Matthew E. Zames is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member and former President of Cerberus Capital Management.
Prior to being named President of Cerberus Capital Management in April of 2018, Mr. Zames served as the Chief Operating Officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co. from April 28, 2013 until August 10, 2017. In his role as COO, his responsibilities included the firm’s Chief Investment Office (CIO), the Oversight and Control Group, Compliance, Treasury & Funding, Mortgage Banking Capital Markets, One Equity Partners, Corporate Strategy, Regulatory Affairs, Global Technology and Operations, Real Estate, Procurement, Security & Safety, General Services, and Military & Veteran Affairs. Mr. Zames was co-COO from July 2012 until April of 2013 when he assumed the full COO position. Previously, he was Chief Investment Officer of JPMorgan Chase and served as its Co-Head of Global Fixed Income and Head of Capital Markets. He served as the Head of Mortgage Banking Capital Markets since January 2012.
Before joining JPMorgan in 2004, Mr. Zames worked at Credit Suisse, where he was co-head of Global Dollar Interest Rate Trading, a member of the Fixed Income Operating Committee, and the Credit Suisse First Boston Management Council.
Mr. Zames is on the MIT Sloan Finance Group Advisory Board and the Board of Directors of the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. He also is a member of The Economic Club of New York and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves on the Board of Directors of Guiding Eyes for the Blind and also serves on the Board of Directors of Business Executives for National Security (BENS). Mr. Zames is a former Board Co-Chairman of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University and previously was a member of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee and a former Chairman. He also was a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Treasury Market Practices Group.
Mr. Zames graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and children.
Wendy B. Lawrence is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member.
Ms. Lawrence is a former NASA astronaut who has logged over 1225 hours in space as a mission specialist and was a veteran of four space flights. A retired United States Navy Captain, Ms. Lawrence was a helicopter pilot with more than 1,500 hours of flight time in six different types of helicopters and made more than 800 shipboard landings. She is the first female graduate of the United States Naval Academy to fly into space after being selected by NASA in March 1992. While an astronaut, she visited the Russian Space Station Mir and was a mission specialist on STS-114, the first Space Shuttle flight after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
Ms. Lawrence received a Bachelor of Science degree in ocean engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981. She also received a Master of Science degree in ocean engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in 1988. She was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the NASA Space Flight Medal.
Janie L. Mines is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member and Academy’s Head of Inclusion and Innovation.
Ms. Mines is a former naval officer who was the first African-American woman to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, where she earned a Bachelor of Science. She graduated in 1980 after serving in several leadership positions in the Brigade of Midshipmen. She was later selected to participate in the prestigious Sloan Fellows Program, where she earned an MBA from the Alfred P. Sloan School of Business Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ms. Mines held positions of increasing responsibility, as a Navy Supply Corps officer and in several corporations including Procter & Gamble, Pepsi (Frito-Lay), Hershey Foods, and Bank of America. She was formerly an independent executive management consultant focusing on Strategic Planning, Change Management, Quality and Productivity, Integrated Business Transformation, and Program Management serving nonprofits, government and Fortune 500 corporations.
Ms. Mines served as the Sr. Advisor, Business Process, Senior Executive Service in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy. She formerly served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) for the Secretary of Defense.
Ms. Mines founded and managed a non-profit organization for over 10 years, Boyz to Men Club, Inc, after observing the needs of adolescent boys in the community. Her awards include National Women of Color in Business Award winner, Olympic Torchbearer, Civic Volunteer of the Year, 9 Who Care Award winner for the Charlotte Metropolitan Area, and a South Carolina Black History Honoree. She received a Congressional Record Proclamation for her service. Ms. Mines has served as a member of the Rotary Club International, the Board of Directors of the Founders Federal Credit Union, and the Board of the Springs Close Foundation. She is the author of No Coincidences – Reflections of the First Black Female Graduate of the United States Naval Academy.
Ms. Mines has maintained her relationship with the Naval Academy throughout the decades and was selected as a Distinguished Graduate for her outstanding service. She continues to positively impact the lives of midshipmen and naval officers through her mentorship and ongoing support.
Major General James A. “Spider” Marks is Head of Geopolitical Strategy and Academy Securities’ Senior Advisory Board Member.
General Marks is the Founder and President of The Marks Collaborative, an advisory for corporate leader development, education and training and has led entrepreneurial efforts in global primary research and national security. He served over 30 years in the Army holding every command position from infantry platoon leader to commanding general and was the senior intelligence officer in the LA Riots, the Balkans, Korea, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He culminated his career as the Commanding General of the US Army Intelligence Center and School at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf cluster, Bronze Star, and multiple combat, expeditionary and service ribbons. General Marks is a Master parachutist, authorized to wear Korean and Canadian Airborne wings, Air Assault qualified, and Honor Graduate of the US Army Ranger School. General Marks is a national security contributor to CNN and member of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Robert S. Walsh is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member.
