Steven Chen is a Principal of Blu Venture Investors and initiated the Blu Cyber Seed Investment Program, Founder and CEO of PFP Cybersecurity, board observer of ThreatQuotient, Board member of N5 Sensors and TrackOFF. He serves on the Capital Region Leadership Council for the President of Virginia Tech.
Steven is committed to assist and collaborate with the entrepreneur community. He is a member of Mindshare Alumni, mentor of MACH37 and DC i-Corp, former CTO and Corporate Development of EFJohnson, Founder and CEO of 3eTI (acquired by EFJohnson in 2006), and VP of the PCB Group. Steven is a former DoD SBIR Success Story with $300M SBIR Phase III contracts.
Tony Cole is the CTO at Attivo Networks, the leader in the Cyber Deception space working to deceive, detect, and defend enterprises from cyberattacks. Prior to joining Attivo Networks, Tony held executive positions at FireEye, McAfee, and Symantec. He’s retired from the U.S. Army, where he worked in intelligence, communications, and cryptography around the world, including building out the Network Security Services at the Pentagon.
Tony previously advised Wall Street on security technology and was on the advisory board for Secure Elements prior to its sale to Fortinet. He has served on the U.S. President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee’s IoT security subcommittee. He also served on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC-V). Tony is on the Board of Directors for Silent Circle, an innovative secure communications company. In 2017, he was elected by (ISC)2 constituents to serve on their Board of Directors and was also appointed by the NASA Administrator to the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). He is a former president of the Information Systems Security Association — District of Columbia.
Tony speaks at security conferences across the globe, such as the G20, RSA Conference, World Economic Forum, Munich Security Conference, and CyberTech. He has also been a contributing author to the SANS Institute’s publications and classes. He’s been featured online and on TV and radio, such as CNN, BBC, Politico, the Hill, Washington Business Journal, ABC, USA Today, and the Washington Times.
In 2014, Tony received the Government Computer News Industry IT Executive of the Year award, and, in 2015, he was inducted into the Wash 100 by Executive Mosaic as one of the most influential executives impacting Government. Tony is also a volunteer member of the WhiteHat USA Board, a charity benefiting Children’s National Medical Center. He has a bachelor’s degree in computer networking and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
Drew Drake is the principal acquisition and investment executive with responsibility for delivering on a strategy to expand solution delivery channels and the technology partner ecosystem. SAP National Security Services (SAP NS2) is a 100% U.S.-based and independently governed subsidiary of SAP SE focused exclusively on serving the needs of national security and critical infrastructure communities.
Drew’s previous role was Corporate Development Officer & Assistant Treasurer at SRA International, where he led M&A and divestiture activities. He also led capital markets, banking operations, and liquidity management activities, most notably including key aspects of the $1.3B debt financing (6.5x total drawn leverage) associated with SRA’s go-private transaction with Providence Equity Partners.
Rick is a Director of INOVA Personalized Health Accelerator (IPHA). He is responsible for identifying and investing in all IPHA companies and expediting their achievement of value creating milestones.
Rick is a proven leader with more than 25 years of experience in providing organizations with strategic growth direction. Prior to joining Inova, Rick served as founding managing partner of MACH37, a market centric cybersecurity accelerator supported by a community of hundreds of industry leaders who contributed to company development. During his tenure at MACH37, Rick led investments in 46 disruptive technology companies.
Prior to this role, Rick served as Vice President of Product Management at KeyW Corporation, COO of Lookingglass Cyber Solutions, Inc., Managing Director at the Civitas Group, CEO of Tovaris, and a technology investment banker at Bear, Stearns & Co. Rick served as a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. He received his M.B.A. from the Darden School at the University of Virginia and his B.S. in Engineering with Merit from the U.S. Naval Academy.
Mark Maloney is Co-founder and Managing Director at Paladin. He is an active member of the Investment Committee for all Paladin Funds. He is also the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. His responsibilities include new business development, client servicing, fundraising, and compliance related activities.
Mark works closely with Paladin’s portfolio companies with particular emphasis on providing strategic direction and assisting in identification of new business opportunities. In addition to his operational oversight, he has direct responsibility for portfolio companies CyberCore Technologies and Royalty Pharma Inc.
