Core Organizing team
LUIS CORZO - HEAD OF PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT - USMMA '00
Luis is a Client Advocate with Willis Towers Watson providing clients with corporate risk and insurance solutions. Prior to Willis Towers Watson, he spent two years at a DC-based global infrastructure strategy firm. Before that, he spent three years providing reinsurance to the transportation, energy and water infrastructure sectors in Latin America. He began his shoreside career in the US Navy Shipbuilding industry in DC, following three years at sea in the US Merchant Marine. He holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in engineering, and graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy in 2000. He lives with his family in Bethesda.
FRED WELLMAN - head of PR AND MARKETING - USMA '87
Founder and CEO, ScoutComms
CDR KATE HIGGINS-BLOOM - USCGA '00
Coast Guard Fellow at the Brookings Institution
Kate Higgins-Bloom is currently serving as the Coast Guard's Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution. She has deployed throughout the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific, to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and to numerous domestic responses, including Hurricane Katrina. Kate has held a variety of operational leadership roles including Command Center Chief and Search & Rescue Mission Coordinator at USCG Sector Virginia, Incident Management Chief at USCG Sector Boston, and Commanding Officer of USCGC BARANOF. Her staff tours include the White House Fellowship 2014-2015, Acting Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, and transition team member for the 25th Commandant of the Coast Guard. Kate earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 2000 and a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2011.
GRETCHEN IDSINGA - USAFA '88
Senior Vice President, Growth Operations, CALIBRE Systems
As the Senior Vice President of Growth Operations, Gretchen leads business development and strategic growth activities across all four of CALIBRE’s divisions. Before moving up, she led CALIBRE’s Training, Infrastructure, & Environment P&L.
Gretchen joined CALIBRE following a successful career as Executive Vice President and Director, Professional Services at Michael Baker International, where she drove rapid progress by implementing best practices and accountability across her P&L. Previously at CACI, Inc., she was the Senior Business Development Executive leading capture and proposal efforts across the Federal and Defense Intelligence marketspace.
A US Air Force Academy graduate who served 20 years as an intelligence officer in the Special Operations arena, she received her Advanced Certificate for Executives in Management, Innovation & Technology from the MIT Sloan School of Management and holds two Master’s degrees. Gretchen is Chairman and CEO of The Larsen Family Foundation and also serves on the Executive Council of Women in Defense.
Ms. Laila Linares - USMMA ’06
President of KPWDC
Laila graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in 2006 with a B.S. in Marine Engineering Systems and a minor in Environmental Engineering. She elected to sail for the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) as an Engineering Merchant Marine Officer after graduation. After coming shore-side, she continued to support MSC as a Marine Engineer in several capacities, such as maritime and vessel operations, new ship acquisition, ship inspection, project/program management, contract administration and lifecycle management. After twelve years with MSC, Laila recently transitioned to Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to serve as the Design Integration Manager for the DDG-51 Flight III Program. Since completing her M.S. Engineering Management degree program at The George Washington University last year, she continues to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers amoungst young adults enrolled at Washington, D.C. colleges/universities. In addition to serving as the President of the USMMA Alumni Foundation - Washington, D.C. Chapter, she is an active member of Congresswoman Eleanor H. Norton's Sevice Academy Selection Panel.
dale "kid" lumme - USnA '80
Past President, USNA Alumni Association - Greater Washington Chapter; President, Navy League of the U.S. – National Capital.
col (ret.) steve parker - usma '89
Former Senior Military Advisor, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University