The Honorable W. Ross Ashley, III was confirmed by the United States Senate in December 2007 and was the Assistant Administrator of the FEMA Grant Programs Directorate (GPD) and a Senior Advisor to the Secretary until August of 2009, where he managed over $10.1B per year in federal assistance programs. Mr. Ashley currently is the Vice President for Government Affairs and Federal Markets at Payfone. Prior to Payfone, Mr. Ashley was a Senior Vice President for Business and Partner Development at SAP NS2 (National Security Services), the Executive Director of the National Fusion Center Association (NFCA) where he represented the interests of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recognized fusion centers, and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Children’s Center (NCC). Mr. Ashley founded The Templar Corporation in February 2000. Working with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), The Templar Corporation began the development of sophisticated data integration solutions with a single purpose to improve public safety and security. Templar was acquired by ChoicePoint in February 2004. Mr. Ashley retired after 20 years of service as an Intelligence Officer serving both in the Virginia Air National Guard and the United States Air Force Reserves. Mr. Ashley retired at the rank of Captain (0-3) and also achieved the rank of Technical Sergeant (E-6) as a Non-Commissioned Officer. Mr. Ashley is a distinguished graduate of the Academy of Military Science and holds a BA from George Mason University and a MS from the Joint Military Intelligence College. He and his wife Lauren, and their four children reside in Arlington, Virginia.
Mary Beth Borgwing serves as an advisor to several groups involved in security, early stage investment and cyber risk. An advisor to MACH 37, Center for Innovation ( CIT) and Bluewater International, Mary Beth serves her clients as a cybersecurity and board advisor, developing sales and investment strategy “go to market” for clients. She has served as executive leadership, CEO and board member of several technology and security companies: President, CEO and board member for LemonFish Technologies, a data breach monitoring company assets exposed on the open, deep and dark web, acquired in March 2017 and as President of Cyber Risk Practice, Advisen, Ltd, a cyber data analytics and technology company for the insurance industry and as Board Advisor, CFO at Vigilant (sold to Deloitte), a SEIM security company and as a Board member, CFO of Sentillion (sold to Microsoft), a single sign-on security technology company where she raised $50+M in a C round with Merrill Lynch Private Equity, Polaris Partners, InterSouth Partners, Dresdner Klein Worth. Mary Beth has extensive experience in equity funding, financing for technology companies, Enterprise Risk Management (GDPR & ERM) as well as leading teams and companies in the cybersecurity sector. She is the Co-Chair of Uniting Women in Cyber 2018, Co-Chair of Cyber Advisory Board, CompTIA, Advisor to ICMCP, International Minority Cyber Group and Eleven Canterbury, a technology international consultancy in NYC. Borgwing is a frequent speaker on cyber risk at global cyber conferences and contributing author to many national cyber publications.
Dan Duncan is Founder and CEO of Credit Shop. Dan has 31 years of experience in financial services and related fields. He has started and led several businesses focused on serving financial institutions, including Optimal Risk (risk analytics), ALI Solutions (risk analytics, collection analytics and optimization), and Advanced Call Center Technologies (receivables management). Prior to these entrepreneurial endeavors, Dan ran risk management at Chase Cards and was the Chief Risk Officer at Household Card Services. Dan has B.A. in Economics from Columbia University.
Dr. Keita Franklin
Dr. Franklin is an accomplished senior executive who is credited with revolutionizing several large scale, national public health systems. She has focused her expertise in key wellness areas to include suicide prevention, mental health, and substance abuse. A transformational leader, Dr. Franklin has spent her 25-year career driving complex organizational and policy change in the federal sector before recently transitioning to the private sector. She has served as a senior executive in both the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), where she served as the principle advisor on all matters related to suicide prevention. As a national leader in the suicide prevention, Dr. Franklin was responsible for leading a multi-disciplinary team of experts in the advancement of evidence-based prevention practices for over three million active duty members, 20 million veterans, and their families. Dr. Franklin has represented DoD and the VA during testimony in front of both chambers of Congress and she has advised the Office of the President, the Domestic Policy Council, and the National Security Council. An innovative leader, she spearheaded a national effort to close the gaps between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs by leading cross agency efforts tied to a White House Executive Order addressing critical periods of risk for servicemen, women and veterans. In addition, Dr. Franklin has led numerous caucus roundtable discussions with members of Congress and she has presented or served on multiple task-force groups, panels for national-level committees such as the National Academies of Sciences, the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the Fort Hood Task Force, and she was recently elected to serve on the American Association of Suicidology board. Dr. Franklin has authored multiple chapters in the Military Social Work textbooks and she has published in peer-reviewed journals on topics related to suicide prevention and substance abuse. Since transitioning to the private sector, Dr. Franklin has been instrumental in the advancement of mental health literacy across the nation and she has championed the development of training on evidence-based practices with the goal of obtaining more efficacious mental health care outcomes for at-risk population groups. Dr. Franklin has a PhD in social work from Virginia Commonweal University and an advanced certificate from the Center for Advancement of Research Methods and Analysis (CARMA). Dr. Franklin holds certificates from Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education on Leading Large Organizational Change and Women in Leadership as well as the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School course on Executive Leadership.
