Meet the Team

SafetySpect has assembled a blue chip team of executives and advisors that have a deep understanding of how to deploy the SafetySpect service throughout the world. The SafetySpect founders have brought together recognized members of the science community, government regulators, the business community and food / agriculture industries. All have proven successes in their respective fields of expertise.

 Operational Team

President & CEO

Kenneth Barton

Mr. Kenneth Barton has over 20 years of experience as a seasoned business development professional in the technology sector, specializing in growing new companies from concept to inception. Through his creation of formal business relationships with both domestic and International business partners, Ken has grown start-up companies to over $40 million in enterprise value while driving business development as a platform to dramatically increase shareholder appreciation.  These partnerships include Symantec Corporation, USPS and international government agencies and ministries. Mr. Barton has initiated agreements with ministry level organizations forming branding and joint venture relationships around the world such as the Universal Postal Union, a U.N. organization. Mr. Barton has also secured domestic communication services contracts through multi-national corporations and Federal agencies including the GAO (General Accountability Office), the United States Postal Service (USPS), AT&T, Sprint, Qwest, Accenture and other system integrators and defense contractors. Mr. Barton has a B.S. in Economics from the University of Maryland and holds a J.D.

Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Fartash Vasefi

For more than ten years, Dr. Vasefi’s academic and industrial work has ranged from basic fundamental research in electrical and optical engineering to translational cancer diagnostics applications. In particular, Dr. Vasefi is interested in commercially adoptable technologies that use innovative optical imaging systems, image processing algorithms, and integrated micrometer and nanometer scale optical devices in biological sensing and imaging systems. Dr. Vasefi received his doctorate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Simon Fraser University, Canada. His publications include conference papers (60), journal articles (20) and U.S. patent applications (4). During the doctoral and postdoctoral trainings, he has received a number of international and Canadian awards from SPIE, Canadian Institute of Health Research, and Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems institutions. As CTO at SafetySpect, Dr. Vasefi manages the coordination of internal personnel, contract manufacturers, academic collaborators, software developers, and strategic partners to bring a new medical device to market under quality system requirements.

Chief Financial Officer

Thomas Burke

Mr. Burke has spent the majority of his career in investment banking and principal finance with Lehman Brothers (11 years), Dresdner Kleinwort (3 years) and Wachovia/Wells Fargo (3 years). Over his career, he has executed more than $20 billion of public and private debt and equity transactions. Mr. Burke has substantial management and corporate finance experience.He has a wide range of experience and has completed numerous public and private transactions in industries as diverse as property, infrastructure, entertainment, theme parks, waste management and regulated utilities. Mr. Burke has sat on the board of large portfolio companies as a director or board observer in connection with mezzanine debt / preferred equity and/or equity principal investments in companies such as Odeon Cinemas (Europe’s then largest cinema chain) and Pubmaster Group (a £1.2bn / $2.0bn, 3,100 pub UK company). In connection with these investments, Mr. Burke exercised board level responsibilities for overall company and financing strategy, follow-on company acquisitions, the integration of acquisitions and developing exit strategies. He holds an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and an MBA in finance from Columbia University.


David Carroll

Mr. Carroll brings experience gained while serving as a CPA
in the Big 4 Los Angeles practices of Deloitte and EY. His experience includes being entrusted on highly sensitive clients including audits spanning the aerospace and manufacturing sectors including GM-Hughes, Boeing-Rockwell, and Nissan, and attest/acquisition/litigation services, including KKR, Penn Central, and specialized NYSE level engagements. Mr. Carroll has performed contract compliance services for DARPA, DoE, DoD, DoC, Treasury, State agencies, and multinational tax authorities, and will lead SafetySpect’s accounting and DCAA level government contract compliance. Mr. Carroll has served on several elected boards, including the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce, and appointments to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation Golden Strike Partnership, and the Special Resources Council of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Mr. Carroll holds a BBA degree in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and an MBT degree from the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California.

Optical Designer

Li Kang

Ms. Li Kang got her master’s degree in Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. After that, she worked as an optical engineer in China Institute of Atomic Energy, Spectral Molecular Imaging Inc., and SafetySpect Inc. She has extensive experience in optical system design and finished the development of several optical systems, such as multimode spectral Imaging Spectrometer Systems for SafetySpect Inc.

