Jon E. Kirchner Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Jon E. Kirchner has served as our Chairman and CEO since February 2010. Since joining us in 1993, Mr. Kirchner served in a number of capacities including President and Chief Executive Officer, Executive Vice President of Operations, and Vice President of Finance and Business Development. Mr. Kirchner also served as our Director of International Operations and Controller. Prior to joining us, Mr. Kirchner worked for the Dispute Analysis and Corporate Recovery and Audit Groups of Price Waterhouse LLP (now PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP), an international accounting firm. During his tenure at Price Waterhouse LLP, he advised clients on financial and operational restructuring, business turnaround, market positioning, and valuation issues. Mr. Kirchner has experience in a variety of industries including entertainment, high technology, manufacturing, distribution, and transportation. He is a Certified Public Accountant and received a B.A. in Economics, Cum Laude, from Claremont McKenna College.
Melvin L. Flanigan Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Melvin L. Flanigan has served as our Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer since September 2003. Prior to that, he served as our Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since joining us in July 1999. From March 1996 to July 1999, he served as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Operations at SensArray Corporation, a supplier of thermal measurement products for semiconductor, LCD, and memory-disk fabrication processes. Mr. Flanigan led SensArray's manufacturing and finance efforts. Prior to joining SensArray, Mr. Flanigan was Corporate Controller for Megatest Corporation, a manufacturer of automatic test equipment for logic and memory chips, where he was involved in international mergers and acquisitions activities. Mr. Flanigan has also previously held positions at Cooperative Solutions, Inc., a software developer in the client server transaction processing market, Hewlett-Packard Company, a provider of information technology infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services, and imaging and printing, and Price Waterhouse LLP. He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an M.B.A. and B.S. in Accounting from Santa Clara University.
Brian D. Towne Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Brian D. Towne was promoted to Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer in June 2010, prior to that he served as our Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Consumer Division since August 2006. From August 2003 until August 2006 he was the Senior Vice President in the Consumer/Pro Audio Division. From April 2002 to August 2003, he served as Director of Product Management at Kenwood USA Corporation, a manufacturer of mobile electronics, home entertainment, and communications equipment, where he led all home and mobile entertainment product planning and development for the North American market. From August 1995 to April 2002, Mr. Towne held various product planning, development and marketing positions at Kenwood USA. Prior to Kenwood USA, he held various research and development and marketing positions at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc., the sales and marketing arm of Pioneer Corporation, a manufacturer of consumer and commercial electronics. Fluent in Japanese, Mr. Towne spent part of his tenure at Pioneer living and working in Japan. He also previously served as an Electronics Specialist in the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Towne holds a B.S. in Engineering Technology, with honors, from California Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Blake A. Welcher Executive Vice President, Legal General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Responsible for the company's world-wide legal affairs, Blake Welcher serves as Executive Vice President, Legal, General Counsel and Coporate Secretary for DTS, Inc. Prior to joining DTS in 1998, Blake served as an intellectual property attorney for Koppel & Jacobs, where he provided intellectual property support and counsel for clients in the electrical, mechanical and entertainment industries; previously, he served in the same capacity for the Cabot Corporation. Blake holds a JD and Masters of Intellectual Property from the Franklin Pierce Law Center, and a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo.
Frederick L. Kitson Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Frederick L. Kitson has served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer since March, 2010. Prior to joining us, Dr. Kitson was with Motorola from 2005 to 2008 where he led the Corporate R&D Applied Research Center as Corporate Vice President. Prior to Motorola, he was with Hewlett Packard as the Senior Director of the Mobile and Media Systems Lab and led various research and development efforts relating to speech coding, lossless compression, mobile content delivery, and video-on-demand. Dr. Kitson holds a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware, a master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a doctorate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Colorado and completed an executive program at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He is a prolific publisher of technical papers, a frequent invited keynote speaker in the multimedia area and holds five patents.
Kris M. Graves Executive Vice President, Human Resources
Kris M. Graves was promoted to Executive Vice President, Human Resources in April 2013, having previously served as our Senior Vice President, Human Resources, since March 2012. Prior to that, Ms. Graves served as the Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Administration at THQ Inc., a developer and publisher of interactive software, from October 2009 to March 2012, and was responsible for developing human capital strategies and programs. From March 2003 to October 2009, Ms. Graves held a variety of progressive human resources leadership positions at THQ. Prior to joining THQ, Kris served in a human resources management role for PricewaterhouseCoopers from July 2001, to March 2003. She also served as a senior consultant at Ernst & Young LLP from August 1997 to June 2000, and advised clients on human resources strategies and systems. Ms. Graves holds a bachelor's degree from Loyola Marymount University.
Patrick J. Watson Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development
Patrick J. Watson has served as our Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development since September 2003. From February 2000 to September 2003, Mr. Watson served as our Vice President of Business Development and, from February 1997 to January 2000, as our Director of Technical Sales, where he led the penetration of our technology in the consumer electronics home theater market, as well as the proliferation of our technology in new markets such as cars, personal computers, video games, and broadcast. Prior to joining us, Mr. Watson worked in technical sales for a number of firms focused on audio coding technology including Audio Processing Technology Ltd. and AlgoRhythmic Technology, Ltd. in Northern Ireland. He graduated from Ulster University in Northern Ireland with a degree in engineering and from Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland with a Masters in Electronics.