Lieutenant Colonel Robert L. Russell IV is the Commander of the Air Force Coordination Center, 1st Air Force, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. As the United States' inland search and rescue (SAR) coordinator, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center serves as the single agency responsible for coordinating SAR activities in the 48 contiguous United States, Mexico, and Canada. Lieutenant Colonel Russell graduated from Colorado State University in 1992 and was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He is a Senior Navigator with more than 1,780 flight hours, which includes 126 combat and combat support hours. Lieutenant Colonel Russell started his career an Acquisition Project Officer at Los Angeles AFB, California, before being selected to attend Undergraduate Navigator Training in 1997. Since earning his Navigator rating, he has served in multiple combat operations, to include Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, JOINT GUARDIAN, SHINING HOPE, and ALLIED FORCE. Over 82 combat missions were flown during Lieutenant Colonel Russell's tour as the deployed commander of the 71st Expeditionary Rescue Squadron in Djibouti, Africa. He has also supported humanitarian efforts such as the 2000 Mozambique flood relief, which helped save over 650,000 lives. Prior to his assignment at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, as the Director of Operations of the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, his most recent assignment was the Director of Staff for the Air Force's legendary "Flying Tigers," 23rd Wing, Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.
Mr. Chris O'Connors is currently the Branch Chief for NESDIS satellite direct services, which include the GOES and Argos data collection systems on the geostationary satellites and polar satellites, real time satellite imagery broadcasts services, satellite re-broadcast services (ex GEONETCast Americas), and Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking (Sarsat). As the Sarsat Program Manager he has the lead for the inter-agency cooperation between US Coast Guard, US Air Force and NASA. He also represents United States as the lead delegate to the international Cospas-Sarsat Programme. Mr. O'Connors has a B.S. in Meteorology from the State University of New York at Oneonta and an M.P.A. from George Mason University. Chris has been with NOAA for 17 years providing weather forecasting, satellites imagery analysis of sea ice and the program lead for the Argos Data Collection System prior to starting his work with Sarsat in 2007.
CDR Mark Turner assumed his current position in the Coast Guard's Office of Search and Rescue (SAR) in July 2010, where he is the liaison to the United States SARSAT program. In this position, CDR Turner actively participates in the policy, planning and development of distress alerting and SAR satellite communications to ensure they properly support the SAR mission. He serves as the Coast Guard Program Manager, United States interagency SARSAT Program and as member, United States delegation, International Cospas-Sarsat Program.
A 1995 graduate of the U. S. Coast Guard Academy, CDR Turner began his career on the USCGC TAHOMA, based out of New Bedford, MA. In 1997 he was selected for flight school, and later that year was designated a Naval Aviator.
During his aviation career, CDR Turner stood watch at Coast Guard Air Station around the United States, including; Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, OR. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, AK., and Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, FL., He has accumulated over 3500 hours of helicopter time during his career, and achieved the designation as a Coast Guard Flight Examiner. He has been honored by the Dandelions as the Coast Guard Exception Pilot of the year, the Naval Helicopter Association as SAR Aircrew of the Year, and was awarded by the Helicopter Association International the Sikorsky Humanitarian Service Award.
CDR Turner's awards include the Air Medal, two Commendation Medals, Achievement Medal, three letter of Commendations and others.
CDR Turner is a native of Southern Oregon. He is married to the former Heather Klemme of St. Petersburg, FL, who is also in the Coast Guard and has one daughter and two sons.
Mr. Rick Button is Chief of the Coordination Division, Office of Search and Rescue, United States Coast Guard Headquarters and serves as the Secretary, United States National Search and Rescue Committee. Mr. Button conducts outreach and education, coordinates Coast Guard, national and international search and rescue policy and management issues, as well as manages the Amver program for the Coast Guard. Mr. Button retired from the Coast Guard in 2006 after serving twenty-two years on active duty. During his Coast Guard career, Mr. Button served on several Coast Guard cutters and twice serving as cutter commanding officer. Mr. Button is a 1984 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy and is a licensed Master Mariner.
Mr. Jeffrey Smith has worked for the past five years as an Aviation Safety Inspector, General Aviation Operations, with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He is the acting manager for the Airman Certification and Training Branch (AFS-810), having served in this branch for over two years. His responsibilities include the Flight Instructor Fresher Course (FIRC) program, pilot certification, flight instructor certification, and compliance/enforcement polices. Prior to his positions in AFS-810, Mr. Smith served as an Assistant Principal Operations Inspector in the South Florida FSDO, with primary oversight and surveillance of persons operating under Title 14 CFR parts 61 and 141. This included pilot schools, certificated flight instructors (CFI), and designated pilot examiners. Additional oversight duties involved entities operating under Title 14 CFR parts 91, 133, 135, 137 and 142.
