• Rick HowardChairman

    Rick Howard is a Program Manager in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from Walden University.

  • Alan C. Tio, MPA, CEcDPast Chairman

    Alan Tio joined the Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCo) as CEO in fall 2018.

    Most recently he served as Economic Developer at Michael Kinder & Sons, Inc., leading the firm’s consulting and development practice, which provides customized solutions for clients in Northeast Indiana, Northwest Ohio, and Southwest Michigan.

    Tio has over a decade of comprehensive experience with local, regional and state level economic development organizations such as business startup, business recruitment, business expansion, industrial park development, and industrial spec building development. He has actively worked to promote the aerospace and defense, agribusiness, and medical device industry sectors.

    Tio led Whitley County Economic Development Corporation, business attraction and business retention and expansion efforts. He oversaw the launch of initiatives related to agribusiness, community development, medical device, and small business & entrepreneurship.

    Tio has obtained a professional certification (CEcD) from the International Economic Development Council. He has served as chair of the Indiana Economic Development Association (2013-14) and has been recognized as a “40 Under 40” Rising Star.

    In 2013, Tio received a direct commission to the reserve component of the United States Navy Supply Corps. He now serves as Training Department Head with NR DFAS-CO 209 at Defense Supply Center Columbus.

    Tio graduated with University Honors from Miami University with a Bachelors of Arts in International Studies (2002) and with a Masters in Public Affairs from Indiana University (2006). In 2014, Tio was recognized by then-Governor Mike Pence as a “Distinguished Hoosier” and early this year he was named to the “Circle of Corydon” by current Governor Eric Holcomb. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Northeast Indiana Defense Industry Association and serves on the Executive Committee of the Industry Advisory Board for the College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science at Purdue University Fort Wayne.

  • Dave JostTreasurer

    David is the Vice President of Business Operations for Ultra Electronics – USSI located in Columbia City, Indiana. USSI is a prime supplier to the U.S. Navy and worldwide allies in anti-submarine warfare solutions. His management responsibilities at the company include Contracts, Purchasing and Logistics, Information Technology, Security, Health and Safety. David started his career at Magnavox in 1986 and has been involved in the defense industry since that time. He joined USSI in 1999 and helped lead the company from $16M in sales then to over $142M in 2017.

    David graduated with a Business degree from Taylor University and holds Purchasing Manager C.P.M, and Federal Contracts Managers CFCM certifications.

  • Chris Straw

    Chris Straw is the founder and President of Team Quality Services, a firm that provides Quality Support and Safety Consulting services to companies where they need assistance in the value chain. Team Quality Services’ network of experts in Supplier Quality, Internal Quality, Safety and Customer Quality allow companies to have a global reach and better service their customers and keep closer eyes on their suppliers. Certified in Lean Six-Sigma, Internal Auditing and Customer Service, Chris is also a graduate from Purdue University and a decorated officer, pilot and veteran of the US Air Force Reserves having flown combat missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Residing in Auburn, Indiana with his wife and children, Chris is very active in the community, volunteering and serving on the Board of Directors for several organizations including the Northeast Indiana Defense Industrial Association (NIDIA), Northeast Indiana Works, Elevate Ventures and DeKalb Learning Link. In 2015 Chris received the Ernestine Raclin Community Leadership Award for Northeast Indiana and the Junior Achievement Award for Excellence in Economic Education.

  • Michael Morton

    Michael Morton has been the Government Sales Manager for a Pro Seal & Plastics, LLC. since 2015.  Michael has worked extensively in the US Government market, in strategic sourcing, procurement & contract management of military parts and materials for various military aircraft, ground support equipment and many other applications used to support the US Military for over 23 years.  As the Government Sales Manager for Pro Seal & Plastics, LLC., he provides guidance in all aspects of supplying the US Government with their Sealing and Kitting requirements. This encompasses the sourcing, bidding, negotiating and contract management of all government contracts.  Furthermore, he oversees all the quality management, packaging and post contract business duties of selling to the Federal Government.

  • Joe Predina

    Joe Predina is President and founder of Logistikos Engineering LLC, a small high tech business of 45 employees located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The company’s primary focus is development of space based remote sensor technology for NASA, NOAA and other government prime contractors such as the Harris Corporation. This includes R&D, system trades, hardware design, test support, theoretical analysis and performance estimation for state of the art space payloads. Prior to founding Logistikos, Joe was a Tech Fellow at the ITT/Exelis/Harris Corporation where he devoted his career to the development of next generation weather satellite instruments used by NASA for over three decades.

  • Aaron Springer

    Mr. Springer began his career as a Quality Engineer, responsible for implementing ISO 9001:2001 at a local industrial plastics facility. He then transitioned through various roles of increasing operational responsibility at BAE Systems, Fort Wayne, Indiana. These roles included Sr. Sourcing Engineer, Aftermarket Customer Service Manager, and Lean Transformation Leader. He then moved to United Technologies performing as an ACE (Achieving Competitive Excellence) Continuous Improvement leader as well as site Quality Manager. Mr. Springer is a graduate of Purdue University West Lafayette with a B.S. in Aeronautical Technology. He has been married to his wife Amy for 15 years and together they have 3 children, ages 10,7, and 3.

  • Chad Ross

    Chad Ross is the Co-Owner of GovParts LLC, a HUBZone Certified defense manufacturer located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. As a contract manufacturer and broker, GovParts connects small local businesses to the defense marketplace through sub-contracting opportunities and brokering. He has extensive experience in process engineering and production practices in the metalworking industry, along with over 10 years of experience directly managing defense contracts and overseeing production and delivery. He specializes in searching and bidding Made-to-Print item requirements listed by the DLA, as well as contract management and compliance. He is looking forward to advocating for the small business defense contractors in the region.