Our Leadership

Executive Leadership

Executives

Earl Lawson

President and Chief Executive Officer

Earl is responsible for CAIRE’s global business with operations in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. He brings 30 years of leadership and market experience across multiple industries including health care and life sciences, energy, chemicals, metals, food and manufacturing.

Earl was previously the President of Chart Industries’ BioMedical Division. He joined Chart in May 2016 from The Linde Group.

He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, and the Kellogg School of Management, Evanston, IL.


Nick Estes

Chief Financial Officer

As CFO, Nick has managed the finance, accounting, treasury, and tax groups for the organization since joining CAIRE in April 2017.

Prior to CAIRE, Nick spent 12 years with The Home Depot where he was the Finance Director for the Pro Business leading business operations, analytics and insights for over $40B in sales. Nick was also the Divisional CFO for the Western Division stores where he supported over 500 stores and over $35B in revenue.

Nick graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He is very active in the Cherokee County, GA, community, where CAIRE is headquartered, and is currently an elected official who serves as a City Council member for Canton, GA.


Larry Hughes

Vice President and General Manager of AirSep Commercial Products

Larry started his professional career with the Buffalo Forge Company in Buffalo, NY, where he was recruited for their Sales Engineer Training Program. He then joined Xorbox Corporation in Tonawanda, NY, a manufacturer of Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Oxygen Equipment as their Director of International Sales.

Leaving Xorbox, Larry helped found AirSep Corporation in 1986 and served on its Board of Directors. As Vice President of Sales, Larry started and expanded the AirSep PSA and Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption (VPSA) Oxygen Commercial Products Business to over 70 countries worldwide, becoming the industry’s market leader.

Larry is a graduate of Union College in Schenectady, NY, with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.


Chris Southerland

Vice President of Global Respiratory Sales

Chris joined CAIRE in October 2016 and has spent his entire career of more than 28 years in the medical device and medical diagnostic product segments. Prior to joining CAIRE, Chris ran a successful health care sales and marketing consulting company for five years specializing in helping large multi-national and medical device start-up companies enter new markets, perform strategic pivots and launch new products.

Chris spent 13 years with IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. and IDEXX affiliates mainly focused in a variety of sales, marketing and executive management roles in the respiratory diagnostic product categories, as well as Chris has served in executive management roles with three prior device start-up companies with successful exits.

Married with two teenage daughters, Chris is active in coaching youth athletics and serves on multiple community boards in the Atlanta area.


Jason Tomsic

Vice President of Operations and Global Sourcing

Jason joined CAIRE in September 2010. He has more than 20 years of operations experience in both manufacturing and supply chain management spanning the automotive, retail, third-party logistics, and medical device spaces.

Jason holds a B.S. in Industrial Management from Clemson University, a Master of Supply Chain Management from Pennsylvania State University, and Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) certification through the Institute for Supply Management.


Edward Kim

Vice President of Engineering and Regulatory Affairs

Edward brings nearly 20 years of engineering, R&D and product development experience in various industries including satellite, airline, environmental, and technical plastics. Before joining CAIRE, he was the Vice President of Engineering for the BioMedical Division of Chart Industries. He led the global engineering team to various industry innovation awards including the HME Business 2018 New Product Award. Prior to Chart, Edward was the Director of Product Development for the Environmental Products division of Cole-Parmer.   

Edward has earned both his Bachelor and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a native of Georgia and resides in a suburb of Atlanta with his wife, Lauren. In his free time, he is an avid tennis player and a strong supporter of the Atlanta Falcons football team.


Candace Roberson

Vice President of Human Resources

Candace joined CAIRE in November of 2018. She has over 20 years of Human Resources experience in multiple industries including financial, technology, engineering, manufacturing and construction.

Prior to joining CAIRE, Candace was the Human Resources Director at JE Dunn Construction. As a member of their Senior Leadership Team, she played a key role in driving the people strategy and positively impacted operations by cultivating a company culture with an engaged and empowered workforce.

Candace is a trusted business partner in the areas of Employee Relations, Recruitment, Compensation, Talent Management, Worker’s Compensation, Organizational Effectiveness, Benefit Design/Administration and Compliance.

Candace holds a Bachelor of Business Management from Georgia State University and an MBA from Shorter College. She also is a member of the National Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). She holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification, SPHR along with the SHRM- SCP Certification.


Dale Bandy

General Counsel

Dale joined CAIRE in January 2019 and brings more than 20 years of experience representing and advising national and international manufacturers and technology businesses. Her experience spans risk management, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, growth strategies, commercial contracting, dispute management, and compliance.

She spent her early legal career practicing corporate law, and mergers and acquisitions in private practice, and then spent 11 years as Executive Counsel for General Electric, advising various business units including Energy Risk Management, Power Services, Grid Solutions and Software. 

Dale is a graduate of Emory University School of Law and the University of Central Florida. She is admitted to practice in the State of Georgia and is an active member of the Health Care and Technology Sections of the Bar.


Brett Townsend

Vice President of Market Development

Brett joined CAIRE in 2019 after facilitating NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.’s acquisition of CAIRE from Chart Industries.

Before joining CAIRE, Brett worked in management consulting, biotechnology and medical device industries. Brett has over 20 years of progressive experience in Sales, Product Management and Marketing in the Cardiac, Vascular, Orthopedic, Surgical Adhesive and Oxygen Therapy fields. His recent industry focus has been in the oxygen respiratory therapy market on both the manufacturing and provider side.

Brett holds a B.B.A. from the University of Georgia and attended Southern Polytechnic State University pursuing an M.S. in Quality Assurance.


Board of Directors

Nick Estes

Chief Financial Officer


Earl Lawson

President and Chief Executive Officer


Mr. Keizo “Ken” Furusaki

Director, and Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.

Ken currently serves as Senior General Manager of Corporate Planning Department of NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. in Japan. Mr. Furusaki was one of the key players in their successful commercialization of oxygen sensors for vehicle emission control in Automotive and Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for cleaner power generation with carbon dioxide, or CO2, reduction. He has led several cross-border alliances with his entrepreneurship throughout his career in Japan, and when he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of its U.S. subsidiary. Currently, he is also a board member of Spirosure, Inc., a start up for asthma care in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ken’s personal driving principle in his work is to “make people breathe easier.”


Mr. Mikihiko Kato

Director, and Executive Officer and Chief Director of Business Strategy of NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.

Mikihiko has been with NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD for over 34 years. He has expanded his role over this time, becoming General Manager Corporate Planning in 2012 and President of Cerâmica e Velas de Ignição NGK do Brasil Ltda later that year. In 2016, Mikihiko became a Corporate Officer. In 2017, he became a Member of the Board. And, in 2019, he was elevated to Board Executive Officer.

Mr. Yoshi Takayanagi

Director, and Corporate Officer of NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.

Yoshi has been with NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD for over 30 years with increasing levels of responsibility over this time. In 2013, he became General Manager of Planning for the Semiconductor Components Division and was promoted to General Manager of the Division in 2016. Yoshi became Corporate Officer of the Medical Business in 2018 and was elevated to Executive Officer in 2019.