UAS Tech Forum 2018 Speakers
New Technology Representative
Earl Adams is the New Technology Representative and Software Release Authority at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards, California. He is responsible for managing new technology submissions, managing the use of the New Technology Transfer System, as well as the software release process. Earl is also responsible for new technology reporting and software release training at Armstrong. Earl has worked at Armstrong for more than 20 years where he has served an Electronic Technician in the Operations Avionics Branch designing, installing and maintaining Flight Control and Research Instrumentation Systems on a variety of Airborne and Ground Based Systems. In addition to his work with Armstrong’s Technology Transfer Office, Mr. Adams is a parabolic flight campaign manager for NASA’s Flight Opportunities program, where he manages an average of two flight campaigns per year with a NASA-contracted commercial flight provider. In this role, Mr. Adams coordinates the preparation of technology payloads for flight demonstrations, working with both the flight provider and the researchers. This work enables him to keep track of how these flight demonstrations are helping researchers mature their technologies and advance the technology readiness levels of their experiments. Outside of his tenure with NASA, Mr. Adams’ other achievements include a detail with the U.S. Navy and a former stint as the owner of a Harley Davidson motorcycle shop.
Brett is the Chief Operating Officer at Startup Junkie Consulting, and the Founder and Chairman of the Startup Junkie Foundation. These organizations are funded by groups including the US SBA, US EDA, Walton Family Foundation and others to build the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. He is also managing member of the Tonic Fund, and Co-Founder and General Partner of Cadron Capital Partners. He holds a master’s degree in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas’s College of Engineering, and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business. Northwest Arkansas Business Journal named Brett as one of the region’s “Fast 15”. Brett is a certified Project Management Institute Project Management Professional (PMP). For additional information, please visit https://www.linkedin.com/pub/brett-amerine/10/658/a98
Mark Askelson Ph.D
University of North Dakota
Mark A. Askelson received his Ph.D. from the Department of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma in the fall of 2002, his M.S. from the same department in the fall of 1996, and two B.S. degrees (meteorology and mathematics) from the University of North Dakota in the spring of 1993. He is currently a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of North Dakota, having served as both a research and teaching assistant while at the University of Oklahoma. In a 14 year span, he has participated in numerous field research projects, including the NOTE, VORTEX, Hal, and CRYSTAL-FACE. His recent research has focused on surface transportation weather, the utilization of radars for both aircraft deconfliction and meteorological applications, objective analysis, mesoscale modeling, data assimilation, and storm dynamics. (tornadogenesis).
Sherpa Aerospace Technologies LLC
Jacob Brazda is a Repair Engineer for a large Wichita-based manufacturing company with a focus on aerospace components. Jacob grew up in Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma State University, where he received a degree in Aerospace Engineering. Jacob’s professional career has focused on machining and CNC operations with a focus on turbo machinery assembly and repair technologies. Jacob has training in Lean manufacturing and has performed both leadership and technical manufacturing roles. Jacob has also personally manufactured components for commercial and private aerospace manufacturing companies utilizing his personal industrial CNC machines. Jacob has managed the manufacturing and structural design for Sherpa Aerospace Technologies over the past two years.
Shawn S Bullard
Shawn S. Bullard, president of Duetto Group, is a Capitol Hill-based government relations strategist, advisor and lobbyist who specializes in disruptive technologies. For nearly three decades Mr. Bullard has driven public policy at the highest levels of government. He began his career in Washington as a senior congressional staff member to a long-serving member of the House Armed Services Committee and House Transportation Committee.
As vice president of government relations for one of the nation's oldest public relations firms, he designed strategies for some of the most recognizable brands in America, including NASA. Mr. Bullard has served as a trusted resource to scholars at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, as a representative on the White House Y2K Task Force, and as an advisor to delegates on the Federal Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce.
He is a nationally recognized speaker on the intersection of public policy and emerging technologies and sits on multiple boards and advisory committees. He is most active as a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society board (Washington branch), as SkySpecs’ advisory board chairman, and was an external advisory board member to ASSURE and the FAA Center of Excellence for UAS Research. For nearly a decade he has served North Dakota’s UAS interests in Washington and has been the lead federal government advisor to the FAA designated Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site since the beginning. Mr. Bullard holds a Masters degree from George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government, and has served on the school's national alumni board.
Professor of Meteorology
University of Oklahoma
Phil obtained a BS in Physics from Clemson University in 1985, an MS in Physics (ultra-low temperature physics) from the University of Florida in 1990, and a PhD in Physics (atmospheric physics) from Clemson University in 1993. He spent one year in Germany on Fulbright Scholarship (1985-1986) working in nuclear solid-state physics. Phil completed a postdoc in Germany at the Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy (currently the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research) during 1994-1997. He then worked as a research scientist at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (1997-200). Phil returned to the US to assume a research scientist position at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (2000-2004). He has been with the University of Oklahoma since 2005 as a Professor in the School of Meteorology and with the Advanced Radar Research Center.
Kansas State Representative
Fifth-Generation Kansan, Born and Raised in Salina, Kansas
Graduate of Salina Catholic Schools and Kansas State University
Kansas House of Representatives, District 69 Representative 2013-2019
Chairman, Committee on Transportation & Public Safety Budget
Kansas Republican Party State Executive Committee Member
Chairman of the Kansas Young Republicans
Young Republican National Federation Campaign Committee
Kansas Republican Party Leadership Series Class of 2011
U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy Judge
J.R. Claeys is the State Representative for west Salina and northwest Saline County, serving the family, friends and neighbors he grew up with. J.R. was born and raised in Salina and is proud to serve the 69th District in the Kansas House of Representatives.
Keeping Kansans safe, and supporting our first responders, is J.R.'s top priority. As chairman of the Transportation and Public Safety Budget Committee, he led his committee in delivering a new pay plan and a pay raise for the Kansas Highway Patrol, which has led to more recruits at the KHP Academy in Salina. He initiated conversations between KHP and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation that led to the creation of a new career path between the agencies. J.R. delivered a raise for corrections officers and a focus on prison reform issues with the goal of reducing recidivism statewide.
Home of Kansas State Polytechnic, Salina hosts one of the nation's premier aviation schools. J.R. created a plan to support the development of the UAS industry in Salina. He led the effort to create a UAS director position within KDOT Aviation. He has developed a plan to grow the UAS industry here in Kansas, including the creation of a UAS Research Triangle, the development of an aviation research park and UAS business incubator in Salina, and a new tax credit for Kansas engineering students to stay and make their careers in Kansas.
J.R. fought to make government more efficient and accountable, and wants to make sure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. He pushed to implement recommendations from the state efficiency study, including new procurement rules and ways to make KDOT deliver high quality transportation services in the most efficient way.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, J.R. scrutinized budgets to make sure your dollars are being spent in the best possible way and making sure that services reach those who need them the most. As a member of the Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee, J.R. has worked on vital job creation programs, looking for new ways to make Kansas the best state in the nation to do business. His economic development work includes partnering with the Department of Commerce to discuss ways the department can better market Kansas' business advantages to companies nationwide.
The youngest of three and a fifth-generation Kansan, J.R. Claeys was raised in a middle-class family in Salina, Kansas. It was there that his parents, Joe and Judy Claeys, instilled in him the value of hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit. Mowing lawns for the elderly on the weekends with his dad, J.R. learned the importance of service and community.
