Brent is the CEO of the newly formed NanoAvionics US Inc. and is in charge of standing up the US office and factory as well as securing new business in the US and Latin America.
Before joining NanoAvionics, Brent was the CEO and head of North American operations for AAC/Clyde Space. Prior to that, he held several senior roles at Surrey Satellite Technologies US (SST-US), where he was instrumental in landing the joint US-Taiwanese COSMIC-2/Formosat-7 constellation and payload supplier for the NASA CYGNSS constellation. He also started the hosted payload program at SST-US with the first all commercial hosted payload satellite OTB-1 (Orbital Test Bed) leading to >$80 Million revenue of follow-on business with OTB-2 and 3.
Prior to joining Surrey in 2008, Brent served as business development manager at Honeywell Defense & Space for 8 years and also invented their new Miniature Momentum Control System using Control Moment Gyros. His background also includes work as an engineer at Honeywell Commercial Aviation. Abbott is a registered professional engineer and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University.
BIO: Dr. Todd Austin
Founder Agita Labs
Todd Austin is Dr. Todd Austin is the S. Jack Hu Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan and a leading voice in the world of computer hardware security and computer architecture. He was previously a Senior Computer Architect at Intel’s Microcomputer Research Labs. He is an IEEE Fellow and received the ACM Maurice Wilkes Award for “innovative contributions in Computer Architecture” including the DIVA and Razor architectures and the performance analysis tool SimpleScalar.
Agita Labs has deployed ØZone Privacy Platform, which in a nutshell is a processor that computes on always-encrypted data, and secret computation that runs on it has strong protections for confidentiality, computational integrity, data authentication, and system availability. Ozone maintains these protections even if the system is penetrated by an attacker, or a rogue programmer or IT staff person. So even if a hacker finds a bug, the information needed to exploit it vanishes within milliseconds and is perhaps the closest thing to a future-proof secure system.
BIO: Shawn J. Barnes
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration
Mr. Shawn Barnes, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the DeputyAssistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration. Mr. Barnes iscurrently performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary for Space Acquisition andIntegration until the President nominates and the Senate confirms an individual to thisposition.
Mr. Barnes is responsible for Department of the Air Force Space Architecture, Integration,and Policy matters on behalf of the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of SpaceOperations. Mr. Barnes initiated his civil service with the U.S. Department of Agriculturewhere he assisted with research on, and vaccine development for, some of the world’s most dangerous infectious animal diseases.
Mr. Barnes left the USDA to join the Air Force in 1985 and retired from the service in 2013as a colonel. He served in a wide variety of intercontinental ballistic missile and spaceoperations and staff positions including instructor, crew commander, executive officer andChief of Special Operations. He commanded the 12th Space Warning Squadron at ThuleAir Base, Greenland, and the 595th Space Group at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Barnes was the Deputy Principal Assistant to theSecretary of the Air Force for Space, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Virginia.
1985 Bachelor of Science, Marine Biology, Long Island University, Southampton, N.Y.
1992 Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1998 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1998 Master of Political Science, Auburn University, Montgomery, Ala.
2004 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1. September 1983–August 1985, Laboratory Technician, Plum Island Animal Disease Center, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, N.Y.
2. April 1986–December 1990, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Launch Officer, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.
3. January 1991–April 1994, Deputy Commander, Space Defense Operations Center and Chief, Special Operations, U.S. Space Command,Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colo.
4. May 1994–June 1997, Chief Pacific Exercise Branch and Executive Officer, 14th Air Force, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
5. July 1998–June 1998, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
6. June 1998–April 2002, Chief Space Control Branch, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Space), the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
7. April 2002–May 2003, Commander, 12th Space Warning Squadron, Thule Air Base, Greenland
8. July 2003–June 2004, Student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
9. July 2004–April 2007, Chief Space Policy, Joint Staff (J5), the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
10. May 2007–May 2009, Chief, Space Situational Awareness and Command and Control Division, Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB,Colo.
11. May 2009–June 2011, Commander, 595th Space Group, Schriever AFB, Colo.
12. July 2011–September 2013, Chief Space Superiority Division, Air Force (A8P), the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
13. October 2013–November 2014, Director, Space Control, Falcon Research, Inc., Va.
14. November 2014–May 2016, Deputy Director, Air Force Planning, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
15. June 2016–August 2017, Deputy Director, Secretary of the Air Force Office of Legislative Liaison, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
16. August 2017–April 2018, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Space Operations, Headquarters U. S. Air Force, Arlington, Va.
17. April 2018–September 2018, Assistant Vice Commander, Air Force Space Command, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
18. September 2018–December 2019, Deputy Principal Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force for Space, Headquarters U.S. Air Force,Arlington, Va.
19. December 2019–present, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Space Acquisition and Integration, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Va.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Exceptional Civilian Service Medal
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
(Current as of May 2021)
BIO: Debbie Batson
Sr. Director, Large/Small Business Strategic Alliances Teledyne Brown Engineering (TBE)
Debbie Batson supports the Aerospace, Maritime, Defense and Energy and Environmental Business Units within Teledyne Brown Engineering (TBE) as the Sr. Director, Large/Small Business Strategic Alliances. Debbie has played a significant role in developing small businesses through advocacy with large prime contractors and government agencies. Her broad background covers financial practices, government contracting, and business development strategy and execution. Debbie is a Huntsville native and has been employed with Teledyne Brown Engineering for 21 years. She earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University.
BIO: JoAnn Belt
Small Business Liaison Officer
Jacobs Space Exploration Group
JoAnn is a Jacobs Space Exploration Group (JSEG) Team Lead in support of the SLS Program Office and is JSEG’s Small Business Liaison Officer.
JoAnn has worked for Jacobs for 21 years and has held positions in Payload Operations, Business Development, and Team Lead for Flight Mechanics and Analysis. JoAnn has a B.S. in Mathematics.
BIO: David E. Brock
Small Business Specialist
Marshall Space Flight Center
Mr. Brock currently serves as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) Manager and Small Business Specialist (SBS) at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama. In his role as the NASA MPP Manager, he works closely with NASA large business prime contractors and small businesses to help forge relationships designed to grow the technical and business capabilities of small businesses under NASA approved Mentor-Protégé Agreements. As SBS, he provides strategic guidance and direction in the planning, coordination, and implementation of the NASA Small Business Program at MSFC.
Mr. Brock entered the Federal sector in December 1984, when he joined the NASA family as a Procurement Analyst assigned to the Office of Procurement. He has been actively involved in the NASA Small Business Program for more than 34 of his 36 years of service. He was officially appointed to the position of SBS in January 2005, and was named Manager of NASA’s MPP in October 2019.
Mr. Brock is a native of Boaz, Alabama, has been married to his wife Shirley for 45 years, has one son, and three grandchildren. He graduated from Boaz High School in 1971, received a Certificate of Business from the Gadsden Business College in 1973, Associate Degree in Science from Snead State Community College in Boaz in 1980, and Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Alabama in Birmingham in 1983. He is an avid reader, and enjoys traveling, music, and sports.
BIO: LT. General (RET.) David J. Buck
President BRPH Mission Solutions INC.
General David Buck served in the U.S. Air Force for 41 years with
a career dedicated to space, nuclear and cyberspace operations. He directed
USSTRATCOM space forces in support of national security and combatant
commander objectives. Leading over 19,500 men and women, Dave was
responsible for protecting and defending critical U.S. and allied space capabilities.
In 2018, he retired as Commander, Joint Functional Component Command for
Space (JFCC-S) and Commander, 14th Air Force at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
General Buck is a highly recognized expert in space operations, twice testifying
before the U.S. House of Representatives Arms Services Committee regarding
the necessity of maintaining freedom of action in space to protect and defend
the U.S. and its allies. He is an advocate for disruptive technologies and managed
multi-billion-dollar portfolios of space, cyberspace, command and control, and
terrestrial technologies including 27 different weapon systems. He also conceived,
developed and delivered the new National Space Defense Center on time and
under budget – a facility that enabled the first fusion of intelligence operators with
space operators in a common operations center.
