About TechOpp Consulting

With over 500 years of combined experience, TechOpp Consulting is committed to helping small businesses secure R&D funding and commercialize new technologies.

Bob Fielder

David Venlet

David Venlet consults independently in aerospace and defense since retirement as a Vice Admiral, US Navy.  As the F-35 Program Executive Officer, he restored confidence, performance and stability in the largest defense investment program, the $390B F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. He applied transparency and realism in high-risk communication to restore trust with 12 international governments, Congressional committees, Defense senior leadership and international aviation industries.

  • Served as the Program Executive Officer for the Joint Strike Fighter Program from 2010-2012 where he directed the enterprise of testing, production and sustainment of three aircraft versions with the latest system capabilities for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and 10 additional international purchasers of the F-35.
  • Served as the Commander, Naval Air Systems Command, from 2007-2010.  Provided technical and logistics support for Navy and Marine Corps aircraft and unmanned vehicles ashore and at sea. Developed aircraft, weapons and unmanned systems for future capabilities.
  • Managed a 24,000 person organization operating with over $30B annually to provide the full spectrum of safety, technical, maintenance and logistics support. Sustained a total inventory of over 3,000 aircraft across fighter, rotary wing, patrol and unmanned vehicles to support operations at sea and ashore in combat and disaster response.  Developed future systems capability with industry.

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CAPT David Kern (USN, Ret.)

CAPT David Kern (USN, Ret.)

Capt. David Kern (USN, Ret.) is an experienced naval officer who served from 1983 to 2010. Since assuming command in 1999, his leadership has brought recognition and awards to the organizations he commanded, including the USS San Francisco, USS Virginia, the lead boat of her class, and Commander, Undersea Surveillance. Capt. Kern has repeatedly been chosen to plan, implement, and oversee multimillion dollar projects relating to the development, maintenance, and improvement of submarines and their related technology. He later used his experience to found Kern Technology Group, LLC (KTG) in 2010. Through KTG, Capt. Kern researches technological innovation, human system design, organizational and team decision-making. His many years of experience with submarine development programs give him unique insights into the design and life-cycle support of new submarine technologies.

  • Acted as Commander, Submarine Forces primary representative in coordinating the annual development of a $12B Submarine Force Modernization Sponsor Program Proposal.
  • Led over 650 sailors and civilians as head of the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS) with Type Commander-like responsibilities and staff responsible to man, train and equip all IUSS shore facilities, associated CNO special projects, and TAGOS surveillance ships.
  • Led a crew of 140 officers and enlisted in the shipyard construction, developmental testing and first at-sea operations of a first of class new submarine design.

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Jon Greene

Jon Greene

Jon Greene has over 30 years of progressive experience in research, development, operation, modernization, and maintenance of complex technical systems.

  • After 28-year career as a nuclear-qualified Surface Warfare Officer, Jon retired as Commanding Officer, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dam Neck
  • Interim Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership with the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech
  • Served as Assistant Chief of Staff for C4I and Combat Systems for the Atlantic Surface Fleet

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Alex Larzelere

Alex Larzelere

Alex Larzelere is an independent consultant who specializes in public/private partnerships, advanced modeling and simulation, high performance computing, and nuclear energy His over 30 years of experience has been marked by success in the ability to identify problems of national significance, create a vision to address the issue, build a team to execute the vision, and then marshal the resources (people, money, time) necessary for success of those ventures.

  • In the Office of Nuclear Energy in the DOE, Alex served as the federal Program Director for the Modeling and Simulation Energy Innovation Hub. The Hub, known as the Consortium for the Advanced Simulation of Light-water-reactors (CASL) created modsim capabilities that serve as a virtual version of the TVA Watts Bar #1 reactor
  • Also, while at the DOE, Alex led a team of national laboratories and industry to deliver modsim tools and some of the world's most powerful computers to be used to assess the safety and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapon stockpile
  • Alex also has experience in provide industry and as a founder of a small business. While at SAIC, he was the technical director of a team that developed a system of systems design to recapitalize the off-shore assets for the U.S. Coast Guard

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Bob Fielder

Ken Conklin

Ken Conklin has enjoyed a multi-decade career developing business for and managing microwave semiconductor, component, subsystem and research operations.  He is experienced with all stages of the business development process and specializes in the launch of new products into the marketplace. This is demonstrated by his successful introductory campaigns for chipsets for military radar systems, GPS receivers and millimeter-wave backhaul radios.

