President and Chief Executive Officer
John Hillen has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc., formerly Global Defense Technology & Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:GTEC), since 2008 and is Chairman of the Board of Directors. Prior to joining the company and then taking it public in 2009, Dr. Hillen served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs. Prior to that, Dr. Hillen was President of what is now CGI Federal Inc., a federal IT services company that is a subsidiary of CGI Inc (NYSE: GIB), a Canadian IT services firm. Prior to that Dr. Hillen led the defense and intelligence business at American Management Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMSY), which was sold to CACI International, Inc. in 2004.
From 2000 to 2002, Dr. Hillen served as a Vice President and then Chief Operating Officer of Island ECN Inc., a capital markets firm in New York City. Prior to that, Dr. Hillen spent 12 years as an officer in the U.S. Army in both conventional and special operations units and has been decorated for his actions in combat. He has held positions in several public policy research institutes and is the author/co-author of several books and numerous journal articles on international security affairs that have been published in Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. Dr. Hillen currently serves as a trustee at several non-profit institutions and is a member of the board of directors of Applied Communications Sciences. He also serves on the federal advisory commission for the U.S. Navy, having been appointed to that position by the Secretary of Defense in 2007. A government contracting industry leader, Dr. Hillen is Chairman of the Board of the Professional Services Council and is a 2011 recipient of the “Fed 100” award from Federal Computer Week magazine.
Dr. Hillen received a B.A. in Policy Studies/History from Duke University, an M.A. degree in Defense Studies from King’s College, London University, a D.Phil. in International Relations from Oxford University and an M.B.A. from Cornell University.
Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development and Member of the Board of Directors
Ron Jones is responsible for driving the strategy and accelerating the growth and corporate development of Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc. (Sotera) and is a member of Sotera’s Board of Directors. Mr. Jones is the primary visionary, architect and energy behind Sotera's establishment, growth and transformation, starting with the acquisition of SFA, Inc. in February 2007. Mr. Jones initiated, led and closed the SFA transaction, and then singlehandedly set out to establish and recruit a high caliber Board of Directors while attracting and hiring key talent to strengthen the company’s senior leadership and business development teams. In 2009, Mr. Jones was the driving force behind the IPO of SFA, Inc. - who changed it’s name to Global Defense Technology & Systems, Inc (NASDAQ: GTEC) - in November , and managed the follow on acquisitions closed by GTEC in the Intelligence Community, before the strategic sale of GTEC to Ares Management, that created Sotera. Mr. Jones continues to champion the growth and evolution of Sotera as a leading agile, innovative, mid-tier force in the national security community.
Before joining Sotera, Mr. Jones was the Senior Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Development, and a member of the board of directors for Gray Hawk Systems, Inc. Mr. Jones was the primary force behind the build and transformation of Gray Hawk as a national security technology company, improving organizational effectiveness, hiring key talent in the leadership ranks, and closing add on acquisitions. Finally Mr. Jones initiated, led, developed and closed the strategic sale of Gray Hawk Systems to ManTech (NASDAQ: MANT), helping to launch ManTech into the counterterrorism community.
Before Gray Hawk Systems, Mr. Jones was Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy & Development for Veridian (NYSE: VNX). He was the chief architect behind Veridian’s growth strategy and the leader and driver behind the highly-charged Veridian Mergers & Acquisitions program that, for over eight years, propelled the company through renewal, transformation, accelerated growth, an IPO and a highly valuated strategic sale to General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).
Mr. Jones formerly served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and holds a B.S. in Engineering from the US Naval Academy and an M.B.A. from Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
Ms. Felix is the Chief Financial Officer and an Executive Vice President of Sotera Defense Solutions. She oversees all of the financial operations of Sotera’s business including strategic planning, accounting and financial processes and procedures.
Ms. Felix brings to Sotera the knowledge she has gained from 20 years of experience as a financial professional in the government services and technology sectors. Her career includes serving as Controller of two private equity-backed companies, Deltek, Inc. and Vangent, Inc. During her tenure with those organizations, Ms. Felix took Deltek through an initial public offering and helped Vangent secure a successful sale to General Dynamics.
