Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief of Product Development
Mr. Visconti is the Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief of Product Development at Forza X1, Inc. With over 25 years of executive level operational and financial experience, Mr. Visconti was the founder, CEO and President of two previous companies, the first company was a regional Investment Bank that he built to over 400 employees and sold in 2000. The second company was ValueRich, a financial media company that was taken public on the American Stock Exchange in 2007. Mr. Visconti has experience building teams of professionals with a focus on product development and bringing those products to market. Mr. Visconti received his Associate’s degree from Lynn University in 1984.
CEO and President
Jim Leffew is the CEO and President of Forza X1, Inc. Previously, Mr. Leffew served as the Senior Vice President, Manufacturing of Maverick Boat Group, Inc. from September 1999 until November 2021, where he was responsible for overseeing manufacturing operations and over 450 direct employees at a company with over $125 million in sales. Prior to joining Maverick Boat Group, Inc., he was a Facilities Director at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution where he directed all construction and maintenance needs for an over 500,000 square foot mixed-use space and managed a budget exceeding $5 million a year. Mr Leffew received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 1987.
Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Gunnerson served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Art’s Way Manufacturing Co., Inc. (‘Art’s Way”) from October 18 2007 until July 21, 2020, as its Chief Financial Officer from July 2004 until January 2012 and interim from September 2012 until January 22, 2015 and again from May 31, 2018 until February 1, 2020. Prior to joining Art’s Way in 2004, from 2001 until 2004 Ms. Gunnerson was employed by Tyco Plastics Inc., where she was responsible for all of the functions of a controller. Ms. Gunnerson was named a director of the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association, effective in November 2016.
Director of Engineering
Mr. Norton has spent over 20 years working in the technical design engineering arena for companies including Caterpillar Inc., Gerber Technology, and ATI Industrial Automation, in various project management and engineering development positions. He currently holds over 20 patents related to innovative electromechanical solutions to automation, boat docking, and work piece clamping. He is also the inventor of the NLS (Nautical Landing System) technology and has been developing the Smartlander positive restraint system for use in heavy-duty marine applications. Mr. Norton received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1998, from Northeastern University. and is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He received his Certified Scrum Product Owner certification in 2019.
Director of Tooling
Preston Yarborough is the Director of Tooling for Forza X1, Inc. and brings over 23 years of marine manufacturing experience. For the last several years, Mr. Yarborough has led the design, development and production of several boat models and built over 8,000 boats during his career. Mr. Yarborough has designed and produced specialized vessels for the US Navy, the National Park Service, and various state and county agencies and governments. Mr. Yarborough has received his Composite Tech Certification with ACMA as is a Certified Outboard Suzuki Marine Tech.