Today, Dave is President of BRPH Mission Solutions where he helps unlock
potential and spur client growth endeavors spanning national security and
defense of space, nuclear, and cyberspace arenas. He is committed to helping
clients succeed in mission critical programs through tailored consulting services
including strategy development, facilities engineering, agency navigation,
proprietary methodologies development, program management, and
Thomas D. White Space Award (2016).
– “For the most outstanding contribution to the Nation’s progress in aerospace”
Jerome F. O’Malley Distinguished Space Leadership (2013)
– “For vision and leadership in pursuit of space excellence”
Air Force Association’s California Military Member of the Year (2010)
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Service Medal (Air Force) with oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Bronze Star Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
BIO: Mike Carey
CSO & Co-Founder of ATLAS Space Operations / USAF (Ret.)
Mike Carey is a co-founder and the Chief Strategy Officer of ATLAS Space Operations. Before ATLAS, he served in the US Air Force for thirty-two years, attaining the rank of Major General.
In the years since, Carey has refined his skills and expanded his knowledge. He now leads by first tuning in to the ever-changing satellite communications needs of society and ATLAS’ clients. In doing so, the work that he is responsible for is centered around the development of infrastructure and technology that will bring people and space closer together. Carey has distilled his mission and streamlined ATLAS’ efforts to provide innovative and proven solutions for satellite operators.
Carey holds a BA in History from the University of Central Florida, an MPA from the University of Oklahoma, and an MA in National Security & Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. He’s proud to have returned to his home state of Michigan, this time creating jobs and driving innovation.
BIO: Dr. Brandon (BT) Cesul
Technical Fellow and Principal Space Systems Engineer
KBR Technical Intelligence Service
Dr. Brandon (BT) Cesul is a Technical Fellow and Principal Space Systems Engineer with KBR Technical Intelligence Service’s (former Centauri / IAI) Dayton and Ann Arbor offices. In his position Dr Cesul leads KBR’s efforts in support to US DoD and IC space intelligence activities.
He is a former Principal Intelligence Analyst in the National Air & Space Intelligence Center (soon to be National Space Intelligence Center), Foreign Space and Counterspace Analysis Squadrons, specifically in charge of leading analysis against antisatellite weapon systems and participating in the 2014 POTUS directed space strategy review as an IC advisor.
Dr Cesul is a graduate of the Univ of Michigan and AFIT, and is currently featured in this quarters Space Forces Journal with an entry focusing on strategy changes as a result of massive multisatellite satellite constellations. Dr Cesul also is the chair of the US Industrial Advisory Committee for mDASA.
BIO: Ellen Chang
Ellen Chang brings over 25 years of experience in strategy, business and product development in the technology and aerospace industries. Her career spans from the U.S. Navy as an intelligence officer to JP Morgan where she focused on exploring and facilitating investing in start-ups. She later founded her own start-up in the aviation industry where the team focused on building a B2B aviation part sourcing and brokerage focused on business jets.
During her 12 years at Northrop Grumman, she held positions as a systems engineer and program manager, working in design and development of autonomous systems ranging from the Global Hawk to an aircraft carrier based unmanned aerial system. In her last position with Northrop Grumman, she was responsible for anticipating mission requirements and developing products that would be relevant 5-10 years out. As a co-president of the Wharton Aerospace Community and chair of the Wharton Angel Network SoCal, Ellen frequently engages with investors, universities and industry on innovation strategy and market dynamics.
Ellen holds a bachelor’s degree in history (historiography) from the University of Pennsylvania, a MS in systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, and an MBA from The Wharton School.
When Ellen is not busy mentoring and advising start-ups, she is probably running up and down the hills of Poway, CA training for another half-marathon, with wine in her hand.
BIO: Chris Cook
Director – Capital Access Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Mr. Chris Cook serves as Director – Capital Access for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. In this role, Mr. Cook is responsible for managing the MEDC’s effort in supporting Michigan based companies seeking commercial lending from microlending through lower middle market companies. Mr. Cook oversees the Michigan Strategic Fund’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (“SSBCI”) allocation.
Mr. Cook received a BA in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University. He has over 13 years of experience in the financial services industry. This experience includes assisting small businesses secure financing through a variety of sources including the support of SSBCI and SBA.
BIO: Meagan Crawford
Meagan is one of the leading female voices in the space industry and an experienced space startup executive and founder. She is the host of the Mission Eve podcast that aims to increase the number of women in the space industry and is frequently featured as a thought leader on the industry’s development and investment potential.
Meagan is a NewSpace industry pioneer with a focus on the business of space: finance, investing, management, entrepreneurship, communications, marketing, and team building. A strong believer in the power of free enterprise as the driving force that will lift humanity permanently off-world, Meagan is dedicated to several projects focused on building a sustainable, profitable, successful space industry – for everyone. She is managing partner of SpaceFund, a venture capital firm investing in space startups.
In 2009, Meagan began running the NewSpace Business Plan Competition, a program focused on educating both entrepreneurs and investors, and catalyzing deal flow. As a manager, coach, and judge for the last decade, she has read over 1,000 space business executive summaries, has coached hundreds of selected teams, and helped award cash prizes to dozens of NewSpace startups.
Meagan’s background also includes startup and real estate investing experience as a principal in a Houston family office, technology transfer experience at NASA, space industry executive experience as COO of an asteroid mining firm, management consulting experience, and multiple entrepreneurial successes. She holds an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Rice University, where she was selected as the Texas Business Hall of Fame scholar, and a BBA in Management from the University of Houston where she was the 2006 Distinguished Graduate.
Meagan is also dedicated to several charity projects that are working to open the frontier. She is a co-founder and Chair of the board of the non-profit Center for Space Commerce and Finance and is a member of the board of directors of the Space Frontier Foundation, the Earthlight Foundation, and the Mars Initiative. She is also is a scholar alumnus of the Texas Business Hall of Fame.
Meagan is a 5th generation native Houstonian, and a proud Texan. She is mother to two children, two dogs and a cat, and resides in Sugar Land, Texas.
BIO: Jennifer Delaney
Subcontracts Supervisor /Small Business Liaison Officer
Jennifer is currently a Subcontracts Manager and Small Business Liaison Officer at Dynetics (A Leidos Company).
A graduate of the University of Alabama Huntsville, she began her career at Boeing as a Procurement Agent on the Space Launch Systems (SLS) Program. From there she worked two years on the 787 Program in Seattle working project management tasks related to cost reduction and recovery, before transitioning over to her role at Dynetics.
In additional to her Russian/International Business Bachelor’s degree from UAHuntsville, she also has a Master’s degree from The University of Maryland Global Campus in Cybersecurity, as well as a Project Leadership Certificate from Cornell University.
BIO: Elaina Farnsworth
CEO of The NEXT Education
As CEO of The NEXT Education (thenexted.com), Elaina Farnsworth and her team are committed to developing the workforce of tomorrow. Elaina is internationally recognized as a speaker, writer and thought leader in the Autonomous Vehicle (AV), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), and Cybersecurity industries.
She and her team continue to develop training and certification programs for organizations including SAE international, New Horizon Learning Centers, CompTIA, and others. Currently, she serves as the lead consultant for many national and state-based programs including the ITSA World Congress Future Leaders Program, GVSETS Cyber Industry Chairperson and Michigan Automotive and Defense Cyber Awareness Team (MADCAT). Elaina was also appointed Director of Global Communications by the Board of Directors of the International Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CVTA) and sits as an advisor to other educational institutions and non-profit organizations.
Prior to joining Surrey in 2008, Brent served as business development manager at Honeywell Defense & Space for 8 years and also invented their new Miniature Momentum Control System using Control Moment Gyros. His background also includes work as an engineer at Honeywell Commercial Aviation. Abbott is a registered professional engineer and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University.
BIO: Georgina (Gina) Gastelum
Small Business Liaison Officer
Sr. Procurement Analyst
Gina Gastelum is Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Small Business Liaison Officer (SBLO) since January 2018. She is passionate about the Small Business Subcontracting Program mission and is committed to providing maximum opportunities for small businesses for over fifteen years. As the enterprise SBLO, she is responsible for management and execution of the Aerojet Rocketdyne (AR) Small Business Program, developing and fostering strategic relationships with current Federal clients, potential small business partners, and internal team members for AR Washington, Arkansas, Virginia, Alabama, Florida, and California’s Sacramento and Canoga Park locations.
Prior to Aerojet Rocketdyne, Gina Gastelum was Lead Cost Estimator/Pricing Analyst and an advocate for Small Business as the SBLO for Smith’s Interconnect, Inc. an aerospace OEM in Thousand Oaks, California.
Gina is a member of the NASA Marshall Prime Contractor Supplier Council (MPCSC), Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Small Business Advocacy Council, and the Department of Defense Western Regional Council for Small Business Education and Advocacy. She lives and was raised in Southern California where she resides with her husband and two children.
BIO: Jeromy Grimmett
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Rogue Space Systems Corporation
Jeromy is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rogue Space Systems Corporation. He started his career in the US Army where he specialized in missile guidance systems for both ground and air defense platforms.
Since then, he’s attended Harvard University’s School of Extension Studies where he pursued Undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Government and International Relations respectively. After founding and running a successful technology services company, Jeromy founded Rogue Space Systems Corporation in 2020 and brought his expertise in AI, tech, and robotics to advance space systems, orbital vehicles and space services.
BIO: Brian Gulliver
Aerospace and Spaceport Practice Leader
Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.
Brian Gulliver is a registered professional engineer, project manager, and the leader of the Aerospace and Spaceport practice at Kimley-Horn.
During the past 18 years Brian has completed detailed studies, analyses and/or designs for more than 40 launch complexes and spaceports.
Brian is an industry leader in the development and licensing of commercial spaceports and has consulted on many of the current spaceports in development, including the Michigan Launch Initiative.
BIO: Steven Hamilton
Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP
Steve is a senior manager with Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP. He provides market/economic assessment, strategic planning, and transactions (P3) support for large-scale economic development and infrastructure projects worldwide for national and city clients. He has led projects for the World Bank/IFC, Millennium Challenge Corporation, CISCO Systems, Jebel Ali, private real estate developers/operators, and foreign governments.
Steve is helping drive Deloitte’s urban development and SMART cities market focus and solutions, including developing and deploying new evidence-based approaches that support informed decision making by city leaders, citizens, and stakeholders.
His other areas of technical focus include Special Economic Zones (SEZs), industrial zones (IZs), ports, and airport cities. He has experience in developing key performance indicators for infrastructure investment and identifying business reforms to enhance countries’ investment climates.
BIO: Derek Hodgins
Strategy and Business Development
Derek Hodgins leads Strategy & Business Development for Lockheed Martin’s work to support America’s return to the Moon as part of the Artemis Program. He brings to bear 15 years of experience in Human Space Exploration to lead LM’s efforts to return humans to the lunar surface and enable long-duration and sustainable exploration of the Moon including with General Motors to develop the next-generation lunar rover.
Derek joined Lockheed Martin in 2020 from Northrop Grumman, where he was the Director of Business Development for Human Exploration, successfully capturing the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), the first habitation module of NASA’s Gateway station around the Moon. Prior to joining industry, he spent 10 years leading strategic planning and oversight of NASA’s human exploration and space technology enterprises, planning what has become the Artemis Program.
As an engineer, Derek supported 8 successful missions as a Flight Controller in Mission Control for the Space Shuttle, building the International Space Station, and prior to that, as a Spacecraft Systems Engineer for the GOES-N series of Earth Science spacecraft. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Syracuse University, a Master of Engineering in Space Systems Engineering from The University of Michigan, and a Master of Business Administration from George Washington University.
BIO: Monica Jan
Senior Director of Strategy and Customer Experience
Monica’s career spans research and development, investment, and business strategy in the technology and aerospace sector. She has been involved in research and development in semiconductors, artificial intelligence, networking architectures and hardware, telematics systems, and space systems. She has worked with both entrepreneurs and corporations on product development, business development, strategic partnerships, operations and cross-functional process improvement, and supply chain alignment. In her strategy consulting career, she worked with Fortune 500 corporations on domestic and international market expansion, and advised high-tech start-ups on their venture strategy.
Prior to joining Virgin Orbit, Monica co-founded LightSpeed Innovations, an aerospace accelerator, working with new space entrepreneurs on launching their ventures. During her tenure at Northrop Grumman and TRW, she managed various satellite and spacecraft test environment developments and led enterprise resource planning initiatives, where her architecture and implementation of a satellite switching subsystem won the Chairman’s Innovation Award. As the vice chair of the Wharton Angel Network and part of the steering committee for Wharton Aerospace Ventures, Monica works actively with investors and entrepreneurs from diverse industries.
Monica holds both BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, a Systems Engineering certificate from the California Institute of Technology, and an MBA from The Wharton School. She held a faculty position at The Wharton School with the Global Consulting Practicum Program.
BIO: Fredrick Jenet, Ph.D.
Astrophysicist turned Entrepreneur
Astrophysicist turned entrepreneur, Fredrick Jenet, Ph.D., creates and empowers businesses, institutions, and programs that are helping to build a sustainable global space ecosystem, molding the way humans will go into space while making a meaningful difference here on Earth.
As a professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, he founded and secured over $50 million in funding for the first research center of excellence in South Texas, all focused on space exploration and development activities. This work included the STARGATE program, with facilities located at the Boca Chica launch facility, focused on developing technologies that can be commercialized and used in the NewSpace economy.
Most recently, in collaboration with an experienced team in commercial space development, he founded the mission-driven nonprofit Expanding Frontiers. This organization, headquartered in Brownsville Texas, is pioneering advanced programs in education and entrepreneurship training, accelerating the growth of a space and energy innovation ecosystem in South Texas. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, S.B. in physics 1993, and the California Institute of Technology, PhD. in physics 2001.
BIO: Gregory H. Johnson, Colonel (Ret), USAF
Colonel Gregory H. Johnson is a retired US Air Force officer, aerospace engineer, and NASA astronaut. He supports Business Development at Lockheed Martin Space and is a new test pilot at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. Johnson also serves as a Board member/advisor for a few space start-ups and STEM non-profits.
Johnson started his career in the US Air Force, flying over 50 different aircraft, accumulating over 5,000 hours, including ~60 F-15E combat missions in the Persian Gulf. In 1998, he joined the NASA astronaut corps and ultimately piloted two Space Shuttle missions, STS-123 and STS-134. After leaving NASA, he served as Executive Director for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, a non-profit commissioned to maximize utilization of the International Space Station to benefit life here on the Earth. Most recently, he served as a crew integration engineer for the Human Landing System Ascent Element at Lockheed Martin.
Johnson is a member of the Association of Space Explorers, Society of Experimental Test Pilots, AIAA Associate Fellow, and is an honorary Rotarian. He has a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from the US Air Force Academy, an MS in Flight Structures Engineering from Columbia University, and an MBA from the University of Texas (Austin).
BIO: Adam Kall
Director of Technology
Adam Kall is the Director of Operations for KMI, a Michigan-based orbital debris research and solution development company pursuing Active Debris Removal.
Adam leads development of proprietary machine learning algorithms for debris targeting and classification, as well as the orbital dynamics for multi-target mission designs.
Building from his experience at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Adam continued in the field of machine learning by providing AI solutions for Arconic’s aerospace aluminum manufacturing department.
Adam received a master’s degree in Data Science from Elmhurst University, following his bachelor’s degrees in both Mathematics and Computer Science from Northern Michigan University.
BIO: Gary Kellan
Gary Kellan is a veteran of the United States Navy – Submarine Service. After completing 14 ½ years of military service he returned to his home in Oscoda, Michigan where Wurtsmith Air Force Base was in the process of being deactivated and closed. During the past 27 years Mr. Kellan has been employed by local government to serve in support of caretaking and redevelopment of the former Wurtsmith A.F.B. properties. He has been the Airport Manager of Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport during the past 10 ½ years.
BIO: Stanley O. Kennedy, Jr.
Stanley O. Kennedy, Jr. serves as the Chief Architect for Redwire Space and has over thirty-six years of direct, hands-on experience in Aerospace Engineering. Mr. Kennedy has worked on heavy-lift launch vehicles, upper stages, multiple spacecraft programs and ground systems supporting government and commercial customers both domestic and international.
Mr. Kennedy earned his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA, USA, and an M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA. He is an Associate Fellow and Lifetime member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) serving at both the regional and national levels. Mr. Kennedy is the Technical Chairman of the AIAA/SmallSat Frank J. Redd Student Competition held annually in conjunction with the AIAA/SmallSat Conference in Logan, UT, USA; and, is a member of AIAA Standards Executive Council (SEC). He also serves on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Industry Trade Advisory Council on Aerospace (ITAC-1). The Committee advises the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representatives concerning trade matters. Mr. Kennedy is a member of the Technical Committee of the Small Satellite Systems & Service (4S) Symposium. The 4S Symposium is Co-Sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) of France.
Mr. Kennedy has held technical and management/executive positions with Oakman Aerospace, Inc., Comtech AeroAstro, General Dynamics – Advanced Information Systems, and Lockheed-Martin Space Systems Company.
BIO: Cheree Kiernan
President and CEO
Integrated Launch Solutions
Cheree provides the overall leadership and strategic vision for the ILS team and is responsible for the implementation and execution of corporate policy, company objectives, and daily operations. She has 22 years of experience in spacecraft, launch vehicle, and ground system development; mission integration; and launch site and range operations. She was awarded Space Coast Woman Engineer of the Year by the Society of Women Engineers in 2012 and is PMP Certified.
BIO: Dr. Lyon (Brad) King
CEO and Co-founder
Orbion Space Technology
Lyon (Brad) King is the CEO and Co-founder of Orbion Space Technology and also the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Professor of Space Systems Engineering at Michigan Tech University.
Brad’s two decades in the space field and many professional awards recognize his contributions to space propulsion. He holds a Ph.D in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, has served on numerous NASA, Department of Defense, and Intelligence Community advisory panels, and has published more than 100 papers on space propulsion systems.
Brad is a past recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award from President George W. Bush “for innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology, and for the exceptional potential to shape the future.”
BIO: Karl Klimek
2 Perspectives – Learning Through Leadership
Karl Klimek is a career-long educator and key developer of numerous youth and teacher aerospace training programs in the United States and Europe. He holds degrees in education and leadership from Central Washington University and Eastern Michigan University, is a private pilot, photographer and leadership coach. He was recently awarded the prestigious Mallinson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Michigan Science Teacher’s Association. Karl has served as a classroom teacher, building principal and as assistant superintendent of schools.
For 16 years he was honored to be the executive director of the Square One Education Network, a non-profit foundation that funds innovative STEM, project-based initiatives in K-12 schools. He is the visionary and architect behind the creation of engaging programs that annually influence thousands of students in the United States and Europe. A sought after keynote speaker and thought leader, he is co-author of 12 Brain Mind Principles in Action, and the lead author of Generative Leadership: Shaping New Futures for Today’s Schools.
Karl resides in Kalkaska, Michigan with his wife, Barbara.
BIO: Irina S. Litchfield
Partner at Percival family office
President of Lumeria
Irina S. Litchfield is Partner at Percival family office. President of Lumeria, a global investor network and IR firm. She is the founder of BlockchainCubed, a DLT consulting firm. She is a senior advisor at SpaceFund, advisor at ProChain Capital and founding advisor at ABE, a global securities exchange. She cofounded a payments/gaming company in 2005. Early to the blockchain space, she cofounded a bitcoin exchange in 2013 and later built an online bank. Passionate about innovation technology, positive social capital, democratization of space, and democratization of opportunities & investments, Irina often speaks as a subject matter expert. She is an organizer of ARRA global innovations summit, co-organizer of BitAngelsTexas and a columnist at CoinRivet.
You can reach her https://www.linkedin.com/in/irina-litchfield-b50352131/
Specialist Leader | Space Industry
Deloitte Consulting, LLP
Jeff is a specialist leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP with more than 15 years of private and public sector experience focused on finance, enterprise architecture transformation, technology commercialization, and market strategy. Currently, he is a leader in Deloitte’s Government & Public Sector Space Industry practice where he provides subject matter expertise on commercial space technology trends, industry strategies, and launch systems economics.
Before joining Deloitte, Jeff served as the director of venture strategy and research for the Space Frontier Foundation where he was also a board member. His previous experience as an advisor in $600M+ of venture capital raises for early stage technology companies, commercializing government technologies, and deep insight into the commercial space market allows him to bring a unique perspective to government and commercial clients. Jeff has contributed expertise and analysis on the space industry to Reuters, Forbes, NBC News, Discovery News, The Wharton School, the Open Group, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
BIO: Edward McCarty
Vice President, Global Sales
ATLAS Space Operations
Ed has been a Space professional for over 30 years. He served as an Air Force Space and Missile Officer where he made substantial contributions in operations, maintenance, test, requirements generation, program management, safety and Nuclear Surety.
Serving as a Principal Engineer at Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems Company, Ed led the team responsible for investigations, analysis and process improvement. Ed’s education includes MS degrees from Central Michigan University and the Air Force Institute of Technology.
BIO: Wayne Montieth
Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, F.A.A.
As the Federal Aviation Administration’s Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, Mr. Monteith provides strategic leadership and direction to ensure the protection of public health and safety, safety of property, and the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States during commercial launch and reentry activities. He is also responsible for encouraging, facilitating and promoting the U.S. commercial space transportation enterprise.
Mr. Monteith was appointed to his current position on January 20, 2019, following his retirement from the United States Air Force in December 2018, as a Brigadier General, after serving 29 years. His last Air Force assignment was as the Commander of the 45th Space Wing and Director of the Eastern Range on the Space Coast in Florida. In these roles, he operated the world’s busiest spaceport and led over 9,000 military, Department of Defense civilian and contractor personnel. During his three years at the 45th Space Wing, he oversaw the successful execution of 66 launches, 23 booster landings, and the successful operational use of autonomous flight safety systems. He was responsible for over $4B in infrastructure, an annual budget of over $400M and $93M in construction projects across three major installations. Immediately prior to that assignment, he served as the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force.
Mr. Monteith previously served as the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force (Space) and as the Commander of the 50th Space Wing where he led more than 5,300 military, DoD civilian and contractor personnel serving at 14 operating locations worldwide in support of more than 170 communications, navigation, weather and surveillance satellites with their associated systems valued at more than $66 billion. His career also encompasses a variety of leadership positions to include Director, Navigation Warfare in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Air Staff as Deputy Chief, Space Superiority Division. Finally, after beginning his career as a Peacekeeper Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile launch officer, he later commanded the Air Force’s only space and missile training squadron.
Mr. Monteith holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Mexico, where he earned his commission as a Distinguished Graduate of their Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He also holds Master of Science degrees from Leslie University and the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy.
BIO: Michael Moran
Chief Operating Officer
Michael Moran is the Chief Operating Officer of PredaSAR Corporation, a company fielding a constellation of low earth orbiting satellites to provide responsive, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar products and services for global commercial and government users. In this role, Moran leads the strategic operations of the company.
