President: Jerry Hendrix was elected Vice President in 2021 and his term ends in August of 2021. Jerry is the Director of UAS Programs at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Prior to coming to UAH he was the Executive Director for the Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence and Innovation Jerry has supported FAA, NASA and DOD missions over his career and is a published author in technical journals in systems and software engineering
Vice President: John Burke has been a principal at Deloitte for the last several years. Prior to this John was a Vice President of Light Utility Helicopter at AirBus. During this time, John also served in executive positions within the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, eventually serving as the Chairman of the Board. John Burke played a key role in Army Unmanned systems serving as the PM UAS and a number of duties as senior army staff.
Treasurer: Mr. Charlton is a former Army Officer and arrived in the Huntsville area in 1987 and started work as an acquisition officer in 1988 for GLTR. In 1993, Jim started a long tenure supporting PM Unmanned Aircraft Systems and supported the UAS Operations Branch from its inception, supporting numerous Warfighter Roundtables/Conferences, etc. Jim also played a critical role standing up of the Rapid Integration and Acceptance Center (RIAC) at Dugway Proving Ground. When Jim spends much of his free time as a volunteer in multiple positions. Jim is also actively involved with the Pathfinder Chapter of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), serving on the board for many years, previously as the Immediate Past President. Jim is also a Lifetime Member of the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA).
Secretary: Stacy Bush was elected Secretary in 2019 and her term expires in 2020. Stacy is a Proposal and Pricing Analyst at Iron Mountain Solutions.
Our Immediate Past President: Gary Tuttle
Our Current Board members: In addition to the above four executive board members our board includes 6 Directors that head following committes:
Education: Casey Calamino
Symposium: Casey Still
Membership: Todd Haley
Public Relations: Rodney Pennywell
Pathfinder Charitable Foundation: Dana Osborne
Pathfinder Our History
The Pathfinder charter application with the Association For Unmanned Vehicle Systems (AUVS) was approved on 1 July 1986. The AUVS established in 1982, emerged from the National Association of Remotely Piloted Vehicles (NARPV) established in 1972 in Dayton. In 1996, the AUVS was renamed the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). Our first chapter meeting was held at the Bradford Lockheed Facility in Huntsville Alabama on 17 December 1986.
The First Chapter Symposium was held in 25-26 April 1989 at the BDM facility on Explorer Drive. Since that Symposium the Pathfinder Chapter has successfully put on a Symposium for 30 Years. Our members has participants in the dawn of the modern Unmanned Aerial Systems era. Including the first major UAV development Program (MQM-105 Aquila), The Army UAV PM Office was stood up in 1985 in Huntsville. The chapter was started shortly after the Aquila and just before systems like the RQ-2 Pioneer and RQ-5 Hunter were deployed to Desert Storm. These systems removed any doubt about the value of unmanned aircraft in Combat.
Our chapter members played key roles in developing, producing, and fielding the first UAS full rate production programs, including the RQ-7 Shadow. Our members helped define a whole new class of smaller hand launched unmanned vehicles like the RQ-7 Raven and the RQ-11 Puma and are now working on introducing the Short-Range Reconnaissance (SRR) quadcopter to the Army. Several worked at the Joint System Integration Labs (JSIL) for Unmanned Systems, all of which resides just a few miles from where we hold our monthly meetings.
Our chapter members are involved in the development of the MQ 1-C Gray Eagle the Army’s version of the Air Force Predator. Our members are currently developing and testing different versions of the Future Tactical UAS that replaces the RQ-7 Shadow. Our members feel very fortunate to have this confluence of creative energy, experience, and development opportunities available to our members.
Finally our members are active in the National Chapter Leadership and members of the board and executive committee. Three years ago, we moved our two-day symposium to the US Space and Rocket Center Saturn Hall, offering our attendees, members, and exhibitors a constant reminder of the incredible pioneering history that surrounds them here in Huntsville. Our history also attests to our mission of supporting the next generation of talent. We are proud of our having awarded over a half million dollars in grants in just the past decade.