Lieutenant General Walsh served in the Marine Corps for over 35 years, completing his career as the Commanding General of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development & Integration. In his last assignment, he was responsible for strategic planning and executing the reorganization of the Marine Corps to meet the new National Defense Strategy roles and missions. His responsibilities included integrating multiple warfighting functions and domains across all military services and the Department of Defense. Previously, he served as the Assistant Deputy Commandant for Aviation, the Assistant Deputy Commandant for Combat Development & Integration, and the Director of Expeditionary Warfare, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. In these assignments, he was responsible for managing numerous vital warfare systems. Lieutenant General Walsh’s operational and joint assignments included serving as the Commanding General, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) Iraq and the Director of Operations, United States Northern Command.
Lieutenant General Walsh has served as the Co-Chairman of both the Navy-Marine Corps and Army-Marine Corps Boards along with being Co-Chairman of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – Marine Corps Investment Board and the Office of Naval Research – Marine Corps Investment Board.
A native of Chicago, Illinois, Lieutenant General Walsh is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and holds a Master of Science in National Security Studies from the National War College. He served as an F/A-18 pilot at all levels to include commanding Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115, Marine Aircraft Group 31, and 2d Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. He was an instructor at the Navy Fighter Weapons School, also known as TOPGUN. He has received several writing awards. Additionally, Lieutenant General Walsh has testified before Congress on subjects such as modernization, acquisition, readiness and training of the Navy and Marine Corps.
Leslie Beavers is an Academy Securities Advisory Board Member and Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force Reserves.
Ms. Leslie A. Beavers is a career member of the Senior Executive Service and the DoD Principal Deputy CIO. In this capacity, she will assist the CIO in advising the Secretary of Defense on Information Management / Information Technology (IT) and Information Assurance, as well as non-intelligence space systems; critical satellite communications, navigation, and timing programs; spectrum; and telecommunications matters. Ms. Beavers will also lead engagement with the Defense Agencies and Field Activities CIOs and drive strategic resource planning across the IT and cybersecurity domains.
Prior to joining the CIO, Ms. Beavers served as the Director of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Enterprise Capabilities (ISREC). In this capacity she led OUSD(I&S)’s Defense Intelligence Digital Transformation Campaign Plan, known as Project Herald.
Lieutenant General Frank Kearney is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member.
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Frank Kearney | Advisor
Lieutenant General Frank Kearney served 35 years in the United States Army as an Infantry and Special Operations officer. Most recently, LTG Kearney served as the Deputy Director for Strategic Operational Planning at the National Counter-Terrorism Center in Washington, DC. In this position, LTG Kearney was responsible for whole-of-government planning with over 29 Inter-Agency partners to achieve the strategic end states outlined in the Obama Administration’s National Counter-Terrorism Strategy. LTG Kearney has been appointed to the U.S. House of Representatives House Armed Services Committee National Defense Panel, the U.S. Secretary of Defense’s WMD Threat Reduction Advisory Committee, and the Iran Project. Previously, LTG Kearney was the Deputy Commander of the United States Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida responsible for a $9.3 billion dollar budget execution, and for overseeing, training and equipping 62,000 Special Operations forces from all four Services from July 2007 to July 2010. He commanded all Theater Special Operations Forces in Central Command Area of Responsibility from 2005-2007, before which he served as commander of the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force-Former Regime Elements in Baghdad, Iraq. LTG Kearney has been recognized with the Distinguished Intelligence Service Medal and two awards of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal as well as multiple awards for combat and military service. He sits on the Department of Defense Threat Reduction Advisory Committee (TRAC). LTG Kearney also chairs the board of Team Red White and Blue, a non-profit organization that seeks to reintegrate military veterans with traumatic brain injuries and Post Traumatic Shock Disorder back into their local communities using sports and outreach.
LTG Kearney is a 1976 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, has a Master’s in Education from the University of South Carolina and is a graduate of the United States Army War College.
Lieutenant General Rhett Hernandez is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member.
Lieutenant General Hernandez served in the United States Army for 39 Years and was the first Commander of Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER), where he was responsible for the daily operations, defense and risk management of all Army networks with 1.2 million users. As the Army’s lead for all cyberspace activity, Lieutenant General Hernandez built a cyber force of more than 17,000 people and led the development of a wide range of concepts, plans and programs to minimize cyber risk and ensure Army operations. Lieutenant General Hernandez previously served as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Army Operations; Chief, U.S. Military Training Mission, Saudi Arabia; and Commanding General, Human Resources Command. In all three positions, he was involved in key issues and decisions at the highest levels.
Lieutenant General Hernandez serves as the West Point Cyber Chair to the Army Cyber Institute, as well as President of CyberLens, LLC. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy, West Point, a Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia and a Masters of National Security Strategy from the National War College where he was named a distinguished graduate. He was an Assistant Professor for Probability and Statistics at the United States Military Academy and has published articles on leadership and cyber topics.
Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, Jr. is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member.
