Management Team

Dan Simpkins
Founder and CEO
Dan Simpkins’ creativity and vision have shaped his career and defined his companies. Relentlessly entrepreneurial, he is currently CEO of Hillcrest Labs, a company he founded in 2001 to reinvent the TV user experience and which created what is now known as “Smart TV”. He has led its growth to become the leading global supplier of software, hardware, and intellectual property for sensor-enabled products. Previously, Dan founded SALIX Technologies in 1990, and over the course of a decade led the company from inception to acquisition by Tellabs, Inc. for $300 million. Dan has been issued more than 20 U.S. patents, sits on the board of private company PublicRelay and is an active advisor to and investor in several early stage companies. He currently serves on the administrative board of the Cornell University Council, is a member of the Engineering College Council and is a former executive in residence for global VC leader New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Dan earned a Bachelor of Science degree with distinction in Electrical Engineering and Master of Engineering degree (in EE) from Cornell University.

Chuck Gritton
Chuck Gritton is responsible for all of Hillcrest Labs’ technology development, including strategy, product architectures and research, a role he has filled since joining the company in 2003. His distinguished career includes more than 20 years of experience in signal processing, image processing, networking and videoconferencing in the telecommunications, wireless, cable, consumer electronics and personal computer markets. Prior to Hillcrest, Chuck held CTO positions at Tellabs, Inc., Coherent Communications, and Broadsword Technologies, and had leadership roles at AT&T Bell Labs and AT&T Network Systems. Chuck holds dozens of domestic and foreign patents. Chuck earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering with highest distinction, a Master’s in Electrical Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia.

Chad Lucien
SVP, Sales and Marketing
Chad Lucien is responsible for Hillcrest Labs’ worldwide sales, marketing and business development. He has been on the Company’s leadership team since 2004 and during his tenure has held additional leadership roles spanning business line management, corporate strategy, and partnership development. Prior to Hillcrest Labs, he held various strategy, business development and finance leadership positions in an interactive TV software company, an operational consulting and venture capital firm, and a global investment bank. Chad earned a Bachelor of Science degree in commerce with distinction from the University of Virginia, with concentrations in finance and marketing.

Dave Karlin
SVP, Product Strategy
Dave Karlin is responsible for Hillcrest Labs’ product strategy and product management activities. Since joining the executive management team in 2005, he has held positions encompassing account and program management, product development, strategic planning, and operations. Prior to joining Hillcrest, Dave served in various senior marketing and planning roles at Agilent Technologies and was an R&D manager and engineer for Hewlett-Packard. Dave earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University. As a Hewlett-Packard Fellow, he was awarded a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Peter Jackson
SVP, Finance and Administration
Peter Jackson is a founding member of the Hillcrest Labs’ management team and has led finance, human resources and investor relations since the Company’s inception. Prior to Hillcrest, he directed the Switching Division finance team at Tellabs, Inc., was Vice President of Finance for SALIX Technologies, Inc., and held several finance leadership roles at Filetek, Inc. At SALIX, Peter played a key role in building the company, raising venture capital and negotiating its sale to Tellabs, Inc. for $300 million. Peter is a Certified Public Accountant, an Elijah Watt Sells national award winner and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with summa cum laude distinction from the University of Maryland. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) professional organization.

Steve Scheirey
VP, Software Development
Steve Scheirey is a founding member of Hillcrest Labs and is currently responsible for Hillcrest Labs’ software development team. During his tenure at Hillcrest, he has had a hands-on role in software development, project management, and technical leadership. Prior to Hillcrest, Steve held technical leadership roles at Tellabs and SALIX Technologies where he helped architect and develop one of the world’s first high density VOIP switches. He began his engineering career at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and he is a U.S. patent holder and inventor on numerous patent- pending applications. Steve earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and a Master of Science degree in computer science from The Johns Hopkins University.

Steve Francz
VP, Hardware and Operations
Steve Francz leads Hillcrest Labs’ hardware development and operations functions. Since joining Hillcrest in 2004, he has led engineering, product, and operations teams. During his tenure at the Company, Steve has directed various developments including remote control designs, user testing, and new production introductions with manufacturing partners worldwide. Prior to joining Hillcrest, Steve held engineering and engineering management roles at firms in the telecommunications satellite, test equipment, portable police and military communications equipment, and network management markets. Steve holds more than 10 patents in design of consumer electronic products and studied engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology.