Speakers 2015 | Unmanned Systems Institute

Speakers 2015

2015 Speakers
Kevin W. Mangum

Lieutenant General (LTG)
United States Army

Lieutenant General (LTG) Mangum graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY in May 1982 where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Armor. Highlights of LTG Mangum’s career include tours with 8th Army, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 2nd Infantry Division and 10th Mountain Division and two Joint tours. He has commanded at every level from platoon to Commanding General, United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, Alabama.

After his initial tour in the 128th Aviation Company (Assault Helicopter) at Camp Page, Korea, he was selected for assignment with Task Force 160. He has since served four tours with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment with duties ranging from section leader, battalion S-3 to command at company, battalion, and regiment levels. LTG Mangum also commanded A Company, 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment and 2nd Aviation Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment at Camp Stanley, Korea.

LTG Mangum’s joint service includes tours at the Joint Electronic Warfare Center, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas and Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg. In May 2008, he was assigned to his first post as a general officer, serving as the senior commander of Fort Drum and division rear commander of the 10th Mountain Division. He served as Deputy Commanding General of 1st Armor Division and United States Division-Center, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq. LTG Mangum commanded the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command upon its provisional activation on March 25, 2011. LTG Mangum commanded the United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, Alabama prior to assuming duties as the Deputy Commanding General/Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command on 28 March, 2014.

His numerous deployments include duty in the Republic of Korea, Honduras, Persian Gulf, Turkey, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. LTG Mangum also served as a U.S. Army War College Fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from Webster University. His military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and the Master Army Aviator Badge.

David Bird

Bird-HeadshotFounding Editor
Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems

Moderator – Energy, Agriculture, and More: Applications & What’s Working Today
Panel – Trends Abroad: What We’ve Learned from the International Community

As an Emeritus professor of Wildlife Biology and Director of the Avian Science and Conservation Centre of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Dr. David Bird has published close to 200 scientific papers on birds of prey and other wildlife and supervised 50 graduate students. His name graces the covers of no less than ten books. Dr. Bird has been working with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for about eight years and currently supervises two M.Sc. students working on UAVs.

He is the founding editor of a new electronic peer-reviewed publication, the Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems, which is the official journal for Unmanned Systems Canada. In the last two years, he has also given several keynote or plenary talks on UAVs and wildlife studies at conferences world-wide. Dr. Bird has organized several workshops on the applications of UAVs for wildlife studies.

Robert Blair

Robert BlairPresident
Idaho Grain Producers Association

Panel – Energy, Agriculture & More: Applications and What’s Working Today

Robert Blair is a fourth generation farmer from north central Idaho managing 1,500 dryland acres of wheat, barley, peas, lentils, chickpeas, alfalfa, and cows. The farm is situated on the edge of the rolling hills of the Palouse and not far from his Alma Mater the University of Idaho where he received his B.S. in Agriculture Business.

His journey with precision agriculture started in 2003 using a PDA for simple mapping. That evolved into all different types of equipment, including Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) in 2006. Robert’s use, vision and advocacy of these technologies helped him become the Precision Ag Institute’s 2009 International Farmer of the Year.

Robert is the current president of the Idaho Grain Producers Association, past chairman of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) Research & Tech Committee, chairman of the U.S. Wheat/(NAWG) Joint Biotech Committee, a past Idaho Farm Bureau Federation county president, and an initial member of Idaho’s UAS steering committee.

Steve Brown

Chairman Steve BrownBoard of Commissioners
Fayette County (Ga.)

Panel – Policy Requirements for Integrating Autonomous Systems

Steve Brown was elected to the Board of Commissioners in 2010 and is serving his second four- year term, which will expire on December 31, 2018. He is the commissioner for District 3, representing Peachtree City.

In an effort to promote state legislation to aid and protect Georgia’s cities and their citizens, he co-founded the Metropolitan Atlanta Mayors Association, a collaborative alliance comprised of the 67 cities in the greater Metro Atlanta area. He has held numerous posts with Georgia Municipal Association and served on the Policy Cabinet of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.

Mr. Brown has been a featured speaker at conferences across the Southeastern United States on the subjects of transportation planning, land use planning, retail trends, stormwater planning and homeland security. Mr. Brown is a leading conservative voice in metropolitan Atlanta on mass transit, traffic congestion mitigation, transportation funding as well as multi-use path infrastructure.  

Bill Carey

CareyHeadshot_FotorSenior Editor
Aviation International News

Moderator – FAA UAS Test Sites
Moderator – UAS Investment Opportunities & Growth

Bill Carey is senior editor with Aviation International News, based in Washington, D.C., and the author of Enter the Drones: The FAA and UAVs in America, which will be released by Schiffer Publishing in May 2016. He covers the airline, defense and unmanned aircraft systems industries.

Carey has three decades of experience as a newspaper reporter and aviation writer and editor. Prior to joining AIN in April 2011, he served for four years as editor of Avionics Magazine. During this time, he chaired the Avionics Europe conference in Amsterdam in 2007 and 2008, initiated the Task Force 5 conference with RTCA in 2009 and launched the Avionics webcast series. He received the British Royal Aeronautical Society “Aerospace Journalist of the Year” award in the business aircraft category in 1997.

Carey is a 1982 graduate of Syracuse University and holds a master’s degree in journalism and public affairs from American University in Washington, D.C.


Matt Bieschke

Matt-6_FotorPresident; Managing PartnerUAS America Fund; NEXUS Capital Partners LLC

Panel – UAS Investment Opportunities & Growth

Matthew Bieschke is President of UAS America Fund, LLC, UAS America Fund, LLC was incorporated in early 2014 to provide over $2 billion in financing to benefit the emerging commercial UAS sector of the U.S. aerospace industry. The UAS Fund will financially support projects related to developing required technologies, building supporting control and communications infrastructure, and equipping civil and commercial unmanned aircraft with communications, surveillance, navigation, and other avionics equipment. Matt also is a Managing Partner with NEXA Capital Partners LLC, a Washington, DC based investment banking and financial advisory firm working predominantly in the aerospace sector.