Vice Admiral (Ret.) Robert S. Harward | Advisor
Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, Jr. is Executive Vice President for International Business and Strategy at Shield AI, where he is responsible for expanding the company’s international business operations and strategy on every continent. Prior to joining Shield AI, he was a chief executive at Lockheed Martin (United Arab Emirates) for eight years and was responsible for all aspects of the company’s business interests in the UAE, including strategy, operations, and growth of Lockheed Martin programs, as well as successful execution of all ongoing business. A National Security Expert, in both theory and application, he served on the National Security Council for the Bush administration, commissioned the National Counter Terrorism Center, and has extensive combat experience as a US Navy SEAL, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Bosnia. A US Naval Academy alumni, Vice Admiral Harward holds a Masters degree in International Security Affairs, and is a graduate of the Naval War College and the MIT Foreign Policy Program. Vice Admiral Harward also served as an executive fellow at RAND. Vice Admiral Harward grew up in Iran, graduated from the Tehran American School and speaks Farsi.
Edward M. Straw is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member and the founder and managing partner of Osprey Venture Partners—a firm that finds investment capital and assists with business development for startup entrepreneurs. He is the retired President, Global Operations of The Estee Lauder Companies, and currently sits on the boards of the following companies: Performance Equity Management, Odyssey Logistics, Helius Medical Technologies, Capital Teas and Document Capture Technologies. He is the Chairman of Odyssey Logistics. As President, Global Operations for Estee Lauder, Mr. Straw centralized and led Lauder’s R&D, package engineering, acquisition, manufacturing, distribution, inventory management, and information systems organizations which supported 20 Estee Lauder Companies around the world. In his five years at Estee Lauder, he is credited with directing significant improvements in their global supply chain and driving major stock price impactful savings to the bottom line.
Prior to joining the Estee Lauder Companies, he was Senior Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management at the $40 billion Compaq Computer Corporation in Houston.
Before joining Compaq in late 1998, Mr. Straw was President of Miami-based Ryder Integrated Logistics—then the leading provider of third-party supply chain services in North America.
Prior to joining the private sector, Mr. Straw had a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a three-star admiral in 1996. Vice Admiral Straw culminated his military service from 1992-1996 as the Director of the Defense Logistics Agency, the nation’s only combat logistics support agency and primary provider of global supply chain material and services support for America’s armed forces. He reported directly to the Under Secretary of Defense (AT&L), Dr. Paul Kaminski, and General Colin Powell, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Admiral Straw also held numerous operational and policy leadership positions at the Navy’s major logistics commands—and was Navy’s lead for logistics planning and execution of material and ordnance support to Navy and Marine Corps forces during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990-91.
Admiral Straw received multiple awards throughout his career, including Defense, Navy/Marine Corps and Air Force Distinguished Service Medals, the Ford Foundation’s Innovations in American Government Award and the Society of Logistics Engineers’ Founders Medal. He is a distinguished graduate of the United States Navy Supply Corps School and recipient of the Navy Supply Corps’ Lifetime Achievement Award.
Admiral Straw holds a Master of Business Administration degree from The George Washington University, a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, and is a graduate of the National War College.
In addition to the boards listed above, he is a Trustee of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, a member of the Department of Defense Science Board, and has served on the Board of Directors of Eddie Bauer, MeadWestvaco, Panther Expedited Services, the Navy Federal Credit Union, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Boy Scouts of America. He has also served in an advisory role to the IBM Federal Group and PRTM Management Consultants.
Admiral Straw is currently working with a group of patriots to regain medical benefits for “Blue Water” Vietnam veterans suffering from Agent Orange-related diseases.
Admiral Straw has three daughters—Silvana, Meg, and Katie. He resides in New York City and Annapolis, Maryland with his wife, Christine.
Rear Admiral (Ret.) Caesar is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member and a Surface Warfare Officer who earned his commission from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1977. He also holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from the College of William & Mary. Admiral Caesar is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI Fellow in Foreign Politics, International Relations, and the National Interest. During Admiral Caesar’s period of initial active service, his sea duty assignments included USS Dale (CG 19) and USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) where he served in the Engineering, Weapons, and Operations Departments.
Admiral Caesar transitioned to the Reserve Component in 1983. He has held a variety of assignments including battle watch director for Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet; area air defense commander, Atlantic; and deputy commander, Navy Reserve Readiness Command, Mid-Atlantic. He has commanded four Reserve units including, Personnel Mobilization Team 3106; Surface Warfare Development Group; OPNAV Surface Warfare Division; and, Naval Inspector General Detachment 106.
Active duty assignments include Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Joint Forces Command; Chief of Naval Operations Transition Team; Commander, Navy Installations Command; Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet; Naval War College; OPNAV Surface Warfare Division; Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center Atlantic; and, NATO exercises in the European and Pacific theatres.
Admiral Caesar’s first Flag assignment was Reserve deputy, Commander Navy Installations Command, Washington, D.C.