EVP Software Development

Stanislav Sokolov

Mr. Sokolov is leading our systems integration between optical design, electronic design, and image acquisition and processing elements.  His background includes building and architecting several commercially successful high performance, fault tolerate and redundant scalable enterprise grade systems.  His experience in artificial intelligence, neuronets (neural networks), and data structures, will be of direct use in SafetySpect’s implementing proprietary data processing algorithms for digital signatures at a molecular level of analyzed food, and Blockchain integration and data harvesting through machine learning. Mr. Sokolov will also lead the device user interface and user experience programming.  Mr. Sokolov holds a both an MS and BS in Computer Science from MSMU (Moscow State Mining University).

Advisor Team

Nicholas Mackinnon

Nick’s background includes over 30 years in development of clinical and research medical devices, working with the BC Cancer Agency and with several medical device and instrument companies. He has worked to help commercialize hyperspectral imaging systems for early cancer diagnosis and has invented and commercialized a spectrally programmable illumination system. He has an extensive background in translating clinical research devices into commercialization from both a theoretical and practical view and has many patents and publications. Nick was a founder of Vancouver-based LED Medical Diagnostics and one of the inventors of its highly successful product, the VELscope, which has now screened millions of patients for oral cancer. A founder of eTreatMD, a mobile medical apps company addressing chronic diseases, Nick has also developed cell phone based imaging systems for accurately measuring the dimensions of human anatomy and has commercialized this technology in Android and IOs mobile device apps integrated with cloud deployed image analysis systems meeting FDA requirements.

Vance Hilderman

CEO of Afuzion Inc, a safety-critical consultancy providing advanced consulting services in software and systems development including Training, Mentoring, and Outsourcing.  Primary focus is safety-critical aviation and automotive (DO-178C, ISO 26262, DO-254, DO-278A, DO-200B, DO-330, DO-331, DO-332, DO-297, and ARP4754A and ARP4761A) software and hardware development & certification.  UAV and TSO C199 experience. Managed sales teams with $20M sales annually. Ample experience as expert witness for aviation, including avionics expert witness, automotive software expert witness, software design and software code expert witness, and aviation valuation expert witness. Co-Founder (and CEO from inception through successful sale ten years later) in 1990 of TekSci, which became the world’s largest safety-critical consultancy with over 140 full-time engineers; sold to Enea in 2000 for 8 figures.  Founder in 2005 of HighRely Inc, with continued specialization in safety-critical aviation, transportation, and strategic software & hardware consulting. I initiated the sale of HighRely to Atego in 2011.  Controlled 51% of HighRely’s voting stock from my inception through successful sale for 7 figures. Since 1995, author of many software/hardware articles published worldwide.  Principal author of the world’s best-selling book on avionics development titled “Avionics Certification – A Complete Guide to DO-178 & DO-254” (all royalties go to charity).  Developed DO-178B and DO-254 training starting in 1993 which I personally provided to over 10,000 persons from 500+ companies throughout the world between 1995 and 2016. Lecturer/teacher also in ISO 26262, DO-178C, DO-278A, DO-200A, ARP-4761 and ARP-4754A.  As a former president of Toastmasters International of Seattle and current ToastMaster in Southern California and Manhattan, very strong public speaking skills and often asked to keynote speeches at technical venues throughout the world.

Lieutenant General (ret) Joseph E. Martz

Lieutenant General (ret) Joseph Martz is currently the President and CEO for Martz & Associates Consulting, LLC. In October of 2014, he completed 40 years in the U.S. Army. Joe hails from Pennsylvania and was commissioned in 1979 as an Armor/Cavalry officer from the United States Military Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree and three Master’s degrees in the Administration of Higher Education, Operational Planning and Strategic Planning. He served in Army units in Germany, the United States, the Republic of Korea and Southwest Asia. His command and staff assignments through 2007 were in Armor/Cavalry units, leader development, strategic mobility / prepositioned equipment strategy, training development, and change management.
He is the only Army General Officer in a generation to have served successively in the Requirements, Programming (fiscal strategy) and Budget processes. At the Army Capabilities Integration Center, he led Concepts Development, Experimentation and Requirements Integration. As the Director, Program Analysis and Evaluation (PA&E), he annually developed the ~$1T Army Future Years Defense Plan. Finally, as the Military Deputy for Budget to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management and Comptroller, he was responsible for planning and executing the annual Army Budget (~$200B) from 2012-2014.
Joe serves on the Advisory Board for American Corporate Partners, a not for profit company providing corporate mentorship for transitioning service members.

