Aviation: The Future of Aerospace in New Mexico – April 18, 2013

February 26, 2013

in Aviation & Aerospace,Events

New Mexico continues to lead the nation in terms of innovation in aerospace. From the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport to advanced avionics companies (both homegrown and moving to the State) to cutting edge unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design, New Mexico has a rich aerospace ecosystem with companies of all stages from start up to Fortune 100.

To better understand where New Mexico’s aerospace industry is going, come and join CVF for a dynamic panel discussion featuring leaders of New Mexico’s aerospace future. Each of our panelists will weigh in on the important opportunities and challenges within the New Mexico’s aerospace industry and the audience will be able to interact through what should be a lively question and answer session.

As an homage to aviation’s history, we are delighted to be hosting this event at the Albuquerque Balloon Museum. Learn more about all the Balloon Museum has to offer by visiting www.cabq.gov/balloon.


Todd HandTodd HandManaging Partner, TalentBench
Todd is a CVF Board member since 2006, and is the Managing Director of TalentBench, a division of BSG Team Ventures, a Boston-based executive search firm. Previously, Todd held operating roles as VP of Sales & Marketing at Altela and COO at CleanSwitch Solar. He also raised venture capital financing for an executive search firm where he recruited leaders to drive the success of innovative technology companies. Previously, Todd built management teams for Idealab, a creator and operator of technology companies. He moved there from the Yankee Group, the global technology market research firm. Todd has been published as a guest writer for NetworkWorld. He is a graduate of Penn State and attended the Babson MBA program before leaving early to start his own company. He is also a two-time Ironman finisher.


John_UczekajJohn UczekajPresident and CEO, Aspen Avionics
John Uczekaj has over 30 years of experience in the avionics industry, starting out as an engineer at Boeing and moving into key management positions at Sperry and Honeywell. While at Honeywell, John was made Executive VP and General Manager of the Aerospace Electronics Systems division, including the Bendix/King line of general aviation (GA) avionics. Immediately prior to joining Aspen, John was President and COO of The NORDAM Group, an aviation parts manufacturer and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company. John now brings his unique blend of broad avionics experience and world-class management expertise to grow Aspen Avionics into a key player in the general aviation industry. Mr. Uczekaj holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Oregon State University and an MBA from City University, Seattle, Washington. John is an instrument rated private pilot and flies a Diamond DA40. 

dennis-zaklanDennis Zaklan, Deputy Director, NMSU UAS FTC, New Mexico State University, Physical Science Laboratory
Dennis Zaklan is the Deputy Director of the New Mexico State University’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Test Center. Mr. Zaklan was one of the principle elements in establishing NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory as one of the nations’ leaders in UAS. His efforts lead to the establishment of the only FAA authorized UAS FTC in the National Airspace System. Mr Zaklan has been with NMSU since 2003 following a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Master Chief Cryptologist. He has extensive knowledge and experience with UAS and has also established and managed the NMSU/PSL UAS Operations Team, and a high altitude ballooning sensor effort. He has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management/Project Management. Mr. Zaklan has also completed the basic FAA Safety Management Course.

rabonChad Rabon, Operations Manager, New Mexico Spaceport Authority
Chad graduated from NMSU with a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture Economics and Agriculture Business with a minor in Marketing and Management. Soon after graduation, Chad started a career in the banking industry, which transferred him to Las Vegas, NV and Phoenix, AZ. While located in Las Vegas, Chad pursued a management program with First Savings Bank, which led to a position as a Commercial Loan Officer. After 2 years in Las Vegas, he relocated to Phoenix for an opportunity at a new startup bank in Phoenix, AZ. With his experience in the banking industry, Chad decided to pursue a position in the merger and acquisition sector with an investment bank, Dinan & Company, LLC, where he was an associate serving as a broker for Private Equity Groups. In 2009, Chad was offered a job with the New Mexico Spaceport Authority assisting the executive director in business development within southern New Mexico. Now in Las Cruces, Chad is works full time as the General Operations Manager with New Mexico Spaceport Authority. Chad has overseen all construction responsibilities for over 3 years and is responsible for transitioning the project from a construction project to an operational Spaceport. Chad has served as the primary point of contact with Virgin Galactic on all construction related aspects of the project.

Marc-AusmanMarc AusmanPresident, Vertical Power
Marc brings a wide range of experience in the software and aviation industries and has been an integral member of the management team of several technology startups, two of which he co-founded. Starting in 2002, Marc worked at Eclipse Aviation until 2006 when he founded Vertical Power, a company that makes Electronic Circuit Breakers and power management systems for small aircraft. Prior to working in the aviation industry, Marc was involved with several venture capital backed software companies where he played a key role in defining the original product concepts, conducting early market validation, launching new products, and managing product groups through rapid growth. Marc earned his pilot’s license in college and went on to serve with the U.S. Navy as a Naval Flight Officer on board the P3-C Orion. He has an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a BS from California Polytechnic State University. He holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate with Multi-Engine and Instrument ratings and enjoys flying an RV-7 which he finished building in 2006.

gouldKevin Gould, President, Bendix/King
Kevin Gould joined Honeywell in 2011 as President of Bendix/King, an avionics business within Honeywell Aerospace. Bendix/King provides flight avionics including communication and navigation, autopilots, flight management systems, flight information services, weather radar, Integrated Hazard Avoidance Systems and multi-function displays for the general aviation, experimental and light business aviation aircraft. Kevin is an avid, instrument-rated pilot with over 500 hours of flight time.
Prior to joining Bendix/King, Kevin was President and CEO of Piper Aircraft. He joined Piper in 2005 as Vice President of Operations, leading a turnaround of the manufacturing and supply chain functions, and participating in the sale of the company. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President of Operations at Adam Aircraft Industries from 2003 to 2005. Prior to that role, Kevin was CEO of Clinicient, LLC, a healthcare software firm that he turned around and sold. Earlier in his career, he held a number of management and executive positions during his 12-year tenure at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Date: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Time: 6-8 pm
Venue: The Albuquerque Balloon Museum
9201 Balloon Museum Dr. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
Cost: $22.50 in advance (credit card payments); $25 at the door (cash and check only).

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{ 1 comment }

Tim Alden 02.27.13 at 2:44 am

The amount of diverse aeronautical technology in New Mexico is truly exciting. This event would be a great opportunity for budding aeronautical companies to peek into one of the aeronautical hubs of the world.

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