Don Montague

Head of Research & Development, Kite Designer, Test Captain

Don holds multiple patents on innovations in sports and energy systems. During his tenure as Head Sail Designer at Gaastra Sails and, subsequently, as Head of R&D for Naish International, he was responsible for advancements in both design and manufacturing. Don’s background as a professional windsurfer on the World Cup Tour and as a professional kitesurfer has kept him on the cutting edge of sail and kite development for the past 30 years. He has received many awards for competition and design, and has been featured in and contributed to magazines, movies, and TV shows internationally. At Kai Concepts, Don is responsible for the overall project vision, for directing kite design, and for helming the kite on boat tests.

Joe Brock

Lead Boat Designer, Shop Manager, Test Team

Joe earned a degree in physics from the Colorado School of Mines and spent the next ten years working seasonally on commercial fishing boats in Alaska. During the off-season, he built a 26-foot catamaran that he sailed with his wife from Washington to Alaska to the Gulf of California. In 2007, Joe joined Makani Power to work with Don on kiteboat development. At Kai Concepts, Joe is the shop and engineering manager and a skilled designer and fabricator. During kiteboat tests, Joe is the usual helmsman. Outside of work, Joe’s interests include creating the perfect truck and camping with his family.

Alec Korver

Head of Engineering

Alec graduated from Dordt College with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Before joining Kai Concepts, he developed algorithms for generating and evaluating motor designs in Sioux Center, Iowa, and he studied permanent magnet motor design at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 2013-2016, Alec co-founded a self-funded startup focused on reclaiming, refurbishing and reselling automation control systems.  His other personal projects have included the development of an optimized electric bicycle and creating an Arduino vivarium controller. On the Kai Concepts Team, Alec works to design and build electrical control systems for the Jetfoiler™. In his free time, Alec enjoys kitesurfing, rock climbing, and walking his two dogs.

Maurizio Ubaldi

Fabrication Engineer

Maurizio’s expertise spans a wide range of areas, including 3D CAD design, CNC machining, and board manufacturing. He also has a background in software development. He utilized this skill set to create a dedicated ERP system for board production. Maurizio’s career is a fusion of his love for windsurfing, hands-on experience in board manufacturing, and a unique ability to bridge the worlds of software development and composite materials. His love for windsurfing and composites led him to relocate to Maui, where he developed boards for top World Cup riders. Maurizio’s expertise in composite materials and board manufacturing techniques led to leadership roles in the composite departments of two manufacturers in Asia. During his 22-year tenure in China and Thailand, he contributed to the development of technology that enabled the production of lightweight and durable watersport boards.

Chris Slice

Lead Software Engineer

Chris is a passionate computer engineer that manages the software team. He is in charge of maintaining and developing Kai Concepts mobile applications, fleet IOT/ cloud telematics for performance/safety monitoring, and control system firmware. He holds a computer engineering degree, and is the primary developer of the telematics, firmware, and cloud reporting systems. Chris enjoys the intellectual challenges of chess and the exhilaration of skiing down the slopes. His interests extend beyond the digital realm as he’s always eager to explore new horizons in both technology and leisure.

Merten Stroetzel

Product Engineer

An avid ocean and water sports enthusiast, Merten earned his EE Master’s degree

from TU Munich, Germany. He brings a broad spectrum of software, electrical, and mechanical engineering expertise across various domains, with over a decade spent in the automotive industry before joining Kai Concepts in 2020. Collaborating with the team, Merten propels the Jetfoiler project forward, encompassing all areas, including product design, prototyping, testing, intellectual property, sales and marketing, customer support, and establishing in-house and overseas manufacturing processes.

Mukti Mehta

Engineering Team Lead

Mukti received her master’s degree from Texas A&M University in Electrical Engi- neering. She accomplished specific projects in digital signal processing and ASIC designing. Mukti joined Kai Concepts in 2021 as an Electronics Engineer. She is responsible for testing, debugging, and validating BMS hardware and Jetfoiler’s bat- tery. She works with the team for quality control of the Jetfoiler, i.e., battery, remote, charger, before it gets shipped to the customer to maintain our standard of product. She is also involved in R&D projects system integral.

