Foundation Board Members



Angie L. Tymofichuk is a senior research and development expert with extensive experience in research, technology development, risk assessment, test and evaluation, program management, maintenance, strategic planning, and STEM workforce development. She is currently a consultant in technology-based economic development leveraging 24 years experience in assessing, developing, and commercializing technology with the Air Force. She specializes in research and development commercialization, business and economic development, sponsored research/grants with specific interest in dual use technologies, and her clientele spans industry, community, university, federal and state programs. She is the Military Liaison for the Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI) and recently served as Innovation lead on the survey of Utah’s carbon composites cluster, identifying, engaging and interviewing 58 of Utah’s composites industries. In her last USAF position, she was a member of the Senior Executive Service serving as the Director of Engineering and Technical Management, Air Force Sustainment Center (AFSC), Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. She was responsible for the development, implementation, and oversight of the Center’s technical policies, processes, databases, and goals/standards as well as the overall scientific and engineering expertise for the AFSC. Her technical workforce consisted of more than 4,500 science and engineering professionals spanning three states and covering diverse workload portfolios spanning aircraft structures and composites through software development. She has successfully led the development and implementation of numerous science and technology programs resulting in innovative research, testing and evaluation assessments, strategic directives, partnerships, teaming arrangements, and technology transitions/commercialization.

Deneiva Knight is Director of External of Affairs for Comcast, with more than 13 years of External Affairs experience. Deneiva joined the Comcast family in 2013. Most recently, Deneiva served as an External Affairs Manager for the Mountain West Region where she managed external communications and community investment strategies, supporting the region’s Influencer engagement program, Comcast Foundation grants, community relations, sponsorships, and signature events. Prior to joining Comcast, Deneiva held a Project and Contract Manager position with a defense aerospace company, where she worked for nearly 10 years and was promoted three times before leaving the Company to pursue a career as the Communications Director for the YMCA of Southern Arizona.  Her military career started just 3 days after graduating high school. She completed basic training in Fort Jackson, SC and went on to finish AIT at Fort Lee, VA. Deneiva is a Chamberwest Leadership Institute graduate, mentors as part of the L2L program, and Chairs the Mountain West Region BEN ERG. She has a B.A. in Business Administration and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Strategic Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, set to graduate in April 2020.

