General James M. “Mike” Holmes
General Mike Holmes retired from the Air Force in October 2020 after nearly 40 years of service. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a senior advisor at The Roosevelt Group, the Chairman of the Board at Red 6, and advises several defense and tech companies.
He completed his Air Force service leading the transformation of Air Combat Command (ACC), a global organization operating and sustaining over 1000 aircraft and 11 Air Force Bases with an annual operating budget of $7.4B. As the Air Force’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs, he led a team that shifted Air Force strategy to respond to a new national security environment and built and defended the USAF‘s input to three $600B Five Year Defense Plans with the Department of Defense…
and U.S. Congress. As the Deputy Commander of Air Education and Training Command, he directed all aspects of USAF education and training, from basic and technical training to advanced degree programs. As the Air Force’s Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Requirements, he coordinated global Air Force operations and requirements with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and regional military commanders. As Principal Director for Mid-East Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, he formulated regional defense policy with the National Security Council and Department of State and coordinated US defense relationships and activities with international partners. Before assuming his strategic roles, he commanded Air Force teams in positions of increasing complexity, responsibility, and accountability at the squadron, group, and wing level, including a year in command of Air Force forces in Afghanistan.
Mike graduated from the US Naval War College National Security Strategy program with highest honors and completed both the US Air Force’s School for Advanced Air and Space Power Studies program and the Fighter Weapons Instructor Course. He was the Graduate of the Year in the University of Alabama’s MA in History program at Maxwell AFB and received a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee. He is a fighter pilot with over 4000 hours in the F-15 and T-38, including over 500 combat hours, and continues to fly general aviation aircraft.
Mike Santelli is the Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Converged Security Solutions (CSS), LLC. He has over 25 years of transformational business leadership, operations experience, financial management, and a value creation track record.
Mike has worked extensively as a strategic advisor, C-Level leader, and executive partner to private equity backed companies in…
the government contracting sector where he history of building strong management teams through clear direction and targeted business development. In addition, Mike has successfully focused on customers by building high-performing teams and employing a service first leadership philosophy. His customer base has been comprised of some of the most mission critical federal government entities, including the Intelligence Community, DOD, DHS, and many more.
Prior to his appointment at CSS in 2019, Mike served as the EVP and Chief Financial Officer at System High Corporation, a private equity held leading provider and integrator of global protection, counterintelligence, and security engineering services. Prior to this, Mike was President and CEO of OMNIPLEX World Services Corporation, a provider of integrated security and investigations solutions in partnership with the intelligence community that was also sponsored by a private equity group. Mike’s achievements at OMNIPLEX included substantial revenue growth and margin expansion, as well as business development and cultural transformation. Mike also spent 12 years with USIS, a $650M Security Solutions company serving the intelligence, defense, and federal/civil markets. Before USIS, Mike worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers in the Business Assurance Practice.
He earned his MBA at Carnegie Mellon University and his BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University. Mike lives with his wife and two daughters in Leesburg, VA.
Captain James O’Connell USN (Retired)
Captain James O’Connell USN (retired) is currently a consultant who primarily works with the Department of Defense supporting special operations force’s training and exercises. Jim served on active duty for over 26 years. His last assignment was Commander, Naval Special Warfare Group ONE, where he was responsible for the west coast SEAL Teams. Upon retiring he was appointed as the Director of the Joint Irregular Warfare Center at U.S. Joint Forces Command and served as the Department of Defense’s Executive Agent for Joint Urban Operations. Jim is on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Youth Sports Association, OneChurch and the Old Dominion Junior Rifle League.
He received a bachelor’s in ocean engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1979 and a master’s in international relations from the Naval War College, College of Naval Command and Staff in 1992.
Tom Moore is currently the vice president of nuclear operations for Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Nuclear and Environmental Services business group, a part of the company’s Technical Solutions division.
Moore served 39 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring in August 2020 as the commander of Naval Sea Systems Command. In that role, he managed a global workforce of more than 83,000 and an annual budget exceeding $50 billion in the design, construction and life-cycle management of the Navy’s ships, submarines and combat systems.
Moore earned a bachelor’s degree in operations analysis from the U.S. Naval Academy, as well as master’s degrees in information systems management from The George Washington University and in nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Meredith Melo currently serves as ITA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program manager. In her role, she is the SBIR subject matter expert, responsible for educating both internal and external stakeholders on the specific differences between SBIR Phase I/II/Ill. Melo also supports the company’s Growth team, in pursuit of new work on SBIR contracts vehicles.
Melo joined ITA in 2020, as manager of Market Development where she was responsible for managing and tracking task orders on ITA Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts, managing internal Power BI reports, conducting task order research and she served as the program manager for OASIS contracts. Prior to joining ITA, she served as an alumni and student engagement specialist at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education where she managed relationships with stakeholders, developed, planned and executed engagement opportunities.
Melo holds a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition, foods and exercise from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in public health from George Mason University.
Katelyn Melo Byrd
Katelyn Byrd leads the ITA Growth Team which is responsible for customer acquisition and retention, and growing revenue, in a strategic and purposeful manner, aligned with ITA’s Just Cause of working toward a secure, stable and sustainable human ecosystem. She leads a team of professionals who facilitate the capture process, market ITA through a robust strategic communications strategy and develop innovative solutions to align with customers’ missions.
She has held progressive leadership roles since beginning her tenure at ITA in 2014, within the Customer Solutions, Operations, and Marketing and Communications functional areas, most recently serving as Chief People Officer prior to her current role.
Byrd previously served at the pleasure of Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli III as Director of Administration, overseeing support services in Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology and Office Operations for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Byrd holds a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management from Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.