Elizabeth Burch, President/CEO
Ms. Elizabeth Burch is President/CEO and majority owner of Dignitas Technologies. She began her career in software engineering and then became the manager of numerous complex simulation systems. Prior to Dignitas Technologies, Elizabeth held the position of Senior Program Manager and Assistant Vice President of Program Management at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in Orlando, FL for 16 years.
Her specialization is in modeling, simulation and training for research, development and production type contracts. She has previously held the positions of CCTT Program Manager (PM), OneSAF Deputy PM, SE Core A&I PM and Deep Green PM. Elizabeth’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida (UCF), management courses from George Washington University and the Defense Management Acquisition and numerous certificate courses in the field of Program Management.
Elizabeth was awarded the 2013 SBA Woman-Owned Business Person of the Year for the State of Florida. She served as a member of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Board of Directors as STEM Coordinator. Elizabeth is a member of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) and the Central Florida Chapter Women in Defense (WID) where she held the position of Director of Special Projects for STEM. Elizabeth also serves on the Small Business Advisory Board for the State of Florida as CFO Jeff Atwater’s designee. Elizabeth serves on the National Center For Simulation (NCS) M&S Certification Board which is a STEM initiative to help with the process of certifying high school students in M&S. Elizabeth served on the Board of Directors for the Camaraderie Foundation for seven years.
Jon Watkins, COO
Mr. Jon Watkins is the founder, co-owner, and COO of Dignitas Technologies. He started his M&S experience by deciphering the SIMNET TDB format for PC-based research on computer generated forces(CGF). While he has worked in many disciplines within M&S, he has a particular interest in CGF applications, virtual simulation, synthetic natural environments (SNE), and lightweight simulators.
As COO, Mr. Watkins is responsible for ensuring Dignitas’ projects provide the best possible value to customers every time. Mr. Watkins oversees project PMs, cross-project coordination, led Dignitas’ effort to achieve CMMI Level 3, and manages the company teams executing IT, NIST, facilities, process improvements, and more.
Beyond executive leadership, Mr. Watkins continues to serve as PM on selected programs and is sought after as an expert in M&S SNE. Mr. Watkins directly supports Synthetic Training Environment (STE) initiatives such as RVCT and OWT. Mr. Watkins also supports company business development activities and has been directly responsible for bringing in a wide array of research activities across multiple customers particularly in the areas of SNE, SBIRS, and transition of research into large programs.
Bob Burch, CTO
Mr. Bob Burch is the Chief Technology Officer at Dignitas Technologies. Mr. Burch has a wide range of simulation experience, ranging from simple maintenance trainers, to aircraft cockpit simulators, to large complex constructive systems.
His virtual simulation experience focused on virtual system architectures, executive scheduling systems, concurrent systems, simulation time management, hard real-time performance and monitoring, computational resource utilization, modeling frameworks, and I/O systems. His constructive experience has been technology leadership positions of the Army’s two largest Computer Generated Forces systems: CCTT SAF and OneSAF.
Mr. Burch was the Chief Scientist for the Close Combat Tactics Trainer (CCTT) Semi-Automated Forces (SAF). He was the Software Architect for OneSAF as well as Architecture Modeler and eventually System Architect providing key guidance and proactive simulation performance modeling for the OneSAF program. He has practical experience with Product Line Architecture development for OneSAF, SE Core, and the United Kingdom’s Combined Arms Tactics Trainer (UK CATT) programs.
Greg Dukstein, Director of Engineering
Mr. Greg Dukstein is the Director of Engineering at Dignitas Technologies. He manages research and development projects for PEO STRI and RDECOM customers. Mr.Dukstein brings experience in professional leadership and technical development on complex real time and simulation systems. He has worked on virtual and constructive simulation systems with a focus on Semi-Automated Forces (SAF), Synthetic Natural Environments, Dynamic Environments, and SAF terrain database development.
Mr. Dukstein has leadership experience at all levels from small software development teams to chief engineer of a major simulation program. As technical lead, he has experience in project planning, estimation, managing project plans and timelines, and working with customers on requirements definition and project execution. He has served roles such as software developer, systems engineer, team lead, and Chief Engineer.