Prior to co-founding Paladin, Mark spent more than 18 years working in the financial services industry in a variety of executive level positions where he demonstrated a specialized competence in new business and product development, marketing, and client servicing arenas. He had oversight responsibility for nearly $8B in assets, more than 350 clients, and a staff of more than 50 people nationwide.
Gary Shiffman is an expert in the economics of national security, and he is passionate about using social science and cutting-edge network and data analysis to protect the world from illicit actors. His goal is to make it more difficult for criminals and terrorists to accomplish their goals. In order to do this, Dr. Shiffman focuses on understanding institutions and individuals engaged in the non-random production of violence and then on creating innovative ways to undermine these activities and networks.
In addition to his work as the founder and CEO of Giant Oak, Gary has been a professor at Georgetown University since 2002. His past professional experiences have positioned him as an expert in the unique intersection between the social sciences, big data, business, and national security concerns. These include service as Managing Director of the Chertoff Group, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Risk Management Solutions business unit at L-3 Communications, and Chief of Staff at U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Gary has worked on anti-terrorism and homeland defense issues at an international law firm, advised U.S. Senators as a National Security and Senior Policy Adviser to the U.S. Senate Leadership, and served in policy, planning, and operational positions in the U.S. Department of Defense. Gary proudly served his country and is a decorated U.S. Navy Gulf War veteran.
Gary earned his Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University, his M.A. from Georgetown University in Security Studies, and his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado.
Scott Yancey is a serial entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience with software, technology, and services companies. Scott has served as the senior finance and operations executive for numerous late and early stage companies helping then grow from venture-backed financing to IPO and acquisition by corporate acquirers.
Most recently, Scott was Chief Financial Officer for Cigital, a software security firm based in Dulles, Virginia, focused on the development of software products and services for the application security market place. Scott led the sale of Cigital in late 2016 to Synopsys, a NASDAQ listed company based in Mountain View, California.
Prior to Cigital, Scott worked in senior roles with various technology firms, including In-Q-Tel, Network Access Solutions, Cable & Wireless, WorldStor, Symplexity, and others. He served on several company Boards and earned his CPA while at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Bryan Ware is the Assistant Secretary for Cyber, Infrastructure and Resilience (CIR), U.S. Dept of Homeland Security. The CIR Directorate supports DHS’s cyber and national resilience missions. CIR develops and coordinates policies to support DHS efforts to reduce national risks with a focus on critical infrastructure cybersecurity, federal network security, countering cyber crime, and improving the security and resilience of the global cyber ecosystem. In addition, CIR engages with DHS and interagency counterparts to coordinate national resilience initiatives that enhance federal, state, and local preparedness and response capabilities. CIR also engages across DHS and with other stakeholders to understand the impact of emerging technologies and evolving risks on homeland security efforts and to ensure that the Department takes a coordinated whole-of-DHS approach to mitigate identified national risks.
Prior to his role at DHS, Bryan served as the CEO of Haystax Technology, a threat analytics software company, where he led a diverse team of scientists and software developers delivering analytical solutions for mission critical challenges.
Jeremy Schropp’s practice focuses on representing technology and emerging growth companies in a variety of sectors, including cybersecurity, data analytics, software, government contracting, defense, clean technology, communications, and construction. He is experienced in advising on and managing a broad range of corporate transactional matters, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital and debt financings, private equity, and corporate governance matters.
Jeremy also routinely counsels public and private clients on general corporate matters, public disclosure and periodic reporting requirements, fiduciary duties, commercial transactions, credit facilities, compensation arrangements, and entity formation.
Jeremy received his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from Brown University, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Steve Burman is a Managing Director with JLL for the Mid-Atlantic region. He is part of a team that represents many of the region’s leading corporations, including the area’s fastest growing technology companies. In addition, he works with some of the top government contractors and associations in the area. He works extensively on the analysis and management of clients’ needs and financial requirements in making real estate decisions. Steve is currently licensed in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.
In addition to Tenant Representation services, Steve provides facility strategy, site acquisition solutions, and post-transaction services for his clients through JLL’s extensive and fully integrated platform of services.
