BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MARK MELNI

Mark is the President, Managing Member and Inventor of Melni, LLC.  Mark also established Microchips LLC, one of the fastest-growing commercial and residential computer services firm in Southern Idaho. It was with his work with Microchips employees where Mark saw a critical need to find a better way to connect wires. Working from his garage, he invented the Melni Spiral technology in 2007. This technology is credited with streamlining the electrical connector process and, as a result, alleviates the physical stress on employees. In 2011, he became fully employed at Melni, LLC. Mark is also a classically trained pianist who published the “Lost Arts” album with his son, Paul.

MARY MELNI

Mary is the wife of Mark Melni, and along with Mark Melni, owns a majority interest in Melni LLC.  She achieved high honors while attending Buhl High School and worked with West One Bank (now U.S. Bank) for several years.  She is the owner of Mad Tec, a photo restoration and video transfer company and Microchips, Inc. as mentioned above.  She is also a proud mother and grandmother.

ADAM SKOLNIK

Adam is the Chief Executive Officer. Adam is the founder of Perfect Timing Capital LLC, which has investments in commercial and income producing real estate along with equity positions in various start-up businesses. His professional experience of over 35 years includes leading and helping grow companies such as Senninger Irrigation Inc., a private manufacturer, and Irrigation Components International, Inc., an international distribution company.  He also worked on the executive team of Valmont Industries, Inc. (“VMI”), a publicly traded global manufacturing company. He currently serves on several corporate boards, including employee-owned structured companies. Adam currently serves on the University of Florida Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department Advisory Board, along with being a member of Florida Angel Nexus (FAN).  He has served on several boards for nonprofit organizations including the American Cancer Society and the Irrigation Association.

ARMAND ECKERT

Armand is the Chief Financial Officer.  Armand is the partner/operator of over 5,000 acres of farmland and has been recognized with multiple grower awards for commodities grown. His international accounting experience began with the firm of Arthur Andersen & Co. where he worked for 10 years. Through his exposure with many different manufacturing types of businesses and his multiple business ventures, Armand has substantial experience in manufacturing, inventory, and cost accounting processes, controls, and procedures, to name a few. A Boise State University graduate with a BA in Accounting, Armand’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to begin a securities company specializing in fire alarms and closed circuit surveillance with sales in excess of $2 million. His company served many clients in over seven states, included all Idaho State owned liquor stores, and over 150 Idaho schools. Armand’s passion for business and farming is only matched by his dedication to his community illustrated by his 15-year tenure on the Buhl school board, 2-year President of the Idaho School Boards Assn., and served as Chairman of the Pacific Region of the National School Boards Assn.

WALT MINNICK

Minnick earned M.B.A. and law degrees from Harvard University in the 1960s. He served as first lieutenant in the U.S. Army and as economist on the Defense Department’s Vietnamization Task Force. He joined the Nixon administration in 1971 as a staff assistant on the White House Domestic Council and later worked as deputy assistant director at the Office of Management and Budget.

He was hired by John Ehrlichman, the counsel and assistant to President Nixon for domestic affairs. During that time, Minnick worked directly for Egil “Bud” Krogh, the President’s liaison to the FBI and the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. His first office was Room 16 in the basement of the Old Executive Office Building, which he shared with the “plumbers’ unit”: Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy and David Young. Minnick spent two-and-a-half years at the White House working on a project that led to the creation of the Drug Enforcement Agency.  Minnick left a legacy in Washington and the nation through his work in the creation of the Drug Enforcement Administration while serving as Nixon’s staff assistant. Minnick still sees the agency as “a useful domestic solution to dealing with the drug issue.” He resigned in 1973 to go to work for TJ International.

He spent 21 years at TJ International, a pioneering engineered lumber company, where sales grew from $35 million to $700 million annually over the course of his employment. And during that time, Minnick found himself frequently on the outs with his industry as he testified about the importance of environmental stewardship.

He then became the CEO of Summerwinds Garden Centers, Inc., which was a $55 million revenue generating business. Summerwinds Garden Centers, which also operated under the name Summerwinds Nursery, is located in Boise, Idaho. This organization primarily operates in the Retail Nurseries and Garden Stores business/ industry within the Building Materials, Hardware, and Garden Supplies & Mobile Homes sector.

After retiring from TJ International, he ran for the 1st District U.S. Congressional seat for Idaho and won. Minnick was the first Democrat elected to Congress from the Gem State since 1994. That win allowed him great latitude with Democratic Party leaders, who he said never pressured him for a vote. Despite a roller coaster two years, Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) says being in the 111th Congress was a better experience than the last time he worked in Washington, serving in President Nixon’s Watergate-besieged White House.

