Shift is honored to announce our first cyber cohort of the AFVentures Fellowship. For six weeks this fall, emerging innovators from the U.S. military will immerse themselves within thirteen technology companies based in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Ann Arbor, New York, and Boston. Our first cyber cohort has representatives from the Navy, Marines, Air Force, and the Space Force with careers related to the discovery, evaluation, and mitigation of threats across the cyber domain.
Meet the AFVentures Fellows of the 2020 Cyber Cohort
- Capt Lillian Warner, Anduril, Security Engineer, Kessel Run - Det 12 AFLCMC
- Maj Chris Reichelt, Censys, Sr Test Director & C-130J Instructor Pilot, AMC Test and Evaluation
- 1Lt Ryan Scadlock, Expa, ISR Liaison Officer, 274th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS), 107th Attack Wing, NYANG
- Lt Col Dan Shinohara, Expanse, Deputy Div Chief for Resources, SAF/CN
- Maj Mary Kuconis, Expanse, Chief, ISR Cloud/Cyber Security, HAF A2/6, ISR CIO Office
- TSgt James Pitcher, Harpoon Ventures, Contracting Officer, 21st Contracting Squadron
- Lt Col Kyle Grygo, Lux Capital, Deputy Chief, Disruptive Technology Team, HAF/A5/7
- Lt Col Juan Doan, NEA, IMA to Chief, IT Investments Branch, Joint Force Headquarters for DoD Information Networks (JFHQ-DODIN)
- Maj Mark Lepczyk, NEA, C146A Command Chief Pilot, 661 Aeronautical Systems Squadron
- Capt Chanel Franklin,Observe Inc., Computer and Information Systems Manager, Defense Information Systems Agency
- Dr. Ralucca Gera, Shift, Professor Of Mathematics, Provost's office
- 1Lt Gareth Price, r2c, Innovation OIC, 11 SOIS
- Lt Col Drew Nowicki, Scale, PM of AI/ML Cross Functional Team, 919 SOCS
- 1Lt Greg Barrow, SecurityScorecard, Project Manager, Kessel Run
- Lt Col Jennifer-Ruth Green, SecurityScorecard, Commander, Cyber Operations, 122 CF
- Capt Sharon Rollins, Synack, Cyber Officer, MCCYWG
- Mr. Kevin Kelly, The Engine, Technical Director, PEO Digital, LCMC/HB
Founded in 2016 and based in San Francisco, California, Shift is a trusted labor marketplace for current and former members of the U.S. Military to discover careers, acquire and demonstrate new skills, and embark upon new job experiences at the best companies in the United States. From active duty service members in the midst of their military career to veterans who have made the transition to civilian life, Shift’s community platform allows its members to engage in career development services that keep them competitive in the current and future economy. Shift’s talent acquisition services provide our corporate partners with a talent pipeline of diverse, non-traditional, experienced and prepared candidates. Shift is a veteran-founded small business backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Expa, and Structure Capital.
About the AFVentures Fellowship
The AFVentures Industry Immersion Program was created in partnership with the AFWERX, the USAF’s innovation arm, through a Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR), a competitive award based program that allows small businesses to explore their technological potential while helping the U.S. Air Force meets its specific research and development needs.
Shift’s Industry Immersion Program (IIP), enables the U.S. Air Force (USAF), other Services, and Components of the DoD (DoD) to rapidly acquire industry-specific context and technical competence across mission-priority human capital needs by placing emerging USAF and DoD leaders into technology and business ecosystems across Silicon Valley and the United States. These immersive developmental opportunities increase the retention of the military’s most promising early and mid-career Airmen, Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and DoD Civilians, while creating long-lasting relationships between the USAF, DoD and the private sector. This IIP is designed to increase the quality of technology proficient Airmen to develop, deliver, operate, and maintain the enabling technology required across all of the USAF S&T Strategic Capabilities.
The AFVentures Fellowship is open to all components of the Department of Defense and selection is determined by experience. Fellows are expected to be on career trajectories heading toward senior leadership positions such as General Officers, Senior Executive Service, and Senior Enlisted Advisors. Cohorts are expected to run every three months through 2024. If you are interested in being notified about future programs or would like to follow along with updates from the cohort, you can sign up for our mailing list here.
2020 AFVentures Cyber Cohort
Captain Chanel D. Franklin currently serves in the role of Senior Battle Captain, Defense Information Systems Agency Pacific (DISA-PAC), Ford Island, Hawaii. In addition, she serves as the Interim Branch Chief, Current Operations Branch. Her responsibilities at DISA-PAC include leading 14 personnel who execute 24/7 oversight of the DISA Network Operations Center-Pacific (DNC-PAC) and are responsible for coordinating, de-conflicting and reporting on service interruptions as well as employing expert technical knowledge to paint an accurate and concise picture of cyber activity in the USINDOPACOM AOR and its impact to operations, exercises and contingencies in support of 360K Pacific Warfighters.
Captain Franklin was born at Ft Stewart, Georgia. She lived in Hope Mills, North Carolina, Westover, Maryland and Fairfax County, Virginia growing up, graduating from Falls Church High School in 2011. She earned her commission in 2015 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University via Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Captain Franklin attended Undergraduate Cyber Training at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi in 2016, and was assigned to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia upon completion. She arrived at Langley AFB in 2016, where she served as OIC of Client Systems, Chief of Integrations, Executive Officer and Flight Commander of the Cyber Operations flight. Captain Franklin enjoys watching comedy and horror shows/films, completing puzzles, and traveling to see family and friends.
Major Chris Reichelt is a C130J instructor pilot in the US Air Force with 1000+ flight hours, 250+ combat missions, and has deployed to theaters all over the globe. Currently, he serves as a senior test director for Air Mobility Command Test and Evaluation Squadron Joint Base MDL New Jersey, managing several high visibility test programs worth hundreds of millions of dollars. At AMC Test and Evaluation, Chris manages multi-organizational teams to discover solutions to the Air Force’s most pressing operational problems.
Perpetually interested in the conflux of technology and economics, Chris has a B.S. in Astronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a M.S. in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins, has his Series 65, and is a self-taught programmer. In 2015, Chris founded Reichelt Capital L.L.C., a private investment fund to directly apply novel AI influenced investment strategies. Chris has a wide range of experiences, interests, and expertise including systems testing and development, leadership, programming, space systems engineering, 3D printing, and investing.
Lieutenant Colonel Dan J. Shinohara is the Deputy Division Chief of Resources for the Deputy Chief Information Officer of the Department of the Air Force. He oversees the Plans, Programs, Budget and Execution at the Department of the Air Force Cyberspace and IT investments of $8 billion dollars per year along with the acquisitions and organizational budget of 300 million dollars per year for the office of the Deputy CIO.
In his previous assignment, Lt Col Shinohara was the Commander of the 83d Network Operations Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. He led 367 military, civilian and contractor personnel across two geographically separated locations supporting the command and control, core services, network security and information sharing needs of more than 845 thousand personnel worldwide.
Lt Col Shinohara has held joint headquarters, major command, field operating agency and squadron assignments. In these capacities, he directed enterprise core service management, organized coalition Command and Control interoperability testing, obtained funding for and managed multi-million dollar network infrastructure programs and led cyber support operations for the Joint Surveillance Target and Radar System (JSTARS) platform.
Lt Col Shinohara is married to Dr. Fritzie Shinohara and they have three children.
Andrew “Drew” Nowicki Drew is a highly experienced professional implementing and executing critical Department of Defense (DoD) initiatives pertaining to technology, space, AI/ML and multi-disciplined security operations. His private sector consulting experience crosses different lines of business spanning strategy, finance, program management and banking compliance.
Drew has an extensive record in client relationship management, performance improvement, digital innovation, cyberspace operations--delivering solutions addressing security threats and vulnerabilities. He has demonstrated leadership supporting senior executive level objectives while complying with organizational internal controls, corporate governance as well as federal laws/regulations.
His international experience abroad entails assignments at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland and at U.S. European Command in Germany. Drew is a Cyberspace Officer and FAO in USAF Reserve with previous employment at J.P. Morgan Chase and Deloitte. Currently, Drew is supporting Project Maven on military status while also a Squadron Commander of the 919th Special Operations Communication Squadron, as a Traditional Reservist. In this capacity he leads a team of 97 military members, civilians and contractors overseeing a $32M network, delivering IT support to 6,000 total force users supporting Special Operations and Remotely-Piloted Aircraft missions.
Drew has earned a Masters of Business Administration from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science in Management from the United States Air Force Academy.
1st Lieutenant Gareth Price is a Cyber Operations Officer in the United States Air Force. He is currently stationed at Hurlburt Field, Florida as the Officer-In-Charge of the 11th Special Operations Intelligence Squadron’s Innovation Cell. His team has fielded 23 applications over the last year through their DevSecOps pipeline for use by their operations flights. Gareth is currently building a next-generation data management system that will integrate massive amounts of human and AI produced data in order to accelerate mission objectives and personnel information.
Lt Price is a 2017 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a degree in Computer Science where he was an instructor for the Cadet Space Operations Squadron and a member of the DARPA Service Academies Swarm Challenge team building and developing tactics and custom VR control systems for swarms of small UAVs. He spends his free time designing custom hardware and software for household IoT devices and volunteering to educate students in STEM through programming, 3D printing, drone flight, and various other mediums.
1st Lieutenant Greg Barrow is an Acquisitions Officer in the United States Air Force, currently serving as the Project Manager for the Unit Level Intelligence program within Kessel Run at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts. Prior to this position, he served as Officer-in-Charge of the Patriot Honor Guard, leading a team of 70 Airmen stationed across New England to perform military funeral honors for 2.5K fallen veterans each year. Greg has also served as the Program Manager for Air Force Vulnerability Management and as a Project Officer for Theater Deployable Communications, both within the Enterprise IT and Cyber Division of the C3I&N Directorate.
Greg received his B.A. in Economics and Spanish from DePauw University, and his M.A. in Public Management from Johns Hopkins University. He was commissioned to the Air Force via Officer Training School in 2017, where he graduated first in his class of 238 cadets. Outside of the military, Greg is active in the nonprofit community, serving on the Boards of several charities, including his own social startup Just One Penny, Inc.
Technical Sergeant James Pitcher is a Contracting Officer for the 21st Contracting Squadron supporting the newly established US Space Force at the Peterson-Schriever Garrison in Colorado. In his current role, he provides procurement support for five radar sites around the globe associated with the Solid State Phased Array Radar System (SSPARS) program. He has also provided contracting support related to commodities, services, and construction requirements during an assignment with the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina as well as two deployments to the Middle East.
At the end of the year James will join the Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC) located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to provide market intelligence, procurement tools, and training to all contracting offices in the US Air Force. He has also been identified to work with the AFWERX team supporting the Air Force Acquisition Office at the Pentagon to develop a new website that consolidates online resources for acquisition professionals.
With each assignment, James brings an innovative mindset and is passionate about process improvement. He has over nine years of experience in Air Force contracting and received an unlimited warrant at the beginning of 2020. He graduated with his BS in Business Management from Colorado State University and is over halfway through his MS in Project Management from Western Carolina University.
Jennifer-Ruth “Romper” Green
M.Min., Golden State Baptist College
B.S., United States Air Force Academy
Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer-Ruth “Romper” Green currently serves as the Chief Information Officer/Commander, 122d Communications Flight, Indiana Air National Guard. As a civilian, she is a commercial pilot and one of fewer than 150 African-American professional female pilots in the US. She is the founder of MissionAero Pipeline, a non-profit reaching underrepresented youth for AeroSTEM opportunities, with an emphasis on missionary aviation.
