Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit: LIVE

The Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2019 Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit will gather leaders from Florida’s military and defense industry, economic development experts, policymakers and the business community to examine the challenges and opportunities facing this important industry. Don’t miss out on adding your voice to the conversation.

#IsFLReady for the Future of Military, Defense & Veterans?


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Registration, Breakfast and Executive Networking l 8:00 a.m.

Welcome and Overview l 9:00 a.m.

  • Mel Ponder, House of Representatives, District 4

State of Play: Preparing for Disruption and Tomorrow’s Opportunities and Ensuring Competitiveness, Prosperity and Resiliency 

  • Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce

Florida’s Competitive Advantage: A Federal Perspective

  • Major General (Ret.) Michael Jones, The SPECTRUM Group; Florida Defense Alliance

Economic Engines for Florida’s Future: The Military, Defense & Homeland Security Marketplace

  • Moderator: Daniel Davis, President and CEO, JAX Chamber
  • Greg Britton, Chief of Strategic Partnerships, DEFENSEWERX / Interim Director, AFWERX Vegas
  • Kevin Carr, CEO, FloridaMakes
  • Warren Helm, Director and Site Leader, Cecil Field MRO Operations, Boeing
  • Chester Kennedy, CEO, BRIDG
  • Jamal Sowell, President and CEO, Enterprise Florida, Inc.

Lunch  l 12:00 p.m.    

Emerging Technologies, Expanding Industries, and Potential for Market Impact

  • Bill “Roto” Reuter, President, R-Squared Solutions

Leading the Space Race: Update on Space Force and Our Growing Commercial Competitiveness 

  • Moderator: Belinda Keiser, Vice Chancellor of Community Relations and Student Advancement, Keiser University; Space Florida Board of Directors
  • Frank DiBello, President and CEO, Space Florida

Rebuilding Tyndall

  • Lt. Col. Michael Askegren, Base Civil Engineer, Tyndall Air Force Base

Mission Ready? From Frontline to Free Enterprise

  • Moderator: Kellie Jo Kilberg, Vice President, Randy Wise Homes; Chair, Florida Defense Alliance
  • George Cheros, President and CEO, National Center for Simulation
  • Jim Heald, Vice President, Strategic Programs, InDyne, Inc.
  • Tim Jones, President and CEO, Cybrix Group; Florida Defense Alliance
  • Buck McLaughlin, Range Operations Officer, Avon Park Air Force Range
  • Rick Miller, Partner and CEO, PHAROS Mission Critical Solutions
  • Chris Moore, MDMS IT Operations Manager, General Dynamics Information Technology

Keeping Florida the Most Veteran Friendly State

  • Danny Burgess, Executive Director, Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Working Together to Facilitate Transitions and Focus on Florida Veterans

  • Moderator: Joe Marino, Executive Director, Veterans Florida
  • Mona Dexter, Senior Director, Operations and Communications, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
  • Jane Dowgwillo, PTAC State Manager, Florida SBDC Network
  • Kay Schwartz, Executive Director, Regional HR Operations, USAA

Closing Comments: Recap and Marching Orders

  • Tony Carvajal, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber Foundation

Day 1 Concludes: Reception for All Attendees l 5:00 p.m.                   


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Registration and Breakfast l 8:30 a.m.  

Welcome and Overview l 9:00 a.m.  

Partnering and Investing in Military Communities

  • Ken Lawson, Executive Director, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Hiring Our Heroes: Corporate Fellowship Program

  • Mona Dexter, Senior Director, Operations and Communications, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Florida’s Legislative Focus to Support Bases & Missions, Expand our Military and Defense Marketplace, and Honor and Support our Veterans

  • Moderator: Frank Walker, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Florida Chamber of Commerce
  • Doug Broxson, Florida Senate, District 1
  • David Smith, House of Representatives, District 28
  • Tom Wright, Florida Senate, District 14

What Businesses, Bases and Agencies can do Together to Secure Each Region’s Future.

Lunch with Reports, Wrap Up and Next Steps: Where Do We Go From Here?

Summit Concludes l 1:30 p.m.  


All events and times are subject to change

Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit: LIVE


Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit: LIVE

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