Before his final assignment as the Reserve deputy director, J7, Joint and Coalition Warfighting, Caesar served as vice director, Joint Concept Development and Experimentation, J9, U.S. Joint Forces Command, in Suffolk, Va.
Admiral Caesar’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Caesar was awarded the Blacks in Government Meritorious Service Award. He is also a member of the Secretary of Defense Reserve Forces Policy Board.
Major General Clarence K.K. Chinn is an Academy Securities’ Board Member.
Major General Chinn brings decades of experience to Academy’s Advisory Board, having served in the U.S. Army for over 36 years. He most recently served as Commander, U.S. Army South, where he was responsible for the conduct and support of multinational operations and security operations in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility (31 countries and 15 areas of special sovereignty in Central/South America and the Caribbean) in order to counter transregional transnational threat networks and strengthen regional security in defense of the homeland. Prior to this assignment, Major General Chinn served as the Deputy Commander for United States Army Special Operations Command, as the Senior Commander at Fort Bragg, a $32 billion dollar industry for North Carolina annually, and Commanding General at Fort Polk, LA.
Major General Chinn is a 1981 graduate of the United States Military Academy and holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. He has served as an Infantry officer, commanding at every level, with extensive time serving with Airborne / Ranger units. Currently residing in Aiea, Hawaii, Major General Chinn has been assisting United States Army Pacific with their Regional Leader Development Program – Pacific.
Lieutenant General (Ret.) David A. Deptula is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member.
Lieutenant General Deptula served in the United States Air Force for more than 34 years where he took part in operations, planning, and command leadership at the most senior levels. He was the principal attack planner for the 1991 Operation Desert Storm air campaign, commander of no-fly-zone operations over Iraq in the late 1990s, and director of the air campaign over Afghanistan in 2001. Additionally, Lieutenant General Deptula was twice a joint task force commander and was the air commander for the 2005 South Asia tsunami relief operations. His last assignment was as the Air Force’s first deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), where he transformed America’s military ISR and drone enterprises.
Lieutenant General Deptula serves as the Dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies in Arlington, Virginia, and is a Senior Military Scholar at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is a fighter pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours (400 in combat) including multiple command assignments in the F-15. Defense News Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in U.S. defense in 2014.
Danelle Barrett is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member and retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral. Ms. Barrett served as Director of Current Operations at U.S. Cyber Command and assumed duties in 2017 as the Navy Cyber Security Division Director and Deputy Chief Information Officer on the Chief of Naval Operations staff. In her last position in the U.S. Navy, she led the Navy’s strategic development and execution of digital and cyber security efforts, enterprise information technology improvements and cloud policy, and governance for over 700,000 personnel across a global network. She is one of less than 200 women in history to achieve the U.S. Naval rank of admiral.
Rear Admiral Barrett is a graduate of Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in History where she received her commission as an officer from the U. S. Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. She holds Masters of Arts in Management, National Security Strategic Studies, and Human Resources Development. She also earned a Master of Science in Information Management. Ms. Barrett has several military decorations including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Women in Technology Leadership Award, and the Executive Women’s Forum Women of Influence Award. She has published 40 articles on cyber, technology, innovation, and leadership. Her book, “Rock the Boat: Encourage Innovation, Lead Change and Be a Successful Leader” was released in June 2021.
General Manager, Microsoft Cloud Supply Chain
Rear Admiral (Ret.) Mark Heinrich | Advisor
Rear Admiral Mark Heinrich is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member and the founder of Oakleaf Software. ‘Oakleaf’ is a cloud-based enterprise software company with a focus on planning and supply chain tools for the public and private sectors. Oakleaf also consults on a variety of comprehensive issues in the US and Canada, to include support to federal, state, and local governments.
Prior to founding Oakleaf Software, Admiral Heinrich was a General Manager at Microsoft, where he led a supply chain and logistics effort focused on building Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud. He was previously the CEO of AAMSI, an aerospace manufacturing & repair firm located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Additionally, he was a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal, a global performance improvement and turnaround firm, where he led the public sector business unit.
Admiral Heinrich is a 1979 graduate of the Naval Academy with a BS in Engineering. Admiral Heinrich also holds an MBA from the University of Kansas, as well as a Master of Science in Petroleum Management. Following graduation from the Naval Academy, he served for over 30 years as a Supply Corps Officer. In his final assignment in the Navy, he served as the Commander of the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) and the 46th Chief of Supply Corps.
In addition, Heinrich commanded the Defense Logistics Agency’s aviation center of excellence in Richmond, Virginia, and served as the Director of Operations (J-3) of the Defense Logistics Agency in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. In 2008, Heinrich deployed to the Middle East as Director of the United States Central Command’s Deployment and Distribution Operations Center in Kuwait, where he applied deployment and distribution expertise to plan and execute joint & combined force military operations.