J.R.'s father, Joe Claeys, was born and raised in Axtell, Kansas where his parents owned a downtown business. His parents were ranchers in Blue Rapids, Kansas before losing their livlihood in the Great Depression. J.R's grandfather weathered the depression by working for the railroad before settling in Axtell.
J.R. tried his hand in the family trade, spending part of his summer working for Claeys Harvesting on his uncle's combines, harvesting wheat in south-central Kansas up through northeast Colorado, before heading to K-State.
J.R.'s mother, Judy, grew up in Salina, Kansas. Her father drove a dairy truck and later worked for Graves Truck Lines. J.R.'s grandfather also served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific during World War II. After raising four children, J.R.'s grandmother worked in the front office at Motor Service in Salina.
J.R.'s parents met in Salina where his mother attended Marymount College and his father started work for Western Electric before serving in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam. J.R.'s father retired as a technician for AT&T in Salina, where he served for over 50 years. His mother is a first grade teacher at St. Mary's Grade School where she has taught Salina children for over 34 years.
After graduating high school in Salina J.R. attended Kansas State University where he was involved in nonprofit student media and later worked for The Manhattan Mercury, receiving several state and national awards for his work. This is where J.R. first decided to pursue work in the nonprofit sector for charities and civic organizations. After the attacks of 9/11, J.R. became a founding member of a volunteer networking organization that matched volunteers with charitable organizations seeking help.
At K-State, J.R. was recognized by the Manhattan City Council with a Community Service Award for his volunteer work with the Riley County Police Department and Crimestoppers.
After graduating from K-State, J.R. went to Washington, D.C. to work in fundraising for the Republican National Committee. He went on to earn his Master of Public Administration degree from The George Washington University School of Business, where he studied nonprofit management.
J.R. went to school at night while working as director of communications for the National Small Business Association (NSBA), a Washington, D.C. based small-business advocacy organization with over 150,000 member companies. There he advocated for reforms to encourage small business growth across America and was appointed as a U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy Judge with the Bush Administration in 2004.
J.R. also served as the director of communications for the Small Business Exporters Association and the Small Business Technology Coalition. He was the spokesman for the Coalition Supporting Equity for Our Nation's Self-Employed, a coalition of business associations supporting tax fairness for self-employed health care costs, as well as the Small Business Coalition for Equitable Health Insurance, a coalition of businesses and trade associations supporting a market-based approach to health insurance coverage.
From there, J.R. was selected as the President and CEO of the National Association of Government Contractors (NAGC), a trade association for small and midsize businesses involved in government contracting. J.R. has been an advocate for a fair and transparent procurement process and increased access to government contracts for small businesses. As president, J.R. assisted thousands of small businesses seeking work with federal, state and local government agencies. During election years he led massive Get Out The Vote campaigns to register new voters across the country, and helped get voters out to the polls on election day.
J.R. is quoted as an expert on small-business legislative issues in major publications, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune and many others. He has also appeared on national radio programs and television news channels representing small businesses throughout the country. In 2011, J.R. was selected to testify on behalf of small businesses before the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2012, J.R. testified before the House Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, representing small businesses involved in the GSA Schedule.
J.R. is a certified international elections observer, having served as a volunteer in a young democracy grappling with voter fraud issues and the implementation of Voter ID programs to secure citizen ballots.
In March 2009, J.R. worked to stop voter fraud in El Salvador's presidential elections. At his voting center a Nicaraguan was caught trying to vote illegaly, attempting to steal the vote of an eligible voter. J.R. advised the country's electoral tribunal on the changes necessary to prevent future voter fraud, helping reform the electoral process of a nation.
J.R. is also a supporter and volunteer with the Kids Voting Kansas Program, an organization that teaches kids the elections process by allowing parents to bring their school-aged children with them to the polls to learn how to vote.
Throughout 2009 and 2010, J.R. ran a strong statewide campaign for the Republican nomination for the Office of Kansas Secretary of State, falling short, while winning 34 counties and over 67,000 votes.
J.R. currently serves on the regional advisory board for the Partnership for Technology Innovation, committed to improving rural access to technology in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas.
Continuing in his commitment to promoting conservative principles, J.R. served as Chairman of the Kansas Young Republicans, and on the State Executive Committee of the Kansas Republican Party. He is also a volunteer organizer for the Republican Leadership Series, and a graduate of the innagural class in 2011.
J.R. is Salina's Representative, first elected in 2012 to the Kansas House of Representatives. Reelected in 2014 and 2016, J.R. serves as the chairman of the Committee on Transportation & Public Safety Budget, and as a member of the Committee on Commerce, Labor & Economic Development, the powerful Committee on Appropriations, and the Joint Committee on State Building Construction, in the Kansas House of Representatives.
Executive Director, Unmanned Systems
Cherokee Nation Technology Portfolio
John “JC” Coffey is currently the Executive Director, Unmanned Systems for the Cherokee Nation Technologies Portfolio where he established and leads their unmanned program supporting several inter-agency and industry organizations in advancing unmanned systems in worldwide operations including Polar ice-breaker support. He provides several governmental teams guidance for strategic and program planning, test & evaluations, system engineering, program transition to operation. He is a member of ASTM’s F-38, RTCA’s SC-228, AUVSI’s Board of Directors, and was awarded 2015 AUVSI Member of the Year. He is also the cofounder of the Federal UAS Tribal Interest Group.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, a MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a Masters Certification in Government Contracting from George Washington University and numerous certifications from the Defense Acquisition University.
He is a Kentucky Colonel and decorated combat Naval Aviator and Department of Defense Acquisition Professional with over 30 years of experience in flight operations, test & evaluation, systems engineering, program management and strategic planning, including involvement in government procurement programs. A guest lecturer having published several reports and articles on unmanned systems, he has FAA ATP, Remote Pilot and Flight Instructor qualifications, and has flown over 4,600 hours in several aircraft including the T-2, T-34, T-44, P-3, A-4, RC-12, H-2, H-46, H-52, H-60, S-3, F/A-18 and MZ-3A.
Assistant Director Safety Management
Pam joined FlightSafety International in 1999 as a flight and human factors instructor. Since then, she assisted with the implementation of FlightSafety’s Quality Management System. Starting in 2012, she was responsible for the design and implementation of FlightSafety’s Safety Management System (SMS) at 26 worldwide locations. Pam is currently the Assistant Director of Safety Management and works with FlightSafety Operations supporting the ongoing improvement of the SMS.
Pam is a type rated commercial pilot, holds a Bachelor of Science in Technology with a major in Aviation Studies from Bowling Green State University, and a Masters in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Chief Information Security Officer and Founder
True Digital Security
Dr. Jerald Dawkins is a visionary in the security technology industry. As the Chief Information Security Officer and Founder of True Digital Security, an IT, security, and compliance services firm specializing in protecting and empowering a connected world, and the Co-Founder of TokenEx, a leading tokenization cloud security platform provider for data security, Dr. Dawkins has been instrumental in helping organizations across the globe achieve their information security objectives.
Much of Dr. Dawkins’ career has focused on regulatory compliance, technical risk assessments, penetration testing, web application testing, vulnerability analysis, software engineering, and secure coding, performed for organizations across diverse industries, giving him a solid understanding of all aspects of information security testing, technology, and the evolving risks and threats organizations face. This perspective has allowed Dr. Dawkins to empower organizations to be proactive with security, mitigate risks, and achieve best practices and compliance.
