ProGrade Digital Resurrects Lexar Legacy

Posted Feb. 25th, 2018 by Daniel J. Cox

ProGrade Digital rises from the ashes of defunct Lexar

This past week, having been on a shoot in Cuba, I missed the announcement of a new CF & SD card company going by the name ProGrade Digital. Seems several Lexar employees wanted to continue on even though Micron Electronics threw in the towel on the Lexar name, so up from Lexar’s ashes comes ProGrade Digital. This new company has some old-fashioned talent from the days Lexar was actually a quality company. In their waning years they stumbled badly, and I’m hopeful ProGrade Digital can do a much better job than what Lexar did during its slow and seemingly untimely death.

For those who read this Blog, you may recall a post I did titled: New Lexar 1000 and 2000 SDHC ll Cards Unreadable? This was about the time Lexar was in a slow death spiral. Not only were they releasing lots of defective cards, but they chose not to answer any emails from those of us who bought their defective merchandise. I wrote several posts on the problems I and others were having, and you can see them for yourself if you have an interest on the Blog at Lexar Posts. But that’s water under the bridge hopefully. The new company, ProGrade Digital, is promising world-class product with world-class support. Their marketing hype sounds good. I guess time will tell if they live up to the excitement.

Wes Brewer, Founder and CEO of Prograde Digital

Wes Brewer, Founder and CEO of Prograde Digital

 Wes is the founder and Chief Executive Officer at ProGrade Digital. He brings more than 30 years of executive management, corporate strategy, product development, and go-to-market experience to this role. As CEO, he leads the company to fulfill its goal of being the preferred brand of memory cards and workflow accessories for professional photographers, videographers, and cinematographers.

Prior to founding ProGrade Digital, Wes had P&L responsibility of Lexar as its Vice President and General Manager. He was directly responsible for Product Marketing, Product Management, Product Engineering, Quality, Manufacturing, Supply Chain, and Demand Planning for all Lexar branded memory products.

He also held leadership positions at SanDisk, where he was the Vice President of the Cards and Accessories Division and played a key role in building SanDisk into a multi-billion-dollar retail business. He has also held executive-level roles at other consumer- and enterprise-focused technology companies including Magellan Navigation and Seagate Technology.

Wes holds a BS in Economics from the University of San Francisco and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

Mark Lewis, Co-founder and Vice President of Marketing of Prograde Digital

Mark Lewis, Co-founder and Vice President of Marketing of Prograde Digital

 Mark is the Vice President of Marketing at ProGrade Digital. With more than 20 years of leadership experience at high-growth technology companies, he is responsible for building global brand awareness, driving go-to-market strategies, and demand generation for ProGrade Digital’s professional products.

Mark was most recently the Senior Director of Marketing at Lexar, a global brand known for its memory cards, USB flash drives, readers and storage drives for retail and OEM customers. He led brand messaging, outreach and marketing initiatives, content marketing, and partner engagement programs that built awareness and demand for Lexar products on a global scale. He expanded Lexar’s Influencer Marketing program to include Ambassadors, Communities, and Lexar’s Elite Photographers programs.

Mark held other marketing leadership positions. He was the Global Director of Marketing at SanDisk, the leading retail brand for memory cards and storage devices, where he built a global marketing team to manage the retail business as the company strategically expanded into the consumer market. He has also held senior marketing leadership roles at Fujitsu, Logitech, HP, and other companies.

Mark received a BA in Business, Communications, and Economics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Michael George, Co-founder and Vice President of Engineering at Prograde Digital

Michael George, Co-founder and Vice President of Engineering at Prograde Digital

With more than 20 years of technology and product development leadership in the memory and storage segment, Michael leads Engineering at ProGrade Digital.

Prior to ProGrade Digital, Michael was Director of Engineering at Micron for over 10 years, developing removable memory cards and USB drives. His responsibilities included planning and enablement alignment of Micron NAND components business with removable storage markets. As a founding member of Lexar Media (spun-out out of Cirrus Logic and acquired by Micron in 2006) and in subsequent roles, Michael has over 20 years of development and Applications Engineering in removable storage products and technology.

Michael has also held senior engineering roles in Centillium Communication and Cisco Systems.

Michael has a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from McGill University.

Ed Chelini, Co-founder and VP of Operations at Prograde Digital

Ed Chelini, Co-founder and VP of Operations at Prograde Digital

Ed is responsible for manufacturing and product fulfillment in his role as Vice President of Operations. With more than 20 years of leadership experience, he balances business goals with key customer commitments, strategic initiatives, and supply chain capabilities.

