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Leading Executive and Board Search Firm Identifies Seasoned Industry Leaders Chuck Swoboda and Hassan Ahmed to Help Guide Advanced Sensory Company’s Strategic Growth

Howard Fischer Associates (HFA), one of the leading executive and board search firms in the nation for the past 40 years, recently placed Chuck Swoboda, former Chairman and CEO of Cree (NASDAQ: CREE), and Hassan Ahmed, Chairman and CEO of Affirmed Networks, as members of the board of directors of Boston-based Vesper, developer of the world’s most advanced acoustic sensors. Given the recent funding and global expansion, the start-up was seeking specific expertise in strategic scaling of companies. Swoboda and Ahmed bring the optimal mix of experience and insight to drive Vesper’s continued growth.

“It is an exciting time at Vesper and also a critical one, and the company recognized the need to extend its leadership with the knowledge and perspective of those who have successfully managed business growth and can share their marketplace knowledge, learnings, and best practices,” said Jeff DiSandro, Partner at HFA. “Both Chuck and Hassan have proven their ability to take a company from potential to industry leader, and Vesper will greatly benefit from their guidance and perspectives.”

HFA believes that an exceptional board of directors is one of the strongest assets and competitive advantages an organization can have. Having placed board members for some of the most highly respected and innovative companies in the country, HFA provides a deep assessment of a company’s board, enabling the firm to identify leadership gaps and match the very best candidates to meet the long-term objectives of the company.

“Given their specific expertise in the semiconductor and engineering industries and their extensive experience scaling companies through high-growth periods, Chuck and Hassan exemplify ideal board members to support our growth objectives,” said Matt Crowley, CEO of Vesper. “When we shared with Jeff DiSandro and his team at HFA the particular experience and knowledge we were seeking in the placement of these key members of our leadership team, they were able to quickly identify and present very impressive, relevant candidates, with Chuck and Hassan emerging as the superb executives to fill these positions.”

As former Chairman and CEO of Cree, a worldwide manufacturer of LED and semiconductor solutions for wireless and power applications, Swoboda helped turn a $177 million company into a $1.6 billion global market leader. His 30 years of experience in technology, semiconductors, industrial, automotive and e-commerce in addition to management expertise in strategy, marketing, manufacturing and intellectual property make him an ideal fit for Vesper’s board. Swoboda holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Marquette University.

Hassan Ahmed has more than 30 years of experience in engineering and management. He currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Affirmed Networks, a cloud-native mobile core solution company. Prior to Affirmed Networks, Ahmed worked as a senior advisor at Charles River Ventures and spent 10 years as Chairman and CEO of Sonus Networks (NASDAQ: SONS), a global leader in secure and intelligent cloud communications. Ahmed is known for growing Sonus from an idea into a publicly traded company focused on enabling the transformation of telephony to IP. Before Sonus, he served as EVP and GM of the Core Switching division of Ascend Communications and VP Engineering and Chief Technology Officer of Cascade Communications. He has also held key leadership positions at Motorola and Analog Devices. Ahmed holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Carleton University as well as a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University.