Dr. Dawkins has written several articles and white papers over information security topics and has shared his expertise presenting at numerous national and international conferences. He has also performed valuable SCADA research in support of critical infrastructure security initiatives and co-authored multiple patents relating to information security technology processes and methods. With his extensive background in security and information technology, Dr. Dawkins is an expert in this fast-growing and critical business sector.
Dr. Dawkins received his B.A. in Computer Science from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from The University of Tulsa
Deputy Director of Aviation and UAS
Kansas Department of Transportation
Lindsey Dreiling has spent over 15 years immersed in aviation. She earned Bachelors' degrees in Professional Piloting and Aviation Technology Management; as well as, a Master's in Counseling and Student Development from Kansas State University. There Lindsey served as a flight and ground school instructor for Kansas State and coordinated professional advising for over 700 students on campus.
In 2016, Lindsey transitioned to the Kansas Department of Transportation as their Aviation Marketing Manager, was promoted to the Chief of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) policy a year later, and most recently was announced as the new Deputy Director of Aviation and UAS for the state of Kansas. As Deputy Director, Lindsey drives strategies to grow and support aviation and UAS industries in Kansas. She serves as a liaison between aviation stakeholders across the state and the nation, while engaging in tactical activities addressing industry issues. Lindsey has assisted with the implementation of the first statewide Unmanned Air Traffic Safety program for the entire state of Kansas. Additionally, during her time at KDOT she developed a national award-winning outreach program to educate the public about aviation and grow understanding for UAS industry.
Lindsey sets the pace for aviation engagement as she serves as the President of the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education (KCAE), Secretary of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum Board, an FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) Representative and a member of multiple international aviation organizations. She holds a commercial fixed-wing pilot certificate with certified flight instructor (CFI) and instrument ratings (CFII); and recently achieved a multi-engine instructor (MEI) rating. At home, Lindsey enjoys relaxing on her deck with her loving husband and 3 wonderful children.
Kraettli L. Epperson
Vigilant Aerospace Systems, Inc.
Kraettli L. Epperson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Vigilant Aerospace Systems, which provides airspace management and autonomous collision avoidance software for unmanned aircraft based on a patent exclusively licensed from NASA. Mr. Epperson has a 20-year career as a serial entrepreneur and investor in technology startups in both the US and Europe. He is a frequent expert speaker at major UAS industry conferences such as InterDrone, Xponential, the UAS Summit & Expo, and more addressing topics such as unmanned aircraft detect-and-avoid, and UAS flight safety and airspace management systems for commercial operators, fleet managers, and unmanned airfields. Mr. Epperson is the co-author, with NASA Senior Research Engineer Ricardo Arteaga, of multiple industry research papers on autonomous systems and is an FAA certified Part 107 UAS pilot.
State of Oklahoma
In 2010, Mary Copeland Fallin was elected the first woman governor of Oklahoma.
She was reelected in 2014 to her second term by a 15-point margin, carrying 71 out of 77 Oklahoma counties.
Since Fallin took office in 2011, Oklahoma has consistently ranked among the top states for job creation in the nation.
Prior to serving as governor, Fallin represented the people of Oklahoma in a number of state and federal positions. She served two terms as a state representative before becoming Oklahoma’s first Republican and first woman lieutenant governor in 1995. After serving as lieutenant governor for 12 years, Fallin served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011.
Governor Fallin has signed bills to modernize and streamline government operations, responsibly cut the income tax, increase compensation for public employees, and address the state’s fiscally unstable pension system. The governor has also signed into law historic lawsuit reform and a complete overhaul of the state’s workers' compensation system.
At the governor’s direction, the state has increased funding for K-12 education by over $154 million, putting more money into the classroom and helping to boost student performance.
As the former chairman of the National Governors Association, Governor Fallin lead a nation-wide initiative --"America Works: Education and Training for Tomorrow’s Jobs" -- seeking to better align education with twenty-first century workforce needs.
The governor is a graduate of Oklahoma State University. She is married to Wade Christensen, Oklahoma’s first “First Gentleman.” The couple has six children between them.
Strategic Marketing Manager
Abe has gained a great depth and wealth of NASA’s technologies during his nearly 16-year tenure in the Technology Transfer Office at the Johnson Space Center. After graduating from the University of Texas with a BS in Aerospace Engineering, he joined Lockheed Martin in support of the Shuttle Derived Launch Vehicles. He started his career in the Technology Transfer office in 2006, where he performed technical and commercial assessments of the invented submitted by NASA’s engineers, scientists, innovators and contractors. In addition to this role, Abe earned a MBA degree from the University of Houston. He has applied these skills in helping to identify partners that could benefit from commercializing NASA technology
Amy is the Licensing Manager for the Glenn TTO. In her role she serves as the primary point of contact for all Glenn licenses, managing the agreements through negotiations, execution, and maintenance. As a seasoned licensing professional, she brings great breadth and depth to the Glenn TTO licensing team. She has over a decade of experience assisting government and industrial technology transfer with companies of all sizes in a variety of industries. This involves an intimate understanding of both parties’ needs and cultivating strong partnerships. Amy’s areas of expertise include technology and intellectual property assessment, technical writing, business analysis, and database management. She holds a BS in polymer engineering from Case Western Reserve University.
Loyd Hook PhD
Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
The University of Tulsa
Loyd R. Hook is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Tulsa (TU) and director of the TU Vehicle Autonomy and Intelligence Lab (TU VAIL) where his research is currently focused on the development of safety assured autonomy for unmanned and manned aircraft systems. In this capacity, Loyd has current and recent projects collaborating with the FAA, NASA, the US Air Force, and the US Navy. Before beginning at TU, Loyd served as a principle investigator and flight test engineer for NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center where he explored autonomous and automatic aircraft safety systems. Notably, Loyd worked many years as a part of the early development of the F-16 Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System, which is currently the system with the highest autonomy level for any fielded control system aboard a US production aircraft. Loyd holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from the University of Oklahoma both in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Director of Aerospace & Defense
Oklahoma Department of Commerce
Richard “Vince” Howie became the Aerospace & Defense Director for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce in November 2013. He serves on the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission, the Governor’s Unmanned Aerospace Systems Council, Oklahoma F-35 Task Force, and Oklahoma Careers Pathways Sub-committee.
Prior to this position Mr. Howie retired from the U.S. Air Force in April 2012 after 29 years of civil service.
Mr. Howie is a former member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) working at the Pentagon, Air Mobility Command, and Tinker Air Force Base (AFB). His Air Force career began in August 1984 at the OKC Air Logistics Center, Tinker AFB.
Mr. Howie has a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University in Washington D.C., a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Central Oklahoma. Mr. Howie was a National Securities Study Management Fellow at the Maxwell School of Business, Syracuse University, and earned a Senior Professional Military Education from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Washington D.C.
