SPA Board of Directors Biographies

Peter Schulte, CM Equity Co-Founder and Managing Partner

Peter M. Schulte is a Managing Partner and a co-founder of CM Equity Partners (CMEP).  Mr. Schulte’s prior experience includes corporate public and private debt and equity financing and M&A at Salomon Brothers Inc. Mr. Schulte began his professional career in large systems marketing at IBM’s Data Processing Division.

Mr. Schulte has established successful publicly traded companies, ICF International (NASDAQ: ICFI) and ATS Corporation (formerly AMEX: ATSC), and serves as a director of ICF International. Mr. Schulte also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of several companies in which CMEP has an investment position, including: The Level Playing Field, Corp.; Citizant, Inc.; Preferred Systems Solutions, Inc.; Black ICE Holdings, Inc.; and JANUS Research Group, Inc.

Mr. Schulte is a graduate of Harvard College (AB) and holds a Master’s degree in Public and Private Management (MPPM) from Yale University. Mr. Schulte serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including Lasell College and the Rainforest Alliance. He is a former member of the boards of Marymount School in New York City, Deerfield Academy, Center for Business and the Environment at Yale University and the New York League of Conservation Voters.

Wesley H.R. Gaus, CM Equity Managing Partner

Wesley H.R. Gaus is a managing partner of CM Equity Partners (CMEP) and joined the firm in 1998.

He is responsible for executing new platform transactions and negotiating equity and debt investments and transaction financing across the capital structure. In addition, Mr. Gaus provides add-on acquisition support for existing portfolio investments and, post-closing, operational and financial guidance for company management.

Mr. Gaus represents CM Equity on the Boards of Graco Roberts, Black ICE Holdings, Inc., and JANUS Research Group, Inc.

Prior to joining CMEP, Mr. Gaus was a part of the Investment Banking Division of ING Baring Furman Selz, LLC where he worked on merger and acquisition assignments and debt and equity capital markets transactions in the areas of media, retail, consumer products, industrial manufacturing, and telecommunications.

Mr. Gaus received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School, and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Systems Engineering from the School of Engineering & Applied Science through the Management & Technology Dual-Degree Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Admiral Cecil D. Haney, USN Retired and Former U.S. Strategic Command Commander

Admiral Cecil Haney spent almost 40 years in the United States Navy, retiring as the Commander, United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). As the USSTRATCOM Commander, ADM Haney was responsible for the global command and control of U.S. strategic forces to meet decisive national security objectives involving nuclear forces, missile defense, space, cyberspace, and electronic warfare. Prior to USSTRATCOM, he served as commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and then Deputy Commander of USSTRATCOM. During his career as a submariner, ADM Haney commanded at all levels including as Commander USS Honolulu (SSN 718), Submarine Squadron One and Submarine Group 2. He also served as a member of the Congressionally-mandated Military Leadership Diversity Commission which made recommendations for improvement in 2011.

ADM Haney is a 1978 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. Haney also holds Master’s degrees in National Security Strategy from the National Defense University and in Engineering Acoustics and System Technology from the Naval Post Graduate School. Among his many commendations and medals, ADM Haney was the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award recipient in 1998.

Since his retirement in 2017, Admiral Haney serves on the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Board of Managers, the Naval Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences, the Center for New American Securities Board of Directors and as a co-chair for the China-U.S. Dialogue on Strategic Nuclear Dynamics for the Pacific Forum of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

General Ronald E. Keys, USAF Retired and Former Air Combat Command Commander

General Ron Keys retired from the Air Force after completing a career of over forty years and command of eight different organizations including operational, staff, and international units. His last assignment was as Commander, Air Combat Command, at the time the Air Force’s largest major command. As the ACC Commander, Gen. Keys was responsible for organizing, training, equipping and maintaining combat-ready forces for rapid deployment and employment. Under his leadership, ACC organized and stood up the Air Force’s first Remotely Piloted Vehicle Wing and first Network Warfare Wing.

Gen. Keys holds a Bachelor of Science from Kansas State University and a Master’s degree in business administration from Golden Gate University. He is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours in fighter aircraft.

