San Diego Business Journal

One Stop Systems Inc., an Escondido-based high-performance edge computing company, has added three new board members – two of which are local female chief executive officers and entrepreneurs.

Added were: Sita M. Lowman, vice president and general manager of DXC Technologies, Gioia Messinger, founder of LinkedObjects and Freezya, and Greg W. Matz, former CFO for CooperVision Inc., who also serves as a member of the board of directors and audit committee chair for Dare Bioscience.

David Raun OSS’s interim chief executive officer and a member of its board of director said the board recently executed an extensive reorganization effort.

“We have now doubled the number of independent directors strengthening our corporate governance and board skill set significantly. We believe these changes are just another step in creating a new solid foundation upon which we can take the company to its next level of growth and development as a global leader in high-performance edge computing,” he said.

Ken Potashner has been chairman of OSS’s board of directors since 2006, and currently serves as the executive chairman of Home Bay Technologies.

“As OSS continues to grow rapidly we have substantially increased the capabilities of our board through the additional board members,” he said. “OSS is committed to diversity and is pleased to welcome our new board members,” he said.

Local Talent

During the reorganization process, Potashner consulted Holly Smithson, the chief executive officer of Athena -- a San Diego-based women’s advocacy organization that fast tracks women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through leadership development.

“I’ve known Ken for at least a decade and he understands the added horsepower that women bring to the boardroom in implementing a company’s direction and strategy and protecting shareholders assets,” she said. “To make diverse boards effective however, the chair needs to cultivate a collegial culture that elevates different voices, integrates contrasting insights, and welcomes conversations about diversity.”

Smithson said Athena’s On Board (AOB) Program produced 50 graduates in 2019 with a 20% placement before COVID-19 hit. “We want to do away with the myth that diverse talent doesn’t exist. The AOB is a terrific vehicle for us to generate a pipeline of women executives to board roles. Historically, companies have looked to the good ole’ boys club networks. Now they have a resource with a fantastic portfolio of women running STEM companies,” she said. “I want to salute OSS for focusing on sourcing women in the San Diego market. To me, that’s how it should be done.”

Diversifying the Board

Messinger said she is excited to serve alongside two other women, and the new management at OSS. “Board diversity is something all corporations seek, given that women are underrepresented in technology boards, OSS is actually making it happen,” she said. Messinger previously served on the board of Vicon Industries, a manufacturer of commercial video surveillance systems. She also currently serves on the board of Kelzal (Qelzal Corporation), a San Diego-based startup developing novel neural networks and vision sensor technology.

“OSS has done a really nice job leveraging their contacts to women in tech, especially as a young company, with diversity of thought, and diversity of experience – all of us come from different technology backgrounds – and that will vastly help OSS in its growth path,” Lowman said.

OSS’s board of directors is now comprised of seven members; with four men and three women, with six serving independently. Lowman, Messinger and Matz will join Kimberly Sentovich, the managing director at New Paradigm Retail Consulting, Jack Harrison, the president of Integrity Energy, interim OSS CEO Raun, and chairman Potashner.

“The addition of Sita, Gioia and Greg greatly complements our current board with valuable experience and knowledge in finance, M&A, marketing, risk management, senior-level leadership, and serving on public boards,” Potashner noted. “They bring to us proven cutting-edge technology, strong business and innovation expertise, and we are truly fortunate to have them join our board.”