Materia is led by a focused, value-driven management team with strong backgrounds in science, applied R&D, product development, finance, and business development.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Chris joined Materia in February 2018 from SABIC where he served as Americas Director in the automotive business and Global Business Director for specialty blends and compounds, driving impressive business growth. During his service at E.I. Dupont De Nemours, Inc., he served in positions of increasing responsibility including automotive marketing manager, regional sales and marketing director and global initiatives director. In his most recent DuPont assignment, Chris led the transition for multiple divestitures of large, complex global businesses and the negotiations and implementation that maximized divestiture value.
Chris is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in chemical engineering. He completed research in polymer science and served as president of the Society of Plastics Engineers. Chris also completed the leadership program at Tuck and Wharton Business School and is a Six Sigma Green Belt.
Christopher J. Cruce
Vice President, Commercial Technology
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.
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.
Vice President, Operations
Neal brings to Materia over 25 years of experience in chemical process and manufacturing operations within the specialty chemicals and polymers industries. Neal has expertise in reaction chemistry, distillation and polymers where he held positions in technical and operations management roles. During his career, Neal has consistently demonstrated the ability to lead manufacturing sites to improved operating performance. Neal is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Biochemistry/Chemistry.
Nicole M. Powe
Nicole M. Powe joined Materia in October 2018 as the Company’s General Counsel. Prior to joining Materia, Ms. Powe served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Rentech, Inc., a publicly traded company in the wood processing industry. While at Rentech, Ms. Powe was involved with numerous public and private financings and acquisition transactions, including the initial public offering and merger of Rentech’s subsidiary Rentech Nitrogen Partners, L.P., a publicly traded nitrogen fertilizer manufacturer that was divested in 2016. Prior to joining Rentech, Ms. Powe practiced in the business and finance group of Hogan Lovells, and acted as Legal Advisor and Vice President, Wholesale Bank in the New York Branch of Standard Charted Bank, an international banking group headquartered in London. Prior to Standard Chartered Bank, Ms. Powe practiced in the Mergers and Acquisitions and Banking and Institutional Investing groups in the New York office of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, LLP.
Ms. Powe received a bachelor of business administration degree in finance from the University of Notre Dame in 1995 and graduated cum laude from Tulane Law School receiving a Juris Doctor degree in 1999.
Senior Generalist, Human Resources
Nikki Gatobu joined Materia in June 2017 as a Senior Human Resources Generalist and brings almost 20 years of experience as a practitioner to Materia.
Prior to joining Materia, Nikki made significant contributions in her diverse Human Resource roles at Sansum Clinic, ALS Oil & Gas, UTC Aerospace Systems, and Harsco Corporation. Nikki is a graduate of Oklahoma Wesleyan University with a B.B.A in Business Administration and Management.