Dr. Min Kao co-founded Garmin Corporation with Gary Burrell in October 1989 to integrate Global Positioning System (GPS) technology into navigation devices for multiple markets. Dr. Kao is credited with the breakthrough design and engineering of the GPS software technology that formed the foundation of the original Garmin product line. As executive chairman, Dr. Kao provides ongoing support to the company’s strategic planning and business development processes and continues to serve as the chairman of the board of directors.
Prior to founding Garmin, Dr. Kao served as a systems analyst at Teledyne Systems for inertial, radio navigation and fire control systems. While at Magnavox Advanced Products, he designed the Kalman filter algorithms for Phase II GPS user equipment. He later served as engineering group leader with King Radio Corporation and AlliedSignal, where he led the development of the first GPS navigator to be certified by the FAA. Dr. Kao has a bachelor's in electrical engineering from National Taiwan University. His career began at the University of Tennessee where he earned his master's and Ph.D. in electrical engineering and was involved in research for NASA and the U.S. Army.
President and CEO
Clifton A. Pemble joined Garmin International in 1989 as a software engineer. As one of the company's first associates, he has served in a variety of leadership capacities, including systems engineering and software engineering management. In 2007, Pemble was appointed president and chief operating officer and served in that capacity until being named CEO in January 2013, succeeding co-founder Dr. Min Kao. He has been a member of the Garmin Ltd. board of directors since August 2004.
Prior to joining Garmin, Pemble served as a software engineer for AlliedSignal, participating in the development of earth-based and satellite-based navigation systems for general aviation.
Pemble earned his bachelor’s in mathematics and computer science from MidAmerica Nazarene University.
Jonathan Burrell is the CEO of the Burrell Family Office. In this role, he manages and provides direction for the assets and investments of the Burrell family. He is an inventor and active investor in financial, technology and related businesses.
Burrell served as an engineering manager at Garmin from 1990 to 2005. He was the 13th employee and the first mechanical engineer hired by the company. Throughout his career at Garmin, Burrell led the mechanical engineering department. In that role, he had mechanical design responsibility for many of the comopany's marine, outdoor and fitness products as well as their aviation handheld units.
Prior to joining Garmin, Burrell was a propulsion controls engineer for Bendix Engine Controls in South Bend, Indiana, from 1986 to 1990. Burrell holds a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Wichita State University.
Joseph J. Hartnett has served as the interim president and CEO of Sparton Corporation since February 2016. He served as president and CEO of Ingenient Technologies from 2008 to 2010. He joined the software development company in 2007 as its chief operating officer. Prior to that, he was the chief financial officer for U.S. Robotics Corporation from 2000 to 2001 and went on to lead the company as president and CEO from 2001 to 2006. Prior to U.S. Robotics, he was a partner with Grant Thornton LLP, where he served for more than 20 years in various leadership roles.
Hartnett is a licensed certified public accountant and holds a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Catherine Lewis is a retired tax partner with KPMG and has more than 25 years’ experience in the accounting and tax professions. While at KPMG, Lewis served as the global tax leader of the Energy and Natural Resources and the Sustainability practices where she provided expertise in areas of taxation, planning and compliance. She also led KPMG’s International Tax practice in Kansas City and the Power & Utility Tax practice in the U.S.
Before joining KPMG in 2002, Lewis was employed at Arthur Andersen for 16 years. She is a certified public accountant and has served on the Board of Directors for CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust Inc. since 2013. Lewis has also served in advisory roles for numerous community and charitable organisations.
Charles W. Peffer is a former audit partner with KPMG LLP. He holds a bachelor’s of business administration from the University of Kansas and a master’s of business administration from Northwestern University.
Peffer became a partner with KPMG’s predecessor firm in 1979 and served in the firm’s Kansas City office as partner in charge of audit from 1986 to 1993 and as the office's managing partner from 1993 to 2000. Peffer retired from KPMG in 2002. He currently serves as a director of Sensata Technologies Holding PLC since 2010; a director of HD Supply Holdings, Inc. since 2013; and a trustee of the Commerce Funds, a family of 7 mutual funds.