Meet our Advisory Board
Hon. allen boyd
From 1997 to 2011, Allen Boyd represented the 2nd Congressional District of Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1999, he was appointed to the exclusive Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives where he worked to bring funding to the priorities of North Florida, including its military community, agriculture industry, and transportation systems. Boyd served on a number of sub-committees of the House Appropriations Committee, including Financial Services, Agriculture and Rural Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Defense. In his role on the Committee, he oversaw the budgets of multiple agencies, including the Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Pentagon, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Boyd focused much of his effort on ensuring that America maintained a strong military and continued to have a world-class agriculture production industry.
During his tenure, Boyd also served on the House Armed Services and Budget Committees. He became known as a leading voice on fiscal responsibility, joining the Budget Committee in 2007. As a member of the Budget Committee, he was actively involved in every aspect of the nation’s fiscal policy.
Throughout his tenure in Congress, Boyd was a leader of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of Democratic members in the House who advocate for fiscal responsibility in the federal budgeting process. He was instrumental in the successful efforts by Congress to reach the historic 1997 balanced budget agreement. Additionally, as the Blue Dog Co-Chair for the Administration in the 110th Congress, Boyd led the charge for the return to pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules in the House.
Prior to being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives Boyd served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1989-1996. While in the State House, he was known as an articulate voice for consensus building and reasonable compromise. As Chairman of the Florida House Democratic Conservative Caucus, he helped build bridges between diverse interests on such difficult issues as public education, healthcare, and welfare reform. He served as Chairman of the Governmental Operations Committee, and later chaired the powerful House Rules and Calendar Committee in his last term.
After serving 14 years in the United States House of Representatives, Boyd served as a Senior Advisor to Twenty-First Century Group from 2011 to 2014. During his tenure at Twenty First Century Group, Boyd offered strategic advice and planning to various clients in telecommunications, energy, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare fields, among others.
A fifth generation farmer, Boyd graduated from Florida State University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, then served his country in Vietnam as a rifle platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division, where he served alongside John Shepard. To this day, he continues to oversee the family farm operations on land that has been in his family since 1835.
A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Marlon served as a US Army Communications Officer in several overseas deployed units, including V Corps’s 22nd SIG BDE and the “Quarterhorse” 1/4 Cavalry Squadron. He then served as a Joint Tactical Communications Plans Officer in US European Command in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM.
After serving in the US Army, Marlon worked as an electrical engineer, designing critical components for X-ray imaging systems in the medical device industry.
Marlon performed a critical role in the early days of Veterans Assembled electronics, as he served as an engineering consultant for Veterans Assembled Electronics. He performed as a technical advisor in Veterans Assembled Electronics’s contract to support the Department of Defense’s electrical modernization of legacy systems. He also performed as an advisor and consultant in creating the STRAC curriculum and training tools.
PEG FERGUSON BOYD, ED. D
Dr. Peg Ferguson Boyd is currently a full-time faculty member of the Management area at the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Boyd holds a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, a Master’s in Counseling and Psychology from Springfield College and a Bachelor’s in Economics from Fordham University
Prior to teaching full time. Dr. Boyd was the Assistant Dean at the University of Rhode Island College of Business for 16 years. As Assistant Dean, she overhauled the College of Business Administration advising system and redesigned the internship program. She developed a web-based BUS 390 Junior Passport curriculum bridging academic theory to career exploration and addressing the needs to clarify a major to a career in higher education. She oversaw a $17 million budget and managed the daily operations of the College of Business including the Schmitt Labor Research Center. For her leadership at the University of Rhode Island, Dr. Boyd was awarded the 2014 University of Rhode Island Outstanding Woman of the Year.
Before pursuing a degree in Higher Education Student Personnel Management Dr. Boyd spent several years in the audit department at Ernst & Young in New York City. Prior to her employment at the University of Rhode Island, she was a Career Development Specialist at Springfield College. Looking for a “big university experience”, Dr. Boyd came to URI in 1996 as a Career Advisor/Internship Coordinator and was promoted to Assistant Director of Career Services in 1998. She advanced her career to the College of Business in 2004.
Dr. Boyd has held leadership positions including President in the New England Association of Cooperative Education and Field Experience (NEACEFE), where she received an award for outstanding service. She was chair for 3 years of the Associate Deans Think Tank of New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) housed at Brandies University. She completed the HERS Advancing Women Leaders in Higher Education in 2014. Dr. Boyd currently is the Graduate Representative of the Springfield College Alumni Board. This Spring 2020 Dr. Boyd joint the Board of Directors of STRAC Institute, a skills training school focused on re-engineering skills and assisting Veterans in the workplace. She is currently a Girl Scout Leader for Juniors Troop 309 and has held political appointments on the Board of Economics Development in both Exeter, RI, and Enfield, CT.
Given her professional accomplishments, Dr. Boyd is most proud of being Dr. Mom, raising a family with her husband Bob and being a mother to Jackson, Matthew, Nathan, and Marion.
Neal Tomblyn has over 40 years of extensive leadership transforming and creating growth for Aerospace and Defense businesses both domestically and Internationally with start-ups to Fortune 50 companies. Mr. Tomblyn is experienced in identifying and implementing digital transformation solutions in the Aerospace and Defense markets.