Oklahoma State University
Jamey D. Jacob is the John Hendrix Chair and Professor in the School Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Unmanned Systems Research Institute at Oklahoma State University. He is the author of over 100 papers and technical reports in the areas of unmanned systems, aerodynamics, flow control, and inflatable structures. He received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1990 and his M.S and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992 and 1995, respectively. He was a National Research Council Summer Faculty Fellow in the Air Force Research Laboratory at WPAFB in both 2003 and 2004. He spent 10 years as a professor at the University of Kentucky in the Mechanical Engineering Dept. He currently serves on the Governor’s Aerospace and Autonomous Systems Council and as president of the Unmanned Systems Alliance of Oklahoma.
President & CEO
Helo Perspective, LLC
Mr. Johnson brings more than 25 years of wireless experience in operating and managing rural, regional and national wireless companies. Mr. Johnson has held positions with Infiniti Broadband, Branch Communications, Nex-Tech Wireless, U.S. Cellular, Telecorp PCS, SunCom Wireless, AT&T Wireless and Mid-Missouri Cellular. Johnson held various leadership positions with wireless entities including President & CEO-Infiniti Broadband, Executive Vice President & CDO-Branch Communications, President & CEO-Nex-Tech Wireless, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer-Mid Missouri Cellular, Market Director-AT&T Wireless, Market Director-SunCom Wireless and General Manager-US Cellular.
Johnson led Nex-Tech Wireless to be one of the fastest growing regional operators in the nation. Nex-Tech Wireless was a green field build starting with zero subscribers and revenues and during Mr. Johnsons almost eight year tenure, he grew the company to nearly 70,000 subscribers and over $80 million in annual revenue. Additionally, Nex-Tech Wireless experience healthy financial performance allowing the company to expand into new areas. During Mr. Johnson’s time at U.S. Cellular he managed markets in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois in which he earned the highest company award for top operating unit in 1999 and again in 2000. Mr. Johnson joined Telecorp PCS to launch their Iowa markets in 2001 where he played a key part in the build, launch and market development of this key market. Due to the many successes and overall strategic initiatives, Telecorp PCS sold to AT&T Wireless in 2002. At that time, AT&T Wireless recruited Mr. Johnson to manage operations in Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and South Dakota. In 2003, Mr. Johnson accepted an opportunity to join Mid-Missouri Cellular as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, where he played a key position in the revival and eventual sale of Mid-Missouri Cellular to Verizon Wireless. Mr. Johnson joined Nex-Tech Wireless in August 2005 as Chief Executive Officer. His duties included overall financial accountability of the company, assessing market growth and expansion opportunities, company vision, strategic planning, government relations, sales, marketing and community relations.
Mr. Johnson served on the Board of Directors for CTIA-The Wireless Association. He served on The Wireless Foundation Board of Directors and held the title of Secretary & Treasurer and was a member of the Executive Committee and Audit Committee. Mr. Johnson served on the Board of Directors for CCA-The Competitive Carrier Association. Furthermore, he served as the 2008-2009 President and Chairman of the Rural Cellular Association Board of Directors and served as Officer and Treasurer and also served on the Executive Committee. In addition, he held a seat on the Government & Regulatory Committee for Competitive Carriers Association. Mr. Johnson also was recognized by his industry peers and awarded the Rural Cellular Association’s 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award. In September 2012, Mr. Johnson earned the Outstanding Member Award for his support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters. On behalf of RCA and CTIA, Mr. Johnson testified before Congress in 2006 on matters relating to Universal Service Reform.
Additionally, Mr. Johnson has been an active part of his community having served as President of the Boys and Girls Club of America, a board member for the National Kidney Foundation, Rotary Club of America, Optimist Club, a founding member of the Hays Area Young Professionals, Hays Area Chamber of Commerce and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Mr. Johnson has earned top honors for his individual fundraising recordings at both the national and state levels, including his total amount of over $25,000 raised in 2012. In addition to Mr. Johnson’s services on civic, community and national boards, he has also served on the Board of Directors for Commerce Bank, and Branch Communications.
William C. Johnson
NASA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System (UAS-NAS) Project.
William is the Chief Engineer for the NASA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System (UAS-NAS) Project. The NASA UAS-NAS Project mitigates technical and regulatory barriers that are limiting the ability for civil UAS to fly routinely in the NAS. William is responsible for leading the technical portfolio for the UAS-NAS project across all four NASA Aeronautics Research centers while coordinating the portfolio with FAA and Industry. He serves on key technical committees in the US to support the development of emerging aviation markets and serves abroad to support global harmonization of aviation standards.
Prior to working on UAS R&D, William was an international leader in Air Traffic Management R&D for 10 years at both NASA and the FAA. Before joining the US Government, William worked for 10 years in industry developing knowledge management systems, mission support software and air/ground sensor platforms for government science missions.. William has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, a graduate degree in Applied Physics and Computer Science and a post-graduate Engineer’s Degree in Engineering Management from George Washington University. William’s work has been featured in Scientific American, Wired, Aviation Week, Aerospace America and several other media outlets.
Director of the
NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)
Dr. Koch currently serves as the Director of the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) in Norman, Oklahoma, an Affiliate Professor Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, where he advises and teaches courses to students, and as Program Manager for VORTEX-Southeast. NSSL is one of several research laboratories in Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)). Dr. Koch joined NSSL in 2011 after having served in a high-level management position at the Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado for more than a decade, as a tenured Associate Professor at North Carolina State University in the 1990s, and as a research scientist from 1980-1993 at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. In the past, he has also served as an adjunct faculty member to underrepresented minority students at North Carolina A&T University and at Iowa State University. Dr. Koch has been instrumental in developing and transitioning many new Science & Technology systems to the National Weather Service, including advanced numerical weather prediction systems, meteorological observational and display systems, and forecasting techniques, and has won awards for his contributions. He is a Fellow of both the American Meteorological Society and the OU Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies. In his nearly 40 years of service in both the federal and state academic sectors, he has authored or co-authored nearly 80 refereed journal articles and 180 conference publications. He is an internationally recognized expert on atmospheric gravity waves, mesoscale meteorology, and severe storms, and is a frequent invited speaker on the topic of applications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems to monitoring severe thunderstorm environments.
Gavin W Manes PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Gavin Manes is a nationally recognized expert in e-discovery and digital
forensics. He is currently the CEO of Avansic, a firm that provides the legal,
business, and government sectors with e-discovery, digital forensics, managed
services, hosted online review, and expert services.
Dr. Manes founded this Tulsa-based company in 2004 after receiving his PhD in
Computer Science and serving as a professor at the University of Tulsa. Avansic’s
scientific approach to e-discovery and digital forensics stems from Manes’ academic
experience; this brings a logical and defensible approach to discovery. Avansic
creates custom solutions in the laboratory to make processing more efficient and
works with clients to create custom solutions and specialized workflows for any size
e-discovery project; for example, Dr. Manes and Avansic have assisted in many
aspects of e-discovery for one of the country’s largest MDL litigations.
Dr. Manes has served as an expert witness for many legal proceedings through
courtroom testimony, depositions and consulting with attorneys on data preservation
issues. He has given hundreds of presentations to law firms, corporate officers, legal
conferences and judges on the latest topics in e-discovery. He frequently publishes
articles in peer-reviewed journals and whitepapers on e-discovery, security, and
Vice President, Advocacy and Public Affairs
Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
Tom McMahon is senior vice president of Advocacy and Government Relations at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. In this role, he leads AUVSI’s public affairs and communications organization. He also manages initiatives to reach policy decision makers and influencers with information about unmanned systems and how the technology will benefit the economy and generate business opportunities and jobs.