She is an active trailblazer regarding Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) and assisted with the push to rename an Air Force base building whose namesake did not fit 21st Century values. As a keynote speaker, she speaks frequently on D&I, trailblazing, and her lessons learned from combat as an AF Office of Special Investigations Special Agent serving in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Lt Col Green’s goal is to prepare the way for, and represent, the underrepresented groups in Aerospace and STEM who will follow her. She knows, “There is no point in blazing a trail if the trail doesn’t become a road.” – Capt Chris Campbell, USAF.
Lieutenant Colonel Juan Doan is the Individual Reserve Augmentee (IMA) to the Director of Joint Network Operations Center, Joint Force Headquarters for Department of Defense Information Networks (JFHQ-DODIN), Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. He leads 70 joint military, civilian and contractor personnel in unified network operations, defensive cyber operations, and individual defense measures to secure, operate and defend the joint information network against persistent cyber attacks.
In his previous assignment, Lieutenant Colonel Doan was the IMA to the Branch Chief, IT Investments, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, DC. During this period, he lobbied the Chief Information Officer (CIO) to modernize the Air Force’s legacy portfolio management system away from a custom-coded system to a commercial-off-the-shelf software application for a lower total cost of ownership with increased automation capabilities. He successfully fielded the next-generation $5M system within the 1-year deadline and became the first to successfully replace the legacy system in twelve years of attempts by the CIO staff.
Lieutenant Colonel Doan received his commission through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship program at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA. His Total Force career highlights include active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve assignments as well as industry experience at Oracle Corporation as a consulting project manager for smart-grid software applications.
Kevin Kelly is the Technical Director for the Air Force Digital Directorate in Boston, MA. In this role, he is focused on applying innovative technology and Agile processes to the systems that are developed, deployed and sustained by the Digital Directorate.
In previous Air Force assignments, he was the Chief Engineer for the Space Fence Radar and for a wide range of Air Force network and cyber programs. Before joining the Air Force, he worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, various startups, the Kwajalein radar complex, and ran a small software development business.
One of his primary interests is the development of safe and effective approaches to integrating machine learning into autonomous systems and the application of these techniques to a range of problems from cybersecurity to bioinformatics.
Lieutenant Colonel Kyle B. Grygo is the Deputy Chief, Disruptive Technology Team, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Integration and Requirements (HAF/A5), Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington D.C. He is responsible for linking Air Force Research Labs, academia, industry, and innovation hubs; forging connections between technologists, strategists & warfighters to leverage R&D resources toward future force design priorities; and shepherding early stage incubation.
Lt Col Grygo graduated from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH and earned his commission through Officer Training School in November 2000. He has served in a variety of Communications and Cyber Operations Officer assignments including Commander, 36th Communications Squadron, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam; Chief, HQ C4 Services Division (USPACOM/J6); Commander, 42d Communications Squadron, Maxwell AFB, AL; and Chief, Cyber Surety Branch (ACC/A6).
Lt Col Grygo also served as an Officer Training School Instructor and deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Prior to his current position, Lt Col Grygo was the Senior Executive Officer to the Deputy Chief Information Officer, Secretariat of the Air Force.
Lillian Warner is an Active Duty Air Force Officer currently serving as the technical lead of Kessel Run’s Red Team in Boston, MA, where she tests software applications and Kessel Run’s networks in order to keep Airmen secure as they win wars. She also launched Kessel Run’s incident response program.
Previously, in San Antonio, Texas, she planned and operated Cyber Protection missions, crafted incident response plans for Air Force teams and led a team of cyber intelligence analysts.
She is a student at Harvard Extension School and proudly holds certifications in Exploit Research and Advanced Penetration Testing (GXPN) and Global Information Assurance Certification Forensic Analyst (GCFA). She graduated from the U. S. Air Force Academy in 2015 and was the first female to graduate their competitive cyber team, Delusions of Grandeur.