Suzanne Rich Folsom has served as the General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at U.S Steel (USS) since 2014. She has spearheaded the company’s worldwide public policy and government affairs initiatives, including joint ventures. Folsom ensures the profitability of the USS Real Estate division and leads U.S. Steel’s commitment to achieving significantly reinvigorated business growth. Prior to joining USS, Folsom was executive vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer of ACADEMI LLC. Previously, Folsom was deputy general counsel and chief regulatory and compliance officer for the American International Group (AIG). Folsom was also counselor to the president of the World Bank Group and director of its Department of Institutional Integrity. Folsom’s earlier positions include special counsel at O’Melveny & Myers LLP; chief of staff to Her Majesty Queen Noor of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; special assistant to First Lady Barbara Bush; and chief of staff to Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee Maureen Reagan. Folsom is a graduate of Duke University and Georgetown University Law Center.
Gina M. Grosso
Gina M. Grosso is a retired Air Force Lieutenant General, who served 32 years. Her career earned her one of 45 3-star positions, and as of her retirement September 2018, she was one of four women Lieutenant Generals.
Gina most recently served as the equivalent of the Air Force’s Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO), with the title Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel, and Services. Appointed in 2015, the role touched 670,000 airmen and their families; led 3,500 department employees; and oversaw a $758M budget, with responsibility for for all human capital functions: workforce planning, talent acquisition, development and utilization, evaluation, compensation, retention, and transition to civilian life. The scale and complexity of this assignment will bring an in depth understanding of both the human capital and business management agenda.
Gina’s tenure can best be described as a period of historical change during which personnel policies and programs moved from industrial era personnel management to 21st century talent management practices. Examples of her vision and leadership include: opening all positions to women that were previously closed, fully integrating the Force for the first time in history; implementing the Blended Retirement System, the most significant change to the retirement system in 71 years that now provides every airman who serves more than three years a portable benefit; maternity and paternity leave; her congressional testimony led to sweeping changes in the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act that undid the up or out personnel system; a new officer performance management system—the first substantive change in 30 years; the first evidence-based sexual assault prevention program; and significantly increased (+300) childcare capacity and respite care funding ($250M) for families with special needs to boost Air Force Readiness.
Gina earned an MBA from the College of William & Mary and a master’s degree in national security & strategic studies from the Naval Command and Staff College and a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in applied mathematics & industrial management from Carnegie-Mellon. She studied on a Fellowship at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Executive education also included Harvard’s Leadership Decision Making and CCL’s Leadership Development Program and entered the Air Force as a Reserve Officer Training Corps distinguished graduate.
Mr. Kay is the Chairman and CEO of Sentrillion Corporation. He is the former Chairman and CEO of OTG Software, a data storage software company that he founded in 1992. OTG became the leader in online data storage solutions and was acquired by Legato Systems in 2002. Mr. Kay remained on the board of directors until the acquisition of Legato Systems by EMC in 2003. He is a partner in Monumental Sports and Entertainment and currently serves on the board of directors of the University of Maryland School of Engineering. He is a special partner with ABS Capital, a multi-billion dollar equity investment firm focused on healthcare, IT and media companies. Mr.Kay is also an honorary member of the board of directors of Venture Philanthropy Partners.
Pete Markakos is the President and Founder of EDC Consulting and the President of McLane Advanced Technologies. Pete has served in senior executive positions in the defense and government services sector for close to 20 years and worked for such companies as SAP, PricewaterhouseCoopers, IBM and KPMG. He founded EDC Consulting in 2005 and acquired many years of hands-on experience building start-up companies and transforming them into high-performing organizations that resulted in sale, acquisition and merger transactions. Pete has a strong track record of formulating and executing strategic and operational plans that uncover unique opportunities and grow market presence in public and private sector settings. He has a proven ability to apply non-traditional thinking to complex problems. His extensive business, defense and government experience allows him to speak at a detailed systems level while also communicating with non-technical personnel, investors and shareholders in a manner which can be easily understood. Pete retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after 24 years of combined time on active duty and the Marine Corps reserve. He has a Master of Science degree in Economics from The George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Norwich University. He is a member of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Pete resides in McLean, Virginia.
