LTG Blackwell is the President and Owner of PEB Consulting LLC; a South Carolina based Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB). PEB Consulting provides a full range of consulting services to defense and commercial businesses seeking to grow in the domestic and international markets to include strategic planning, business development, senior advisory boards, competitive analysis, teaming, program reviews, etc. The company provides assistance to domestic and international companies seeking to grow in either the domestic or international market place. LTG Blackwell’s operational understanding, strategic insight, broad base of military experiences and business acumen will strengthen and expand marketing skills of any organization. Throughout his years of military service and subsequent business travels, he has established excellent contacts, both domestically and internationally.
During his 31 year career in the United States Army, LTG Blackwell held a wide variety of command and staff positions including assignment as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (G3), Department of the Army and Commanding General, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Other key assignments include Deputy Director of Operations, National Military Command Center, Washington, DC; Commanding General, 2d Armored Division (Forward)), Garlstedt, Federal Republic of Germany, and Assistant Division Commander, 3d Armored Division, Federal Republic of Germany.
LTG Blackwell has served in virtually every type of US Army Division--light infantry, airborne infantry, mechanized infantry, motorized infantry and armor. He commanded at all levels from Platoon to Division. He served two tours in Vietnam and participated in the liberation of Kuwait with the 3d Armored Division. He was instrumental in leading the United States Army into the era of digitized command and control.
LTG Blackwell is a highly decorated combat veteran. Among his numerous awards and decorations are the Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Silver Star (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Bronze Star with V device (with eight Oak Leaf Clusters), the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Senior Parachutist Badge and the British Parachutist Badge.
Upon his retirement from the United States Army in 1996, LTG Blackwell became a consultant to Hughes Aircraft Company providing advice on operational military matters with a focus on command and control. He was a Vice President of Raytheon Company from 2001 until his retirement in June 2012. During this period he held multiple executive positions. From 2001 until 2003, he served as Vice President for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence where he focused on bringing C3I programs to the DOD.
In 2003, he assumed duties as Vice President, Strategic Initiatives for Network Centric Systems, a $4 billion dollar business of Raytheon. In this capacity he matched customer needs with technology. An example is Persistent Surveillance and Dissemination System of Systems (PSDS2), which revolutionized real time situational awareness in Iraq saving countless, lives. Blackwell personally deployed the system to Iraq early in the conflict.
In 2005, Blackwell was selected to head a group focused on rapidly identifying and rapidly solving customer needs. He became the Vice President of the Rapid initiative Group that identified hundreds of millions of dollars in new opportunities for Raytheon while meeting critical customer needs.
In 2009 LTG Blackwell was appointed as Vice Present, Business Development, Network Centric Systems, a $4.5 billion business focused on providing networked solutions to the warfighter. In this role he led a 75 person BD team that focused on growth aligned with the customer needs always putting the customer first. He was also the Raytheon primary interface with US Army CECOM and Special Operations Command.
Upon his retirement from Raytheon in July 2012, LTG Blackwell established PEB Consulting, LLC as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) focusing on consulting services to defense and commercial companies both domestically and internationally.
LTG Blackwell is the past President of the Clemson University Foundation Board and remains an ardent Clemson supporter.
John Petz is currently Director of Real Estate & Public Affairs at Domino’s Farms Corporation, a property management and land development company in Ann Arbor Township, Michigan. In his capacity, he manages land development projects on Domino’s Farms’ nearly 1,600 acres of property in northeastern Ann Arbor. He also serves as the public liaison with elected officials and the greater business community.
He has been heavily involved with the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber, including serving as Chair of the Board of Directors in 2011. He chaired the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee in 2008-2009. During his term on the Executive Committee of the Board he was instrumental in 2010 to help the former Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti community chambers merge into the Regional Chamber.
He is also actively engaged with the Urban Land Institute, the pre-eminent professional real estate association, including serving on the Michigan Chapter’s Program Committee.
Previously, he served as Southeast Michigan Director for former-United States Senator E. Spencer Abraham (R-Michigan). In that capacity he managed strategic outreach in the greater Metro Detroit region and was responsible for constituent relations on Transportation, Justice and Interior Department matters.
He holds a Masters of Business Administration degree in Finance from Walsh College. He also holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Economics from University of Michigan.