A native of the Carolinas, Mastin Robeson was commissioned in 1975 and served over 34 years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps, during which time he served in more than 60 countries. He retired from the Marine Corps in February 2010. Major General Robeson served in combat zones in Liberia, Desert Storm, Somalia, Bosnia, Horn of Africa, Southern Philippines, Iraq and Afghanistan. He commanded at every operational level in the Marine Corps, including a counter terrorism task force in combat, the 2d and 3d Marine Divisions, and the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. He served as Military Assistant to Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen and as General Dave Petraeus’ Director of Strategy, Plans, and Assessments in Iraq, where he was responsible for writing and assessing the 2007 Crocker/Petraeus surge campaign plan.
He is an honor graduate of the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School and Command & Staff College, a graduate of Bryan College, and completed the Army’s Advanced Operational Arts Studies Fellowship. He also instructed at the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School and at the Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies.
Mastin is currently serving as President of USSidekick, an app-based software company that provides LAANC and NOTUM authorization for drones users, Mastin also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Upstate Warrior Solutions (non-profit assisting veterans and their families in the Upstate of South Carolina), is a member of the Greenville Health System’s Operations Council, and is a senior advisor to North America Rescue Inc. He frequently speaks on leadership and corporate culture transformation, and he continues to support studies and education efforts in Africa, the Middle East, South America and the Pacific Rim.
Mastin, previously, served as the President and CEO of Imperatis Corp. in Arlington, Virginia, as a senior advisor to Royal TenCate, as a senior advisor to Developing Alternatives Incorporated, on several Boards of Directors and Boards of Advisors, and on a college Board of Trustees.
Mastin is married to his college sweetheart of 47 years and has four children and eleven grandchildren.
Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member.
Brigadier General (Ret.) Anthony J. Tata | Advisor
Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata (U.S. Army, retired) is a cross functional leader involved in an array of successful business ventures including aviation cargo, cold supply chain and home medical care. Previously, he performed the duties of Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, the #3 position in the United States Department of Defense. His leadership in DoD included implementing the National Defense Strategy and working closely with allies and partners to achieve strategic defense goals globally. His distinguished military career includes commands in the 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne Divisions and the 10th Mountain Division as well as operations in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Croatia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Panama, and Haiti. He served as the deputy director of the Joint Improvised Device Defeat Organization leading the effort to find creative solutions to defeat IED networks in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan while also training the force to fight on a complex battlefield. In his civilian life, Mr. Tata has served as Secretary of Transportation for the state of North Carolina with its 62 airports, 2 seaports, 22 ferries, 88,000 miles of highway, and 3 railroads. He also led Wake County Public School System to unprecedented gains as superintendent in charge of 150,000 students and 170 schools and served as chief operating officer of Washington, DC Public Schools. In addition to supply chain and medical technology, Mr. Tata is also focused on maritime real estate, asset management software solutions, special needs education software, cybersecurity, and oil/gas infrastructure. He is also the bestselling author of 14 novels and a frequent guest commentator on a variety of cable news channels regarding foreign policy. Tony presently serves on the board of advisors of Academy Securities, and recently served on the boards of the North Carolina Heroes Fund, Spectacular Solar (publicly traded), and Sabrewing Aircraft Company in addition to the North Carolina Ports Authority, Global TransPark, and Turnpike Boards. He has two amazing adult children and resides in North Palm Beach, Florida, with his wife Laura and their dogs Snowy and Bandit.
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Robert P. Ashley is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member. Lieutenant General (Ret.) Robert P. Ashley, Jr. retired from the U.S. Army November 2020 after over 36 years of active duty service as an intelligence officer. He assumed his last duty position on 3 October 2017 when he became the 21st Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). He formerly served as the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2, where he was the senior advisor to the Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff for all aspects of intelligence, counterintelligence and security. He has commanded at the company, battalion, squadron, and brigade levels with six combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a squadron, brigade commander, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (J-2). Other key assignments include the Director of Intelligence, United States Joint Special Operations Command; the Director of Intelligence, United States Central Command; the Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence, International Security Assistance Force and Director of Intelligence, United States Forces, Afghanistan; and Commanding General and Commandant United States Army Intelligence Center and School Fort Huachuca, AZ.
Lieutenant General Ashley has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Appalachian State University, a master’s degree in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University (formerly known as the Defense Intelligence College) and a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College. Lieutenant General (Ret.) Ashley is the CEO of Ashley Global Leadership and Security (LLC). He and his spouse, Barbara, have two sons – Justin and Sean. Sean is married to the former Lucy Backer and they have two sons, Arthur and Keaton.
Rear Admiral (Ret.) A.B. Cruz III is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member. (N)
Rear Admiral (Ret.) A.B. Cruz III is a seasoned C-Suite Executive, Senior Adviser, and Former Navy Admiral. Throughout his career, he has helped lead four public (NASDAQ: VIA & SSP | NYSE: SNI & EBS) and three private companies (USAA, BET, ARINC)—spanning several very different highly regulated industries and representing over $60B in total annual revenue—through challenge, crisis and change. During his 33+ year military career, he shaped and led numerous high-performing operational teams in demanding, high-stress and ambiguous environments, and represented the United States internationally in multiple high-level engagements with foreign militaries.
