About The Legacy Company...

The Legacy Company has been an independent, freelance writing company since it was founded by Jo Ann McDonald in Palo Alto, California, in the 1970s. Jo Ann, who turned 67 in Nov. 2007 (and trying to retire from high tech to concentrate on being a Texas rancher, is pictured to the right (the picture was taken in the Spring of 2002 at Legacy Ranch. When you're that old and a Texan, shades are a must). She is a veteran technology journalist with over 30 years in the field. Her specialties are in reporting and commenting on the advanced semiconductor and photonic technologies. In recent years Jo Ann's primary science and technology publishers have been Elsevier, CMP, IOP, PennWell, Penton and SEMI. (See complete high tech bio for details).

Jo Ann and her husband, Bill Randall, operate The Legacy Company from their working cattle ranch in the Central Texas Hill Country, thus the name of the Legacy Ranch website. Bill and Jo Ann run the ranch as native wildlife refuge and home to 10 beautiful young registered longhorn steers, some of whom come from "Bevo's Ranch" the mascot for the University of Texas, where both she and Bill attended college. Legacy Ranch also serves as the location for a series of fiction properties she has groomed for exploitation, called The Adventures @ Legacy Ranch, which use the real ranch and most of its occupants as the backdrop for the multifaceted stories.

In the sunset of her high tech career, and after over 20 years specifically championing the compound semiconductors, Jo Ann's primary professional activities revolve around further developing the online advanced semiconductor industry portals she co-founded with Tom Griffiths, called CompoundSemi Online and Solid State Lighting Net. Jo Ann's primary role is that of editor in chief of the portals' daily news, CompoundSemi News and LIGHTimes. Her prime mission there is to make the compounds and advanced LEDs for solid state lighting applications more understandable and appreciated, and has helped position CompoundSemi and LIGHTimes as the "industry press agents" championing all events and all print publications, and hopefully helping make the lives of fellow journalists a little easier with her unique, informal style of news coverage.

For those who want more of this colorful background on Jo Ann, see below, or for a formal version, reference her full high tech bio as updated Nov. 2007...

Jo Ann McDonald is noted for her many firsts in not only the high tech arena, but in mainstream ventures. Having worked both on the PR and journalist sides of the business, she represented Intel and Apple Computer back when the microprocessor was first introduced. She developed, wrote and anchored a precedent-setting "business entertainment" television show called "The New Breed" in Silicon Valley in the mid-70s. She took a leave of absence from high tech for 3 years and helped Billie Jean King start the Women's Sports Foundation and served as WSF's first Program Director. She started the first ever print magazine for the compound semiconductors, called "III-V Technology Review" which eventually became the current Elsevier publication, III-Vs Review. As a reporter for EE Times, she had the pleasure of breaking the first "blue laser breakthrough news" about Shuji Nakamura, who was then with Nichia. She conceived of and produced a series of 101 workshop videos, now considered classics in the field of blue spectrum device development. With her partner, Tom Griffiths, she created Blue 2003 - Behind the Hot Apps, another first-of-its-kind venture introducing all the blue spectrum market makers to the mainstream business and technology press. She and her staff at CompoundSemi selected recipients for the first "Pioneer Awards" which were given to, among others, her longtime friend Shuji Nakamura at Blue 2003. The inscription on the award read... "For Exceptional Contributions. to the field of Blue Spectrum Development... and Faith in the Future." Additional Pioneer Awards will be given at the 9th Annual Compound Semi Outlook Conference to be held Dec. 15-17 in Dallas, which CompoundSemi Online is helping Gorham organize.

Bill and Jo Ann's private life is solidly entrenched forever at Legacy Ranch, which occupies 272 acres of Central Texas woodlands, grain fields, has two creeks and five ponds (which Texans call "tanks"). The ranch headquarters is on a hill just to the west of an old ghost town called Placid. One of the main reasons Jo Ann wants to retire from high tech (but nobody will let her yet)) is to oversee the continued development and construction and basic upkeep of the ranch. Another reason is to help expand Bill's professional music career. He has been an outstanding rock and blues musician for decades and his Texas Wildfire Band entertained audiences throughout the Texas Hill Country for many years, especially down south, towards San Antonio, appearing regularly in Fredericksburg and Kerrville. That's Texas Wildfire merchandise Jo Ann's showing off. She plays "manager of the band" (which would keep anyone young). No more "on the road" for either of them now, but Bill's songwriting career is just getting started.

Improvements and construction are always underway at Legacy Ranch, and for those who want to view the building of our most ambitious project, the swimming pool we call "Puma Pond", an extensive photo gallery has been posted on this site under "Meanwhile, Back @ The Ranch" for the convenience of our friends, tech colleagues, and for our outstanding pool contractors, Cain Pool, and their subs who made this major improvement possible... so they can see how good they looked.


Legacy Ranch