Phil Hilt

Software Engineer

Phil is an avid problem solver and action sports enthusiast. He holds a degree in Computer Science and as a Software Engineer he specializes in systems integration and developing end to end software solutions for R&D projects. He is also responsible for improving the Jetfoiler codebase and developing automated testing and quality control procedures for the Jetfoiler project.

Alden Simmer

Mechanical Engineer

Alden, a Maui native deeply connected to the ocean, channels his passion for watersports into the role he plays at Kai Concepts. Alden holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He contributes to the testing of e-foils and performs valuable technical work within our workshop. With a wealth of experience as a skilled kitesurfer and hydrofoiler, his insights and expertise are instrumental in our projects.

Jasmine Pueyo

Accounting, HR Representative

Jasmine, hailing from the island of Guam and a proud alumna of Grand Canyon University, brings her expertise in project and enterprise accounting to the forefront of our recruiting and financial business operations at Kai Concepts. As the driving force behind our daily activities, Jasmine adeptly oversees tasks, from property management to financial planning. Her close collaboration with our company president and program manager ensures the seamless execution of our day-to-day operations, contributing to the success and growth of our organization.

Christian Castro

Archivist, Photography and Videography

Christian holds a degree in communications from San Francisco State University; his academic journey began with an original focus on visual communications at Cal State Fullerton. Familial responsibilities led him back to his roots in San Francisco, where he completed his studies. In his day-to-day role, Christian seamlessly bridges communication and engineering. He is helping tell the story of Kai Concepts and the engineering team, capturing their work through documentation, photos, and video in the shop and out in the Bay.

Bradley Clifford

Logistics Coordinator

Bradley’s role as Logistics Coordinator draws from his eight-year tenure in the United States Navy, where he served as a Logistics Specialist. Bradley is entrusted with the responsibilities of overseeing the shipping and receiving of products and production materials. He maintains and provides inventory records to support the team while supplying accurate data for budgeting purposes. Bradley also assumes the critical role of conducting final visual quality control inspections on all products departing from Kai Concepts.

Reed Davis

Hardware Design Engineer

Reed is a native of Washington State. He spent three summers salmon fishing off the coast of Alaska. Reed’s path to joining the Kai Concepts team included a transformative internship at the shop in 2021. He was inspired to continue his education in Electrical Engineering and completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Southern California (USC) in 2023.

Andrew Orosco

Sr. Technical Program Manager

Andrew has over 15 years of experience in operations, program, and product management. He’s led various cross-functional teams in the EV automotive space at companies such as Tesla, Lyft, Lucid Motors, and Chargepoint. He embraces agile methodologies, operational challenges, and problem-solving as an opportunity to uncover what consumers truly value.  As the Sr. Technical Program Manager, he is responsible for tracking projects, R&D development, resource allocation, key deliverables, and critical milestones to ensure we execute project deadlines. His holistic approach to program management will help the team stay laser-focused yet dynamic enough to shift priorities.

Matthew Mesan

Mechtronics Engineer

Matthew hails from New Zealand. He traveled to California in 2018 to study Mechanical Engineering and row Div 1 Crew at Berkeley. A passionate water sportsman, he gets out and spears fish, surfs, and swims given half a chance. He now holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Product Design from UC Berkeley. Matthew is excited to apply his technical experience, gained working in Silicon Valley tech, to water propulsion projects at Kai Concepts!

Dan Ringness

Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Engineer

Dan is a versatile Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Engineer with a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering and Robotics. His passion for the outdoors fuels his avid swimming, skiing, and backpacking pursuits. With a keen eye for design and a knack for problem-solving, Dan navigates challenges with creativity and outside-the-box thinking.

Adam Bennett

Systems Integration Engineer

Adam’s career journey began as an automotive technician, where he honed his technical skills before pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of California Riverside. Transitioning into engineering, Adam became our Systems Integration Engineer and has been with Kai Concepts since 2021. With a specialized focus on high voltage systems, Adam demonstrates expertise in seamlessly integrating motors, inverters, and control systems into electric foiling watercraft. His role involves technical proficiency and a keen understanding of the intricate dynamics within electric propulsion systems.