Maj. Gen. Casey D. Blake advises AUTOCON on matters related to the DoD, specifically the Air Force. He was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Contracting, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Washington, D.C. He was responsible for all aspects of contracting relating to the acquisition of weapon systems, logistics, and operational support for the Air Force as well as providing contingency support to the geographic combatant commanders. Lead highly skilled staff supporting $825 billion Space, Global Power/Reach, and Information Dominance programs portfolio. Oversaw training, organizing, and equipping of a workforce of some 8,000 Contracting (procurement) professionals that execute programs worth more than $65 billion annually. Prior to this assignment, he served as the Commander, Air Force Installation Contracting Agency (AFICA), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
General Blake entered the Air Force in 1984 through the ROTC program at The Citadel, Charleston, S.C. He has served as an information management officer; Air Force mission director on a NATO fighter wing; warranted procuring contracting officer for major defense acquisition programs; and contracts chief at both an air logistics center and product center. He commanded a contracting squadron at the base and major command specialized levels; served as both a deputy mission support group commander and Defense Contract Management Agency commander; has deployed as a contingency contracting officer in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and served as the Senior Contracting Official-Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.
General Blake has also served in several assignments as an acquisition contracting staff officer at a major command headquarters. He is a joint qualified officer having served at the Office of the Secretary of Defense. During that time, he deployed to Iraq for two months in support of the Joint Forces Command Enabling Force Study. General Blake holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history (pre-law), from The Citadel, Charleston, S.C and a Master of Business Administration degree in management, from the Golden Gate University, Calif.
Karl H. Watson Jr. serves AUTOCON as a construction and building materials expert. He is the current Chief Executive Officer, Director of Baker Construction Enterprises. Mr. Watson has more than 25 years of experience in the construction materials industry and recently served the industry as president of CEMEX USA at CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V., a Mexican multinational building materials company, from April 2011 through December 2015 and served as its advisor from January 2016 to June 2016. Prior roles also include President of Rinker Materials West, Chief Executive of Rinker Australia, and Vice President of Rinker Florida Materials. He also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Summit Materials, Inc., a construction materials company, which he joined in January 2018. From January 2017 to December 2017. Mr. Watson served as the President of the Cement & Southwest Ready Mix division at Martin Marietta, Inc., a supplier of aggregates and heavy building materials.
Earlier in his career Mr. Watson held various leadership positions at CEMEX and Rinker Group Ltd, which was acquired by CEMEX in 2007, in both the United States and Australia. Mr. Watson is a past Chairman of the National Ready Mix Concrete Association, Florida Concrete and Products Association, and past Vice Chairman of the Portland Cement Association. He has also served on the Executive Committees of the National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association and Cement, Concrete & Aggregates Australia. Mr. Watson holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Palm Beach Atlantic University, a Master of Business Administration from Rice University (Jones School) and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Dennis Segers advises AUTOCON on matters related to business strategy, fundraising, and operations. He is a 35 year veteran of the semiconductor industry, has served as a board member and advisor to numerous venture capital backed startups as well as private and public companies. Dennis is currently the chairman of the board of Xilinx, Inc. and serves as a director for Parade Technologies, Ltd.. Previously, he was CEO of Tabula, Inc. an innovative programmable logic solutions provider, delivering breakthrough capabilities for challenging systems applications. The company brought a series of industry firsts and novel solutions to the market, including a 3D programmable architecture, a 5B transistor chip on Intel’s leading edge 22nm TriGate technology and DesignInsight: a breakthrough in chip observability.
Prior to Tabula he served as president, CEO, and director of Matrix Semiconductor. Matrix pioneered the design and development of three-dimensional integrated circuits, a first in the history of semiconductor technology. At Matrix, Dennis oversaw the transition of the company from the early technology feasibility phase to high volume production, culminating in the acquisition of the company by SanDisk in January 2006.
Previously, Dennis served as the senior vice president and general manager of the FPGA product groups at Xilinx. He oversaw the development and introduction of the Virtex family of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), the most successful programmable logic family in the industry’s history. Under his direction the high end FPGA division grew from a $300M business to over $1.4B. In April 2000 he was elected to the Xilinx board of directors. Dennis is a past member of the board of directors of the Global Semiconductor Alliance, and also served as the Chairman of the GSA Emerging Company CEO Council from 2007 until 2010. A graduate of Texas A&M University, he now serves as a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Board, and was a 2008 Outstanding Alumni Award recipient.