The MATCH Foundation Representative

Dr. David Paschane

Dr. Paschane is a Human Scientist (Subject Matter Expert) in applied methods of analytic and strategic improvements to performance and capability. With 25 years of experience and over 30 notable projects, his analytic consultation has helped organizational leaders identify and adopt successful improvements in workforce development, workflow automation, performance accountability, and decision effectiveness. His analytic methods incorporate expertise in data use and governance, solution architecture and business translation, and human psychology and organizational behavior. Throughout projects, he pursues rapid understanding and execution, and integration with policy-making, organizational communication, and business-case transparency. Dr. Paschane has provided analytic and data use advisement in nearly every sector, and has published on a broad range of relevant risk and design issues. He is adaptive in methodological approaches to enhance executive and employee participation and reduce risks and errors. His methods include advanced quantitative and technologically-enhanced analyses, and reliable qualitative analyses in the form of participant observation, confidential and ethnographic interviews, walk-through observations, and ground-truth verification of cause-effect pathways. His background in marketing, human performance and risk counseling enhances his ability to design feasible analytic methods. Dr. Paschane is actively engaged in monitoring, reviewing, and responding to national public policy issues and Federal management responses in the form of initiatives, policies, briefings, and innovations. He organizes data and analyses in support of Federal improvement strategies. He has been an advisor to Congressional offices, to leaders in nearly all the Federal departments, and to a variety of government-wide entities. He facilities performance and accountability development through an online leadership community, the Better Government International Forum.”

Martin Cleary

Mr. Cleary is a prominent, high profile health care/biotech industry executive with successful and productive experience in both established and early stage companies. He has a history of providing consistent, rapid and extraordinary financial return to investors. His background also includes broad-based general management accomplishments, and a proven track record for building successful organizations. He is widely recognized as a seasoned leader and among the strongest dealmaker and fundraiser in the industry. Since 1986, Mr. Cleary has raised over $500 million in equity and partnership funds. Mr. Cleary currently serves as Chairman of Fish Nature, Inc. a company developing high tech products for the sport fishing industry. He is currently consulting to several companies.

Dr. Jiamiao Yang

Dr. Jiamiao Yang works as a postdoctoral scholar in Andrew and Peggy Cherng Department of Medical Engineering, California Institute of Technology. He got his Ph.D. degree in Beijing Institute of Technology, China. His main research interests focus on optical wavefront shaping, photoacoustic microscopy, optical measurement, and optical instrument researching. He has published more than 10 peer-reviewed articles in journals as the first author, including Nature Communications, Science Advances, Optica, Applied Physics Letters, and Optical Letters.

George Bouchaya

Chairman of the Interlink TMT board. Mr. Bouchaya is a technologist and a business development leader with a keen focus on sustainable growth strategies and monetization of innovative technologies. Mr. Bouchaya has 35 years of senior global leadership experience with Toshiba, sTec, Cisco, Western Digital, and Jazz Semiconductor. At Interlink, He is responsible for direct investments and M&A initiatives in Healthcare, Genomic analytics, IoT, Silicon Photonics, LiDAR, AI, VR, SaaS, Cloud & enterprise IT solutions. At Toshiba,

He served as a strategic advisor to the President of Toshiba’s Memory, Storage, & Semiconductor, a $14BN revenue company, and has also served as CTO of Toshiba (TAEC) America, where the strategic growth initiatives he pioneered ranged from a few million USD to tens of billions USD in size. During his tenure at Toshiba, he built an exceptional team that focuses on enabling new and emerging technologies in Non- Volatile Memories, SSD’s, Data Center Storage Solutions, IoT, Data Analytics, Cyber Security, and Strategic Investments. He created the first U.S.-based Toshiba Memory & Storage investment structure and enabled Toshiba Corp to become a key provider in IoT solutions. Prior to Toshiba, Mr. Bouchaya lead the innovations of many industry’s first from enterprise SSD’s, to 802.11a WiFi chipset, to the first fully integrated HDD controller in CMOS.

