James A. Cusumano, Ph.D.
President & CEO, Chateau Wally Films

James A. Cusumano has worn many hats throughout his highly successful and eclectic career; starting out as a 50s rock n' roll recording artist, then moving on as a research scientist, and finally a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who founded three public companies. Now he is a film producer, who with his wife, Jane, formed Chateau Wally Films. Chateau Wally's mission is to establish a reputation of producing high-quality independent feature films that reflect the human condition and touch the heart.
WHAT MATTERS MOST is Chateau Wally's first feature. It also marks Cusumano's return to the entertainment world after his successful run in the energy and pharmaceuticals industries. As a rock star, he sold several million records in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His iconoclastic repertoire includes "Short Shorts," "Short Shorts Twist," "Lovers Never Say Goodbye," and the successful album, "Newies But Oldies."

Cusumano was intrigued at the prospect of returning to the entertainment industry and applying the entrepreneurial skills and experience he acquired in building three public companies. He found it similar to the situation that existed when he entered the energy and pharmaceuticals industries. He sees the film business as one that is primed for change and offers unusual opportunities to new players who understand the dynamics and timing of impending changes. Capitalizing on his wife's skills in screenplay writing and her desire to direct films, he launched Chateau Wally Films as his fourth entrepreneurial enterprise.

He is also executive producer for a new documentary, "One Tough Biscotti: A Woman, A Film And A Fight," which chronicles his wife's journey simultaneously fighting metastatic breast cancer and creating her first feature film.

Born April 14, 1942, Cusumano obtained a BA in 1964 and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1967 from Rutgers University. Upon graduation, he served at Exxon Research and Engineering Company from 1971 to 1974 as the Director of Catalysis Research and Development at their Corporate Research Laboratory. He co-founded Catalytica, Inc. in 1974 in the heart of California's Silicon Valley. Under his leadership, the corporate mission was and is to significantly improve the way manufacturing is carried out in the pharmaceutical and energy industries through economically advantageous and environmentally friendly catalytic technologies.

Catalytica Pharmaceuticals, Inc. manufactures numerous drugs for other major pharmaceutical companies at its plants in California, Michigan and North Carolina. Examples include AZT for treating AIDS, Zyban for smoking cessation, Wellbutrin and numerous over-the-counter drugs such as Sudafed and Neosporin. With the sale of Catalytica Pharmaceuticals, Inc., he gave up his position as chairman to focus on his efforts in Chateau Wally Films.

Dr. Cusumano has authored more than 50 papers, 20 patents, 8 book chapters, and a book entitled Catalysis in Coal Conversion. He has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. Dr. Cusumano appeared in the PBS TV production on nanotechnology, "Little by Little." He has been a lecturer at Stanford University and is the 1989-1990 recipient of the Charles D. Hurd Lectureship at Northwestern University.

Dr. Cusumano is an advisor to the Fulbright Scholar Program and is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.

On the personal front, Jim enjoys hiking and mountaineering and has had the good fortune to ice-climb 14,160-foot Mt. Shasta in Northern California, 14,410-foot Mt. Rainier in Washington and 19,340-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, among many others. He has two grown daughters, Polly Cusumano and Doreen Nelsen, three grandchildren, and lives on a horse and citrus ranch in Ojai, California.
















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