Carl Spraberry, AMMA Founder and Chairman of the Board
Carl was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1975 where he worked as a Nuclear Welder and Nuclear Planner until his commissioning through the Limited Duty Officer program in 1986. He served in various positions as a Maintenance Officer, Planning Officer, and Damage Control/Engineering Officer on several ships and shore commands. He retired in 1994 and joined a local ship repair/government contracting company, QED Systems where he spent 12 years as the Director of Technical Services. Recruited by a local shipyard he started a small ship repair company, Ocean Tech Services, where he served as the President beginning in July 2006 and left to start his own company in August of 2009. Since its inception, his company, Advanced Integrated Technologies has grown to over 200 employees working throughout Hampton Roads supporting the local shipyards and various government agencies in ship repair, modernization and new technologies. He is a member of many trade organizations including the Virginia Ship Repair Association, American Society of Naval Engineers, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Virginia Port Authority, Virginia Maritime Association, National Ship Repair Council, Service Disabled Veterans Owned Small Business Council (charter Member) and he co-founded the American Maritime Modernization Association. His charitable affiliations include President of the Southside Boys and Girls Club, Treasurer of Cerebral Palsy of Virginia, Leadership Council of the Hampton Roads United Way campaign, and Founder of the Virginia Microboard Association.
Bob Blenner, AMMA President
Bob is the Vice President of AMMA, having been active in the association since 2004 and a Board Member since 2012. He is currently the Director of Business Development at Delphinus Engineering, Inc. and has been involved with the maintenance, repair, and alteration of U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and Army vessels since 1982. He has been involved with several Condition Based Maintenance applications for shipboard rotating equipment through the PERA and NSWC organizations. Mr. Blenner was the Program Manager for the initial SmartShip installation onboard the USS Yorktown in the md-90s while employed by Information Technology Solutions, Inc. of Norfolk, VA. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from the College of William and Mary graduating in 1975.
Cheryl Sawyer, AMMA Board Member & Secretary/AMMA Communications
Cheryl Sawyer, Vice President of AIT, LLC and President, Surge Force, LLC, has over nine years of experience in the ship repair and ship maintenance industry managing Accounting, Human Resources Department, Benefits, Purchasing, Logistics, Facilities, Safety for all office locations in San Diego, Philadelphia, Charleston & Norfolk. Responsible for all day-to- day Operations and Business Development/Marketing. Additionally, Surge Force staffing firm, under Cheryl’s guidance, has built-in training and certification for a variety of skilled trades and offers those services to other companies.
Cheryl’s other involvement in the ship repair industry is her volunteer service with the American Maritime Modernization Association (AMMA) where she has assisted with membership, business development, host’s the annual dinner and quarterly socials for the last 8 years. She also serves on the board as Secretary. The arrangement of monthly membership meetings with local elected officials has become an important event in the maritime industry and the advocacy work of the organization. The management of all social media pages and website provides the marketing structure for the members and others who have an interest in this industry. Cheryl is very active in interfacing on behalf of AMMA with the congressional leaders on small business and industry concerns. Cheryl was elected to the Board of Directors in 2017.
Other Professional Affiliations and Volunteer Industrial Experience include:
- Virginia Ship Repair Association (VSRA)
- Port of San Diego Ship Repair Association (PSDSRA)
- American Maritime Modernization Association (AMMA)
- Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce
- Board Member National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
- Regional Finance Chairman for Senator Bryce Reeves – Present
- Finance Committee Chair for Congressman Randy Forbes – 2015-2017
- Finance Committee Chair for Congressman Scott Rigell – 2014-2016
- RPVA Beach Committee Chair
- DRC Board Member
- PTA Secretary
Bob Gallagher, AMMA Board Member
In large corporate environments, to small companies to include A8’s in which decisions often get bogged down in layers of bureaucracy and good ideas whether while waiting for approval to execute, Bob Gallagher is a stand out. Not one to sit by and wait for things to happen, Bob makes them come to life, all the while infusing the teams he leads with an infectious energy and passion that empowers them to also think big and outside their areas of comfort. Bob helps each employee set strength goals, and then pursue those goals with such an intensity and focus that anything but success is unthinkable.
