UAS Conference in Cape May County New Jersey Features Innovation in Drones and Robotics
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The following speakers participated in the 2017 UAS Conference....
2018 speakers will be posted soon.

Congressman Frank LoBiondo

As owner and operator of an active South Jersey business in his early career, Frank LoBiondo participated in numerous civic and charitable efforts. He would be asked by local leaders and private citizens to continue his service by running for public office. Starting with his successful election to the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 1984, Frank has served South Jersey on the county, state and federal levels ever since. After three years on the Freeholders Board, he was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly, representing the First Legislative District from 1988-1994. In November 1994, Frank won election to the U.S. House of Representative, serving constituents from New Jersey’s Second Congressional District to this day.

On Capitol Hill, Congressman LoBiondo is a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. He takes great pride in serving as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Aviation, given its critical importance to South Jersey. He is also pleased to sit on the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit and the Subcommittee on Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation - both of which have jurisdiction over critical issues affecting New Jersey’s growing and ever-changing transportation needs. A staunch advocate for strengthening our nation’s security, Congressman LoBiondo also serves on the House Armed Services Committee and is a champion for New Jersey’s bases and service personnel. He also serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he serves as Chairman of the newly-created 10-member CIA Subcommittee with oversight over the Central Intelligence Agency.

Throughout his extensive district – covering roughly one-third geographically of the entire state – he is known as fierce supporter of veterans, an avid protector of the environment, and as a strong champion of South Jersey’s aviation community. Most recently, he has been an integral part of Cape May County’s efforts to establish itself as a UAS hub in the Northeast.

The Congressman received B.A. in Business Administration from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia before returning home to Cumberland County. To this day, Frank’s family roots run deep in the community. A true South Jersey man from Rosenhayn, Frank currently lives in Atlantic County with his wife Tina and their Weimaraners – Lucia and Lex.


Major General Marke F. “Hoot” Gibson (ret.)

Major General Marke F. “Hoot” Gibson (ret.) is president and CEO of the NUAIR Alliance, directing efforts to safely integrate UAS into the NAS to include UAS operations being conducted in New York, Massachusetts and Michigan. He also oversees investments by New York State to put the region at the forefront of the UAS industry. Gibson has more than four decades of experience in aviation and a proven track record of strong leadership. Before NUAIR, he served as the FAA’s senior adviser on UAS. Gibson also was executive director of the NextGen Institute, providing professional services to the UAS Joint Program Development Office. He also owned an aviation consulting firm.

Gibson retired from the Air Force in 2011 after 33 years of service. He held numerous senior command and staff positions and retired as director of current operations and training, where he led the startup of a new cyber career field and its integration into Air Force operations. He also worked on behalf of the Air Force secretary and chief of staff on ways to better integrate unmanned aerial vehicles into the NAS and was responsible for the startup of a separate career field and unique training path for those who fly Air Force remote piloted aircrafts today. He holds a B.A. in economics from the United States Air Force Academy, a master’s of business administration from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s of National Security Affairs from the National War College. He serves on many advisory boards, including AUVSI’s board of directors.

Cory Booker

Senator Cory Booker has represented New Jersey in the United States Senate since 2013, prevailing in a special election after the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Previously, he was Mayor of Newark. He attended Stanford University, earning a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Sociology. Subsequently he received his law degree at Yale. Unable to be present in person at the 4th Annual UAS Conference, he created a special video welcoming attendees and praising his colleague Representative Frank LoBiondo for all that he has done to further aviation and UAS in the State of New Jersey and the nation. The Senator notes in his Statement that UAS creates a “limitless future in every area of our lives.”


Mark Aitken, II is a senior policy advisor in the communications and information technology practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. With nearly 15 years of advocacy and public affairs experience, he advises clients on a range of strategic, regulatory, and legislative matters in the unmanned systems sector. He currently sits on NASA’s Urban Air Mobility Strategic Advisory Group and DHS’s Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council’s UAS Security Working Group.