NEXA focuses on transformational projects and clients with investment opportunities typically requiring support such as financial advisory, corporate finance, private placements, M&A advisory, and Public Private Partnership services, always targeted on accelerating and increasing enterprise value.

Luca Delgrossi

delgrossi-headshotDirector of Autonomous Driving U.S.
Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America

Panel – Automated Vehicle Technology Challenges

A pioneer in vehicular communications, he coordinated the team that developed the first 5.9 GHz Dedicated Short Range Communications radio and On-Board Equipment. At the 15th ITS World Congress in New York, in 2008, his team showcased a Mercedes-Benz S550 engaging automated braking upon the detection of an imminent red light violation. His team designed and built nine Mercedes-Benz C300 and four Freightliner Cascadia trucks for the USDOT V2V Safety Pilot Model Deployment field trial. Since 2012, he is part of the Mercedes-Benz autonomous driving team. Currently, he is the lead of a competence center focusing on digital maps for highly automated driving as well as connected vehicles solutions.

Dr. Delgrossi holds a PhD in Computer Science. He has conducted research at the University of California at Berkeley, Internet Engineering Task Force, IBM European Networking Center in Heidelberg, Germany, and Catholic University of Milan, Italy. Currently, Dr. Delgrossi represents Mercedes-Benz at the Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership (CAMP) and serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Consortium (VIIC).

He is the author of over 70 publications in scientific journals and conferences and is Co-Editor of the IEEE Communication Magazine Automotive Series. With Dr. Tao Zhang, he authored the book “ìVehicle Safety Communications: Protocols, Security, and Privacy”, published by Wiley in 2012.


Associate, Washington, D.C.
Hogan Lovells

Case Study – Privacy in the Age of UAS

Jared Bomberg is an associate in Hogan Lovells’ Washington, D.C. office and practices in the area of privacy and information management.

Jared’s practice focuses on privacy and data security counseling related to the introduction of new products and services. He has assisted clients with emerging privacy issues related to geo-location tracking, unmanned aircraft systems, connected-car technologies, data loss prevention and Big Data tools. Jared regularly assists clients with privacy policies and has conducted comprehensive privacy and data security assessments of company practices.

Jared also drafts comments on, and alternative proposals for, privacy and data security legislation at the federal and state level. He also counsels clients on data breach incidents and advises on transactional matters involving the use, disclosure, and protection of sensitive data.

Prior to joining the firm, Jared worked in the U.S. Senate for seven years, most recently as Counsel to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, providing advice to the Committee Chairman and other Committee Members and staff on privacy and data security legislation and other e-commerce and consumer product matters. In this capacity, Jared drafted and negotiated numerous pieces of legislation, led the development of dozens of Congressional hearings and advised on Committee investigations. In addition to a law degree, Jared has a master’s degree in government and a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science.

Paul Godsmark

headshot_FotorChief Technical Officer

Panel – Automated Vehicle Opportunities & Growth

Paul is an independent transportation specialist, the inaugural Chair and now member of the ITS Canada Autonomous Vehicles Task Force, and a member of ITS Canada’s Connected Vehicles Technical Committee.

He has worked as a Consultant Highway Engineer in 9 different countries on 4 continents and has specialized in the last 7 years in road safety, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and most recently as a researcher of emerging technologies in transportation, and automated vehicles (AVs) in particular.

He has authored several AV papers, numerous articles and been interviewed for radio and online articles on AVs. He has made presentations on AVs to many organizations in Canada including C-TEP, CITE, TAC and at the first ever Canadian Autonomous Vehicle Summit meeting in Ottawa in November 2013. His personal blog on the impacts of AV’s is read all over the world.


Keith Kaplan

keith_head_FotorCEO & Founder
UAVSA; Tesla Foundation

Panel – Future Growth and Innovation in Unmanned Systems

Mr. Kaplan is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of the Tesla Foundation and the Co-Founder and President of the UAVSA, the worlds fastest growth Commercial Drone Association. Both accomplishes its mission through the power of research and education to create, promote, and protect Innovation and the steps needed for Commercialization. The Foundation accomplishes its non profit goals utilizing the efforts of its high level advocacy, research labs, and high level educational events and summits.

Mr. Kaplan sees the integration of technology as an opportunity and has stated, “It is the responsibility of those that have the means to assure the safe and ethical integration of all technology for the betterment of all mankind”.

Alain Kornhauser

kornhauser-webphotoDirector of Transportation Program
Princeton University

Panel – Commercializing Automated Vehicles: Myths & Realities

Alain Kornhauser is a professor of operations research and financial engineering at Princeton. A professor at Princeton since 1972, Kornhauser also serves as the Director of the Transportation Research Program and an associate faculty member of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Kornhauser received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1971. He is a member of many professional societies, has been published extensively in scholarly journals and has made numerous presentations at professional conferences around the world.

Craig Ladkin

ladkin-headshot_FotorPresident; Managing Director
SOAR Oregon; FOCUS Investment Banking

Panel – UAS Investment Opportunities & Growth

Craig Ladkin is the Managing Director at Focus Investment Banking and has twenty-five years of experience managing complex financial transactions between private, public and non-profit sectors in a variety of industries. He has advised on transactions from the very large down to the very small. He has advised and managed the transactions for country treasuries and many multi-national corporations and financial institutions.

