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Turning Soldiers into Software Developers

- CDT
Antone's, 16th Floor & Virtual

Vito Errico
Army Software Factory, Co-director

Vito serves as CEO and Director of the Army Software Factory in Austin, TX.  He is a highly decorated active-duty Army officer with front line combat experience in both Iraq and Afghanistan. His academic achievement includes degrees with distinction from West Point, Georgetown, and Yale Universities.  In 2013, Vito was selected for the Army’s Joint Chiefs of Staff/Office of the Secretary of Defense Internship Program. In 2015, Vito was recognized as a Center for a New American Security National Security Fellow. During his studies at Yale, Vito worked at the Yale CEO Institute and interacted closely with Fortune 500 CEOs. He was selected to serve as the Senior Teaching Assistant for the Corporate Governance and Strategic Leadership MBA courses. He was subsequently identified in Forbes Magazine and Poets and Quants “Top Business School Graduates” annual feature in 2019. He resides in Austin with his wife Vanessa and their two young boys. LTC Errico’s current off-duty hobbies include changing diapers and watching Sesame Street.

BG Thomas Drew
U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Commanding General

Major General Tom R. Drew enlisted in the Army in 1982. He graduated from flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama, September 13, 1983. During his initial tours, Major General Drew served as both an AH-1 Cobra and AH-64 Apache instructor pilot.

Major General Drew completed the Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia and was commissioned as an aviation officer in 1989.

As a commissioned officer, Major General Drew has held numerous leadership and staff positions including platoon leader, assistant operations officer and assistant intelligence officer of the 1st Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Personnel Officer, 1st Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, Camp Mobile, Korea; Commander, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Aviation Regiment, Savannah, Georgia; Personnel Officer, TF-160; Platoon Leader and Company Commander, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion,160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (A); Operations Executive Officer, Special Mission Unit Liaison Officer, 1st Battalion, 160th SOAR(A); and the Regiment Operations Officer, 160th SOAR(A); Battalion Commander, 2nd Battalion, 160th SOAR(A); Director of Flight Concepts, Fort Eustis, Virginia; Brigade Commander, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade; Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Rucker, Alabama; Deputy Commanding General (Support), 2nd Infantry Division; Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Special Operations Command Deputy Commanding General; Military Deputy Director, Army Talent Management Task Force; and Director, Army Talent Management Task Force.

Major General Drew’s combat tours include Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraq Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Major General Drew’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star (5 Oak Leaf Clusters), Meritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Air Medal (“V” device and numeral device “7”), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Master Aviator Badge, the Combat Action Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Military Free Fall Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.

Major General Drew’s education includes a bachelor’s degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Professional Aeronautics, a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island; and a U.S. Army War College Fellowship, National Security Fellow Duke University.

Tirzah VanDamme
Army Software Factory, Chief Recruiter

Tirzah is a reserve Officer who served on Active duty from the inception of the Army Software Factory to June 2021 in support of the stand-up of the Army Software Factory. As a civilian, Tirzah is a Data and AI Specialist at Microsoft. Tirzah completed her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School (HBS), in May 2019. She focused on technology, entrepreneurship and healthcare. Prior to HBS, Tirzah completed a Master of Science (MS) in Neuroscience at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (the U.S. military’s medical school) with a focus in noninvasive neuromodulation techniques to discover new therapies for chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury. Tirzah spent most of her career on active duty in the U.S. Army, serving in a variety of positions including an operations officer, general manager (commander), medical evacuation pilot and inspector general. She was stationed in Alabama, Hawaii, and Germany and had combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. Tirzah graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a degree in engineering management and certification in industrial engineering. Tirzah grew up in Ferguson, Missouri with four sisters and two brothers. She is married to Joseph VanDamme, an active-duty Army officer and they have a 16-month old daughter, Ada. Tirzah is an active volunteer in the community and is passionate about purpose-driven work and making a positive difference in the world.

Katharine Kelley
AFC, Chief Human Capital Officer

Kate Kelley is the Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) for Army Futures Command. She serves as the senior advisor on all aspects of Human Resources providing overall direction, guidance, theories and principles of sound Human Capital management.

In her role, Kate leads an empowered team of Human Resources professionals supporting a workforce of 20,000 people located in both the United States and overseas. Don’t miss a chance to hear Kate’s insights on how Soldiers are working to build an organic software development capability within the Army.


As the saying goes, “Software is eating the world.” It’s still largely true in the commercial market — and it’s true in national security as well. Highly complex software is now essential to many of the military’s systems and platforms. Coding has made its way to the front line.

The Army’s future operating environment will require that Soldiers can scope and implement software-based solutions on their own, without connectivity, and without outside support. This skill will help them act faster when things are going as planned — and respond faster when the unexpected happens. Join this inspiring session to learn how the Army is empowering Soldiers by building an organic software development capability within the force.


Attendees (69)

Wayne Polatkan
Wayne Polatkan
Tuloy, Chief Executive Officer
SA
Steve Amos
HealthCode, CEO/Founder
Karen (KK) Krause-Bencal
Karen (KK) Krause-Bencal
Activate, VP, Defense Innovation
Matthew Schuler
Matthew Schuler
Saint Industries Inc, Chief Strategy Officer - PCADS HALO
Matthew Craig
Matthew Craig
Boone Group, Client Success Strategist
Judson Crane
Judson Crane
Defense Innovation Board, Research Director (People & Process)
ME
Michael Ertmer
@AUSAPittsburgh & Army AI2C
Peter Neumann
Peter Neumann
Riverside Research, Mission Engineer
RG
Randy Groves
Exabyte.io, Business Development Public Sector
Michael Williams
Michael Williams
Boeing, Principal Advanced Technologist
Ramon Sellers
Ramon Sellers
Siemens, National Federal Business Manager
Zachary and Levy
Zachary and Levy
Cognovi Labs, Managing Director
Nelson Salas
Nelson Salas
Grug Group / JetX, Founder
Karen Fray, PMP
Karen Fray, PMP
National Security Innovation Network, National Service Portfolio Director
James Julius
James Julius
VISIMO, President & CEO
Christopher Pavel
Christopher Pavel
Western Air Defense Sector, BCC Spark Cell, Senior Enlisted Leader
Jeff Ribel
Jeff Ribel
Dark Wolf Solutions, LLC, Director, Strategic Accounts
Private attendees are hidden.