Panel: Out of State Investments by Defense Firms in Okla. City

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Jeffrey (Jeff) Seymour

Executive Vice-President, Economic Development

Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

 Jeff Seymour currently serves as the Executive Vice-President for Economic Development for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. In this role he leads the Chamber’s effort to expand the regional economy through new business recruitment, providing support to existing businesses and entrepreneurs and meeting the talent and workforce needs of current and future employers.

Prior to serving at the Chamber, Jeff served as Executive Director of the Franklin County Development Council, a county-wide economic development organization in the greater Kansas City region and the Executive Director of the Blackwell Chamber of Commerce and Blackwell Industrial Authority in Blackwell, OK. Jeff also worked at the Ponca City Development Authority.

Jeff lives in southwest Oklahoma City with his wife Natasha and daughter Emmaline. He is an avid biker and traveler and is graduate of Oklahoma State University and Northern Oklahoma College with degrees in economics and international business. Jeff holds the status of a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) through the International Economic Development Council.

Jeffrey Herro – Sr. VP of Business Development
Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems, Inc.

Soon after graduating from the University of Texas in 1980, Mr Herro began his career in the defense sector with Tracor Aerospace in Austin Tx.  During a period of almost 20 years and over the course of two company ownership changes culminating with BAE, Mr. Herro held numerous successive management positions including Finance and Program Management. As a program manager, he led the QF-4 development and production efforts as well as the build of subscale target drones utilized by both the USAF and US Army. After rising to Director of Programs over Unmanned Aerial Systems, he finished his career at BAE as special assistant to the President.

Mr. Herro joined Composite Engineering (CEi), a small business with less than 40 employees in 2000 as a principle in the company to lead the strategic entry of the firm into the Unmanned Air Vehicle marketplace.  Over the course of the next decade, CEi was successful in developing and securing significant US DoD contracts in the subscale aerial target sector and establishing CEi as a world leader in high performance aerial targets.

Upon the strategic acquisition of CEi by Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, Mr Herro continued his employment as Sr. Vice President of Business Development where he still serves today.  In this capacity, he is deeply involved in establishing the strategic vision for Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems inclusive of the companies entrance into the Tactical/Strategic UAS marketplace and all Business Development pursuit activities. He is married, a father of 3 girls and a grandfather of 6.


Jackie Hughes PMP, CPCM

CACI Executive Vice President, Business Operations

Jackie Hughes has over 15 years of experience in the Government information technology and services industry.  In her current role with CACI she is responsible for managing multiple business functional areas inclusive of the Shared Service Center, Security, Procurement, Facilities and Operational Excellence.  She works closely with all the corporate executives in streamlining day to day operational activities and enhancing the collaboration between the operation’s functional groups and the business. She also leads transformation corporate initiatives such as integration for M&A and standing up the company’s first Shared Services Center.

In her prior role as VP of Operations for L3 Data Tactics Corporation, she worked vigorously to create and implement policies and procedures that ensured company compliance with Federal Acquisition Regulations, Defense Contract Audit Agency and Defense Contract Management Agency. During her tenure with Data Tactics, she effectively streamlined the organization and integrated the functional operations team to provide ultimate services to both the company employees and government customers.  Mrs. Hughes assisted in standing up the company’s first commercial software products division inclusive of the new business model, sales approach, and required software sales policies and procedures.  Mrs. Hughes also held the position of Ethics Officer and Empowered Official.

Throughout her career, Mrs. Hughes’ strong background in government contracts has contributed to numerous contracts awards and increased customer satisfaction. She works closely with all parties involved in order to execute all programs effectively, efficiently, and always with the utmost integrity and compliance awareness. Her full life cycle business acumen has proven to be an asset in developing strong, compliant operational teams that actively participate in achieving corporate strategy goals.

Mrs. Hughes holds an MS degree in Project Management from George Washington University and a BS degree in finance from Hawaii Pacific University.

Chair of the Day

Tisha Tate Garcia has recently retired as the Vice President of Commercial Development for Delaware Resource Group, a global aerospace defense contractor. She managed the business and strategic development for the company’s private sector entities: DRG Professional Services, Procurement and Logistics and First Eagle construction. She joined DRG after managing member relations for St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Prior she was a worldwide marketing manager and provided specialty product integration and sales for Xerox. During her 11 years with the company she advanced software solutions and opened business units in the Middle East, Africa, South America and North America.

Through her career, she recognized the importance of having a balanced life and noticed how it lessened her stress while simultaneously increasing her productivity. Tisha has a passion for health and is routinely a featured speaker or teacher for events related to the practice of yoga, where she creates space for people to slow down, let go and come home to themselves through breath, movement and inspiration. She is a certified yoga instructor through the Yoga Alliance with training at the Sanctuary at Two Rivers, Costa Rica. Her own empowering journey is marked by losing over 120 pounds.

She holds a B.A. in English Communications and International Business with cum laude honors from St. Mary’s University.Of all things, she is most proud of her wonderful son, Ian Needham, who is attending school in Portland, OR



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