NSS Executive Team

Near Space Systems' leadership represents more than 300 years of combined experience in commercial and military management, defense, engineering, weapon system development, military operations and technology research and development.

Executive Bios

John Hawley

Chairman of the Board & CEO

Major General (ret.) John W. Hawley, founder, president and CEO of CollaborX, Inc., Enfusion Technologies, Inc. and CX Enterprises, is a senior leader and military force modernization expert with 30 years of hands-on experience in fighter operations, government acquisition and operational requirements management. An expert in organizational leadership, development and change management, Maj. Gen. Hawley won the Eugene M. Zuckert Award for outstanding executive management—the highest award presented by the U.S. Air Force. Mr. Hawley has served on Senior Review Boards for NASA, DoD, the Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Air Force, the Office of Naval Research and several major defense contractors. He is deeply involved in USAF and Joint transformation efforts. Mr. Hawley was the founder and first commander of the Air Force's Command, Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center. He is a member of DoD's Blue Ribbon Panel for Interoperability and is an active consultant to the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.

In addition, Mr. Hawley is experienced as a Combat Wing Commander and a Joint Coalition Task Force Commander. He has more than six years of experience in operational requirements development and major systems acquisition. He was directly involved in the development of most current and projected weapon systems, C2 & ISR platforms and Joint Command and Control systems. He was the principal concept designer and a contributing author for the ground-breaking Capabilities-Based Acquisition Report to the Under Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition.

Mr. Hawley was directly involved in drafting the first Concept of Operations for Northern Command at Peterson AFB, CO, and participated as a senior member of the exercise assessment team for Northern Command's Initial Operational Capability Exercise.

Robert Pinizzotto

Vice Chairman of the Board

Mr. Bob Pinizzotto brings more than 40 years of management and leadership experience in defense and industry. As the senior vice president for Multimax, Inc., he established and currently leads the Multimax operations in Dayton, Ohio, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, providing information technology services to the government and commercial communities with more than 200 technical personnel. Multimax has been listed as an INC 500 company and recognized among the top 50 fastest-growing companies by Washington Technology. The company was nationally ranked in the top 30 among the 500 fastest growing technology firms.

Mr. Pinizzotto was formerly president and CEO of a $45M manufacturing company and co-owner of ARKH Network Solutions. He retired from active duty as an Air Force Colonel in 1990, where he was serving the Air Force Logistic Command, as vice commander of the Logistics Operations Center. He previously served the Air Force more than 26 years in the Aircraft Maintenance, Propulsion, Acquisition Logistics and Systems Development disciplines and as the deputy commander for Maintenance at the 388th TFW from 1983 to 1985. Mr. Pinizzotto currently serves on the Wright State University Information Systems and Operations Management Corporate Advisory Board. He previously served as chairman of the Society of Logistics Engineers Dayton chapter and was on the SOLE International Board of Directors. He was selected as the USAF senior aircraft maintenance Manager of the Year for 1980 and received the Society of Logistics Engineers President's National Award of Merit for 1988.

Mo Blackmore


Mr. Blackmore is a senior executive with 35-plus years in leadership, operations and management positions within the Department of Defense and in industry supporting U.S. national interests. Experience in command/leadership; program management; research, development and acquisition; strategic nuclear planning, operations, maintenance and security; sensitive compartmented operations planning and execution; joint operations; test range operations; space and missile operations; command and control systems development and acquisition; offense/defense integration; time-critical targeting; theater and national missile defense; and command and control for Homeland Defense/Homeland Security. Mr. Blackmore has held key leadership positions such as vice president, Technical Solutions, Teledyne Brown CollaborX, Inc.; Board of Directors, CollaborX, Inc.; Commander, 351st Missile Wing, Whiteman AFB, MO; Senior Research Fellow, Industrial College of the Armed Forces; Small ICBM, and Common Airborne Launch Control System Program Element Monitor, DCS RD&A, HQ U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, DC; and Minuteman III Flight Test Program Manager, HQ Strategic Air Command, Offutt AFB, NE.

Dr. Adam Chu

Chief Scientist

Dr. Chu worked on concepts for powered blimp applications in the late 1980s, primarily in the systems analysis role. He helped design a phased array radar integrated into a powered, station-keeping stratospheric blimp, using modeling and simulation to detail the structural, mechanical, electrical and propulsion subsystems. During the late 1990s, as a scientist supporting the Air Force Space Battlelab, Dr. Chu investigated state-of-the-art LTA design concepts emerging in academia and the commercial world to the support communications and intelligence requirements of the U.S. Government. His research resulted in briefings to the Pentagon in the 2002 to 2003 timeframe, becoming the basis for the tri-service's interest in what was termed "Near Space" in 2005.

Dr. Chu became the chief scientist in the Multimax Colorado Springs office in late 2004. Having studied persistent communications and surveillance capability shortfalls, as well as reviewed numerous research and development efforts to fulfill those operational needs, Dr. Chu designed the StarLight. Under Dr. Chu's leadership, the NSS engineering team has advanced the initial design concept, completed CFD testing at the MSRC and completed preliminary designs of all vehicle subsystems.

Dr. Chu has more than 30 years of experience in an array of scientific study and engineering for DoD and the defense industry. Areas of expertise include: modeling and simulation, spacecraft/satellite design, orbital mechanics, RF signal analysis, systems engineering, multispectral imaging, radar, infrared and fusion. Dr. Chu is an expert in penetration RF technologies for imaging and analyzing objects behind barriers. He has provided applied scientific analysis in military mission areas to include: missile defense, nuclear environments and survivability, space communications, surveillance, and all areas of space operations to include space control, space support, force enhancement and force applications.