Catherine Edmonson is a key advisor to AUTOCON, providing valuable insights on government affairs. She is the Founder & CEO of Demand Signal and has deep expertise in defense acquisitions and congressional appropriations. Catherine is dedicated to championing visionary leaders in their quest to equip the warfighter with critical, cutting-edge technologies. She brings a wealth of expertise in defense acquisitions and congressional appropriations to her role.
In her previous position as Vice President of Government Affairs at American Defense International (ADI), Catherine played a crucial role in assisting prominent defense tech entities, including SpaceX, Palantir, Shield AI, and Epirus, to navigate the complex Department of Defense procurement process. Her efforts resulted in securing millions of dollars through appropriations for these leading defense technology players.
Before her tenure at ADI, Catherine served as the youngest Chief of Staff to a Congressman who was a member of the Defense Subcommittee on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. In this role, she provided strategic advice on key national security issues and actively contributed to enhancing the innovation ecosystem within the Department of Defense.
Catherine Edmonson's commitment to supporting and advancing groundbreaking technologies for national defense makes her a valuable asset to AUTOCON in navigating government affairs and procurement processes.
William (Will) Roe Roberts serves as a government expert to AUTOCON. He is the director of Acquisition Solutions and Emerging Technology for ASI, Government.
He was most recently the Director of Acquisitions for the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), Office of the Department of Defense. As the first Acquisition Director for an DoD component focused on AI delivery, Will was responsible for ensuring that acquisition pathways and methodologies are centered on the JAIC mission of providing AI capabilities to the warfighter and DoD workforce. The JAIC was involved in multiple AI projects across the Department of Defense, with an annual budget of around $300M. The work included creating guidance, processes, and contracts to buy and deliver AI capabilities across the DoD. During his time at the JAIC, he led efforts to understand unique aspects of AI contracting, such as intellectual property and responsible AI. In this effort, he actively worked with outside bodies, such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) on how to successfully incorporate “responsible AI” principles into government contracts. His work also included leading a DoD AI Acquisition Literacy effort, in coordination with the OUSD for Acquisition and Sustainment (A&S) and Defense Acquisition University (DAU).
Previously, Will was a Contracting Officer (CO) for the Innovation Advisor to the Secretary of the US Air Force (Office of the Secretary of the Air Force (SAF)), and worked various policies and modernized strategies for the acquisition of services in DoD components. Will became a member of the ABA and Florida Bar as of 2011, receiving his law degree from Stetson University College of Law. During his legal studies, he became fascinated with contract law and commercial business principles. Originally determined to privately practice within the Tampa Florida area, he was later exposed to Federal Contracting and the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
Will lives in Ponte Vedra, Florida and has a wife and four children (Ages 11, 9, 2, and a 5-year-old in Heaven). Within his position in ASI Government, Will continues his passion to help federal acquisition professionals modernize their thinking and “reskill” their talents in order to buy and deliver emerging technologies for their missions.
Doug Prickett serves AUTOCON as a real estate expert and investor. He has over 35 years’ experience in the institutional real estate sector with heavy focus on strategy and industry dynamics. He has spent much of his career in investment research, analytics, valuation, acquisition, underwriting and development of commercial real estate. He has a passion for new technology and its application to positively impact the industry.
Currently, he serves as Senior Managing Director of Investment Analytics and Research where he directs the investment analytics and strategy initiatives for Transwestern’s family of companies; leading the research efforts, developing advanced data analytics with cutting-edge technologies to guide and support real estate investment strategies for Transwestern and its clients.
Prior to joining Transwestern, Doug co-founded Strongside Financial Group, a diversified platform aligning qualified capital together with Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) businesses and property for tax advantaged investing. Prior to SFG, Doug spent 5 years with Lionstone Investments as VP and Head of Investment Strategy and Research along with early adoption of advance data analytics. Prior to Lionstone, he spent 15 years with Goldman Sachs/Archon Group as a VP managing various business units including Global Real Estate Investment Research, Valuation and Data Resource Group (an industry research division).
Doug holds the CRE (Counselors of Real Estate), CCIM (CCIM Institute) and MAI (Appraisal Institute, Member) designations. He is a member of the Dallas Association of Business Economist, a Homer Hoyt Fellow, a member of Urban Land Institute and a licensed Real Estate Broker - Texas. He attended University of North Texas for a BBA in Real Estate.
Developing New Technologies to 3D Print Buildings & Structures On-Site
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