Mark most recently served as the director of government relations at AUVSI, where he led its federal government relations efforts. He was appointed to the Drone Advisory Committee’s Subcommittee and the FAA’s UAS Registration, Micro-UAS, and UAS Identification and Tracking ARCs.

Prior to joining AUVSI, Mark served as legislative director to Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ). He also served as the director of U.S. operations at an Italian fuel cell developer and then later as the manager of communications and public affairs for its parent company in the defense and aerospace sector. Mark began his professional career as a legislative assistant to former Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD).

Thomas E. Baker is the Program Manager, Program and Data Management Branch, Office of UAS Integration, FAA, Washington, D.C. He works with applicants on the FAA’s Partnership for Safety Program (PSP).

In 2017, Baker founded Shavano Prime Solutions, LLC, a results-driven collaborative team providing thought leadership in the aviation and aerospace business sectors. He returned to government service in 2018.

Baker was Director, UAS and Counter-UAS Initiatives, First Air Force, Tyndall AFB, Florida, from August 2015-September 2016. He was the primary staff advisor concerning UAS and Counter UAS airspace integration policy and operations, science and technology, flight procedures testing, and programs.

From December 2012-July 2015, Baker was Joint Test Director, UAS-Airspace Integration Joint Test, a 3-year operational live fly test chartered by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Baker served in the US Army for more than 20 years. He is rated in the UH-60 A/L and the OH-58 A/C helicopters. A 1991 graduate of the United States Military Academy, in 2004 he earned an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies at the U.S. Naval War College. He has FAA airplane, helicopter and remote pilot certificates


Jeffrey D. Bishop is the Acquisition Program Manager for the USCGs small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) for National Security Cutter (NSC) Program and is charged with out-fitting the USCGs NSC fleet with UAS capability to conduct operational missions. Prior taking on this current role he served as the Acquisition Program Manager for the H-60 Conversion Projects which provided an upgraded avionics suite, an EO/IR sensor system and ten-thousand hours of additional service life for a fleet of 42 aircraft, as well as supporting the USCGs HC-130J, MH-65, MH-60T acquisition programs in various capacities. His last assignment prior to moving to the USCG in 2005 was PMA-263 where he provided Strategic Planning and Operations support for 22 UAS Programs of Record

Jeff Brockett is the Deputy General Counsel for Monroe Energy, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, Inc., that owns and operates the Trainer, Pennsylvania refinery and a 51 mile refined products pipeline system. In addition to his legal responsibilities, Jeff serves as Monroe’s project manager for the company’s UAS program - integrating UAS operations into both routine and non-routine operation and maintenance functions. Jeff has more than 10 years of experience in the oil and gas industry.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree from Villanova University and a Juris Doctorate from Villanova University‘s Charles Widger School of Law.


Scott Craig (U.S. Coast Guard, Retired) is the Air Domain lead for the Coast Guard’s Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) program. In this role, he manages all aspects of the Coast Guard’s aviation RDT&E projects. His primary projects involve unmanned aircraft systems and sensor technologies, and how they can be utilized to improve the prosecution of law enforcement and search and rescue missions in the maritime domain. Previously, Mr. Craig spent 27 years on active duty with the Coast Guard, flying as a helicopter and fixed-wing pilot throughout the U.S., Arctic, Antarctic, Caribbean, and Eastern Pacific.

Lyndsey Digneo is an Electrical Engineer and Program Manager of the Aviation Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (AvSTEM) program at the FAA Technical Center in Atlantic City. During her 14 years at the Technical Center, she has managed several laboratory environments, conducted evaluations for numerous aviation weather programs, and collaborated with representatives within the FAA as well as industry and academia. Lyndsay was an original member of the AvSTEM program since its formation in 2015, and is instrumental in building the program’s framework. As a member of the program’s management team, she engages with educators and encourages students from elementary school through college to explore Aviation STEM-related career fields. She collaborates with nationally recognized engineering programs including Rowan University as a member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering External Advisory Board, and Ohio State University’s Center for Aviation Studies, through the FAA’s Center of Excellence for General Aviation. Lyndsay has an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Drexel (2008) and a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Rowan (2004).


