By Mark Norfolk on Tuesday, January 11th, 2022
Meet Dr. Jason Riley: leader, learner, innovator, outdoor adventurer. And now, he’s the proud Chief Operating Officer of Fabrisonic. Dr. Riley has a diverse career and background, and has taken a nontraditional route on his journey to Fabrisonic and into the advanced manufacturing field.
He received a BA in Criminology from The Ohio State University in 2003. After graduating, he was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, where he served on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan on three separate deployments. Over the next few years, Dr. Riley completed his MA in biblical studies from Ashland Theological Seminary, with a detour in the middle of his studies to return to active duty from 2009 to 2011. He has also graduated from the Marine Corps University Expeditionary Warfare School and Command and Staff College.
This activation brought him and his family to California, where he taught an emerging concept to Marine Corps units throughout the West Coast. Upon completing this mission, he began his Ph.D. program in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. In this stage of his journey, Dr. Riley co-wrote and published a book about his Marine Corps experiences, and he began a teaching career at the graduate-student level. He continues to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve today. Dr. Riley shared, “The 18+ years I have spent in the Marine Corps, both active duty and reserve, have made me who I am and have given me numerous skills that I bring to my civilian leadership and operations roles.”
In 2018, he had the opportunity to join Amorphology, Inc. a materials science company as employee number one. Dr. Riley said, “I primarily capitalized my leadership and management experience and skills to get this JPL-Caltech spinout company off the ground.” There, he led efforts to build out the company’s 14,000sf end-to-end R&D and manufacturing facility. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and led the company until he joined Fabrisonic in 2021.
In the Industry
Dr. Riley is excited to work with the team at Fabrisonic. He shared, “I enjoy working with highly-skilled, motivated team members, learning new things, and being a part of accomplishing challenging projects on a day-to-day basis. The team here at Fabrisonic is awesome.”
Dr. Riley has been a part of two advanced manufacturing start-ups over the past four years. He continued, “Fabrisonic has an incredibly promising future in the advanced manufacturing ecosystem… We need more companies like this to advance our manufacturing capabilities here in the U.S.”
For Dr. Riley, there is no “typical” workweek. And he loves that! He said, “Every week we are working on new projects, and encountering and overcoming new challenges.” Advanced manufacturing and additive manufacturing is expanding at a rapid rate. New technologies are being developed, old technologies are advancing; new companies are arising, and existing companies are growing or being acquired.
Dr. Riley shared that anyone going into the industry should be “adaptive, willing and ready to learn, and willing to get their hands dirty and pitch in where necessary.”
Now for the fun stuff…
In Dr. Riley’s free time, he loves spending time with his wife, Angie, his two kids, Eliana and Micah, their cat, Shilah and their German Shorthaired Pointer, Atlas. They are big explorers and adventurers. When they lived in Southern California, they regularly went camping in the Sierras or the desert. In 2019, they decided to spontaneously travel to Alaska for Christmas, where they learned how to ski, dog-sled, and attempt to enjoy the -20 degree weather.
In 2020, they took an 8-day “Thankscamping” trip to Arizona, and in 2021, they spent a week on an off-road trip through several Utah national parks. Over the past few years, they have enjoyed 5 to 9 mile hikes with their 8 and 11 year olds, hiking in elevations between 6,000 and 11,000 feet. Along the way, their 2006 Toyota Sequoia—which Dr. Riley built out—has become part of the family. It is complete with an Old Man Emu/Dobinson suspension, BFG A/T tires, dual battery system, and sliders. It has brought them to some incredible places, like Canyonlands National Park in Utah, where they were stuck in the mud and had to winch themselves out.
Dr. Riley even shared that when he was a kid, he wanted to be Jean-Claude Van Damme or a major league baseball player. He said, “So, if there is anyone out there willing to let me play one inning of major league baseball, that would be awesome.”
We’re proud to welcome Dr. Jason Riley to our team.