Government & Industry Leaders in Technology Confirmed For CDCA’s 11th Annual Defense Summit


The Charleston Defense Contractors Association (CDCA)—a non-profit advocacy group focused on the growth of defense and technology-related industries in Charleston and surrounding areas—announced top-level speakers and sponsors for the 11th Annual CDCA Defense Summit. Held Dec. 5-8, 2017 at the Charleston Convention Center, the event draws nearly 1,500 defense leaders and industry experts to examine technology challenges and innovation. Conference attendees also discuss how to bring cutting-edge solutions to evolving defense mission needs, particularly in the areas of cybersecurity, communications and electronic and information warfare.

“Innovation in technology doesn’t just increase our preparedness, it is a critical part of our nation’s defense planning,” said Peter Singer. “It is an honor to be part of a forum designed to discuss best practices and create strategies to improve our defense and cybersecurity capabilities. The information sharing that comes from bringing together government agencies and defense business partners is vital for our future.”

The 2017 CDCA Summit theme, “Powered by Technology, Energized by Community,” is intentionally designed to create an environment of collaboration while continuing to position South Carolina as a burgeoning major military and defense technology hub – called “Silicon Harbor.” Here is an early list of participants:

Keynote Speaker—21st-century warfare specialist Peter W. Singer and author of multiple award-winning books. His recent debut novel Ghost Fleet melds together nonfiction and fiction about the future of Tech and the Next World War. Named by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery as one of top 100 innovators in the nation, Dr. Singer’s futurist expertise is certain to provide a compelling and interesting presentation.

Thought-Leaders—This year’s Summit speakers include a roster of government and industry leaders, including Rear Admiral Christian Becker, Commander Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command; Rear Admiral Carl P. Chebi, Program Executive Officer for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence; Ms. Ruth Youngs Lew, SES, Program Executive Officer for Enterprise Information Systems; Dan Craytor, Chief Technology Officer, US Public Sector Services, Microsoft; Thomas A. Baer, Principal Cyber Security Strategist for Bear Cyber Technologies; Nigel LeBlanc, Founder/CEO, Cyber Warrior Network; Joseph Opacki, VP of threat research, analysis and intelligence, PhishLabs; and Captain Geno Paluso, Citadel Commandant of Cadets.

Sponsors—Market-leading sponsors include: Accelera, Accenture, Amazon Web Services, BCF Solutions, Booz Allen Hamilton, Brocade, CACI, CDW-G, Chugach Government Solutions, COLSA, Consortium Management Group, CSRA, General Dynamics Mission Systems, GRSi, AMSEC, iGov, Interclypse, KBRwyle, Leidos, M2 Technology, Main Sail, ManTech International Corporation, McAfee, Mercom, Modus 21, NETSCOUT, Network Runners, NOVA Power Solutions, Nutanix, Parsons, PwC, Life Cycle Engineering, Point Rock Solutions, Professional Solutions Delivered, Red Seal, Rollout Systems, Scientific Research Corporation, Sentar, Strategic Operational Solutions, Symantec, UEC Electronics, ViON Corporation, VMware, and Walker and Associates. Sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor space are still available.

Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders

The CDCA focuses heavily on encouraging and supporting STEM and robotics programs. The organization’s annual Mobile App competition recently opened for participation. Past winners have received job offers, scholarships and cash awards.

The winners of this year’s 7th Annual Student Mobile App Competition—open to middle school to college graduates throughout the Southeast—are announced during the Summit. Participating students receive exposure to future employers, scholarships and $10K in prizes. (Online Letters of Intent to participate in the contest are accepted now through Oct. 27, 2017. Submissions are due by Nov. 15, 2017.)

The winners of the 2nd Annual Marine Corps Mobile App Challenge are also announced during the Summit.

Charleston Defense Contractors Association (CDCA) is an association of organizations and individual professionals dedicated to preserving, strengthening and continuing to grow the defense industry and its affiliated organizations in Charleston, South Carolina, and its immediate surrounding region.  Since its inception in December 2002, the CDCA has worked to address issues facing the continually changing landscape that is Charleston’s defense industry presence and ensure that it continues to be a thriving, sustained business opportunity in Charleston. For further information, visit

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