The Minuteman Team

The Minuteman Ventures LLC team consists of experienced executives who have spent decades in executive management, operations and business development positions with companies that serve federal government, defense and homeland security missions.

Minuteman Team Members


Joe Fitzgerald

Mr. Fitzgerald, located in Huntsville, AL, has been involved with the government and aerospace and defense firms over many years. He is a former senior executive with BDM International, where he held the position of Vice President for Missiles Systems Technology. He also served as Director, Advanced Programs for the Space Programs Division of Teledyne Brown Engineering and held several other positions at TBE before that one. Joe's experience also includes management positions at Perkin-Elmer Corporation and the Raytheon Company.

Joe served as President of the Redstone-Huntsville Chapter of the Association of the US Army (AUSA), which won the association's best chapter award during his tenure (2003–05). He is President of the North Alabama Veterans and Fraternal Organizations Coalition, and serves on AUSA's National Advisory Board. In January 2006, he received the "Distinguished Service Medal" from the Governor of Alabama, the highest medal awarded by the Governor to a citizen of the state.

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Fred Jaffin

Mr. Jaffin has an extensive background associated with US and international defense programs, and the commercial defense systems integration and services industry.

As a US Naval officer, he specialized in major Department of Defense systems contracting, along with his assignments on USN ships and at overseas commands (including two tours in Vietnam.) He served in a number of commands, working closely with program managers and senior officials of large and small defense contractors, and major universities nationwide. Mr. Jaffin completed his 26+ year career as the Assistant Commander for Contracting at the US Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in the Washington, D.C. area.

After retirement as a Captain in the US Navy, he undertook a second career in supporting the defense industry, working initially with Pacer Systems Inc., headquartered in Billerica, Mass. During this time, he worked directly for the President of Pacer Systems, as Director of Business Planning. He focused on business development in international customers and in corporate support for major defense systems integration firms. He continued this role with the various successor companies, including AverStar, Inc. and the Titan Corporation.

Mr. Jaffin is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, with a BS from the Wharton School. He also earned a MBA in International Business from he University of Michigan. He is on the Board of Directors of the NDIA, and other defense and university organizations.

He is dually located in Northern California and Eastern Pennsylvania.

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Kenn Quick

Kenn, located in Colorado Springs, CO, has provided consulting services and functional training programs on business development, change management, procurement and acquisition management for the private and public sectors for 21 years. Since 1984, Kenn Quick has supported Fortune 1000 clients in obtaining and managing commercial, government and international contracts that cumulatively exceed US$8.3 billion.

He has served as President of the Pikes Peak Chapter of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), as Director of the NCMA's International Organizations Group and on the nation's Region VIII Small Business Advisory Council. During his U.S. Air Force career Kenn served at the Directorate of Contracting, Air Force Computer Acquisition Center (AFCAC), Hanscom AFB, MA and Headquarters U.S. Air Force Space Command, Colorado Springs, CO. His responsibilities included the performance of all contractual actions leading to the acquisition and post award implementation and management of technology, space, and communications systems for worldwide support of the U.S. Air Force, other DOD components and numerous federal agencies.

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Ronald E. Thompson

Mr. Thompson, operates out of Dayton, OH and works primarily in the Wright-Patterson AFB area.

Ron retired from the Air Force in 1996 after 26 years of service as a pilot, systems engineer, and program manager. His final assignment was at Wright-Patterson AFB where he served first as the C-17 Deputy for Test, Training, Deployment, and Operations; then as the Deputy Director of the Commercial Aircraft Program Office; and finally as the Director of Programs for the Air Force's Training Systems Product Group.

Ron is a member of and actively involved with numerous community and defense-related organizations in the Dayton area including the Dayton Development Coalition, the Dayton Defense Contractors Association, Culture Works of Dayton, and the Air Force Association. Ron is an ardent supporter of the Air Force through the Air Force Association, having served as President of the Dayton area AFA chapter, President of the Ohio State Air Force Association, and also as a National Director of the AFA. Ron is also a founder and a past (first) President of the Wright Memorial Aerospace Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) corporation affiliated with the AFA. Ron currently serves as President of the Great Lakes Region Air Force Association.

Mr. Thompson has a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and an MS in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.

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Gene Townsend

Mr. Townsend, based in Lexington Park, MD, has worked over many years in the federal government and with defense companies on matters of defense finance, budgeting and business development. Formerly the chief financial officer and business development officer at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, he was responsible for a $2.5 billion business base. An expert in Defense Department finance and budgeting issues, Gene was the Aircraft Division's senior financial and business advisor.

Gene is adjunct lecturer for several universities teaching corporate finance, investments, income tax and financial accounting and has completed the Leadership Maryland Program. He is a Certified Financial Planner, CFP®.

