To develop high performing organizations, we focus on People, Processes, and Bottom-Line Benefits. Our people are industry experts who work alongside clients to create winning strategies that support improvements in effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity. Our ideal vision includes high performing teams, using efficient processes, in a culture that supports and drives the business strategy.

Our focus on technology services provides the tools that our clients use to optimize organizational performance. HigherEchelon has a highly skilled and experienced team of IT and Engineering professionals. From development of missile systems to gaming software to Salesforce CRM implementations, we develop solutions that impact organizational performance.

Executive Leadership

Dr. Ross (Retired, US Army) is the President of HigherEchelon, Inc., which is an Organizational Performance consulting firm with offerings in leadership, technology, and engineering to both public and private sector clients. Joe’s background includes diverse leadership assignments, years of performance study, and the development of organizational effectiveness programs, culminating in HigherEchelon’s flagship program, The Resilient and Adaptable Leader ©. Since 2012, Dr. Ross has been the lead consultant for Army Game Studio in developing the GoArmy Edge, a free software application adapted to help football athletes learn their team’s playbooks, make proper reads and play calls, and mentally practice their assignments in a virtual environment before taking the field. GoArmy Edge takes virtual coaching simulation and training to a new level through unprecedented detail and customization, helping improve football team performance through more effective and safer player practice capabilities. Joe works with NFL, college, and high school teams, Nike Clinics, and Football University Camps about state of the art technology to enhance coaching and player learning.

As a 1995 West Point graduate, Joe was a three-year letter winner and co-captain of the 1994 Army Football team. During his career as an Infantry Officer, Joe led 144 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division and deployed to Kosovo in 2001. The Secretary of the Army commended Joe’s unit for capturing two insurgents on the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) top ten most wanted list and bringing the Serbian and Albanian leadership together to start a dialogue of reconciliation. Joe served as the Director of the Military Enhancement Program at the United States Military Academy (USMA) from 2003 – 2008. During his tenure, Joe consulted with Pentagon leadership to operationalize the Warrior Ethos by changing the culture of the Army to be more agile and adaptive. Dr. Ross helped write the Soldier’s Creed to establish a warrior mindset and advised the Army on developing a standardized framework for training all military personnel about the intangible emotional and mental skills of performance. In 2009, Joe joined the Army Football coaching staff as the Special Teams and Fullback Coach, where he helped lead Army Football to the 2010 Armed Forces Bowl victory. Joe received a Master of Education in Athletic Counseling from Springfield College and his Doctorate in Organizational Psychology from Walden University.

Paul is a co-founder of HigherEchelon and has a diverse executive background with experience in general management, procurement, corporate business development, sales operations and entrepreneurial ventures.

Prior to joining HigherEchelon as its Chief Operating Officer, Paul led the Customer Relationship Management (Salesforce CRM) programs at The Carlyle Group and Oldcastle, Inc. Paul has experience implementing CRM using the Salesforce.com platform, including strategy formation, technology development, training and change management.

During his time at Oldcastle, Paul was responsible for North American Salesforce Salesforce CRM business operations and previously held leadership positions in several areas of the organization, including General Management with P&L responsibility, corporate development with acquisition and capital project responsibility and as a Vice President of Procurement. In his Procurement role, Paul built out a Procurement function for a multi-billion-dollar business unit, where he created and led a team that consolidated purchases from over 200 locations into center led programs totaling several hundred million dollars.

Previous entrepreneurial experience includes co-founding a start-up venture in the training industry, where as a founding Partner, Paul was responsible for the business planning, overall business management and eventually the sales execution for the company.

Paul received his MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and a B.S. in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He has also earned the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications earlier in his career. Prior to his corporate experience, Paul served seven years in the Army as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot and staff officer in Korea, Kuwait and the United States.

Corporate VP's & Directors

Rick Roper is the Senior Vice President of Human Capital Services for HigherEchelon. Based out of Kansas City, he oversees the “people” aspect of HigherEchelon’s framework for optimizing performance thru “people, processes, and tools”. In this capacity, Rick leads HigherEchelon’s business development and capture efforts, and maintains oversight on programs related to human performance and leadership development for both government and private sector clients who are seeking to optimize organizational performance.

Rick has a diverse background with over 21 years of applied leadership and operational experience as an officer in the U.S. Army. As a former college athlete, he was an early student in West Point’s Center for Enhanced Performance, which oriented on mental skills and high performance training. In addition, he taught undergraduate studies at West Point—one of the nation’s most renowned leadership institutions.