Prior to his current position, he served as Vice President, Space Strategies for Peraton, where he led the establishment and direction of the growth strategy for Peraton’s Air Force space portfolio and supported Peraton’s broader space and cyber strategy within the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community.
In 2014, Moran completed 26 years of distinguished service in the United States Air Force retiring in the rank of Colonel. His service included command assignments at the squadron, group and wing levels and a career that spanned space, launch, cyber, airborne, and foreign military sales programs to include executive and enterprise leadership within Air Force Space Command, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Pentagon, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In these capacities, his responsibilities included program management, engineering, and operations in the U.S. and in Afghanistan while deployed during Operation Enduring Freedom.
Moran holds a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University, a Master of Science in Military Operational Art & Science from Air University, a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia. He attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University as a Senior Executive Fellow and holds certifications as a Program Management Professional and Certified Information Systems Security Professional.
BIO: Pamela Norton
The Future Edge Economy
“The digitization of physical assets and objects which, when embedded
with electronics, software and sensors, will connect, transact, exchange
value and services autonomously with each other ” – Pamela Norton
Pamela Norton is an American entrepreneur and visionary who believes business and social
impact are interdependent. She is the Founder & CEO of Borsetta, an American-based, femaleowned,
AI software-defined hardware company that is currently developing a high
performance, American designed and produced AI System-on-a-Chip for the Department of
Defense. Borsetta has secured partnerships with the world’s top semiconductor IP vendors:
Arm, Synopsys, Cadence Design Systems, and Intel. Borsetta is developing an automated
design process that will secure IP, authenticate and create trust, traceability and a shortened
chip design cycle, creating a symbiotic relationship between secure hardware and AI, and
fueling advances for the edge economy.
Pamela is a disruptive innovator, cheerful futurist, and optimistic dot connector. She is the
inventor of the patent-pending process to create intelligent assets enabling trust, security, a
new digital economy and real-time intelligence embedded into a physical asset/object. She is
an entrepreneurial and driven Chief Executive, with 25 years of leading industry expertise in
founding and launching numerous technology companies in the US and international
She is a proven builder of world-class disruptive technology solutions and high performing
product development teams, with a specialty in both start-up and scaled growth stages for
Fortune 1000 companies. Proven fundraising and networking skills, building fruitful
partnerships with hundreds of clients, building brands and delivering multimillion-dollar
She has compiled her learnings in an upcoming book called “Our Lives, Business, and Future
on The Edge” where Pamela presents fundamental technology and cultural changes such as
the People Sharing Economy, Sustainable Fractional Assets, Digital Money, Trusted
Custodians, Digital taxation, Sovereign Micro-Chipset & Sensor Privacy Control, and a principle
she is formulating with thought leaders known as the Edge Economy.
Borsetta’s patent-pending technology integrates physical real-world assets with micro-chip
technology, AI, ML, DLT, and cognitive trust wallets to create secure frictionless
commerce….”The Edge Economy”. As the world moves toward Industry 4.0 (or the Next
Generation Internet of Things), which is hyper-connectivity and embedded intelligence, the line
between the physical and digital world becomes increasingly blurred.
Pamela is an active member of the National Small Business Association’s (NSBA) Leadership
Council Advisory Board and the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC), to help foster an
economic environment to promote high technology businesses. Pamela holds a BS degree in
International Business from Regis University and International Relations from Sophia University
in Tokyo, Japan.
BIO: Devi Narayan
A lifelong entrepreneur and hands-on CEO with strategic foresight, leadership, drive, and determination. As a leader and self-sufficient innovator, Devi is comfortable with any role, from the executive boardroom to the development lab, having managed teams of various sizes and function. Devi’s innate ability to adapt, constantly learn, improve, build, and motivate high-performance teams has served as a growth catalyst to provide outstanding products.
Having served and excelled in various capacities in North American law enforcement, he has been recognized with multiple awards including officer of the month. This along with a background in computer system and research, gives him a keen understanding of the issues around Cyber-security.
Devi has published multiple research papers and has developed innovative software that has increased efficiencies and security of systems, processes, that has led to multiple technology patents issued and pending in his name.
Excellence is not an accident, but a by-product of meticulous planning and execution – True to this Devi, is determined to achieve vertical market share growth for Autnhive by creating excellence in People, Process and Product.
In efforts to give back to the community, Devi has been involved with multiple non-profit organizations such as the Lions Club, UNICEF, and has also been actively sponsoring education for children in underprivileged communities.
BIO: Chris Olson
Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation
Mr. Olson is a dedicated professional in the field of Economic Development for the Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation (CCECD) in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula.
Mr. Olson has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering as well as master’s degree in business administration. He has also completed post master’s coursework in the field of finance.
President Olson has worked in the Industrial and Automotive markets for over 25 years and has solid experience with several Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Olson has a proven track record of leading teams in business development, operations, procurement, and program management.
In his current role as President of the CCEDC he oversees and fosters economic development of the entire county as well as oversight for Chippewa County International (CIU) airport and Industrial Park. The CCEDC also manages multiple assets that include general aviation, rail sidings, and other industrial facilities. Mr. Olson’s primary responsibility is to encourage economic growth through strengthening of the county’s competitive position and facilitate investment that builds capacity, create jobs, and generate economic opportunity.
Mr. Olson currently resides in Barbeau, Michigan with his wife and three children.
BIO: Dave Parent
Detroit Managing Partner
Deloitte Consulting, LLP
David is the managing principal for the Deloitte LLP’s Michigan practice, overseeing more than 1,100 professionals. In addition to serving clients, he is responsible for the strategy, operations, talent, and business development of the practice. David collaborates with the Deloitte US member firm and global organization to bring the best Deloitte resources and talent to help Michigan companies, community-based organizations, and governments respond to today’s challenges.
David is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP with personal areas of focus including workforce strategy and transformation, HR operations, organizational transformation, leadership development, and technology implementation. Over the past decade, David has primarily served state, local, and higher education clients. David also serves as the lead university principal for Deloitte’s relationship with the University of Michigan, a strategic university relationship with the Deloitte US member firm.
David has led several different talent development and diversity-related initiatives in his various leadership roles, including designing and leading high potential programs, facilitating numerous training programs at Deloitte University and nationally, leading numerous campus recruiting efforts, and serving as a mentor for professionals across the practice.
BIO: Jessica Pellegrino
Defense Cyber Solutions
Jessica started out in radio managing on air commercials and promos scheduling for a Spanish language radio station, where she found herself with her own radio show. She eventually ended up in television managing a Univision station, the nation’s largest Spanish language network.
Jessica spent seven years in government after accepting a position the second time she was recruited by government Many years later she has been a pioneer in NIST 800-171 and now CMMC.
Jessica is in the midst of her CMMC Registered Practitioner certification and her company, Defense Cyber Solutions, expects to be a Registered Provider Organization in January 2022. She serves on the executive board of Arsenal of Democracy, the Michigan chapter of AUSA as the VP of Programs.
BIO: Brandon N. Pender
Associate Director of the Materials Directorate
Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC)
Mr. Brandon N. Pender currently serves as the Associate Director of the Materials Directorate at the Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC). The Materials Directorate is charged with transitioning novel materials, advanced manufacturing, joining processes, and corrosion abatement technologies to the Army’s ground vehicle fleets.
Mr. Pender previously served as a Category Manger with the Office of the Secretary of Defense where his team worked to increase buying power for the DoD. He has also served as GVSC’s Director of External Business and G4.
Prior to joining GVSC, Mr. Pender served in the United States Army as an Infantry Officer assigned to the 25th Infantry Division. He has completed multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of OIF and OEF.
Mr. Pender holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Lake Superior State University and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
BIO: Robert Sarkissian
Director Aerospace and Defense
Cadence Design Systems
Robert is the Director of Aerospace and Defense for Cadence Design Systems and holds a degree in Physics from Florida Tech.
Robert helped pioneer the use of advanced statistical simulation methods to model and predict traffic behavior for the State of California. He is actively investigating the impact of new technologies that will lead to autonomous and networked automobiles.
BIO: Kyle Anne Sasena
First Vice President- Commercial Banking
In her 20 years of Banking in local and regional Banks, Kyle has financed over $500 million in commercial loans enabling the success and growth of Michigan businesses.
In her current position, Kyle manages a growing, diverse portfolio of commercial clients. She provides her customers tailored solutions to satisfy their unique requirements. She specializes in serving the Aerospace, Defense and Medical Markets.
In past positions she served as a First Vice President of TCF and Chemical Bank. Prior to that she was a Founder and Manager at Level One Bank. She started her career in Commercial Banking- Wealth & Institutional Management at Comerica Bank.
Kyle serves on the boards of the Henry Ford Hospital, Trustee of the Foundation Board; East Michigan District Export Council; and Advisory Council of the School of Nursing at Oakland University. In the past she has served on the board for the Risk Management Association and Women’s Business Association. She has served as a mentor for Read to a Child and Building Bridges, while also volunteering in numerous community outreach programs. She was a recipient of a Crain’s “40 under 40” Award, Read to a Child “Volunteer of the Year”, and “Most Valuable Professional” and “Most Valuable Millennial Awards” for Corp! Magazine.
Located in Bloomfield Hills, Kyle lives with her two children. She received his Bachelor’s degree from Oakland University.
BIO: Jeremy Schiel
Co-Founder, Chief Development Officer at Orbit Fab
We can change the world in monumental ways, with leaders’ strong visions and execution of what many deem to be impossible. As a forward-thinking international business professional with an unwavering vision and passion for the space industry, Mr. Schiel brings to a young industry his business development experience from tier-one automotive manufacturing.
He currently sits as the Vice-Chairman of CONFERS, a DARPA-funded consortium establishing best practices for satellite servicing. Mr. Schiel previously worked on new business development at Deep Space Industries and Brand Delta-V. As an advocate for the Space Frontier Foundation, and as former Program Director of the Center for Space Commerce and Finance, Mr. Schiel is working to push the boundaries of the final frontier and contribute to the growth of the industry.
Jeremy holds a dual degree in International Business (IB) and Management from Eastern Michigan University. He founded the International Business Alumni Chapter connecting Eastern IB alumni from across the globe.
BIO: Jenifer Scoffield
Small Business Liaison Officer
Northrop Grumman Space Systems (NGSS)
Jenifer Scoffield has been with NGSS as the Small Business Liaison Officer (SBLO) since 1990. She is responsible for compliance and oversight for the Supplier Diversity Program at Propulsion Systems. Her primary function is meeting and educating the diversity small business community, to subcontract with NGSS. Coordinating opportunities internally working with supply chain in order to comply with the requirements of our government contracts.
As a Small Business Liaison Officer, Jenifer has had experience in purchasing chemicals, adhesives, and propellants for various government programs. Knowledge in working with quality, logistics, proposals, and contracts has given her the experience and fundamental understanding needed to lead in the right direction, those diversity suppliers seeking to do business with NGSS. Jenifer has been awarded the NASA Agency-Level Large Business Prime Contractor of the Year and awarded the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Program Leadership and Advocacy Award.
Jenifer continues to work with numerous Industry Associations including NASA’s Prime Contractor Supplier Council’s. She was instrumental in initiating the council for MSFC, holding the first chairperson position and asked to participate in the NASA Industry Forum (NIF) including both Industry and NASA Centers. Jenifer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from Utah State University in Logan, Utah.
BIO: Lamont Silves
Lamont leads Cold Quanta’s new business initiatives and has over 20+ years of experience as an entrepreneur, business development executive and operations leader for initiatives ranging from consulting projects to $800 million+ I/T, consulting, development and logistics programs in the U.S., Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
ColdQuanta has been building cold atom quantum devices for almost fifteen years with a lot of patents and practical know-how. Cold Quanta is launching Hilbert later this year which is a cloud-based quantum computer, that will deliver 100 QUBITS. Leveraging the natural scalability of the Cold Atom Approach, the Hilbert team is targeting 1000 QUBITS by 2024 with strong connectivity, fidelity, and miniaturization at room temperature without refrigeration required.
BIO: David Simmet
Chief Operating Officer/Director of Sales
Future Additive Manufacturing Aerospace, Inc
David Simmet is currently the Chief Operating Officer/Director of Sales of Future Additive Manufacturing Aerospace, Inc. (FAMAERO). He is also one of the 3 founders of the company. Prior to that Mr. Simmet was a principal and Chief Operating Officer for Air Advantage. He joined Air Advantage in 2007 after 14 years of service at Credit Acceptance Corporation (CACC:Nasdaq). At Credit Acceptance he was most recently the Chief Information Officer (2001 – 2006). Prior to becoming the CIO, he was the Vice President of Information Systems (1997 – 2001) and Director of Information Systems (1992 – 1997). While at Credit Acceptance he oversaw all aspects of information systems, project management, and data warehouse and information security. During his 14 years at Credit Acceptance Dave oversaw the development of a web-based application system that drove 100% of revenue for Credit Acceptance. This system became the primary channel for revenue creation as well as cost reduction from an operational standpoint.
Prior to Credit Acceptance Dave worked for Arthur Anderson & Co. (1988 – 1992) as a Senior Consultant within the Business Systems Consulting practice. During this time Dave did project work for many different clients in many different industries including finance, manufacturing, retail and not-for-profit.
Dave is currently a board member for Grosse Pointe Park Little League and has coached his kids throughout all levels of Little League.
Dave has a BA in accounting and an MBA with an emphasis in Accounting Information Systems from Michigan State University.
BIO: Dr. Diane Sterling
Small Business Liaison Officer
The Boeing Company
Dr. Diane Sterling is a Small Business Liaison Officer (SBLO) at The Boeing Company, working from Huntsville, Alabama. As an SBLO, she is responsible for supporting the strategic efforts to identify, expand, and accelerate the use of small and diverse businesses for subcontracting opportunities with The Boeing Company in the Space & Launch and Missile & Weapons Systems programs. Diane spent most of her career as a Program Manager, Urban Planner, and Economic Developer throughout the Western US. The greatest portion of this time was as a Principal of an architectural-engineering firm on the Central Coast, with multiple offices throughout California. Diane holds a Bachelor of Science in City & Regional Planning from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, California, obtained her a MBA from the Florida Institute of Technology, and her Ph.D. in Business Administration from Northcentral University.
BIO: Kirk T. Steudle
Senior Vice President of Econolite Systems
Kirk T. Steudle is Senior Vice President of Econolite Systems, focused on integrating technology into transportation, and excellence in Intelligent Transportation System design, deployment, operations, and maintenance, including its subsidiary CAVita.
Mr. Steudle retired from State of Michigan service in Oct 2018 after a 31-year career and served as Director of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) from 2006-2018. He also served as the Interim President and CEO of the American Center for Mobility from August 2018 until March 2019.
Steudle is a noted expert in surface transportation and a nationally recognized leader in the integration of technology into transportation and the development of connected vehicle technology, served as chair for the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, ITSA, Board of Directors in 2015 and a member of the Program Advisory Committee to the USDOT. His resume includes chairing the Transportation Research Board, TRB, executive committee in 2014 and serving as the 2011-2012 president to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AASHTO. He is the current President of the Engineering Society of Detroit and is a Board member of the Center for Automotive Research.
Steudle is a graduate of Lawrence Technological University, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Engineering. He also serves on the Board of Trustee’s for the University and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2012.