Major Mark Lepczyk is an Active Duty Air Force Officer currently serving as a Command Chief Pilot in Air Force Materiel Command’s (AFMC) Big Safari Systems Group in Denver, Colorado. In this role, Mark supports and enables the Air Force’s Non-Standard Aviation (NSAv) program through operational flight test and capability development, working closely with industry partners to rapidly integrate, test, and field aeronautical systems and technology.
Previously he served as a C-146A Evaluator Pilot in Air Force Special Operation Command (AFSOC) and has deployed to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Mark obtained a B.S. from Purdue University, an M.P.S. from the Pennsylvania State University, and graduated pilot training from the USAF’s Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT).
Major Mary Kuconis is Chief of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Modernization at the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Cyber Effects Operations, Headquarters Air Force, Washington, D.C. In this role, she is responsible for cybersecurity, governance and modernization of the Air Force Intelligence Information Enterprise and ISR mission systems valued at $55B.
Maj Kuconis received her commission through ROTC upon graduation from Boston University in 2006 with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance. She has had various communications and cyber assignments throughout the Air Force and Intelligence Community with experience in base level communications, tactical communication capabilities, communications security (COMSEC), cloud computing, artificial intelligence and intelligence community systems and networks.
Prior to her current assignment, she served as Commander, 407th Expeditionary Communications Squadron, Kuwait where she was responsible for leading a squadron of 96 military and contractor personnel in providing 24/7 expeditionary communications support in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Ralucca Gera, Ph.D. is the Associate Provost for Graduate Education, Director of Teaching and Learning Commons, and Professor of Mathematics leading the CHUNK Learning research for personalized education at the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, CA.
A forward thinker, Prof. Gera is a leader in the classroom and administration with an education strategy focused on quality, effectiveness, and innovation in the education ecosystem. She supports personalized education through intentional learning strategies that emphasize excellence, exploration, and experimentation. She empowers students to be confident learners by cultivating curiosity and inquiry, inspiring them to take ownership of their learning experiences.
In 2014, Prof. Gera founded the Academic Certificate in Network Science for data analysis through the study of patterns of connections; she currently serves as the Academic Certificate in Network Science's manager. Her research interests in network science have applications to the study of the Internet, Cyber networks, Dark Networks, Natural Language Processing, and Personalized Education, sponsored by multiple DoD organizations. She has edited several books and published in prestigious mathematical and network science journals.
In 2018, Prof. Gera was the founder and director of the Teaching & Learning Commons (TLC), a community of practice enhancing the quality of NPS teaching and learning. As the TLC director and the Associate Provost for GradEd, she fosters collaborations by bringing together key stakeholders passionate about quality learning, driving the military forward by leveraging technology and experiences of a community of educators.
Prof. Gera serves the larger education community as a consummate professional committed to innovation, change, and providing solutions. She teaches short courses for professors and researchers and organizes teachers' workshops such as the Networks in Classroom Education (NiCE) for elementary school teachers.
Ryan Scadlock is an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Liaison Officer (ISRLO) supporting USAF Special Warfare in the 274th Air Support Operations Squadron in Syracuse, NY. In this role in the Air National Guard, he advises, assists and educates joint and partner forces on ISR capabilities. He also leads the squadron’s intelligence training program.
In civilian life, he heads cybersecurity for a global manufacturing firm with operations in 30 countries. Previously, Ryan was a security architect at Cisco Systems where he focused on emerging technologies and an insider threat analyst at Bridgewater Associates.
Ryan holds a BA from the University of Minnesota, Morris where he double majored in Philosophy & Computer Science, a MSc in International Security with Merit from the University of Bristol, and an MA in International Relations from New York University. He is working on a MS in Information Security Engineering from the SANS Technology Institute.
