Pajarito Powder Team

The Pajarito Powder team brings extensive experience from both fuel cell startups and the industry as a whole, from theoretical and practical applications in research, and finally from manufacturing and business development. Pajarito Powder has an experienced Board of Managers, a Chairman & CEO with a successful fuel cell exit, a CTO & President with extensive catalyst engineering experience, a Chief Scientist with extensive catalyst and PGM-free development experience, along with relevant patents and world-class Technical Advisory Board.

All contribute to the effort to produce advanced catalysts for mobility and hydrogen generation. Pajarito Powder’s patented VariPore™ process is readily-scaled for high-volume manufacturing – the condition ultimately necessary for cost-effective, widespread fuel cell adoption.

Board of Managers

Thomas J. Stephenson

Thomas J. Stephenson

CEO & Board Chairman
Prior to co-founding Pajarito Powder in the spring of 2012, Mr. Stephenson was a co-founder of the Verge Fund in 2003, and currently serves as Managing General Partner in addition to his responsibilities with Pajarito Powder. Mr. Stephenson has worked with a number of current and past Verge portfolio companies, including Altela and Wellkeeper, and was previously on the Board of Directors of LabStart, a joint-venture entity created to assist in commercialization of technologies from Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the sources of technology for Pajarito Powder. He previously served as a director and the lead investor for Mesofuel, a start-up company commercializing novel hydrogen reforming technologies for the fuel cell industry.
Paul Short

Paul Short

Mr. Short was a co-founder of Pajarito Powder, along with Mr. Stephenson. Mr. Short holds a BS and an MS in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico State University, and held positions with both NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory and Honeywell as a Principal Engineer. Later he founded InnovASIC, a design services company that developed integrated circuits for other companies. Mr. Short later evolved InnovASIC from a services firm to a semiconductor producer that designs, manufactures, and sells integrated circuits, earning over $5 million in revenue during a period of industry contraction. He was also the founder of Metaphor Computing and Chief Operating Officer of Altela, a water treatment equipment manufacturer. At Altela, he led the team that designed, manufactured, installed and tested the next generation product, generating $1.6M in revenue in one year.
Prof. Dr. Christian Mohrdieck

Prof. Dr. Christian Mohrdieck

Prof. Dr. Christian Mohrdieck has been a Director Fuel Cell at the Daimler Group since 2012 and at the same time CEO of Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH since 2015. In June 2020, he assumed the additional responsibility of a Managing Director at Daimler Truck Fuel Cell GmbH & Co. KG. After studies of physics in Germany and France, Prof. Mohrdieck joined Daimler-Benz Research in 1989. In 1995 he became head of the Executive Office of the Member of the Board responsible for Research and Technology in Stuttgart. From 1999 on Prof. Mohrdieck has been a Senior Manager Fuel Cell Systems with Daimler-Chrysler Corporation in the USA. Back in Germany, he became a Director of Structural Materials at DaimlerChrysler AG and afterwards in 2003 Director of Alternative Energy and Drive Systems. In 2005 Prof. Mohrdieck assumed the responsibility for Fuel Cell Drive System Development. In 2006 he got the additional responsibility for Li-Ion battery development at Daimler AG. Two years later Prof. Christian Mohrdieck became a Director of Fuel Cell & Battery Drive Development.

In 2013 the University Ulm appointed Dr. Mohrdieck Honorary Professor.