Eric Pender

Eric Pender (Creative Advisor)
20+ years of VFX experience. Feature films, commercials, themed entertainment, and VR. Deep knowledge of the process from start to finish. Avid python coder and lots of pipeline experience. I wear many hats depending on client needs: Supervisor, Lighter, Effects Artist and more. Software: Houdini, Maya, Nuke, Speedtree, Massive, Mari, Mudbox Supervising experience: Kia VR project at Timber | Universal Studios Transformers Commercial at Brewster Parsons | Argo at Method | RGH Ground Breaking Project | RGH True Golf Project | Public VFX Lincoln Commercial | Five Killers (Film) | GI Joe at Pac Title | Crowd Supervisor at CIS Hollywood for We are Marshal, Leatherheads, The Express. | The Flight of The Phoenix at Cafe FX.

Edward C. Reno III

Mr. Reno is a Partner at Forbes Tate Partners a bipartisan, full-service public affairs consultancy specializing in government relations, strategic communications, grassroots advocacy, mergers and acquisitions, business development, and fundraising. Previously, Mr. Reno was a Managing Director at Strathspey Crown, LLC and the company’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs. Strathspey Crown is a private equity firm focused on lifestyle healthcare and partners with board certified physician specialists to bring to market innovative technologies and services in the self-pay sector. Prior to Strathspey Crown, Mr. Reno was the Chief Government Affairs Officer for Allergan, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device company. Working at the direction of Allergan’s Chairman & CEO, and in collaboration with Allergan’s internal and external stakeholders, Mr. Reno was responsible for creating and executing the legislative and advocacy strategy for the company on policy issues related to drug approvals, marketplace-impacting laws and regulations, tax, trade, antitrust, and general business issues. Notably, Mr. Reno led the public policy and lobbying effort to defend the company from an unprecedented hostile takeover – an effort that resulted in the company’s market capitalization increasing by over $30 billion upon its sale in March 2014. Additionally, he successfully led the effort against congressional and state tax proposals, saving the company $5 billion by creating and leading a coalition of corporations, physicians and patients. Globally, Mr. Reno worked with the Chairman & CEO to develop and implement the company’s approach to government officials and regulators in key international markets, including China and Brazil. Mr. Reno also served as a senior counselor to former California Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pete Wilson. He started his career working for then-U.S. Senator Pete Wilson. In 2005, Mr. Reno was nominated by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and confirmed by the California State Senate, to a four-year term as a Commissioner of the California Boating and Waterways Commission. Mr. Reno sits on the board of GenNext, an organization working to overcome generational challenges in three areas: economic growth, education, and international security. Additionally, Mr. Reno served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Marathon, an executive board member of the Orange County Business Council, a board member of the Public Affairs Council, and a member of the John Wayne Orange County Alumni Chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Mr. Reno is a graduate of the University of Southern California and has attended executive training at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Brian Barnett

25+ years of leading teams, managing projects and/or innovating solutions in agriculture-food, other businesses, new ventures and international projects in 38 countries across Africa, Asia, Indian Subcontinent, Latin America, Middle East, USA• Identifying, evaluating and monitoring existing and potential portfolio companies • Leading / mentoring multi-cultural, vocational & generational teams • Launching / leading new products, services to accelerate growth Selected Assignments: Owner of 2 Oil & Gas service firms needed leadership to help run Cos. while developing new products for increasingly competitive market. Led 2 teams to develop new strategy & tactics for marketing, sales, operations, reporting systems. Result: after 4 yrs., one firm’s sales grew 168%, the other’s grew 192%
Venture Capital Fund had to quickly ramp-up Kazakstan operations in restrictive economic and legal system. By hiring, training, leading Kazak & US investment analysts, developing investment criteria & due diligence procedures, negotiating deal terms, etc., team successfully launched fund. Within 8 months, Fund’s Board of Directors approved 8 investments Privatization Team needed leadership in Kazakstan’s post-Soviet economic environment. By training, leading Kazak & Russian team members, team privatized / demonopolized food warehouses in 4 Western cities. Within 8 months, privatization documents prepared & auction dates set for 10 enterprises International Grain Company was receiving mediocre prices for a commodity by-product. Selling an estimated 70% of future production enabled company to strengthen market position and raise prices 200% over next 6 mos. New strategy earned firm additional $2MM+ per year