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Five Honored with Clarkson University's Most Prestigious Alumni Award

Fram Akiki of San Diego, Calif., Edward H. Braun of Montauk, N.Y., Marshal W. Linder of Pittsburgh, Pa., Nancy D. Reyda of New York, N.Y., and Thomas A. Sherby of Summerland, Calif., have all been honored with the Golden Knight Award by their alma mater, Clarkson University.

Golden Knight AwardsPresented each year during the Alumni Reunion, Clarkson’s most prestigious alumni award is given to alumni who have distinguished themselves either by service to Clarkson through Alumni Associated activities or have demonstrated outstanding career achievement, bringing distinction to themselves and to Clarkson.

Fram Akiki

Fram Akiki, senior director of product management at Qualcomm Technologies Inc. (QTI), received his bachelor of science degree in electrical and computer engineering from Clarkson University in 1986. He went on to earn a master of science degree in electrical engineering and a master of business administration from the University of Vermont.

In his current role, he is responsible for technology solutions into a variety of embedded/IoT applications, with a particular focus on mobile computing. Previously, he was senior director of foundry operations, where he drove Qualcomm’s fabless business model and was recognized with the Qualcomm COO’s Upendra Patel Achievement Award.
Akiki has more than 30 years’ experience in the semiconductor industry over a broad range of technical and business leadership roles. He began his career at IBM Corporation’s Microelectronics division in 1986 as a mixed signal design engineer working on the industry’s first single chip Token Ring product. In 1993, he led the development efforts for a series of PCI chipsets used in a number of IBM and industry OEM products. He also led the architecture verification team for an advanced RISC processor and was recognized with the IBM General Manager Award of Excellence. In 1995, he drove IBM’s OEM custom logic growth as the executive manager for IBM’s North American Field Application team. From 1997 to 2005, Fram had escalating levels of executive responsibility managing IBM’s High Performance Custom Logic business unit, including relationships with leading gaming and graphics companies.

Akiki supports a number of activities in the North Country, including the Adirondack Public Observatory (APO) and is a founding member of the Wild Center.  He has supported Clarkson over the years as a Roundtable donor, recruited graduates into IBM and Qualcomm, and served as a member of Clarkson's Corporate Leadership Committee and Electrical Engineering Department Advisory Council. In 2001, he was the recipient of Clarkson’s Woodstock Award for young alumni who have demonstrated outstanding loyalty and service to Clarkson and the Alumni Association.
He resides in San Diego, Calif., with his wife, Jeanine; son, Samer who is studying electrical engineering at Clarkson, Class of 2017; and a daughter, Maya, who has participated in Clarkson's Young Scholars and Horizons Programs for young women.

Edward H. Braun

Edward H. Braun, retired CEO of Veeco Instruments, received his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Clarkson University in 1961. After graduation, he entered the military and was a 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1962 to 1964.

Braun joined Veeco Instruments, a NASDAQ semiconductor equipment company providing capital equipment to the semiconductor and LED industries, in 1966. He held leadership positions in sales, marketing and general operations management, and he also was chief operating officer.

He served as chairman and CEO of Veeco from 1991 to 2006 and continued as chairman through 2010. Braun is now a board member and chairman of the strategic planning committee, and he also advises private equity and venture capital firms on new technology ventures.

Braun served as chairman of the transaction committee for CYMER, where he was responsible for the sale to ASML, as well as director of QD Vision, a venture capital start-up in Watertown, Mass.

He is the former chairman and director emeritus of Semiconductor Equipment and Materials Institute (SEMI), a trade association for suppliers to the semiconductor industry, and was chairman of the government relations committee addressing U.S. export and technology policy. He received the Bob Graham Marketing Award from SEMI in 2004 for outstanding contributions to marketing within the semiconductor equipment and materials industry.

Braun currently is chairman of the Concerned Citizens of Montauk, an environmental association which advocates for coastal conservation, improves and protects water quality and promotes sustainable development.

Marshal W. Linder

Marshal W. Linder, the corporate senior vice president and ZOLL Medical, received dual bachelor of science degrees in physics and electrical & computer engineering from Clarkson in 1981, receiving the prestigious Levinus Clarkson Award at commencement. He earned a master of science degree in electrical and computer engineering from Clarkson in 1981.