Mr. Smith currently serves in the Fredericksburg, VA Civil Air Patrol squadron at the rank of Captain. He is the senior member aerospace-education officer for the squadron.
Prior to working for the FAA, Mr. Smith worked as a flight instructor in central North Carolina and southern Florida. For several years, he owned and operated a flight training and aircraft rental facility in the Ft. Lauderdale, FL area. He has instructed in a variety of single and multiengine airplanes, including experimental aircraft.
Mr. Smith holds an airline transport pilot certificate, a certified flight instructor certificate, ground instructor certificate, as well as an airframe and powerplant mechanic certificate. Mr. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Mr. Jeffrey Tobias is an attorney with the Federal Communications Commission. Prior to joining the FCC, Mr. Tobias was the Managing Editor for telecommunications-related publications at the legal publisher Pike & Fischer, Inc. Mr. Tobias also has worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Queens County, New York.
Ms. Melissa K. Rudinger is Senior Vice President of the AOPA Government Affairs Division. Rudinger has worked for AOPA's members for 21 years, spending most of that time overseeing a staff that deals with issues covering everything from aircraft certification to airspace issues to pilot certification.
Ms. Rudinger holds a commercial pilot certificate with a lighter-than-air rating, and has experience running a local airport business. She has FAA Academy training in Airspace Design and Management, Environmental Analysis, and has served as an FAA Accident Prevention Counselor.
Mr. Tim Arel serves as the Manager of the Compliance Services Group within the Air Traffic Organization's Safety and Technical Training service unit. In this role he directs the Safety Investigations, Technical Services, Search and Rescue, and Safety Support Tools Teams. These specialized teams are responsible for the 24/7 response, reporting, and investigation of significant safety-related events, FAA operational SAR programmatic oversight, and automated safety tool sets for air traffic event recreation and analysis. He has led numerous air traffic control incident investigations as the Event Investigation Manager (EIM), and participated in NTSB, OIG, and OSC investigations.
Mr. Arel started his air traffic control career with the US Air Force, and since joining the FAA in 1989 has held ratings in several air traffic control facilities and served in management positions at the field, regional, and headquarters levels. His career with the FAA has given him specialized experience in the areas of safety and quality assurance, traffic flow management, airspace security, and resource management. Mr. Arel also has a background in public safety, having served as a 911 operator/dispatcher, firefighter, emergency medical technician, and police officer.
Captain Roy A. Porter is Operations Officer in Charge, Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The center is responsible for federal inland commercial, military, and interstate aeronautical SAR in the contiguous U.S.
Captain Porter entered the Air Force after graduating from the University of New Mexico in 2004. He served for two years as an engineer at the Air Force Information Operations Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas until his selection to the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Prior to his current assignment, Captain Porter served as a research engineer at the Air Force Research Lab, Rome Research Site, New York.
Mr. John W. Desmarais, Sr., is the Deputy Director of Operations for Civil Air Patrol (CAP) National Headquarters (NHQ). John supervises staff in Communications, the CAP National Operations Center, the National Technology Center, and Flight Operations.
John has been involved with CAP operations in varied capacities for over 24 years. Operationally he has served in all capacities, from being a ground searcher, to an aircrew member, and finally as a mission staff member and incident commander.
Since May of 1995 John has been a full-time employee at the CAP National Headquarters (NHQ). While serving at NHQ, he has worked several high priority projects like CAP's responses to 9.11.01, the Shuttle Columbia Disaster, and several major disaster response and search and rescue missions. John also founded and coordinates CAP's National Emergency Services Academy.
John resides in Pike Road, Alabama and is married to the former Mary Leigh Strickland. They have two sons, Will and Wade.
Mr. Mark Eggeman is the Vice-Chair of the State Search and Rescue Coordinators Council, a peer-based sub-set of the National Association for Search and Rescue that is focused on policy and programmatic issues affecting interstate mutual aid. Mr. Eggeman has served the Commonwealth of Virginia as the State Search and Rescue Coordinator since 2005, under the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. Mr. Eggeman administers an active training program, provides public outreach, and coordinates a state response system for missing persons and aircraft related events. His search and rescue experience includes numerous missing aircraft missions, lost hikers and hunters, missing children, wandering victims of Alzheimer's disease, and support to large-scale disaster operations.
Mr. Richard (Ric) Peri is the Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs for the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA). The Aircraft Electronics Association supports 1300 aviation companies in 42 countries. Mr. Peri is responsible for aviation regulations in each of these demographic. He actively participates in rulemaking in Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States.
Mr. Peri has over forty years of experience in aircraft maintenance. He is a technical expert on aviation maintenance regulations and repair station operations. Mr. Peri is a U. S. Coast Guard veteran, a graduate of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and former faculty of the University of Southern California and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
Mr. Jim Shaffer is a Telecommunications Policy Analyst in the Federal Communications Commission's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and has worked for three decades on wireless matters for the Commission. Among other issues, he has been involved in aviation and marine safety issues including emergency beacon matters. He has participated in the Radio Technical Commission for Marine Services and the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics responsible for setting technical standards used in the marine and aviation radio services.
Mr. Chip Bulger is an Aerospace Engineer with the Federal Aviation Administration. He serves as the Special Projects Team Lead in the Avionics Systems Branch responsible for FAA standards and policy for a wide variety of avionics systems. Prior to joining the FAA in 2007 he worked as a pilot at Independence Airlines and Atlantic Coast Airlines, as well as an instructor pilot for Flight Safety International. While in the United States Air Force he worked as a flight test engineer on the A-10, KC-135, C-130J, and C-17 aircraft. He also served as an EC-135 Mission Commander and completed assignments as an A-10, C-130E, and KC-135 maintenance officer. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Masters of Aeronautical Science.
Mr. Mike Akatiff is the owner and President of ACK Technologies Inc. a manufacturer of aircraft avionics. Mr. Akatiff founded ACK in 1987 after he retired from day to day active involvement in his motorcycle parts manufacturing company Pacific Coast Cycle Corp. Mr. Akatiff developed the first low cost altitude encoder in 1987 and ACK received FAA TSO C-88a approval in August of that year. To date ACK had manufactured over 128,000 altitude encoders. In 1990 ACK began development of a 121.5/243 MHz ELT to the TSO C-91a standard. TSO approval was granted in 1991 and when production was discontinued in February 2011 ACK had produced over 63,000 TSO C-91a ELT's. In 2008 ACK began a development program to build a low cost GPS capable 121.5/406 MHz ELT to the TSO C-126 standard. In July of 2009 FAA TSO C-126 approval was granted. In January of 2011 COSPAS/SARSAT approval was granted and the ELT is currently in production. Mr. Akatiff has been actively involved in general aviation as both an instrument rated private pilot for over 30 years, and a FAA designee since 1995.
Ms. Joan Goodman has been President and CEO of Emergency Beacon Corporation since 1988 but she has been active in the world of Emergency Locator Transmitters and Search and Rescue since she joined the company in 1980. Under her leadership the company has developed new models of ELTs to conform with current expectations. Our 406 models have found favor all over the world.
Ms. Goodman was President of the Westchester Association of Women Business Owners from 2004-2006 and before that was twice honored as Member of the Year. She is a Charter Member of Women in Aviation, International. She served as a member of RTCA SC-160 which wrote DO-204; the document adopted by the FAA to set requirements for the 406 ELT and the FAA's Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee on Emergency Locator Transmitters. She is a DMIR.
Mr. Duane Quiring is the Aviation Business Development Manager at ACR Electronics, Inc. He is an electrical engineer with 36 years of experience in the aircraft electronics industry. He has served as project engineer for numerous ELT products including the Arnav ELT 100, which was one of the first ELTs to be certified under FAA TSO C-91a, and the ELT 110-406, the first ELT to be certified under TSO C126. He has also been project and certification engineer on many product improvements including certification of the lithium battery pack for the ELT 110-406, which was the first to receive approval under TSO C-146, and, development of the ELT 110-406 NAV, which included systems to transmit latitude/longitude information to Cospas-Sarsat satellites, and methods to interface an aircraft flight management system to the ELT.
Mr. Quiring has served as secretary on the RTCA (Radio Technical Committee for Aeronautics) SC-204 during the revision of RTCA documents DO-204 and DO-204a. He also attends RTCM (Radio Technical Committee for Maritime) SC110 meetings, which is the committee that oversees Cospas-Sarsat 406MHz beacons.
Mr. Robert L. Markle was elected President of the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) in 2002. RTCM is a non-profit scientific and educational organization, focusing on all aspects of maritime radiocommunications, radionavigation, and related technologies. RTCM standards for marine radio and electronic navigation equipment are incorporated by reference in regulations of the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Coast Guard.
