Meet the team who’s Revolutionizing Technology Realization.
SkyWater is led by an accomplished group of semiconductor professionals experienced in technology development and volume manufacturing foundry services. This team is managing a Technology Foundry strategy around key capabilities, expertise, flexibility and quality for customers who value a forward thinking foundry partner.
Thomas Sonderman joined SkyWater in 2017 as the lead executive, driving the company’s successful business transformation from an IDM to a pure play foundry. He has effectively diversified SkyWater’s customer base by defining new product markets and target customers while simultaneously improving operational efficiencies. Mr. Sonderman has leveraged SkyWater as the only U.S.-based and U.S.-owned semiconductor foundry to expand the company’s government business and to focus on reinstating a strong commercial manufacturing presence in the U.S. He has built a world class leadership team that inspires 500 employees to deliver process R&D innovation and operational excellence.
Mr. Sonderman’s extensive industry experience in all aspects of fab operations has delivered market leadership and increased shareholder value to high-technology industry leaders Rudolph Technologies, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and AMD. Notably, he played a critical role serving as part of an executive team at AMD that spun-off manufacturing operations to form GLOBALFOUNDRIES.
A widely recognized subject matter expert, Mr. Sonderman is the author of 47 patents and a highly sought-after industry speaker. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri University of Science Technology and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from National Technological University.
Steve Manko utilizes his extensive finance background in working with his team to drive profitability and enhance the value of the organization. He achieves this by collaborating with other leaders in the company to understand their challenges and opportunities and develop a strategy for increased returns on investment.
Prior to joining SkyWater as CFO, Mr. Manko was managing director at Riveron Consulting where he led the Financial Advisory Services practice in Minneapolis. He and his team assisted companies through various change events such as acquisitions and internal process changes and optimizations. Previously, Mr. Manko was at Ernst & Young and specialized in the Banking & Capital Markets industries. He spent time in the Cleveland, Ohio and Honolulu, Hawaii offices, before moving with his family to the Twin Cities in 2015.
Mr. Manko holds a Master of Business Administration from The University of Akron and a Bachelor of Arts in accounting and business administration from Malone University. He is also a member of various accounting and finance committees and organizations.
Dr. Brad Ferguson
Dr. Brad Ferguson is focused on accelerating the growth of SkyWater’s advanced packaging technology, expanding the company’s value chain, and strengthening strategic U.S. government relationships in support of microelectronics manufacturing.
Previously, he served as chief technology officer, creating a strong foundation for this critical function. In this role, he was responsible for developing the company’s technology roadmap and IP strategy by identifying high growth markets for SkyWater’s Technology Foundry business. In addition, Dr. Ferguson was focused on leading SkyWater’s government relations efforts. Prior to this, he served as senior director of sales in the custom foundry line of business at SkyWater and was also responsible for the government relations strategy.
Dr. Ferguson started his career in photolithography process development at Cypress Semiconductor. In 2008, he started up the Cypress custom foundry business to provide differentiated solutions to technology innovators. He also drove the accreditation process to achieve Trusted Foundry status and secured many defense customers, which launched the site’s entry into the aerospace and defense market, a key component of SkyWater’s market strategy.
Dr. Ferguson received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He also received a doctorate and Master of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
Amanda Daniel is responsible for driving all aspects of SkyWater’s human resource strategy and execution. Her strong background includes the creation of organizational development programs that are derived from a culture based on diversity, equity and inclusion. As CHRO, she leads talent acquisition and retention strategies that further enable the execution of SkyWater’s business growth objectives.
With more than 20 years of experience in the high-tech manufacturing space, Ms. Daniel has gained critical knowledge leading high performance global HR teams. Prior to joining SkyWater, she served as senior vice president and CHRO at MTS Systems Corporation, a global supplier of test systems and industrial position sensors. Her previous roles include vice president of human resources at Twin City Fan Companies, Ltd., Equus Holdings, Inc., and Stratasys, Ltd.
Ms. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in applied psychology from St. Cloud State University and a Master of Arts degree in human resources and organizational development from the University of St. Thomas.
Jason Stokes is focused on leading SkyWater’s legal and compliance function to enable and support the company’s strategic growth initiatives while protecting its interests and reputation. His leadership experience in complex enterprises and high-growth environments drives an effective and efficient legal services value chain informed by a deep understanding of the company’s business, strategies, opportunities and risks.
Prior to joining SkyWater, Mr. Stokes served in a series of positions at Pentair plc beginning in 2011, including most recently as its vice president, corporate law and chief compliance officer leading a global team responsible for corporate law, M&A, legal operations and compliance and ethics. Over his 20+ year legal career, he has advised businesses, boards of directors and leadership teams on matters across the substantive legal and compliance spectrum in technology, medical device, manufacturing, services, consumer, logistics and agriculture industries.
