Two key business leaders join Utah Aerospace and Defense Association board

The Utah Aerospace and Defense Association (UADA) has added the head of Fortem Technologies and the CEO of Strider Technologies to its board of directors.

Why it Matters

The aerospace and defense industry is a key component of the Utah economy and critical to our national interests.

Jon Gruen is chairman and CEO of Fortem Technologies. He brings a strong background in the defense and aerospace industry, having previously served as a Navy SEAL Officer and as a Director of Business Development at Lockheed Martin. Gruen is also a founding partner of Gothams, a venture capital accelerator program.

Fortem Technologies is the leader in airspace awareness, security, and defense for detecting and defeating dangerous drones. Through an advanced, end-to-end system of distributed radar, AI at the Edge, deep sensor integration, and autonomous drone capture, Fortem monitors and defends the world’s venues, infrastructures, cities, and regions. The same system is accelerating the safety of the world’s airspace for urban air mobility.

“Utah provides a tremendous environment which has enabled Fortem to grow rapidly over the past six years in the Aerospace and Defense industry,” said Gruen. “The support from local government, the education opportunities from local universities and colleges, and the family-friendly environment are just a few examples of why Fortem has such a strong team here. I look forward to continuing the development of this ecosystem as part of UADA.”

Greg Levesque is the CEO and Co-founder of Strider Technologies, Utah’s premier technology start-up delivering strategic intelligence and software solutions to advance national security.

Strider Technologies is revolutionizing the way companies, universities, research institutions, and government agencies protect their innovation and compete in a new era of global strategic competition. Our trailblazing technology and intelligence solutions enable clients to proactively identify, manage, and respond to nation-state-directed IP theft and supply chain vulnerabilities. Strider has operations in Salt Lake City, Washington, D.C., and London.

“Strategic intelligence is a vital part of modern global competition and Utah has long been a hub for talent and capability that enhances our collective national security,” said Levesque. “I’m excited to be part of the UADA team and its mission to advance the state of Utah’s position in supporting America and the free-world’s security.”

Go Deeper

Prior to founding Strider, Levesque worked in various private sector roles supporting Fortune 500 companies and U.S. and European government agencies.

“Greg brings a unique set of experiences at the intersection of industry and national security that will propel us forward as we work to establish Utah as a world leader in defense innovation,” said Aaron Starks, UADA President and CEO. “We are thrilled to welcome Greg to our board of accomplished directors.”

In addition to founding Strider, Levesque is a recognized leader on economic statecraft and strategic competition. He has testified before the U.S.–China Security and Economic Review Commission and advised the National Security Council, Department of Defense, and U.S. Trade Representative’s Office on issues related to China’s military and economic strategies. His work has been featured by news outlets around the world, notably Bloomberg, BBC News, NBC News, and TechCrunch.

Levesque holds a M.A. in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a B.S. in Economics from Utah State University. He has working proficiency in Mandarin Chinese.

Gruen holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics and oceanography from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA in Entrepreneurial Studies from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

“John brings the economic, defense and technology experience that will help propel us forward as we work to establish Utah as a world innovation leader,” said Starks. “His willingness to help lead our association will have significant impacts for our members and will strengthen the aerospace and defense industry in Utah.

About UADA

The Utah Aerospace and Defense Association (UADA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and advocating for companies in the Aerospace and Defense industry in Utah. UADA’s mission is to position Utah as a world leader in aerospace and defense by fostering collaboration and connectivity, promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, and supporting workforce development. UADA represents a diverse range of companies and organizations in the state, from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations.

UADA Board

The board now has 15 members representing a variety of companies that play a role in one of Utah’s most important economic sectors.

Chairman: Robert O’Brien

Vice Chairman: Adam Fife – CEO of Cencore

CEO of UADA Aaron Starks – VP of Fortem Technologies

Treasurer: Kay Hall – CFO of Zions Bank

Director: Lyndon Smith – VP of Hexcel North America

Director: Andy Pierucci – Northrop Grumman

Director: Tamara Tran – CEO of Rylex

Director: Troy Keller – Partner at Dorsey Whitney

Director: Gregg Robison – CEO of Ram Aviation

Director: Brandon Fugal – Chairman of Colliers Int’l

Director: Michelle Smith – CHRO at Larry H Miller Companies

Director: Brad Mortensen – President of Weber State University

Director: Ryan Starks – Managing Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity

Director: Greg Levesque, CEO of Strider Technologies

Director: Jon Gruen, CEO of Fortem Technologies