At FOCUS Investment Banking, Mr. Ladkin concentrates on the middle-market mergers and acquisitions and capital raising transactions in the bio-sciences, IT, energy, aerospace and general industry. He holds an MBA in International Finance and Marketing from the London Business School in London, England and a B.Sc. in Geotechnical and Petroleum Engineering from the University of British Columbia.

David (Dave) DeYoung

david-deyoungDirector, Laser & Electro Optical Systems Strategic Missile & Defense Systems

Panel – Unmanned Systems Industry Outlook: Trends and Growth

Dave DeYoung is director of Boeing Laser & Electro-Optical Systems (LEOS), which includes High Energy Laser programs for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and electro-optical technologies under development across The Boeing Company.

DeYoung previously served as director of Laser Technical Services, managing all aspects of Boeing’s support to the DoD’s Starfire Optical Range at Kirtland Air Force Base and the Maui Space Surveillance Complex, two research and development sites that track satellites and objects in space using advanced optical systems.

DeYoung also managed the Advanced Tactical Laser program, which incorporated a laser system onto a C-130 and culminated with the first-ever in-flight firing of a high energy laser onto a moving ground target.

During his 30-year career, DeYoung has held assignments in business development, system engineering, and electro-optical system development.

Prior to working at Boeing, he had positions with SVS Inc., The Analytic Sciences Corp., and General Dynamics.

DeYoung earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Michigan and his master’s degree in electrical engineering at California State University, Fullerton. He also has completed the Defense Acquisition University’s Executive Program Management Course.

Russ Metzler

Asymmetric Technologies

Panel – Energy, Agriculture and More: Applications and What’s Working Today

As the Director of UAS Services, Russ is responsible for leveraging Asymmetric Technologies’ core capabilities of Field Service Representatives (FSRs), Training & Advisory, Product Development & Consulting, and Logistics to the emerging public and civil Unmanned Aerial Systems market. He is primarily responsible for the development and implementation of UAS aircrew training and certification, flight planning and operations, maintenance, and safety programs. His operational and technical expertise allows him to breakdown requirements to complex problems and provide unique solutions to our clients’ challenges.

Russ is a veteran with over ten years of service with the US Army. Since leaving the military he has supported rapid acquisition efforts for Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. Russ is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI) and leads the Washington, D.C. office for Asymmetric Technologies.

Steve Iaquinto

Vice President of Operations
Sunhillo Corporation

Panel – UAS Technology: Current and Future Trends

Steve Iaquinto is a senior executive for the Sunhillo Corporation. Sunhillo provides radar surveillance distribution systems for Air Traffic Management (ATM) to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Air Traffic Control (ATC) globally.

Steve actively serves on the Board of Directors for the Mid Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP). MAAP is one of the six FAA approved Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Test Site encompassing Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. He is also the Project Director for the New Jersey UAS Test Site with a focus on total UAS integration into the national airspace with the FAA.

Before joining Sunhillo Steve served as a Deputy Director of Intelligence for the U.S. Army. He specialized in counter insurgency, anti-terrorism, joint international intelligence operations and the building of foreign governments and security forces. Steve has managed many of the nation’s important UAS platforms with extensive knowledge of UAS operations, sensory platforms, data collection, analysis and complex technical integrations. In addition to his international work Steve served New Jersey under the Joint Directorate of Military Support (JDOMS) to civilian authorities supporting homeland security.

Steve was assigned to conduct proof of concept missions to develop a UAS Regional Training Centers in New Jersey under DoD. This led to significant UAS discussions and follow on work with the FAA’s William J Hughes Technical Center (WJHTC).

In addition to his extensive government experience, he has a long standing career in information technology management. Steve worked as a Senior Director of Technology managing many global data centers and varies technologies.

Steve holds a Bachelor Degree in Public Administration from Fairleigh Dickenson University, and an Associate Degree in Computer Engineering from Kaplan University. Steve also holds many advanced intelligence career diplomas from the Department of Defense.

Steve’s accomplishments have been recognized with Presidential, State and international awards, including the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and the NJ Distinguished Service Medal.


Jon Ollwerther

jon-oilwertherVP of Marketing & Operations
Aerobo (formerly AeroCine)

Panel -Fireside Chat: Section 333 Exempt Companies

Jon is the Chief Marketing Officer of Aerobo where he heads sales, marketing and regulatory affairs.  Jon’s background is in tech startups and marine consulting. He graduated with a BS in marketing from Fairfield University. Most recently he helped build the sales & account management teams and processes at Mojo Motors.  Jon brings experience in growing & scaling startups, marketing, sales, project management and composite technology.

Aerobo is FAA approved via section 333. Aerobo designs, builds, and operates drones for clients in news, sports, TV, sports, advertising, cinema, & industrial inspection. We have locations in New York, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles.

W Hulsey Smith

Hulsey 150x150Panel – Future Growth and Innovation in Unmanned Systems

Hulsey Smith is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aero Kinetics. During his tenure, Hulsey has led all phases of the firm’s development and expansion. After twelve years with his hand at the helm, Aero Kinetics has grown into an agile 21st Century Aerospace and Defense firm, having operated on various continents of the world in support of Business Aviation, Special Missions, and U.S. National Defense.

Hulsey’s passion, dedication, and vision allow him to pursue “The Art of the Possible” with an uncanny vigor, based upon the cornerstone ideology that value creation is derived from spinning the conceptual into the tangible. An eternal optimist, he despises the word “No”, and is sure to pull up a chair when a conversation starts with “What if…?”

While attending Southern Methodist University with a football grant-in-aid, Hulsey suffered a severe neck injury that ended his athletic career. During the nerve and muscular rehab that followed, Hulsey conducted an intensive study of leadership development creating the foundation upon which he would build his future. Turning his competitive drive from the football field to business, Hulsey launched a small venture capital firm, while still a student at SMU. His first investment was in aviation, the forerunner of Aero Kinetics.