BIO: Glenn Stevens
Executive Director, MIC Hauto
Vice President, Automotive and Mobility Initiatives
Glenn Stevens is the executive director of MICHauto and serves as the Detroit Regional Chamber’s vice
president of automotive and mobility initiatives. In this role, Stevens provides strategic direction and
leadership to the MICHauto program in its efforts to promote, grow and retain Michigan’s automotive
and next-generation mobility industries. MICHauto is a statewide industry association focused on
developing the state’s automotive and mobility industry in the key areas of: talent and education,
advocacy, industry awareness, mobility and the startup ecosystem.
Stevens has more than 25 years of management, strategy and operation experience across the
automotive, mobility, steel, specialty chemicals, and capital equipment industries. Prior to joining the
Chamber, Stevens served as senior vice president of membership and sales with the Original Equipment
Suppliers Association, where he was responsible for membership growth and retention, strategic
partnerships, and automotive industry development with states across the nation. Additionally, his
previous experience includes leadership positions with Blue Water Automotive Systems, Kolene
Corp., and National Steel Corp.
Stevens serves on the Governor’s State of Michigan Mobility Leadership Steering Committee and
leads the Detroit Mobility Solutions Coalition. Additionally, he currently serves on the board of Team
1 Plastics, the board of the Michigan State University Broad Executive Forum and serves on the
Executive Planning Committee of the FIRST Robotics Championship.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and an executive MBA from Michigan State University.
Glenn Stevens can be contacted by email at email@example.com
Connect with Stevens on Twitter @glennrstevens and on LinkedIn.
BIO: Melanie Stricklan
Co-founder & CEO Slingshot Aerospace
In 2017, Melanie Stricklan combined her military experience and indomitable spirit to co-found Slingshot Aerospace, a company that is empowering organizations with its decision intelligence technologies for space. Today, she is the company’s Chief Executive Officer where she leads the strategic vision, product development, and growth strategy. Having proudly served in the United States Air Force for 21 years, Melanie possesses a unique blend of leadership and technical expertise that enables her to create and execute winning business and product strategies.
During her Air Force career, she logged over 1500 flight hours onboard ground surveillance aircraft, commanded experimental spacecraft missions, and led the development of space control technologies for the Department of Defense. Her personal decorations include the Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Air Force Commendation Medal (four awards), Air Force Achievement Medal, and the John L. Levitow Award for outstanding leadership.
Melanie holds a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master of Science in Space Operations Management with an emphasis in Space Systems Engineering from Webster University. She was named the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year for El Segundo, California, and named one of Inc. Magazines 2019 Top 100 Female Founders in the United States. Melanie was named a Techstars All Star Mentor, a recognition from her peers within the prestigious aerospace accelerator for her gold standard of mentorship. A trailblazer in the industry, Melanie frequently speaks at conferences about the value of situational awareness and advancing space sustainability, and hosted a TED Talk discussing how images from space help us protect Earth. She is a champion for STEM initiatives, and enjoys inspiring youth to challenge themselves and pursue their dreams.
BIO: Elaine Taylor
Strategic and Business Development Executive
Warner Norcross + Judd
A results-driven strategist, Elaine Taylor provides expert relationship management and strategic business guidance to clients. She focuses on building trust and has a passion for professional and personal development, as well as commanding the highest value for her clients. A friendly, highly efficient and analytical leader, she is well-versed in demonstrated business and management best practices. Elaine started her career in the real estate and construction industry and has evolved over the years to develop a deep-seated passion and expertise in aerospace, space and defense, as well as other industries including automotive and financial services. Not one that sits by and waits for things to happen, Elaine works proactively and strategically, a practice that often leads to innovative achievements and new levels of insight and business success.
Currently, Elaine brings more than 25 years of professional services experience to her role as Business Development Executive for Warner Norcross + Judd, a full-service legal and consulting firm with a Michigan presence and global reach. Elaine focuses on the automotive and manufacturing, aerospace & defense, corporate, government, real estate and emerging technology industries, as well as a number of practice groups across the organization. She works with the Firms’ leadership, attorneys and professional staff to help craft and implement strategically positioned and client focused key initiatives that assure clients will benefit from Warner’s differentiating strengths and capabilities. In her role, she also creates and executes on business development and sales initiatives designed to retain and grow the firm’s presence across the state and nationally. By keeping up to date on the trends that shape our global economy, Elaine is able to help facilitate cross-office and cross-practice collaboration to provide tailored legal solutions that can effectively meet clients’ business objectives.
Prior to transitioning to the legal profession, Elaine held several senior management positions with KPMG, where she was responsible for strategic account growth in the automotive and aerospace & defense industry sectors, and state and local government; as well as helped build and launch a North American Justice & Security practice.
Earlier accomplishments included the launch of a specialized consulting firm which addressed a need in the market during the economic downturn starting in 2009. Along with several partners, she was President of MOSS Group, a solutions-based business consulting firm, where she helped clients analyze resources and identify gaps in business and financial operations, technology, and sales and marketing strategies, to help the organization remain not only viable throughout the downturn but also position themselves for future growth.
An intrinsic leader and mentor, Elaine is an active member of multiple industry associations, has chaired key industry events and is currently or has sat on the board of several organizations, including her most recent appointment as Director of Sponsorship for Women in Defense (WID) Michigan.
BIO: Chris Thomas
Co-Founder and Partner
Chris is a co-founder and partner at Assembly Ventures. The first trans-Atlantic mobility fund in the world. Detroit and Berlin.
Prior to Assembly Ventures, he co-founded the Detroit Mobility Lab and the Michigan Mobility Institute and acted as a senior advisor to mobility start-ups around the globe. Previous to this, Chris co-founded Fontinalis Partners and for over a decade worked to build it into one of the premier investment firms in next-generation mobility. While at Fontinalis, he served as a board member for nuTonomy (acquired by Aptiv in October 2017) and Karamba Security, and as a board observer at ParkMe (acquired by INRIX in September 2015), Parkmobile (acquired by BMW in January 2018), Life360 (IPO in May 2019), Ouster (SPAC in December 2020) and SmartKargo.
Prior to Fontinalis, Chris served in the U.S. Army as a communications officer in the U.S. and Iraq. Before joining the military, Chris worked as an investment banker at UBS within its Technology and Energy groups in San Francisco and New York. Additionally, Chris acts as a senior advisor to the COMMIT Foundation and is a member of the Global Cleantech 100 expert panel. He is also a co-owner of Buddy’s Pizza, the birthplace of original Detroit-style pizza, and an avid angel investor. Chris has previously served as the chairman of Read to a Child, a national children’s literacy and mentoring nonprofit in the United States and acted as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Personal Transportation Systems.
Chris earned his master’s degree in business administration from the Yale School of Management. While at Yale he served on the Honor Committee and graduated with distinction in former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s seminar on Faith and Globalization. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in both economics and international relations from Michigan State University. Chris is a resident of the city of Detroit where he lives with his wife and sons. He is a staunch advocate of connected communities, early childhood literacy, and the doctrine of the strenuous life.
BIO: Rick Tumlinson
A “godfather” of the space revolution, Rick Tumlinson has spent 30+ years defining, enabling, and founding many of the pillars of what he has named the Frontier movement. He has been called one of the world’s top space “visionaries” and is credited with helping create the commercial space industry, often referred to as NewSpace (he helped create the term). As a result of his world-changing work, in 2015 he won the World Technology Award along with Craig Venter of the Human Genome project. He is a founding partner of SpaceFund, a new type of investment firm at the intersection of digital financial technologies and space development. He led the commercial takeover of the Russian Mir space station, signed the first space tourist, co-founded the Space Frontier Foundation, and was a founding board member of the X-Prize. A leading writer, speaker, policy expert and Congressional witness, Rick has influenced and consulted on space policies involving the private sector, property rights, contracting and space resources for the US and other governments and at the UN level. Currently, his non-profit organization, the EarthLight Foundation is changing the world’s conversation about space, as his New Worlds Institute, develops the people and technology to settle the Frontier.