Minnick then co-founded The Majority Group with his former Chief of Staff after his one term stint in the 111th Congress. This was a lobby firm located near the Capitol which represented environmental friendly conscious clients. He retired in 2017, moved back to Boise and became a Melni LLC Board member.

JEFF RISHER

is currently Deputy General Counsel & Chief IP Counsel at Tesla, Inc. Before joining Tesla, Jeff held various senior IP and litigation roles at Apple Inc., including Director of Patent Strategy & Licensing, Director of Patent Litigation, and Director of Commercial Litigation. He also previously served as IP Litigation Counsel for Abbott Laboratories. Before his in-house career, Jeff was a litigator at Latham & Watkins and at Rutan & Tucker, both in Orange County, CA. He received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from UCLA.

OTHER KEY MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEES

JANELLE MOORE

Janelle is the Administrative Assistant for Melni LLC and has more than 20 years’ of experience.  She brings great organizational skills to the Company, has an outgoing and proactive approach towards getting work accomplished and is experienced in multitasking as well as has great customer service skills.

CAMERON WILLIAMS

Cameron is Melni’s head engineer in charge of product development. He graduated from the College of Southern Idaho with an Associates of Applied Science with a focus on Manufacturing, Engineering, and Machining.  He has achieved the level of “Yellow Belt” in the six Sigma Lean categories in Manufacturing and has focused on honing his Solidworks, 3D, & CAD skills to a professional level.  Cameron’s day to day duties include all research and development, design, proto-typing, in-house testing, UL liaison and production management. He brings a broad work history ranging from warehouse management to manufacturing skills.

ERIC SMALLWOOD

Eric is the Director of Sales and Marketing.  Eric comes from a diverse background.  He spent years working in the oil and gas industry, followed by being a concert promoter who had tremendous success marketing his concerts in the central region of the United States. He then was the general manager of a local winery.  Through his sales and marketing efforts he was able to grow the fledgling winery into a regional powerhouse.  Eric has already shown his abilities to focus driving sales and growing the Melni brand across all avenues, including multiple industries, businesses and products.

OTHER KEY PROFESSIONALS

BARBARA PEDERSEN

Barbara is the Patent Attorney & Agent for Melni, LLC.  She writes and prosecutes U.S. patent applications and PCT International applications, as well as advises the Company regarding patent strategy and layering of patent protections.  With a technical background as a Process Development Engineer, as well as a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office agent registration, Barbara brings a sound base from which to direct Melni’s intellectual property strategy.

PAUL BOYD

Paul is an attorney with Stoel-Rives LLP who represents Melni, LLC.  He focuses his practice on public and private corporations, emerging companies and venture investors in business and technology acquisitions, mergers, and joint ventures.  He advises technology companies in the protection, transfer, and licensing of intellectual property.  Paul’s most recent professional honor was his selection by Best Lawyers as Boise’s Mergers & Acquisition Lawyer of the Year in 2013.

NEIL JUSTESEN

Neil is the owner of Southern Field Welding LLC (SFW) which he started in April, 1998. The business was started from a garage in Oakley, Idaho and has quickly grown into a mammoth company that manufactures specialized food processing equipment. It is now located in Burley, Idaho. In the early years, the Company did mostly onsite service work for Industrial Food Processing Plants.  SFW grew rapidly and soon expanded into manufacturing Industrial Processing equipment. It eventually acquired Idaho Metal Fabrication (IMF). SFW now has 80 employees and are engaged in design, engineering and building its own line of equipment, as well as custom solutions for Industrial Processors and Fresh Produce Packers. Mr. Justesen also has several patents that are either approved or pending. SFW prides itself with continued manufacturing improvements and skills as well as a commitment to employees and the community. The Company participates in many community improvement programs by helping schools, churches and non-profit organizations with time, resources and finances.  SFW is a proud steward and partner in the community. SFW has a team of engineers which will work with Melni, LLC to design the best and most economical products.  They are a full service manufacturer.

MEL WEYERMAN

Mel is the President and CEO of Micro Molding LLC located in Nampa, Idaho.  He advises the Company in plastic injection molding.  Mel has a wealth of experience in engineering grade thermoplastics, as well as the customization of various tool and die components.  Most recently, Mel has worked at Micron Technology in the formulation of that Company’s tool and die shop for its computer production facilities. 

BYRON DUNN

Byron is the owner and founder of Power Lineman Magazine. Byron is an investor in Melni, LLC and appeared on Shark Tank with Mark Melni and Armand Eckert. He serves as advisor to the Company with his significant contributions to the lineman profession for over 30 years.  After his retirement as a lineman, he produced the Power Lineman website and started the Power Lineman Magazine which he still produces today.