VEM Vacuum Engineering and Materials


Our Team

Bob Kavanaugh


Bob joined VEM in 1994, starting in Operations. He moved into Sales in 1998 and was promoted to Vice President in 2002. In 2011, he became President of VEM. He has over 18 years of PVD materials experience and holds a BA from the University of Southern California.

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Our most important mission at VEM is to build customer trust. We do that by delivering quality products consistently and being open and honest with our customers. We have a highly collaborative team that's passionate and creative about what we do.

Stephanie McConnell

Chief Financial Officer

Stephanie joined VEM in 2009. She has over 20 years of Finance experience. She has a BS in Finance from California State University.

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VEM provides a breadth of services to help customers manage their material requirements including consignment programs, reclaim services, and pool accounts.

Barry Henson

Vice President, Operations

Barry joined VEM in 2007. He has over 35 yrs of Operations experience in the materials industry. Previously, he held Operations management roles with Heraeus and Leybold Materials.

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At VEM, we're dedicated to delivering the highest quality products and providing world class customer service.

Melvin Hirata

Vice President, Sales/Marketing & Technology

Melvin joined VEM in 2012. He has over 25 years of experience in Sales, Marketing and Engineering in the Semiconductor industry. Melvin has a BSEE degree from the University of Hawaii.

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VEM's greatest attribute is the team's passion for customer service. Everyone in the company is focused on meeting the customer's requirements and responding quickly to customer issues.

Board of Directors

Jack Kavanaugh

Chairman of the Board

Jack founded VEM in 1986.He served as President until 2011. Jack graduated from Quincy College with a degree in Political Science. Prior to that he spent 3 years in the NavyJack has spent the majority of his career in the materials industry. He started at Sueske Brass and Copper and then ran a Copper and Brass company called The House of Non Ferrous Metals before founding Vacuum Engineering & Materials.

VEM was founded on the principle that building customer trust is the most important goal of a company. That requires honesty and integrity from all of our employees, disciplined execution, and collaborative teamwork. I believe we've achieved that.

Steve Westrate

Board Director

Steve Westrate has over 35 years experience in the global semiconductor capital equipment and related businesses as an executive, entrepreneur, investor, and consultant.  He has held senior executive positions at Nanometrics, Novellus Systems (co-founder), Prometrix and Therma-Wave—both now merged with KLA-Tencor, Accent Optical Technologies, and several start-ups.  Mr. Westrate’s focus on the Board is in the areas of strategic sales and marketing.  

Steve has been an advisor to VEM since its inception and was asked to join the Board in 1994.  

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VEM has grown from a provider of metals to the Northern California semiconductor market to a global supplier of PVD materials. The growth is due to the dedication of the VEM team to world class customer service.

Dennis Raney

Board Director

Dennis Raney began a twenty-four year career at Hewlett Packard in 1970, and served in management positions in finance, information systems, manufacturing, real estate, and international divisions. These assignments included three years in Singapore as Finance and Administration Manager for South East Asia, four years as Chief Financial Officer of Intercontinental Operations, and seven years as Chief Financial Officer of HP’s European Operations, based in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition, he spent four years building and leading HP’s real estate organization, which managed forty-five million square feet, and constructed facilities globally with an annual construction budget averaging two billion dollars. In 1993, Dennis joined Bristol Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Group as Chief Financial Officer. He later served as Chief Financial Officer of several technology companies, including California Microwave and Novell. He has served as a Board Director at ADAC Laboratories, Enliven, Infiniti Solutions, ProBusiness, RedLeaf Ventures, W.R. Hambrecht, and Equinix. He is currently serving as a Board Director at Ultratech in addition to Vacuum Engineering and Materials (VEM).

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VEM's strength is it's focus on meeting customer needs. The team is disciplined and efficient. They're passionate and creative. Most importantly, they're customer focused.

Jason Schneiderman


Jason is legal counsel at Perkins Cole focused on the area of business law. His emphasis is on mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property licensing and general corporate matters. He represents clients in a number of industries, including computer software, hardware, electronics companies, communications, software as a service, computer games, consumer facing websites (with an emphasis in the travel, real estate, and social networking industries), and media/publishing companies. He advises companies on business plans, incorporation, financing, founders stock, employee equity plans, intellectual property protection, licensing, distribution and strategic agreements, and mergers and acquisitions. Jason also represents a number of search funds and has experience at all stages from formation, acquisition of targets, debt financing, general corporate matters, follow on investments to liquidation of the search fund. Jason has a J.D. degree from Santa Clara University School of Law, and a BA from the University of Colorado.

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VEM has grown due to its operational excellence and its commitment to quality and customer service.