Industry Advisory Board

InterDrone’s Industry Advisory Board features the highest-esteemed members in the commercial drone industry. Their advice and unrivaled expertise will help guide program content and speaker selection, ensuring the most comprehensive commercial drone training at InterDrone 2018.

Michael Blades – Frost & Sullivan

Michael is Research Director, North America for Frost & Sullivan’s Aerospace, Defense, and Security business unit. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1991. Following pilot training, Mike flew the KC-135R Stratotanker and was an instructor in both the E-3 AWACS and C-21 Learjet. Mike served as a data reduction analyst for the Air Force Research Lab at Kirtland Air Force Base where he split time between the Argus airborne test bed and the Satellite Assessment Center. He also served two tours in Air Education and Training Command as the Chief of the Tanker/Airlift training branch and Chief of the Flying Training Section responsible for financial planning and analysis for all mobility training aircraft in AETC. Mike has been with Frost & Sullivan for over six years as a market analyst and growth consultant and has earned a Masters Degree in Aerospace Operations as well as an MBA.

Robert Blair – Three Canyon Farms

Robert is a fourth-generation farmer from north central Idaho managing 1,300 dryland acres of wheat, barley, peas, lentils, chickpeas, alfalfa, and cows. The farm is situated on the edge of the rolling hills of the Palouse and not far from his Alma Mater, the University of Idaho, where he received his B.S. in Agriculture Business.

His journey with precision agriculture started in 2003 using a PDA for simple mapping. That evolved into all different types of equipment, including Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) in 2006. Robert is the first farmer to own and use a UAS. His vision and advocacy of these technologies helped him become the Precision Agriculture Institute’s 2009 International Farmer of the Year. Robert has been on the leading edge of the precision agriculture utilization in the PNW and U.S.

Since that time, Robert received an Eisenhower Fellowship in 2011, taking him to South America for six weeks studying these technologies. During the fall of 2012, he spent three weeks in Germany on a McCloy Fellowship for agriculture. In Idaho he was recognized as one of the most influential U of I College of Agriculture and Life Science (CALS) alumni, receiving the 2013 Governor’s Award for Agriculture Technology and Innovation, and being honored as a 2015 U of I CALS Distinguished Alumni.

Robert’s vision and leadership ability has been recognized by the positions he has held, including president of the Idaho Grain Producers Association, chairman of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) Research & Tech Committee, chairman of the U.S. Wheat/NAWG Joint Biotech Committee, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation county president, an initial member of Idaho’s UAS steering committee, and an initial advisory board member of the Drone World Expo.

Rick Bohlman – Go Professional Cases

Rick, along with partner Beth Bohlman, is the co-founder and Chief Design Officer at Go Professional Cases (GPC , Inc). GPC designs and distributes UAV shipping and carrying cases for DJI, Yuneec, Parrot, 3DR Enterprise and other popular drones. GPC also specializes in OEM solutions for UAV commercial manufacturers and industries that use drones in industries involving mining, agriculture , utilities, search and rescue & others.

Additionally, Rick is the president and owner of Caseman Inc., a leading distributor of custom industrial/high tech and military shipping and carrying cases. Rick is an entrepreneur, having owned Caseman for 23 years. He has always had a focus on customer service through pride and hard work. Rick saw the opportunity to provide resources to professionals looking for high quality cases to protect their sensitive equipment. Rick and Beth continued to provide quality products for the community when GPC created a line of cases for the popular GoPro cameras. This segued into the UAV industry and GPC’s quality craftsmanship and attention to detail was a huge success. Today, GPC is the most recognizable brand in the UAV community.

Anthony DeMolina – Los Angeles County Regional Training Center 

Anthony is the Director of Aeronautical Training for the Los Angeles County Regional Training Center and is the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Subject Matter Expert for the Los Angeles Police Department. He has examined the advantages and disadvantages of this technology as it pertains to the law enforcement and first responder communities. He was a technical advisor for the development of a UAS ordinance for the City of Los Angeles. He is the course designer and instructor for four blocks of sUAS instruction for the Los Angeles County Regional Training Center. He is certified as a Master Instructor through the California Commission on Police Officers Standards and Training. Anthony is court qualified as an Unmanned Aerial Systems and Aviation expert. He holds the following Federal Aviation Administration certifications: certified flight instructor, commercial multi-engine airplane, commercial helicopter pilot, as well as, remote pilot.

