It all started in 2002, in Santa Cruz, California during an Ultimate Frisbee game. Don McPherson, serial inventor and Ultimate Frisbee enthusiast with a PhD in glass science, wore a pair of specialty eyewear he invented to protect surgeons performing laser surgery. A teammate, having forgotten his sunglasses and noting Don’s stylish frames, tried them on.
“Dude! I can see the cones!” he called out in amazement. As it turns out, his friend was severely colorblind and couldn’t see the bright orange cones marking the game boundaries until that moment.This serendipitous event piqued his curiosity and sparked an idea that would eventually improve the lives of thousands.
Dr. McPherson soon applied for a grant from the National Institutes of Health to design new lens technology for color blindness and partnered with Andrew Schmeder, a UC Berkeley-trained mathematician who helped crack the code behind the accidental discovery. The duo spent years perfecting the lens technology to create EnChroma, stylish optical grade glasses that reveal color as it is meant to be seen—pure, vibrant, and true to life.
EnChroma, Inc., founded in 2010, is proudly based in Berkeley, California. Today, EnChroma offers a complete collection of high performance eyewear that combine the latest in color perception neuroscience and lens innovation to enhance vision for colorblind people around the world.
President & CEO, Co-Founder & Inventor
UC Berkeley-trained mathematician Andrew Schmeder has broad expertise with technological innovation and was responsible for the design and optimization of EnChroma’s products. Andy’s diverse background includes time as a staff researcher at UC Berkeley where he was introduced to the concept of perceptual psychophysics: the science of how physical events that occur in the world relate to the human perception and cognition resulting from those events. Through this intellectual framework, Schmeder was initially introduced to the idea of using technology to assist with sensory disabilities by looking at how the parameters of digital hearing aids can be manipulated in real-time to improve experiences such as enjoyment of music for the hearing impaired. Later, this experience would prove invaluable in his work developing EnChroma.
Chief Science Officer, Co-Founder & Inventor
Don, a Doctor of Glass Science, was responsible for the original “ah-ha” moment that led to the formation of EnChroma. His new invention—laser safety glasses for surgeons—had a coincidental positive effect on the vision of people with color blindness. This discovery was the basis for an SBIR grant from the US Small Business Administration, which launched the research critical to the formation of EnChroma. In addition to his contributions to EnChroma, Don has served as President of Bay Glass Research, Inc., Vice President of Research and Development at Vetrazzo, Inc., and Founder & CEO Counter Production, LLC. Don is the recipient of 5 NEI, NIH, and National Cancer Institute grants and has authored 6 patents and 14 scientific papers.
Chief Information Officer
With his background in computer engineering, project management, and digital marketing strategy, Jason Sheldon develops proactive, business-driven solutions for EnChroma. His career has been marked by innovation and creativity in the full software and application development lifecycle at Fortune 500 companies including Disney, Wells Fargo, PG&E, Kodak, Johnson & Johnson, Sephora, and Restoration Hardware. As the information leader at EnChroma, Jason creates advanced methodologies, tools, and processes to improve UX, streamline operations, and optimize internal technologies.
VP, Business Development
Master optician, Mark Mattison-Shupnick, is a member of the board of directors for EnChroma, Inc. and a veteran optical industry consultant. As an expert in ophthalmic optics, Mark has participated in the design and production of new lens materials, designs and treatments as well as develop technical marketing and training materials for optical professionals. He is a recipient of the Beverly Myers Award for Education from the National Academy of Opticianry, and is a regular contributor to industry publications like 20/20 Magazine and Vision Monday. Mark shares his decades of expertise in lectures around the country and world.
Director of Marketing
To EnChroma, Kent Streeb brings 20 years of experience in marketing, public relations and copywriting helping companies in technology, healthcare, utility-scale solar, non-profit and manufacturing. He has worked with organizations such as The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), VMware, NETGEAR, HopeLab, Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation, Zamzee, Palo Alto Networks and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. He served in the Peace Corps in West Africa working in rural healthcare and community development.
Kent has successfully generated positive exposure, and driven sales, for organizations charting new ground in fields such as ‘games for health,’ incentivized activity meters to combat childhood obesity and others. He drives EnChroma’s media strategy, marketing partnerships, events and marketing for retailers.
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