Prior to his postion at RTCM, he spent 27 years working at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC, in various assignments related to maritime safety. He concluded his Coast Guard career in 2002, as Chief of the Lifesaving and Fire Safety Standards Division, where he administered U.S. programs on standards and enforcement for marine lifesaving, and fire protection systems. His signature appears on virtually all Coast Guard approval certificates for lifesaving and fire safety equipment approved between 1982 and 2002.
Mr. Markle is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from George Washington University. He is a Fellow of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, and member of the Institute of Navigation, Royal Institute of Navigation, the Nautical Institute, the Marine Technology Society, SAE,, and the Propeller Club of Washington.
Mr. Patrick Shay has 25 years of innovative leadership experience in the GPS and wireless markets. As Vice President and General Manager for DeLorme, Mr. Shay spearheads DeLorme's global strategy for the company's award-winning inReach™ family of two-way personal satellite communication products across all consumer and enterprise market segments.
Prior to DeLorme, Mr. Shay served as Vice President and General Manager, Data Services at Iridium Communications Inc. Under his direction, the machine-to-machine (M2M) business was the fastest growing market segment for Iridium, serving customers in industries such as transportation, maritime, aviation, oil/gas and government. Mr. Shay is also chair of the ProTECTS Alliance, a global industry group focused on the promotion of two-way emergency messaging and tracking solutions with more than 65 members worldwide.
Prior to Iridium, Mr. Shay held vice president positions at Hughes Telematics, Sirius Satellite Radio and Rand McNally where he created and launched innovative new services in the wireless and GPS marketplace. Mr. Shay began his career with Motorola where he led the global sales team for the company's GPS and telematics business.
Mr. Robert Bennett joined Globalstar 1995 as Launch Mission Director and led the team that launched Globalstar's first generation satellites. Since then, Mr. Bennett has served in several rolls in business development, marketing and sales. His focus has been on developing data products and services for use on the Globalstar satellites.
Mr. Bennett was one of the key individuals responsible for the development and launch of SPOT. The first consumer based satellite product in 2007. He continues to work with the team to grow and improve the SPOT family of products.
In his present roll as Director of the VAR (Value Added Reseller) Program for Globalstar, Mr. Bennett leads the global sales effort for Globalstar's data products and service through strategic partner relationships.
Mr. Jerry Lee is the US National Sales Manager for Spidertracks, a world renowned global company that provides real time satellite based fleet tracking for its clients. With over 20 years of professional sales and business consulting experience for companies such as General Electric and Enterprise (Fleet Services), Mr. Lee brings the benefit of a high level of Business to Business sales experience in the North American marketplace for a wide range of products and services.
In addition to his extensive experience as a sales professional, Mr. Lee has also been immersed in the world of General Aviation for over ten years. Jerry holds an FAA commercial pilot certificate for both single and multi engine aircraft as well as being a certificated flight instructor (instrument). As a former flight school owner with over 3,000 hours of total flight time, and more than 1500 hours of dual given, he's able to see the aviation world from a somewhat unique perspective. From his vantage point as both a sales and aviation professional, Mr. Lee has consulted directly with a number of flight schools on improving their sales focus. He is also a frequent contributor to AOPA's e-magazine, Flight School Business. Earlier this year, Mr. Lee embarked on a two week long flying sales tour of AK on behalf of Spidertracks, and was able to see firsthand how Spidertracks customers utilize the system in the Alaskan bush.
Mr. Vincent Capezzuto serves as the Director of Air Traffic Systems in the Program Management Organization. Within this directorate he is responsible for systems that support daily tactical operations, as well as executing new surveillance and automation tools that are forming the basis for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). He oversees these systems from the very beginning by defining characteristics and requirements, then moving to design and development and then manages the systems through deployment and sustainment.
In Mr. Capezzuto's previous role as the Director of the FAA's Program Operations, he coordinated and obtained funding for managing the portfolio of surveillance, air traffic control automation, and flight plan systems for the Oceanic and En Route domain.
Prior to Director, Mr. Capezzuto served as a FAA senior engineer, and was integral in transitioning concepts and technologies from research to production on many FAA projects.
Mr. Capezzuto has been with the FAA for 15 years. Prior to joining the FAA, he worked for private sector companies including United Technologies, Westinghouse and Republic Electronics. He was involved in the design, integration, test, implementation, and manufacturing of electronic equipment for commercial, civil, and military applications.
