Leading innovation and making an impact through emerging technologies
WHO WE ARE
FON Advisors was formed by a group of senior aerospace and defense industry executives, intelligence operations officers, and operators from premier units in the DoD and US intelligence community. Forged through collective shared experiences, FON Advisors leadership has built an organizational culture that mirrors the problem solving methodology of high performance “No-Fail” military units. Collectively, the group provides unparalleled worldwide Defense and Intelligence experience and a global network.
DAVID WALSH | Managing Partner
Dave serves as the managing partner and is responsible for overall management and investment activities of the firm. Prior to FON, he was the CEO of Prescient Edge Holdings, the parent company of four intelligence services and technology firms he managed through periods of rapid organic growth both domestically and throughout the European Union. The Prescient companies specialize in National Security Operations, Technology, and Research & Development services to a range of government and corporate customers to include the US Intelligence Agencies, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the U.S. Special Operations Command, and several government research laboratories. Dave has broad experience providing contractor support to mission critical operations delivering Human Intelligence and Counterintelligence services to the DoD and US Intelligence Agencies and the creation of best practices and policies pertaining to insider threat protection and the advancement of intelligence tradecraft. Dave works to commercialize unique Research and Development efforts inside the U.S. Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. Prior to entering the private sector, he was engaged in sensitive counterterrorism operations in the United States, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. He holds a B.S. in Economics from the United States Naval Academy, serves on the Board of Directors of Guitars over Guns, and is a founding partner of Social Venture Partners Miami.
PATRICK PORTER | President & Partner
Tony shares overall responsibilities for all management and investment activities of the firm. He is a recognized expert by the US Government in how emerging technologies impact national security, and is currently leading a 6-month study sponsored by the Office of the Director National Intelligence on the topic’s implications. His expertise stems from his experience in the commercial technology, defense industry and public service sectors. Tony co-founded Eastern Foundry, a federal technology incubator and co-working space with 2 locations in the Washington DC Metro Area with over 200 participating companies. Tony’s leadership experience in the emerging tech and investment space included responsibilities as chairman and CEO of an investor-backed data analytics company. Tony was also a senior executive at BAE Systems, responsible for company’s growth strategy across the U.S. government’s most sensitive markets. In his 3 years there, Tony was credited with winning $1.1B of competed procurement. Before entering the private sector, Tony spent several years in national security, to include overseas military service as an Army Officer serving in the Infantry and Special Operations communities, leading US interagency and coalition operations and planning. Tony holds a M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, an Executive Education Certification from The Wharton School, a B.A. in International Relations from Georgetown University, and various certifications from the Department of Defense and other government agencies.
HENRY TALBOT | Chief Operating Officer
Henry is a financial regulatory compliance officer. Most recently, he was a vice president with Deloitte’s investment bank where he managed a wide variety of broker/dealer compliance functions, including cross-border engagements, FINRA and state regulatory filings, electronic correspondence oversight, principal review of engagement deliverables and marketing materials, and annual branch audits. Prior to his time with Deloitte, he held compliance, operations, training and sales positions with some of the largest financial institutions in the US. His responsibilities included: oversight of SEC, FINRA and NFA/CFTC filings for broker/dealers, asset management companies and RIAs; creation and maintenance of WSPs and internal policies and procedures; development and delivery of new hire operations onboarding for ~3500 financial advisors nationwide and oversight, creation and delivery of broker/dealer operations training for a large US bank’s back office broker/dealer operations department. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and currently holds Series 7, 63, 65, 79 securities licenses and his Series 24, 9 &10 securities principal licenses.
VIC HYDER | Partner
Vic is an international business professional with experience leading teams and companies in both government and commercial sectors. Vic is a Founding Member of Silent Circle, which delivers encrypted communication tools to businesses and governments in over 130 countries. He helped build this tech start-up from a $5M seed to a valuation of $550M. He was CEO of Blue Coral which provides a specialized combination of physical and cyber security services to select clients. Commander Hyder served 20 years as a Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) officer with operational and management experience around the world in all environments. He earned the Silver Star (our nation’s 3rd highest combat award – Afghanistan), Bronze Star (Iraq), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (Haiti), and the Presidential Unit Citation. Vic graduated from the United States Naval Academy, and he also holds a master’s degree in Strategic Thinking and Campaign Planning from the School of Advanced Military Studies.
PHIL REILLY | Partner
Phil is a retired CIA senior Operations Officer with with a decorated 29-year career. Phil served as the CIA’s senior paramilitary officer as Chief of Special Activities Division and was charged with conducting Presidentially mandated Covert Action. Phil had numerous foreign and domestic assignments including Chief of Station in Afghanistan, Chief of Station in Europe and in the Far East. He also served as Deputy Chief of Station in Iraq and also served in Latin American and Africa. Phil was the deputy commander of the first US team to enter Afghanistan two weeks after the 9/11 attacks. After retirement, Phil was the Senior Vice President for National Security Programs at Constellis with responsibility for all of Constellis’ sensitive USG work. He currently is a Senior Advisor at Boston Consulting Group. He is also on the Board of Directors of Third Option Foundation that supports CIA’s special operations cadre. Phil is a graduate of Georgetown University, was a Senior Executive Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School and attended leadership training at Kellogg School of Management. He hold numerous awards including the CIA Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the Intelligence Star, and the Director of National Intelligence Personal Medallion.
