Leadership Team Bios

Gregory M. Quist, Ph.D.
President & CEO

Greg Quist is the Co-Founder, President and CEO of SmartCover, leading the strategic direction and operations of the company. A long-time member of the water community, Greg was elected to the Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District Board of Directors in 1990, where he has served for the past 27 years in various roles including President and Treasurer. Rincon’s Board appointed Greg to the San Diego County Water Authority Board in 1996 for 12 years where he led a coalition of seven agencies to achieve more than $1M per year in water delivery savings. With a background in the areas of metamaterials, numerical analysis, signal processing, pattern recognition, wireless communications, and system integration, Greg has worked as a technologist, manager and executive at Alcoa, McDonnell-Douglas, and SAIC and has founded and successfully spun off several high technology start-up companies, primarily in real-time detection and water technology. He holds 14 patents with several pending. Greg earned his undergraduate degree in astrophysics with a minor in economics from Yale College where he played football and baseball. He earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has held top-level government clearances and is the former Chairman of the Urban Water Institute. In his rare free time he enjoys fly fishing, hiking, golf, basketball, and tennis. He currently resides in Escondido, CA.
David Drake
Co-Founder, Chief Innovation Officer

In 2005, David Drake and Dr. Gregory Quist formed Hadronex Inc., which has grown into SmartCover. He’s served as an elected Member of the Board of Directors of Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District since 2006, spent nine years on the Board of Directors of the San Diego County Water Authority, and Chaired the City of Escondido Planning Commission. He was elected to the Executive Committee of the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority where he serves on the Workers Compensation Committee. David is a graduate of the FBI Justice Department Citizen’s Academy and served as President of the San Diego FBI InfraGard Chapter. David holds 12 U.S. Patents and seven international patents. He has over 40 years of experience in radar systems, communications, software development, computer systems architecture and integration. He has done extensive work in data acquisition, signal processing, cryptography and image processing. He worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Oak Industries, Digital Equipment, SAIC, and Mitchell International as CIO. David earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Caltech. His interests include water systems, astronomy, seismology, and Amateur Radio. David, and his wife Ginny have lived in Escondido, CA since 1980.
Dave Rees
Chief Technology Officer

David Rees has two decades of experience in the world of software development and engineering, with a focus on online transaction processing, system architecture and user interfaces. Dave has worked for EarthKAM, SAIC, eBet Technologies, and Sportech where he lead teams responsible for 24/7 online operations, high availability and performance under demanding customer load with an excellent track record of meeting performance requirements, minimizing downtime and while managing customer relations. He oversees the engineering department and actively supports all facets of product quality and value engineering, software development, user interface, systems engineering and management. A focus on continuous improvement on all engineering aspects results in improved processes and improved products with the highest efficiency. David earned his B.S. in Computer Science from University of California San Diego.
Jim Crabtree
Chief Financial Officer

James Crabtree is a senior finance executive with over 20 years of experience in project development and corporate management in the water, power and environmental industries having led over $1.5B in direct investments in a variety of projects and companies. Jim has held various senior management positions including Managing Director of $170 million private equity fund, Vice President in G.E. Capital’s Structured Finance Group as well as JP Morgan Chase’s Global Structured Finance and U.S. Multinational Advisory Group. In addition to his transaction experience, Jim is skilled in business development and strategic planning. Jim has an M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Heather Towsley
Vice President of Marketing

Heather Towsley is an award-winning communications professional with extensive experience creating campaigns that build brand awareness, galvanize action and drive sales. In the past two decades she’s worked on marketing programs for various organizations including American Water, California Water Association, CH2M, Dimension Data, EPCOR Water, San Jose Water Company, NEC, Pure Technologies, Starbucks Coffee Company, and The GAP. Heather’s background includes experience with both local and federal government. She was appointed and served five years on the Parks and Recreation Commission for the City of San Marcos in the suburbs of San Diego and served over 10 years on Capitol Hill as a communications manager and spokesperson for a U.S. Congressman, NRCC, PhRMA, and a Presidential campaign. Her campaigns have received accolades from the Public Relations Society of America and International Association of Business Communicators. Heather earned her M.A. in Public Communications from American University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Arizona.
Ron Toten
Vice President of Operations

Ron Toten is an experienced leader in all aspects of operations and technology management. Acknowledged for combining business acumen and technology to develop and execute strategic business plans to improve the bottom line. Versatile, strong communicator with a solid work ethic and positive energy who leads the way toward building effective, world class organizations. Ron is responsible for overseeing SmartCover installations across North America. As a seasoned leader, his combination of engineering, technology, project management and customer service are unparalleled. He easily integrates with operations and is accessible to crews in the field to ensure the highest standards are met and the results are optimized -- whether the solution is targeting any of our applications such as blockages, high frequency cleaning, inflow and infiltration, or H2S. Ron oversees the field testing of our research and development projects and masterfully manages the intricacies of resource allocation, logistics, and traffic management. Prior to SmartCover, Ron has served in various leadership roles within the IT industry -- as a CTO for a software development company and management consultant -- providing strategic direction to enhance profitability, productivity and efficiency. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California Davis. When he’s not hitting the little white ball, you can find Ron wrestling with his grandsons. Ron is based out of Orange County, CA.