Marlo Verdesca, Director of Programs
Ms. Marlo Verdesca is the Director of Programs at Dignitas Technologies. She brings professional leadership and technical development on complex real time and simulation systems. Her program management experience includes knowledge of management principles and practices that included leadership, accountability, and mutual cooperation. She is part of the winning team on numerous proposals and effectively manages small and large scale simulation programs for the US Army in the virtual and constructive domains. She has a strong process understanding and execution experience with CMMI Level 5 and ISO 9001.
Ms. Verdesca has held the position of OneSAF Deputy PM, SE Core A&I Deputy PM and Deep Green Deputy PM. She has successfully supervised geographically dispersed subcontractors for large research and development programs for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and numerous management certificate courses in the field of Program Management. She is a member of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), Program Management Institute (PMI) and the Central Florida Chapter Women in Defense (WID).
Paul Dumanoir, Director of Technology
Mr. Paul Dumanoir is the Director of Technology at Dignitas Technologies. He manages business development and new technology initiatives related to company growth. He brings a strong leadership presence and experienced engineering background. Mr. Dumanoir has simulation and training experience in the Army Live, Virtual, Constructive, and Gaming domains.
Mr. Dumanoir has worked at US Army PEO STRI before retiring as a civil servant and joining Dignitas Technologies. While at PEO STRI he held multiple roles as engineer, project director, and product manager managing both large and small scale programs throughout LVCG domains.
Susan Fernandez, Business Development
Ms. Susan Fernandez is Director of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development. Serving on the executive team at Dignitas Technologies, Ms. Fernandez supports company growth initiatives through strategic planning that includes marketing, new business opportunities, and relationship development and engagement. As a seasoned executive, Ms. Fernandez worked in both the private and public sectors throughout her career. Prior to this role, Ms. Fernandez served as the Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Government Relations at Mitsubishi Power Systems, a global company, where she led corporate communications, public and governmental relations, and developed strategic growth and alignment initiatives with C-Level colleagues. Before her work with Mitsubishi, Ms. Fernandez was a Regional Director in the U.S. Senate where she oversaw collaboration with professionals in the MS&T, Space, and other industries.
Ms. Fernandez received her B.A. at Rollins College and, more recently, completed an executive education program at Harvard Business School. To support the community, Ms. Fernandez was a member of the Rollins College Hamilton Holt School Board of Advisors, Seminole State College Board of Trustees and the Governor’s Transition team and Economic Advisory Committee. Ms. Fernandez currently serves on the Crossroads Corral board, a certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving youth, veterans, women and families in Central Florida.
Shannon Baran, Contracts Manager
Ms. Shannon Baran is the Contracts Manager at Dignitas Technologies. Her background includes full life cycle activities for contracts and subcontracts including proposal submission, negotiation, management, and closeout for multi-million dollar funding portfolios. Ms.Baran’s unique contracting experience in both the public and private sector has exposed her to a wide range of contract and acquisition types from Federal, State, For-Profit and Non-Profit customers as well as a multitude of contract compliance issues. It is with this diverse perspective that she contributes to the growth of Dignitas Technologies as a small business.
Ms. Baran is an active member of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) and has held multiple positions in the Mid-Florida chapter including President and Treasurer. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science and Master in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida.
Eliana Booker, Finance Manager
Ms. Eliana Booker is the Finance Manager at Dignitas Technologies. She has experience in company finances managing employee payroll, purchases, and travel along with managing company accounts and working closely with both large and small scale programs submitting invoices, reviewing costs, billing, and assisting with financial analysis.
Ms. Booker is a key member of the administrative team assisting with implementation of business technology and improving financial processes to be CMMI level 3 compliant. She has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Central Florida.
Cristina Bahr, Human Resource Manager
Ms. Cristina Bahr is the Human Resource Manager at Dignitas Technologies. She started her career as a Human Resource Intern with the company and worked in recruitment where she nearly doubled the size of the company. She grew into her current role within the company where she currently manages all of the HR procedures including benefits administration, hiring and on-boarding, talent acquisition, training and development, and employee relations.
Ms. Bahr is an active member of the Society of Human Resources (SHRM) and is working toward her HR accreditation which will prepare her a recognized expert and leader in the HR field. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida.