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Management

The Company Announces Q2 2024 Results

Wahid Nawabi
President and Chief Executive Officer

Wahid Nawabi has served as our Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors since 2016. Wahid joined AeroVironment in 2011 as senior vice president and general manager of the EES business segment, where he reshaped the segment’s business strategy, launched several award-winning, innovative new products, and significantly improved its position in the market.  Prior to his current role, Wahid served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the company, where he managed all aspects of AeroVironment’s two business segments.  Wahid also managed multiple business process improvement projects, which led to significant improvements in customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.  He led the integration of the company’s engineering, operations, supply chain and quality functional organizations into a single corporate shared services model across both business segments and all product lines.  Wahid spent 16 years of his career at American Power Conversion Corporation (APC) in multiple leadership roles helping the company achieve its business strategy.  As a former Vice President of the enterprise business segment at APC, Wahid played a key role in launching the company’s ambitious and successful strategy of entering the data center critical power and cooling infrastructure business.  During his tenure, APC became the global leader in designing and manufacturing fully integrated data center power and cooling infrastructure solutions.  Wahid played a key role in growing the company from $50 million to more than $2.4 billion in annual revenue, and its eventual sale to Schneider Electric for $6.1 Billion.  This was the largest acquisition in the history of Schneider Electric.

Wahid earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from The University of Maryland at College Park.  He has also successfully completed multiple executive management and leadership training programs.

Kevin McDonnell
Sr. Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Prior to joining AeroVironment in 2020, Kevin McDonnell served as chief financial officer of JAMS, Inc., which provides alternative dispute resolution services. During his tenure at JAMS, Kevin helped the company nearly double its revenue and more than double its EBITDA. Kevin brings more than 30 years of experience in financial, IT and HR leadership roles, including serving as chief financial officer for companies in the technology, automotive and health industries. Most notably, Kevin held various senior financial roles at Teradata Corporation during its high-growth phase, where the company grew from $3 million to $300 million in revenue and expanded globally into Europe and Asia. Kevin also served as CFO of Digital Insight, where he was instrumental in significantly growing its annual revenue, taking the company public and leading three acquisitions.

Kevin earned his J.D. at Loyola Law School and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University.

Sean Woodward
Vice President of Global Operations Finance

Sean has served as the Vice President of Global Operations Finance at AeroVironment since June 2021. Sean is responsible for the leadership of Financial Operations within AeroVironment including FP&A, Pricing & Cost Estimating, Program Controls, Business Management and Cost Accounting. Prior to his current role, Sean served as Vice President of Finance and has held various other leadership positions within the Finance organization since joining AeroVironment in 2010. Sean has nearly two decades of experience in the aerospace and defense industry. He has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of South Florida and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Tampa as well as multiple professional certifications. Sean’s prior employers include General Dynamics and Honeywell Aerospace.

Melissa Brown
Sr. Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer

Melissa Brown joined AeroVironment in 2015 as the company’s Corporate Counsel. In 2016 she was appointed the company’s Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Prior to joining AeroVironment, Brown served as an associate attorney at K&L Gates LLP in Los Angeles, California and Jennings Strouss and Salmon PLC in Phoenix, Arizona, advising clients on a range of securities transactions, mergers & acquisitions and corporate governance issues.

Melissa earned a juris doctor from the Arizona State University College of Law and a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and molecular genetics from the University of California Los Angeles.

