Announcing 2017 Keynotes

When influential people in the world of unmanned systems speak, we listen. Sharing ideas, gaining valuable insight, building business-boosting relationships and shaping the future—that's what AUVSI's XPONENTIAL is all about. A convergence of more than 7,000 professionals in the unmanned vehicle and robotics industries, XPONENTIAL is the place to hear the latest technological advances, topical issues and trade secrets from an impressive lineup of expert speakers.

Keynote Speakers

Mark Aitken Sr.

Mark Aitken Sr.
VP, Advanced Technology, Sinclair Broadcast Group

Aitken joined the Sinclair Broadcast Group in 1999. He has served as Vice President of Advanced Technology since 2011. He is responsible for representation of the group’s interests in industry FCC, regulatory, technical and standards issues and represents SBG within industry related organizations. Mr. Aitken has been involved in the broadcast industry’s migration to advanced services since 1987, from his participation in the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Services to current involvement with the ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee). Most recently, Mr. Aitken is responsible for the formation of ONE Media, a technology venture focused on development of ‘Next Generation’ systems, and a driver of key ATSC 3.0 breakthrough technologies. He is a member of the NAB TV Technology Committee which is focused on the broader technical issues of our industry.

Brian Chappel
Sector VP and General Manager, Autonomous Systems, Northrop Grumman

Chappel is the sector vice president and general manager of Unmanned Systems at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. In this role, Chappel oversees all unmanned programs. Most recently, Chappel served as vice president of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program for Aerospace Systems’ Military Aircraft Systems Division. In this role, Chappel managed all aspects of Aerospace Systems’ share of the F-35 program. Prior to this role, Chappel was the vice president and business manager for Advanced Development Programs. In this position, he supported a diverse set of air and space development programs, including, most notably, the Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration Program.

Jonathan Downey

Jonathan Downey is the Founder and CEO of Airware, a San Francisco-based company that provides end-to-end drone solutions that enable enterprises to digitize their business and turn aerial data into actionable business intelligence. Jonathan is the General Partner for Airware’s Commercial Drone Fund, a fund launched to accelerate innovation in the commercial drone space. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the largest unmanned systems organization in the world. Jonathan is also an instrument-rated commercial multi-engine pilot with experience flying small singles up through twin turboprops.

Dyan Gibbens

Dyan Gibbens
Founder & CEO, Trumbull Unmanned

Gibbens, a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, possesses over a decade of aerospace integration and technical engineering experience supporting acquisitions and program management within the Department of Defense. Her experience in unmanned systems, engineering management, supply chain and aviation logistics brings success in strategy development and execution. She earned a BS in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on mechanical and environmental engineering from the USAF Academy, an MBA from OSU, and she is a PhD candidate and Distinguished Graduate Fellow in Industrial Engineering and Management focusing on UAS integration, also from OSU. Additionally, she earned Georgetown's Change Management Advanced Practitioner (CMAP) and Stanford Certified Project Manager (SCPM) certifications.

Michael Huerta
Administrator, FAA

Huerta is responsible for the safety and efficiency of the largest aerospace system in the world. He oversees a $15.9 billion dollar budget, over 47,000 employees and is focused on ensuring the agency and its employees are the best prepared and trained professionals to meet the growing demands and requirements of the industry. Huerta also oversees the FAA's multi-billion dollar NextGen air traffic control modernization program as the United States shifts from ground-based radar to state-of-the-art satellite technology.

Dirk Hoke
Chief Executive Officer, Airbus Defence and Space

Hoke is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airbus Defence and Space as of 1 April 2016, succeeding Bernhard Gerwert. He started on 1st of January as Deputy CEO. He is a member of the Airbus Group Executive Committee. Hoke joined Airbus Group from Siemens, where he had been CEO of the Large Drives Business Unit since 2014. He has held various executive-level positions at Siemens since becoming CEO of the Cluster Western & Central Africa in 2008. His career spans 21 years and five continents.

Brian Krzanich
Chief Executive Officer, Intel Corporation

Krzanich was appointed chief executive officer of Intel Corporation and elected a member of the board of directors on May 16, 2013. Krzanich has progressed through a series of technical and leadership roles at Intel, most recently serving as the chief operating office. As COO, his responsibilities included leading an organization of more than 50,000 employees. His open-minded approach to problem solving and listening to customers' needs has extended the company's product and technology leadership and created billions of dollars in value for the company. Krzanich began his career at Intel in 1982 as a process engineer. Since then he has held many senior leadership positions within Intel's manufacturing organization.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe
Commonwealth of Virginia

As the 72nd Governor of Virginia, McAuliffe’s top priority is building a new Virginia economy. McAuliffe is implementing major economic development initiatives designed to develop a 21st century workforce capable of meeting the needs of emerging industries. Governor McAuliffe understands that in order to compete for the jobs of tomorrow, it is essential that we make key investments today. Last year, he earned bipartisan support for an historic $1 billion investment in public education. Governor McAuliffe is committed to fighting for 800,000 Virginia residents who served our country in uniform. He expanded programs to incentivize the hiring of veterans, increase Virginia veterans’ access to health care, and led Virginia to become the first state in the nation to functionally end veteran homelessness.

Chris McGoff
Founder, The Clearing, Inc.

McGoff is the founder of The Clearing, Inc., a strategic management consultancy headquartered in Washington, DC, that outfits organizations and coalitions with the PRIMES to enable them to tackle their most complex, high stake problems. McGoff is an author and a popular public speaker, currently on the subjects of “Leading Powerfully in Uncertain Times” and Building Intentional Cultures.” A business leader and international consultant with over 30 years of experience as a strategic planner, business solver, and change agent, McGoff advises leaders of organizations and coalitions on how to drive to outcomes in uncertain times.

Brad Tomer
Chief Engineer, GE Oil and Gas
COO, Avitas Systems, a GE Venture

Brad Tomer is an accomplished energy executive with over 30 years of experience in successfully developing and deploying technologies for oil and gas, power generation, and military applications. Currently, Brad is Chief Engineer for GE Oil and Gas and is serving as the Chief Operating Officer for Avitas Systems, a GE Venture. Prior to joining GE Oil and Gas, Brad led many successful technology efforts at the National Energy Technology Laboratory while serving in various roles including Chief Operating Officer and Director for the Strategic Center for Natural Gas and Oil. Earlier in his career, Brad served as a petroleum systems engineer at the Belvoir Research, Development & Engineering Center.

Brian Wynne
President & CEO,

Wynne is the President and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the largest association representing the unmanned systems and robotics industries. Wynne assumed his position on January 12, 2015 having previously led the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA), a post he held since April 2004. The EDTA promotes battery, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell electric vehicles and infrastructure. Wynne brings in-depth experience in transportation and technology applications gained in leadership roles with trade associations and public-private partnerships. He has previously served as Senior Vice President for business and trade at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA).

Keynote Host

Jim Cantore
Meteorologist, The Weather Channel

Cantore is one of the most recognized faces in weather. Known for his live reports from severe weather events, Cantore embodies the passion and knowledge of The Weather Channel (Weather) that makes him the weather authority viewers turn to when the forecast turns dire. He has covered every major weather event of the past 30 years; solidifying his role and the role of The Weather Channel as the leading source for severe weather coverage. Cantore is well known for his animated, tenacious style, both in the field and in the studio. Cantore is a sought-after speaker and serves as a celebrity ambassador for the American Red Cross, enabling him to further spread the message of preparedness, an issue of vital importance to him that carries over from his work.