John Thomas Felts is a visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist with a remarkable career spanning several industries and charitable endeavors. As the President and CEO of Nano Scale Surface Systems, Inc., a pioneering startup he founded in 1996, John has been instrumental in commercializing innovative plasma coating technologies for polymeric containers, glass-coated plastic parts, and labware. His leadership has driven the company’s success in various industries, including healthcare and manufacturing.
In addition to his role at Nano Scale Surface Systems, Inc., John has served as a Board Member of Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) since June 2021. Through BOSS, John is committed to helping homeless, poor, and disabled individuals achieve health and self-sufficiency while addressing the root causes of poverty and homelessness.
Furthermore, John’s dedication to education and professional development is evident in his involvement as a Board Member of the Society of Vacuum Coaters Foundation (SVCF). With a mission to provide scholarship funds for individuals interested in vacuum coating technologies, SVCF plays a crucial role in fostering talent and innovation in the field.
Throughout his career, John has demonstrated exceptional leadership and strategic vision, evident in his tenure as Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of Nano Coating Systems, LLC, and his role as Vice President Systems Engineering at CerOx Corporation. His contributions to these startups have been instrumental in driving growth, innovation, and operational excellence.
John’s academic background is equally impressive, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Physics from the University of California, Davis, and completion of the Program for Management Development (PMD 63) at Harvard Graduate School of Business. His expertise in technology commercialization is underscored by numerous patents he holds in the field of plasma coating and thin film deposition processes.
Outside of his professional pursuits, John is an accomplished athlete and philanthropist, having competed in numerous NCAA National Swimming Championships and Ironman Triathlons. His commitment to physical fitness and athletic excellence reflects his disciplined approach to leadership and personal development.
John has focused on the development of long range (100 year) strategic planning processes for both corporate as well as non-profit boards. The resulting philosophies have helped to focus boards on the true company goals, sometimes exposing significant flaws and mis-matches between what was communicated during board meetings as well as through communications with executive staff. In one case, the development of the long range strategic plan allowed the company to easily make decisions during the Pandemic resulting in the company not only surviving the government mandated shutdowns, but fully supported its employees and community during the shutdown(s) and emerged with more cash (than they had going into the crisis) and accelerated growth. Over John’s leadership in the same company, the stock price has more than doubled. John’s unique perspective(s) are a result of managing multi-national organizations and his ability to apply new concepts across business platforms. His technical abilities are clearly demonstrated in the 50+ US (and 100+ international) patents that he holds.
In summary, John Thomas Felts is a dynamic leader, innovator, and philanthropist who continues to make significant contributions to technology commercialization, education, and community development. His passion for driving positive change and his relentless pursuit of excellence serve as an inspiration to all who have the privilege of working with him.
In addition to being on the Board of Napili Kai Ltd. and Nano Scale Surface Systems, Inc., John was a founder and board member of:
Nano Coating Systems, LLC (sold in 1997)
CerOx Corporation (sold in 2000)
Cesar Color Inc.
John also serves on the boards of:
Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) (Treasurer and interim CFO)
Society of Vacuum Coaters Foundation – Founder and board member, past Chair
- Character: John embodies integrity, resilience, and a strong work ethic, evident in his commitment to innovation, philanthropy, and personal development.
- Knowledge: With a solid academic background in Applied Physics and extensive experience in technology commercialization, John possesses deep expertise in plasma coating, thin film deposition processes, and business management.
- Strategic: John demonstrates strategic vision and leadership in his roles, driving growth, innovation, and operational excellence in startups and charitable organizations alike.
- Communication: Through effective communication and collaboration, John fosters partnerships, inspires teams, and advances his vision for positive social impact and technological innovation.