Mr. Stokes is a U.S. Navy veteran, having served with the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University.
Mark Litecky is focused on building and aligning revenue generating teams to meet the needs of targeted markets, further expand SkyWater’s diversified customer relationships, and drive profitable and predictable growth for the company. Mr. Litecky’s 30+ years of industry expertise includes: building out revenue teams, sales, marketing, revenue generation, strategic partnerships and business development. He has leadership skills in corporate strategy, organizational structure, technology development, new product roadmaps, engineering, operations, acquisitions, company integrations and IPOs.
Prior to SkyWater, Mr. Litecky served as sales & marketing vice president with GCM, a provider of product design and manufacturing serving medical, aerospace and industrial markets. Previously, he held various executive leadership positions. With Interlink, he worked on transitioning the company from a component supplier to a sensor systems solutions partner. Mr. Litecky served with Soligie (Molex), a leader in printed and flexible hybrid electronics, and with August Technology (Rudolph Technologies), a provider of automated visual inspection equipment used in manufacturing semiconductors, optoelectronics and data storage. He started his career at Rosemount Inc. (Emerson) in industrial process controls and sensors.
Mr. Litecky holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Steven Kosier
Dr. Steven Kosier is responsible for forming and managing strategic technology partnerships and alliances, developing the company’s technology roadmap and IP strategy, and growing the value of the company’s technology portfolio.
His background includes 25 years of experience and successive growth in technical, marketing and business leadership positions. A founding member of PolarFab and Polar Semiconductor wafer foundries, he has developed and transferred to volume production many generations of analog, mixed-signal, and high-voltage technologies for automotive and industrial end markets. Most recently, Dr. Kosier was president at Kanomax FMT, a nanoparticle measurement instrumentation start-up with industry-leading resolution down to 2 nm.
Dr. Kosier is an adjunct professor of electrical engineering at Vanderbilt University, where his research interests include radiation effects on microelectronics and semiconductor device reliability physics.
He holds 12 U.S. patents and has authored or co-authored over 30 publications in the areas of radiation effects, high voltage and power devices, integrated magnetic sensors and nanoparticle measurement solutions.
Dr. Kosier holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Science degree and a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Arizona.
John Kent is responsible for leading SkyWater’s technical vision and strategy for developing technology roadmaps and design enablement capabilities and partnerships to facilitate successful silicon for SkyWater customers. His 40 plus years of experience in the semiconductor industry include demonstrated successes in technology development, operations and leadership positions.
Mr. Kent’s prior experience includes vice president of foundry IP; customer design enablement at GLOBALFOUNDRIES, executive level positions with KLA-Tencor in the Wafer Inspection Group, and technology development leadership positions at Rambus and AMIS (now ON Semiconductor). Previously, for more than two decades he held a variety of positions at IBM Microelectronics with responsibilities for the development of various technologies, including a focus on DRAM/embedded DRAM process development.
Mr. Kent holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Michigan State University.
John Spicer is responsible for delivering world-class levels of performance at SkyWater’s Minnesota and Florida wafer fabs, establishing an integrated value chain across both facilities that brings maximum value to the company’s customers. His expertise includes executing automated manufacturing systems/processes and operational excellence initiatives, while enhancing performance, improving quality, reducing costs, and generating sustainable revenue gains.
Mr. Spicer’s decades of semiconductor manufacturing experience include serving with ON Semiconductor, AMI Semiconductor and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). Most recently, he served as ON Semiconductor’s vice president of global fab operations. In this role, he managed six factories worldwide driving a significant increase in overall wafer fabrication capacity including the successful integration of two acquired fab operations (AMI and Fairchild) into the company. Mr. Spicer previously served as the general manager of ON Semiconductor’s Pocatello, Idaho 200 mm wafer fabrication facility where he was responsible for directing operations and leading the site’s support functions.
Mr. Spicer holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Idaho State University. He has been serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the Bank of Idaho since 2012.
Srila LaRochelle is responsible for supporting SkyWater customers in the western region of the U.S. and aligning technology roadmaps with strategic customer requirements. She is also focused on new customer engagement in target markets to expand revenue and fab utilization. Ms. LaRochelle has more than 30 years of experience in the semiconductor industry.
Prior to joining SkyWater, she was the head of ASIC sales for North America at GLOBALFOUNDRIES (former IBM Microelectronics division). Previously, Ms. LaRochelle was AVP of business development at United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC). Throughout her career, she has held various management and individual contributor positions in marketing, business development and sales at SanDisk (now Western Digital), LSI Logic (now Avago Technologies), Hitachi America, Actel (now Microsemi) and Harris Semiconductor (now Renesas).
Ms. LaRochelle received a Master of Business Administration degree from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Central Florida.