TERRY ATHAS | Partner
Terry currently serves as Senior Vice President at Alliant/Mesirow Insurance Services. He has over 37 years of experience in the financial services industry, and specializes in determining the unique financial needs of organizations and institutions at a variety of scales. Terry plays a significant role in growing Mesirow Financial’s Public Finance, Private Equity, and Investment Services Divisions. His clients range from institutions, such as pension funds, to manufacturing companies and law firms, and vary in size from small businesses to multi-billion dollar entities.
JOHN CUSACK | Partner
John is the Global Co-Chairman of DLA Piper’s Finance group and Co-Chairman of DLA Piper’s Real Estate Capital Markets group. He has practiced in the area of corporate and finance law for over 25 years. Among his clients are banks and financial institutions, private equity funds, investment funds and corporations. He represents them in most types of finance transactions including private and public offerings of equity and debt, fund formation, and mergers, acquisitions and dispositions. John has extensive experience representing companies and financial institutions in the real estate and infrastructure market sectors. John also represents institutional investors and lenders in debt restructurings, workouts and bankruptcies in the real estate industry. John’s debt restructuring experience includes a wide range of real estate asset classes such as multi-family, residential, office, retail and hotels. He has worked with clients through numerous cycles of the real estate industry.
STEPHEN SMITH | Partner
Stephen was a founding Principal and the Chief Operating Officer of Bryanston Realty Partners focused on real estate and corporate private equity investment. He was responsible for the day-to-day activities of the firm’s two investment funds, was a member of the investment committee and handled the firm’s relationships with its joint investors and partners with total value of these acquisitions exceeded $5.5 Billion. Prior to founding Bryanston, Stephen work for Jones Lang LaSalle companies and served on LaSalle’s Global Management and Investment Strategy Committees. Additionally he was responsible for the firm’s relationships with many of the largest US and European institutional investors, as well as the sovereign funds from the Persian Gulf and Asia. Stephen is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Advanced Equities Late Stage Opportunities, Children’s Memorial Hospital of Chicago. Stephen holds a M.B.A. from Kellogg School of Management and a B.A. in Economics from Brown University.
MANNY RODRIGUEZ | Director, Operations
Manny is a former Intelligence Operator specializing in both Signals Intelligence and Human Intelligence. During his 20-year career, he conducted sensitive operations throughout the world in support of national security initiatives. He is the recipient of the U.S. Army Legion of Merit Medal, completed the National Security Agency Professionalization Program, and holds certifications as both U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Senior Instructor. Since his retirement from the military, Manny has held Director-level positions in various companies where he created and established management systems, streamlined operations, and led specialized high-performance teams. He previously served as the Director of Shared Services at Prescient Edge, where he led the firm’s operating strategy and optimized the Federal division’s shared services program. Most recently, he served as Chief Operating Officer of a mutual fund company with over $700M in assets under management, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the firm. Mr. Rodriguez holds a Master of Management degree and Six Sigma Green Belt certification.
PAUL BECKER | Advisor
Paul is a former Intelligence Officer who served 30 years in peace, crisis and combat. Last fall and winter he led the Presidential Transition’s Intelligence Community Landing Team, which provided policy input, strategic guidance,and operational counsel to new administration Cabinet Secretaries. His military service includes Director of Intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff (J2), the Pacific Command in Hawaii, the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Afghanistan, command of the Central Command’s Joint Intelligence Center and duty as an Assistant Naval Attaché to France. RADM Becker founded the Becker T3 Group LLC in 2016, a consulting firm focused on global risk management, business intelligence and cyber operations with expertise in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Paul holds an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a BS from the U.S. Naval Academy. He is a memberof the Council on Foreign Relations, maintains a Top Secret Clearance with Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) access and is a certified Executive Coach. He is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Naval Analyses and is a Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Rear Admiral Becker is a recipient of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s, Department of Defense’s and Navy’s Distinguished Service Medals, the National Military Intelligence Association’s Leadership Award and the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations’ Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
JASON FRANK | Advisor
Jason joined Hilco in 2007 as a specialist in investment banking, strategy, and corporate finance with extensive corporate mergers and acquisitions experience, Jason has developed broad and deep expertise in assessing going concern enterprise and intellectual property values. Prior to joining Hilco, Jason was with P&M Corporate Finance, a unit of Plante and Moran, where he was involved in both buy- and sell-side M&A transactions, principally in the life sciences, financial, and business services sectors. Jason was with AON Risk Services, where he led the research and analysis team within the company’s M&A Professional Services group. His responsibilities included the analysis of financial and capital structures and interpretation of financial performance and constraints among Fortune 1000 companies. Earlier, Jason was Manager of Strategic Planning for Diamond Cluster International, a leading technology consultancy. While with Diamond, he helped facilitate a billion dollar acquisition transaction and subsequent integration of a European consulting firm. Jason has also served as a senior strategy analyst at Arthur Anderson global headquarters. Jason holds a M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business and a B.S. from the University of Florida.
We are proud to serve as a trusted advisor to government agencies, corporations, and investors. We help clients stay at the forefront of innovation so they can achieve their strategic goals. We work with mission driven organizations, helping businesses and government agencies operate and procure more effectively. We have decades of experience creating non-traditional approaches to government procurement that drive sustainable solutions for mission critical requirements. We excel at helping clients clearly articulate their portfolio of innovations to create new markets for their technology, optimizing existing products to broaden current revenue opportunities, and providing timely information to focus strategic capital deployment.
Washington D.C. | Chicago