Vode Founders

Tom Warton

Co-founder, President

Two words define Tom Warton: Passion and vision. Warton has pursued entrepreneurial ventures most of his life and has spent the last 20 years re-thinking the lighting business. Along the way, he’s been committed to caring for the environment and his employees, creating a healthy working environment.

Early in his career, Warton owned and operated the most successful photography rental studio in San Francisco. In 1985, he started a company importing mineral specimens from Brazil, a passion that led to experimenting with the earliest halogen lights, MR16s, to display his imports.

In 1993, he became director of sales for SF 12V, the first company in North America to introduce 12 volt open conductor track systems. That led to jobs at Translite Systems, and the founding of Sonoma Lighting, which merged to become Translite Sonoma (now owned by Lightolier/Philips). At Translite Sonoma, he was director of design and engineering. 

Warton, who has lived in Sonoma since 1991, has two teenagers and is a passionate fan of live music. He’s also a life-long explorer having traveled extensively throughout most continents.

Scott Yu

Co-founder, Chief Creative Officer

Scott Yu is an award-winning industrial designer known worldwide for his innovative transportation and consumer electronics designs. With more than 27 years of experience, he’s known for taking the best ideas from the worlds of marketing, engineering and manufacturing, and applying them to exciting product solutions.

Yu co-founded Gingko Design in San Francisco in 1990 and led the industrial design firm to many awards, including IDEA, CES, iF, Good Design, ID Magazine and Singapore Design awards.

Yu, who graduated from the Art Center College of Design, also held positions at Ford Motor Company, Peugeot SA, and Volvo A.B. He served as lead designer for Citroen’s ECO 2000 – a test vehicle – which achieved an impressive 90 mpg. As the youngest manager at Ford Motor Company, Yu  oversaw the small car studio responsible for developing the Probe, Escort and Festiva.

He is a devoted cyclist, regularly riding the trails in the Marin Headlands and Mt. Tam, and is also a paraglider – the result of his life-long passion for non-motor-assisted flight.

George Mieling

Co-founder, Chief Operating Officer

Austrian-born George Mieling has deep roots in the global business world, having held executive-level positions at various industrial corporations in both the US and Europe.

Before joining Vode, Mieling was president of Jungbunzlauer North America, a leading industrial manufacturing and sales company. While there he oversaw strategy and operations. During his six-year tenure as president, Mieling, restructured the company and significantly improved its revenues, profit margins and market share.

Prior to that, Mieling held executive-level positions in business development, sales management and materials management for the Jungbunzlauer Group. He oversaw key account management for multi-nationals such as Pepsi, Procter Gamble and Unilever.

Mieling holds both American and Austrian citizenship, and is married to a French woman, with whom he has three children. In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys surfing, skiing, international travel and playing passionate blues keyboards with his band.

Mieling holds graduate degrees from the University of Vienna, Austria and Harvard Business School.