Matthew is CEO & founder of Trojan Defense and a veteran entrepreneur. His first successful venture, SkyBitz, is a leading provider of satellite based mobile tracking and data information services to the transportation industry. SkyBitz was originally known as Eagle Eye Technologies, Inc. The firm was founded on two Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contracts from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and two contracts from the U.S. Air Force and ultimately developed a satellite active RFID tracking tag that could be tracked from geosynchronous orbit without an embedded GPS receiver for up to four years on internal ‘AA’ batteries. Under Matthew’s leadership SkyBitz joined forces with Motorola, Solectron, Mobile Satellite Ventures LP, and launched the revolutionary Global Locating System (GLS).
Matthew successfully commercialized the GLS technology in 2002 with Landstar as a launch customer. Today USTRANSCOM requires all carriers hauling Arms, Ammunition, and Explosives in trailers to tag and track with satellite tracking devices, an innovation first brought to market by SkyBitz in 2002. Today SkyBitz tracks over 200,000 trailers, sea containers, and rail cars across North America and overseas. In 2007 SkyBitz received Deloitte’s #2 ranking in their Wireless Fast Fifty listing in the U.S. Wireless Sector, surpassed only by Sirius Satellite Radio. The Deloitte ranking is measured over a five- year growth period (2002 to 2007).
Matthew’s entrepreneurial experience includes Matrics, a passive RFID tag firm acquired by Symbol Technologies in 2004, and WhereNet, an active RFID wireless tracking tag firm acquired by Zebra Technologies in 2007. At Matrics, Matthew managed the Hong Kong Airport RFID deployment. Matthew also supported the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office / Department of Homeland Security as part of the Systems Engineering Support Program for Mantech International from October 2010 to early March 2012.
Matthew sits on the advisory board of the JMH Group. He is an active member of NDIA, IEEE, and NDTA.
Matthew holds a S.M. in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from the George Washington University.
Charles Smith serves as Vice-President and General Counsel at ABC General and Mechanical Services specializing in federal contracting and procurement. Prior to joining ABC, Mr. Smith served as Associate Director of Government Relations under former U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters, where his primary responsibilities included Appropriations, Federal Highways, Federal Transit, and Federal Motor Carrier Administrations.
At the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mr. Smith worked directly with Members of Congress and staff on a variety of surface transportation legislative issues, provided legislative oversight to the different modes within DOT, and coordinated DOT congressional activity with other DOT modal agencies to ensure strategic continuity.
Mr. Smith’s professional background also includes representing numerous clients in commercial litigation, primarily concentrated in the areas of construction and real estate law. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Smith served as a staff member for the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee under Chairman Don Young.
Mr. Smith received his Bachelor of Arts from University of Maryland College Park and his law degree from University of Baltimore. Mr. Smith is a member of the Maryland Bar.
Leo A. Vondas is an entrepreneur and the principal of Bethesda Properties, LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. He is also the managing member of Capital Management and Development, LLC.
Mr. Vondas owns and manages a diverse portfolio of Properties including: multifamily, retail, and commercial in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area.
Leo Vondas was a past Director of the following banking institutions: Jefferson Bank, Maryland; Suburban Bank. Maryland; and Fidelity and Trust Bank, Maryland. He continues as an advisory director at American Bank, Maryland.
EDUCATION: B.S., Towson University, M.S., Bowie State University
Post-graduate schools attended: American University, University of Maryland
Eric specializes in corporate, finance and general business law. He counsels public and private companies in all aspects of corporate law including formations, intellectual property, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and shareholder disputes.
Mergers and Acquisitions:Counsels buyers and sellers in acquisitions and divestitures through mergers, reorganizations and sales of stock and assets, and renders advice on the related tax treatment of acquisitions and divestitures pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code.
Intellectual Property:Counsels companies with respect to the development, commercialization and licensing of intellectual property for a wide range of software, electronics, telecommunications, cloud computing, digital media, Internet, and clean technology companies. Eric counsels clients on strategies to optimize their technology and other assets, advising them on a variety of legal and business issues, such as collaboration, development, manufacture, supply and distribution agreements, technology acquisitions, licensing and development agreements, and the formation of joint ventures and other types of strategic alliances.
Corporate Finance: Counsels lenders and borrowers in creating, documenting and closing asset-backed securitizations and other structured finance transactions, and clients with regard to private equity transactions, including venture capital, leveraged buy-out and mezzanine debt transactions.
Corporate Governance: Counsels companies and boards of directors on fiduciary duties, board and committee governance and structure, board leadership, officer and director transactions, shareholder disputes, risk oversight, conflicts of interest, relationships with stockholders and compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements.