Materia is led by a focused, value-driven management team with strong backgrounds in science, applied R&D, product development, finance, and business development.
Mr. Nitin Apte
President and Chief Executive Officer
Nitin Apte joined Materia in 2016 as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Nitin graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering and also holds M.S. and MBA degrees from the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
Prior to Materia, Nitin worked for over 25 years in global assignments spanning P&L Leadership, Marketing, Innovation, Supply Chain, Six Sigma, Manufacturing and Product Management. He joins Materia from SABIC, among the world’s largest petrochemical manufacturers, where he led the High Performance Products division as General Manager. Previously, Nitin led Strategic Growth and Innovation for SABIC’s plastics business unit and managed its Specialty Resins division. He also held key leadership positions at GE Plastics before its acquisition by SABIC.
Dr. Mark S. Trimmer
Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer
Mark Trimmer joined Materia in 1999. Mark is responsible for the Company’s research and development activities, and oversees the generation, development, and management of Materia’s intellectual property as well as catalyst production activities. Mark received his B.S. from Penn State in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech in 1989.
Prior to Materia, Mark spent eleven years in R&D management at Maxdem, an entrepreneurial startup company, where he was involved with the development of a new class of high performance thermoplastics and their corresponding markets, applications, and products. He has numerous publications and patents in these technical areas.
Mr. Christopher J. Cruce
Vice President, Product Development
Chris Cruce is a co-founder of Materia and is responsible for developing new products and formulations based on Materia’s Proxima® resin technology.
Prior to joining Materia, Chris founded a company which designs, manufactures, and markets injection molded products. He has extensive experience in the fields of product development, mold design and holds several design and utility patents for novel injection molded parts.
Mr. Todd R. H. Najera
Chief Financial Officer
Todd Najera joined Materia in 2012. Todd is responsible for the finance & accounting operations and corporate development activities of the company. He also oversees administrative functions, including communications, legal, human resources, regulatory and EH&S, and facilities. Todd received his A.B. degree from Harvard University in 1993.
Before joining the company, Todd was an investment banker for over 16 years. His transaction experience includes buy-side and sell-side M&A advisory and debt and equity financings including initial public offerings, follow-on offerings, high yield debt, equity-linked securities and credit facilities. He has advised companies across a broad range of industries including manufacturing, telecommunications, entertainment, satellite, gaming, retail, and energy throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
Prior to Materia, Todd most recently worked for Standard Chartered Bank in London, where he was global co-head of the Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance team. Previously, he worked for Morgan Stanley with their leveraged & acquisition finance and financial sponsor coverage teams in London and Hong Kong. Prior to that, he worked for Credit Suisse First Boston in London, and before its acquisition by CSFB, for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in Los Angeles, Hong Kong and London.
Mr. Cliff Post
Vice President, Sales & Business Development
Cliff Post joined Materia in 2015. Cliff is responsible for the Company’s sales and business development activities and oversees Materia’s focus on customer relationships and market channel partnerships. He also oversees process technology and the Company’s resin production activities. Cliff received his B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an Executive MBA Short Course with TOTAL, SA. He holds 5 patents and has 7 journal publications.
Prior to Materia, Cliff held positions as VP of Operations, Director of R&D at Praxair and General Manager of Rodgard, a polymer solutions and composites division of TOTAL, SA. Over a 10 year span, he led sales growth by a multiple of 40X to over $100 million as a result of strong focus on innovation and new product development. Rodgard developed over 100 new products during this period, including a self-sealing, composite fuel tank product line which won the corporate Presidential Award for technology innovation.
Dr. Richard L. Pederson
Vice President, Research & Development
Dick Pederson joined Materia in 2000. Dick is responsible for developing economical metathesis-based processes, including processes addressing surfactants, bio-rational agricultural products, high renewable content products, and polyamide opportunities. Dick received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 1990, from Professor Chi-Huey Wong.
Prior to Materia, Dick started TillieChem Inc., to use ruthenium olefin metathesis to produce insect pheromones for the bio-rational pest control market. He sold TillieChem’s insect pheromone intellectual property to Materia in 2000. Previously, he joined Bend Research, where in 1997, he and Professor Robert H. Grubbs, patented the synthesis of insect pheromones using ruthenium metathesis.
Dick is an inventor of the alkenolysis technology used in Elevance’s biorefinery plants in Indonesia, United States, and Malaysia. Dick has spent the last twenty four years in entrepreneurial-minded technology companies; the last 18 years using olefin metathesis. He is an inventor on 25 issued patents and the author of 3 book chapters on the commercialization of ruthenium olefin metathesis processes.
Dr. Michael A. Giardello
Co-Founder and Senior Advisor
Mike Giardello co-founded Materia in 1998 and serves as Senior Advisor to the Company. Mike has served as President, CEO and CTO of the Company from 1999 to 2015. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University and was a post-doctoral fellow with Professor Robert H. Grubbs at Caltech.
Prior to co-founding Materia, Mike worked for several start-ups including Maxdem (acquired by Solvay) and Cyrano Sciences (acquired by Smith). He also provided technology diligence and operations consulting services to a number of development stage companies and venture capital firms.
Mike is also the co-founder and Chairman of Innovate Pasadena, a Director of the Caltech Student Investment Fund, a member of the Advisory Board of the Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative and The Design Accelerator, and was the Vice Chairman of the Pasadena Economic Development Task Force.