With a proven successful path in his career, Bob is well-versed in demonstrating management best practices and is a natural leader who is repeatedly being tapped in the workplace for commercial and operational leadership of key strategic initiatives. What sets Bob apart is his willingness to push the envelope in terms of what is possible for business, as well as his courage in defining and forging a new path forward-a path that more often than never leads to breakthrough achievements and propels the business top new heights of success and growth.
Bob Gallagher joined the US Navy in the 90’s and immediately excelled in his successful career path. In 2002 an exciting opportunity opened for Bob as he was asked by Raytheon Technical Services Company to join an expeditionary travel unit in support of Operation Iraq Freedom. During the successful 9 years spent in both Iraq and Afghanistan as a Government Contractor and a Federal Employee, Bob returned home to find himself living in Quantico, Virginia as a very successful and sought after FBI engineer. Mid 2015 he decided to return to Hampton Roads as a Program Director for Akima LLC, overseeing one of their 36 subsidiary companies known as Lynxnet LLC. During his time with Lynxnet LLC, he was able to assist and guide growing the company from 165 to 222 employees in just a short time. Number of employees came with great revenue growth reaching just under 48 million.
Recently Bob has joined LPI Technical Services as Director of Resources. There he has already brought growth to the company both in employee and revenue. He plans on pushing the company to its limits and growing it to their full capabilities which are, unlimited amount of doors to open and explore.
Ron Verostek, AMMA Board Member
Ron is a retired Navy Captain with 29 years of active service. Since transitioning to the civilian workplace in 2001, he has held positions as Finance Manager at Coca Cola, a consultant, General Manager for a small business, and President and Operations Manager for two local businesses supporting government and commercial customers.
Since its incorporation in January 2008, he has served as the President, Phoenix Group of Virginia, Inc., an award winning Service Disabled Veteran Owed Small Business headquartered in Chesapeake, VA; President, Phoenix Group Board of Directors; and, is one of its three principal owners. Phoenix Group provides a broad array of professional support services and first responder products. The Phoenix Group team consists of over 50 employees working to exceed expectations and provide innovative solutions to our customers’ needs.
He is an Elder at New Song Fellowship church in Virginia Beach, on the Board of Directors and served four years as President of the American Maritime Modernization Association (AMMA), and on the Boards of Tidewater Bible College, Chantel Ray Realty and Tesfa International. He is an active member of C12, a National CEO & President’s group.
A native of Pennsylvania, he and his wife Margie have resided in Virginia Beach since 1991 and have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren.
His hobbies are jogging, scuba diving, snow skiing, bowling, white water rafting and softball.
He has earned a B.S. in Business Administration, an M.B.A. and completed the Advanced Management Program at Duke University.
Michael L. Malone, AMMA Board Member, AMMA Treasurer
Michael was born in Ozark, Alabama to the late Rev. Solomon Malone, Jr. and the late Retha N. Malone. He graduated from Killeen High School, in Killeen, Texas in May of 1981. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy and attended the Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training (BOOST) School in San Diego, CA. Upon completion of BOOST, he was discharged from active duty and was commissioned as a midshipman in the US Navy Reserves and attended Prairie View A&M University. He graduated from Prairie View with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering (cum laude) and was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy in May of 1987. His naval career spanned almost three decades. During this time, he served on USS ARKANSAS (CGN 41), USS GUADALCANAL (LPH 7), USS BRISCOE (DD 977) and USS TARAWA (LHA 1). He also served at numerous shore commands including Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, VA, Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, VA, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Pearl Harbor, HI and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, MA where the degrees of Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering were conferred upon him. His career culminated with his command of the Surface Maintenance Engineering Planning Program (SURFMEPP) in Portsmouth, VA. He retired from active naval service in November of 2015 after having achieved the rank of CAPTAIN. He is presently an engineering program manager at Q.E.D. Systems, Incorporated in Virginia Beach, VA. He has been married to the former Delphina M. Coleman, his college sweetheart, for 33 years and they have one son, Brandon.