Hulsey graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, and matriculated to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas where he graduated with a degree in Economics and Public Policy. He currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas, enjoys spending time with his family and is an avid outdoorsman enjoying snow skiing, bird hunting, fly fishing, water-sports and other outdoor activities as often as his schedule will allow.

James Mackler

James Mackler

Attorney at Law
Frost Brown Todd LLC

Panel – UAS: Application to Commercialization

James focuses his practice on advising businesses on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), more commonly known as “drones”. He works with clients on various regulatory and compliance elements of drone usage across a spectrum of industries including agriculture, real estate, construction, video production, entertainment, surveying, and the military and government agencies.

In addition to his drone-related practice, James defends clients facing criminal prosecution or civil action by state and federal authorities. He has over 15 years of experience defending and prosecuting criminal cases at the state, federal and military level and assisting clients in the areas of regulatory compliance and civil litigation.

His military service brought a new perspective to his legal career; his ability to perform under stress provides a sense of calm assurance to the chaotic, life-changing situation brought on by criminal prosecution.  James says the best thing about being a lawyer is “the privilege of being part of a justice system truly governed by the rule of law—a system only dreamed of by much of the world.” James also strives to live up to the values passed along to him by his parents and reinforced by the military: loyalty, honor and integrity. He measures his success as an attorney by these markers.

James has been quoted in several media outlets, including The Washington PostNational Defense Magazine, The Tennessean, Nashville Public Radio, Politico.comThe Guardian and local television news affiliates.

Andy von Stauffenberg

Founder and CEO
VStar Systems; Northrop Grumman Chief Engineer (Former)

Panel – UAS Technology: Current and Future Trends

Andy von Stauffenberg is the founder and CEO of VStar Systems. VStar Systems provides System Development, Prototyping and Modeling/Simulation Services to both commercial and government clients.

Prior to establishing VStar Systems, Mr. von Stauffenberg was the Global Hawk Block 30 Chief Engineer at Northrop Grumman, overseeing all technical aspects of the product life cycle, including the development, production and sustainment efforts for the United States Air Force. Mr. von Stauffenberg has years of remote sensing, systems engineering, flight operations, system test and project management experience across a wide range of applications, advanced technologies and platforms.

Mr. von Stauffenberg served in the United States Navy as an enlisted Aviation Electrician on F/A-18E Super hornets, C-2A Greyhound CODs and finally as member of the Intermediate Level Maintenance facilities aboard the USS Nimitz CVN-68.  Mr. von Stauffenberg holds a BS and MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in addition to a Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Ben Brautigam


Panel – UAS Investment Opportunities & Growth

Ben Brautigam is the co-founder of Airnest, a Pennsylvania-based company designing flight planning and data capture software for the commercial drone industry. Airnest is driven by a design-first philosophy ensuring intuitive and elegant aerial solutions for often challenging, time-intensive commercial processes. Ben is a seasoned interaction designer and mobile developer and attained his Masters degree from The George Washington University with a focus on technology leadership.

Elliot Martin, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Engineer
Institute of Transportation Studies at University of California, Berkley

Case Study – Shared Mobility & Autonomous Vehicles: Potential Effects & Impacts

Elliot Martin conducts research in shared-use mobility, public and freight transportation, transportation energy, and life-cycle assessment. He has advanced research that measures the impact of shared mobility systems on greenhouse gas emissions, modal shift, and household vehicle holdings. He has led a major research-deployment project on truck parking availability within California, analyzed data from urban parking systems, and supported research in advanced and alternative fuel vehicles. He specializes in research instrument design and applies statistical approaches to the analysis of freight movement, sensor performance, vehicle activity data, and travel behavior surveys. Elliot earned a Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering following a dual Masters in Transportation and City Planning, all at UC Berkeley. He completed his undergraduate degree at Johns Hopkins University. He previously worked as an Assistant Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Zac Doerzaph

Director, Center for Advanced Automotive Research
Virginia Tech Transportation

Case Study – Automated Vehicle Interface & Human Interaction

  1. Zachary Doerzaph leads the Connected Vehicle Systems group within the Center for Automotive Safety Research at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. His primary role is the management of research projects emphasizing safety, human factors, and intelligent transportation systems. Dr. Doerzaph focuses his efforts on the design, development, and evaluation of connected vehicles, collision avoidance systems, driver interfaces, and driver behavior monitoring and evaluation. Presently Dr. Doerzaph is working on a projects ranging from connected vehicle testing and evaluation to large-scale naturalistic motorcycle investigations and crash avoidance algorithm development using sophisticated modeling techniques. Dr. Doerzaph holds degrees in mechanical, industrial, and systems engineering. He is knowledgeable in system integration and has considerable training and hands-on experience with vehicle design, data acquisition, and research methods. Combining his understanding of the technical aspects of transportation with his knowledge of human factors makes Dr. Doerzaph particularly well suited for vehicle system design, integration, and evaluation.

Billy Gililland

General Atomics Systems Integrated, LLC

Panel – UAS: Application to Commercialization

Mr. Billy Gililland is the President of General Atomics, Systems Integration LLC., consisting of major facilities in Poway, California and Kaysville Utah. Systems Integration (SI) also has offices in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Warner Robins, Georgia. SI provides Engineering Services to Department of Defense customers as well as full mission support services for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance customers both domestically and internationally.

Prior to joining General Atomics Mr. Gililland was the Vice President of the Aircraft Logistics and Sustainment (ALS) Division, ARINC Aerospace Company. Mr. Gililland joined ARINC in 1998 as a Logistician and Senior Systems Analyst and worked as Aircraft Systems Engineering Manager, Senior Manager of Acquisitions Support, Senior Manager of International Logistics Support, Director of Technical Operations and International Logistics, Director of Saudi Support Services, and Vice President of the Aircraft Maintenance and Modification Division.

Mr. Gililland served in the United States Army and the United States Air Force working in both Operations and Logistics. He served as an enlisted technician and as a commissioned officer. Mr. Gililland completed his Master’s of Science Degree in both Logistics Management and Business Administration from the Air Force Institute of Technology. After 23 years of active duty Mr. Gililland retired from the Air Force.

Gerald Dillingham

dillingham-webphotoDirector of Civilian Aviation
U.S. Government Accountability Office

Moderator – UAS: Application to Commercialization

Dr. Gerald Dillingham, Director of Civil Aviation Issues at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)—the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress—will provide insights on some of the basic UAS issues and delve more deeply into what to expect over the next several years.

Dr. Dillingham oversees all GAO program evaluation and policy analysis related to commercial and general aviation safety, airport and airline finance, aviation and the environment, air traffic control system modernization, airport development, and international aviation issues. He has appeared as a witness more than 100 times before numerous committees of the U.S. Congress, and is recognized as an expert on aviation issues, program evaluation, and policy analysis.

Dr. Dillingham holds a BA in Sociology from Bowling Green State University, both a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago, and a postdoctoral certificate in Evaluation Research from the University of California-Los Angeles.

Mark Dombroff

Dentons US LLP

Panel – UAS: Application to Commercialization

Mark Dombroff is a partner of Dentons US LLP. The focus of his practice is the aviation and transportation industry, including litigation, regulatory, administrative and enforcement matters, security, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigations and employee related issues.

Dombroff has counseled and guided numerous aviation and other companies through accident/incident investigations, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigations and civil litigation. He also handles numerous safety, enforcement and regulatory matters before the FAA/NTSB and other administrative agencies, whether arising from accidents or as independent matters. This includes matters involving not only the FAA and NTSB, but many issues involving State, TSA, Homeland Security, Justice and Treasury. He provides counseling and representation not only to airlines, but also to aviation service providers and aerospace manufacturers.


John McGraw

headshot-mcgraw_FotorFounder; Deputy Director of Flight Standards
John McGraw Aerospace Consulting; FAA (former)

Panel – UAS Technology: Current & Future Trends

John McGraw, president of JMAC, has over 40 years of aviation experience, including 13 years flight test. Before starting JMAC, Mr. McGraw was the Deputy Director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Flight Standards Service from 2008 to 2012, an organization of more than 4,800 employees, and was responsible for ensuring the safety of flight for civil aircraft by setting standards for and certificating air carriers, air agencies, general aviation operators, airmen, and designees. Mr. McGraw is also the Director of Regulatory Affairs for the National Air Transportation Association.

Mr. McGraw has been involved with UAs Operations snice 2002 and was instrumental in helping the first seven UAS operators receive approval from FAA to perform Commercial Operations through section 333. He has successfully achieved dozens of successful approvals since then.

Previous assignments with the FAA include Manager of Flight Standards’ Flight Technologies and Procedures Division, AFS-400, where Mr. McGraw was responsible for the implementation of new technologies into a performance-based national airspace system. Before joining Flight Standards Mr. McGraw worked in the Aircraft Certification Service as Assistant Manager, Aircraft Engineering Division,
AIR-100; Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate Standards Staff; and, Manager, Airplane and Flight Crew Interface Branch in the Transport Airplane Directorate. Mr. McGraw’s first assignment in the FAA was in 1995 as a Senior Systems Engineer in the Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office.

Prior to his service with the FAA, Mr. McGraw served as a Test Director/Test Pilot for the U.S. Army Aviation Technical Test Center and as a Flight Test Engineer for the U.S. Navy Rotary Wing Test Directorate at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland.

A native of Beckley, West Virginia, Mr. McGraw served 24 years in the U.S. Army, Active, Guard, and Reserve. He has over 4,000 hours of flight time, and is a U.S. Army Master Aviator. In 1984, he graduated cum laude from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor of Professional Aeronautics, and in 1987, with high honors from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering. Mr. McGraw serves as the Chairman of the Auburn University Aviation Management Advisory Board and is a member of the Auburn University Aerospace Engineering Advisory Council.

Timothy Papandreou

headshot-tim_FotorDirector of Strategic Planning
Panel – Policy Requirements for Integrating Automated Systems

Timothy Papandreou is the Director of Strategic Planning for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). In this role he prepares for the integration of autonomous systems into the current infrastructure of San Francisco. 


Mark Platshon

Mark-Platshon_FotorManaging Director; Senior Advisor
Icebreaker Ventures; BMWi Ventures

Panel – Automated Vehicle Investment Opportunities & Growth

Mark C. Platshon is a Partner at Birchmere Ventures and serves as a Senior Advisor at BMWi Ventures. Mr. Platshon has over 20 years of experience as the Chief Executive Officer of several Silicon Valley companies.

As a Navy Lieutenant, Mr. Platshon had joint Navy and Department of Energy appointments to the staff of Admiral Hyman G. Rickover. He holds an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and earned a B.S.E. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of Michigan. He also did graduate work in Nuclear Engineering at the Westinghouse Naval Reactor School.


Helmuth Ritzer

helmuth_FotorChief Technical Officer

Panel – Future Growth and Innovation in Unmanned Systems

Helmuth Ritzer is the Chief Technical Officer for moovel, the parent company of Car2Go.


