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.
Rufus Smith headshot

Mr. Rufus Smith

Deputy Director


Rufus Smith headshot

Mr. Rufus Smith

Deputy Director


Mr. Rufus Smith is responsible for the day-to-day management of the program. He is a retired Army Brigadier General and combat veteran with 35 years of service. He served in a variety of command and staff positions and commanded the 371st Corps Support Group in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Mr. Smith served as the Director of the WSRI National Center for Medical Readiness and Shared Services. He is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Association and is a native of New York, NY. He has masters degrees from Central Michigan University and the U.S. Army War College.

Scott Swanson

Mr. Scott Swanson, PMP

Program Manager & PIA Liaison


Scott Swanson

Mr. Scott Swanson, PMP

Program Manager & PIA Liaison


Mr. Scott Swanson is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and an unmanned aerial systems pioneer. Mr. Swanson held executive roles in industry, science, technology and academia and is a certified Project Management Professional by the Project Management Institute. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science with a specialty in aviation management and a Master of Science in Technology Commercialization.

Bruce Howard

Bruce Howard

Data Analytics Director


Bruce Howard

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.

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 of Neuroscience.

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.

Dr. Edie Williams

Dr. Edie Williams

Creativity & Innovation Director


Dr. Edie Williams

Dr. Edie Williams

Creativity & Innovation Director


Dr. Edie Williams has more than 15 years’ experience in acquisition, technology and logistics in the DoD . She also achieved a 25-year career on active duty with the U.S. Navy. Dr. Williams co-owned EIOrg Consulting and was a university adjunct professor. She has a Doctor of Education, Human and Organizational Learning.

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.
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.
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.

Gretchen Caponga

Ms. Gretchen Capogna

Training Lead


Gretchen Caponga

Ms. Gretchen Capogna

Training Lead


Ms. Gretchen Capogna has eight year’ 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.

Erin Holden

Ms. Erin Holden

U.S. Air Force Liaison


Erin Holden

Ms. Erin Holden

U.S. Air Force 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.

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.
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.

Contact Our Team for more information today.

Contact us

Name
Contact