Scott Newbern
Vice President & Chief Technology Officer
Scott Newbern has served as the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of AeroVironment since December of 2018. This includes the leadership of our Pathfinder Program, a technical leadership program which comprises our technical fellows and select exceptional engineering talent. Scott previously founded the MacCready Works Laboratory ¬– a focal point for AeroVironment’s continuous innovation, focusing on relentless problem solving and doing what has never been done before. Scott served as the Vice President of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems beginning in 2012. He guided the strategic and tactical activities for the SUAS business area. Scott has served in various UAS leadership positions at AeroVironment since joining the company in 1997. Scott led advanced UAS development activities including establishing high volume SUAS manufacturing capability at AeroVironment. Scott is a member of the board of directors for the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), a member of Business Executives for National Security (BENS) and a member of the advisory board for the Aviation Unmanned Vehicle Museum (AUVM). Scott earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University with specialty in UAS aerodynamic modeling, control system design and flight research. Scott also completed the Stanford Executive Institute program for high technology executives and Gap International’s Executive Mastery.
Jarmin “JB” Blanton
Vice President of Business Development, Domestic
Jarmin “JB” Blanton has served as Vice President of Business Development since 2023. Prior to his current position he served as the Senior Director and Market Segment Lead for domestic markets. Jarmin has held various leadership roles within AeroVironment to include managing Flight Operations, Training and Logistics programs. Prior to joining the AeroVironment team, Jarmin served as a Combat Controller in the United States Air Force. Jarmin earned his J.D. at Birmingham School of Law graduating magna cum laude and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Southern Mississippi graduating with highest honors distinction.
Charlie Dean
Vice President of International Business

Charlie Dean joined AeroVironment in 2021 and serves as the company’s Vice President of International business. Prior to joining AeroVironment, Charlie served as a vice president at both FLIR Systems and Endeavor Robotics, leading the global sales of unmanned systems. Charlie also held multiple positions over many years at QinetiQ North America related to ground robotics, leading the business development and sales team, product management team, co-led the engineering team, and served as a senior program manager. He also led business development activities at Draper Laboratory and TIAX where he served as an executive vice president. Charlie is DAWIA Level III certified in program management and completed a successful career in the U.S. Army as an Infantry officer and acquisition professional.

Charlie earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy in Aeronautical Engineering, a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and graduated from Phillips Academy (Andover). He taught Mechanical Engineering courses at the United States Military Academy where he also coached Army Men’s Crew and conducted ground-breaking high temperature research for Picatinny Arsenal on 155mm cannon-projectile interfaces. In addition while in the Army and in industry, Charlie has earned multiple patents.

Trace Stevenson
Sr. VP and General Manager, Unmanned Systems
Trace Stevenson has served as the Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Unmanned Systems since 2023. Prior to that he served as Vice President and General Manager of our Small Unmanned Systems Product Line which has shipped over 33,000 small unmanned aircraft to customers worldwide. He was also served as Deputy General Manager UAS and was responsible for the leadership of our Emerging Business overseeing our HAPS business where he served as a Board Member of HAPSMobile, a Joint Venture with SoftBank. He also was responsible for the integration efforts of any merger or acquisition and for the strategic and tactical execution of the UAS P&L. Trace has held various leadership roles within AeroVironment, including leading our International Business Unit where he was responsible for the support of over 40 International customers. He also led and was responsible for the execution of our top strategic initiatives such as the establishment of a Joint Venture in a foreign country. Trace has 20 years of experience in the defense industry and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Economics from the University of Kansas.
Colin Walker
Vice President Fulfillment

Colin Walker has served as the Vice President of Fulfillment since December 2018 and is accountable for the introduction of new manufacturable products, strategic forecast planning, procurement and inventory management, and operational planning of customer deliverable hardware to contract requirements. Colin previously served in various leadership positions at AeroVironment including Sr. Director of Operational Services and as Director of Corporate Quality.

Prior to coming to AeroVironment, Colin served in a variety of industries including enterprise analytics software development, nuclear electronics, medical equipment, aerospace, and automotive manufacturing, and he rounded out his career with new business startups and Fortune 500 companies.

Starting his career in engineering, Colin broadened the scope of his responsibilities with management roles in business development, operations, quality, supply chain and continuous improvement. He is certified in both Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing and his guidelines and methodologies for supply chain improvements are known professionally. He is a noted speaker on best-in-class Lean Six Sigma Sourcing and has presented at both domestic and international venues. His methodologies have been published on Purchasing Automation.com, and he has presented his topics at the Boston Top 100 Companies Learning Summit, Supplier Performance Summit, and the American Production and Inventory Control Society.

Colin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Liverpool and earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University Of London.