Subsequently, while serving as Director of Operations and later as Chief of Staff, he established leader development programs and oversaw the strategic planning, training management, process improvement, and program/project management for organizations consisting of several hundred to several thousand people. Rick has also served in advisory positions helping leaders overcome systemic organizational problems related to human resources, supply chain management, and operations. Later, he was an assistant professor at the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College, which is a graduate-level institution focused on leader development and education. There, he developed curriculum and learning solutions focused on design, critical thinking, training management, and problem solving for students now serving in executive positions world-wide.

Rick is a 1995 graduate of West Point, and earned a Master’s degree in Administration from Central Michigan University.

Paul Andrzejewski is the Senior Vice President of Technical Solutions for HigherEchelon. Based out of the home office in Huntsville, Alabama, he works among several Fortune 500 companies which offer a broad base in manufacturing, retail, and service industries, as well as, the technology, space, and defense industries which have a major presence within the U.S. Army's Redstone Arsenal, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, and Cummings Research Park- the second largest research park in the United States. With a focus on information technology and engineering services, Paul maintains oversight on programs, client delivery, and business development efforts in the Southern United States for government and corporate clients who are seeking to optimize organizational performance.

Prior to joining HigherEchelon, Paul has amassed over 22 years of cumulative leadership experience in various management and executive positions for the U.S. Army, American Axle and Manufacturing, and Heat Transfer Products Group. While serving in those positions, he has cultivated management and leadership skills across a broad range of disciplines, including operations, strategic planning, labor relations, business development, lean manufacturing, engineering, and mergers and acquisitions. During his tenure as the Vice President of Operations for the Heat Transfer Products Group, Paul was responsible for all aspects of the operations and oversaw the consolidation of the Yuma factory into the Scottsboro facility, saving over 350 jobs for Northeast Alabama.

Paul holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy and an Executive M.B.A. from the University of Alabama.

Mark Osteen, MBB is the Senior Vice President of Government Programs for HigherEchelon. He is based in Augusta, Ga home of Ft Gordon and the newly formed Army Cyber Center of Excellence. He will maintain oversight on programs, client delivery, and business development efforts in the Eastern United States for government and corporate clients who are seeking to optimize organizational performance.

Mark brings over 30 years of proven and diverse experience working in manufacturing as a Supply Chain Director to most recently as a Subject Matter Expert in Lean Six Sigma for a large government contractor. He understands the issues that leaders face today in both a commercial and government spaces and has experience in developing and implementing strategic and operational plans. As a LSS SME he was program manager for the US Army G1 and oversaw all aspects of the deployment from training to project selection and mentoring of BB and GB candidates to completion of projects and certification. Primarily thought of a tool for manufacturing, Mark believes there is amazing potential for non-manufacturing organizations to harness the power of LSS to stream line transactional processes.

Mark is a 1983 graduate of Auburn University with a B.S. in Industrial and Operations Management.

Reneé is the Senior Vice President of Finance & Administration at HigherEchelon, Inc., focused on providing accounting solutions that comply with DCAA requirements for compliant accounting, billing, estimating, and procurements systems. She has # years of hands on experience working both as a consultant and as an internal accounting manager and controller for Government contractor.

Reneé has a wealth of experience in mitigating risk while maximizing cost recovery and profitability. She has attended and participated in numerous courses on FAR Part 31 cost principles and Government Contract Accounting Systems Compliance. During her # years of experience, she has become an expert in Government Compliant Accounting Systems such as Deltek’s GCS Premier, Intuit’s QuickBooks systems, and other off the shelf systems which require enhancements in order to comply with DCAA requirements. She understands the unique contracts and procurement issues, indirect rates, unallowable costs and issues that contractors face with timekeeping travel, and other challenging areas of DCAA compliance.

In addition, she is a QuickBooks Pro Advisor with more than 20 years’ experience working with Quickbooks software, focusing on system set-up, system restructure, and training staff for compliance accounting.

She is a Professional Development Instructor for UAH teaching all levels of QuickBooks accounting software classes as well as a specialized class on QuickBooks for Government Contractors. She has also taught QuickBooks classes for the Women’s Business Development Center of North Alabama.

Ms. Elliott completed her education in Computer Science and Business Systems, with an emphasis in accounting, at Herzing University in Birmingham, Alabama, earning various industry certifications over the years.

Tim Pash is the newest member of the HigherEchelon team, and is the Vice President of Salesforce & IT Services. Prior to that he was the Director of the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) for Malvern, PA. The MTC is a showcase environment for all things related to Microsoft, and provides a marquee venue to demonstrate the value proposition of Microsoft solutions to their customers. In that role Tim had a team of 5 technical architects reporting to him who were focused on driving Digital Transformation discussion across Microsoft’s three clouds (Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics). Prior to this role Tim was at the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, WA, running a team focused on competitive intelligence in the Productivity area. In that role he and his team supported the field in pre-sales escalations and provided evidence-based guidance to the product team on how to build out Office 365 to compete against Google and others.