Before joining AUVSI in 2015, McMahon was director of Global Communications and Government Affairs at Motorola Solutions, a leading provider of public safety communications systems. Previously, he was director of Corporate Communications and Government Relations at CenturyLink and Qwest Communications, two of the nation’s largest telecommunications providers. He managed media relations during the $22 billion CenturyLink-Qwest merger, a transaction that required approval from the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and more than 30 state public service commissions.
Earlier in his career, McMahon was vice president of Communications and Government Affairs at WaveCrest Laboratories, an electric vehicle systems developer. He helped promote the company’s patented electric propulsion technology in the international transportation market. Before that he was vice president at the public affairs firms Powell Tate and Brodeur Worldwide, where he consulted clients on policy issues concerning several industries, including technology, telecommunications and transportation. He has also worked in the U.S. Congress, serving as a spokesperson for members and committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
McMahon is a graduate of Auburn University and was general manager of its public radio station. He is a member of the National Press Club and formerly served on its the Board of Governors. Currently, he is chair of the Marketing Communications Subcommittee of the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Advanced Mobility Consortium.
Manager, Economic Development
Cherokee Nation Businesses, LLC
Andy McMillan serves as Director of Economic Development & Special Projects for Cherokee Nation Businesses, the holding company and economic engine of the Cherokee Nation.
Andy is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and brings experience in economic development, strategic planning and implementation, project management, public administration, and development finance to initiatives at Cherokee Nation Businesses. He has worked on a wide variety of projects including industry recruitment and retention, real estate redevelopment and reuse, renewable energy development, public infrastructure development, and special projects like enterprise business continuity and business process improvement.
Andy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas Christian University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. He is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma, and is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) and Master Practitioner.
Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, he lives with family in Tulsa.
Brian has spent the last 12 years as an entrepreneur in aviation, and most recently, robotics technology. Brian founded an aviation charter company in 2006 and achieved year over year growth until early 2015 serving customers such as Petrohawk Energy and BHP Billiton. In 2015, Brian founded XWorks and focused the company’s attention on robotics technology. Brian has led XWorks to design and develop a unique drone landing station that fills a large gap in drone technology and ultimately removes the human element from drone missions. Through Brian’s leadership, the landing station has performed more than 1,500 autonomous drone landings, over 500 autonomous battery swaps, and 1,500 autonomous re-launches representing 166 hours of continual operation with no human in the loop. Brian attended two of the most prestigious aviation schools in the United States; Spartan School of Aeronautics and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University earning a degree in Aviation Business Management. Brian also holds an Air Transport Pilot Rating from the FAA.
Research Engineer for Human-Machine Systems
NASA Ames Research Center
Joey Mercer is a Research Engineer working in the Airspace Operations Laboratory within the Human-Systems Integration Division at NASA's Ames Research Center. He has received degrees in Experimental Psychology and Human Factors from the University of Idaho and San Jose State University. He has been investigating human-factors issues related to advanced air traffic management concepts for the past several years. He is currently the principal investigator for the 'Operator Interfaces and Procedures Design' task-group under NASA’s UAS Traffic Management (UTM) project.
Cowboy Technology Angels
Art Miller is the founder of Miller Business Consulting, Inc., a management consulting firm located in the Oklahoma City area. He specializes in working with businesses that have performance issues. His areas of expertise include financial projections, cash flow and working capital management, cost controls, private placements of debt and equity, mergers and acquisitions, as well as accounting and financial systems and procedures. In addition, Mr. Miller has extensive business planning and strategic planning experience, both as a prerequisite to raising capital and as an effective tool for prioritizing and making progress toward business and personal goals.
Art sat in the Chief Financial Officer’s chair at First Capital Corporation, a leading national provider of asset based loans up to $5 million in size. It was at First Capital that he closed the first ever securitization of the small asset-based loan asset class – a $100 million deal. He also oversaw the Information Technology area of First Capital’s business. Before founding Miller Business Consulting he joined Infinite Solutions Group, a turnaround consulting firm, as a partner. Art was also CFO of a venture financed software development firm, and raised both debt and equity capital for that business to finance new product development and market growth.
Art has a diverse financial background that includes positions in banking, mortgage banking, investment banking, asset-based lending, factoring, mezzanine capital, and venture capital. As a provider of funds in those many layers of the capital structure, Mr. Miller is uniquely qualified to advise companies with financial challenges on how best to improve their capitalization to reach growth and other critical business goals.
During Mr. Miller’s work as a venture capitalist and later as an advisor to many small and growing businesses in both a consulting and fund raising capacity, he has formed formal Board’s of Directors and Advisory Boards, as well as non-profit Boards. Therefore, Art is thoroughly familiar with sound Board practices that add value to a business, and he is deeply appreciative of the positive attributes and disciplines that result from a strong Board or group of advisors. Currently he owns a franchise in Oklahoma City for The Alternative Board (TAB), which forms peer advisory boards for small and medium-sized businesses. Art acts as facilitator for these boards and business coach to the owners.
Art brings a lot of “gray hair” to his consulting assignments, resulting from over 30 years of diverse business experience as a manager and a business owner, as well as a consultant and confidential advisor. He earned an undergraduate business degree with a concentration in accounting from Bucknell University. Art holds an MBA from the Colgate Darden School at the University of Virginia, where he was recognized with the William Michael Shermet Award and the Faculty Award for Academic Excellence. Mr. Miller also holds professional designations as a CPA and as a Certified Information Systems Auditor.
Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc.
As a member of the Chickasaw Nation, Mr. Mike Mitchell brings 19 years of experience and expertise to Chickasaw Nation Industries (CNI) as the President of the Defense Logistics Division. He has held a variety of roles and responsibilities throughout his tenure with the company and has been deeply instrumental in the day-to-day operations of the corporation. He provides executive oversight to the subsidiary managers and furthermore, supports the development of relationships with customers, teaming partners and various Government contracting stakeholders to ensure project success. He also holds fiduciary responsibility for contract execution and ensures overall
alignment to CNI’s strategic vision and mission.
Mr. Mitchell is a native of Ada, OK. His service to the Chickasaw Nation has been extensive. He was the first employee of Chickasaw Nation Industries following its federal charter in 1999, serving as the President and CEO for the new holding company. By 2002, he grew CNI into a company that exceeded $20+ million in annual revenue. Due to his commitment and service to the United States Army National Guard, he stepped down as CEO in 2002 and deployed overseas in support of Operation Armored Falcon (Operation Enduring Freedom). Upon his return, he assumed multiple executive positions until a second deployment in 2007-2008. After returning from his second deployment, he was tasked with duties serving as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer (DCO) and then Chief Operating Officer (COO). In 2017, Mr. Mitchell assumed the responsibility as President over the newly formed Defense Logistics Division of CNI. With a career spanning over 19 years with CNI, he has served in various roles supporting the growth of the company. Perhaps most impressive, under his leadership and tutelage, he has helped CNI grow into a company that has achieved $330 million in annual revenue and employ over 2,600 employees in 40 states.
PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL ENGAGEMENTS:
Mr. Mitchell is active in his community, participating as a member of the Board of Directors of Armed Forces Communication and Engineering Association OK Chapter (AFCEA), Gatesway Foundation of Tulsa (non-profit), Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance (non-profit), and Allied Arts of Oklahoma City (non-profit). He is a proud member of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) and the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). He also serves as a Deacon of the Fittstown Church of Christ, an AQHA member, an APHA member, and a proud parent and sponsor of Ada Athletics and the County 4-H community.
Mr. Mitchell’s service to the Oklahoma Army National Guard began as an enlisted soldier in 1991 (Private First Class) Artillery Repair Specialist (45L) with the 120 S&S Battalion (BN), Detachment 1, 1120th Maintenance Company. He graduated from Officer Candidate School (OCS – Class 038) in July 1993 and commissioned in the Oklahoma National Guard as a Second Lieutenant. Maj Mitchell has held various assignments and staff positions within the Army National Guard. Assignments: Artillery Repairer (45L/K), Base Maintenance Platoon Leader, Detachment Commander, Company
Commander, BN Support Operations Maintenance Officer, BN S-4 Logistics Officer, BN S-3 Operations Officer, and BN Executive Officer (XO). Maj Mitchell served during Operation Noble Eagle/ Armored Falcon (Operations Enduring Freedom) from December 28, 2002 – January 1, 2005, as a Military Police Company Commander. His most recent deployment was during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Baghdad, Iraq from September 10, 2007 – December 25, 2008, where he performed the duties as the S-3 Operations Officer and BN Executive Offer (XO) for a Military Police Battalion assigned to Detainee Operations Task Force 134 (TF MP North) – Baghdad IRAQ.
Maj Mitchell’s military schools include Basic Training, Advance Individual Training (Distinguished Honor Graduate), Officer Candidate School, Ordnance Officer Basic Course, Ordnance Officer Advance Course (Distinguished Honor Graduate), Combined Arms Service Staff School (CAS3), Maintenance Leaders Course, Petroleum Officer Advance Course, Commanders Safety Course, and Joint Force Tactical Air Operations.
Maj Mitchell’s awards, decorations, and qualifications include the Army Bronze Star for Combat Operations IRAQ, Meritorious Service Medal, Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaign Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2nd), Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (2nd), Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (3rd), Overseas Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2nd), Global War on Terrorism Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device, Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon (4th), Oklahoma Good Conduct Ribbon (3rd), Oklahoma Long Service Ribbon (10yr), Oklahoma State Active Duty Ribbon (Operation Twister), and Expert Marksmanship Badge with Rifle Bar, Pistol Bar, and Hand Grenade Bar.
Tracy A. Poole
Tracy Poole is an accomplished lawyer and former corporate executive whose more than 20 years of broad-based experience in the business community have included serving as outside counsel to various energy and power companies while in private practice, as corporate counsel to a leading energy marketing and trading company, as general counsel of an energy-focused hedge fund, and most recently as a founding partner and leader of three private exploration and production companies and two midstream natural gas storage development project companies. He has also been active in the management of several portfolio companies, having previously served on their boards of directors. Not only does Tracy understand the unique issues associated with managing business opportunities, but he is well-regarded for his ability and willingness to draw from his hands-on leadership, operational and legal experiences and insights to add meaningful value to client relationships.
Tracy’s practice encompasses the areas of venture capital and capital markets, energy and natural resources law, energy litigation, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, business formation and organization, regulatory compliance, contracting, corporate governance and compliance, financing, and securities law. He has specific experience with matters involving the management and operations of energy assets; acquisition and divesture of upstream assets; debt financing, including senior secured, senior unsecured, mezzanine and reserved-based facilities; development and management of investment funds; management of private equity investments; acquisition of equity securities; structured swaps and options; joint venture agreements; development of natural gas storage facilities; and the negotiation of a multitude of contracts, including long-term power, transmission and distribution, tolling, joint development, power plant development, construction and engineering, and gathering, processing and joint use agreements. Additionally, Tracy has held FINRA series 7 and 63 securities licenses and is skilled in the negotiation and preparation of OTC derivatives transactions.
Tracy’s achievements have earned him inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (energy law).
General James O Poss
Maj. Gen. James O. Poss (ret) is the CEO of ISR Ideas, an intelligence and unmanned aerial systems consulting firm. He is the founder and former Executive Director of the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Center of Excellence Team. ASSURE is 23 of the top US, Canadian, Israeli and British UAS research universities with 100+ corporate members teaming to solve the FAA’s UAS research issues. He is a 30 year US Air Force veteran with combat experience in four wars and was the Air Force’s senior career intelligence officer at his transition from active service in November 2012. He is a leading expert on UAS, having helped designed the US Air Force’s remote split operations system for UAS control and the Distributed Common Ground Station for UAS intelligence analysis. Gen Poss also has extensive experience in cyber operations from his assignments with the National Security Agency and as the Air Force lead for stand up of US Cyber Command. General Poss received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Southern Mississippi. He flew RC-135 sensitive reconnaissance missions during the Cold War, served in DESERT STORM with the U.S. VII Corps RC-12 Guardrail Battalion in Saudi Arabia, commanded an RC-135 squadron during the Kosovo Air War and was Director of Intelligence for Coalition Air Forces in Southwest Asia at the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom. The general commanded the 488th Intelligence Squadron, Royal Air Force Mildenhall. He also commanded the 609th Air Intelligence Group at Shaw AFB, SC and 70th Intelligence Wing at Fort George G. Meade, MD. The general has previously served as the Director of Intelligence at both Headquarter U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Combat Command. His final assignment was Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, Headquarters US Air Force. His ASSURE UAS team won competition for the FAA’s unmanned research center against teams that included MIT, Stanford and Michigan. He is the 2012 winner of Aviation Weeks’ Curtis Sword Award for his leadership in Anglo-American aerospace relations.
State of Oklahoma
Adam Pugh represents Senate District 41 from Edmond, OK and was first elected in 2016. Adam is also Founder and CEO of AP Jetworks, an aerospace and defense company. In May 2017, Adam was named as one of Oklahoma’s “40 under 40” achievers, and was named a Rising Star by the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce.
Adam is a former US Air Force officer, serving nearly 8 years on active duty as an Electronic Combat Officer and logging over 2,000 flying hours onboard the E-3 AWACS. Adam flew combat support missions in the Balkans and the Middle East as well as NORAD missions over the US after the 9/11 attacks. Adam was recognized as both Squadron and Wing Officer of the Year on multiple occasions and was the Top Graduate from his ROTC Detachment, Squadron Officer’s School, and Electronic Warfare Tactical Leadership Program. Adam was the youngest evaluator aircrew in NATO, and served as Chief of Training, Flight Commander, and Deputy Inspector General. His assignments include Tyndall AFB, Florida; Geilenkirchen NATO AB, Germany; Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, and Kadena AB, Japan.
After the Air Force, Adam went to work for Boeing aerospace doing Instructional Systems Design. Before launching AP Jetworks, Adam was Vice President of an engineering and logistics company specializing in military aviation and rotary-wing aircraft support.
Adam and his wife Sarah have 3 children and are involved throughout the community. Sarah is active in their home church, Edmond Mobile Meals, and local school district. Adam is a volunteer for the regional food bank, Boys and Girls Club, and Whiz Kids. He is an officer with the VFW and sits on the Board of Directors Leadership Council for the YMCA and University of Central Oklahoma President’s Council. Adam holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master’s Degree in International Relations & National Security from Troy University.
