Matt Johnson formed Aerovar in 2012 to make investments and fund research in aerospace and defense. Aerovar is sponsoring applied research projects for the Air Force Institute of Technology and is working with startups and small businesses. A 1984 graduate of the Air Force Academy, Matt served as an officer from 1984-89, where he worked on the AWACS and tactical communications programs. After leaving the service Matt spent 19 years in private equity and banking. He became managing director of Apollo Management's German office, and a founding partner of the Euro 1.3 billion Apollo European Principal Finance Fund. Matt received his MBA from the Wharton School (1991). He is an avid long-distance swimmer, and completed a solo crossing of the English Channel, the 26-kilometer Lake Zurich Marathon Swim, and the 28-mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.
Norb Biderman is a senior executive at 3M Headquarters, St. Paul, MN. Norb was instrumental in creating 3M's defense division where he is now the Business Director. His responsibilities span 3M's vast commercially available product lines, systems, and services, as well as (45) 3M core technology platforms that can address Warfighter requirements. Norb is the recipient of the prestigious 2010 Architect of Defense Award from the Defense Alliance.
Justin is a business innovation strategist, corporate development professional, and management advisor with diverse work experience. Over the course of his career, he has worked with hundreds of companies and executed on over $2 billion of transactions. Justin co-founded and is currently the President for the Midwest Cleantech Open, an organization within the world's oldest and largest cleantech business accelerator.
Lindsey Hillesheim, PhD
Dr. Lindsey Hillesheim joined Adventium Enterprises in 2012 as a Senior Principal Research Scientist and Director of Business Development. Previously, Dr. Hillesheim was an Advisory Scientist at Strategic Analysis, Inc. (SAI) where she provided technical expertise and program management to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Prior to SAI, Dr. Hillesheim was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the Department of State. Dr. Hillesheim has over eight years of research experience in the areas of biological and medical physics, microscopy, spectroscopy, and imaging. She received her PhD in Physics from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in physics from Valparaiso University.
Bernie Gruber joined ATK in September 2013, where he is responsible for cost, schedule and technical performance of an international co-production program. In this capacity, he leads multiple integrated product teams and serves as the primary interface with the Department of State, Department of Defense and other Defense Ministries. Bernie is a retired Colonel who served 27 years in the U.S. Air Force. In August 2013 he completed service as the Program Director, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command at Los Angeles Air Force Base.
Timothy M. Connelly has practiced law for more than twenty years, representing individual clients and large government organizations in a wide variety of subject matter areas, including government contract disputes and fiscal law, environmental compliance, response, and remediation, public international law issues including complex international agreements and administrative personnel discharge hearings. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel who served for 20 years in the U.S. Army (Judge Advocate General (JAG) corps).