ACG 101 2024 June 5th Aerospace & Defense Technology Leaders Panel


Event Details


June 5, 2024 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM PDT

Location Name
The Provence Room at The Westlake Village Inn
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ACG 101 will host its annual Aerospace & Defense (A&D) Summit on Wednesday, June 5th, 2024
Defense contractors and defense focused PE and VC backed companies continue to pursue investments and acquisitions in unmanned and autonomous systems, AI/MBL, sensing, connectivity, cybersecurity, quantum computing, space technologies, advanced materials and additive manufacturing. Top A&D leaders in our region will update us on how their businesses are leveraging these and other emerging technologies.


  • 5:30PM - 6:30PM: Networking, Drinks & Apps
  • 6:30PM - 7:30PM: Panel Discussion
  • 7:30PM- 8:30PM: Q&A & Final Networking

Register Now! 

  • Members: $99
  • Non-Members: $125 

*** Dress is business casual

*** Drinks and appetizers will be served at the event

ACG 101 encourages Uber or other ride share options when drinking alcoholic beverages



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Zac Turke, Moderator

Sheppard Mullin
Co-Head of M&A

Zachary Turke is a corporate partner in Sheppard Mullin’s Los Angeles office.  He is head of the Mergers & Acquisition team and its Government Business Group, which encompasses Sheppard’s aerospace & defense practice.

Zac’s practice focuses on mergers & acquisition transactions across a wide variety of industries.  He works with private equity firms, public companies, family-owned business, strategics and entrepreneurs in industries such as aerospace & defense, consumer products, business services, software & technology, video games & esports, cannabis, healthcare, apparel & beauty, manufacturing, retail and food & beverage.  Over his career with Sheppard Mullin, Zac has successfully closed over 200 M&A transactions.

He also helps clients with debt and equity financings, venture capital investments, corporate governance and joint ventures and strategic alliances.

Zac specializes in getting deals done.  He is adept at making complex issues comprehensible and finding practical solutions to legal problems.  He is an avid writer and speaker with respect to areas of corporate law.  He holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and B.A. from Duke University.  He has been recognized as a leader by Super Lawyers, the Legal 500 and the M&A Advisors.

Andrew Williamson

Andrew Williamson, Industry Update

Calabasas Capital
Managing Director

Mr. Williamson is a Managing Director at Calabasas Capital where he advises emerging growth companies and investors in aerospace and defense, software and technology. He has more than 17 years’ experience in investment banking and corporate development in addition to CFO and operating management roles in private equity and venture capital backed companies. He was CFO of the Merex Group and Kellstrom Defense, a private equity backed aerospace and defense company. Previously he was Managing Director of Angeles Capital Group, Director of Alexander Dunham, Associate of Gerard Klauer Mattison (now BMO Capital Markets) and Associate of Chanin Capital Partners (now Duff & Phelps). Mr. Williamson was a Senior Manager at Oracle Corporation and Treasury Services Corporation, a private equity backed enterprise software company acquired by Oracle. Prior to that, he spent four years at Price Waterhouse where he was qualified as a Chartered Accountant (CAANZ). Mr. Williamson received his MBA from the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Business at UCLA where he was selected as a Venture Fellow and received his Bachelor's of Commerce degree at the University of Western Australia.


Trace Stevenson, Panelist

AeroVironment Inc.
SVP and General Manager, Uncrewed Systems

Trace Stevenson has served as the Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Uncrewed Systems since 2023. Prior to that he served as Vice President and General Manager of our Small Unmanned Systems Product Line which has shipped over 33,000 small unmanned aircraft to customers worldwide. He was also served as Deputy General Manager UAS and was responsible for the leadership of our Emerging Business overseeing our HAPS business where he served as a Board Member of HAPSMobile, a Joint Venture with SoftBank. He also was responsible for the integration efforts of any merger or acquisition and for the strategic and tactical execution of the UAS P&L. Trace has held various leadership roles within AV, including leading our International Business Unit where he was responsible for the support of over 40 International customers. He also led and was responsible for the execution of our top strategic initiatives such as the establishment of a Joint Venture in a foreign country. Trace has 20 years of experience in the defense industry and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Economics from the University of Kansas.


Matthew Graczyk, Panelist

PteroDynamics Inc
CEO, Board Director

Matthew Graczyk is CEO of PteroDynamics Inc., developer of the Transwing® vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft design with wings that fold during flight to transition between configurations optimized for takeoff and landing and high-efficiency cruise flight, overcoming the inherent shortcomings of current VTOL aircraft by combining the speed, range, endurance, and payload capacity of a fixed-wing airplane with superior VTOL performance in a simple, efficient autonomous UAS platform.

Mr. Graczyk has been a serial entrepreneur for 30 years, specializing in founding and building companies around technology innovations. With six public-company exits under his belt, Mr. Graczyk has helped create more than $1.5 billion in gains for investors.

Mr. Graczyk received his bachelor's degree in business administration with an emphasis in entrepreneurship from Loyola Marymount University in 1989. He is a frequent speaker and panelist in the field of advanced air mobility and on various business topics, such as entrepreneurship, raising capital, and managing and building companies. He was awarded the Hilton Distinguished Entrepreneur Award in 2007 and was inducted into Loyola Marymount University's prestigious Entrepreneur's Wall of Honor in 2010.

Gorik Hossepian

Gorik Hossepian, Panelist

Silvus Technologies
Chief Operating Officer

Gorik Hossepian has over 40 years of experience in military and commercial aerospace as a business unit leader, program manager and engineer. He currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Silvus Technologies, a global leader in Mesh Radios and RF Subsystems, serving defense, government, and commercial customers.

Prior to joining Silvus in 2023, Gorik spent 5 years at AeroVironment where he served as the Product line General Manager for Medium UAS and the Vice President of Product Line Management. Prior to AeroVironment, Gorik spend three years at Cobham Advanced Electronics Systems as the Vice President of Electronic Warfare Product Line, where he was responsible for ensuring programmatic performance and delivering on customer commitments. Prior to Cobham, Gorik was with Northrop Grumman Electronics for 9 years, at the Navigation and Positioning Systems Business Unit in Woodland Hills, California focused on leading and transforming a multi-national avionics business unit serving both military and commercial markets.

Gorik held Program Management and Engineering positions at major aerospace and defense organizations including, Boeing Satellite Systems, and Honeywell International (formerly AlliedSignal). He directed the development of commercial communications satellites at Boeing, serving both domestic and international markets while focusing on environmental control and life support equipment at Honeywell, aimed at commercial, military and manned space applications.


Travis Mack, Panelist

Chairman & CEO

Travis Mack is a distinguished entrepreneur, business leader, and the Chairman & CEO of Saalex Corporation, a federal aerospace and defense contractor. With over 25 years of dedication to Saalex, he has played a pivotal role in driving success and growth. Saalex has flourished into a thriving organization, generating over $175 million in annual revenue and employing over 1,200 people nationwide. Mr. Mack provides leadership and direction, developing strategies to ensure Saalex’s continued success while earning admiration among the company’s stakeholders and communities. Notably, Saalex Corporation was awarded the prestigious Small Business of the Year award by the SBA Los Angeles in 2015. He has in-depth expertise in software applications services and defense acquisition contracting. In addition, Travis Mack has also served as the CEO of Valeo Networks for over 13 years. Valeo is a commercial Information Technology company specializing in cybersecurity, cloud solutions, and network administration for small and medium-sized businesses. Valeo has achieved remarkable success, generating over $20 million in annual revenue and employing over 100 professionals nationwide. Furthermore, Valeo is backed by the renowned Private Equity firm, Siebert, Williams, and Shank, to execute a strategic Mergers & Acquisition consolidation strategy for IT Managed Services Providers. Mr. Mack has completed 10+ company acquisitions, exceeding $50 million in value.

Hosted by: ACG
101 Corridor

Event Materials

Event Materials


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