Meet our Leadership Team
As president, Andy directs the Leadership Team and communicates the vision for the company. Since launching the business in 2001, the overriding goal remains the same: to achieve 100% customer satisfaction.
“That’s absolutely our core,” Andy says. “We aim to build superior, high-quality CO2 plant-oil extraction systems that are user-friendly and delivered on time. In addition, it’s important we support our customers so we provide onsite and virtual training on how to best operate our equipment.”
As an engineer and skilled fabricator with well-rounded experience in engineering and operations management, Andy is a “working CEO.” He spends hands-on time on the manufacturing plant floor alongside other engineers/fabricators and welding technicians helping them to perfect their craft. He and his team continually work to improve the processes and capabilities of Apeks Supercritical systems, such as the Diaphragm Compressor Technology which increases processing efficiency for faster extractions requiring less energy consumption.
Andy is the inventor of five patents, including the Valveless Expansion Technology featured on all Apeks CO2 extraction systems. He received his bachelor’s and master’s of science degree in Welding Engineering from The Ohio State University.
Andy founded Apeks Supercritical in 2001 while serving as the Director of Welding and Testing Labs for Edison Welding Institute (EWI), developers of manufacturing technologies. He first learned about mechanical operations and principles during his six years in the Navy operating nuclear submarine reactors. He is a two-time Navy Achievement Medal recipient.
As business owners and the parents of five children, Andy and his wife, Kristen, do not have much free time. But when that day comes, Andy hopes to rebuild Wranglers and ride off road on Jeep Jamborees.
Check out this interview with Andy on CannaInsider: http://www.cannainsider.com/andy-joseph-apeks-supercritical/
Jeremy oversees all aspects of manufacturing processes for Apeks Supercritical. His responsibilities include product quality, production scheduling and inventory management, all of which are driven by our goal to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction.
Jeremy’s 25 years of experience as a fabrication specialist and manager of highly skilled welding technicians positions him well to lead our team of engineers and welders. In addition to his management responsibilities, Jeremy is the resident expert in the total fabrication and welding of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) standard specifications of pressure vessels and piping. His experience in building ASME pressure vessels and piping began early in his career with Didion Mechanical, a family business in Bellevue, OH.
Prior to joining Apeks Supercritical, Jeremy worked for several years in the Welding Labs at EWI, developers of manufacturing technologies for a number of different industries. Jeremy holds an associate degree in Applied Engineering from Terra State Community College in Fremont, Ohio.
Being a family-oriented business, Apeks has welcomed into its fold two of Jeremy’s children, as well as his nephew. Outside of work, Jeremy applies his engineering skills to home improvement projects. To relax, he and his wife, Amy, seek out the beach, choosing a different coastal region every year.
Jeremy designs all of the electrical components and develops the programming for Apeks extraction systems. This includes writing the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller), designing the graphics of the touchscreen and specifying all the automation components. Jeremy leads the Engineering Department’s R&D, as well as oversees new equipment design and continuous improvement of existing systems.
“I was an end-user of automated equipment in a heavy manufacturing setting for many years so I understand how important it is to build things correctly and with quality components.” Additionally, Jeremy says he knows the importance of customer support and service so he makes himself available to answer customers’ questions about operating the systems.
Along with much experience in industrial automation, maintenance, installation and repair, Jeremy has broad-based manufacturing experience — everything from GMP (Good Manufacturing Process) work in an FDA-regulated facility to melt shop and substation electrical work in a steel mill. He has served in engineering roles for Honda of America, EWI (manufacturing technologies) and Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.
Jeremy earned an associate degree in Electro Mechanical Engineering from Columbus State Community College. He is certified as an EPA Section 608 Universal Technician.
A seasoned ice hockey player, he plays for multiple teams, including the Chiller Hockey League, the third-largest adult league in the country. Besides hockey, Jeremy’s passions include cars, live music and beer. He claims to be an unapologetic beer snob, opting for beers with more hop and less malt. Bring on a Bell’s Two Hearted Ale!
In her leadership roles at Apeks, Kristen strives to uphold her motto: provide excellent quality while offering the best possible customer service. Directing the customer service team since 2013, Kristen understands the importance of meeting customer expectations — providing them with what they need, when they need it.
As Director of Finance, Kristen worked to ensure the company is fiscally responsible. This involved overseeing all billing, expenses and payroll. In addition to guiding the financial and customer service groups, Kristen focused on research and development, along with other Leadership Team members. Significant time and investment in R & D represented the company’s commitment to continually improve the production efficiency of its extraction systems.
As a Team Leader, Kristen utilizes her project management skills, engineering training, and knowledge of the extraction systems. Prior to joining Apeks, Kristen worked for 12 years at the Edison Welding Institute (EWI) as a Project Engineer and Applications Engineer before advancing to Lab Services Program Manager, where she was responsible for quoting, project workflow, customer expectations, and project delivery and quality.
She received a bachelor’s of science degree in Metallurgical Engineering from The Ohio State University. She is an AWS (American Welding Society) Certified Welding Inspector and serves on several AWS committees.
When she has a rare opportunity for some downtime, Kristen enjoys playing Wii with her children, listening to Frank Sinatra, and reading Bill Bryson books. She and her husband, Andy, and their five children live in Johnstown, OH.
Dave LaRussa joined the team in May 2018. He has 20 years experience in sales, most recently with the Formica Group. He has directed sales teams at the national and global levels and is skilled at developing methods to solve problems and improve efficiencies. Dave directs the sales team at Apeks, helps streamline and implement processes to help improve the customer experience.
Dave is a veteran, having served 20 years in the army. He was deployed overseas and spent time in the National Guard and Army Reserve.
Dave has a B.A. in Business Management from Capital University in Columbus, OH.
Dave has two graduation-age children and spends his time staying active by cycling or working out. He also spends time at his cabin in southern Ohio, where he has 40 acres to roam!
Over a 16-year corporate career, Pat acquired a wide range of experience in industries such as publishing, manufacturing, distribution, retail and insurance. He also served as a certified public accountant for Big 6 firm Price Waterhouse LLP, manager for international and domestic financial reporting for Excel Logistics North America and Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for McGraw-Hill Children’s Publishing.
Over the past 12 years, Pat has worked as a consulting CFO for companies in Publishing, Manufacturing, creative services, restaurant management, distribution, and real estate management.
Pat graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance and is a certified public accountant in Ohio.
Gero and Nela
Office Dogs Extraordinaire
Gero (gear-ro) and Nela (neh-la) are Apeks Supercritical’s canine companions and official greeters. They spend their time alternatively playing and hunting snacks. Both are highly trained, well behaved, incredibly responsive German Shepherds. Except for that one time (@8:37 in the video below)…