Mr. Haris Basit, CEO
On July 10, 2015, Mr. Basit was appointed CEO of the Company and a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Basit co-founded Almaden Energy Group (AEG), LLC which partners with VIASPACE to grow Giant King Grass in the USA for animal feed. Since 2012, Mr. Basit has been providing Corporate Strategy Consulting to senior executives of publicly traded companies to help identify new growth opportunities and partnerships. Mr. Basit currently serves on a technical advisory committee to UNOS, a private, non-profit organization that manages the nation's organ transplant system. He was a consultant to Liebman and Associates, the premier clean energy lobbying firm in Washington, DC. He has provided entrepreneurship mentoring for University of California Berkeley MBA students. He started his career as a Staff Engineer at IBM moving on to became a Manager at Rockwell International, a Manager at Bell Labs, Vice President of Business Development for OEA International and then Founder/CEO of both Multigig, Inc. and Mobius Power, LLC. Mr. Basit received his MSEE from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1986. He also earned a BSEE from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1984.
Dr. Carl Kukkonen: CTO, Co-Founder
From its founding in 1998 Dr. Carl Kukkonen has led the VIASPACE team, serving as CEO of ViaSpace Technologies LLC, the predecessor of VIASPACE Inc., and serving as CEO from its formation through July 9, 2015. On July 10, 2015, Dr. Kukkonen became Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Company. ViaSpace Technologies incubated several companies based on technologies developed at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and patents and software licensed from Caltech.
Prior to founding VIASPACE Dr. Kukkonen was a Caltech employee, serving as Director of the Center for Space Microelectronics Technology (CSMT) and Manager of Supercomputing at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. At JPL from 1984 to 1998 he managed several technologies and technical subsidiaries. Dr. Kukkonen established and grew the CSMT into a 250-person operation with a $70M annual budget.
From 1977 to 1984 Dr. Kukkonen worked for the Ford Motor Company as Ford's leading expert on hydrogen as an alternative automotive fuel. As a Principal Research Engineer, he also led a team that developed Ford's first turbocharged intercooled direct injection diesel engine. Dr. Kukkonen received a BS in physics from the University of California at Davis. He earned a MS and Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University and was a post-doctoral fellow at Purdue. In 1992 Dr. Kukkonen was awarded the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal.
Stephen J. Muzi: CFO and Treasurer
Mr. Stephen J. Muzi is responsible for all accounting, financial reporting, treasury and budgeting activities. He is also responsible for ensuring that proper internal financial controls exist and that procedures are in place to safeguard company assets. Mr. Muzi joined VIASPACE in 2000.
Prior to joining VIASPACE, Mr. Muzi was Corporate Controller of Southwest Water Company, a NASDAQ company with revenues in excess of $100 million. In this position, he was responsible for all SEC reporting requirements as well as Board of Director reporting. He managed the company's line of credit banking relationships, risk management program, internal audit program and income tax requirements. He also made presentations to investment brokers and analysts. Mr. Muzi was with Southwest Water Company from 1988 to 2000.
From 1985 to 1987, Mr. Muzi was a senior auditor with BDO Seidman, a national CPA firm. Mr. Muzi received his BS degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a Certified Public Accountant.