Jo Ann McDonald

Co-founder of CompoundSemi Online
Founding Editor of CompoundSemi News, LIGHTimes, and The McDonald Report

Biographical Information as of February, 2007

Jo Ann McDonald is a 35+ year veteran journalist and strategy consultant who has specialized in the compound semiconductor industry for the past 25 years. Prior to that, in her hometown area of the San Francisco Bay Area, she focused her attentions on helping pioneer the famed Silicon Valley, during its formative years of creating the silicon semiconductor and computer industries. Jo Ann has written for numerous trade publications over the years, including a a CMP's EE Times, PennWell's Cleanroom Report and Military & Aerospace Electronics, the Institute of Physics' Environmental Sensors, was a frequent contributor to Asian Electronics Engineer and was USA Correspondent for a number of Elsevier journals. Elsevier is now the the largest science publishing house in the world. She served 10 years as USA Correspondent for Elsevier's III-Vs Review, a magazine that recently ceased publication but was totally devoted to the compounds, the origins of which was III-V Technology Review, which Jo Ann originated, published and edited in the mid-1980s. She also authored a stable of related online newsletters for the prestigious trade association, SEMI, and contributed routinely to SEMI's monthly print magazine.

Jo Ann also has a strong background in leading edge television production and event coordination. In addition to numerous "firsts" while championing early stage silicon and computer science, her insight into the potential presented by the compounds remains unprecedented. In the early 1980's she organized the first ever business conclave for the fledgling compound semi industry at SRI International, from which she conceived and authored the sector's first newsletter, GaAs News. In 1999 she brought that full circle by assisting in the launch of Gorham's Compound Semiconductor Outlook conference (now defunct, replaced by CS Online Inc.'s annual CS Vision conference), where she videotaped her original tutorial workshop on the Group III Nitrides, which are the underlying technology for creating blue spectrum LEDs, laser diodes, and advanced electronic devices and systems. The "Directors Cut" of that Nitride Appreciation video workshop, Nitride 101, is now considered a classic. She organized and videotaped two follow-on 101 workshops for the field, GaN 101 and InP 101, descriptive and sales information for which is available on the CompoundSemi Online site. Jo Ann was also instrumental in creating the first ever business opportunity conference for the burgeoning high brightness LED field by helping create and coordinate Strategies Unlimited's first annual Strategies in Light conference. Strategies since became part of PennWell Publishing.

In 2003, Jo Ann conceived of and produced Blue 2003 in Dallas with her partner, Tom Griffiths. The BLUE event has gone on to be based in Taiwan and continues to be a strong international event championing the blue spectrum LED field, the heart and soul of solid state lighting. A feature of that original BLUE event, of which she is most proud, is the creation and promotion of the Pioneer Awards, which were given to Shuji Nakamura, Norm Schumaker, Michael Shur, John Edmond, and Bob Steele. Compound Semi Online went on to award additional Pioneer Awards at the annual Compound Semi Outlook conference in December, 2003 in Dallas. CompoundSemi Online.

Jo Ann is co-founder and the original CEO of CompoundSemi Online, ( an international CS industry online portal, and and she focuses the majority of her efforts on overseeing the editing of those portal's daily "online newspapers," CompoundSemi News and LIGHTimes. The predecessor to this novel approach to disseminating the industry's "daily news" in the traditional spirit of the classic American "print newspaper," was called and originally available over the early stage Internet via that domain. enjoyed widespread popularity, linking an international technology community in real time, for the firs time in history. CompoundSemi Online has remained the comprehensive online resource for the entire global compound semiconductor industry, free to all visitors, and financed by client companies who maintain a presence in the site's Directory Listings, Continuous Trade Show, Job Fair, and Press Room. CompoundSemi Online now serves over 500,000 visitors per month and Jo Ann's editorial byline appears in CompoundSemi News as The McDonald Report which are archived dating back to May of 2000.



Extended biographical information

Educated as an environmental sociologist at San Jose State and Stanford, later focusing on human ecology at the University of Texas, her romance with advanced technology began in the early 1960s and she continually favors technologies that contribute significantly to environmental progress. She is a noted private consultant to startup companies and those bracing for exceptional growth or acquisition, and "fast-tracking" is her specialty. Her video productions of tutorials on key advanced compound semiconductor development, especially those based on environmentally sensible materials, such as Gallium Nitride (GaN)… the devices from which offer significant contributions to the natural environment… enjoy widespread international distribution. She had the pleasure of being the first journalist to cover and compare technologies developed within the former Soviet Union and the USA throughout the Cold War, and maintains close ties with those critical dual use companies and development labs. In the mid-'80s Jo Ann conceived of and produced a unique television show called The New Breed, profiling technology heroes. That concept inspired her 1999 Nitride Appreciation video production featuring Shuji Nakamura. She had the pleasure of "breaking" Professor Nakamura's blue spectrum LED and "blue laser" technology breakthrough stories in the USA press via EE Times, and is regarded as a historic biographer and champion of international compound semiconductor pioneer technologists. Ideally typical of this treatment is the featuring of Professor Emeritus Jacques Pankove in her most recent production, GaN 101 video.

Jo Ann relocated her business activities from Silicon Valley to a rural ranching environment 22 years ago. For the past 14 years, she and her husband, Bill Randall, have headquartered on their self-owned and operated 272 acre ranch, which they maintain primarily for the benefit of the native Texas wildlife. It is called Legacy Ranch. In addition to being Jo Ann's business manager, Bill is a longtime professional classic rock and blues style lead guitarist and songwriter. His band, Texas Wildfire had a great run for many years in the Texas Hill Country. Songs from his CD titled "Hit Songs for Sale" are currently being shopped around to major recording artists. Her partner in the CompoundSemi Online Inc. enterprise and co-founder of the portals is Tom Griffiths, a former Silicon Valley marketing professional and Internet business developer, who works from his home office in Austin, Texas. As Jo Ann nears full retirement, Tom heads CompoundSemi Online as President and CEO. Jo Ann turned 67 November 8th, 2006 and she and her husand Bill Randall now spend the majority of their time as full-time ranchers. Stock includes 10 longhorn steers, 2 horses, 4 cats (and a lone peahen who oversees grasshopper eradication). They run Legacy Ranch as a native wildlife refuge and specialize in wildlife photography and reeding a huge number of native white tail deer, wild turkeys, birds and variety of wildlife. Occassionally, Jo Ann works on a variety of novels in progress. But don't hold your breath waiting to read them as the ranch management takes precedence over everything these days.

Contact information:
Jo Ann McDonald
The Legacy Company
Legacy Ranch, 105 PR 817
Rochelle, TX 76872 USA
Tel: 325-463-5345