Neil Senturia CEO
Neil Senturia, co-founder and CEO of Oberon Fuels, has a diverse entrepreneurial background in technology and real estate development. Neil has started five technology companies and turned around another. The companies have been sold to Cisco, Lockheed Martin, Kofax, and ViaSat.
Prior to his career in technology, Neil focused on real estate development of office, condominiums, and hotels in southern California and built more than 1.8 million square feet of space. Neil has also worked in the financial services industry, real estate syndication, and television, writing for shows such as M*A*S*H, Alice, and Tony Randall among others.
He has taught entrepreneurship in the MBA program at San Diego State University and currently teaches entrepreneurship at UC San Diego’s von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement in the Jacobs School of Engineering. He is a member of UCSD Chancellor’s Associates and is a past member of San Diego Social Venture Partners. He has received numerous honors including innovation awards from Microsoft, CONNECT’s Lifetime Contribution Award in Technology, and CONNECT‘s Most Innovative New Products Award.
Neil graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. degree in English and received a masters’ degree in cinema from New York University. He was a Fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles and served in the U.S. Army from which he received an honorable discharge.
Rebecca Boudreaux, Ph.D., President
Trained as a chemist, Dr. Boudreaux is an entrepreneurial, technology executive with a unique blend of technical skills and business development expertise. She has served on the management team or Board of Directors of various startup companies in the clean tech, life sciences, high tech, and non-profit sectors. Presently, she is the President of Oberon Fuels, a San Diego-based company making DME (dimethyl ether) as a cleaner, alternative to diesel. In her role at Oberon, Dr. Boudreaux leads governmental affairs including the state and federal regulatory processes for DME fuel certification and grant opportunities. Additionally, she leads the customer development and strategic partnering efforts with OEMs, trucking companies, and agricultural operations.
In 2004, Dr. Boudreaux co-founded Intezyne Technologies and served as CFO for four years and as a member of the company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Boudreaux has a broad range of academic and industrial experience, having performed research at MIT, Princeton University, University of Southern Mississippi, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and National Starch and Chemical. She earned a B.S. in Polymer Science (magna cum laude) from the University of Southern Mississippi and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.
Because of her work at the interface of technology and business, Dr. Boudreaux has given invited lectures at the University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts, University of California Santa Barbara, University of South Florida, ACORE, and Apple Inc.’s MacWorld Conference. She presently serves as a Board Member of UrbanPromise International, an organization working in Malawi, Honduras, Canada, and the US to develop leaders who will break the poverty cycle for individuals in under-resourced, urban communities. She is also a Board Member of the Startup Leadership Program, a non-profit, international organization focused on developing the next-generation of startup CEOs. Dr. Boudreaux has co-authored six peer-reviewed publications and is a co-inventor on eight patent applications.
Elliot Hicks is co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Oberon Fuels. He has worked in senior management positions in several technology startups covering a broad range of industries, including LEDs, solar cells, online media, and software consulting.
In addition to startup roles, Elliot worked for The Wiremold Company as a manufacturing engineer focused on lean production methods, and for the US Navy providing software and IT systems management.
As an undergrad, Elliot was a member of the MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team and raced in the 1994 Tour de Sol. As a co-founder of Quanlight, he worked on novel material systems for high performance red LEDs and full-spectrum solar cells. With a lifelong interest in resource efficiency, alternative energy, and transportation technology, he has a broad understanding of the energy technology space and a passion for bringing novel solutions to market.
Elliot holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a M.B.A. from San Diego State University.
Brittany Applestein Syz, VP of Business Development and General Counsel of Oberon Fuels
At Oberon Fuels, Brittany develops and maintains partner relationships, as well as assists with product strategy, marketing plans, and analysis to evaluate new business opportunities. She also manages all legal affairs of company, including employment, real estate, and all contract work and oversees outside counsel.
Prior to Oberon Fuels, Brittany practiced transactional law providing real estate and corporate legal services. She worked on transactions, ranging from the permitting and leasing of wind farms to refinancings of major development projects. During the dot.com boom, Brittany was an initial employee of two internet start-up companies. Her role was to design and build-out the internet products/projects.
She has served/serves on several boards, including the San Diego Leadership Alliance Board, the Mayor’s Livable Streets Coalition Advisory Committee, the Harvard Club of San Diego Board, and the Bayview Hunters Point Multipurpose Senior Services, Inc. Board. Additionally, she chairs the Regulatory Committee for the International DME Association.
In 2011, Brittany was selected to be one of twenty fellows of the New Leaders Council (now San Diego Leadership Alliance), a nonprofit organization, which provides an entrepreneurial training program for emerging leaders. Brittany was awarded the 40 Under 40 by San Diego Metro in 2013, a Top Young Attorney in San Diego by the San Diego Daily Transcript in 2012, and a pro bono award from the San Francisco County Bar Association in 2008.
Brittany graduated cum laude from Harvard University, earned a masters from the London School of Economics in environmental economics, and a JD from University California Hastings College of the Law.
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