SafeKey® Corporation was created by a small group of professionals interested in finding ways to reduce the number of impaired drivers traveling the nation’s roads, while also making it much more difficult for thieves to steal vehicles.
Jim Rennie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Management from the University of Alabama. He is currently pursuing his MBA from the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis MN.
Mr. Rennie is a veteran businessman with nearly twenty-five years of experience with companies such as Kraft Foods, Piper-Jaffray, RBC Dain Rauscher and Merrill Lynch. Jim has extensive experience in the financial services and mortgage lending industry and is particularly well skilled at building partnerships with clients, organizations, and companies. His focus is on building strong customer relationships.
In its early stages of development, he successfully positioned SafeKey in front of local units of government, student drivers, first offenders and parents of student drivers. He developed and coordinated discounted pricing options on SafeKey for AAA members and is working on creating similar programs with other organizations. He is also working on partnering SafeKey with high schools across the country as part of their drug and alcohol awareness initiatives. He is the point of contact for SafeKey and is well versed at giving presentations.
Inventor, Developer of the SafeKey, and Co-Founder of the SafeKey Corporation
Dr. Tom Edwards, magna cum laude engineering graduate of Purdue University, invented, developed, and patented the SafeKey. He also co-founded the SafeKey Corporation, although he is neither a board member nor a member of the management team. Dr. Edwards has received approximately 100 U.S. and foreign patents.
Having gained an interest in deterring impaired driving, a serious worldwide problem, Dr. Edwards began to study and research breath-alcohol technology and applications of breathalyzer equipment. Interestingly, he found that this relatively standard equipment is often inaccurate and rarely indicative of the actual ability of a driver to safely operate a motor vehicle. Furthermore, the prevailing technology only addresses alcohol use and cannot assess the effects of many other factors that affect unsafe driving, such as fatigue, drugs, low blood sugar in diabetic persons, and so on.
Edwards concluded that conventional equipment, even if accurate, was not evaluating the basic factor that results in unsafe driving: Stimulus/Reaction Rate. One’s speed of reaction to a given random stimulus (such as another person’s poor driving, sudden appearance of pedestrians, traffic control lights, vehicle failure, road obstructions, etc.) is what should be measured in order to assess one’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. Once a person receives a DUI breath-alcohol test, it is often too late to avoid receiving a DUI citation, along with the costs, embarrassment, and other penalties associated with receiving a DUI. An “early-warning” vehicle interlock system could have prevented the DUI from ever taking place.
Armed with this information, Edwards’ process of innovation was focused on creating new intellectual property that would skirt the high cost and many shortcomings of alcohol-only detection. His goal was to develop a product that would detect genuine stimulus/response impairment. Edwards’ patents (now issued) have been licensed to SafeKey Corporation and contain many forms of the SafeKey products.
The particular configuration of the patented SafeKey that was chosen and produced and is now being sold, consists of two solid-state electronic devices: a small Impairment Check Module (normally keychain-attached to the vehicle’s key) and an engine Immobilizer Module that is controlled by the Check Module. If the driver passes the impairment check, the vehicle can be started. In the event the check is failed three times, the vehicle cannot be started; a one-hour delay is required to attempt to use the Check Module again. Details of the SafeKey appear throughout this website. See, “What is SafeKey?”
Executive Vice President
Dr. Galbraith has been a Board-Certified Neurologist since 1967. He completed his post- graduate training at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota. He then joined a prominent Neurological and Psychiatric Clinic in Minnesota. He is a Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of Minnesota and has been an Examiner for the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. He has also served as Chief of Staff of Fairview Southdale Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dr. Galbraith has also played a significant role in increasing safety in sports nationwide. He was instrumental in placing the first engineered plastic hockey helmet on a player in 1967. Use of this helmet is now mandatory from Squirt Hockey to the National Hockey League. He also played a critical role in adding the face mask to hockey players’ equipment in 1975 and in 1982 replaced the molded goalie face mask with the “Cage Mask.” These safety measures have significantly reduced the number of face, eye and head injuries hockey players receive each year.
Dr. Galbraith and Dr. Edwards have been close associates, business partners and steadfast friends for more than two decades. They have served together on numerous Boards of Directors of companies created as a result of Dr. Edward’s inventions.
Christine Reiersgord has created, operated and provided key operational support for several successful businesses. She manages the operational and administrative functions of the SafeKey Corporation offices.
Senior Vice President of Technology
John Dufresne, a graduate of the Wentworth Institute of Technology, is an experienced engineer with the talents to create, motivate, and initiate new concept designs. Dufresne has numerous years of experience in TS, ISO, and QS 9000 Certified Manufacturing Fulfillment, which show his expertise in everything from initial concept to product manufacturing.
Before joining the SafeKey Team, Dufresne worked with world-leading manufacturers within the GPS tracking and security industry. His unique concept design and product development abilities have led him to create and develop many new inventions. Dufresne spent 15 years working with Agfa, Matrix Medical, and Itek Color Graphics in the research and development of numerous technologies pertaining to prepress graphics and medical imaging.
Dufresne holds a 9th degree black belt in martial arts. He was the head coach of the U.S. team at the first international World Wu-shu Competition held in Putien, China, in 1994. At the competition, Dufresne led his team of Americans to win more than 15 awards and medals. He has been ranked within the top 10 martial artists in the world for seven consecutive years by Karate Illustrated Magazine and he earned the number one rating in 1986.
Over the last several years, Dufresne has been involved with many outreach programs, such as Boston Rescue Mission, Hope House, churches, and other affiliations in the Boston area that take an active role in helping struggling addicts in their recovery from alcohol and drug abuse.
When Dufresne discovered that SafeKey shares his philosophies in wanting to help preserve lives, he knew he wanted to work with them!
Principal Business Strategist
Paul Douglas (aka Douglas Paul Kruhoeffer) is a nationally respected meteorologist, with 30 years of broadcast television and 36 years of radio experience. Douglas graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University in 1980. From 1983 to 1994 Douglas was employed by KARE-TV in Minneapolis. While there he began a daily weather column in the Star Tribune newspaper. He authored a book, Prairie Skies, the Minnesota Weather Book, and taught a broadcast meteorology class at the Saint Cloud State University in 1992-93. His most recent weather-related book, Restless Skies, the Ultimate Weather Book, was released nationwide by Barnes and Noble in late 2004 and is now in its second printing (Sterling Publishing). He taught broadcast meteorology at St. Cloud State University in 1992.
Jon Cummings has a very personal reason for serving as a special consultant to SafeKey. Sadly, he and his wife lost their son to a head-on collision with a drunk driver. The Cummings decided to put their grief into action by forming the organization, “Minnesotans for Safe Driving," firstname.lastname@example.org. For close to fifteen years, the Cummings have given presentations to young drivers and DUI/DWI recipients about the tragic consequences of drinking and driving and have worked for change and progress in keeping impaired drivers off the road.