Rear Admiral Cruz is a board director and the nominating & governance committee chair at Graf Acquisition Corp. IV. and is a Senior Advisor at BarkerGilmore LLC where he provides executive coaching, leadership development and executive search services to legal leaders, CEOs and corporate boards. He is also currently the President of the Board of Governors for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. He previously served as Senior Vice President & Divisional General Counsel at USAA, a Fortune 100 financial services company, where he led the legal teams that supported the Company’s C-suite members and their organizations. He spearheaded the optimization of the chief legal office’s operating and interaction models and reviewed and approved new products and services to foster USAA’s future growth, competitiveness, and technology transformation.
Prior to USAA, Rear Admiral Cruz was Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, Chief Compliance & Ethics Officer, and PAC chairman for Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. Before Emergent, he concurrently served as the Deputy Director of Maritime Operations for U.S. Fleet Forces Command and as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary for Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. Prior to that, Rear Admiral Cruz was the Deputy Commander for both U.S. 4th Fleet and Naval Forces Southern Command and served as the Executive Vice President & General Counsel for The E.W. Scripps Company.
Rear Admiral Cruz holds a JD from The Catholic University of America, an MA in Marketing from The University of Maryland, and a BS in General Engineering & Physical Sciences from U.S. Naval Academy. He currently serves on the boards of the Naval War College Foundation, Yellow Ribbon Fund, American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative, World Affairs Council of San Antonio, Down Syndrome Association of South Texas, and Saint Mary’s Hall. He also serves as a board trustee and governance committee member for the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association & Foundation. He has served on many other boards over his distinguished career, including as the board chair for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and as an advisory board member at both Bellatorum Resources and VetStoreUSA.
Rear Admiral William Byrne is an Academy Securities Advisory Board Member.
Rear Admiral William Byrne retired from the Navy in August of 2022 after 35 years of service. His final assignments in the military were at the Pentagon as the Director of Warfare Development for the Chief of Naval Operations where he developed the Navy strategy and ensured alignment of the Navy budget to that strategy; and as Vice Director of the Joint Staff where he directed the day-to-day operation of the Joint Staff, a diverse organization of 2,000 civilian and military members that formulates the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s advice on military matters to the Secretary of Defense and the President of the United States.
Rear Admiral Byrne served in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer, making several world-wide deployments on his many ships. Highlights in uniform include commanding both a frigate and a cruiser and leading a tremendously successful combat deployment as Commander of Carrier Strike Group ELEVEN and the NIMITZ Strike Group. He served in a variety of duty stations across the United States, and also overseas in Guam, Japan and the Republic of Korea where he was Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea.
Born in San Francisco to Irish immigrants, Rear Admiral Byrne grew up in nearby Pacifica, California, and became a first-generation college student, graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1987. He later earned a Master’s degree from the National Defense University. An avid fitness enthusiast and life-long sports junky, he learned early the key traits of competitiveness, toughness and resilience through his participation in year-round team sports. Rear Admiral Byrne was a record-setting quarterback and football team captain at the Naval Academy and was honored in 2015 by the National Football Foundation with their Distinguished American Award. His wife, Amy, is a Naval Academy classmate and fellow varsity athlete. Four of their five children are also Naval Academy graduates and former varsity athletes and are all serving proudly in the Fleet.
Lieutenant General Michael Groen is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member.
Lieutenant General Groen served over 36 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, culminating his career as the Director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, and the senior executive for AI in the Department of Defense. He previously served at the National Security Agency, overseeing Computer Network Operations, and as the Director of Joint Staff Intelligence (JSJ2), working closely with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Secretary of Defense and Senior Leaders across the Department. Lieutenant General Groen is an experienced Marine commander and multi-tour combat veteran. He is the author of, With the First Marine Division in Iraq, No Greater Friend, No Worse Enemy.
Lieutenant General Groen’s expertise centers on transformative technology and its application in Defense, the Intelligence Community, and the commercial marketplace. He is an experienced change-agent, with a penchant for modernizing capabilities, integrating technology, and adapting organizations and cultures. He is a skilled advisor, with deep experience in the key roles of process, culture, technology and ethics. His focus areas include Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Quantum implementation, National Security and Digital Transformation. He has earned Master’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics from the Naval Postgraduate School. Today, he seeks to inform transformational change in defense technology, intelligence and information capabilities against the backdrop of expanding definitions of national security and American competitiveness.
Vice Admiral (Ret.) Sean S. Buck is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member.
