STAYING AHEAD OF THE GAME
CEO/By Light Board Member
It was Mr. Cole's vision for a customer centric, innovative, and responsive engineering company that gave birth to Cole Engineering Services, Inc. (CESI). As a former Division Manager at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), he managed the development of complex modeling and simulation systems like: Modular Semi-Automated Forces (ModSAF), Automated Exercise and Assessment System (AEAS), Dismounted Infantry SAF (DISAF), Virtual Emergency Response Training System (VERTS) and One Semi-Automated Forces (OneSAF). Mr. Cole earned a bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University in 1981, then studied engineering at the University of Central Florida. Mr. Cole founded CESI in 2004 and it has since grown to be a recognized leader in the Department of Defense Modeling and Simulation Industry. His team of highly educated and capable engineers and scientists are committed to delivering quality simulation training, wargaming and analysis solutions to our warfighters and first responders.
MATTHEW J. THOMPSON
With invaluable credentials in the Defense Industry, Mr. Thompson brings a wealth of expertise to his position as President for Cole Engineering Services, Inc. (CESI). Prior to joining CESI, Mr. Thompson served as a Sr. Vice President and member of the executive leadership team at Camber Corporation. His support spanned strategic areas targeted by the corporation, including Department of Defense (DoD), intelligence, international and commercial business sectors. Prior to that, Mr. Thompson worked at Lockheed Martin and spent almost 20 years at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). He led SAIC's Orlando Operation for Modeling, Simulation and Training (MS&T), growing it to almost $235M. As Vice President of Operations for SAIC, he was instrumental in the identification and growth of key Live, Virtual and Constructive MS&T programs for the company. Mr. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from Virginia Tech, with postgraduate work at American University. He has extensive experience in business operations and organizational development and has supported the Defense Industry, both domestically and abroad, for over 25 years.
Chief Technology Officer
Mr. Armstrong has over 20 years of experience in the Modelling and Simulation Industry and has led M&S innovation and development across the US DOD, UK MOD and NATO. He led the adoption of game technologies in the UK and across NATO through the UK’s applied research program and as chair of the NATO modeling and simulation group. Mr. Armstrong’s responsibilities include business development, solution architecture and technical innovation across all of Cole Engineering Services, Inc. (CESI) programs. Mr. Armstrong brings a passion for technical innovation, focused on delivering effective training to military personnel. With a focus on immersive technologies including Augmented and Virtual Reality, he has led the development and delivery of over 20 simulation systems around the world. Prior to joining CESI in 2016, Mr. Armstrong was the Chief Technology Officer for QinetiQ Training and Simulation division, including establishing its North America training business. Mr. Armstrong graduated from Warwick University with a Master of Physics (MPhys) and is a QinetiQ Technical Fellow.
Chief Financial Officer
With significant experience and invaluable credentials in the Defense Industry, Mr. Fee heads all financial, accounting, tax and compliance matters in his position as Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Cole Engineering Services, Inc. (CESI), Mr. Fee spent almost 14 years at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Mr. Fee led SAIC’s Orlando Business Unit for Modeling, Simulation and Training (MS&T) as the Business Unit's Controller. As a Business Unit Controller and Vice President for SAIC, he managed the financial results of several operations with over 2,000 employees and a revenue base that ranged from $250M to $1B. Mr. Fee has experience with several programs in Live, Virtual and Constructive simulation domains. His experience/responsibilities included rate determinations, inventory procedures, staffing, proposals, and management decisions regarding required internal funding (IR&D/OH). Prior to SAIC, Mr. Fee was a staff auditor for KPMG Peat Marwick, were he had significant exposure to several governmental organizations (Non-Profits, State and Local Governments, Federal, etc.). Mr. Fee holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from Clemson University and is currently an inactive CPA. He has extensive experience in business operations and organizational development and has supported the Defense Industry for over 22 years.
Senior Vice President, Business Development
Mr. Chandler oversees all business development activities to include strategy and marketing initiatives and focuses on the Air Force & INTEL accounts. He joined CESI in 2013 after retiring from the U.S. Air Force – his last assignment being the ROTC Detachment Commander at the University of Central Florida. During his 26-year career, he accumulated over 4400 flying hours in fighter aircraft (A-10, F-15C and F-16) including a tour as the Commander/Leader of the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds. Mr. Chandler graduated from the USAF Academy and holds multiple Master’s Degrees in National Security Studies and the use of airpower at the operational and strategic levels of war.
Senior Vice President, Operations Advanced Training Systems
Mr. Lyders is a highly motivated, energetic, and trusted acquisition professional dedicated to understanding and meeting the needs of our Warfighters. Mr. Lyders started with CESI in 2018. He is the Senior Vice President of the Advanced Training Systems group which provides software and hardware training/testing solutions for the U.S. Department of Defense and other nations. Prior to joining CESI, Mr. Lyders served as a civilian member of the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps supporting the Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation in a number of technical, program management, and staff operations leadership positions. Mr. Lyders holds a Master’s degree in Management, a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and is Project Management Professional (PMP) certified. Mr. Lyders is a graduate and avid fan of the University of Central Florida (UCF).
Senior Vice President, Simulation Products & Services
Mr. Fransson joined Cole Engineering Services, Inc. in 2012 as Senior Program Manager and now serves as Senior Vice President of Operations managing the Simulation Products & Services business operation. He brings over 25 years of experience in the modeling and simulation business, national and international program management, business development, capture management, export of defense articles and services, along with contracts and practices from programs and projects based in the USA, Europe, and Asia. Prior to joining Cole Engineering Services, Inc. Mr. Fransson worked for BAE Systems, managing military training systems programs. Mr. Fransson holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science and is Project Management Certified (PMP).
Director of Contracts, Pricing & Procurement
With almost 40 years of experience that has encompassed a broad breadth of functional areas and domains, Ms. Hatcher’s extensive background brings forward a deep knowledge and wide range of skillsets and know-how. Prior to joining Cole Engineering Services, Inc. (CESI), Ms. Hatcher spent 27+ years at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) where she served as a Vice President and a member of the Corporation’s senior leadership team. She participated on numerous corporate level committees and strategic projects, leading the development, implementation and management of numerous policies, procedures, and internal systems. Ms. Hatcher’s experience encompasses all phases of the acquisition process including proposal preparation, negotiations, contract management, project control and successful program execution. She has extensive experience in supply chain management as well as export and international contracting. Ms. Hatcher is a Certified Federal Contract Manger (CFCM) and is Six Sigma Green Belt Qualified.
Director of Human Resources
Mrs. Allison has over 20 years of diverse experience in Human Resource areas including training, talent acquisition, labor relations, compliance, and compensation/benefits with a majority of her experience working with federal government contractors in both union (Kennedy Space Center) and non-union environments. Mrs. Allison earned a Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law from Tulane Law School, and also holds a Master’s degree in Management – Human Resources Management, as well as a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice, both from the University of Central Florida. She also holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification, and she is a Society for Human Resources Certified Professional (SHRM-CP), as well as volunteer Instructor for the American Heart Association. Since joining Cole Engineering in 2009, Mrs. Allison has made it a focus to help the company be an employer of choice and receive accolades such as, “Best Companies to Work for in Florida”, as well as “Top 100 Companies for Working Families”, “Best Places to Work for Millennials”, “#1 Mid-Size Employer in Orlando”, and “Corporate Community Service Champion”.