Brett Hush
Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Loitering Munition Systems
Brett has been with AeroVironment since 2010. Brett founded Loitering Munition Systems (LMS) as a business unit and was largely responsible for the building of the business from its early stages to today’s multi-service, multi-missile adoption. Prior to joining AeroVironment, Brett was a Vice President at Teledyne Technologies. With a combined 35 years in the defense industry, Brett has also held various leadership roles at GE Aircraft Controls, Martin Marietta, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems. Brett holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University and a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University and is a graduate of General Electric’s Advanced Course in Engineering Program and GE’s Edison Engineering Development Program.
Brian Young
Vice President & Product Line General Manager, UGVs

Brian has served as the Vice President of Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) at AeroVironment since March 2021. Brian is accountable for the strategic direction, financial performance, and operations of AeroVironment’s UGV business.

Prior to his current role, Brian held positions of increasing responsibility since joining the company in 2012, including management of the Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (TUAS) business from 2019 to 2020. Brian joined AeroVironment as a Senior Program Manager supporting the small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) business segment and through 2015 managed the Puma product line, expanding its capabilities while driving significant domestic and international growth. Starting in 2015, as the first SUAS Product Line Director, Brian managed product strategy and the investment portfolio for AeroVironment’s family of SUAS, including Puma, Raven, Wasp, and other unmanned aircraft.

 

 

Jeff Rodrian
Sr. VP and General Manager, Advanced Systems Group
Jeff Rodrian has served as the Vice President of AV Ventures since 2021 with a focus on creating a center for market driven innovations by embracing a start-up best practices approach, along with engaging with the vibrant external start-up community to further AeroVironment’s strategic pursuits. Joining AeroVironment in 2010 as a Product Manager, Jeff was responsible for the development and market entry of our Wasp AE UAS. He also led the development of a wide range of novel large hybrid electric UAS for commercial and defense applications. As the General Manager of AeroVironment’s Commercial Information Solutions (CIS) business, he led the creation of a purely commercial focused business with a drone and big data process ecosystem product offering. Prior to joining AeroVironment, Jeff spent several years at start-ups focused on aerospace innovation for unmanned systems and commercial aircraft. Jeff earned an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and a Bachelor and Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University.
Cris Sapera
Vice President of Engineering, Unmanned Systems Group
Cris Sapera has been in the Aerospace and Defense industry for over 23 years. Prior to joining AeroVironment in 2022, Cris was at Raytheon Intelligence and Space, where he held roles of increasing responsibilities, which included Program Management and Engineering Director, where he integrated and led large multi-disciplined and geographically-disbursed teams. Prior to Raytheon, Cris was at Boeing Satellite Systems, where he held roles in Systems Engineering and Technical Leadership. Cris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from California State, Northridge, a Masters in Astronautical Engineering from University of Southern California and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
Shane Hastings
Vice President and General Manager, MUAS
Shane has served as the Vice President and General Manager, MUAS since 2023 and is responsible for developing and executing product and technology roadmaps and managing the life cycle of AeroVironment’s MUAS portfolio. Prior to that, he served as Senior Product Line Director for our Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Shane built the Program Management Office for our UAS division with a focus on discipline in support of managing various programs. He then was promoted to Senior Director for Tactical UAS and managed a portfolio of technology developments, business pursuits/captures, overall sustainment, and was responsible for the profit/loss of the product line.

Shane has worked in a variety of industries spanning from precision semiconductor processing to commercial product development. Shane started his UAS journey in 2009 by joining Insitu as a Project Manager and grew to the Director of Engineering for the ScanEagle program. In this role, Shane managed multiple IPTs through the development and launch phases of multiple key capabilities for the ScanEagle UAS, supporting significant DoD ISR services contracts. Shane also held an executive leadership role at Volansi where he was instrumental in setting a new direction for program and product management of group 3 UAS. At Volansi, Shane grew and led a small team which was successful in exceeding customer expectations, capturing additional customer development funding and was the architect for a UAS solution that won a spot on the U.S. Army FTUAS Increment 2 program of record.

Shane has over 20 years of experience in both defense and commercial industries and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Portland State University and a Master of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Idaho. He also earned his Six Sigma Black Belt, holds a Project Management Professional certificate and earned his Project Leadership Certificate from Cornell University. He has successfully completed the Boeing Leadership Training in Program Management and Senior Management.