Board of Directors
Kevin O’Neil, Board Chair
Chief Executive Officer, The O’Neil Group Company
Kevin O’Neil is the Chief Executive Officer of The O’Neil Group Company. Mr. O’Neil launched his first company in 1982. He has spent 20 years in the retail, commercial and residential textile business taking advantage of Colorado’s housing boom in the 1980s. The last textile company sold became a division of Home Depot. Mr. O’Neil purchased Braxton Technologies, LLC, in 2008 through his investment concern, The O’Neil Group Company. Braxton is Mr. O’Neil’s cornerstone for new industry and future growth. In 2016, Mr. O’Neil launched the Catalyst Campus for Technology & Innovation in downtown Colorado Springs. Mr. O’Neil was one of the 2016 Colorado Technology Association’s APEX awards nominees, as well as one of the 2016 Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance’s Business Citizen of the Year nominees. Mr. O’Neil graduated cum laude from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 1989.
Director, Braxton Technologies
Ed Baron currently serves as a Director for Braxton Technologies, LLC Prior to his tenure with Braxton Technologies, Ed spent 25 years in the Air Force retiring as a Colonel after an extensive career within space operations, acquisition and communications. He spent 16 years in the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) supporting various programs within the three main directorates and supporting over 25 spacecraft launches. Ed also spent eight years within Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) working requirements, funding, acquisition and engineering for MILSATCOM, the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, and various Space Control programs. He also served as a Communications Squadron Commander, a Mission Support Group Commander, and served three deployments overseas in Afghanistan, the CENTCOM Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC), and finished his career in Iraq as the Chief of Staff, Joint Forces Special Operations Component Command – Iraq. Ed holds a Masters Degree in Engineering from San Jose State University and a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech.
Chief Executive Officer, Tanist Technologies
Tom Focareto is the CEO/Co-Founder of Tanist Technologies; the first startup company located at Catalyst Campus. He is a seasoned space professional with 29 years of proven history operating and acquiring National Technical Means space systems and Space Control systems for the National Reconnaissance Office and Air Force Space Command. His experience includes program management, business development, contract management, systems engineering, technical analysis, space operations, training and evaluation, concept development, requirements development, acquisition planning and long-range planning. Tom holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electronic Technology Engineering and a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Science. He is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with 24+ years of service.
Chief Executive Officer, TMC Designs
Chris Ham is owner, President and CEO of TMC Design Corporation. He presides over TMC Corporate Headquarters’ and two manufacturing sites all located in New Mexico, a Space Operations division in Colorado Springs, Colorado and a Missiles and Space Division in Huntsville, Alabama. Chris has over 35 years of experience in design, development and deployment of systems used to support the Electronic Warfare and Space/Cyber mission areas. These systems are deployed globally providing much needed operational capabilities to the warfighter. Chris is a recognized Subject Matter Expert (SME) and provides his expertise to various DoD organizations working on Offensive Space Control (OSC), Defensive Space Control (DSC) and Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programs. Chris is a coinventor and co-patent holder of two patents and has two others pending.
Vice President of Advanced Technologies & Defense Programs, Omitron Corporation
Mark LeBlanc is the Vice President of Advanced Technologies & Defense Programs for the Omitron Corporation. He leads Omitron’s advanced planning and strategies centered on Space Situation Awareness (SSA) and space control business lines. Mark has over 30 years’ experience in the space control mission area. He oversaw the development and operationalization of the Astrodynamics Support Workstation (ASW) and its High Accuracy Catalog (HAC), which is the current technical baseline at the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC). Additionally, he managed the contractor implementation of the orbital debris avoidance operations for the International Space Station (ISS) and the subsequent standup of similar operations for the NROC and NASA Goddard customers. Mr. Leblanc holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Master’s Degree in Acquisition Management, and a MBA in Finance. He is a retired Navy Commander with experience in the E2C Hawkeye and joint space operations.
Executive Director, Catalyst Campus
Ingrid Richter is the Executive Director of the Catalyst Campus for Technology & Innovation, an O’Neil Group Company economic endeavor to advance Colorado Springs. Ingrid joined The O’Neil Group Company in 2014, as President and employing broker of The Paramount Group. Prior to joining The Paramount Group, Ms. Richter served as the Real Estate Manager for the City of Colorado Springs. Ingrid was awarded the 2016 Accolades Business Leader of the Year by the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Richter received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado.
Chief Executive Officer, GPS Source
Robert Horton is the Chief Executive Officer of GPS Source, Inc. Mr. Horton came to GPS Source with over thirteen years experience in the Wireless Communications and GPS Industries. He received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas and a M.S. in Digital Communications Theory from North Carolina State University. Mr. Horton enjoyed over ten years of service in the United States Air Force and the Air National Guard. He currently holds eleven US Patents.
Chief Defense Industry Officer, Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance
Andy Merritt is the Chief Defense Industry Officer of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and EDC. Andy is responsible for all aspects of our support to the local military and related industry, as well as coordinating legislative advocacy efforts. Quoted in national media outlets like the Wall Street Journal and CNN Money, Andy is widely respected for his work on behalf of Colorado Springs industry and military communities. He has over 25 years of military and congressional staff experience.
Chief Executive Officer, Springs Fabrication
Tom Neppl is the Chief Executive Officer of Springs Fabrication. After Tom completed industrial electronics in college, he moved to Colorado Springs in 1985. Neppl, who likes to build and create things, was “driven” to work for himself, so he co-founded Springs Fabrication Inc. in 1986, taking over full ownership about a year later. Neppl and his wife Lorrie, who have two children and three grandchildren, recently hiked in New Zealand and Australia. In addition, Neppl has climbed more than half of Colorado’s Fourteeners, and enjoys mountain biking, dirt biking and hiking the Manitou Incline. Springs Fab has grown to become the region’s largest manufacturing company. With recent acquisitions, the company includes manufacturing facilities in Colorado Springs, Loveland and Broomfield, specializing in energy, new technology and heavy industrial equipment manufacturing.