sales. From August 1983 to April 1991, he served with National in various positions where his most recent position was Vice President of North American Sales. Mr. Nickson was Founder and President of Micro-Tex, Inc. from June 1980 to August 1983. Richard received a B.S. in Mathematics from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1971.
David Sturtz | Advisory Board Member
David is currently the VP of Marketing and Business Development at XTime, a cloud-based CRM applications provider for the automotive industry. He has more than 20 years of entrepreneurial, strategic and analytical experience. Prior to XTime David founded and served as the CEO of RepairPal. For more than 4 years he built RepairPal around the “Kelley Blue Book for auto repair” concept, establishing it as the industry standard for automotive repair and service pricing, and winning several industry and consumer awards for both the website and mobile app. Prior to founding RepairPal, David ran a global-macro hedge fund and worked on Wall Street as a technology stock analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston, Prudential Securities and Volpe Brown Whelan. He’s also served as a strategic advisor to several technology, media, automotive and industrial companies. He holds a BA in Economic Geography from UC Berkeley and graduate degrees in Engineering and Political Economics from Stanford University.
Christian Schnyder| Owner/Principal
Owner and Principal Christian Schnyder has more than 30 years of experience as a design director and interior designer for world-renown hospitality, restaurant and high-end residential projects. Prior to Beleco, he served as a Principal designer at an award-winning Los Angeles design firm. His solid architectural roots, down-to-earth demeanor and passion for uniting people through design make him a truly effective leader and sought-after collaborator. Christian has an M.A. in Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and a B.A. in Architecture and Interior Design from his native country of Switzerland.
Scott Johnson | IALD, IIDA, LEED-AP| Principal, Brilliant Lighting Studio
With over 30 years of experience in all aspects of architectural design, lighting design, and design leadership, Scott directs and oversees fixture design at ALVA Lighting. Combining his background in theatre and production design, which have garnered Tony and Emmy nominations for his work on Broadway and television, he brings a uniquely creative sensibility to his designs. Scott has played a pivotal role in most every architectural project type including corporate, judicial, retail, theatre, hospitality, and entertainment. Brilliant Lighting Studio has won multiple Illuminating Engineering Society awards for architectural lighting.
Ryan Nolan | Art Director, Brilliant Lighting Studio
Ryan brings a blend of expertise to Brilliant that ranges from architectural and environmental graphics to product and fixture design. Collaborating with the ALVA team, Ryan contributes a dynamic voice to the process by incorporating a wide range of experience with backgrounds in high-rise residential, corporate campuses, mixed-use retail and theme-park design. These creative talents strengthen the team and helps to lead the design direction of the studio.
Michael Babb | Director of Engineering
Michael began designing with white LEDs as a student at Cal Poly Pomona shortly after their market introduction. Over the following 10 years, Michael established himself as a leading expert in the development of complete LED lighting systems. Michael has worked with several leading lighting companies as an independent consultant as well as working with Electro-Tech, a contract manufacturer in Corona, CA. As Director of Engineering, Michael is responsible for all electronic design for ALVA’s products. Outside of work, Michael is an avid outdoorsman when he’s not spending time with his daughter.
Daniel Cook, Ph.D. | Thermal Performance Analyst
Properly managing the heat dissipation of LEDs in the subsystem is critical to both the performance and longevity of the light fixture. Dr. Cook leads ALVA’s thermal management analysis and draws upon his vast experience in thermal analysis and aluminum characterization. Dan has held several academic positions including Director of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Entertainment and Design Program and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University. Additionally, Dan was a Senior Research Engineer for Reynolds Aluminum for 5 years. Dan was awarded a M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Heather Dutton | Lead Pattern Designer
Heather Dutton is an imaginative designer with a passion for pattern and color. After enjoying a successful career in the fashion industry, she took her knowledge and experience and launched her own surface design company in 2000 under the name of Hang Tight Studio. Heather’s diverse style bridges the gap between retro and contemporary design. Her designs can be seen on a variety of licensed products in the US & Europe including fabrics, wall coverings, stationary and more. Since launching Hang Tight Studio, Heather’s been fortunate to work with a list of exceptional companies including Pottery Barn, Smith & Hawken, Tupperware, O.R.E. and Real Simple. She’s proud to partner with ALVA, bringing together innovative surface designs with cutting edge LED lighting technology.
Maura Parente | Product Design
Maura is an innovative designer with an innate talent of creating designs that are elegant in their simplicity. Maura leads ALVA’s industrial design program and leverages her many years of design experience to develop clean, modern luminaires. Maura holds a BA from the University of Vermont and a Masters in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute.