Technology, Growth Companies and the DoD in the 757

Tech, Growth and DoD in 757

Event Details


March 2, 2023 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM EST

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In years past, DoD led innovations such as the internet, GPS and many others, became enormous commercial economic drivers, vastly outgrowing any foreseen DoD application.  Indeed, the growth of Silicon Valley itself was fueled in its early years by Cold War research dollars from the US government.  In recent decades however the Defense Industrial Base has evolved into something that looks much different.

In fact, according to a Government Accountability Office report in October 2021, nearly 20,000 small businesses have been pushed out of the Defense market in the last decade alone.  Reasons for this are varied but working for the DoD and federal government can be a complex and burdensome endeavor.

Taken in isolation, these two phenomena might suggest the US DoD is at risk of isolating and ‘stove-piping’ itself as an industry from the broader economy.  While government and military leaders are actively seeking solutions to reverse these trends, private business leaders and capital providers in the lower middle market are continuing to take risks in the spirit of early Silicon Valley companies. The 757 is well positioned to capitalize on this today. 

Join us for a vibrant discussion about the intersection of DoD spending and privately held enterprise growth.  You’ll hear from:

  • CEOs who have successfully leveraged the DoD needs and the private sector to grow their businesess in the recent economic environment,
  • A leading investment banker focused on the DoD sector, and;
  • Congressman Rob Whitman, of Virginia's 1st District, currently serving on the House Arms Services Committee and Committee on Natural Resources.


Rep. Robert J. Wittman

Keynote - Congressman Robert J. Wittman

Virginia's First Congressional District

Serving the First Congressional District of Virginia since 2007, Rob has been focused on strengthening our military and supporting veterans, promoting economic development through fiscal responsibility, fixing our crumbling infrastructure, increasing access to high-speed internet, and promoting workforce development through Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs. In the U.S. congress, Rob serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the Committee on Natural Resources, and the House Select Committee on China where he is well-positioned to represent the needs of Virginia's First District.  He has quickly earned a reputation for being an advocate for our men and women in uniform and for being a champion of the Chesapeake Bay.

On the Armed Services Committee, Rob serves as Vice Chairman of the full Committee and Chairman of the Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee. In addition, as Co-Chair of theCongressional Shipbuilding Caucus, he is a staunch advocate for a robust Naval fleet and a healthy domestic shipbuilding industry. He also currently serves on the U.S. Naval Academy’s Board of Visitors. Rob also served as Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee for four years and as Chairman of the U.S. Naval Academy's Board of Visitors for nine years.

As a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Rob brings his professional expertise in water quality, fisheries, and other natural resource issues. He is a champion of the Chesapeake Bay -- for its environmental and economic attributes -- and has introduced legislation that will increase the accountability and effectiveness of cleaning up the Bay. He serves as co-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus, which brings Bay issues into focus for Members of Congress. As a Co-Chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus, he is leading the way to bring high-speed internet to the unserved areas of the First District and the nation. In 2018, he held two meetings of his Broadband Taskforce, where he brought together national, state, and local stakeholders to focus on finding real solutions that will expand broadband to unserved areas. His other infrastructure priorities include deepening and widening the Port of Virginia, easing congestion on I-95, improving and expanding the Long Bridge, expanding the capacity of the Virginia Railway Express (VRE), and providing sustainable funding mechanisms to Dulles international Airport (IAD) and Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA).

He was re-elected for his eighth full term in the House of Representatives in November 2022 and for more than 30 years, Rob has served in several levels of government, from Montross Town Council to United States Congress. Rob won his first campaign for public office in 1986 when he was elected to the Montross Town Council, where he served for 10 years, four of them as Mayor. In 1995, Rob was elected to the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors and was elected its Chairman in 2003. In 2005, voters
in the 99th Legislative District elected Rob to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served until he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2007.

Prior to his election to Congress, Rob spent 26 years working in state government, most recently as Field Director for the Virginia Health Department's Division of Shellfish Sanitation. Earlier, he worked for many years as an environmental health specialist for local health departments in Virginia's Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula regions. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Virginia Tech.

Dan Batelka

Dan Batelka

Sequoia Holdings

Dan Batelka has over 20 years of experience working in the National Defense Sector. Dan Started his career supporting the Department of the Army CIO/G6 as a civilian employee where he was responsible for managing enterprise information technology (IT) requirements in support of the Army modernization in excess of $200M annually.  Dan also was part of the Army’s implementation of IT Portfolio Management and oversaw the Enterprise Information Environment Mission area.