Raymond Red Corn
Assistant Principal Chief
Raymond W. Red Corn III was elected to the 1st Osage Nation Congress in 2006, and to the 2nd Congress in 2010. He served as Second Speaker in the 2nd Congress and as Speaker in the 3rd. Elected as Assistant Principal Chief in 2014, Raymond has focused on organizational issues, agriculture, and constituent services. At Chief Standing Bear's instruction, he has led efforts to acquire and plan development of new properties, prioritize acquisitions, and work cooperatively with local governments.
Raymond has four sons – Ryan, Jon, Alex, and Studebaker – and a stepson, Jed Creel. Raymond has worked around the fire since 2003 and has been a member of the Pawhuska Committee since 2006. All four of Raymond’s Osage sons participate in the I-lon-schka. Raymond is the son of Raymond and Waltena Red Corn of the Pawhuska Indian Village, and the husband of Louise Red Corn, owner of the Bigheart Times, a local newspaper.
Assistant Chief Red Corn values education. All of his sons graduated from Kansas University; Ryan with a degree in Fine Arts, Jon with a Masters in Architecture, Alex with a degree in Education and Studebaker with a degree in Engineering. Both Alex and Studebaker are pursuing doctorates in their field; Alex at Kansas State and Studebaker at Purdue. Inspired by his sons, Raymond went back to school in 2010 part time, graduating in 2017 with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with a Management emphasis.
Sherpa Aerospace Technologies
Isaac Reese is a Drilling Engineer for an Oklahoma City-based Oil and Gas Company who focuses on drilling rig automation, drilling analytics and optimization, and manages multiple land drilling rig operations. As an Oklahoma native, Isaac graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in both Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and worked for Sandia National Laboratories immediately after graduating. After receiving his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University, Isaac began his career in upstream oil and gas exploration for ConocoPhillips in Houston. While in Houston, Isaac began to design and build unmanned systems after reconnecting with former classmate, Jacob Brazda and forming Sherpa Aerospace Technologies. Over the past two years, Isaac has worked with Jacob to design and build unmanned systems that utilize industrial power systems similar to drilling rig and locomotive modular power systems, while leveraging their combined experience in aerospace, automation, and engineering design..
NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center
Mauricio Rivas is a project manager in the Aeronautics Projects Branch at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards, Calif. In his current position, Rivas supports the Unmanned Aircraft System Integration in the National Airspace System (UAS-NAS) Project as the Subproject Manager for Integrated Test and Evaluation (IT&E). In this position Rivas is responsible for integrating simulation and flight tests in support of UAS-NAS.
More recently, Rivas had been the Project Manager for the Ikhana UAS, a civilian MQ-9 Predator B used for science missions, aeronautics research and technology development. Since 2014 the Ikhana had been the primary test bed for the UAS-NAS Project.
In a prior management position Rivas supported the Constellation Program’s Test and Evaluation Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, where he oversaw the development of test requirements for future spacecraft and rockets. He also supported the Constellation Program
while working for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. While at Headquarters, Rivas also supported the Program Analysis and Evaluation Office.
As an operations engineer Rivas was responsible for the integration of research systems onto NASA aircraft and conducted research and technology development missions on NASA’s F-18 aircraft and on the Pathfinder-Plus and Helios solar UAS.
Rivas earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Business Administration and a Masters of Science in Systems Architecting and Engineering from the University of Southern California. As a visiting instructor Rivas taught graduate courses in project management and systems engineering at the California State University, Northridge.
Sergio A Salinas Monroy
Wichita State University
Sergio A. Salinas Monroy received the BS degree in
Telecommunications Engineering from Jackson State University, Jackson,
in 2010, and the PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering
from Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, in 2015. He is
currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical
Engineering and Computer Science, Wichita State University, Wichita,
KS. His research interests include security and privacy in
cyberphysical systems, cloud computing, and big data. He is a member
of the IEEE and ACM.
Executive Vice President, Economic Development
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Jeff Seymour was recently promoted to Executive Vice President, Economic Development, for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber after serving as Director of Business Development. In this role he leads the Chamber’s effort to expand the industrial, office, aerospace and destination retail sectors of the Oklahoma City economy.
Prior to serving at the Chamber, Jeff served as Executive Director of the Franklin County Development Council, a county-wide economic development organization in the greater Kansas City region and the Executive Director of the Blackwell Chamber of Commerce/Blackwell Industrial Authority in Blackwell, OK.
Jeff lives in southwest Oklahoma City with his wife Natasha and daughter Emmaline. He is an avid biker and traveler and is graduate of Oklahoma State University and Northern Oklahoma College with degrees in economics and international business. Jeff holds the status of a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) through the International Economic Development Council.
Co-Founder and CEO
David is a Co-Founder and Chief Commercialization Officer of Astrapi Corporation, a communications signal modulation company with offices in Dallas, TX and Washington, D.C. David’s efforts helped Astrapi win the Grand Prize for Astrapi at the SATELLITE 2017 Startup Space Pitch Competition and earn one of the “Most Promising Startup” awards at the FinSpace Summit for Satellite Finance in Paris. David also acted as the Astrapi Principal Investigator for the Astrapi I-Corp team leading to both Phase I, and Phase II National Science Foundation grant awards totaling over $923,000. David also led Astrapi’s successful efforts to secure both a Phase I AFWERX SBIR and Army xTechSearch prize. He serves on the Advisory Board of the International Center for Decision and Risk Analysis (ICDRiA), has reviewed well over one-hundred proposals for the National Science Foundation (NSF), is an active judge in University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business pitch competitions, was awarded the George Kozmetsky Award for Academic Excellence, IC² Institute, The University of Texas at Austin, and was a member of the Xerox President’s Club, every year he was eligible.
David has worked for, invested in and/or assisted in the commercialization efforts for a wide range companies that include, Global Uni-Docs, Forbis Energy, Sanijet Corporation, Capital Associates, Nail Express, and Xerox Corporation. He has prepared business plans, financial statements/budgets, raised capital, validated markets, developed early customers, negotiated contracts, and exceeded sales goals. These products/services ranged from, the introduction of the Xerox Memorywriter and the development of the $30 million office tower to the creation of a retail store concept and a novel digital authentication technology. David has a BBA in Finance and MS in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas, McCombs School of Business.
Craig J. Smith
Office of Oklahoma Congressman Steve Russell
Craig J. Smith is the District Director for Oklahoma Fifth District U.S. Representative Steve Russell. Smith has served in this role since January 2015 when Congressman Russell took office. Smith previously served on former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn’s staff as State Director. Smith also worked for Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating as Director of the Tulsa Office for four years and for then-Congressman Coburn in the mid-1990s as a caseworker, field representative, and press secretary. Smith holds a Master’s Degree and lives in Yukon with his wife of 25 years. They have a son and daughter both attending Oklahoma State University.