Rick came from the working-class family of a US Air Force Sargent and English mother known for her pioneering work with the elderly and poor in Texas. He grew up in the UK, West Texas and California, was heavily involved in scouting and worked on several school papers. His ancestors helped found Texas, including a central role in creating the Texas Rangers and starting and fighting in the Texas revolution and the Alamo. This pioneering background, and reading lots of science and science fiction, led him to found the New York City L-5 Space Society in the early 1980s. He then worked for Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill and Dr. Freeman Dyson, godfathers of the human space settlement movement, at the Space Studies Institute at Princeton. While there he led the first effort to kick start what became the Lunar Polar Orbiter project that first detected the signs of water ice at the poles of the Moon.
Rick also co-founded the Space Frontier Foundation, the first space organization to take on the “aerospace industrial complex” in Washington DC (once called “pound for pound the most effective space organization on Earth”) and led the charge for space settlement and commercial space policies – including those that ended the space shuttle program and are now enabling commercial spaceflight and the private sector takeover of the opening of the frontier. During the same period he produced the world’s first pro-space public service announcement to be run on commercial radio stations.
In the 1990s Rick co-founded the company LunaCorp which attempted to place a commercial lunar rover on the Moon and flew the world’s first commercial to be shot in space on the ISS. Around the same time he produced the advertising for the world’s first sweepstakes to offer a ride aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.Working with telecom mogul Walt Anderson he co-founded the Foundation for the International Non-government Development of Space (FINDS). This $25M endowment funded research in solar sails, asteroid mining, laser launch systems, and gave the Mars Society its first founding donation. As featured in the documentary Orphans of Apollo, he instigated and led the team that took over the aging Russian space station Mir, flying one crew to the facility and leading to his signing of Dennis Tito to fly on the International Space Station. During this period he worked with NASA to help establish the concept of civilian flights to the station. His relationship with some of NASA’s leaders led to his help establishing what became the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) now the foremost NASA sanctioned organization for global scientific Lunar community.
Later, he started Deep Space Industries, a space resource and asteroid mining company. He signed the world’s first commercial contract for resource exploration with Luxembourg, then assisted in the development of space resource policy there, in the UAE and in the US Congress that helped set the stage for today’s focus on in space resources.
The EarthLight Foundation hosts the New Worlds conference and throws the annual Space Cowboy Ball in Austin, Texas – considered a must attend event celebrating space education and the heroes of space fiction and reality. His Space Declaration has already begun to create a following in the space settlement community as a set of core principles for opening the Frontier, and his book “The Space Manifesto” will be published in 2021.
BIO: Bill Van Duyne
Chief Innovation Officer
Bill Van Duyne is a prolific problem solver whose unique mastery of hardware, software, and anticipating client needs makes him one of SeaPort’s greatest engineering assets.
Van Duyne is the inventor of SeaPort Inc’s underlying Intelligent Private Key (IPK) technology and has already contributed four patents and four products to SeaPort’s rapidly expanding portfolio.
As the firm’s chief innovation officer, Van Duyne is committed to ensuring that SeaPort’s technology can be adapted to any client’s needs, whether that involves cloud computing, data transmission and storage, communications, or defense.
Prior to SeaPort, Van Duyne worked at IBM Microelectronics, one of the largest semiconductor manufacturers in the world, adapting hardware and software to the needs of the company’s most demanding client, Qualcomm. Van Duyne first developed is software expertise at NCR, a Fortune 500 company and financial transactions technology firm, but began his career in hardware, designing chips for fighter aircraft at TRW, a Fortune 100 aerospace company. Van Duyne graduated from Loyola Marymount University where he received his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering.
BIO: Andrew Van Timmeren
Senior Defense Consultant
Advanced Strategic Insight, Inc.
Advanced Strategic Insight is a motivated small business that provides some of the highest levels of experience and expertise within the defense industry.
Andrew is an experienced leader who has been tested in the most dynamic and uncertain scenarios while an Air Force F-22 pilot. Andrew has led teams controlling $3 billion of assets while achieving goals and objectives of the mission. As a Sr. Defense Consultant for Advance Strategic Insight group, Andrew has a great perspective on how to rapidly innovate solutions for mission success.
BIO: Dirk Wallinger
President & CEO of York Space Systems
Mr. Wallinger is a Board Director, President, and the CEO of York Space Systems. York Space Systems was founded in 2012 to radically improve spacecraft affordability and reliability, transforming and enabling next generation space mission operations worldwide. Today, it is one of the most innovative aerospace companies, specializing in the manufacture of spacecraft platforms, end-to-end customer space collection solutions, cloud-based spacecraft development tools, and real-time web-based mission tasking based out of Denver, CO. Mr. Wallinger believes in the strategic opportunity of space, as not only an economic frontier, but the great potential for space to improve terrestrial life through rapid technology advancement.
While leading York, Mr. Wallinger has executed numerous strategic and long-term partnerships, both domestic and international, with industry leaders including Jet Propulsion Laboratory, US Air Force, Space Development Agency, Ruag, Terma, Army Space and Missile Defense Command, AAC Clyde, and the Netherlands Space Office. Mr. Wallinger has successfully executed across a wide range of commercial and Government customers including NASA, USAF, DoD, NRL, NGA, ORS, and DigitalGlobe. His previous experience includes leadership roles with industry veterans including Orbital Sciences, General Dynamics, and Lockheed Martin.
Advisory Board, Colorado Space Business Roundtable
Mentor, Starburst Aerospace Accelerator
Advisory Board, SmallSat Alliance
Member, Colorado Space Coalition
President & CEO
BIO: Kerry Webb
Sr. Manager of Supply Chain
Kerry Webb is a Sr. Manager of Supply Chain for SAIC on the NASA Integrated Services (NICS) program.
In his role, Kerry oversees the acquisition of products and services integral to SAIC’s support of NASA’s communications infrastructure.
Kerry has 20+ years’ experience in the Information Technology industry in systems / network administration and architecture. In recent years, Kerry has incorporated his technical background into supplier management roles working in Subcontracts, Procurement and Telecommunications Management.
BIO: Frank Weith
Director of Connected and Mobility Services at Volkswagen Group of America
Frank Weith is the Director of Connected and Mobility Services at Volkswagen Group of America and has been with VW for 14 years. He is also the President of Ventic LLC, a newly formed joint venture company between VW and Aeris. As the business owner, he is responsible for defining strategies and infrastructure and business partnerships needed to support the customer experience and business initiatives. His role also entails running the P&L, managing the North American Market requirements for services and features, and identifying future technologies and partnerships needed to support new business models and revenue opportunities.
Throughout his 30 year career, he has also spent 11 years working in Germany for Siemens AG, BMW AG and founded a Technical Development Center for American Axle Europe. His collective experience ranges from Management Consulting, Product Development and Manufacturing Engineering for Components and Vehicle Systems, Product Strategy, and Business Development. He’s a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University, which also included a foreign exchange program affiliated with the Technical University in Aachen, Germany.
BIO: Dr. Gregg Wildes
Dr. Gregg Wildes is an Innovation Leader at an electronics and computing technology business (DornerWorks in Grand Rapids, MI). He began his career as a technologist at a government national laboratory (LLNL) followed with technical/business leadership positions at aerospace and defense OEMs (GE Aviation and Gore-Tex) as a program manager for avionics systems and electronics global product manager.
He brings over 20 years experience in technology working in embedded computing, cybersecurity, ISR, avionics, advanced materials, hardware, software, FPGA, and space systems and has led innovative SBIR projects in support of DARPA, Air Force, Army, and NASA.
Gregg is passionate about Government-big business-small business collaboration as an enabler to accelerate fielded capabilities in support of national security and economic growth.