Shift is proud to announce the second Defense Ventures Program cohort of 2021 with another group of talented members of the Department of Defense.
Shift’s Defense Ventures Program is an eight-week long upskilling fellowship that identifies emerging innovators from the U.S. military and facilitates immersive tech industry experiences at venture capital firms, incubators and startups across the United States. We currently run this program in partnership with AFWERX, the innovation arm of the United States Air Force. Since 2020, 115 Fellows have participated in the program, which includes Fellows from the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Space Force, and US Coast Guard.
Companies who host a fellow gain profound insight into the mission of the Department of Defense and how their business could generate revenue opportunities within the federal marketplace, all while forging enduring relationships with the military service members they host.
This spring, 21 AFVentures Fellows 06 will begin a journey to accelerate their career potential and bring experiential knowledge of innovation back to the Department of Defense. The Defense Ventures Programs allows Fellows to engage directly with the private sector, establish meaningful connections with others Fellows as well as their host company team, and develop a more in-depth understanding of business models, dual-technologies, and solutions to challenging problems.
Visit shift.org/dvp to find out more information about the Defense Ventures Program and how to apply!
Meet the Fellows of Cohort 06
Capt Aley Morelock, Golden, Air Force Intelligence Officer, 3d Air Support Operations Squadron, Elmendorf Air Force Base (AFB), AK
MSgt Arturo Ybarra, Scale, Combat Controller and Chief of Standardizations and Evaluations, 352d Special Warfare Training Squadron, Pope Army Airfield
Capt Bridget Pantaleon, Point 72 Ventures, Air Force Intelligence Officer, National Security Agency, San Antonio, Texas
Lt Commander Christopher Blake, NEA, Director of Intelligence and Information Warfare, Navy Expeditionary Warfighting Development Center
Christopher Knapp, Refinery Ventures, Deputy Director of Naval Postgraduate School’s (NPS) Emerging Technology Consortium
Daniel Morden, Moonshots Capital, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Department 12 at Kessel Run
Derrick Lawson, BluVector, Assistant Director of Operations (ADO) for the 23d Intelligence Squadron, JBSA-Lackland
Maj Donovan Hutchins, Refinery Ventures, Air Force Space Systems Acquisition and Operations Officer, Launch Communication Support Branch Chief at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in Chantilly, VA
Dylan Ivanish, Shield AI, Cyberspace Operator
Capt Gabrielle Johnson, Peakmetrics, Air Force Intelligence Officer, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Oahu, Hawaii
Capt John Garrison, Moonshots Capital, Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, F-16 Evaluator Pilot, Aviano Air Base, Italy
Jonathan Borth, Paravision, FAA Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic
Julie Loiland, SV Angel, Special Advisor to the Director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
Maj Justin Bellamy, Hermeus Corporation, Air Force Fighter Pilot, Instructor Pilot in the F-35
Capt Katherine “Kat” Carr, Mindstrong, USAF Financial Management Officer, Air Force Cost Analysis Agency (AFCAA) at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland
Capt Kathleen Finnegan, Harpoon Ventures, USAF Intelligence Specialist, 13th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) on Fort Carson Army Installation
Maj Kristofer Fernandez, Learn to Win, Director of Operations, Double Deuce, 22d Airlift Squadron, Travis Air Force Base (AFB), CA
Kris Warner, Starburst Accelerator, Flight Test Engineer & Air Vehicle Test Lead, U.S. Air Force
Lt Colonel Mario Phillips, Alpha Bridge Ventures, Reserve Detachment Commander
Maj Patterson Hill, Decisive Point, Chief of Safety and former Chief Innovation Officer, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.
Maj William Indelicato, Phylum, Assistant Director of Operations for the 87th Electronic Warfare Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB)
2021 DVP Cohort 06
Captain Arley Morelock is an Air Force Intelligence Officer assigned to the 3d Air Support Operations Squadron, Elmendorf Air Force Base (AFB), AK. He is currently serving as an Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Liaison Officer to two Army Brigade Combat Teams and U.S. Army Alaska. As an ISR Liaison Officer, Arley advises fellow services on how to seamlessly integrate Air Force intelligence assets into their operational plans. Arley has experience leading intelligence teams in dynamic environments such as Turkey and the Philippines and is responsible for the intelligence training of 45 Special Warfare Airmen in Alaska. Before commissioning, Arley was a Teach For America corps member and high school science teacher in High Point, NC. Arley is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College with a degree in Chemistry.
Arturo Ybarra is a Combat Controller and Chief of Standardizations and Evaluations at the 352d Special Warfare Training Squadron at Pope Army Airfield. He is responsible for implementing risk management and safety protocols for 75 personnel. Arturo previously served as an All-Source Intelligence Analyst and deployed to Afghanistan. He advanced national strategic priorities for Inter-agency partners with a focus on the Department of Defense and Department of State.
Arturo re-trained into Air Force Special Operations as a Combat Controller in 2008. Since then, he has been operating on elite Special Operations teams specializing in the integration of air power assets supporting ground combat operations. Arturo has deployed over ten times in support of combat and humanitarian operations. Arturo has successfully led multiple innovation and technology initiatives for the Department of Defense. Accomplishments include implementation of agile processes across federal and multinational organizations, while challenging the status quo. Arturo’s work with industry leaders such as Palantir and Wickr provided ground-level insight to strengthen and develop enduring relationships.
Arturo also spent a brief amount of time outside of the military as a managing editor for a multi-million dollar media company. Arturo initiated a new business model growing the customer base 300% while developing partnerships and rapid innovation practices across seven businesses.
Arturo currently resides in North Carolina with his wife and three dogs.
Captain Bridget Pantaleon is an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force currently assigned to the National Security Agency in San Antonio, Texas. As such, she leads an elite team of 110 highly technical civilian and military personnel in cyber network exploitation and manages 12 million dollars of network and infrastructure equipment. Bridget was commissioned as the top graduate through the Ohio State University Reserve Officer Training Corps in 2011 where she earned her bachelor's degrees in International Relations with a focus in Diplomacy and Mandarin Chinese. She was also the top graduate of the intelligence officer basic course at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. She was a distinguished graduate and flight top graduate of Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama where she was unanimously nominated as the Outstanding Contributor by her peers.
With ten years of active-duty service, her background includes a broad spectrum of strategic and operational intelligence assignments from all-source analysis and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance operations to deliberate and dynamic kinetic and non-kinetic targeting in the Pacific Command, European Command and Central Command. She is a passionate leader with expert strategic communication skills and an unwavering commitment to her people. Capt Pantaleon is also the mother of two rambunctious boys and enjoys spending her free time with them.
Lieutenant Commander Christopher Blake is a Navy Intelligence Officer with 21 years of experience in surface warfare, expeditionary warfare, and special warfare communities. He currently serves as the Director of Intelligence and Information Warfare at Navy Expeditionary Warfighting Development Center, where he and his team develop and implement advanced training and doctrine for the Navy’s Expeditionary Forces. Prior to this assignment, Chris deployed nine times in the Middle East including five deployments leading a Joint Special Operations Task Force. With experience as an enlisted Information Systems Technician, Surface Warfare Officer, and Intelligence Officer serving in the Intelligence Community and Joint Special Operations, Chris brings a diverse and unique perspective to innovation, force integration, and creative problem-solving. Assignments leading communications and engineering teams have fostered his systems-centric way of thinking and his years of embedded interagency coordination service have fueled his professional empathy and big-picture worldview.
Chris currently serves as a voluntary team member of the Navy’s Mid-Atlantic Tech Bridge, where he helps the Navy identify opportunities to test and evaluate commercial technology in support of DoD innovation. In his free time, Chris is pursuing his Masters of Business Administration through the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and he proudly serves as a volunteer with The Honor Foundation, a military transition services program that serves the Special Operations community. He and his family enjoy exploring the outdoors, reading, and traveling.
