Zemax Leadership Team

One of the most unique aspects of the company is our exceptional leadership team. Many of us have backgrounds in physics and optics, and it’s our technical expertise that helps us understand and connect with our customers. 


Mark Nicholson, Chief Executive Officer
Mark became CEO in the fall of 2014, and has been with the company for over 20 years. His strong background in optics and remarkable business savvy make him everyone’s favorite Dr. CEO.

Mark holds a PhD in Plasma Spectroscopy from Imperial College, University of London in 1983 and a Bachelor’s degree on Physics also from Imperial College in 1979.

When he’s not testing the latest beta or working on business strategy, he’s playing his guitar or riding his motorcycle through the countryside.

Dan Hamann, Chief Revenue Officer
Dan joined Zemax in 2016, where he heads up all Sales and Lead Generation activity.
Dan spent 13 years at F5 Networks, successfully building out a global sales team and installing their first full “Cold to Cash” Waterfall. He also has spent time at Seattle Startups Simply Measured and Oralis as VP of Global Sales and Director of Customer Care respectively.

Dan holds a BA in Spanish from Colorado State University, which still comes in handy during international travel.

While not singing the praises of Zemax’s amazing value to customers, he can be found in his music room messing around with his guitars, piano and accordion.

Neil Barrett, Chief Information Officer
Neil has been with the business for over 10 years. He was promoted from Managing Director of the European office to CIO in January 2016. He has a passion for optimization, though that’s now directed at optimizing business systems rather than optical systems.

Neil holds an MSc in Optics and Photonics from Imperial College London and a BSc in Physics from Loughborough University.

When he’s not tuning up systems and processes you can find him either walking his dog Jenni or walking around a golf course (mostly looking for his lost ball).

Jeff deCilla, Chief Financial Officer
Jeff deCillia is the newest member of our senior term having joined Zemax in February of 2017. Most recently he served as CFO of Donuts Inc., the operator of the largest number of the Internet’s top-level domain names. Prior to that he served as CFO of INRIX, Inc., a global traffic intelligence platform, where he was a key player in the acquisition and integration of INRIX’s largest competitor, and managed significant international operations.
His other experience includes serving as both CFO and interim CEO for PivotLink Corp. a SaaS BI company and CFO for Captaris (NASDAQ: CAPA) a global leader in communications software.  Jeff holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington Foster School of Business and earned his CPA while working at Deloitte.   
When not at work he can be found on the golf course, working out or otherwise staying active.

Sanjay Gangadhara, Director of Research & Development
Sanjay became Director of the Research & Development team in May of 2013, where he leads the technical development of all Zemax software solutions – including our flagship product, OpticStudio. He has been with the company since 2007, having served as an individual contributor to both the Engineering Services and Research & Development teams before taking over as Director of R&D.

Sanjay holds a PhD in Nuclear Science & Engineering from MIT and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering & Nuclear Engineer from UC Berkeley.

When he’s not writing algorithms or developing code, you can find him chasing his kids around the park.

Alison Yates, Director of Engineering Services
Alison became Director of Engineering Services in fall of 2014, where she directs the global engineering services operation, including technical support, training, custom work and new feature testing.  She joined Zemax in 2012, and spent several years as Manager of Zemax Technical Support.

Alison holds an MS in Electro-optics from the University of Dayton and a BS in Physics from Wright State University.

When she’s not handling escalated cases or testing betas, you can find her playing Rachmaninoff or going on long-distance cycling trips

Cort Stinnett, General Manager, LensMechanix Division
Cort joined Zemax in 2011 as Product Manager of OpticStudio and was quickly promoted to General Manager of the New Ventures Division. His background in engineering coupled with his knack for market analysis gives him insight into customer needs and where the market is heading.

Cort holds a BSME from University of Kansas and an MBA from Creighton University.

When he’s not entrenched in market analysis, you can find him dodging cars as he bike commutes. 
Brandon Burnett, Director of Finance
Brandon joined Zemax in 2015 and is responsible for the global finance and accounting.

Brandon is a licensed CPA and holds a BA in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from The University of Washington.
Outside of work, Brandon is a big sports fan (Seahawks and UW Football) and enjoys spending time working on home improvement projects.

Kristen Norton, OpticStudio Product Manager
Kristen joined Zemax in early 2014. She has held a variety of roles within the company, including Sr Optical Engineer and Product Marketing Specialist. She is now the OpticStudio Product Manager.
Kristen holds an MS in Applied Physics from the University of Oregon, and a BA in Physics from Willamette University.
When she’s not dreaming of laser beams, you can find her concocting something new in the kitchen.