Gen. Keys has consulted for SPA for several years, providing operational context for work SPA has done for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and for pilot experience-level studies conducted for Air Combat Command. He owns RK Solution Enterprises, LLC, a consulting firm advising various DoD and Non-DoD clients on advanced technologies, energy alternatives, marketing opportunities, strategic planning, and policy development issues. 

In addition, Gen. Keys is the Chair of CNA’s Advisory Board on DoD Energy and Climate Change; member of the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board; member of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Board of Trustees; and member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s National Security Advisory Council.

Joel Jacks, CM Equity Co-Founder and Managing Partner

Joel R. Jacks is a Managing Partner and co-founder of CM Equity Partners (CMEP). Mr. Jacks also co-founded and managed Carl Marks Consulting Group. He has extensive experience in managing under-performing companies and corporate turnarounds, working for more than 100 companies on behalf of approximately 20 financial institutions.

Mr. Jacks served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and later as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of ADT’s USSCO, a national distributor of security alarm and CCTV equipment. In addition, he was involved with the restructuring of public debt securities at Penn Central Corporation and assisted the NYC Transportation Authority through the New York City Partnership. Mr. Jacks began his career as a management consultant for Deloitte Haskins & Sells.

Mr. Jacks has established two successful publicly traded companies: ICF International (NASDAQ: ICFI) and ATS Corporation (formerly AMEX: ATSC). Mr. Jacks currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the following companies: The Level Playing Field, Corp., Black ICE Holdings, Inc., and JANUS Research Group, Inc.

Mr. Jacks received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Cape Town and an Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Jacks is a Chartered Accountant.

Colonel Pamela Melroy, USAF Retired and Former NASA Space Shuttle Commander

Pamela Melroy is a retired United States Air Force Colonel and a former NASA Space Shuttle Commander.  Col. Melroy had a distinguished career of over 25 years as a professional test pilot, and nearly 1000 hours in space. She flew three Space Shuttle missions and was one of only two women to command the Space Shuttle.  Before retiring, she logged over 6000 flight hours in more than 50 different aircraft.

After leaving NASA in 2009, Col. Melroy served in government and industry executive positions, including the FAA and as the Deputy Director, Tactical Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  While at DARPA she oversaw the hypersonics portfolio and was a strong proponent inside the government on national issues related to hypersonics.

Col. Melroy received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics and Astronomy from Wellesley College and Master of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. William L. Vantine, Systems Planning and Analysis, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer

President Vantine_Leadership

Dr. William L. Vantine is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Systems Planning and Analysis, Inc., where he leads a team of exceptionally skilled professionals working in the national defense, security, and advanced technologies communities. He is a results-oriented executive with more than 30 years of experience in the government and commercial sectors. Dr. Vantine achieves strong corporate development by combining focused, technical leadership with the highest standards of ethics and integrity. He is highly skilled at working with teams to align executable company strategy with the right tactical decisions for growth-oriented outcomes.

Before joining SPA, Dr. Vantine served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Los Alamos Technical Associates, an engineering and technology firm supporting the Departments of Energy and Defense and numerous commercial clients. Previously, he served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of the ARES Corporation, where his leadership helped the company grow by more than one thousand percent over a 15-year period. Dr. Vantine began his career at NASA, where he held numerous program management positions. He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a member of the Pi Alpha National Honor Society, a former Presidential Management Intern/Fellow, and a former Wolcott Fellow. He serves on the Board of Directors and/or Advisory Board for several private companies as well as for the Professional Services Council, the Rotary National Space Trophy, and the George Washington University Trachtenberg School.

Dr. Vantine received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees at George Washington University and his Ph.D. at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. In addition to his Ph.D. dissertation, “Managing the Risk of Failure in Large Complex Systems,” Dr. Vantine is the author of more than 20 professional papers on risk management, software, Information Technology, data analysis, safety, and reliability. In 2019, Dr. Vantine was named GovCon Executive of the Year in the $75 – $300 million category by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Professional Services Council, a premier award honoring his leadership, innovation, and commitment to excellence.