Leadership Team

Matt Malone, General Manager

Current Position: Matt Malone is the General Manager at Barber-Nichols (BN). Matt joined BN in 2015, as a Project Engineer, focused on rocket engine turbopump design and development. He was promoted in January 2018 to PMO Manager overseeing some of BN’s most strategic US Navy programs.  In January of 2020, Matt became our VP of Operations and led our team to be named Colorado’s 2020 Aerospace Manufacturer of the Year.

History: Previously, Matt worked at GE Transportation as a Turbomachinery Manager, Turbomachinery Engineer, and Edison Engineering Development Program. He led the turbomachinery design and development team for locomotives, off-highway vehicles, and marine engines. He also led the development of the state-of-the-art 2-stage turbocharger system for Tier 4 locomotive to meet more stringent emission standards and improved turbomachinery reliability through physics-based root cause analysis and design implementation. He also held roles in Diesel Engine Reliability, Engineering Finance, Engineering Quality, and Wind Engineering.

Education: Matt earned an MS in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Turbomachinery from Georgia Institute of Technology and a BS in Mechanical Engineering with honors in design optimization from Pennsylvania State University.

Matt is involved in the Vistage Key Leaders Group, Colorado Office of Economic Development Grant Board, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers specifically for the Additive Manufacturing Community.

Interests: Matt is a volunteer for the Cystic Fibrous Foundation and enjoys skiing, triathlons, inventing, and world travel.

Jeff Shull, VP Sales & Marketing

Current Position: Jeff is the Vice president of Sales and Marketing for Barber-Nichols (BN).  He has been at BN since 1998.  He previously held the positions at BN of Sales and Marketing Manager and Sales Engineer.  During his time at BN he also led projects including the design and development of a prototype hydrogen recycle blower for integration into a fuel cell system for an automobile.  Jeff is passionate about finding creative turbomachinery solutions to solve complex problems for BN’s customers.

History: Jeff previously worked at BW/IP International (now Flowserve) in a rotational engineering program that involved work in wide-ranging engineering roles at different facilities across the United States.  In his last role at BW/IP, he managed one of two manufacturing cells at a new centralized facility designed to build components for all of the company’s divisions.

Education: Jeff earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma.

Interests: In his spare time, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 children along with traveling, bicycling, hiking, woodworking, and snowboarding.

Jim Saucerman, Engineering Manager – Analysis & Design

Current Position: Jim Saucerman is the Engineering Manager for the Analysis & Design teams, joining Barber-Nichols in June 2021.

History: Over the past 16 years, Jim worked on rotating equipment at Flowserve Corporation, where he grew from being a Product Development Engineer to most recently being the North America Aftermarket Engineering Manager.  In his roles with Flowserve, he led both design and engineering teams throughout North America, focusing on the development of products for oil exploration, refining and transportation, nuclear power generation, and the aerospace and defense business sectors.  Two of his proudest moments in his career; Jim led the development of the Abeyance Seal which was developed to prevent a nuclear reactor core meltdown during a station blackout event and most recently celebrated the success of the mechanical seals that took flight on Virgin Orbit’s Tubular Bells launch.

Education:  Jim earned his MBA from Redlands University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.  He also holds a Professional Engineering License in the state of California.

Interests:  During his free time, family is most important to Jim and he enjoys time with his wife, 3 children, and little French Bulldog.  They all enjoy outdoor adventures and look forward to building their first snowman as a family in Colorado.

Lex McCoy, Programming Supervisor

Current Position: Lex McCoy is the Supervisor of the Offline Programming Team.

History: Lex has 12 years of experience in the CNC Metal Cutting Manufacturing Field.

Education: Lex earned his BS in  Manufacturing Engineering from Arizona State University. He also has an Advanced Lean Training Certificate, an Advanced NX CAM Automation, and Programming Training Certificate.

Interests: Lex enjoys Outdoor Activities including Mountain biking, Golfing, Hiking, Snowboarding, and Camping.

Lian Li, Quality Manager

Current Position: Lian Li is the Quality Manager at Barber-Nichols (BN) joining us in December 2018.

History: Previously, Lian worked at ValleyLab/Covidien (now Medtronic) for 12 years in various positions. She led the New Product Development Quality Team for Process Validation and New Product Quality. She also led and implemented multiple Process Improvement Projects for multiple sites within the organization. She was a Subject Matter Expert for both internal and external audits on Quality Management systems for New Products. She also held the role of Corrective Action champion and board member.