Ryan currently resides in the Pine State with his partner. Previously, he lived in Ecuador, England, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Syria. Additionally, his travels have taken him to Belgium, Canada, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Kenya, Israel, Japan, Peru, Spain, Tanzania, Turkey, and Yemen. In his spare time, Ryan manages the machinations of their two dogs.
Captain Sharon Rollins is a Cyberspace Officer in the United States Marine Corps currently assigned to Marine Forces Cyberspace Command as a Mission Commander of an offensive cyber operations team. Prior to being a Cyberspace Officer, she served as a Communications Officer at Marine Aircraft Group 12 enabling tactical and garrison communications networks for thousands of users throughout California, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Australia, Guam, and the Mariana Islands. She served as the Assistant Operations Officer at the Information Systems Management Branch in the Pentagon enabling thousands of Headquarters Marine Corps accounts and overseeing network contingency operations.
She served as the Deputy Director of the Force Fitness Readiness Center in support of the Marine Corps Force Fitness Program, and served as a Staff Platoon Commander at Officer Candidates School in Virginia training future Marine Officers.
She is a graduate of resident Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School and was a member of the Energy and Innovation Scholars Program at Marine Corps University. She has Bachelor of Science in Travel Industry Management from the University of Hawaii, and will graduate in 2020 with a Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management and Policy from the University of Maryland Global Campus.
An article she wrote on installation energy resilience Electrical Energy Overreliance: A Marine Corps Vulnerability was published by the Marine Corps Gazette in 2020.
Ventures Fellowship Program Manager
M.A., University of Oklahoma
B.S., United States Air Force Academy
Forrest is the Program Manager for the Air Force Ventures Fellowship at Shift.org. He is leading the expansion of the Program to the entire Department of Defense to host 1,000 Fellows each year at venture capital firms and startups in technology hubs across the country over the next four years.
Prior to his transition from Active Duty, Forrest embedded with GGV Capital for 6 weeks during the inaugural Air Force Ventures Fellowship. Based on his experience in Silicon Valley, he was recruited to build a globally distributed MedTech evaluation team supporting the White House COVID-19 Task Force and FEMA which evaluated more than 4,000 companies and led to 13,000 contract actions worth $830M.
Forrest served 11 years in the United States Air Force as a C-130J pilot at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, a Special Operations MC-130J pilot at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and the Chief of Strategic Engagements at Special Operations Command Europe in Stuttgart, Germany. He has deployed to Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
CEO & Chairman
M.P.P, Harvard University
B.S., United States Naval Academy
Experience: Mike is often described as the entrepreneur bridging the gap between the military and tech. By decoding experiences, he’s helping veterans get hired into roles not normally associated with military service at companies like Major League Baseball, Andreessen Horowitz, and Adobe. As Shift Founder & CEO, he builds strategic hiring initiatives with executive teams and creates pathways for veterans into media, technology, and venture capital companies. Prior to founding Shift he was a Product Manager at a venture capital-backed financial technology company. Mike previously served for seven years in the Navy, deploying to South America and the Middle East as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer, eventually running global operations for a bomb squad battalion. Prior to the Navy, he co-founded ID.me, a company that has raised $40M+ in venture capital and is the first digital identity network that allows consumers to prove who they are online while controlling how their information is shared with brands.
Growth & Government Programs
Christopher currently oversees government programs, marketing, and strategic initiatives at Shift.org, a San Francisco-based, Andreessen Horowitz backed labor marketplace for veterans. He is also an Adjunct Faculty member at Princeton University's Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, where he teaches a course on Creativity, Innovation and Design, and runs his own innovation consulting business, Shadestream Innovations.
Christopher has also worked at the design firm Frog Design, where he focused on the strategy and design of artificial intelligence and applied data systems to enable transformational change, and at the global macro hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. Prior to Bridgewater, Christopher spent over a decade focusing on technology, defense and national security issues for the US Government, with roles at the National Security Agency, the White House Situation Room, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
He is trained as a computer scientist, and holds degrees from Hamilton College, Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, and the United States National Intelligence University.