Christopher Knapp is an interdisciplinary learner with a proven track record of implementing winning strategies within high-performing organizations to achieve time-sensitive goals. His passion is to transform organizational processes by prioritizing innovation over stagnation, while capitalizing on a background of empowering dynamic and multicultural teams. Presently, Christopher works at the intersection of the military, academia, and industry as the Deputy Director of Naval Postgraduate School’s (NPS) Emerging Technology Consortium working directly with the Central Coast NavalX Tech Bridge.
Harnessing the knowledge he obtained throughout his Naval career, he is tasked with helping to modernize today’s military through the identification, development, and funding (both government and private sector investments) of new technologies. Christopher is also a certified PMP and Aviation Safety Officer. He has over seven years of experience working with unmanned systems and is qualified to operate three types of unmanned aircraft (up to 135lbs). His undergrad is in Public Relations (UNC-Chapel Hill), and he has a Master's in Homeland Security and Defense focused on identifying disruptive innovation (Naval Postgraduate School). In his free time, Christopher is an avid hiker, runner, and photographer.
Daniel Morden is a former naval officer who drove ships in East Asia and ran a 550 MW nuclear power plant on board a US Navy carrier. Currently, he is involved in the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Department 12 at Kessel Run. Before joining Kessel Run, Daniel was an ex-founder of a neurologic monitoring device company. He enjoys reading and has a collection of favorite books to include: Zero to One and Originals. Daniel is bullish on Industrial IoT, software with a hardware component, Hardware as a Service, Biometrics, Data-Driven Healthcare, Generation IV nuclear reactors. He is a firm believer that software may be eating the world, and data is eating software but to generate real valuable data you need a physical presence in the real world. Daniel is open to talking about any new business idea, technology, or career planning.
Derrick Lawson is a 14-year military member and currently serves as the Assistant Director of Operations (ADO) for the 23d Intelligence Squadron, JBSA-Lackland. Derrick commissioned by way of Tuskegee University’s ROTC where he majored in Chemical Engineering, and his first active duty assignment was to Eglin Air Force Base as a developmental test engineer for cryptographic systems. After a few years at the unit level, he was chosen to serve on a 2-Star level commander’s action group where he became a speech-writer and action officer. His next assignment was to San Angelo, TX where attended Intelligence technical school as part of a career-broadening program. After tech school, he received orders to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, OH to work at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) as an analyst for global Integrated Air Defense Systems. During this assignment, he deployed to both Kabul and Bagram. Upon return from his second deployment, he separated from AD and joined the reserves to work in Human Intelligence. Upon completion of his time at Wright Patterson, in June of 2018, he moved to Fort Leavenworth, KS to attend Command and General Staff College prior to joining his current squadron.
Major Donovan Hutchins is a space systems acquisition and operations officer for the U.S. Air Force currently serving as the Launch Communication Support Branch Chief at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in Chantilly, VA. He leads a team of 100+ staff who support the design, acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance of the Department of Defense (DoD), Intelligence Community, and NRO’s information technology networks to facilitate seamless data connectivity between satellites and ground stations. In 11 years of active-duty service, Major Hutchins has served in various roles spanning program management, training, space launch and satellite operations. These roles include Senior Evaluator of space launch operations for the DoD’s Eastern Range (rocket range supporting missile and rocket launches) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL; Deputy Chief of Integration and Operations for the DoD’s Space Test Program supporting human spaceflight research and development on the International Space Station at NASA’s Johnson Space Center; and Program Manager and Operations Lead for a satellite system at the NRO’s premier operational ground station. In June 2021, Major Hutchins will step into the role of Director of Operations for the DoD’s Western Range at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.
Dylan Ivanish is a graduate of Utah State University where he got a BS in Communications Studies. Commissioned as an officer and began his military career as a pilot of the MQ-9, a remotely piloted aircraft. He learned a lot about military hardware and had the opportunity to lead missions, take command in crisis situations, and develop a deep understanding of military operations. After a few years of Flying at Cannon Air Force Base (AFB), Dylan decided to take a leap into the unknown as a cyberspace operator. He started his journey in cyberspace by becoming the technical project manager of the Air Force Justice Information System, a criminal data system used by military police and integrated with the FBI. Dylan then got the opportunity to lead an innovations team at the National Security Agency (NSA). His team of 25 developers focused on automation and started the process of incorporating Artificial Intelligence into data analysis. He spent a short time working with the NSA Hunt team, which hunts for nefarious actors on protected networks. Dylan is currently on a short tour in the United Kingdom to help set the foundation for integrating cyber operations into US Special Operations Command Europe.
Captain Gabrielle Johnson is an Air Force Intelligence Officer assigned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Oahu, Hawaii. She currently works as a deputy manager for the National Security Agency leading approximately 200 military and civilian members in signals intelligence (SIGINT) operations. Previously, she worked as a senior intelligence officer executing 24/7 operations in the Asia-Pacific region with a four-member team. She began her career as a geopolitical analyst specializing in East Asia and an officer for an operational assessments cell. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mandarin Chinese and East Asian Studies from Boston University and a Master’s degree in International Relations and Sustainable Development from Northeastern University. Captain Johnson was selected for two Department of Defense (DoD) merit-based grants to study Mandarin abroad in intensive Chinese language programs. Within her graduate program, she worked as the lead on a team of consultants for Education First (EF) in Zurich, Switzerland working in product innovation and sustainability practices for an emerging market in Shanghai, China. In her free time, Gabrielle loves to hike and most recently backpacked 44 miles up to 16,000 feet across the Andes mountains in Peru.
Captain John Garrison is a fighter pilot currently flying the F-16 stationed at Aviano Air Base, Italy. He is responsible for annual flying evaluation check rides for 37 pilots as the chief of Standardization and Evaluation. John is skilled in identifying and correcting flying deficiencies as the youngest evaluator pilot in the wing. Recently, he planned and executed a $3.4 million North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Air Policing mission to Bulgaria. His efforts positioned 8 armed F-16s and 125 people in Bulgaria building relationships with key allies. He has completed two deployments flying combat missions over Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. As an expert tactician, he has employed scores of precision weapons to save American lives. John holds a Bachelor's degree in International Business from Pepperdine University and a Master's degree in Aviation Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He has studied Mandarin Chinese for 6 years and participated in multiple study abroad programs in China. Post-graduation John spent 6 months working in the United States Embassy in Beijing under the Department of Commerce. In his free time, he loves riding his bike through the vineyards of Italy, sailing, and competing in triathlons. John also enjoys traveling the world with his wife and two pugs.
Jonathan Borth is an FAA Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic and worked on military aircraft ranging from B-52H, C-17A, KC-135, HH-60G, and a squadron of P-51D Mustangs. He flew missions as a tactical maintainer in and out of combat zones all over the world, led large team/ high tempo enroute maintenance hubs in Germany, Spain, and Turkey. He transitioned into management, becoming a Lead Inspector of the 452nd MXG Quality Assurance Section at March ARB, and then, Superintendent of the Aircraft Maintenance Docks at NASA AMES, Moffett Field. Jonathan currently leads 39 personnel as the Accessories Systems Flight Superintendent for the California Air National Guard at the 129th Rescue Wing in San Jose, California. He employed Agile, Scrum, Greenbelt, Lean, and Six Sigma improvement processes, designed a huge host of Excel-based products that track personnel, programs, equipment and QA analytics. He ran 90Ks in eight South American countries, designed an expansive artistic portfolio including 11 nose-art pieces, and he is an accomplished musician having toured with Pantera, opened for GrandMaster Flash and Jazzy Jeff. Jonathan has a wonderful family with two kids; a boy, 8, and a girl, 4. Being a Dad is the greatest of all his adventures.
Julie Loiland is an experienced strategist, designer, and technologist driving innovation within National Security. She currently serves as Special Advisor to the Director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), where she provides technical and policy subject matter expertise to shape the Agency’s strategy, priorities, programs, and budget. Prior to this role, Julie worked within DTRA’s Research and Development Directorate as a Product Manager, leading the development of several softwares and sensor technology efforts. Julie led numerous global engagements to enhance international technology development collaboration, including with the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Norway, Israel, Singapore, Japan, Ireland, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). As an entrepreneur, Julie founded Inscription, a design strategy consulting firm that worked with clients to develop human-centered solutions for their most complex problems.
Julie has a Master in Design Engineering from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering from the University of Maryland. During her time at Harvard, she was an InSITE Technology and Venture Capital Fellow. Through her fellowship, she consulted for SONY Music, BrainCo, and Nix Biosensors to identify and solve strategic challenges and pave the way to accelerate growth.
Major Justin Bellamy is an Air Force fighter pilot leading the world’s largest F-35 base in the implementation and modernization of classified aircraft and IT systems valued at $16 billion. An Instructor Pilot in the F-35, he also guides students from their first flight in the single-seat jet to certification as combat-ready stealth fighter pilots. Alongside his primary role, Major Bellamy represents the Air Force in a working group with industry that shapes developmental requirements for the Department of Defense’s $1.5 trillion F-35 program. He’s leveraged his unique technological expertise in areas such as encryption, radar, nuclear devices, and foreign aerospace development in collaboration with the National Security Agency, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center and numerous allied nations.
Justin graduated from Texas A&M University, where he studied organizational leadership, mathematics and business. In the twelve years since, he’s flown the T-6A, T-38C, F- 16C/D and F-35A, amassing more than 1,400 flying hours and directly training over 9,000 people. While stationed in Italy, Justin oversaw planning for contingencies in North Africa and contributed to the safe evacuation of 158 Americans from the US Embassy in Tripoli, Libya.
Captain Katherine “Kat” Carr is an active-duty Financial Management Officer serving in the United States Air Force. She is currently stationed in the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency (AFCAA) at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. As a lead cost analyst for the Aircraft and Weapons Division, she provides key cost estimations for a $22B portfolio, including both the Joint Strike Fighter (F-35 Lightning II) and the Advanced Pilot Training (eT-7A Red Hawk) programs.
Over the course of five years and three Air Force bases, she has acquired a wealth of cost experience, providing analyses for a variety of Department of Defense (DoD) aircraft, weather, and space acquisitions programs. Kat was commissioned through the University Reserve Officer Training Corps in 2016 where she earned a B.S. in Human Physiology. Following her first assignment in Boston, Massachusetts, she earned a Graduate of Cost Analysis M.S. from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 2020. Her Master’s thesis focused on the innovative development of cost estimating structures for groundwater decontamination efforts on DoD installations, bridging the gap between civil engineering and cost analysis. In her free time, Kat enjoys getting involved in her community by leading professional development events, staying active through intramural sports and running, and traveling whenever she can.
Captain Kathleen Finnegan is an intelligence specialist in the Air Force, where she focuses on using intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance tools to help make the Joint warfighting system both more discerning and more effective. She is currently assigned to the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) on Fort Carson Army Installation, where she supports both the Army and Air Force. She helps soldiers of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division better understand Joint Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, implementation, and product utilization, and helps the Airmen of the ASOS use ISR tools during close air support missions.
Kathleen has deployed twice in support of counter-terrorism missions. Kathleen started her ISR career in 2014 when at a Distributed Ground Station (DGS), supervising 75 Airmen as they provided 24/7 near real-time intelligence support to global missions. From there, she worked in weapons and tactics on special projects such as structuring data inputs to make DGS collection searchable to the greater Intelligence Community. While working at Air Combat Command, she managed a $5.3 billion portfolio, advocating for investments in artificial intelligence programs such as Project Maven and key intelligence community relations to build long-standing training programs. Kathleen received both her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Major Kristofer Fernandez is the Director of Operations at the mighty Double Deuce, 22d Airlift Squadron, Travis Air Force Base (AFB), CA, where he leads day-to-day operations of 250+ Airmen to operate $4.8 billion in C-5M Super Galaxy strategic airlift assets including two of the USAF’s only Space Cargo Modified aircraft. Major Fernandez is an Evaluator Pilot with 3,400+ hours flying C-5M strategic airlift and KC-10A aerial refueling tanker aircraft with several combat deployments and over 130 combat sorties flown.
At Travis AFB, Kris and his team at Phoenix Spark accelerated efforts to onboard best-in-class dual-use technology to the warfighter, growing the installation Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) portfolio from $1.5 to $7.5 million in one fiscal year. His team paved the way for the C-5’s first virtual reality loadmaster trainer, the Air Force’s first automated and scalable care management system for Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) beneficiaries, and the Air Force’s first suicide prevention virtual reality simulator. Kris and his team developed the Spark Leadership Innovation Course and Collider, partnering with Tesla, UC Berkeley, the National Security Innovation Network, and Harpoon Ventures to educate and inspire Airmen across 3 wings. His professional passion is to connect complex tactical-level challenges with innovative thinkers and doers.
Kris has a Master of Science in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Kris resides in Sacramento, CA with his wife Shannon and two dogs.
Captain Kris Warner is a Flight Test Engineer in the US Air Force currently serving as the Air Vehicle Test Lead for the Air Force's newest aircraft, the B-21 Raider. He plans, executes, and reports on the flight test of experimental and prototype aircraft while balancing technical requirements against safety and risk mitigation. He has over 250 flight hours in more than 30 aircraft types. Before taking his current position, Kris served as an intelligence analyst, a multi-disciplinary team supervisor with 18 team members, and a Special Assistant for a $10B R&D portfolio manager. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with advanced degrees in Electrical Engineering and Flight Test and is a graduate of the US Air Force Test Pilot School. Originally hailing from West Virginia, Kris is motivated by opening doors to cutting-edge opportunities for those in communities where STEM careers are often inaccessible.
Mario Phillips is a U.S. Air Force Reserve Lieutenant Colonel who currently serves as a Reserve Detachment Commander and concurrently a Department of Defense civilian employee with previous assignments in the Department of the Army and Air Force. While on Active Duty, Mario served as an Acquisition Officer and Aircraft Maintenance Officer and as a reservist, he has supported the U.S. Air Force Academy and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) as an Admissions Liaison Officer and Counselor in the greater Los Angeles, CA metropolitan area.
Mario is an entrepreneur who has founded two different companies with his own sports agency representing professional baseball players where he is a Major League Baseball Players’ Association (MLBPA) registered players’ agent. He has also now expanded his business ventures to include providing leadership and high-performance coaching to professionals as an International Coach Federation certified coach
Major Patterson Hill is the Chief of Safety and former Chief Innovation Officer at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. He oversees the aviation and occupational safety programs for the 1,600 men and women who serve in Dover’s Reserve Airlift Wing. In 2018, Major Hill founded the Bedrock Innovation Hub. During the first 18 months, his team spearheaded more than 50 individual projects, achieving a 10:1 return on investment measured in resource savings and external financing. His tenure culminated in the grand opening of a 5,000 square foot incubation center featuring a makerspace, podcast studio, VR lab and the Air Force’s first base-level coworking venue. Major Hill has 11 years of operational experience as an Air Force instructor pilot with more than 3,000 hours flying the C-5 Super Galaxy and C-21 Cougar. He’s a proud graduate of Middle Tennessee State’s aerospace department, where he learned to fly before earning his commission. He also holds a Master’s in International Relations from the University of Oklahoma. He and his wife, Patty, enjoy sharing their passion for traveling and the outdoors with their children, Jackson and Harper. When he’s not with his family, he continues to volunteer as an Innovation Consultant at Bedrock.