As Vice President and Corporate Controller for Vangent, Ms. Felix was retained in the General Dynamics/Vangent merger for a role in General Dynamics Corporate office where she took on the role of Financial Planning Director in charge of all mergers & acquisition (M&A) for General Dynamic’s largest and most acquisitive business segment, IS&T, with over $11 billion in technology and services revenue. She is well versed in leading financial operations improvements, including financial systems and complex M&A integrations.
While serving as Vice President of Finance at Deltek, she built and directed the company’s accounting and finance support functions. Throughout her career, Ms. Felix has established herself as a leader in developing and implementing best-in-class processes to help her organization achieve exceptional accounting, financial planning and analysis, budgeting, forecasting and dash-boarding. She has also demonstrated her ability to serve as a positive change agent in organizations and, during her time at American Management Systems (AMS), Ms. Felix successfully transformed a very decentralized finance organization into one cohesive unit. Early in her career Ms. Felix spent 8 years with the public accounting firm Deloitte & Touche working with high growth technology companies.
Ms. Felix is a graduate of the University of Maryland and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Virginia Society of CPAs.
EVP, Business Development
Kirk Herdman is the Executive Vice President of Business Development for Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc. (Sotera) providing leadership and oversight to the company’s business development and operations functions.
Immediately prior to joining Sotera, Mr. Herdman was the Senior Vice President and General Manager for Defense and Science Programs at Wyle Information Systems where he was responsible for nearly 1000 employees supporting mission critical programs valued at over $150M in annual revenues for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA).
Before Wyle, Mr. Herdman spent over 15 years with General Dynamics (formerly Veridian) where he was Vice President for Defense Business Development within General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (GDAIS). While there, Mr. Herdman was responsible for defense agency business development activities for over a $1 Billion operation. Other positions Mr. Herdman held include Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Veridian Engineering’s Applied Technology Group (ATG) and Director of Veridian Engineering’s San Diego, C.A. office.
Mr. Herdman has a B.S in Applied Mathematics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; he is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Darden Business School Executive Training Program on Leadership Change; and he has attended numerous other senior management training courses.
EVP, General Manager, Defense & Intelligence Solutions
William “Bill” Cave is Executive Vice President and General Manager of Sotera's Defense & Intelligence Solutions business. Bill leads the Defense & Intelligence Solutions operating unit comprised of 1,000 engineers, scientists, analysts and other national security experts providing advanced solutions and services to the Intelligence Community, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Law Enforcement Community and other federal government agencies. The Defense & Intelligence Solutions’ capabilities portfolio includes data fusion and analytics, full lifecycle IT, ISR and electronic warfare systems development, intelligence analysis and operations support.
Bill joined Sotera in June 2011. Before joining, he was Senior Vice President and Program Development Director of SAIC’s Surveillance and Reconnaissance business unit, responsible for strategy and growth for high-technology ISR and Electronic Warfare solutions, services and products supporting DoD and the Intelligence Community. Earlier leadership roles included Operations Manager for the Sensor Systems Operation and Division Manager for Advanced Systems and Technology division. Prior to SAIC, he worked at the Central Intelligence Agency and Naval Surface Warfare Center – Carderock Division.
Mr. Cave’s career with the U.S. Army Reserve was focused on special operations. Mr. Cave has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.
EVP, Cyber Systems & Solutions
Ms. Villano is the Executive Vice President of Sotera’s Cyber Systems & Solutions business. She oversees over 250 national security professionals focused on delivering a broad range of solutions to address the most pressing cyber security needs of the company’s Ft. Meade based customers. Ms. Villano is a vital member of Sotera’s senior leadership team charged with implementing a strategy to propel the company’s growth and momentum in the cyber security market.