Prior to ProGrade Digital, Ed served as Senior Director Worldwide Planning at Lexar Media, where he was responsible for managing procurement, supply chain planning, and execution.

He previously worked at SanDisk as the Director of Planning, where he was responsible for Supply Chain Planning, which included demand planning and supply response to forecast to support the organization’s retail and OEM business units. He also led teams in China and the US.

Ed earned a BS in Aeronautical Engineering at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

Below is the Press Release with more information.

PROGRADE DIGITAL LAUNCHES NEW LINE OF PROFESSIONAL-QUALITY MEMORY CARDS AND CARD READERS FOR USE WITH DIGITAL CAMERAS, CAMCORDERS AND CINEMA CAMERAS

Former Lexar Executives Start New Company: Pledge to Focus on Developing and Marketing
Products of Superior Performance, Quality and Reliability

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Feb 15, 2018 8:00 am EST-ProGrade Digital, anew company founded on a mission to provide the highest quality, professional grade memory cards and workflow solutions available, today announced a new line of products designed to uniquely fill the needs of today’s high-end DLSRs, camcorders and digital cinema cameras. Memory cards will be offered in a variety of formats and industry-leading capacities. The company will also design and market a selection of card readers, starting with a CFast & SD Dual Slot Workflow Reader that boasts a USB 3.0, Gen. 2 transfer protocol. ProGrade Digital’s new memory cards and card readers will become available in the month of February at www.progradedigital.com, Amazon.com and B&H Photo and Video.

ProGrade Digital was founded by former executives from Lexar who held management or technical leadership positions at the company recognized as the pioneer in memory card development for digital photography. The team has more than 60 years of combined experience in the design, development and manufacture of memory cards gained while working for Lexar, SanDisk and other firms. Leveraging its experience and industry relationships, the team will focus exclusively on developing and marketing memory cards, card readers and software optimized for use within professional cinema and photography markets.

“Our goal is to be the professional’s source for top performing, professional grade memory cards and workflow solutions,” says Wes Brewer, founder and CEO of ProGrade Digital. “We will be committed to focusing our efforts on the digital imaging pro who is meticulous about his equipment and workflow-delivering the best service, plus best product quality and reliability.”

Memory Card Key Features

  • Professional-level capacities for CFast 2.0 and SDXC UHS-II memory cards
  • Optimized controllers specifically designed for use in professional-grade cameras
  • Rigorous full-card testing with serialized tracking of key components and manufacturing data for the highest quality control
  • Component-level testing down to individual memory chips for optimal quality
  • 3-year warranty

Card Reader Key Features

  • Dual slot reader for CFast 2.0 and SDXC UHS-II card formats
  • USB 3.0 Gen. 2 transfer speed of up to 10Gb/second
  • Supports concurrent full-speed flow of data from cards in each slot
  • Portable and compact
  • Includes two 18″ connection cables: one for Type A to Type C and one for Type C to Type C
  • Magnetized reader bottom firmly connects reader to laptop (using included metal mounting plate)
  • 2-year warranty
Card Format Speed Capacities Pricing
CFast 2.0 550MB/sec 128GB, 256GB, 512GB $229.99, $349.99, $699.99
SDXC UHS-II, Class U3 200MB/sec 64GB, 128GB, 256GB $54.99, $94.99, $189.99

 

Reader Supported Media Interface Speed Pricing
CFast & SD Dual Slot Workflow Reader CFast 2.0, SDXC USB 3.0 Gen. 2 Up to 10Gb/sec $79.99

ProGrade Digital memory cards are designed to provide the highest levels of performance, quality and reliability in high-end DSLRs, camcorders and digital cinema cameras from manufacturers such as Canon, Nikon, Sony and Blackmagic.

ProGrade Digital cards and card readers are available online at www.progradedigital.com, Amazon.com and B&H Photo and Video.

About ProGrade Digital

While the company is new, the founders of ProGrade Digital are former executives from Lexar and SanDisk, where they held executive or senior management positions in corporate, engineering, operations and marketing. With more than 60 years of combined experience in the design and development of memory cards, its founders have a proven track-record in the memory card business, as well as long-term industry relationships with suppliers and manufacturers.

For more information, visit www.progradedigital.com.
High resolution product photos and logo available for download at http://bit.ly/ProGradeDigitalPRKit


ProGrade Digital and the ProGrade Digital logo are registered trademarks of ProGrade Digital, Inc.

Media Contact:

Martha Blanchfield for

ProGrade Digital, Inc.

Martha@renegade-pr.com
650 483-8816

 

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