Gene earned his B.S. degree in finance from Virginia Tech and MBA and M.S. degrees from Florida Institute of Technology. In addition, he was awarded a diploma from the Naval War College.

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Board of Advisors


Andy Davis

Mr.Davis has a long track record of success as a company executive in the rapidly changing high technology aerospace, defense and homeland security market space.

As President and CEO of a private company, Lau Defense Systems, he was responsible for reversing the company's downward slide, increasing revenues from $29 million to $65 million and taking the company from an initial assessed market cap of $22 million to a $62 million equity event in a little over four years.

Previously he served as director of advanced programs and technology for United Defense, where he developed several new products and programs resulting in over $3 billion in profitable revenue. He has expertise in creating competitive strategies, developing new businesses, successfully identifying and integrating accretive acquisitions, creating long term customer relationships, leadership, financing, and focusing R&D investments into high payoff markets.

Mr. Davis is a member of The CEO Management group, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), where he serves on the CEO Advisory Board; the National Defense Association (NDIA), sitting on the Industrial Committee of Tank and Automotive producers; the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), past President and Director, Silicon Valley AUSA, and a member of the Stanford Alumni Association.

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Donald M. Leavitt

A veteran of NASA's Apollo manned lunar landing program, Mr. Leavitt advises C-level executives in the networking, IT, telecom, and financial software sectors on value creation strategies that have resulted in numerous successes, including a widely-covered $15.7 billion merger, a multibillion dollar secondary, and several multimillion dollar financings and sales at premium-to-market valuations.

Mr. Leavitt has worked with senior managements to craft and execute value enhancement platforms at such marquee firms as Fujitsu, Ltd., MGIC, ICL Retail, NSI, Invensys PLC, Greystone, HP, Encoda Systems, BizTelOne-NeuStar, Carbone Smolan, and AdMedia Partners as well as startups Marketswitch, QubeCity, Krypteian, Corporate Smarts, and Spectra Science.

As President and CEO of a private company, Dyographics, Mr. Leavitt works with his Global 2000 clients to identify, present, and communicate those strategic, technological, and competitive elements that give a company force multiplier status, maximize its valuation, and confer powerful negotiating leverage when sitting across the table from prospective underwriters, commercial lenders, or private equity investors.

Mr. Leavitt has also provided strategic category management, M&A analysis, competitive market assessment, and technology evaluation services to senior managements at such Fortune 1000 stalwarts as Merrill Lynch, Lehman, Canon, Worldwide Holdings, Volkswagen, CBS, The New York Times, Eastman Kodak, Time, Inc., and Ziff Davis.

A high honors graduate of Brandeis University, Mr. Leavitt is also known for his global marketing expertise having co-authored a landmark study for the Harvard Business School on many of the operational, marketing, and channel management challenges facing Fortune 500 companies migrating to globally focused business and operating models in a case about Bronner Slosberg Humphrey.

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Bahar Uttam

Mr. Uttam is a long-time executive and business owner operating in the federal and defense sector. In 1984, he founded Synetics Corporation, a systems engineering and information technology firm. The company grew to $50 million with a staff of over 500 in 10 U.S. and two international locations. Inc. Magazine twice recognized the company as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the US and in the top 10 in New England.

ACS, Inc., a Dallas-based NYSE corporation, acquired Synetics in 2002. Bahar helped the transition of Synetics into ACS for a year as a consultant to ACS. (Lockheed Martin subsequently acquired the Federal Division of ACS that acquired Synetics.) Prior to founding Synetics he was a Senior Vice President of Jaycor, a high technology San Diego-based corporation.

While serving as CEO of Synetics , Bahar was selected to the International Trade Hall of Fame, served on the Gubernatorial Commission on International Trade, and was a member of the Dean's Council at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He has also been recognized for technical contribution in his field by being awarded the Kershner Award by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

He was educated in the U.K. and the U.S., earning three degrees in Electrical Engineering.

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Charles H. Chappell

Charles H. Chappell runs Caliber Consulting LLC, a strategy and financial consulting company. Mr. Chappell has 20 years of experience in the government contracting industry with substantial experience in M&A and financial analysis/valuation. Prior to his work with Caliber Consulting, Mr. Chappell worked in corporate development for six years at ICF International, a $200 million U.S. management/policy consultancy, where he served as Vice President/Corporate Strategy, leading the firm's M&A program, managing a strategy project to grow the firm's organically generated revenue, and developing financing for acquisitions and internal growth initiatives. Mr. Chappell was instrumental in several strategic transactions at ICF International, including the $71 million leveraged recapitalization of the firm by a private equity group in 1999 and the 2002 acquisition of two businesses ($60 million in aggregate revenue) from Arthur D. Little, Inc. Mr. Chappell holds an M.B.A. with Honors (Palmer Scholar) from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in Environmental Studies from Hamilton College.

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