Karen DiMeo is an innovative thought leader on the safe and effective integration of UAS into the commercial airspace ecosystem. She has 28 years of experience in the aviation industry with both government and industry. Previously as the Senior Technical UAS Advisor at the FAA’s Office of the Deputy Administrator, she provided technical expertise and support to the FAA UAS Senior Executive responsible for oversight of strategic plans for the agency’s enterprise-level UAS initiatives, integration progress, and scientific and research activities. Her role included creating and maintaining liaison with top officials of special interest groups and key external stakeholders including the Department of Transportation, Executive Branch agencies, and Congress. Karen was also a leading expert in applied aviation and UAS research at the FAA Technical Center in New Jersey. For the last 12 years of her career, she has focused her professional passion solely on the advancement of unmanned systems.

Nate Ernst (Cape May County native) is the founder and President of Sky Scape Industries (SSI). Sky Scape is a aerial technology company which integrates unmanned and manned technology into critical infrastructure applications. SSI uses advanced systems and sensor technology to inspect, identify, and deliver actionable data in multiple spectrum and capacities. SSI works with clients to increase safety through aerial operations, streamline inefficiencies, and push the boundary of technical drone capabilities through routine operations and during emergency events.


Captain Owen Gibbons enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1985 and served as a deck seaman aboard CGC REDWOOD in New London, CT before attending Electronic Technician Class “A” School in 1987. He served as a Petty Officer aboard CGC TAMPA in Portsmouth, VA and at Station Tybee in Savannah, GA before attending Officer Candidate School in 1993. He was assigned to Maintenance and Logistics Command Atlantic on Governor’s Island, NY as Training Officer after receiving his commission. CAPT Gibbons is an Honorary Chief Petty Officer, a permanent Cutterman with nearly 14 years at sea, and a Coast Guard Master Training Specialist. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (2), Coast Guard Commendation Medal (4), Coast Guard Achievement Medal (2). CAPT Gibbons assumed command of the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May, N.J., in June 2016.

Brenden Hedblom joined the Thales U.S. Air Traffic Management team back in 2014. Currently, Brenden is helping lead the company’s efforts on UTM development in the U.S. through establishing strategy and business development activities concentrated on advancing concepts for low-altitude integration, including collaboration initiatives with the FAA, NASA, and DoD in addition to developing a central, global strategy across Thales


Dr. Nancy Hudanich is the Superintendent of both the Cape May County Technical Schools, which annually educate over 3,000 high school, post-secondary and adult students and the Cape May County Special Services School District. Her professional career spans over 35 years as a mathematics and computer science educator and school administrator. As an administrator she continues to focus on improving the quality of the curriculum by aligning the academic environment with industry and global workforce needs. Today’s education with a focus on STEM must incorporates UAS design, construction and use across the disciplines to provide support for the current industry workforce needs. Equally as important for the workforce are the necessary soft skills, critical thinking and the ethical use of technology. Education today must prepare for jobs of the future!

Dr. Ratan Jha comes to the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering from Mississippi State University (MSU). During his time at Mississippi State, he served as Professor & Graduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. He also served as Director of Raspet Flight Research Laboratory/Advanced Composites Institute at MSU. Prior to his service at MSU, Jha served as Assistant/Associate Professor of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering at Clarkson University, and worked at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (India) on combat aircraft design.

Jha earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Arizona State University. He also has an M.S. in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech and a B.S. in aeronautical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.

Jha is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He is a Member of AIAA Adaptive Structures Technical Committee (TC) and a founding member of ASME Nondestructive Structural Monitoring TC, and is an editorial board member for International Journal of Aerospace Engineering.