Romeo Durscher – DJI

Romeo is the Director of Public Safety Integration at DJI, a manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Romeo has established himself as one of the top aerial panorama photographers in the world, traveling to various locations and capturing some of the most stunning and inspiring views from above. Romeo founded www.visual-aerials.com as a place created to share tips, tricks and reviews of various UAVs and gadgets used for aerial videography and photography. Romeo’s work has been published in various magazines, newspapers and galleries across the globe. His latest adventure was flying DJI drones and broadcasting live on ABC Good Morning America from inside the world largest cave in Vietnam.

Marke “Hoot” Gibson – NUAIR Alliance 

Major General Marke F. “Hoot” Gibson (ret) most recently served as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) senior adviser on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). NUAIR welcomed Hoot late last year as CEO, where he now oversees the organization’s efforts to safely integrate UAS into the national airspace system (NAS).

In his role, Marke will lead NUAIR’s oversight of UAS testing being conducted in New York, Massachusetts and Michigan and will oversee the $30 million investment by New York state to put the region at the forefront of UAS research and development.

Marke has served as executive director of the NextGen Institute, which provides professional services to the UAS Joint Program Development Office. He also owned an aviation consulting firm.

Marke retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2011 after 33 years of service. He held numerous senior command and staff positions earning him the rank of Major General. Marke retired as the Air Force’s director of current operations and training where he led the startup of a new cyber career field and its integration into Air Force operations. He also worked on behalf of the Air Force secretary and chief of staff on ways to better integrate unmanned aerial vehicles into the national airspace. This involved continuous engagement with the FAA, Homeland Defense and numerous congressional delegations. As the director of current operations and training, Marke was also responsible for the startup of a separate career field and unique training path for those who fly Air Force remote piloted aircrafts today.

Steve Gitlin – AeroVironment 

Steve, Vice President, Marketing Strategy, Communications and Investor Relations, joined AeroVironment in 2002 to define the market entry strategy for one of the company’s first commercial product lines.  Reporting to the company’s CEO, he works to define, quantify and target new market opportunities in both its Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Efficient Energy Systems businesses. Steve leads the Marketing organization for the company’s unmanned aircraft systems business and communicates regularly with members of the press, Wall Street analysts and institutional investors to ensure an accurate understanding of AeroVironment’s growth strategy, product and service offering, competitive environment, and long-term prospects.

Steve received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from UCLA and later earned an MBA with a focus on Marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a Masters in International Management with an emphasis on Latin America from the Joseph H. Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining AeroVironment, Steve worked as a management consultant, serving global enterprises in the Aerospace and Telecommunications industries.

Craig Glover – PowerVision Robotics

This year, Craig landed a position with PowerVision Robotics as its Marketing Director in the US. In this role, Craig will be bringing the PowerVision products such as the PowerEgg, PowerEye, and the very impressive PowerRay to market in 2017. Prior to this, Craig joined Ehang to take charge of the United States marketing director efforts for the company, which produces the Ghost Drone 2.0, Commercial series drones and the impressive Ehang 184. He also spent two years working with Yuneec USA as a marketing and filming professional.

Craig is a sought after speaker at corporate events, industry conferences and academic conferences related to drones. He also frequently appears on television and radio to discuss emerging drone technologies.

Michael P. Huerta – MPH Consulting, LLC

Michael recently completed his term as Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  He served a total of seven and a half years at the FAA and was the longest tenured Administrator in the agency’s history. He joined the agency in 2010 as Deputy Administrator and served as Acting Administrator before being confirmed by the Senate as Administrator in January 2013. He currently is President of MPH Consulting, LLC.

During his FAA tenure, Michael redefined the FAA’s regulatory relationship with the aviation industry to achieve greater levels of safety through increased collaboration and widespread sharing of data. He led the agency’s efforts to modernize the nation’s air traffic control system through the NextGen program while preparing the way for the safe integration of commercial space operations and small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).  He is also well known for eliminating the decades old ban on the use portable electronic devices aboard airplanes during takeoff and landing, making it possible to use many devices from gate to gate.

Before joining the FAA, Michael was Executive Vice President and Group President, Transportation Solutions, of Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. (ACS).  ACS, now Conduent, is a technology services provider supporting transportation agencies worldwide.  He led the transportation solutions group for seven years during which it achieved double-digit growth, broadened its reach into Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and expanded its service offerings to support many modes of transportation.

Prior to joining ACS, Michael was a Managing Director for Transportation at the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games of 2002.  He played a key role in in the planning and development of a variety of Olympic transportation facilities, as well as the development of a highly successful travel demand management system that ensured the transportation system operated safely and efficiently.

He also has served in executive positions at the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Port of San Francisco and the New York City Department of Ports, International Trade and Commerce.

Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Riverside and a master’s in public affairs with a concentration in international relations from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a former Chairman of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America.

Kevin Kelly – Stampede

Kevin the forward looking, market driven President, COO and Owner of Stampede, North America’s oldest and largest high value-added distributor of ProAV solutions that represents more than 150 technology manufacturers in offering more than 80,000 distinct product SKUs through a distribution network that exceeds 12,000 resellers who rely on Stampede for product knowledge, sales, marketing support, training, and ongoing online education through Stampede University. Kevin oversees all day-to-day company operations, including sales, business development, and administration functions at the Amherst, New York headquarters, as well as field sales offices and distribution centers in Atlanta, Miami, Columbus, Ohio, Seattle, Phoenix, and Toronto.

Under Kevin’s leadership, Stampede has expanded its reach into the custom installation, consumer electronics, and hospitality markets while continuing to serve its traditional corporate, government, education, non-profit, healthcare, and hospitality vertical market customers. Kevin is also responsible for establishing unified communications, drones, and professional services as major new revenue streams that also drive sales of the traditional ProAV products that attach to these new technologies. Since Kelly joined the company in 2001, Stampede has increased revenue by 931% and is now listed as the 8th largest private company in western New York by Business First. The company was also named one of the “Fast Track 50” companies (the 50 fastest growing companies in western New York) by Business First in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and an MBA in Finance from the School of Management at the University of Buffalo.  He is on the board of the InfoComm International Communications Industries Foundation (ICIF), which is the charitable foundation of InfoComm, the trade association representing the professional audiovisual and information communications industries worldwide, and has served on InfoComm’s Leadership Search Committee. He has also served as the founder and past board president of the non-profit Computers for Children, served on the board of directors of Leadership for Buffalo, and remains actively involved with the Buffalo Club, Brookfield Country Club, and Holimont Ski Resort. Among his many recognitions, Kevin was named among the “40 Under 40” by Dealerscope magazine and Business First.

Richard Lopez – Hensel Phelps Construction Co.

Richard is a Virtual Design and Construction Manager with Hensel Phelps Construction Co., an employee-owned company that over the last 80 years has grown to be one of the nation’s most recognized general contractors, serving both public and private clients. Richard leads the implementation of new sUAS technology, software, and advancements at Hensel Phelps to increase efficiency and safety on the jobsite while providing valuable information for forecasting, recordkeeping, and as part of the procurement effort.

Derek Lyons – Beyond The Drone 

Derek is founder of Beyond the Drone, an advisory services company formed to help clients clearly define and accomplish goals in the unmanned systems world. Beyond the Drone scouts new technology, and aligns customers’ business development, marketing, strategic sales, and capture planning decisions.

Derek has nearly 10 years of experience with unmanned systems. Previously, he was VP of Sales and Marketing at Prioria Robotics and launched their commercial and military UAS programs. Derek brings 20 plus years of sales, marketing and business development experience to BTD after graduating from the University of Florida.

Derek other experiences include Presidency of American Advertising Federation Gainesville, Presidency of Alachua County Emerging Leaders, member of the AUVSI marketing and external communications committee, and subject matter expert for the FAA.

He lives in Gainesville, Florida and is a die-hard Gator. He is married and loves to read a good book and while drinking a nice cabernet

Mark McKinnon – LeClair Ryan 

Mark has worked for over 25 years in all areas of aviation and transportation law, including litigation, appellate, regulatory and other administrative matters. He is a co-chair of the Dentons US LLP Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) practice and has written and spoken extensively on UAS and aviation matters. Mark has assisted a number of clients in their efforts to obtain approval of their commercial UAS operations, including preparation and filing of exemptions and development of Operations Manuals. Mark has also litigated and advised clients on numerous aspects of international air transportation, including the application of the Warsaw Convention, Hague Convention, Montreal Protocols, Montreal Convention, and International Civil Aviation Organization’s International Standards and Recommended Practices. Mark has also represented clients in a number of international arbitrations, including proceedings in Malaysia, Singapore, and South Africa. In addition, he is co-editor of the Plane-ly Spoken Blog, which is dedicated to providing up to date news, analysis, and opinion on issues that affect the aviation industry.

Dr. Gregory S. McNeal – AirMap

Gregory, co-founder of AirMap, is an expert in unmanned aircraft and topics related to security and technology. He is also a professor at Pepperdine University, and a frequent keynote speaker about technology, law and policy. He served on the FAA’s Micro UAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee and UAS Registration Task Force.

Gregory has testified before Congress on multiple occasions as a witness for Democrats and Republicans; his testimony has focused on matters related to unmanned aircraft, privacy, surveillance and other topics. He has also testified before state legislatures about the legal and policy issues associated with UAS and has aided state legislators, cities, municipalities, and executive branch officials in drafting legislation and ordinances related to UAS.

He is the Chair of the Consumer Technology Association’s Unmanned Aerial Systems industry standards working group, serves as a voting member of the ASTM technical committee creating scientific standards to govern unmanned aircraft and their operation and is a member of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International technical advisory and advocacy committees. Gregory is a member of the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force and previously served as an officer in the U.S. Army.

Art Pregler – AT&T

Art is AT&T’s UAS Program Director responsible for nationwide oversight and internal implementation of drones. He is also Director of National Mobility Systems, responsible for development of enterprise data systems. Prior to AT&T, Art served DOD, NASA, DARPA, and other technology-focused agencies as a Command & Control Officer, Air Traffic Controller, Air Weapons Controller, and Mission Control Specialist. Art is a member of the joint FAA/drone industry Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team (UAST), RTCA Special Committee 228 (Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft Systems); and the NATE UAS Committee as well as the FAA’s 2016 mUAS Aviation Rule-Making Committee (ARC) for flight over people, and the Washington Governor’s Unmanned Systems Industry Council.

Lia Reich – PrecisionHawk

Lia, VP Marketing-Communications at PrecisionHawk, is a public relations, marketing and branding leader with a BA in Journalism from the University of Maryland. Prior to joining PrecisionHawk, Lia architected educational campaigns at USA Football to address a growing concern around head trauma and contact sports. She joined PrecisionHawk in 2013 to help transform public perception and showcase positive use cases at the advent of commercial drone technology. Through grassroots media and marketing campaigns, Lia has led the growth of PrecisionHawk as a recognized leader in the drone space.

Since her arrival, Lia has secured coverage by top national and industry media outlets and was named to PR Week’s Top 40 ‘Champions of PR’ list in 2017. She serves on the board and as a contributor to Drone 360 magazine, the advisory board for industry events such as the Commercial UAV Expo and InterDrone, and has a passion for participating in and growing the ‘Women in Robotics’ movement. She works at PrecisionHawk Headquarters in Raleigh, NC.

Jennifer Richter – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld 

Jennifer is a partner with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld. She has represented technology and communications companies and investors for more than two decades. Jennifer is ranked by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in telecommunications, and she has been named a Super Lawyer for communications law. She brings years of in-depth experience in the communications field to her clients in the industry, possessing an insider’s knowledge of the business gained while serving as the vice president and general counsel of a wireless communications company she helped to build and sell to Sprint Corporation. Jennifer is active with industry and the FCC, the FAA, NASA and DHS on spectrum solutions for UAS.

Colin Snow – Skylogic Research, LLC

Colin Snow is CEO and Founder of Skylogic Research, LLC (also known as Drone Analyst®), a research, content, and advisory services firm for the commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry. Colin is a 25 year technology industry veteran with a background in market research, enterprise software, electronics, digital imaging, and mobility. His experience includes aerial photography as well as making, programming, and piloting remote control aircraft.

Colin holds an MBA from Florida Atlantic University, is a member of all major UAS industry groups including: AUVSI, RCAPA, and AMA, and holds an FAA Remote Pilot certification.

Jim Williams – JHW Unmanned Solutions  

Jim, founder of JHW Unmanned Solutions, advises clients on all things civil aviation, especially Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Formerly, he was a member of Dentons’ Public Policy and Regulation practice and the Aviation and Aerospace sector, advising clients on issues related to aircraft and space operations with specific emphasis on all things related to unmanned

aircraft systems. With nearly 30 years of experience in the Aviation sector while working at the Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Jim recently served as Manager of

the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Office. This office functions as the single agency focal point for all UAS-related activities and is uniquely

positioned to develop and coordinate solutions to UAS challenges across the FAA and with external organizations.

Before taking the helm of the UAS Integration Office in March 2012, Jim spent six years as the Director of Engineering Services in the FAA’s NextGen Organization, where he led the coordination and integration of all systems engineering work needed to move the NAS toward NextGen. This work gave him a deep understanding of how FAA research progresses into a mature concept and eventually into the many technologies that become operational in the NAS. His office also led the development of the NAS Enterprise Architecture and NAS-level Requirements. Together, these engendered a great appreciation for the interrelationships of the many systems which will be touched by the UAS integration effort.

During his long career with the FAA, Jim led the organization tasked with lifecycle management of all FAA communications systems and the implementation of the Safety Management System in the Technical Operations Service Unit. He has also worked with the FAA Command Center to transition personnel into the Air Traffic Organization, directed the team that developed, procured and installed all air/ground communications services for the FAA, and led the team that designed, procured and fielded the FAA’s prototype Air/Ground Data Link Communications System. Jim also led the FAA Team that negotiated with other federal agencies to create a second civil GPS frequency.