  • Former General Manager of the Cobham Defense Electronics gallium arsenide (GaAs) design and manufacturing business in Blacksburg, Virginia, whose products enabled DOD radar and communications systems
  • Specializes in the launch of new products into the marketplace demonstrated by successful introductory campaigns for chipsets for military radar systems, GPS receivers and millimeter-wave backhaul radios
  • Creation of strategic business plans, penetration of global markets, building high performance team, excellent writing skills

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Ron Arias

Ron Arias

Ron Arias is a Contracts Management Professional with over 30 years of experience in the Aerospace and Defense Industry.

  • Diverse Contract Management experience supporting Commercial, International and DoD Development, Spares and Production Programs
  • Managed Contracts Operations in the US, Canada, Brazil and Spain for Programs ranging from $10K to $1.4B
  • Experienced in all stages of the procurement cycle from front-end strategic assessment of business pursuits, proposal preparation, contract negotiation, contract administration, and contract close out activitie

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Roger Burnett

Roger Burnett has over 40 years of experience spanning naval aviation, ACAT program management, federal litigation, and academia.

  • 28 years in naval aviation
  • Retired from Navy as the Assistant Chief of Naval Research
  • Tactical aircraft Program Manager for The John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
  • DOD Liaison for the Virginia Tech Office of the Vice President for Research

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Mike Miller

Mike Miller

Mike Miller is an experienced technology and business leader and serial entrepreneur.

  • Experienced entrepreneur with over 30 years in the technology industry
  • Founded/Co-Founded 3 successful tech startups
  • 4 years, Senior Licensing Manager, Virginia Tech

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Glenn Prather

Glenn Prather

Glenn Prather has expertise in product development, project management, and customer relations.

  • 20 years in contract sales and project management
  • PM experience at Boeing, Litton, ITT, VCCR, Alcatel
  • Commercial proposal developer for large programs

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Tim Hopkins

Tim Hopkins brings over 17 years of entrepreneurial and established company executive-level management experience including CEO/CTO.  Industry experience includes 29 years of sales, marketing, purchasing, operational, and technical transactions throughout the world.

  • DOD funding solicitation and program management experience
  • DOD Technology Transfer and Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) management and experience
  • Extensive experience with strategic and venture capital investors
  • Strong experience in new technology development, large and small scale manufacturing, team building, product development mapping, and research and development

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Bruce Fleming

Bruce Fleming

Bruce Fleming has over 30 years' experience as a certified Senior Program Manager, Chief Systems Engineer, Test Conductor and Mission Director for a variety of high-profile NASA and DOD Programs.

  • Managed Aerospace and Space Systems Program development, wins, start-ups and life-cycle management of several programs valued at $1B+, including Shuttle Upgrades and Shuttle Return to Flight initiatives, THAAD missile tests, and SBIRS GEO Satellites assembly and on-orbit testing.
  • Clients include Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Raytheon, L-3 Communications, Sonoran Technology, Cimarron Inc., GHG Inc., US Air Force, US Army, Missile Defense Agency and NASA Kennedy, Johnson, Marshall, Stennis, Ames and Langley.
  • Strives for excellence contributing to 100% Mission Success and Operational Excellence by regularly setting priorities based on customer/program needs and requirements, with a focus on Customer Intimacy, Contract management, Horizontal Integration and Process Efficiencies.

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Vladimir Polejaev

Vladimir Polejaev

Proven expertise in developing high-tech products for Microscopy, Imaging, Optics, Lasers, Fiber Optics and Spectroscopy in a demanding research environment.  Successfully led the product development and design of electro-optical computer controlled systems from initial concept to prototype and production. Vladimir is effective mentor with excellent organizational skills, practical knowledge of experimental methods and techniques and broad experience in data analysis and control algorithm development.  

  • Extensive skills in translating new ideas into working prototypes
  • Experience in all elements of design: project planning, model simulations and calculations, prototype building and verification

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Bob Bailey

Bob Bailey

Bob Bailey has expertise in project and program management, strategic planning, meeting facilitation, grant writing and administration, along with evaluation and assessment services. Bob has over 18 years of experience in technology-based workforce and economic development and 15 years of broad experience in industry. His background involves the blending of strong technical skills with extensive planning and management skills.

  • Led the design and construction of an $8 million R&D facility for the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research
  • Successfully obtained over $20 million in technology commercialization grant awards from the Virginia Tobacco Commission and Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology
  • Strong ability to communicate technical ideas and concepts to a non-technical audience

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