Over the course of his career, he has received more than $8 million in research grants and contracts from NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), Air Force Office of Scientific Research, FAA, The Boeing Company, and others.


Cliff Johnson is a research engineer, program manager, and technical expert for the Aviation Research Division at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, NJ. He leads several research and development activities that seek to improve aviation safety. Mr. Johnson is qualified on the ScanEagle unmanned aircraft systems platform and has supported several unmanned aircraft and rotorcraft simulations and live flight tests involving the FAA, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Defense, and industry partners. He joined the FAA in 2009 after earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rowan University. He is currently pursuing his private pilot’s license (fixed-wing) and is planning to acquire a helicopter add-on rating. He is a lifelong South Jersey resident, a diehard racing fan (NASCAR, Indycar, Formula 1), as well as a Philadelphia sports fan (Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Sizers). Cliff also enjoys outdoor activities (hunting, fishing, hiking) and playing guitar

Christopher Kahn is GIS Manager for New Jersey American Water where he leads the development, deployment and maintenance of advanced spatial projects with GIS/GNSS (GPS)/UAV. He earned his undergraduate degree in geography at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., and master’s degree in geographic information systems from Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa. Chris became a Certified GIS Professional in 2011, and holds a Title 14 CFR Part 107 Commercial Drone Certification. He is the proud recipient of an ESRI Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) award in 2014. Chris joined NJAW as a Senior GIS Technician in 2008. He was promoted to GIS Project Manager in 2010, Senior Project Manager in 2014, and now serves as GIS Manager & sUAS Program Manager.


George Kirov is Vice President and General Manager for Commercial UAS Solutions, in the Electronic Systems segment of Harris Corporation. He has overall responsibilities for the business including strategy, technology and product development, policy and regulatory affairs, sales and marketing, and strategic partnerships.

Previously, Mr. Kirov was Vice President of Strategy for Harris’ Corporate Development team, overseeing the company’s strategic direction, driving development and execution of key growth initiatives and supporting strategic capital allocation decisions related to M&A, R&D, and the launch of new businesses. He also led commercialization and business development growth projects in public safety, cyber-security, natural resources, utilities, and others.

Before Harris, Mr. Kirov spent 20 years in strategy, M&A, business development, and general management roles for companies in the railroads, mining services, equipment manufacturing and automotive industries.

Mr. Kirov has an MBA with emphasis on Strategic Management, E-Commerce Strategy and Information Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and a BA in Economics from Yale.

Edward Kostakis is a graduate of the media studies and film production program at Queens College. Having served in the Marine Corps Reserves for four years as an Information Technology Specialist, Edward was promoted to Air Intelligence Officer where he served an additional 4 years at a Helicopter Squadron. He is Head of Aerial operations and co-founder of Xizmo Media, and has been specializing in Aerial Cinematography since 2008. Edward has attained all licenses required to perform commercial drone work. He has worked on small and large sets all over the world including Live Broadcast Television and has picked up awards for his work along the way. For the past two years Edward has served as Senior Pilot for DJI, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial and consumer drones. Edward is an adjunct professor of Drone Photography and Cinematography at Adelphi University and has assisted the FAA and NTSB with federal investigations involving collisions of UAV’s with manned aircraft.


Ms. Suzanne Lemieux has been with the American Petroleum Institute since 2013 and serves as a Manager within the Midstream and Industry Operations unit. Her primary areas of responsibility are emergency preparedness and response, security policy, maritime policy, UAS policy, energy infrastructure advocacy, and stakeholder engagement, both public and private. Ms. Lemieux previously worked for BCS Incorporated as the manager of their Emergency Response and Risk Management team and as a senior analyst in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. Ms. Lemieux supported DOE’s efforts to build public-private partnerships with the oil and natural gas and electricity sectors. Ms. Lemieux is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and is a graduate of Harvard University’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative Executive Education. Ms. Lemieux has a Masters of Public and International Affairs from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing Management from Radford University.