Maryanna Saenko

2015 Lux Executive Summit — Westin Copley Place – Boston, Mass.

Lux Research
Moderator – AV Technology Challenges
Moderator – AV Investment Opportunities & Growth

Maryanna Saenko is an Analyst at Lux Research and a member of the Autonomous Systems 2.0 service. She covers technological and market developments in Autonomous Systems. Some representative topics include: autonomous vehicles, robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles, and artificial intelligence. Prior to joining Lux Research, Maryanna worked as a senior research associate at Cabot Corporation, where she worked on the directed particle assembly platform investigating conductive polymeric blends for electronic applications.

Maryanna graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering and a B.S. in both Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering. She has research experience in a wide range of areas including autonomous vehicles, wheel design for lunar rovers, thin film technology, material characterization, and epidemiology.

Jeff Sloan

SloanNational UAS Project Office Manager
U.S. Geological Survey

Panel – Energy, Agriculture, and More: Applications and What’s Working Today

Jeff Sloan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography from the University of Northern Iowa (1981-85) and continued graduate work in Geographic Information Systems at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado (1991-92).

He has worked as a Cartographer in the U.S. Federal Government for 30 years beginning with the U.S Dept. of Defense – Defense Mapping Agency in San Antonio, Texas. In 1988, he transferred to the U.S.Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado and has continued to work there to the present time. In 2004-05 he completed a one-year detail to the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Operations Center and the Customs and Border Protection in Washington D.C.

His background is primarily in the areas of cartography, photogrammetry, and remote sensing pertaining to domestic and international mapping and monitoring. Presently, he is working at the USGS – Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center and is the Project Lead for the National Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office and is an active mission operator of the AeroVironment Raven and Honeywell T-Hawk unmanned aircraft systems.

Ron Stearns

Research Director
Aerospace Analytics; Frost & Sullivan (former)

Panel – UAS: Application to Commercialization

Ron Stearns was the director of aerospace & defense consulting, North America for Frost & Sullivan prior to joining G2 Solutions. In close to 10 years at F&S, Ron conducted syndicated market analysis and research in commercial remote sensing and GPS markets, government and commercial launch services, aircraft and avionics, DoD acquisition, simulation and training markets and others. Ron authored or co-authored more than 14 reports on geotechnologies, modeling, simulation and training, commercial launch services, aerospace materials and commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) markets.

Ron’s research and opinions are regularly quoted in publications as diverse as the New York Post, Space News, Aviation Week & Space Technology, the Denver Post, the Toronto Globe and Mail, Space Business International and others. Prior to F&S, Ron worked as a project administrator of a small marketing firm, working with companies that marketed fire suppression systems, motion detectors, airport equipment and remote-sensing imagery. Ron holds a master’s degree (Public Administration) from California Lutheran University and a bachelor’s degree (Journalism) from Pepperdine University.

Kate Styers

Principal Analyst
Tecolote Research

Moderator – Unmanned Systems Industry Outlook: Trends & Growth
Moderator – UAS Technology: Current & Future Trends

Kate Styers is a Principal Analyst with Tecolote Research, Inc.  Her experience ranges from NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover to consumer packaged goods to data warehousing projects.  She has worked with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Nestle, Corning, Hughes Aircraft Company and supported numerous clients including Mitsubishi Motors, ConAgra, Pacific Theatres, and the U.S. Government.  Bridging engineering and economics, Kate works with Tecolote’s clients regarding project affordability, risk, and economic benefits to provide decision makers with insightful analysis for making informed decisions.

John Walsh

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACo-Director of Vanderbilt’s Program in Disaster Research and Training
National Center for Emergency Preparedness; Vanderbilt University

Panel – Trends Abroad: What We’ve Learned from the International Community

John Walsh is the Co-Director of the Vanderbilt Program in Disaster Research and Training and former Assistant Professor and the Assistant Director of the National Center for Emergency Preparedness at Vanderbilt University. His specialty fields include disaster research in emergency management, preparedness policy formulation, response operations, law enforcement, and exercise development.

His current interests involve the use of UASs in meteorological applications for conducting tornado damage assessment surveys, and the measurement and sampling of air quality variables. His further interest is in the utilization of UASs in law enforcement and fire tactical operations.

Walsh currently serves as the International Association of Emergency Managers’ (IAEM) representative on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Emergency Services Sector, Cybersecurity Assessment and Risk Management Approach (CARMA) Review.

He holds a Masters Degree from Oklahoma City University, Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma and is a PhD candidate in Disaster and Development at Northumbria University in Newcastle, England, UK.

David Weekly


Panel – UAS Investment Opportunities & Growth

David is a nerd who likes people. He started programming at five and after doing research at Harvard Physics and MIT Lincoln Labs, came out west for a CS major at Stanford during the first dot-com bubble, where he did not make millions but did learn how to tango and also wrote the first layman’s description of MP3 and reverse engineered the Napster protocol. After working for large companies, small companies, and consulting, he founded PBwiki (now PBworks), the world’s first private wiki host and home to over two million groups. He also founded the first non-profit colocation project (CCCP), the nerd party series SuperHappyDevHouse, and the world’s largest hackerspace: Hacker Dojo. On the investment side, he started Mexican.VC, the first Silicon Valley style seed program in Mexico, and Drone.VC, the world’s first drone-focused fund. 

David’s last company was acquihired by Facebook, where he launched the Connectivity Labs as part of internet.org’s mission to connect the world. He is now a product manager at Google working on Access to complete the mission of getting everyone online and lives in Redwood City with his wife and son. He enjoys snowboarding, flying helicopters, and scuba diving.


Brian Whiteside

VDOS Global, LLC

Fireside Chat – Section 333 Exempt Companies

Mr. Whiteside is a Navy veteran and former FA-18 pilot who has become a leader in the commercial application of unmanned technology through years of worldwide operations and deployments. Prior to starting VDOS, Mr. Whiteside served as Executive Vice President of Evergreen Unmanned Systems which pioneered the industry as the first commercial UAS service provider. Brian’s unmanned systems career began at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake where he stood up the Naval Unmanned Systems Integration Activity as the director of operations.