Tim graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Mechanical Engineering degree from Syracuse University, and started his career with G.E. in the Manufacturing Management Program. Tim got involved in the Manufacturing Resource Planning side of the business, became APICs certified, and worked for G.E. Aerospace/Martin Marietta/Lockheed Martin for 7 years before coming to Microsoft. In the last two months Tim has earned his certification both in Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce Administration. Tim is married with two kids aged 14 and 17, and is a skier, mountain biker, runner and Boy Scout leader in his spare time.

Dwight J. Peters Jr. is the Vice President of Engineering for HigherEchelon. Based out of Huntsville, Alabama, Dwight overseas all technical programs, initiatives, and solutions. Previously, Dwight served in numerous leadership and technical positions in deployed and operational settings throughout his 24-year career in the U.S. Army, culminating with a four-year tour at the Pentagon. Dwight has extensive experience in communications, technical writing and design, engineering, information technology (IT), networking, network design, budget management, and procurement. Dwight is a 1993 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Dwight has also earned a Master of Science degree in Management (Information Systems) from Troy University in Troy Alabama and started a PhD program in Management - Information Systems Management Specialization from Walden University in November 2016.

Brent Osborne is HigherEchelon's Vice President of Gaming & Simulation and their program lead at Army Game Studio - the studio behind "America's Army: The Official U.S. Army Game", numerous military and scientific training and simulation applications, along with various outreach and recruiting applications across a multitude of platforms. Brent is a Producer and Technical Lead on Army Game Studio's GoArmy EDGE suite of sports training applications, which involves facilitating short and long term planning and execution of the project's requirements with a team of 20+ developers. In addition, he also continues to support EDGE as a Software Developer and a Subject Matter Expert. After graduating from Harvard College with a major in Computer Science, Brent spent time as a professional football player with the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL.

Dr. Eric Bean is a high performance and leadership consultant. Through both one-on-one and group trainings, Eric has worked with Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, surgeons, business professionals, and athletes on the psychology of high performance, leadership development, culture, and team dynamics. Recently, Eric developed a comprehensive leadership development program for leaders of all levels at UCSD Health. Eric is a Certified Consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and works with individuals and teams to strengthen their ability to lead others, maximize team functioning, perform at an elite level under high-pressure conditions, and maintain consistency despite changing circumstances. Dr. Bean has taught a master's level Leadership Theory and Application course at Boston College while also consulting with Fortune 100 companies, government agencies, and athletes of all levels. Eric received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from the University of Southern California, a Master’s of Science in Sport Psychology from Cal State Fullerton, and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Eric lives in San Diego, Ca with his wife, two young sons, and two dogs.

Mark Bartholf, PMP, is the Human Capital Services Director of Operations, whereby, he oversees the development, delivery, and program management of services to both commercial and government sector clients. In this capacity, Mark oversees two multi-million dollar programs – the U.S. Army Multi-Source Assessment and Feedback (MSAF) Coaching program and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Executive Leadership Coaching and Training program, as well as numerous commercial sector programs across various industries. Mark’s background in the public and private sectors make him uniquely qualified to ensure delivery of effective training and quality operations for all customers. Mark is a former US Army Special Forces Colonel with over 30 years of experience in strategic planning and managing operations for organizations undergoing complex organizational challenges. His corporate experience includes financial services information technology operations, development, planning, and management supporting over 13,000 end-users. Mark is a 1987 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in English. Mark also earned a Master’s in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA and is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Dr. Nic Bencaz is an accomplished learning and organizational development consultant with over 14 years’ of hands-on experience assessing and implementing improvement initiatives that align employee strengths with organizational strategic plans. Nic received his PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida, specializing in teamwork, organizational culture, and mentoring in the workplace. Since that time, Nic has led numerous efforts developing workforces and shaping performance and training needs in private, government, military and educational spheres: driving multimillion-dollar contracts from concept to delivery. His specialty understanding how businesses reason and people think, with the proven ability to translate high level, corporate strategies and goals into practical, grounded solutions relevant to all key stakeholders.

Dr. Bencaz brings a wide-breadth of knowledge and background, with prior roles ranging from Deputy Chief Scientist and Operations Manager, to Associate Professor and Subject Matter Expert Consultant. His work background includes: acting as the lead learning and development manager on a $300 million video game training platform for the US Navy; facilitating training workshops and creating blended learning courses to commercial, defense, and university audiences; developing expert performance strategies to reduce training times for US Marine Corps, US Border Patrol, US Army, and the FBI; implementing internal change management practices that have reduced production times and cost measures; and providing needs analysis with recommended best practices for the Department of Defense. Dr. Bencaz is a current member of the National Defense Industrial Association, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Greater Orlando Organizational Development network, and is consistently motivated to improve himself and the companies he is honored to serve.