Steve has 12 years of experience with the metro DC commercial real estate industry. Prior to joining JLL, Steve worked at Studley Inc. as an Assistant Director in the firm’s suburban Washington, DC office. Steve helped coordinate the business development and marketing efforts for the National Accounts group. Prior to working at Studley Inc., Steve taught at the McLean School in Potomac, Maryland for four years.
Gregory Giammittorio is partner and co-chair of the firm’s Emerging Companies and Venture Capital practice. He represents private and publicly held companies in all stages of growth on a range of issues involving mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, venture capital, and public and private securities offerings.
Mr. Giammittorio has recently worked on mergers and acquisitions for government services, telecommunications, energy, software, semiconductor, information technology, medical device, media, and life science companies. He has developed numerous acquisition programs for companies whose growth strategy involves a consistent mix of both organic growth and growth through acquisitions. Mr. Giammittorio has served as lead outside counsel on hundreds of M&A and investment transactions, leveraged buyouts and management buyouts. In addition, he has provided counsel to leading companies in the region on a variety of strategic commercial relationships involving matters such as joint ventures, teaming agreements, joint research and development agreements, intellectual property licensing arrangements, and OEM, reseller, service provider, and distribution agreements.
Melissa Goldate is a legal, business development, and marketing professional, and super-connector who works directly with CXOs and in-house counsel at companies of all sizes to ensure their legal and other business needs are being met. She focuses on emerging companies in particular by connecting them with financing sources, strategic partners, and potential customers, providing tactical advice, organizing educational and networking programs, and helping them increase their exposure in target business communities.
Melissa is also passionate about helping build the region’s technology community. As AlphaTech’s Program Director, she leads the efforts to recruit cohort participants and boardmembers and secure program speakers, in addition to managing program logistics.
Melissa works with companies across sectors, including AI, cybersecurity, data analytics, software, biotech, fintech, blockchain, and government contracting.
Melissa received her B.A. degree from University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
Ben Rodgers is a senior director responsible for new business development and relationship management in the Washington, DC region. He works primarily with technology and government contracting business owners to identify how BNY Mellon Wealth Management’s capabilities will help them transition from owner to investor and reach their overall financial goals. Ben graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a B.S. degree and earned a J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Ben is on the Board of Directors of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and serves on the GovCon Awards Committee. He is a Co-founder of the Exit Planning Institute’s Capital Region chapter.
Outside of the office, Ben is a leader in the local community, serving as a mentor with YearUp, a career development nonprofit that connects underserved youth with employment opportunities in technology, and an Ambassador for the Folded Flag Foundation, which provides educational support to military families. Ben joined the firm in 2014 from Bernstein Global Wealth Management; he has over 15 years of experience helping clients navigate complex environments. Previously, Ben practiced law in New Orleans and served five years in the Army as a Ranger-Qualified Field Artillery Officer.
Sandy Saggar, CPA, CGMA, serves as the managing partner of Saggar & Rosenberg, which specializes in providing attestation, tax, and consulting services to government contractors and technology companies.
Sandy’s true expertise is in helping organizations scale their business by aligning accounting, tax, and operational strategies. In addition to financial and compliance assurance, Sandy’s experience includes corporate structuring, transaction financing, financial management, strategic business planning, mergers & acquisitions on both the buy and sell sides, budgeting, forecasting, and process improvement.
Sandy has worked extensively with companies in high tech, government contracting, nonprofit, retail, and biotechnology industries, but his core expertise is advising clients in the government contract industry. Sandy is a Subject Matter Expert in FAR compliance, contract negotiation, pricing strategies, and transaction structuring.
Sandy is active in the profession and in the community where he serves on the Board of Directors for Olney Theatre Corporation and as a member of the AICPA and the MACPA. Sandy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Maryland.
Laura is an expert communications strategist and founder of Silverline Communications. Laura and team specialize in working with startups to optimize launches and build roadmaps to the future.
Laura is a seasoned executive with nearly 20 years of experience in communications with profitable businesses and global agencies, having managed programs, teams, and budgets for high-growth startups to the world’s most recognized brands. Laura graduated from the College of Charleston with a B.A. in History and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Master’s of Education.