Brigadier General (Ret.) William J. Marshall III is a distinguished dual-career public servant with a 29-year span in law enforcement and more than 35 years in the New Jersey National Guard, where he achieved the rank of Brigadier General and has served as the NJNG Deputy Commander. He currently is employed by the New Jersey Institute of Technology, serving as Assistant Vice President for Technology Development and Special Projects. He also serves as Director of the New Jersey Homeland Security Technology Systems Center and is Executive Director of the New Jersey Innovation Institute I-Lab for Homeland Security and Defense. He has been part of the ongoing UAS activity in Cape May County for several years and was part of the successful inaugural flight at USCG TRACEN in January 2015.


Carole Mattessich is Cape May County’s Director of Strategic Business Development, and assists the County Drone Program. As an attorney, she clerked on the U.S. Third Circuit, worked with Milbank Tweed and as General Counsel of a global shipping firm, and she continues to maintain an active practice for pro bono cases. She has taught law school courses in judicial decision-making, and college courses in both law and journalism. She is active with policy institutes in both New York City and Washington, D.C. Previously, as a journalist, Carole received three awards for excellence from the New Jersey Press Association, and she has written columns for various publications. She has a B.A. in Government from Trinity College in Washington, D.C, and a law degree from Catholic University Law School, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.

Will Morey is President and CEO of Morey’s Piers, a family-owned business in Wildwood, NJ. He actively participates in amusement industry leadership through the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). He has chaired the Government Relations Committee and the Audit Committee, served on the Board of Directors, and is a Member of the Executive Committee. In 2013, he served as Chairman of the Board for the global association, and he currently chairs the IAAPA Governance Committee.

Elected as a Cape May County Freeholders in 2011, Will oversees the Department of Planning, Economic Development, Transportation Infrastructure, and is liaison for the County’s Open Space and Farmland Preservation and Planning Boards. In 2016, he was elected to the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Will supports many charitable and community initiatives. He served on the Boards of Education for both Wildwood and Wildwood Crest, the Boardwalk Special Improvement District and the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation Board. He was a Founding Board Member and Trustee of Cape Volunteers in Medicine, and since 2015, chairs the Cape May County Coast Guard Community Foundation.

Will is an Auburn University graduate, with a B.S. in Business Administration with emphasis in Finance. He is a licensed, commercial rated pilot and Certified Flight Instructor. He resides in Wildwood Crest with his wife of 35 years, Janice. They have two sons, Will B. and Kyle.


Nate McBee is a Product Manager for Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI), the producer of commercial analysis software for land, sea, air, and space systems, as well as OneSky, a division of AGI. Nate focuses on the development of applications for commercial unmanned systems and Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) initiatives, driving innovative solutions that support mission planning, safety-of-flight, and situational awareness for unmanned platforms. He has been with AGI for over 11 years, several of which were spent in Singapore supporting AGI’s Asia-Pacific team as well as managing the international engineering team. Prior to this, Nate held various positions within the engineering team as a systems engineer supporting numerous programs and pursuits. Originally from Tennessee, Nate is graduate of the University of Tennessee where he holds both Bachelor of Science (2004) and Master of Science (2007) degrees in Aerospace Engineering. Nate is an FAA licensed commercial UAS pilot and is currently working toward his private pilot’s license for general aviation aircraft.

Eddie Obropta earned his B.S. and M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT. Eddie has a wide range of interests and experiences including mobile game design, sports product design, thermal dynamics and life support system design at SpaceX, and developing software and simulations for the Office of Naval Research and NASA. Eddie is a cofounder and CTO at Raptor Maps, a software company specializing in drone data analysis. They won the MIT $100K competition in 2015 and graduated Y Combinator in Summer 2016.


Kerin Olson is the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Research Strategy Lead within the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) UAS Integration Office. She is responsible for planning and prioritizing UAS research within the FAA to deliver data needed to support UAS integration milestones.

