Ms. Julia Bennett serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Bennett Aerospace, Inc. Ms. Bennett is a veteran of the U.S. Army and has over a decade of engineering project management experience. She began her career working as an environmental engineer at a national civil and environmental engineering consulting firm, where she was responsible for leading the project management efforts over a diverse portfolio of engineering related projects. In 2008, she was a senior advisor and co-founder of Bennett Aerospace, LLC. In 2011, she took over as CEO and then later as CEO/President of Bennett Aerospace, Inc. Ms. Bennett is passionate about utilizing science and technology to protect America from threats both global and domestic. Under her sole leadership, she grew Bennett Aerospace, Inc. from roughly 35 employees to over 140 employees and continues to grow this organization with the help of her corporate team. Ms. Bennett has a B.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering from the University of Florida.
Dr. Brandon Conover is Chief Technology Officer and an experienced Business Development professional at Bennett Aerospace, Inc. His current efforts focus on topics such as technology strategy and lifecycle management, systems engineering and integration, scientific and technical support to the Department of Defense, and small business corporate strategy. Dr. Conover’s recent scientific endeavors include advanced manufacturing techniques, mechanical vibration analysis and mitigation, machine vision, optical data transmission, holographic waveguide displays, laser beam steering and combining, kinetic energy harvesting, lidar applications, advanced electronic materials, and phased array radar. At Bennett Aerospace, Dr. Conover is responsible for managing corporate growth in myriad scientific arenas, overseeing business development activities across multiple industry verticals and government agencies, protecting and marketing a broad intellectual property portfolio, and implementing the long-range corporate strategy plan. Dr. Conover has published numerous peer reviewed articles as principle investigator, overseen dozens of technical reports as program manager, and facilitated several scientific panels and events. He is active within several North Carolina organizations, including the North Carolina Defense Business Association (NCDBA), the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce, and the Holly Springs Rotary Club. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Dr. Conover, along with his wife and two children, has proudly called North Carolina home for over a decade.
Mr. Dan Stemen serves as Vice President of Operations at Bennett Aerospace, Inc., bringing over 25 years of senior management and leadership experience. He is responsible for the operational support of Bennett Aerospace, including recruiting, human resources, security, and accounting. Prior to joining Bennett Aerospace, Mr. Stemen spent much of his career in the aviation industry, holding operational leadership positions at several airlines. In his last position as President of Sky Lease Cargo, he was responsible for leading the management team as they expanded their Latin America based operations into Europe and Asia. His experience includes roles as COO and Vice President, with management responsibilities of multiple business functions that include Sales, Accounting, Logistics, Purchasing, Human Resources, Legal, Safety, Security, Strategic Planning, and several diverse Operations units. A graduate of Miami Dade College, Mr. Stemen, along with his wife and two boys, has called the Greensboro, NC home for the last 12 years, where they actively participate with the local Boy Scout troop.
Mr. Willis Herweyer is a certified PMI Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 25 years of supervisory experience managing DoD programs. A former US Navy (Ret) Officer, Mr. Herweyer is a transformational leader who developed and motivated cross-functional business acquisition teams for the US Government that comprised over 1,000 SMEs who never failed to meet customer expectations. He managed scope creep and executed budget and project requirements for 25 international project sites in five war-torn countries supported by 4,000 employees. Recognized for exemplary project acumen and executive acquisition and financial leadership, Mr. Herweyer was selected by senior decision-makers for close consultations during austere financial periods, promoting improved leadership with customers and contract stakeholders. Mr. Herweyer was selected as the US Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division and Middle East District Project Manager of the Year for outstanding program operations, oversight, quality, and safety. Mr. Herweyer has more than a decade of experience supervising R&D programs in the science and engineering industries. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the US Naval Academy.
Mr. Michael Freelander is the Contracts Officer at Bennett Aerospace, Inc., managing contracts, negotiations, subcontracts and compliance for Bennett’s various contractual agreements and proposals. He works closely with other members of Bennett’s Executive Management Team, while interfacing with Government Contracting Officers, subcontractors, teaming partners, internal program control office, business development, and proposal/program managers. Mr. Freelander has over 20 years of procurement, contracts management, compliance, and cost/budget management experience, having served as Director of Contracts, Bid Team Lead, Senior Negotiator, Strategic Sourcing Contracts Officer, and Contracts Manager for companies like RTI, IBM, General Dynamics, DoD, NC State University, among others. Mr. Freelander invented the Expanded Far Matrix for CCH and he has attained accreditation by DoD at the Acquisition Professional Development Program Level II and by the NCMA as a Certified Federal Contract Manager. Mr. Freelander has an MBA and a B.S. from East Carolina University. In his spare time, Mr. Freelander volunteers as an officer for the RTP NCMA Chapter and is an avid cyclist, who enjoys relaxing in the mountains and on the coast. He is married for over 20 years to his lovely wife and has enjoyed living in North Carolina for most of his life.
David Seran is the Controller at Bennett Aerospace, Inc. managing the various finance and accounting functions, including contract billing and collection, accounts payable, T&E, payroll, general ledger, compliance and internal controls. David has extensive experience working in the Big 4 public accounting firms, in internal audit departments and has held various management positions within industries that include federal government contracting, technology software and hardware, construction and insurance. David holds his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license in the state of North Carolina and earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Northern Malaysia. In his spare time, David enjoys playing soccer and golfs occasionally. He has volunteered in many professional golf tournaments through the Golf Channel, such as the SAS Open in Cary, NC and the 2014 US Open.
Airie Bown is the Financial Controls Specialist for Bennett Aerospace, Inc. Currently, her areas of focus are in the financial management of all current projects, proposal pricing, DCAA compliance, and reporting and monitoring of Corporate financials. Ms. Bown obtained her Masters degree in Business from the University of Central Florida in 2003 and has since been deeply embedded in both the consumer and corporate finance industries. Her diverse experience and successful performance has earned her several industry awards over the last 10 years. As a finance professional in the government contracting environment, she has gained extensive knowledge of Defense Contract Audit Agency and Federal Acquisition Regulations and ensures Bennett Aerospace is diligent in its compliance of these regulations.