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Aaron T. Dowd

Chief Executive Officer

Aaron T. Dowd is Chief Executive Officer of Rare Earth Salts. He previously served as Managing Partner of Mellontikos, an international, diversified venture development holding company. From 2003–2013, Mr. Dowd served as a Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff to The Honorable Chuck Hagel, former Secretary of Defense and U.S. Senator. He has advised the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Mr. Dowd also previously served as Special Advisor to the Chairman of Poongsan Corporation, an industrial metals conglomerate. He holds a Global Executive Master of Business Administration from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Marquette University.

​Joseph Brewer, Ph.D.

Founder & Chief Technology Officer


Dr. Brewer received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Minot State University and both Masters of Science (Physical Chemistry) and Ph.D. (Inorganic Chemistry) degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Dr. Brewer worked under the mentorship of Dr. Chin Li “Barry” Cheung. He has 13 peer-reviewed publications and holds five patents based on rare earth technologies.

Dr. Brewer started his first company, Rare Earth Solar, based on his patent for a high efficiency photovoltaic materials utilizing rare earth elements. The lack of a domestic supply of rare earth elements necessitated the development of the technology behind Rare Earth Salts. Dr. Brewer oversees all research and development within Rare Earth Salts and is responsible for the effective scaling and execution of the technology.

He is an active member of the community in Beatrice, Nebraska with senior roles at a multitude of community service organizations.

Kayla Brewer

Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Brewer was born in a small town in North Dakota and grew up around the world as the daughter of a U.S. Army veteran. Prior to joining the executive management team at Rare Earth Salts as Chief Financial Officer, she was as an auditor with the Auditor of Public Accounts, State of Nebraska. Prior to her work with the State, Ms. Brewer spent three years building the accounting departments of Rare Earth Solar and its parent company, Rare Earth Holding.

Ms. Brewer is a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Beta Gamma Sigma National Business Administration Fraternity and is active in multiple community associations and finance committees in Nebraska.

Ms. Brewer graduated with the highest distinction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance.

Ryan Winburn, Ph.D.

Vice President, Research & Development

Dr. Winburn received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a Masters of Science (Physical Chemistry) from the University of North Dakota, and a Ph.D. (Analytical Chemistry with an Inorganic Chemistry emphasis) from North Dakota State University. At North Dakota State University, Dr. Winburn worked under the mentorship of Dr. Gregory McCarthy.

Prior to joining Rare Earth Salts in 2013, Dr. Winburn was an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Minot State University. During his time at Minot State University, he ran an active research group that was predominately focused on systematic studies of materials characterization, environmental sampling and analysis, solid-state synthesis and characterization of transition metal compounds, and theoretical studies of unique bonding in main group compounds. Dr. Winburn was also the Chairperson for the Division of Science for seven years, managing a group of 15 faculty and administrative personnel. He has 13 peer-reviewed publications and is the co-inventor of the patented technology used at Rare Earth Salts.

Dr. Winburn has worked in collaboration with both the Unites States Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Through his collaboration with NIST, he has been involved with the certification of three Standard Reference Materials (SRMs).

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