Admiral Buck retired from the United States Navy after more than 40 years of commissioned service. His active-duty career culminated as the 63rd Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy. He has over a decade of service in the Pentagon with tours of duty on the Navy Staff and the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he specialized in strategy and policy development as well as personnel management. He additionally leveraged unique opportunities in his career by earning designation as a member of the Navy’s Space Cadre while serving at the National Reconnaissance Office. Admiral Buck’s operational naval service was as a Naval Flight Officer in the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance naval aviation community accumulating over 4000 flight hours and command-level leadership at the Squadron, Air Wing, and three higher-level organizations culminating with command of the US FOURTH Fleet.
Admiral Buck graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1983 and holds a Master of Arts in International Security Policy from The George Washington University. He has completed additional studies from organizations including the U.S. Naval War College, the Armed Forces Staff College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard Graduate School of Education. He currently serves in many roles to include as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Defense Industry Association and a member of its Policy Committee, a Military Advisory Board member to First Command Financial Services, a Trustee to the US Naval Academy’s Athletic and Scholarship Program, a committee member of the US National Naval Museum.
Craig Moringiello is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member.
Craig Moringiello retired from the FBI after serving 20 years in law enforcement specializing in cybersecurity investigations, insider threat cases, and intellectual property theft with assignments in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, and Phoenix. He also served at FBI and CIA Headquarters in national security program management positions. During his career, he was responsible for many high-profile investigations and held different executive management roles, including leading the Cyber, Counterintelligence and Technical programs in Arizona and the Counterintelligence and Crisis Negotiation programs in Indiana. He strongly believes in educating private, public, and academic organizations on best practices to protect their data from cyber and human enabled theft.
Craig is a graduate from the United States Naval Academy and served for 10 years as a Naval Flight Officer. He has a master’s degree in Aeronautical Science and possesses a CERT Certificate in Cybersecurity Leadership from Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute.
Drew Wolff – Advisor
Mr. Wolff is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member.
Mr. Wolff is the former Treasurer of Starbucks Coffee Company as well as CFO of their International and Channel Development divisions, serving in this capacity from 2014 to 2020. Mr. Wolff has over 20 years of experience in senior financial and strategic planning roles in large retail banks with operations worldwide. Most recently, Mr. Wolff served as a Director at the Seattle Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Mr. Wolff also worked at Washington Mutual and Barclays in London. He is currently an Audit Committee Member at BECU Credit Union in Washington.
Mr. Wolff holds degrees from the U.S. Naval Academy and the University of Michigan. Before entering the business world, he served as a Naval officer on board several nuclear submarines.
Christopher Perkins is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member. He comes to the Firm’s Advisory Board after a 13-year career at Citigroup as a Managing Director and Global Co-Head of Futures, Clearing and FX Prime Brokerage. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Mr. Perkins’ nine-year military career included service in Iraq during the Global War on Terrorism. He founded Citigroup’s Military Veterans Networks and is the co-founder of “Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS),” an initiative dedicated to honoring former and current military personnel by facilitating career and business opportunities in the financial services industry. Mr. Perkins also recently launched Veterans In Digital Assets (VIDA), a non-profit initiative focused on identifying employment opportunities for veterans in the digital asset and crypto space. Additionally, Mr. Perkins is the President of CoinFund, a diverse investment firm focused on digital assets and decentralized technologies.
Mr. Perkins graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, with distinction, and earned a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from Georgetown University.
Michael López-Alegría is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member and Chief Astronaut at Axiom Space. He is a decorated astronaut who returned to low-Earth orbit for the fifth time in 2022 as Commander of Axiom Mission 1, history’s first all-private crew to the International Space Station. “Mike L-A” (as he’s known to the space community) is involved in both operational and business development efforts within Axiom Space.He has more than 40 years of aviation and space experience with the U.S. Navy and NASA in a variety of roles including Naval Aviator, engineering test pilot and program manager, NASA astronaut, and International Space Station commander. He also holds NASA records for most extravehicular activities (EVAs) or ”spacewalks” (10) and cumulative EVA time (67 hours, 40 minutes). He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2021.
Mike L-A is the former president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, where he was a spokesman, thought leader, and advocate with the U.S. Congress and pertinent Executive Agencies for favorable public policy on behalf of the commercial spaceflight industry. He has served on several advisory boards and committees of public and private organizations, including the Human Exploration and Operations Committee of the NASA Advisory Council and the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) to the FAA, and is the current chairman of ASTM International’s Committee on Commercial Spaceflight as well as past President of the Association of Space Explorers. He earned a B.S. in systems engineering at the United States Naval Academy and an M.S. in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Mr. Rusate is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member and President & Founder of Rusate Capital Management.
Mr. Rusate is a Former Managing Director at the General Electric Company where he was the Treasurer of GE’s largest division, Power. He also had responsibility for foreign exchange and commodity risk management as well as sovereign risk. Additionally, Mr. Rusate served on the GE Pension Trust Asset Allocation Committee.