Tom Ternes, AMMA Board Member
Mr. Ternes currently serves as Section Vice President for the Ship Services Group of General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT). In this capacity, he oversees the modernization, installation, repair and upgrade of surface and subsurface vessels for the US Navy, Military Sealift Command and other commercial shipyards. Prior to that, he was the Senior Operations Director for the Ship Systems Integration and Modernization Group at GDIT where he served as the Program Manager for several SEAPORT e tasks and two major contracts with the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Philadelphia providing SMARTSHIP upgrades and a wide variety of Hull, Mechanical & Electrical modernization services to the U.S. Navy. At various times during his 25 years with GDIT, Mr. Ternes has served as the Directors of Contracts, Finance and Purchasing. Over a 40 year career in the ship repair business, he has held various positions including serving as the Program Manager for the Navy’s Habitability Improvement Program, the Military Sealift Command’s Design and Engineering Programs at both headquarters and for the West Coast, the Scientific Department Head for the development of Offshore Thermal Energy Conversion projects, Arctic Oil Drilling Offshore Island projects, many full scale sea-keeping trials and as a Project Engineer at the Hydronautics Ship Model Basin for the hydrodynamic analysis of various hull designs and configurations including sea-keeping and vessel maneuvering tests, resistance and propulsion tests and propeller designs.
Mr. Ternes served in the U.S. Navy from June of 1971 to June of 1976 as an Engineering Officer aboard the USS CORAL SEA (CV 43), the USS GLOVER (AGDE-1) and various other naval vessels. He is a veteran of the Vietnam Conflict and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy with the Class of 1971 having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. He later attended the University of California at Berkeley where he received his Master of Engineering degree in Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering in 1985. He was awarded the Graduate Paper Honor Prize by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers in 1985 for his graduate thesis work. He has been a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers since 1972 and the American Society of Naval Engineers since 1985. He has written and published several papers on hydrodynamic research and vessel control.
Don Zimbro, Quality Assurance, Board Member
Don initially joined VT Milcom in July 1996 as a Sheet Metal Mechanic and Quality Assurance Inspector for the Manufacturing Division. Don earned an AAS degree in Industrial Engineering Management and a Certification in Quality Assurance from Tidewater Community College in 2000 and pursued management opportunities outside of the company. Don returned to VT Milcom in June of 2005 as the Corporate Quality/Safety Manager and was promoted to Director of Quality/Safety for VT Group in 2007. During his time with VT Group, Don has been a key contributor to maintaining the company ISO certification as well as supporting critical projects such as the $500+M IDIQ US Navy Sea Enterprise award.
Prior to rejoining VT Milcom in 2005, Don’s quality management career began in May 2000 as the Quality/Training Manager for Cable Communications Inc., a subcontractor for Cox Cable Inc. specializing in installations of cable, high-speed internet and telephone. In February 2003, Don accepted a position as Corporate Quality/Safety Manager with George G. Sharp Inc., a government contractor involved in modernizing troop quarters and facilities aboard Navy vessels. While with George G. Sharp, Don authored the company’s ISO 9001/2000 NAVSEA approved Quality System Manual and led the company to compliance.
Don is an active member of the Quality Committee and Quality Auditor for the Virginia Ship Repair Association through whom he received an award for creating the winning logo that was adopted by the organization as their official logo. In 2006, Don was elected as the Chairman of the American Maritime Modernization Association (AMMA) Quality Committee a position he held for 3years. In 2012, he was reelected as the Quality committee Chairman which he currently holds. He is also an active member of the local chapter of the American Society of Quality.
Don came to VT Milcom in 1996 after a distinguished 24-year Navy career. Highlights of his career while with the F-14 Fighter Community include positions as Aircraft Maintenance Control Chief, Flight Deck Coordinator, Lead Instructor for Hydraulic Systems and Primary Flight Controls, Quality Assurance Officer, and Lead Auditor for Fighter Wing One. He also served aboard the USS FORRESTAL at the end of the Vietnam War and on the USS NIMITZ during Desert Storm.