Brian is Vice President and K-12 Leader of MHTN Architects, a Utah based multi-disciplinary architectural firm.  MHTN specializes in the innovative design of University Student Unions and Student Life Centers, Higher Education, K-12 Schools, Health Care, Commercial and Municipal projects.  Genuinely passionate about designing ideal learning environments for K-12 students and educators, he is the only Accredited Learning Planner (ALEP) in the State of Utah.  Brian’s commitment to the practice of designing extraordinary school facilities and creating great spaces for both learning and teaching has helped him to create some the best schools throughout the region.  Recent schools include:  Logan High School Reinvention, New Bridge STEM Elementary School (Ogden), and Mount Jordan Middle School (Sandy).
“I am an explorer at heart.  I love exploring both the great outdoors and new cities.  I am most alive when exploring Utah’s back country with my family.  I am strongly driven by exploring educational environments that can improve learning places and support the way students learn and teachers teach.”
Eric Pope serves as vice president of operations at US Synthetic (USS), a leading provider of diamond solutions for the energy industry. Mr. Pope joined US Synthetic in 1990 as a machine operator, with a focus on processing diamond products. He has worked as a production manager, process engineer, and R&D engineer during his time at US Synthetic. In 2001, Mr. Pope worked as an onsite USS customer engineer at Halliburton. He later became the product manger over the USS diamond rock bit and percussion product lines, in 2004. Throughout his career, Mr. Pope has been a driving force behind US Synthetic’s move from a typical batch and queue manufacturing system to a world-class, Lean manufacturing facility. As part of senior leadership team since 2006, Mr. Pope has been instrumental in implementing Lean training and techniques at every level of the organization. These efforts helped the company received the world’s most prestigious award in 2011 for enterprise excellence, The Shingo Prize. Under Pope’s leadership, the company maintains a strong focus on empowering employees and encouraging continuous improvement. This focus helped the company implement more than 32,000 employee-sponsored improvements in 2011. As a result, product innovation has increased and USS customers have been better served with improved delivery times, decreased inventory, and superior quality and performance. Lean improvements have allowed US Synthetic to grow at 23 percent annually since beginning the journey in 2005. Mr. Pope holds a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in mechanical engineering and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Brigham Young University.
Mark Ripke, Chief Engineer for Boeing Salt Lake since 2013. In this role, Mark leads the Engineering organization of approximately 100 employees consisting of managers, engineers, and technicians with a strong focus on Producibility. Statement of work for the team is supporting the fabrication/assembly of composite/metallic aircraft end items across all Boeing Commercial models through aligned design and build. Mark began his career with The Boeing Company in 1998. He has held leadership positions in Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities Maintenance, Information Technology, and Engineering. Prior to Boeing, Mark held leadership and technical roles with the Department of Defense and Westinghouse, which focused on design, metallurgical, non-destructive test, equipment, and tool engineering disciplines. He is a graduate of Weber State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology. In addition, he holds several degrees from the USAF Air University and Community College of the Air Force. In addition to the Utah STEM Foundation, Mark serves on the Utah Board of Education Engineering and Technology Advisory Board, Utah Technology Initiative Advisory Board, and the College of Engineering Industrial Advisory Boards for the University of Utah, Utah State University, and Weber State University
Brad currently serves as the Government and Public Affairs Manager at Andeavor for the Rocky Mountain Region. In this role, he is responsible for outreach with stakeholders, including public policy makers and community leaders in a four state region consisting of Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado. He has a vast experience in natural resource and energy issues/public policy honed by working with a wide array of stakeholders and interest groups while in the employ of former US Senator Bob Bennett for more than 13 years. Brad holds an MBA from the University of Utah and bachelor’s degrees from Brigham Young University. In addition to his family, Brad is passionate about baseball, waterskiing and STEM education.
Joseph is currently a Vice-President at Goldman Sachs covering TMT; Real Estate, Gaming & Lodging; and Structured Finance. Previously he worked at Standard & Poor’s where he covered approximately $144 billion in debt spanning all sectors, grades, strategies and regions. He has also held roles in equity research and investment banking at J.P. Morgan and in corporate treasury at The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation with broad analytical, managerial and client relationship responsibilities. Prior to entering the financial sector, Joseph worked at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP within the intellectual property law group, where he translated patents and other legal documents from Japanese into English. Before his time at Stroock, he worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a member of the prestigious NASA Academy in Greenbelt, Maryland. Joseph serves as board member and CFO for the Summit Institute at Powder Mountain in Eden, Utah – a select gathering of best-in-class tech executives, entrepreneurs, investors and artists focused on applying creative solutions to real-world challenges related to the environment, education, the arts, health and social innovation.  This role provides for privileged access to a broad spectrum of established, mid-range, and start-up tech companies across every vertical as well as heads of state and senior government representatives.  He is Co-Founder of We Are Makers – an organization designed to enhance tech related job, entrepreneurial and educational opportunities for veterans, refugees and other underrepresented communities.  Since its inception in 2015, Joseph has led the organization to achieve many milestones, such as reaching over 2000 youth; training 30 adults in web development and computer repair, and inspiring 200+ volunteers from local universities and tech companies to participate.  In addition he teaches courses in Electronics, Artificial Intelligence, Game Design, as well as Web and App development for the We Are Makers Joseph has an MBA from Columbia Business School (dean’s list) and bachelors in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Physics and Pre-Med studies from Howard University (magna cum laude). He holds diplomas in yoga therapy & teaching from the secular Indian Institute of Yoga based in Patna, India and has a second degree black-belt in Japanese Swordsmanship from Ehime Prefecture, Japan.
I am passionate about education and the STEM foundation because I believe education fuels equality. Pursuing opportunity for all is everyone’s responsibility! Since 2015, Cari Vande Veegaete has served as the HR Director for Intermountain Medical Group. For the last 18 years, and prior to joining the Medical Group, Cari has held various HR positions with Intermountain Healthcare including LDS Hospital, Intermountain Medical Center and Select Health. She is an active member of Intermountain Healthcare’s Diversity Council where the purpose is to create an environment where cultural competence enlightens workforce development and patient care improvements and is inclusive of a diverse workforce and community. Cari received her BA in Human Resource Management from Westminster College and her MA in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. She is affiliated with the Society for Human Resource Management. Cari has previously held positions as President, President-elect and board member for the Utah Society for Human Resource Management. Cari lives in South Jordan with her husband, son and two daughters. She enjoys spending time outdoors – camping, rafting, biking, skiing – and just hanging out with family.
Brian is a 30-year veteran of Intel Corporation and IM Flash Technologies LLC., a joint venture formed by Intel and Micron Technology Inc. to manufacture world-class memory products. He is currently the Director of Public Affairs and has held numerous management positions in Manufacturing, HR and Program Management. He has managed teams internationally in Costa Rica, Malaysia and Ireland. Brian represents IM Flash on multiple STEM secondary and higher educational industry advisory boards throughout Utah. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
Michael Grooms is a Senior Finance manager at Carbonite partnering with executive staff on corporate planning and analysis.  Michael cares about people and data and leverages both to help drive better business decisions.  He cares about helping kids and adults in the community and partners with different organizations to make a difference. In his spare time, Michael enjoys fishing, cooking, playing board games with his family and traveling with his wife, Niki.
Jason Maestri is the Team Lead for the Embedded Systems Team at Lockheed Martin Procerus Technologies. In this capacity, Mr. Maestri is responsible for managing the firmware development and hardware integration for the Kestrel 3 and 4 autopilots, as well as for the suite of avionics that supports them. With nearly twenty years’ experience developing embedded software, Mr. Maestri brings considerable knowledge and capability to the Lockheed Martin team. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Mr. Maestri was a Principal Software Engineer at Solera Networks. He led the team responsible for developing tools to extract and analyze embedded information in real time from high-bandwidth network traffic. During his time at Solera Networks, Mr. Maestri also advanced their hardware platform from a proof-ofconcept to an enterprise class system. During the two decades Mr. Maestri has been working in the embedded field, he has developed cutting edge software and solutions for satellites, network firewalls, parental controls, medical and communications equipment, and others. He is at his best when unifying teams, solving difficult problems, and pushing the boundaries of the current state of the art. As a father of five, Mr. Maestri is passionate about introducing children to technology and empowering them to learn. This is especially true of non-traditional students and students with disabilities. One of his greatest joys in life is helping youth to realize can accomplish anything they put their minds to. Mr. Maestri studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at Utah State University and is currently a participant in Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technical Leadership Program.