After Dan’s stint supporting the Army CIO/G-6, he moved to the organization that ran the enterprise IT for the Pentagon and the National Capital Region. Dan moved through the ranks and ended his civilian career as the Director of Operations. As the Director of Operations, Dan managed an annual operating budget of $150M along with $50M in modernization funds. In this position Dan optimized the enterprise IT operations through organizational efficiencies and created an IT investment strategy to properly evaluate emerging technology to advance the IT posture of the Pentagon.

In 2013 Dan left the Federal Government to join private industry where he has held multiple executive positions. He spent 8 years at FedData leading their Defense and Civilian services business unit. Dan joined Sequoia in 2021 as the CEO where he is leading their strategic growth in a very exciting time. Sequoia specializes in software development and cloud solutions and has a cloud software emulation tool called Combine that brings true low to high development.

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Paul Beale

Scott Beale

Aery Aviation
EVA & Principal Owner

Scott Beale has over 25 years of experience in sales, business operations, maintenance, modifications, integrations and flight operations.  In addition, he has relevant C-Level and ownership experience for aviation companies with Part 135 and Part 145 licenses. He holds a type rating for the Gulfstream G1159 and Cessna CE-500.  He currently serves as EVP of Sales & Corporate Development for Aery Aviation, LLC, with prior experience at Tempus Applied Solutions, Aerodynamics Incorporated, and FlightWorks, Inc.

Aery Aviation is a leading market provider of complex special mission aviation solutions to US government agencies, the US military, high profile celebrities, corporations, allied countries’ militaries and government agencies, special mission medical, and commercial end-markets.

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Paul Cella

Paul Cella

IsI Enterprises
CEO & Founder

Paul J. Cella is an innovative security professional with more than 15 years of applied security experience.  He has numerous military and DSS certifications and classes which provide him with a unique level of expertise and connection with the standards and changing environment for both governmental and private security.

At the outset of his career, Paul was an Intelligence Officer and Security Chief with the United States Marine Corps.  In this role, he was both a manager for facility security and personnel supervisor, managing the highest levels of military intelligence.  Paul was also a skilled trainer, responsible for instructing the USMC intelligence teams in proper security procedures and security systems utilization. 

Paul subsequently transitioned to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as the Corporate Security Classification Management Director.  In this role, he leveraged his expertise with security information systems and technical training to launch Access Commander and create excellence in security procedures company-wide. In addition to this work, Paul developed on-going relationships with major partners in both the Defense Security Service and many private members of the security industry. 

After leaving SAIC, Paul transitioned to a larger operational role as the Director for Corporate Security at McNeil Technologies and T.R. Systems Inc.  In this role, he applied his expertise with systems and personnel management to support facility security with policy creation and new infrastructure (3 SCIFs and 1 SAPF).  This security work supported the management of 3.2 million classified documents and personnel security clearances. He subsequently held a similar role at Artel Inc., and maintains an ongoing relationship as a consultant with that organization.

Currently, Paul has identified a need in the industry for specialized subject matter expertise in the field of industrial security.  Bringing together his years of experience and vision for the ever-changing needs of companies working with the federal government, Paul founded Industrial Security Integrators LLC (IsI) in 2010 with a cross-functional team of security, infrastructure, and technical experts.  IsI leverages Paul’s extensive skills of training, communication, regulation expertise, and functional knowledge to bring services to organizations working with federal government contracts.  As best practices and policies evolve, sharing lessons learned and a vision of the future with clients, colleagues, and partners becomes ever more important for Paul as the CEO of IsI and as a member of NCMS.

Industrial Security Integrators, LLC (IsI) provides Government and Industry clients with cost-effective and comprehensive options for full-service infrastructure solutions not available anywhere else in the market today.

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Lee Priest

Lee Priest - Moderator

Southwind Capital
Managing Partner

With over 20 years of industry investment banking experience, Lee has worked on over 60 transactions, representing in excess of $6 billion in transaction value.  Transaction experience includes sell- and buy-side M&A for public and private clients, IPOs, reverse mergers, “SPAC” transactions, takeover defense, and going private transactions.  Lee has industry-specific expertise and experience in: Defense Electronics, Commercial Aerospace, Government Services, Satellite Communications, the Intelligence Community, and Government IT / Cloud Computing.

In addition to his investment banking career, Lee is a former Naval Aviator and spent two years as a public company CFO focused on aviation services and defense contracting.

Lee holds a BS degree in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, as well as an MBA from the University of Maryland.

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Event Secondary Body

Thank you to our Sponsor!

Southwind Capital

Hosted by: ACG
757 Network