Linder joined IBM after graduation, starting in the federal systems division and later moving to the IBM personal computer business. While at IBM, he created one of the first commercial multiplayer computer games, Zyll, which was published by IBM in 1984. He also led the development of the IBM Simon Communicator in 1992, considered the world’s first smartphone.

Linder left IBM in 1997 to join Lifecor Inc., a Pittsburgh-based medical device startup developing the first wearable cardioverter defibrillator. The LifeVest wearable defibrillator remains the only device of its kind, and is now available in 15 countries and has saved thousands of lives from sudden cardiac death. He is an inventor on nine U.S. patents involving wearable medical devices.

Linder has been a member of Clarkson's Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering Dean’s Leadership Council since 2007.

Linder and his wife, Patti, reside in the Pittsburgh area. They have two adult children, Ben and Sarah.

Nancy D. Reyda

Nancy D. Reyda, managing director and the chief operating officer for Global Banking and Markets Technology at Bank of America, received a bachelor of science degree cum laude in chemical engineering from Clarkson University in 1981.

Reyda has more than 35 years of experience across the finance, energy, technology and retail industries. She joined Bank of America in April 2014 as COO of Consumer Banking - Technology from Deutsche Bank where she was head of Strategy and Change for Global Technology and Operations.

Previously, Reyda held a strategic infrastructure planning role with Goldman Sachs’ Investment Management division technology and she was COO for Lehman Brothers’ global technology organization. She began her career at Chevron in the energy sector and spent more than 20 years in roles of increasing responsibility beginning in the oil fields as a chemical engineer and ultimately running various downstream products businesses.

Reyda was re-elected to the Clarkson University board of trustees in October 2011. She has been the vice chair of the board since 2012; serves on the executive, audit and compensation committees; and is chair of the external affairs committee.

Reyda and her husband, Steve '81, reside in New York City and the Bay Area of northern California. They have two adult sons, Thomas, and Stephen and his wife, DJ.

Thomas A. Sherby

Thomas A. Sherby, retired president, CEO and chairman of Knights Technology, received his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Clarkson University in 1956. He earned his master's in engineering administration from George Washington University and his Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

After graduation, Sherby was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army and completed his military service in 1958. He then returned to Buffalo, N.Y., and worked as an industrial representative for Mobil Oil.

Sherby became a project engineer at Clark Brothers Company in Olean, N.Y., in 1960. Several years later he received an offer from National Cash Register (NCR) Company to become chief engineer for their data processing division. Between 1966 and 1973, he assumed increasingly responsible positions at NCR as head of advanced hardware development, head of product engineering and general manager at their Kansas facility.

Computer Peripherals of Minnesota offered Sherby an executive vice president position in 1975, and within a year he became the senior vice president for operations at Data Products Corporation in California. He remained with Data Products for two years until Fairchild Corporations recruited him to become their senior vice president for the systems and equipment group.

In 1980, Sherby established is own company, STI Venture Fund -- which later became T.A. Sherby Incorporated – and he was the managing partner of this enterprise. From 1989 through 1997, he was involved full time with Knights Technology, a software company serving the process manufacturing and electronic design market providing software services to a number of Silicon Valley companies, thereby allowing them to increase yields and better identify product defects. Electroglas Inc. acquired Knights Technology in a stock exchange transaction in 1997.

Clarkson's prestigious Arnold H. Barben Award was presented to Sherby in 2011.

He resides in Summerland, Calif.

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: From left to right, Clarkson University President Tony Collins; Marshal W. Linder, the corporate senior vice president and ZOLL Medical; Nancy D. Reyda, managing director and the chief operating officer for Global Banking and Markets Technology at Bank of America; Edward H. Braun, retired CEO of Veeco Instruments; Fram Akiki, senior director of product management at Qualcomm Technologies Inc. (QTI); Alumni Association Executive Vice President Kathryn Campbell '03; and Alumni Association President Mark Green '77. (Not pictured: Thomas A. Sherby, retired president, CEO and chairman of Knights Technology.)

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