VDOS Global has an approved Section 333 waiver for its energy producing clients that will authorize commercial UAS operations.

Tom Wilczek

Wilczek_FotorDefense & Aerospace Industry Representative
Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Panel – Unmanned Systems Industry Outlook: Trends & Growth

Mr. Wilczek possesses greater than 30 years of experience in aerospace, defense, energy and environmental law, management and advocacy. He supported numerous mission-critical programs for the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense, National Nuclear Security Administration, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and regional and local governments throughout the U.S.

He is a leading UAV commercialization policy expert and champions the growth of this industry as transformative to Nevada’s and the nation’s economy. Mr. Wilczek is Nevada’s lead with the FAA toward development of UAV /UAS regulations for their eventual integration in to the National Air Space. He is a gubernatorial appointee to the Governor’s Military Council and also serves on the Governor’s Interagency Council on Veteran’s Affairs. He has been interviewed by Bloomberg TV, NPR Morning Edition, NPR All Things Considered, CBS, and numerous local media outlets. He received the 2013 “Technology Star in the Public Sector” award from the Technology Business Alliance of Nevada.

He is a Charter Class Graduate of the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Mr. Wilczek also possesses a Masters of Environmental Science degree from the University of Colorado, and Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University.

Harrison Wolf

Harrison G Wolf - USC bioAviation Safety & Security Program
University of Southern California

Panel – UAS Technology: Current and Future Trends   

Harrison Wolf is the principal UAS technologies consultant and content generator for wolfuas.com. He is currently the lead researcher and developer of Unmanned Aircraft Systems for the USC Aviation Safety & Security Program within Viterbi School of Engineering. In this capacity he is the task leader for standards development within the ASTM F-38.02 Development of Best Practices for Operational Risk Assessments for sUAS. Harrison teaches the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Regulations and Legislation module for the University of Southern California course entitled “Safety Management Systems for Remotely Piloted Aircraft.” He also created this course for USC at the behest of the program Director and has taught elements of this course internationally. Harrison received the Early Career Achievement award for his work at USC Engineering in UAS developments.

Harrison manages courses and research in Safety Management Systems for UAS while helping to develop the safety assessments and regulations for UAS Integration into the NAS. He has been an invited speaker at CASI Aero in Toronto, Seattle Aviation Law Group, as well as IEEE Aerospace, and often presents internationally the role of “drones” in accident investigation, insurance modeling, regulatory evolution, applications, and technology development. Harrison has 8 published works on UAS Integration Regulation Framework, International Trafficking in Arms Regulation Reforms and Safety Management Systems for Aerospace, The Economics of Commercial Space Flight and UAVs, and is currently working on never before seen safety case data from FAA FOIA requests. His other current projects include developing a software platform for Aviation Security for the UN World Food Program.

Harrison graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a degree in Political Science and received his Masters in Public Policy from Pepperdine University. He also has pursued extensive post-graduate work with the Marshall School of Business in technology commercialization, entrepreneurship and innovation.


Jerry Hendrix

jerry-hendrixExecutive Director
Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence and Innovation

Panel – FAA UAS Test Sites: Progress & Innovation

Jerry Hendrix is an aerospace leader having worked for industry including Boeing, L3 Communications and Camber for over 32 years. Jerry has supported FAA, NASA and DOD missions over his career and is a published author in technical journals in systems and software engineering. Jerry was born in 1959 in central Georgia. He received his Associate of Mathematics degree from Gordon College in 1980, a Bachelors of Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1983 and performed graduate studies in Operations Analyses / Business Management at the University of Houston in 1985. Jerry is a member of the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA), National Defense Industrial Agency (NDIA), National Training and Simulation Association (NTSA), American Helicopter Society and the Association of Unmanned Vehicles System International (AUVSI).

Jerry is a recognized technical leader and technical fellow with program management and technical project leadership experience leading large (>$100M) as well as small scale projects. He is widely noted for leading the development of payload software that resides on the International Space Station. Jerry worked closely with George Abbey, then center director of the Johnson Space Center and Carolyn Griner, then center director of the Marshall Space Flight Center. He was instrumental in establishing the EXPRESS racks accommodating Human Research, Materials Research and Biological research from a common agnostic interface used across space station payloads. In addition to NASA programs, Jerry has been a leader and manager on the following programs: FAA UAS Test Site as the Chief Engineer, FAA Phase Simulator development as an aerodynamicist, AH64 Army Helicopter as the leader of the Army’s Live, Virtual and Constructive architecture, F22 Fighter as the training systems architect, Battle Command & Control as the system architect and Unmanned Aircraft Systems training devices as lead architect. Jerry’s awards include the:

  • NASA distinguished selectee as a NASA Launch Honoree & Space Flight Awareness Award
  • NASA distinguished Selectee of the Astronaut Office coveted NASA Crew Award
  • Twice selected by NASA for a NASA Group Achievement Award
  • Winner of the prestigious Texas A&M Corpus Christi – Presidential Order of the Silver Wave for bringing international recognition to the university
  • Selected as an internationally recognized engineer/scientist with the Walter P. Batson Technical Fellowship Award

Jerry is a six time published author with awards for technical papers in systems engineering, computer language research and game technologies. Jerry supports Texas A&M Corpus Christi on the Innovation in Computing Research Labs (ICORE) Board of Advisors, the Computer Science Industrial Advisory Board and the Research / Commercialization through 2020 Strategic Planning Committee. In his private life, Jerry is a sports enthusiast. He loves watching football, fishing and golfing. Jerry is also the founding General Manager/ Coach for the largest girls youth softball organization in North Alabama where he coached a team to the coveted national championship. In public service, he is the initiator of the TAMUCC UAS Mentor/Intern Program and the Camber Cares in Corpus Christi service organization. Jerry and his wife of 33 years, Dee, a certified security specialist resides in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Brian Markwalter