After retiring from Lockheed Martin Corporation in December of 2019, Mr. Tomblyn formed Ingenius Partners, LLC (Ingenius) where his focus is on creating growth environments and opportunities for early stage disruptive technology and solution companies supporting digital transformation. Using his experience in working with veterans Mr. Tomblyn continues to promote the education and hiring of veterans.
Prior to the formation of Ingenius, Mr. Tomblyn was the Director of Strategy and Business Development at Lockheed Martin for Training and Logistics Solutions focusing on providing training and sustainment solutions for the global military aircraft market. Mr. Tomblyn was responsible for establishing strategic directions and expanding business opportunities as well as identifying next generation technologies, applications, and solutions for the training of pilots and the sustainment of fixed and rotary aircraft.
Prior to this role, Mr. Tomblyn was Senior Vice President at Lockheed Martin Commercial Flight Training driving strategic direction and expanding business in the commercial aviation market focused on global commercial aviation pilot and flight crew training and the manufacturing of Boeing and Airbus fixed-based and full-flight simulators.
In previous roles at Lockheed Martin, Mr. Tomblyn was the Director of Strategy, Business Development and Capture Leadership for Lockheed Martin’s Aviation Solutions businesses, focused on global aviation solutions for ANSPs, airports and airlines.
Mr. Tomblyn has held key strategic, program and business development leadership positions with Harris Corporation where he was responsible for a broad range of aviation, communications, and energy market solutions in both commercial and defense markets.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Tomblyn held key business development, marketing, technical and operational leadership positions at Xerox Corporation, Bell Atlantic/Verizon, Telecommunications Inc. (TCI), and Reuters.
Mr. Tomblyn holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Kentucky University and has completed numerous advanced educational courses and degrees in business management, marketing, and technology.
IN MEMORY OF
1928 – 2022
The STRAC Institute team is saddened by the loss of Benjamin Harrison, a great friend for whom we are eternally grateful. Ben played a crucial role in the success of STRAC Institute. He believed in our mission and outwardly showed his support as one of the original investors in the company.
Benjamin Leslie Harrison was born on July 23, 1928, in Trumann, Arkansas. He enlisted in the army at age 18 and became a regular army sergeant first class after one year. In a remarkable 29-year career, Ben ultimately rose to the rank of Major General. He was notable for his contributions to the tactics of modern airmobile warfare involving the integration of helicopters with infantry and armored forces for rapid deployment and subsequent support. General Harrison was an early advocate, theorist, and practitioner of the “air assault” tactics that are critical to modern military doctrine as practiced in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, two Silver Stars, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Legion of Merit, in addition to numerous other US and foreign decorations.
General Harrison was a prolific writer on military doctrine and management with dozens of publications in military journals. Based on his experience as a brigade commander during the 1970 siege of firebase Ripcord, he wrote a book about the last major battle of the Vietnam War from the North Vietnamese perspective titled, Hell on a Hilltop. The book was based documents from each side of the Vietnam War and his research from several trips he made to Vietnam, during which he met former North Vietnamese Army senior leaders and his Ripcord battle counterparts.
In addition to an undergraduate degree, Ben earned an MA in Psychology from the University of Missouri and an MBA from Auburn University.
In 1979, Ben and his wife retired to Texas, where they met a great group of friends that shared their interests in world travel and hunting activities. He passed away peacefully on January 22, 2022, at the age of 93 in Katy, Texas.
We have been honored to have known Ben Harrison as a friend and will honor his memory with continuing the mission of this company in which he fully believed in and supported. He will be missed immensely.
Samuel J. Watson III
1939 – 2019
Sam played a vital role in supporting and advising Veterans Assembled electronics after decades of honorable service to his country. Sam Watson and our founder, John Shepard, were both members of the 506th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division (Currahee!) and had worked together as friends and colleagues for 29 years.
As a career Army officer, Sam served with the 101st in Vietnam and was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received in combat. He held command and staff positions with airborne infantry units, trained Army Rangers, and deployed as a Foreign Area Officer. His active duty career was capped by an appointment to the White House as Deputy National Security Advisor, where he managed a wide array of complex policy issues involving the Soviet Union, NATO, intelligence, special and covert operations, and terrorism. Mr. Watson’s time at the White House included an assignment to the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he participated in negotiations with Soviet counterparts over the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II).
After 30 years of dedicated service, including three tours in Vietnam, Sam Watson retired from the United States Army with the rank of Colonel.
Following his retirement from the military, Mr. Watson continued to serve his country, this time in the public sector.
Sam was the Chief of Staff for the Reagan-Bush Transition Team at the CIA before moving on to Iraq, where he spent two years as the chief U.S. State Department advisor on public diplomacy and governance to the governor of Diwaniyah Province. Upon his return from Iraq, Sam was appointed Director of U.S. Health and Human services for Europe/Eurasia.
As a Purple Heart recipient and service-disabled veteran, Sam made invaluable contributions to Veterans Assembled Electronics, where supporting the careers of service-disabled veterans is our primary focus.
We have been honored to have Sam Watson as a friend for the past 10 years and will continue our success by building upon the foundation he helped us form.