Major William Indelicato currently serves as an Assistant Director of Operations for the 87th Electronic Warfare Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB). In addition to planning and executing aircraft assessment programs, he dual-hats as an engineer, where he develops new Electronic Warfare (EW) assessments for 4th gen aircraft. In previous roles, he led teams developing software for Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, managed an incubation portfolio for signals intelligence technologies, led sensor collection missions for Missile Defense Agency tests, and oversaw the engineering efforts of the beam control/fire control system on the YAL-1 airborne laser aircraft.
William is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a degree in electrical engineering and earned an entrepreneurship-focused MBA from Oklahoma State University. William currently lives in Florida with his wife and two children and looks for opportunities with technology and innovation. As a captain, he was selected for the Air Force Research Labs Commander’s Challenge, where, as a member of a six-person team, he developed a two-stage counter drone system to defend against small unmanned drones for Air Force installations. And just this past year, when COVID disrupted his unit’s normal work and sent everyone home, William virtually joined a Headquarters Air Force task force to source and distribute personal protective and medical equipment from non-traditional manufacturers, and coordinated the requirements for 26 bases and secured over 100,000 units of masks, shields, bands, and other equipment.
Meet the Shift Team
Founder & CEO
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.
Before 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.
VP Growth & Strategy
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.
Before Shift, Christopher 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 School of Public and International Affairs, and the United States National Intelligence University.
Alex joins Shift.org as the Program Manager of the Defense Ventures Program. Working alongside some of the sharpest and dedicated minds in the tech scene, Alex joins a team in charge of building out the premiere career development platform for DoD service members as they journey into the innovative world of tech and venture capital.
Before joining Shift.org, Alex was a Management Consultant at Accenture who specialized in guiding tech firms through organizational development and digital transformation through the use of effective change management, growth hacking strategies, and leadership development. Prior to joining Accenture, Alex served in the US Marine Corps for 5 years as Finance Officer and was Honorably Discharged as a Captain.
Alex holds an MBA from the University of San Francisco, is a current graduate student at Golden Gate University in their Master of Arts Industrial Organizational Psychology Program, and is in the application selection process of becoming a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Southern California.
Alex has dabbled in entrepreneurship, real estate ventures, financial retirement advising, international cash management, music composition, and competitive soccer playing/coaching.
Maria is an innovator, social entrepreneur and community expert with over 15 years or experience driving global programming and community development to uplift underserved people from the trenches of multi-million dollar companies.
As Community Director at Shift, Maria is responsible for leading community impact for Defense Ventures, and designing and piloting new community programs and products within Defense Ventures to further Shift’s impact mission providing best-in-class industry immersion upskilling for US MIlitary employees and veterans.
Prior to working at Shift, Maria directed global programs at Nasdaq and was on the founding startup teams of both The Future Project and AltSchool. She works at the nexus of community, human possibility design and social impact.
Chloe Chhuop is a Defense Ventures Program Coordinator at Shift. Before joining Shift, Chloe spent nine years of service in our United States Navy. As a Navy recruiter, she applied sales and business development skills to develop a robust pipeline of leads to exceeding monthly goals. During her time in the service, she executed the completion of her Human Resource Management degree. Her exceptional operational skills helped drive multiple diverse teams to complete maintenance, repair, and inspection projects of over millions of dollars in equipment.
She transitioned into Shift.org where her patriotism continues to live on - impacting everyone from our Department of Defense by educating and supporting Shift's program and career opportunities to our men and women in uniform no matter when one transition from the service to how they can continue upskilling their careers and introducing top-performing DoD personnel to innovation through our Defense Ventures Program. Chloe enjoys quality time with her two chow chows, Kalel and Lana, and if you ever find yourself being locked out of your home/safes she is an experienced locksmith.