SVP, Research and Standards
Consumer Technology Association 

Panel – Unmanned Systems Industry Outlook: Trends and Growth

Brian Markwalter is Senior Vice President of Research and Standards for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™, the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $285 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry and owner of the International CES. Mr. Markwalter is responsible for overseeing CTA’s ANSI-accredited standards development operation and extensive market research capability. Under Mr. Markwalter’s direction, CTA hosts more than 70 committees, subcommittees and working groups that produce standards used in millions of consumer devices. CTA standards are referenced by EPA, FCC and other government agencies. CTA’s market research has a rich 75 year history producing objective research, tracking sales data and forecasting trends.

Mr. Markwalter represents CTA’s technical interests in industry and international venues related to digital television, broadband access, spectrum management, standards and intellectual property, smart grid and energy efficiency. Mr. Markwalter has participated in joint U.S.-China development programs on standards and presented at FCC workshops on a variety of subjects. His leadership in the industry is reflected through positions on the Advanced Television Systems Committee Board of Directors, IEEE Consumer Electronics Society Board of Governors, NTIA’s Online Safety and Technology Working Group, FCC’s Technological Advisory Council, FCC’s Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee and NIST’s Smart Grid Interoperability Panel Governing Board.

Prior to joining CTA, Mr. Markwalter worked as Director at Intellon Corporation, a semiconductor company specializing in power line communications. In this role, he helped develop and launch the technology adopted by the HomePlug Powerline Alliance for data networking over residential power lines and holds seven patents in this area. Mr. Markwalter holds BS and MS EE degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology and is a licensed professional engineer.

Dawn M.K. Zoldi

Colonel, USAF, Staff Judge Advocate
Princeton University 

Panel – Future Growth and Innovation in Unmanned Systems

Colonel Dawn M.K. Zoldi, United States Air Force (USAF), is currently assigned as the Staff Judge Advocate, United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), Colorado Springs, Colorado. In this capacity, Colonel Zoldi leads a 24-person staff and serves as general counsel to the three-star Academy Superintendent, Headquarters Staff, Commandant of Cadets, Dean of the Faculty, Director of Athletics, USAFA Preparatory School, 10th Air Base Wing, and subordinate units. Just prior to her current assignment, Colonel Zoldi was stationed at the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at Headquarters, Air Combat Command (ACC), Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, as the Chief of Operations Law. As such, she served as chief counsel to the four-star Commander and his staff on all international, intelligence, and operations law issues affecting the Combat Air Forces and provided training for ACC’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAGC) members—18 legal offices providing legal services to 128,000 personnel—to prepare them for worldwide expeditionary service. In 1989, Colonel Zoldi simultaneously attained her B.A. degrees in history and philosophy and M.A. degree in history from the University of Scranton. After attaining her J.D. from the Villanova University School of Law in 1992, she was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and subsequently commissioned as a direct appointee in the Air Force. In 2010, the Colonel received her M.S. with Academic Distinction in Military Strategic Studies from the Air War College. In her 22 years as a member of the USAF JAGC, Colonel Zoldi has performed myriad duties at various echelons, including Wing, Headquarters Air Force/Secretary of the Air Force, Combatant Command, and Major Command and has deployed forward in support of OPERATIONS ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and other HQ U.S. Central Command requirements. Throughout her career, Colonel Zoldi has frequently lectured and published, including as an Assistant Professor of Law at USAFA and adjunct faculty to the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School. Her publications include several Air Force guides used worldwide: The JAG Guide to Domestic Imagery, ACC Flying Evaluation Board Guide, SAF/IGQ Command Directed Investigations Guide, JAG Guide to IG Investigations and Air Force Drug Testing Program guides. Colonel Zoldi has published several scholarly works on the domestic use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and is the founder of the Department of Defense’s informal Domestic Imagery Working Group, addressing the toughest policy and legal issues facing domestic UAS employment. Colonel Zoldi is the recipient of numerous awards and decorations, including the Defense Superior Service Medal. In 2008, the American Bar Association recognized Colonel Zoldi as the Air Force’s Outstanding Military Career Service Judge Advocate and, more recently, she was the recipient of the 2013 Thomas P. Keenan Jr. Award for outstanding contributions to the field of international and military operations law.

Ellen Chang

Light speed Innovations 

Ellen brings over 25 years of experience in strategy, business and product development, and systems engineering in the technology and aerospace industries.  As Managing Partner with LightSpeed Innovations, she sets strategy & direction for fund raising & client engagements.

Ellen started her career in the Navy developing analytical strategies for maritime intelligence operations.  At mid-career, she left the Navy to pursue a business degree and later joined JP Morgan as a banker in their west coast office. There she was part of the client management team during the exciting dot.com period where she was able to explore and facilitate investment in start-ups.  In 1999 she left to found 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.  In 2002 she joined Northrop Grumman where she commenced a career in autonomous systems, joining the team designing the Global Hawk, the USAF’s first high altitude long endurance unmanned aerial system.  Through the 12 years with Northrop Grumman, she held increasing responsibilities throughout a variety of unmanned systems programs that culminated with a position as the Director of the Advanced Mission Systems Division where the charter was to anticipate and develop products 5-10 years in the future.  Ellen currently is mentoring and advising 3 start-ups developing technologies, products and services in technology and aerospace.  She is also co-founder of Wharton Aerospace, and runs the innovation-ventures conference and forums that take place on the West Coast.