Education: Lian earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Engineering in Engineering Management from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She also earned her Six Sigma Master Black Belt and AS9100 Lead Auditor Certifications.

Interests: Lian enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, and skiing with her family.

Matt Johnson, Director of Operations

Current Position: Matt joined Barber-Nichols in 2014 and currently is our Director, Operations. Matt leads, directs, and oversees all aspects of production operations directly and through managers who coordinate purchasing, supply chain management, production and inventory control, manufacturing engineering, manufacturing, assembly and test, and shipping and receiving.

History: Previously, Matt contributed over 15 years working in various positions at Sargent Controls & Aerospace, growing in responsibility and ultimately holding the role of Manager, Quality & Process Engineering. He provided strategic direction for the quality management system and annual objectives as the management representative for ISO9000/AS9100. He was also responsible for all aspects of the quality management function for the facility including advanced quality planning, contract/design reviews, failure mode analysis, process capability analysis and certification, tool and part qualification, advanced quality control plans, inspection sampling plans, measurement system analysis, and internal audits.

Education: Matt earned a BS, Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona. He also has earned his Six Sigma Black Belt and Lead Auditor Training Certifications.

Rachel Jaakkola, Human Resource Manager

Current Position: Rachel Jaakkola started at BN in July 2017 as the first Human Resource employee BN has had. She created the foundation for the department and then developed it into a department sustainable for a larger organization. In her first four years, the company doubled its employee base and continues to grow. In 2020 she was promoted to Human Resource Manager as more HR employees have been hired into the growing department.

History: Before coming to BN, Rachel worked at Tri-State Generation and Transmission and was part of their Leadership Rotational Program. She worked in all departments of the company while also recruiting, onboarding, and administering employee benefits for the organization. After leaving this position, she solo backpacked around 13 different countries before coming to work at BN.

Education: Rachel received an MS in Organizational Leadership with a focus in Human Resources from Regis University and a BS in Business Management with a focus in Human Resources from Colorado State University. She also holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification along with other HR-specific certifications.

Interests: Outside of work, Rachel volunteers as a Trip Leader for the Colorado Mountain Club and is a Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She enjoys traveling, hiking, backpacking, kayaking, concerts, her kitten and Chiweenie, road trips, hot yoga, improv, and finding new experiences to push her out of her comfort zone.

Pat Hicks, Chief Financial Officer

Current Position: Pat Hicks joined BN in 2017. He is currently Chief Financial Officer at Barber-Nichols. He leads BN’s administrative functions including accounting, financial analysis, export compliance, and corporate governance, and is focused on facilitating controlled growth for the company.

History: Previously, Pat was CFO at Sundyne Corp. and directed all aspects of finance for the company. Pat additionally has Fortune 100 experience with United Technologies Corp and has held numerous operating unit leadership roles with Hamilton Sundstrand in a variety of industries and locations.  Pat contributes strong experience in manufacturing operations, systems, and financial analysis.

Education: Pat has an MBA from Northern Illinois University and a BS in Finance from Western Illinois University. Pat is also APICS certified and has participated in several management and specialized development programs over his career.

Mike Burton, Manufacturing Manager

Current Position: Mike Burton is the Manufacturing Manager at Barber-Nichols, joining us in April 2019.  Mike leads a diverse group including manufacturing engineers, CNC programmers, machinists, and CNC maintenance personnel.  Together, they are responsible for all aspects of manufacturing process definition, production of machined components, and maintaining the manufacturing equipment at Barber-Nichols.  Additionally, Mike leads the specification and implementation of new manufacturing capabilities and capital equipment.

 History:  Mike has over 20 years of experience with rotating equipment, holding positions in service, engineering, and manufacturing leadership at Sundyne LLC, serving the API and industrial chemical markets with custom-engineered pump and compressor solutions.  Prior to Sundyne, Mike worked for Westinghouse Corporation’s Naval Nuclear Propulsion program as an operations and test engineer supporting the United States Navy.  At Westinghouse, Mike led testing activities on prototype submarine propulsion equipment and trained junior officers in all aspects of propulsion systems operation.

Education:  Mike earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University, and completed advanced engineering and operations training at the Navy Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Florida.

Interests: Mike enjoys photography and spending time with his wife and their two schnauzers.