Peter Metzger serves as vice chairman of DHR International and is based in the firm’s Washington DC office. Prior to joining DHR, Pete was vice chairman at CTPartners. Pete’s clients include large public companies and privately-held firms spanning a wide range of industries. His personal relationships with national business and political leaders and board chairs provide his clients with the best possible choices in forming their leadership teams. In addition to his private sector access, he maintains close ties to the leaders of the national intelligence/law enforcement/cyber agencies, as well as the military departments and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Earlier in his search career, Pete was a partner at Heidrick & Struggles, where he led both the Government Relations/Association and Global Security Practices. He started his business career as president of the nation’s largest privately-held franchise home-building company. Pete’s market sectors include CEO/C-Level Recruitment, Board Services, Cyber/Information Security, Legal Services, Professional Services, Trade Associations, Global Security, Risk Management, Not-for-profit and Government Affairs. Prior to entering the private sector, Pete served as a U.S. Marine officer. His service included combat leadership roles from Vietnam to Somalia. He was personally decorated for valor in both theaters. He also served as a foreign intelligence officer in the CIA and as the Marine Military Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. Pete has the distinction of being the only consultant in the search industry to have a current U.S. Government Top Secret (SSBI) clearance. He is on the boards of NTT Data Federal Services, ClearForce (a leading cyber surveillance company) as well as the Israeli Global Security Company, Asero Worldwide. He graduated from the University of Colorado and later completed graduate studies in national security policy and Latin American studies. He is a graduate of the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute and The Inter-American Defense College of the Organization of American States.
Steve is an accomplished senior human resources executive with a track record of successfully working with leadership teams to drive business results in diverse industries and global business environments – including highly regarded blue chip companies, startups, and a turnaround. He has held executive positions with some of the world’s most successful and iconic companies, including The Walt Disney Company, PepsiCo and Honeywell. Steve is currently President of Milovich Partners, a strategic human capital consulting, advisory and executive coaching company. Milovich Partners’ overarching focus is to build clients’ capability to navigate and lead in the VUCA world – a world increasingly characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Prior to establishing Milovich Partners in September 2017, Steve held the position of Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources, Talent and Workforce Diversity for The Walt Disney Company’s Disney | ABC Television Group. He began his career with The Walt Disney Company in 2002 as Senior Vice President of Corporate Human Resources, Organization and Leadership Development. Prior to The Walt Disney Company, Steve held executive human resources positions at PepsiCo, Walker Digital (which developed Priceline.com), Honeywell/AlliedSignal and Macy’s/Broadway Stores. He began his career at United States Steel Corporation, holding management positions in employee and labor relations. Steve is a member of the Board of Directors at the Institute of the Future in Palo Alto, California. He is also is a member of the advisory boards for two startup companies: Clear Force and Flerish. Steve sits on the Corporate Advisory Board of the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and is an emeritus advisory board member of the USC Center for Effective Organizations. He is also a member of the National Advisory Board for the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. Steve earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Utah State University and an executive MBA from Pepperdine University. He also holds coaching certifications from both The Hudson Institute and The International Coaching Federation.
Norm Nixon made NBA history as a two time all-star and a member of two NBA world championships as a Los Angeles Laker. As Vice President of the NBA Player Association, he developed expertise in the collective bargaining process. Upon retiring from the NBA in 1989, Mr. Nixon pursued several business ventures. As a sports and entertainment agent, he negotiated over $200 million in contracts, representing clients such as TLC, AI Wilson, Peter Warrick, LL Cool J, and Jalen Rose. He has secured and overseen nearly $10 million in grants during his time as Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, where he has produced more than 12 successful musicals. He was also the executive producer of the Emmy-nominated show The Debbie Allen Special for ABC. He produced A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which broke box office records, featured the first all African-American cast, and received an Olivier Award in London. He has worked with the Annenberg, Bloomberg, Thelma Pearl Howard and California Community Foundation.
Sonu Singh’s personal passion and professional goal is creating sustainable, high-quality technology jobs in rural America and, as a result, in 2009 he founded 1901 Group LLC – the leader in rural enterprise scale IT services. Sonu spent his formative years in Blacksburg, Virginia, earned an Industrial and Systems Engineering degree from Virginia Tech, and then worked for Ernst & Young and Oracle Corporation before starting two IT services business. The first one he sold in 2000 to Metamor Worldwide and he sold the second one in 2005 to SRA International. Sonu has three kids and a lovely wife; is a avid (rabid) VT Hokies fan; sits on the VT National Capital Region Presidents Advisory Board and the VT APEX Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Board; and enjoys playing basketball, golf, and tennis in his spare time.
MajGen Wheeler retired from the Air Force in March of 2016 after 32 years of service. He served as DoD Deputy Chief Information Officer for Command, Control, Communications/Computers (C4) at the Office Secretary of Defense. He also led and executed the DoD’s largest spectrum auction in U.S. history with industry, White House and Congress. He served in multiple staff assignments including air campaign analyst for the Air Force Studies and Analysis Agency, and division chief for the Joint Chiefs of Staff for European security issues. Additionally, he was the senior military adviser to the U.S. Mission Vienna, Austria for the Organization for Security and Cooperation Europe (OSCE). Wheeler earned a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and was commissioned in the United States Air Force in 1984. He went on to become a combat pilot in the B-52 and B-2 with more than 5,000 hours and seven operational commands including Wing Commands in the two largest bomber wings in the U.S. Air Force. General Wheeler advises various DoD senior advisory panels.