Program Leaders

Marc Criley is the Software Architect Lead for HigherEchelon in the Sensor Test, Analysis, Requirements, and Simulation (STARS) organization at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. Marc applies over thirty years of aerospace and defense software engineering expertise to the analysis and performance improvement of the nation’s radar systems, including the design and development of several interoperability, source code analysis, and data reduction products. In addition, Marc is an expert on the Ada programming language and has made several open source contributions to that community, including a package available on widely used Linux distributions. Marc graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in computer science built around one of the first academic software engineering programs in the country.

Paul Mullins joins HigherEchelon (HE) as a leading systems engineer in aviation, information operations and cyber business lines. With over 29 years of experience in military and government operations, technology development, and fielding, Paul is a welcome addition to the consulting services HE offers its clients.

Prior to joining HE, Paul was an active-duty Army Lieutenant Colonel, where he led the 3rd Infantry Division, Information Operations section as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G7. Managing the Information Operations of the Division to include: Psychological Operations, Deception, Operations Security, Cyber and Electronic Warfare. The Division’s Community Relations programs were also led by Paul, who planned, coordinated and executed over 210 highly successful complex community relations events, providing equipment and personnel to community events involving 167 five-man color guard details, 32 chaplains, 9 large marching troop formations, 154 band performances, 43 VIP speaker engagements, 2 vehicle displays to include the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the second largest in the United States.

From 2011 to 2013, Paul established European Command’s (EUCOM) Offensive Cyber Operations (OCO) capabilities supporting plans, operations, and exercises. He created one of the most effective, comprehensive and dynamic Offensive Cyber branches within the U.S. military developing over 300 deliberate targets in 30 numbered plans and operations. Submitting 42 Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) Cyber Effect Requests (CERFs) to provide OCO and Defensive Cyber Operations (DCO) support to operations within the European Area of Responsibility.

Previous to this Paul held positions as Project Manager for a $100M project that he conceived, obtained funding, built and fielded to the U.S. military; served as Chief Information Operations Officer in multiple special mission units; OH-58D armed helicopter pilot and unit commander; graduate level instructor; and digital telecommunications operator.

Paul can be frequently found at the golf course, a passion his grandfather passed to him, as well as mountain biking and tinkering in his shop with CNC plasma cutting and wood projects.

He graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelors of Arts in Physical Geography (concentration in Geographical Information Systems (GIS)) and a Masters of Arts in Information Technology Management from Webster’s University.

Eric Miller is the Operations Lead for the INDICIUM Project Office in Huntsville, Alabama. He leads a team of NSITE subject matter experts and leads to provide data link collection and operations support for flight and ground test events for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). He is an intelligence and tactical data link, and C2 system SME with over 25 years experience in the field.

As a Desert Storm veteran, Eric was in the Army from 1982 to 1991 serving as an Air Defense Operations NCO in the HAWK and PATRIOT missile systems. Shortly after leaving the service, Eric joined the team at Ultra Electronics, Inc. (formerly known as APC Inc.) in Austin, Texas. Ultra is the developer of the Air Defense Systems Integrator (ADSI) and during his 15 years there he served as the Manager of Technical Support, Deputy PM for Sustainment, and as a Technical Manager. He’s logged over 150 site visits and exercise support events all over the world, as well as instructing hundreds of warfighters in the use of C2 systems and data link operations. Eric also worked at the Joint Interoperability Test Command at Fort Huachuca, Arizona as a Test Engineer before joining the team Higher Echelon.

Derrick Smits is the Fort Gordon Site Lead for HigherEchelon and has been a Unified Land Operations Instructor supporting the Army Cyber School since 2016. Derrick maintains oversight of HigherEchelon Instructor support to the Cyber Captains Career Course, the Cyber Basic Officer Leaders Course, Cyber Common Technical Core, the Cyber Officer Planners Course, and other mobile training team efforts. Derrick has a proven and diverse background with over 20 years of applied leadership at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels while serving as an Infantry and Military Intelligence officer in the U.S. Army. Derrick is a 1995 graduate of the University of North Georgia, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. Derrick has achieved Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification and earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from American Military University.

Human Resources

Sherry Green is HigherEchelon’s Executive Administrator and runs the company’s office in Huntsville, Alabama. She supports critical company functions including: human resources, sales and marketing, information technology, and government certifications. As a 14 year veteran, Sherry has previously served in administrative and accounting positions in the legal and defense industries.