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Dr. Matthias Steiner is a Senior Scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) serving as Director for the Aviation Applications Program of the Research Applications Laboratory (RAL). Drawing from three decades of scientific experience, he leads new initiatives and directs research and development efforts broadly aimed at mitigation of avoidable weather impacts on various sectors, with a particular focus on aviation. Dr. Steiner’s vision, leadership, and substantial contributions toward mitigating weather impacts on the aviation industry reach deeply across the traditional boundaries of developing more accurate weather forecasts in order to integrate weather guidance in the decision-making process to better serve aviation operators. At present, Dr. Steiner is leading efforts to understand weather sensitivities and requirements for the rapidly growing interests in urban air mobility and using unmanned aerial systems for wide-ranging applications and safe integration into the national airspace system. Dr. Steiner has received multiple recognitions for excellent contributions to field programs, scientific missions, and outstanding publications. Most notable, Dr. Steiner is a Fellow of both the Royal and American Meteorological Societies.
Mark Thonnings PMP
BQM-167A Senior Program Manager
Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems, Inc.
Senior Vice President
Tulsa Regional Chamber
Brien Thorstenberg is the Senior Vice President for Economic Development for the Tulsa Regional Chamber. Brien’s career with the Tulsa Regional Chamber began in May 2013 when he was named the Vice President of Economic Development. Brien's career in economic development began with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, and as Vice President with the Ardmore Development Authority. Brien also served as Director of Economic Development for the Muskogee City/County Port Authority.
Brien received a B.S. in Business Administration with a double major in Management and Economics from Oklahoma State University. He also received an M.B.A. from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Management. He has also graduated from the OU Economic Development Institute, and earned his accreditation as a Certified Economic Developer.
Brien is active in economic development organizations including the Past Chair of both the Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team and the Oklahoma Economic Development Council. He is currently on the Board of Directors of many state and local organizations including i2E and Sustainable Tulsa. He is a member of the International Economic Development Council. He has volunteered and served on the Board with many organizations including the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.
Brien is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) who served in Liberia, West Africa. In this role, he was an Agriculture Extension Agent with the German Agency for Technical Cooperation. Brien and his wife Glenna of 27 years, live in Bixby with their two daughters, Lauren (15) and Alison (12).
Kinnee M. Tilly
Senior Vice President
Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development Corporation
Kinnee Tilly has served as the Senior Vice President for Economic Development for the Broken Arrow Economic Development Corporation since 2012. She is also currently serving as the Interim CEO for the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce.
A native to Oklahoma, Ms. Tilly has an extensive background in community development and non-profit leadership, working in that industry for over two decades. Serving in Broken Arrow as the head of the EDC, Ms. Tilly was most recently Vice President for Business Retention, Expansion and Small Business for the Tulsa Metro Chamber. Previous to that position, she served as the Director for Small and Minority Business for the Chamber. Prior to coming to the Tulsa Chamber, she was the Executive Director for the Jenks Public Schools Foundation for a decade, growing their programs and commitment to the district during that time. Serving as a member of the Governor’s Economic Development and Marketing Team, as well as the Foreign Direct Investment team for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Ms. Tilly remains focused on the goal of creating jobs and wealth in her community. In addition, Kinnee is also a member of the International Economic Development Council, and the Oklahoma Economic Development Council, as well as the Tulsa Global Alliance.
Since January 2015, I have been providing consulting services as a strategic advisor for a wide variety of clients involved in the unmanned systems community, which include FAA, NASA, the State of New York, and other private companies.
From October 2008 to January 2015, I held the position of President and CEO for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the world's largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to advancing unmanned systems. AUVSI's 600-plus corporate members and 7,500-plus individual members worldwide represent government organizations, industry, and academia. During my tenure, AUVSI tripled the number of corporate members, doubled its operating budget, and more than doubled its staff.
Prior to joining AUVSI, I was the Program Manager for Research and Development for Nuclear Security in the Office of the Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters. I led the physical security equipment Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) program that supported the protection of tactical, fixed, and nuclear weapons systems for the Department of Defense (DoD) personnel, and DoD facilities.
Also, I served as Chairman of the Physical Security Equipment Action Group (PSEAG). Within this capacity, I provided oversight to the administrative execution and centralized coordination of the joint DoD Physical Security Equipment RDT&E program. Oversight responsibilities included programmatic and technical reviews of selected conventional and nuclear DoD developmental and procurement programs in the areas of physical security, antiterrorism, and force protection.
Prior to that, I coordinated three DoD Joint programs as a member of the Under Secretary of Defense AT&L staff. From 1990 to 2003, I served as the Coordinator, Joint Robotics Program (JRP). From 1991 to 2003, I served as the Chairman of the PSEAG, and from 2001 to 2003, I provided DoD oversight responsibility for the Joint Unexploded Ordnance Coordination Office. I served as the Executive Secretariat to the 2002 Defense Science Board on Combating Terrorism, was the Advisory Member to the 2003 Army Science Broad on Force Protection and Manpower Reduction, and Advisory Member to the 2002 Naval Research Advisory Committee study on the Roles of Unmanned Vehicles.
As JRP Coordinator, I was responsible for the day-to-day oversight of RDT&E budgets that exceeded $90 million annually. I prepared and coordinated program master plans, worked closely with the Services, DoD components, academia, national laboratories, and private industry in the development of unmanned systems and Force Protection equipment for DoD.
I hold Bachelor of Science degrees in both Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering from the University of Rhode Island.
I am a “people person” and I’m not afraid to do the heavy lifting to get a job done. I’ve enjoyed my two plus years as a member of the Wigwam and I would like to assist in its future progress.
Cowboy Technology Angels
Jim is a Founder of Development Capital Networks and manages its WBTangels initiative which includes funds in Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Wyoming. In his career he has inspired over 70,000 people in his seminars and workshops ranging from change management, to adult education and participative planning. Since 1997, Jim has led over 100 workshops on seed investing for angel investors and new entrepreneurs. As an expert in strategic planning, group facilitation, and organizational learning, Jim heads up the firm’s internal planning processes and new curriculum designs. He received his B.S. from Oklahoma State University and earned a master's degree with a concentration in organizational transformation from DePaul University in Chicago.
Director, Government Relations and Strategic Initiatives
Amy Walton is the Director of Government Relations and Strategic Initiatives for the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, OCAST. In consultation with the executive director, Amy directs the design, development and implementation of agency legislative goals and strategy for securing desired legislative and executive action and coordinates legislative activities with all OCAST divisions. She serves as government affairs liaison for the agency’s strategic partners and is the key strategic advisor to the executive director.
Previously Amy spent 10 years in non-profit as the Director of Business Development for Gateway to Prevention and Recovery. She acted as the agency legislative liaison working to advance strategic plans, protect agency interests and increase funding. Over the years she opened three new offices and developed programs that were noted as being models for rural communities. She was able to increase agency funding approximately $7.5 million dollars to support new initiatives.
Prior to receiving her Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Oklahoma she held an international position with St. Andrews Healthcare Management where she oversaw educational programs for healthcare professionals in Central America, Europe and the Middle East.
Mrs. Walton has served on numerous statewide coalitions and boards. The main focus of her work has been improving public policy for Oklahoma. In 2010, she was appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chris Benge, to serve as advisory council to Certified Healthy Oklahoma Community initiative. This was an opportunity to make policy a priority at the local level and truly engage rural Oklahoma in improving the health of their citizens. Her experience has enabled her to work directly with the legislature, city councils, business leaders and various stakeholders.
Amy has published research in the International Journal of Disaster Prevention and Management. She lends her time as guest speaker and lecturer to the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center and Oklahoma Baptist University.
She received her Masters of Public Health from the University of Oklahoma in 2007 and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma in 2004.