Our team

The APEX team is comprised of serial entrepreneurs, retired military members, scientists, academic researchers and former DoD executive leaders. Our standard for excellence is built on the diversity of our backgrounds that have afforded us a deep understanding of the importance of the APEX mission.
Mary Margaret Evans

Ms. Mary Margaret Evans

Executive Director


Mary Margaret Evans

Ms. Mary Margaret Evans

Executive Director


Ms. Mary Margaret Evans has over 20 years’ experience as an executive leader in the DoD , during which she led projects on research and development, acquisition, arms control negotiations, manufacturing and industrial base policies, defense technology integration, defense reform, arms control implementation and compliance, and space and directed energy. Ms. Evans also possesses ten years’ experience as an executive leader in the private sector.
Erin Holden

Ms. Erin Holden

Program Manager & DAF Liaison


Erin Holden

Ms. Erin Holden

Program Manager & DAF Liaison


Ms. Erin Holden has 15 years’ experience in business development, communications, and policy and procurement with the DoD , U.S. Air Force and Air Force Research Laboratory. She has a Bachelor of Organizational Leadership.

Dr. Edie Williams

Dr. Edie Williams

Creativity & Innovation Director


Dr. Edie Williams

Dr. Edie Williams

Creativity & Innovation Director


Dr. Edie Williams has more than 40 years of experience in acquisition, technology and logistics in the DoD . Her experience includes a 25-year career on active duty with the U.S. Navy. Dr. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science of Business Administration, a Master of Science in Management, a Master of Arts in International Relations, and Doctor of Education, Human and Organizational Learning.

Kathleen Gilpin

Dr. Kathleen Gilpin

National Engagement Director


Kathleen Gilpin

Dr. Kathleen Gilpin

National Engagement Director


Dr. Kathleen Gilpin was an applied research scientist within the 711th Human Performance Wing at the Air Force Research Laboratory and a research scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory where she conducted research to assess the effects of traumatic brain injury. She served five years in the U.S. Navy as a surface warfare officer navigating amphibious ships and remains a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve. She has a Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience.

Kelly Stafford

Ms. Kelly Stafford

Southwest Regional Liaison


Kelly Stafford

Ms. Kelly Stafford

Southwest Regional Liaison


Ms. Kelly Stafford has five years’ experience working with government contractors. Ms. Stafford previously worked as a government contracts paralegal at Taft, Stettinius and Hollister. She holds a Bachelor of Art in English from Miami University of Ohio.

Dr. David Rude

Dr. David Rude

Education & Training Director


Dr. David Rude

Dr. David Rude

Education & Training Director


Dr. Dave Rude has 40 years of federal government experience in talent development, financial management and international relations. Dr. Rude previously served as Chief Learning Officer of the Department of Defense and National Nuclear Security Administration. He holds a Bachelor of Science of Business Administration, an MPA and a Doctor of Education in Human and Organizational Learning.
Amanda Christensen

Dr. Amanda Christensen

Senior Research Scientist


Amanda Christensen

Dr. Amanda Christensen

Senior Research Scientist


Dr. Amanda Christensen has 20+ years in education, training, and development. She has deep experience in the design and delivery of courses and content. She has experience in academia, government, and industry. Dr. Christensen has a PhD in Organizational Behavior/Leadership and an MBA with an emphasis in Business Strategy.
Gretchen Caponga

Ms. Gretchen Capogna

Training Lead


Gretchen Caponga

Ms. Gretchen Capogna

Training Lead


Ms. Gretchen Capogna has eight years’ experience as a DoD government contractor. She’s coordinated STEM programs for the Air Force Research Laboratory and partnership collaborations between the U.S. Air Force and American universities. Ms. Capogna has an extensive background in education and has directed education programs for the U.S. Air Force at multiple bases in the U.S. and Europe. Ms. Capogna has a Bachelor of Political Science and Legal Studies.

Darrell Lochtefeld

Dr. Darrell Lochtefeld

Tech Pull & Transfer Director


Darrell Lochtefeld

Dr. Darrell Lochtefeld

Tech Pull & Transfer Director


Dr. Darrell Lochtefeld has more than 20 years’ experience in research and development and technology transition. He has 13 years experience in civil service with the Air Force Research Laboratory and another seven years as a contractor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, an MBA and a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Machine Intelligence.
Dave Nestic

Mr. Dave Nestic

STTR Program Director


Dave Nestic

Mr. Dave Nestic

STTR Program Director


Mr. Dave Nestic has more than 20 years’ experience in technology company formation, incubation and development and technology economic development. He has held marketing, sales and business development positions in diverse technological fields, such as DNA probe technology, medical electronics, engineering and manufacturing automation and molecular biology. He’s also held executive roles in industry, state and nonprofit organizations as well as has founded tech and consumer-product startups. Mr. Nestic has a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and an MBA.

Michael Bianco

Michael Bianco

Process Navigation Project Engineer


Michael Bianco

Michael Bianco

Process Navigation Project Engineer


Mr. Michael Bianco has a strong background in mechanical engineering with years of research and experience in additive manufacturing. His relevant expertise includes program management and proffering engineering judgement on both state and federally funded projects.
Bruce Howard

Mr. Bruce Howard

Data Analytics Director


Bruce Howard

Mr. Bruce Howard

Data Analytics Director


Mr. Bruce Howard has more than 15 years’ experience in DoD research and development and ten years’ experience with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Mr. Howard holds a Master of Computer Science.

Chris Roby

Mr. Chris Roby

Software Developer


Chris Roby

Mr. Chris Roby

Software Developer


Mr. Chris Roby completed his master's degree in computer science at the University of Dayton in 2015. He has worked as a principal software engineer for various contacting companies supporting Wright-Patterson AFB , namely Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. Mr. Roby enjoys problem-solving and developing creative software solutions, taking pride in overcoming challenges and achieving success.
Angela Smith

Angela Smith

Organizational Research Analyst


Angela Smith

Angela Smith

Organizational Research Analyst


Prior to joining Parallax, Ms. Angela Smith served in various roles supporting research and strategy. Most recently, she served as the director of Institutional Effectiveness at Indiana University Kokomo, overseeing institutional research, strategic planning and accreditation. 
Daniel Foose

Daniel Foose

Data Scientist


Daniel Foose

Daniel Foose

Data Scientist


Mr. Daniel Foose is a data scientist with a background in a variety of areas of data analytics, including chemometrics, research intelligence and natural language processing. Mr. Foose holds Masters of Science in Chemistry and Computer Science.
Jessica Pacheco

Ms. Jessica Pacheco

Marketing & Comms Manager


Jessica Pacheco

Ms. Jessica Pacheco

Marketing & Comms Manager


Ms. Jessica Pacheco has nine years' experience in marketing and communications across non-profit, for-profit and government industries. She is certified in Google Analytics, content marketing, search marketing and competitive analysis. Ms. Pacheco has a Master of Media Communications and a Bachelor of Linguistics.
emma warner headshot

Ms. Emma Warner

Marketing & Comms Specialist


emma warner headshot

Ms. Emma Warner

Marketing & Comms Specialist


Ms. Emma Warner has six years’ experience in marketing, communications and design across academia, nonprofit, and government sectors. She is skilled in written and verbal communication and specializes in content creation. Ms. Warner has a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies with a concentration in Business Administration.

Sue Cumbers

Ms. Sue Cumbers

Executive Assistant


Sue Cumbers

Ms. Sue Cumbers

Executive Assistant


Ms. Sue Cumbers has over 20 years' experience in operations management across entrepreneurial and international business sectors. She is skilled in customer service, communications, financial operations, human resources and project coordination. Ms. Cumbers has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and International Studies.

Contact us for more information about the APEX program.