Prior to his positions at GE, Mr. Rusate spent the first 8 years of his career with Union Carbide in various International Treasury assignments. Mr. Rusate was selected as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Finance in June 2007 by Treasury & Risk Magazine. He served two terms as a Foreign Exchange Sub-Committee member of the New York Federal Reserve. Additionally, Mr. Rusate is a past President of the National Association of Credit Management. Mr. Rusate’s Trade Request System (TRS) was the 2003 winner of the Euro Finance Treasury Excellence Award. The natural gas simulator he co-developed won the 2006 Alexander Hamilton Award.
Mr. Rusate graduated from Quinnipiac College in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Finance. Mr. Rusate resides in Naples, Florida.
Mr. Lyons has worked in the financial services industry for over 25 years. After receiving his MBA from University of Chicago in 1987, he went to Merrill Lynch where he worked on the Debt Capital Markets desk. During his 22 year career at Merrill Lynch he held a variety of debt origination positions, including Global Head of Debt Capital Markets from 2001 through 2005. His final position at Merrill was Vice Chairman in Investment Banking. While at Merrill Lynch, Mr. Lyons served on the board of Merrill Lynch Leasing Company and the Cayman Island Branch of Merrill Lynch Bank. From 2010 until 2013, Mr. Lyons worked at Knight Capital Group. Initially, Mr. Lyons ran the Debt Origination business but was soon promoted to Senior Managing Director and Co-Head of the Fixed Income Division. The Knight Fixed Income Division included both a sales and trading operation as well as a mortgage company. At Knight, Mr. Lyons served on the firm’s executive committee. Currently, Mr. Lyons has a consulting practice that advises other securities firms on their fixed income operations.
Mr. Lyons has a BA in Economics from Hamilton College and a Masters of Science in Accounting from NYU.
Edward Adler is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member and head of the US credit investment platform for GreenOak Real Estate.
Before joining GreenOak, Mr. Adler ran the US Commercial Real Estate Group for Deutsche Bank. Earlier in his career, Mr. Adler ran the Asian Real Estate Finance and Securitization businesses for Deutsche Bank Securities in Tokyo, Japan. Mr. Adler has also worked at Citigroup as their Head of Americas and the Asian Real Estate Finance business for their Fixed Income Division.
Mr. Adler graduated with honors from Union College with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. Additionally, Mr. Adler is an adjunct professor at Columbia’s School of Real Estate Development Program.
Mr. Adler serves on the board of The Catalog for Giving, a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of New York City children by identifying and providing crucial funding and operational support to emerging innovative community-based organizations that assist underserved youth throughout New York City.
Mr. Clarke is an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member.
Mr. Clarke is a former Managing Director at J.P. Morgan Securities. Mr. Clarke joined J.P. Morgan in 1977 and held various management positions at the firm over his 41+ year tenure. His career began in institutional sales and moved to the underwriting desk in 1982 which he headed from 1984 to 2009. From 2009 to 2017, Mr. Clarke was Vice Chairman of Public Finance.
Mr. Clarke served two terms on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board of which he was Chairman from 2009 to 2010. Mr. Clarke is a Past President of the Municipal Bond Club of New York, served on the Municipal Forum of New York Board, and is currently a FINRA arbitrator.
Mr. Clarke received a B.A. from the University of Virginia.
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Vincent R. Stewart was an Academy Securities’ Advisory Board Member.
Lieutenant General Stewart served in the United States Marine Corps for over 35 years. He most recently served as Deputy Commander, U.S. Cyber Command. Prior to this assignment, Lieutenant General Stewart served as the 20th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
A native of Chicago, Illinois, by way of Kingston, Jamaica, Lieutenant General Stewart graduated from Western Illinois University, earning his commission in 1981. He has served as an armor officer and subsequently as a signals intelligence and intelligence officer, commanding at every level. Lieutenant General Stewart earned master’s degrees in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, Newport, R.I. and in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.
Lieutenant General Stewart’s military decorations include: the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit with one gold star; the Bronze Star; the Meritorious Service Medal with one gold star; the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, with two gold stars; the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal; the Combat Action Ribbon; the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal; and various unit awards.
Lieutenant General Stewart retired from the U.S. Marine Corps at the Marine Barracks Washington on April 5, 2019.
William Wright was an Academy Securities’ Board member.
Born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, Mr. Wright graduated from Duke University Law School and received his CPA at the age of 25. While a law student, Bill taught managerial accounting at Duke to the Business School students, using the Wall Street Journal as his textbook. After graduating law school and becoming a third-generation lawyer in his family, he moved back to Nebraska to work for his father’s firm, Cline Williams, Wright, Johnson and Oldfather. He later started AMCON Distributing, a company that distributed beer and convenience store goods, which he grew into a successful publicly traded (NYSE) company.
Mr. Wright was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of AMCON Corporation, in addition to being a founder and senior partner at Wright, Rembolt, Ludtke, Milligan & Berger. He was a Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors with the Nebraska Industrial Finance Authority (NIFA) and served as a personal consul to the Governor of Nebraska in that role.