Management Team

Dr. Barr Zulevi

Dr. Barr Zulevi

CTO & President
Dr. Barr Zulevi has extensive experience in materials science, both from his academic career and commercialization experience since co-founding Pajarito Powder in 2012. Dr. Zulevi has overseen and led the Pajarito Powder team in developing the world-class VariPoreTM manufacturing platform and VariPoreTM line of Engineered Catalysts and Catalysts Supports. Under his leadership, Pajarito Powder has licensed, scaled-up, and re-engineered catalytically relevant materials, including catalyst technologies from Los Alamos National Laboratories, University of New Mexico, INRS, and Northeastern University. A team of scientists and technicians supports him with extensive expertise in developing catalysts, technology-transfer, scale-up, and manufacturing of electrocatalysts for fuel cell and electrolyzer applications.
Dr Alexey Serov

Dr. Alexey Serov

Chief Scientist

Dr. Alexey Serov’s technical research began with the Samsung SDI R&D Center, before joining the Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of New Mexico in 2010, as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Serov was later promoted to Research Assistant Professor in 2013 and Research Associate Professor in 2015.

In his research, Dr. Serov has published more than 260 peer-reviewed articles. His IP portfolio consists of 74 issued patents and more than 120 patent applications. His primary research interests include synthesis and characterization of new materials for clean energy technologies, such as fuel cells, electrolyzers and the synthesis of “electrofuels”. Dr. Serov collaborates with multiple research groups around the globe, including academic and industrial partners. He also developed a new generation of catalysts for oxygen reduction reactions that were successfully integrated into the Daihatsu FC ShoCase prototype, introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2013.

Dr. Serov began consulting with Pajarito Powder in 2013, where he shared his expertise in the field of PGM-free electrocatalysis for fuel cell applications. He began his full-time position with Pajarito Powder in 2016 as Chief Scientist, where he manages projects related to the design and manufacturing of electrocatalysts and supports for energy-related applications.

Chris Gregory

Christopher W. Gregory, C.P.A.


Mr. Gregory is an accounting professional who currently serves as the Controller of Pajarito Powder. In addition, Mr. Gregory also serves as the Director of Finance of the Verge Fund, a venture capital fund founded in 2003. Prior to joining Pajarito Powder and the Verge Fund Mr. Gregory worked as an auditor in the public accounting profession for 5 years at CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CLA). While at CLA he predominately worked on audits of venture capital and private equity funds, private technology companies and state and local government audits. Mr. Gregory has been a Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A) since 2014.

  • New Mexico State University, Bachelor of Accountancy, 2012
  • New Mexico State University, Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance, 2012
  • Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.), 2014
Webb Johnson

Webb Johnson

Senior Director of Business Development

Mr. Johnson joined Pajarito Powder in November 2015 as Director of Business Development. Over his career, Mr Johnson has worked in varying capacities for software and hardware startups, including his own. Mr. Johnson was Vice President of an emerging technologies consortium called “Next Generation Economy Initiative” in the early 2000s, based upon cluster research developed by Michael Porter and later, the Milken Foundation aimed at leveraging National Laboratory strengths in technology development while addressing weaknesses in commercialization. At SWSH, LLC he helped recruit and assemble senior engineering and science teams for startups throughout the southwest, including Lumidigm, a biometric startup acquired by Swedish firm Assa Abloy through its Texas-based U.S. subsidiary HID.

In 2014 Mr. Johnson helped establish the ABQid Accelerator, a Global Accelerator Network-accredited program based on the Techstars model using Lean Startup processes to “accelerate” startups.

Dr. Saburo Hori

Dr. Saburo Hori

Director of Business Development Asia
Dr. Saburo Hori started his professional carrier with Kureha Chemical Industries as a project team member to develop a crude oil cracking technology together with Union Carbide Corporation and stayed in the USA for four and a half years. After returning to Japan, Dr. Hori started working on ceramic materials, took a position at Toyota Central R&D Laboratories in 1989 and was Ceramic Laboratory Manager of Toyota Central R&D in 1992-1994 before joining American venture company Lanxide Corporation developing ceramic composite materials. During various technical and management positions of dmc2/OMG/Umicore in Japan, including General Manager of Advanced Materials, General Manager of Tsukuba Plant, Senior Manager Fuel Cells and R&D Manager responsible for battery materials R&D, Dr. Hori was also a Visiting Professor at Kagoshima University.
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