Since joining the FAA in 2007, Kerin Olson has applied leadership skills and technical subject matter expertise towards a range of UAS initiatives, including certification, standards, risk analysis, test and evaluation, and UAS research portfolio management. She has led joint government and industry teams in the planning, execution, and management of collaborative research endeavors to address shared UAS integration challenges. She has also led international collaboration efforts to establish a path forward for harmonizing UAS research.

From 2003 to 2007, Kerin worked within industry to develop and test concepts and requirements for next-generation air traffic control systems. She holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a Master’s in Systems Engineering from the University of Maryland.

Jim Patterson is currently the Manager of the FAA’s Airport Safety Research and Development Section at the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, NJ, USA, where his team of researchers manage numerous research and development projects in visual guidance, aircraft rescue and firefighting, runway surface safety, wildlife hazards, aircraft braking, airport planning, and airport design safety. Within just the last few years, Jim has managed the limited deployments of UAS detection technologies at airports here in the United States, and is currently managing a new UAS Applications for Airports research program. Jim joined the FAA in December 1999.

Jim has a Bachelor of Science degree in Airport Management & Flight Technology from Florida Tech, in Melbourne, Florida. He holds a Commercial pilot certificate with Instrument and Multi Engine ratings, is a Certified Flight Instructor, and a Part 107 UAS remote pilot certificate.


Rob Ripp is Founder & President of Fintelligent, providing effective outsourced finance & accounting operations to emerging companies. He began his career learning the ways of corporate finance while working at Colgate-Palmolive, Lehman Brothers and Andersen. In 1999 Rob accepted his first full-time CFO job. In 2003 he became an independent practitioner of outsourced CFO services and launched Fintelligent in 2013. He’s done just about everything a growing company CFO does, from startup projections to exits.

Rob enjoys traveling and has visited all 50 states. He has a BS, Business and Economics from Lehigh University and an MBA from Emory University. Rob is a 2017 CFO Innovation Awards Recipient from CFO Studio and a finalist for the NJ Tech Council 2015 CFO Hall of Fame award.

Jonathan Rupprecht. Drone Analyst, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and many other sources have cited or quoted Jonathan B. Rupprecht who is a drone lawyer and a commercial pilot with single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument ratings. He is also an airplane flight instructor and instrument flight instructor. He is currently an adjunct faculty professor for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University teaching an Unmanned Systems Legal and Regulatory Compliance course. Jonathan authored a drone textbook being used at multiple universities around the U.S. He co-authored a legal treatise on unmanned aircraft that is being published by the American Bar Association. He assisted in the Taylor v. Huerta cases in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals which resulted in the FAA’s drone registration regulations being struck down as illegal. Jonathan is currently practicing drone law in South Florida at his firm Rupprecht Law, P.A. (


Matt Satterley is a member of the public policy team and Head of Federal Policy and Government Affairs at AirMap. Managing the federal portfolio, he focuses on legislative analysis and development, and regulatory advocacy. He has served on multiple federal advisory committees and has significant coalition-building experience.

Matthew’s work helps shape UTM domestically and abroad. He represents AirMap in the LAANC, as well as the UAS Integration Pilot Program and the UTM Pilot Program initiatives providing industry feedback that inform lawmaking and regulation.

Before AirMap, Matthew served Congressman Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director. He interpreted and drafted legislative proposals supporting the Congressman’s work on the House Aviation Subcommittee, the House Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Matthew also worked with developing the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act of 2016.

Matthew previously served Representatives Buerkle (NY-25), Mack (FL-14), and McHugh (NY-23), as well as working with Axiom Resource Management, Inc. to establish congressional and industry stakeholder strategy for DoD’s Defense Healthcare Management Systems. He a graduate of St. Lawrence University.

