Get To Know The Real
My three-decade record of transformational leadership in the public and private sectors can be boiled down to the three words that define my life, impact, insight, and integrity.
I am the Founder of RL Leaders, a consulting enterprise serving the US Government specializing in alternative analyses and creating custom technologies which have served as the nexus of the national security community and Hollywood creatives for nearly two decades. Last year, I published my first book, “The Renaissance Campaign”, an exploration of deep applied creativity and the challenge of turning blue-sky ideas into reality. My keynote address “The Power of Perspective”, first delivered at the 75th Anniversary of Bretton Woods, delivers essential lessons from “The Renaissance Campaign” to business leaders and influencers.
Since the onset of the pandemic, I’ve prioritized expanding access to RL Leaders innovative approaches to creativity, hosting a “Pandemic Futures” series of roundtables designed to provide deeper, richer thinking about the long-term implications of COVID-19 to policymakers and thought leaders across the country.
I also previously co-founded Seattle-based Apira Technologies, a digital technology company, and founded Capstone National Partners, a bipartisan government affair company in Washington, DC, and Milwaukee. I am currently serving on the Board of Directors of private and not-for-profit entities while remaining an active founder of the businesses I’ve started. I am a non-executive Board member of Dallas-based MV Transportation and is the past Chair of the National Brain Aneurysm Foundation.
Private Sector Leadership
The businesses I’ve founded have generated tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue while emerging as market leaders. Leading successful enterprises amid the transformations of the US economy and culture over the last two decades has honed my insights into leadership, global security, technology, and innovation.
At RL Leaders, I have overseen numerous national security engagements including the development of a large-scale simulation system, an immersive training game, the training of over 85% of the National Counter Terrorism Center’s intelligence analysts in the years after 9/11 in the area of alternative analyses, and the creation of numerous other custom technologies for the national security community. At Capstone, I oversaw client wins resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for various clients while impacting numerous pieces of legislation.
In 2017, I took a step away as the CEO from RL Leaders to serve as the interim CEO of MV Transportation, the nation’s largest privately held mobility transportation company with roughly 20,000 employees in close to 200 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Asked to step in by fellow Board Members during a critical period, I successfully grew the company by approximately 8% to $1.3B in revenue, updated critical legacy infrastructures including cybersecurity, finance, and WFM systems. During his time as interim CEO, I exited key members of the executive team, reduced SG&A while at the same time increased safety and employee engagement throughout the company, and successfully participated in the recruitment of a permanent CEO. I remain an active Board member at MV to this day.
Public Sector Leadership
As described in Michael J Fox’s book, “Always Looking Up”, I teamed up with Michael during the 2006 elections on a campaign to insert stem cells into the national debate, an issue widely credited for the flipping of the U.S. Senate and landmark changes to stem cell policy. I has also spearheaded projects as diverse as a large Defense conversion project in Russia after the Cold War, the establishment of the National Clean Waters Act and the development of a campaign to engage Hollywood around the public health response to the coronavirus pandemic.
I have been an active public policy advocate and board member for patient groups seeking to increase federal funding for research on behalf of a variety of groups and causes, including The Brain Aneurysm Foundation, the Parkinson’s Action Network, Michael J Fox, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and the Coalition to Advance Medical Research (CAMR).
I have held senior positions at the local, state, and federal levels of government throughout his career including Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans and Operations – Legislative Affairs, Director of the Senate Democratic Caucus for the State of Wisconsin, Ombudsman for Congressman Les Aspin, National Political Director for Les Aspin, Chairman of the Wisconsin Procurement Institute, and Commissioner for the Southeast Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.
Personal and Education
I attended Illinois State University and the University of Iowa and was named an Adjunct Fellow by the Center for Strategic and International Studies shortly after he left the Pentagon. I now live in Wisconsin with my wife, Diane, and flexes his creative muscles through photography and painting, when I’m not biking, traveling, collecting wine or spending time with my two adult children.