Mr. Capezzuto is a graduate of George Washington University where he obtained a Master of Science Degree in Systems Engineering. He holds a Bachelor of Technology Degree from New York Institute of Technology.
Mr. Bob Roth's career with the United States Forest Service started in 1980 and has spanned from ground based fire suppression and aviation to fire and aviation leadership and technology development. He is currently the program manager for the Government Automated Flight Following (AFF) Program and is also responsible for several other technology related programs. Mr. Roth is based at the Missoula Technology and Development Center in Missoula, Montana.
Mr. John Marinho joined CTIA as its Vice President of Technology and Cybersecurity in March 2012. Mr. Marinho's key responsibilities in the created role includes leading CTIA's efforts to help the wireless industry secure its networks and devices against cybersecurity threats and educating policymakers on emerging technologies while advocating for sensible and practical regulations that do not impose unintended consequences. He will also serve as CTIA's primary liaison with government agencies on cybersecurity issues.
Mr. Marinho previously served as Director for Mobility Solutions at Dell, where he defined the end-to-end mobility solution for enterprise customers and certified the first secure Android implementation for the U.S. Department of Defense. Prior to Dell, Mr. Marinho held positions in Strategic Marketing, Product Management and Government Affairs at Alcatel-Lucent. During his tenure at Alcatel-Lucent/Bell Labs he deployed the first wireless broadband 700MHz Public Safety system in Washington, D.C., and implemented numerous commercial wireless broadband networks for carriers around the globe. He also worked at ITT and Canadian Marconi.
He holds the Bell Labs President's award for innovation and was awarded several Bell Labs patents in the field of wireless network optimization, network design and RF technology. Mr. Marinho is also the retired Chairman of the TIA TR45 Standards Committee that is responsible for wireless technology standards. He is the recipient of the CTIA and TIA Industry Service Award for his efforts in setting wireless industry standards. Marinho has a MBA from Rutgers Graduate School of Management and graduated cum laude from New Jersey Institute of Technology in electrical engineering.
Mr. Allan C. Knox is a retired United Air Force Command and Control Officer having served over 20 years in a variety of assignments as a Missile Launch Officer, Search and Rescue (SAR) Controller, Assistant Director of Operations-AFRCC, Instructor and Course Director - National SAR School, and Program Manager for both the USAF and USCG search and rescue programs. He has served as the chair of both the National Search and Rescue Committee (NSARC) Mass Rescue Operations and 121.5 MHz Phase out Working Groups.
He currently serves as the Chief of Isolated Personnel Requirements in the Personnel Recovery Division of Requirements Directorate of Headquarters Air Combat Command. In this capacity he is responsible for Collecting, validating and managing the requirements for a portfolio of command and control and emergency alerting equipment to support Isolated Personnel (Military) and lost / missing people (Civilian). He is also the Air Combat Command SAR/GPS Program Manager, responsible for managing the operation requirements for the modernized space segment of the US SARSAT System. He is the senior USAF representative to Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) Program Steering group and a U.S. delegate to the COSPAS-SARSAT Joint Committee, Open, Closed Councils, and numerous Experts and Technical Working Groups. He is responsible for establishing, maintaining, and updating the Rescue Center and SARSAT portion of the Future Years Defense Program and Command's portion of the President's Budget. He has authored numerous international papers in support of COSPAS-SARSAT and ICAO/IMO SAR JWG Meeting advocating for the operational rescue community.
Mr. Doug Ritter is one of the leading authorities on survival equipment and serves as Chairman and Executive Director of the non-profit 501(c)(3) Equipped To Survive Foundation (www.Equipped.org/Foundation) and as Publisher and Editor of Equipped To Survive™ (www.Equipped.org). Mr. Ritter is an award-winning journalist specializing in aviation and survival topics and gives presentations and seminars on survival and survival equipment. He also provides consulting services on survival and survival equipment, both independently and via the Equipped To Survive Foundation, to individuals and to government and military organizations.
Mr. Ritter is a member of the SAE Aerospace Council, Aircraft Division, S-9 Cabin Safety Provisions Committee, and the S-9A Subcommittee - Safety Equipment and Survival Systems. Doug is also a member of a number of RTCM (Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services) Committees, (SC110, SC128, SC110/101) that develop standards for electronic distress alerting devices including EPIRBs, PLBs and SENDs (devices not confined just to maritime distress, but are also used in General Aviation and terrestrial distress situations).