Rich Luhrs – President
Rich Luhrs is an accomplished Program Management professional with over 35 years technical management experience in Telecommunications. He is a strong believer in team work and customer satisfaction. He has managed program teams from $100,000 to $1 billion. His diverse experience in the telecommunications field runs the gamut from systems engineering to senior management with GEOgraphic Network Affiliates-International, Inc., Teleglobe Communications Corporation, MCI International, WorldCom, Inc. and COMSAT Corporation.
Rich started in this industry when he served in the United States Air Force for 9 years. He began as a nuclear weapon systems specialist and completed his military service in Space Systems Engineering. During his military service he attended many colleges and technical schools and attained an Associate’s degree in Electronics Engineering from the CCAF as well as accumulating over 115 semesters hours in engineering management towards a bachelor degree.
The leadership skills and technical experience he gained in the military helped to launch his career in the civilian sector as a strong leader with a propensity for problem solving. These skills coupled with his education and experience in systems engineering have enabled him to manage numerous successful programs over his career. He joined Comtech Systems, Inc., in 2004 and took on the largest single program that CSI had been awarded to date. Rich quickly demonstrated his leadership and management skills and aligned the program team to a very successful design and implementation. He then became the Vice President of PMO and continues to mentor his team and strongly believes in doing the right thing always to ensure that the customer expectations are met or exceeded.
Dan Ammar – Vice President of Engineering
Dan Ammar is the Vice President of Engineering at Comtech Systems Inc., where he oversees all the engineering activities including Research and Development (R&D), Project development, and IT support. He has 25 years of executive and technical leadership experience at start-ups and Fortune 100 technology companies. Dan joined Comtech in 2011, after serving as the Chief Technology Officer at Stalix. Prior to Stalix, Ammar founded and served as the Vice President and CTO of Xytrans Inc., a commercial telecom spin-off of Lockheed Martin. He has also been the Technical Director and Program manager of Advanced Millimeter Wave (MMV) Sensors at Lockheed Martin, Product Line Director at Allied Signal and a Systems Engineer for Martin Marietta and Westinghouse Electric.
Ammar holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and a MS in Telecommunications from George Washington University. Among his many accomplishments, he led the development of the first airborne wind-shear radar and many sophisticated weapons systems, including missile seekers and fire control radars. He also has 60 patent filings in the US, Europe, and Asia and has authored numerous technical papers. Ammar was recognized as one of Lockheed Martin’s “Top 100 Employees” and received a Smithsonian Award for Most Innovative Product of the Year for his development of the wind-shear radar.
At Comtech Systems Inc., Ammar strives to exceed customer expectations with each interaction. “My approach to helping customers is to focus on meeting written project specifications and to listen carefully to ‘unwritten’ customer requirements. After product delivery, the focus shifts to helping the customer with system deployment and training,” says Ammar. “We want customers to feel that Comtech is responsive to their needs and that they are getting the best products available in the market.”
Aaron Ross – Vice President of Program Management
Aaron Ross is a seasoned technical manager with over 20 years of domestic and international experience supporting a myriad of federal and commercial agencies in various high-impact positions as a Satellite Systems Engineer, Project, Program and Country Manager. He’s successfully led several international projects in countries throughout Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East as well as domestic projects all across the US. His technical background is rooted in satellite ground systems, gained from his 20 year Air Force career, coupled with strong technical knowledge in various other systems.
He’s had extensive experience managing projects ranging in value from $1.5M to $2.1B supporting customers in the public and private sectors to include the Department of Defense, Defense Information Systems Agency, DARPA-DISA Joint Program Office, Department of Homeland Security, the Oil & Gas industry and international commercial engineering companies.
As a senior manager, his policy is to be proactive, collaborative, and committed. He stands on his mantra: Lead (the Organization), Manage (the Processes), Execute (the Task), Share (the Knowledge). The professionals who thrive at Comtech Systems Inc. are those who know how to balance individual excellence with teamwork and are truly passionate about promoting the best corporate culture and the highest quality product and service for our Customers.
Mr. Ross holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the University of Maryland and is a certified Project Management Professional.
Brian Burt – Vice President of Marketing
Brian Burt, who launched his career with Comtech Systems more than 14 years ago, is the company’s Vice President of Marketing. In his previous role, Burt helped secure large contracts across Africa, South America, and the Middle East and is primed to further Comtech Systems’ reputation as the world’s leading troposcatter provider. In addition to expanding markets, Burt is responsible for identifying new applications for Comtech Systems’ advanced troposcatter systems integration for oil, information and financial industries.
John Boelke – Vice President of Contracts
John W. Boelke has been the Vice President of Contracts/Empowered Official since January 2011. Prior to Comtech, Boelke spent 27 years at the Kennedy Space Center, where he held various positions in Procurement, Logistics, and Contracts as well as the role of Empowered Official. While at the Kennedy Space Center, Boelke worked on numerous Space Shuttle and Expendable Launch Vehicle Projects, including the Cargo Integration and Test Engineering (CITE) project and the Shuttle control upgrade for cockpit display.
A native of Texas, Boelke has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin, a Master’s Degree in Aviation Management from Embry Riddle and two Doctorates of Law Degrees from Barry University. A licensed Florida attorney, Boelke has served as County Court Mediator for Orange County Florida, Board Member of the Guardian Ad Litem Program for Brevard County Florida, Secretary of the Sculptor Charter School Board, and Adjunct Professor for Metropolitan College, Florida Institute of Technology and Dunlap Stone University. A member of the National Contract Management Association and Association of Corporate Counsels, Boelke has been active in veteran’s programs as a scout leader and veteran of the U.S. Army.
Alan Swan – Vice President of Finance
Alan Swan is the Division CFO/Vice President of Finance at Comtech Systems Inc. and has been with the company since 2007. Alan received a BA from St. Olaf College in Mathematics, Economics, and German and received an MBA with concentrations in finance and international business from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Alan has over 20 years of international finance experience and has worked and lived in Germany, Austria, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, where he has held a variety of senior roles. Alan also spent over 10 years as a financial executive with Siemens. Given the global presence of CSI, his knowledge of international finance across many industries has been vital for Comtech Systems.
Mark Yamamoto – Vice President of Business Development
Mark Yamamoto is a U.S. Air Force veteran and seasoned communications expert. As Vice President of Business Development, Mark drives Comtech’s efforts to meet the evolving needs of the U.S. Armed Forces. Since joining Comtech in 2003, Yamamoto has been instrumental in developing tactical communications solutions for military clients and was pivotal in securing a multi-million dollar contract in 2014 with the U.S. Army to provide the only 50 Mbps troposcatter modem to key military installations. Yamamoto has 32 years of engineering experience in terrestrial and satellite communications design, installation and maintenance and holds a patent.