Board of Directors

The AMBayArea Board of Directors is comprised of executives from a variety of manufacturing industries, sub-regions, and non-manufacturing support organizations who are dedicated to ensure the Bay Area is a leader in the industry.

Karen Burns

Karen Burns

Assurance Partner, Sensiba San Filippo LLP – Pleasanton
Interim Chair

Karen Burns, CPA, is an Assurance Partner with Sensiba San Filippo LLP, a leading regional CPA and business advisory firm. She has nearly 30 years of experience providing financial and business consulting services to companies in a variety of industries, with a particular passion for the manufacturing and food and beverage sectors. She has great depth of experience working with rapidly growing manufacturing companies, from start-ups to multigenerational family businesses, helping them to identify opportunities, challenges, and trends. Burns also founded the East Bay Manufacturing Group in 2011 (which later merged to become AMBayArea).
Gene Russell

Gene Russell

President and CEO, The Corporation for Manufacturing Excellence – San Ramon
Secretary

Gene Russell is President and CEO of Manex and has over 30 years of senior executive strategic planning, operational management, and consulting experience in the manufacturing and technology sector. With his extensive knowledge of manufacturing operations, he has developed and implemented key strategic initiatives for companies, allowing them to improve performance and achieve profitable growth. He has a strong background in sales and business development and a keen understanding of manufacturing strategies in the global environment.

Stephen Tessler

Stephen Tessler

Executive Vice President and Director of Sales, California Bank of Commerce – Oakland
Treasurer

Stephen Tessler is an Executive Vice President and Director of Sales, California Bank of Commerce, a leading regional bank. Tessler has more than twenty-five years of banking experience and ten years of public accounting experience.

Jose Carrascal

Jose Carrascal

Director of Operations, Thermo Fisher Scientific – Bay Area
Board Member

Jose Carrascal is the Director of Operations for Thermo Fisher Scientific. Carrascal has served on AMBayArea’s board since 2017. He has more than 20 years of experience in plant operations, supply chain, environmental health and safety, and asset management. Most recently, he was the Site Director for Corteva Agriscience in Pittsburg. Carrascal is also a board member for the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County, and on the Earn and Learn East Bay Steering Committee.

Colin Christian

Colin Christian

Vice President of Operations, Southwire – Livermore
Board Member

Colin Christian is the Vice President of Operations for Construction Electrical Products, a Southwire Company. He received his Master of Science in Manufacturing Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to Construction Electrical Products, Colin was Managing Director and CEO/Founder of MacArthur Engineering Pvt. Ltd and previously served as Director of Operations for Lex Products Corporation.

Eric Duoss, Ph.D.

Eric Duoss, Ph.D.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory – Livermore
Board Member

Dr. Eric B. Duoss is the Director of the Center for Engineered Materials and Manufacturing (CEMM) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), where he directs research activities and maps strategic directions in the areas of advanced materials and manufacturing. At LLNL, Dr. Duoss leads teams that invent novel materials and manufacturing technologies, with focus on creating designer architectures for chemical, mechanical, thermal, and functional properties for applications in the fields of defense, climate, transportation, energy, aerospace, human health, and others. Dr. Duoss has been awarded over 50 U.S. patents. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and dual B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics from St. Norbert College.

Pallavi Joyappa

Pallavi Joyappa

Chief Operating Officer, Emerald Packaging – Union City
Board Member

Pallavi Joyappa serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Emerald Packaging, one of the largest flexible packaging manufacturers on the West Coast and the largest supplier of produce packaging in the country. Joyappa joined Emerald Packaging in 2005 as a Process Control Engineer and has risen within the company, serving as Quality Control Manager and Director of Operations before becoming COO. Joyappa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Bangalore University and a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from University of Wisconsin-Stout. She is also a certified Six Sigma Black Belt (ASQ). As Emerald’s COO, Joyappa is responsible for top-line strategic initiatives as well as the optimization of the company’s daily operations.

Mark Martin

Mark Martin

Regional Director, Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development – Bay Area
Board Member

Mark Martin, Ph.D., is the Bay Area Regional Director for Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development for the California Community Colleges. Dr. Martin has more than 25 years of experience in manufacturing and engineering, including product development, manufacturing and design research, teaching and workforce development. 

Glen Ottinger

Glen Ottinger

President, ThermoFusion Inc. – Hayward
Board Member

Glen Ottinger is President of ThermoFusion Inc., a Hayward-based manufacturer that provides heating and brazing services. During his 12 years with ThermoFusion, Glen has managed everything from business development, operations, finances, materials engineering, quality assurance and sales. He received his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley – Walter A. Haas School of Business and his Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Penn State University.

Krishna Rajagopal

Krishna Rajagopal

LUSA Dynamics Inc., Dba Production Robotics – Hayward
Board Member

Krishna Rajagopal is a shareholder and board member for Production Robotics in Hayward. He is also the Chief Facilitator of Great Outcomes for Narish, a consulting company focused on harnessing the people resources within an organization. He is an entrepreneur, mentor, and guide who brings strong operational, sales, and systems expertise in building winning cultures and organizations. Prior to Narish, he was the Managing Partner and Owner of a manufacturing company in Illinois for over 15 years. Krishna serves on several boards and acts as an advisor and confidante to C-level executives in the Bay Area and the midwest. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, an MBA, and a Master’s degree in Information Systems Management.