Patrick Szary, PhD is currently Associate Director of the Center for Advanced Infrastructure & Transportation (CAIT) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He has generated more than $30M in funding for the CAIT/University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program, which was established in 1998 and is part of the national program funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). He has been an integral part of CAIT since its inception as a USDOT Tier I UTC in 1998, and through his leadership CAIT recently won the prestigious national “State of Good Repair” UTC designation. In 2016, Pat was appointed Chair of the Rutgers University UAS Oversight Committee, assisting university-wide development and deployment of UAS for research and educational uses. He is an active member of the Cape May County UAS Innovation Forum.


Chief Warrant Officer Todd Wardwell has been on active duty with the United States Coast Guard for over 24 years and is stationed at USCG Sector Delaware Bay, Philadelphia PA. As part of the Incident Management Division he is called to respond to multi-agency exercises, national special security events, and disasters within the Sector’s 3 state area of responsibility as well as nationwide. CWO Wardwell has responded to over 20 major events to include WTC, D.C. Anthrax Clean Up, Shuttle Columbia Recovery, Hurricane Katrina, San Diego Wildfires, BP Oil Spill, Super-storm Sandy Response, and most recently Hurricane Irma response in the Florida Keys. His unique perspective from both the field and the Incident Command Post gives him a holistic view on utilizing new technologies to safely and quickly mitigate incidents. CWO Wardwell presently holds a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) credential and is involved in a pilot program with the USCG for utilizing commercial UAS during an emergency response.

Jon Wickersham is the Emergency Response Program Specialist at Colonial Pipeline Company, the largest refined pipeline system in the United States. He is responsible for developing integrated contingency preparedness and planning solutions to effectively prepare for, mobilize and respond to all hazards. His primary areas of focus are risk management, initial response prioritization, and operational readiness and competence. Jon works with Colonial employees, regulators, NGOs, state and local First Responders, and communities to ensure all entities are prepared to the greatest extent possible for emergent situations. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, with a B.A. in Business and Management of Information Systems.


David Yoel is Founder and CEO of American Aerospace Technologies, Inc., an airborne intelligence and communications services company headquartered in Conshohocken, PA. David is a physicist, entrepreneur, pilot and airspace expert with experience in space systems, industrial manufacturing and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). He has been developing airborne sensors and analytics for critical infrastructure patrol and emergency response since 2012. Over the last 8 years, his company has conducted hundreds of Beyond Visual Line of Sight UAS flights across the country. He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Past President of the Keystone Chapter of Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and has served on the National Research Council’s Aeronautics Research and Technology Roundtable, advising NASA on their 10 year aviation autonomy roadmap.

Shelley J. Yak is the Director of the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center, within the NextGen Organization. Ms. Yak serves as principal advisor and is responsible for managing, operating, and maintaining world class aviation laboratories; planning and coordinating FAA’s research and development program; conducting applied research and development; testing, evaluating, verifying, and validating current national airspace system and future next generation air transportation systems; and providing facility maintenance, engineering support, and support services for all properties at the William J. Hughes Technical Center. Her prior positions within the FAA included Deputy Director of the Technical Center, Division Manager of the Center Operations team, Director of NextGen Performance and Reporting, and Division Manager of Information Technology. Ms. Yak holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information and System Science from Stockton University and a Masters in Engineering Management from Rowan University. She has received numerous internal and industry leadership and excellence awards throughout her career.


Linda Ziemba is Founder and CEO of Drone Go Home (DGH). Her 25 years of sales, marketing, and Internet Security experience include career highlights like leading a New Jersey software company to acquisition by Oracle in 2014. Founded in 2015, DGH is one of the few fully legal, radio-frequency drone and pilot detection, location and alert systems. Linda’s strategic business thinking caused DGH to pivot away from mitigation features when it became clear federal regulations would prohibit these, and the product is one of the first ready for deployment to the early public market. Linda studied at NYU Stern School of Business until launching her first business. She earned her B.S. in Business Management from Murray State University in Kentucky, and completed Executive Education at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta.

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