LCS names Marty Distinguished Alumni

Monday, May 3, 2021

LE MARS — The Le Mars Community School District Alumni Association and Foundation selection committee has recognized Alan Marty, class of 1974, as the 2021 Distinguished Alumni of the Year.

The announcement came at the annual LCSD Foundation Virtual Banquet which went live April 28.

Marty was nominated by Norman Barker, who wrote, “He has used his multiple skills in a variety of employment settings to grow himself and improve the opportunities for others in the process.”

“This was a complete surprise,” Marty said. “When you’ve been gone from Le Mars 40 years, it’s not like you really think that something like this would ever happen.

“I love Le Mars so much. It just gave me lots of reasons to reminisce on all the wonderful things that Le Mars has to offer and quite frankly, all the friends I made while I was there. Those high school friendships really endure well,” he said.

Marty graduated from Iowa State University in 1978 with a materials engineering degree and has a master’s in business administration, master’s in administration and policy analysis from Stanford University.

He started his career in the academic world as an associate professor in materials science at Silliman University. He then joined Caterpillar Corporation as an engineer and after Stanford as a sales manager at Applied Materials in Texas.

In 1988, he was selected as a White House Fellow. He also served as a special assistant to the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon.

He worked for Hewlett-Packard Company/Agilent Technologies from where he started as the R&D Director of the Integrated Circuit Business Division and ended as the general manager in the Microdisplay Products Operation.

The birth of the “Noah” began as a rake and a ladder in his driveway as he played basketball with his eldest daughter in 2001, and has evolved into a company owned by Marty and his wife. That summer’s visit to family and with the help of his dad, Wayne, solidified the mathematical formula for a Parabola (the arc of a basketball shot). The “Noah” collects shooting data from any position on the floor. Thirty-one patents have been issued to Marty in optical systems, computer vision and machine learning.

According to Marty, the latest version will roll out as an app for the iPhone.

The first generation “Noah” is on display at the Plymouth County Historical Museum in Le Mars.

From 2002-08 he was an executive in residence at JP Morgan Partners, charged with finding nanotechnology-related investments. This led to him becoming a venture capital consultant for NASA and SpaceX.

He joined Legacy Venture as a managing partner where he manages funds from over 600 investors.

Marty said he appreciates the opportunities he had growing up in Le Mars.

“There is value to small town,” he said after living in the city for more than 30 years and attending LCHS.

“I had a chance to play 11 varsity sports. You just don’t get to do that in a larger city school. I had a chance to do theater stuff, language, speech stuff, and a lot of church stuff, and I think there’s a level of being able to try a lot of things, to get an opportunity to try and be a leader in a lot of different things, to build some confidence in a variety of things. I do think that comes from a small town,” he said.

He named three teachers who had an influence on him. Glendon Petersen, his physics and senior math teacher, Roger Hallum, his speech teacher, and Gary Meyer, his track and cross country coach.

“And in addition, I think the values of the Midwest are just strong. Strong family values, connections, feeling like you have some responsibility for giving back to the community. all of those are things you lose in a city,” he said.

“For me, Le Mars was amazing. There are certain things you can experience in a small town like Le Mars that you just don’t experience if you’re in a city,” he said “I fundamentally think of Le Mars was instrumental to whatever I’ve done. I appreciate Le Mars so much. My parents still live there so I get back every year.”

Marty and his wife, Cindy, live in Menlo Park, California, and have two daughters, a son, and one grandchild.

“Thank you very much for this award. It’s appreciated more than you can know,” Marty concluded.

The video may be found at by clicking on “2021 Foundation Recognition Program.”

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