Ms. Villano brings to Sotera the knowledge she has gained from almost 30 years of experience with the DOD/Intelligence Community customer. Most recently she was a Senior Vice President with Booz Allen where she led technology teams focused on providing mission capability solutions to contracts in the Fort Meade area. She was directly responsible for business strategy and growth, quality delivery, and career management.
Before joining Booz Allen, Ms. Villano was a Vice President at BDM International in Columbia, MD leading the company’s regional office providing software and systems engineering as well as transcription and analytical support services to the Fort Meade customer.
Ms. Villano is an instrumental member of several professional organizations and has also served as chairman of the board and president of the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association’s (AFCEA) Central Maryland Chapter.
Ms. Villano is active in several professional organizations, including AFCEA, where she previously served as chairman of the board and president of the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association’s (AFCEA) Central Maryland Chapter.
Senior Vice President, Contracts and Administration
Mike Weixel is the Senior Vice President of Contracts and Administration for Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc. (Sotera). Mr. Weixel is responsible for the establishment of the contractual and business operations plan across the company in support of all business units.
Prior to joining Sotera, Mr. Weixel was the Vice President of Contracts for ManTech IS&T with direct management and operational oversight for all contractual, subcontracting and pricing for the IS&T Business Unit with reporting responsibility to the Senior Corporate Vice President of Contracts at ManTech International. Mr. Weixel previously worked in key business operations management positions for Lockheed Martin IT, ACS Defense and Government Services and System Planning Corporation. In 1996, Mr. Weixel was recognized by the Secretary of Defense, William Perry, for his contribution to the Atlanta Centennial Olympics and the Atlanta Paralympics, and in 2004, he received the Lockheed Martin NOVA award.
Mr. Weixel received a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, V.A. and an M.B.A. from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs
Lisa Broome is Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs for Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc. (Sotera). Ms. Broome joined the Company in 1996 and she works closely with the executive leadership team to create a competitive advantage, enable growth and deliver maximum business results through the recruitment and retention of quality employees. She oversees all Human Resources functions including leadership development, training, employee relations, compensation, benefits, recruiting and security.
Prior to joining Sotera, Ms. Broome directed the human resources department for an 8(a) government contracting company. She developed and implemented policies and programs regarding transition plans for the recruitment and hiring of 500+ employees. Ms. Broome has been responsible for training, supervising and the administration of multi-million dollar department budgets. She has a proven track record of providing cost-effective management solutions to numerous human resource issues. Prior to her career in human resources, Ms. Broome was a production manager for a large industrial services corporation.
Ms. Broome earned both her M.S. degree in management and her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the HR Leadership Council, ExecutiveBiz 4x24 HR Group, Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Washington Technical Personnel Forum (WTPF).
Jesse Watters is the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc. (Sotera). Mr. Watters’ oversees all of the legal affairs of Sotera and its subsidiaries, and advises the company on such matters as corporate governance, contracts, litigation, technology licensing, acquisitions and divestitures, real estate, intellectual property management, regulatory, compliance and employment issues. He also serves as the company’s Chief Compliance Officer responsible for the day-to-day implementation, management and operation of the Ethics Compliance Program.
Prior to joining the company, Mr. Watters served as Corporate Vice President, Deputy General Counsel of Alion Science and Technology Corporation, a technology company servicing the U.S. Government. In this position, Mr. Watters was responsible for all the business and operational legal issues of Alion to include responsibility as the Corporate Compliance Officer for Alion’s Ethics Compliance program. Mr. Watters previously served as the Deputy General Counsel of the Coalition Provisional Authority, Office of the Inspector General and specialized in the areas of government contracts and compliance while at the law firms of Holland & Knight, LLP and Patton Boggs, LLP. During his professional endeavors he also served as an Adjunct Professor at the Joint Military Intelligence College where he taught National Security Law. Mr. Watters served on active duty and in the reserves from 1984-2009 first as non-commissioned officer and later as an officer in the U.S. Navy. His tours of duty included the USCINCLANT, USSOUTHCOM, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense, Office of the Inspector General and the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division.
Mr. Watters received a B.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University and a J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law.