President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member
John Watson has served as Torch Technologies’ President since November of 2013, and was appointed to President and CEO in January 2019. Watson was also appointed to the Board of Directors of Torch in August 2014. Prior to being named President, Watson served as Torch Technologies’ Vice President of Business Development and Program Manager for the Scalable Simulation Program with the USA AMRDEC. Watson has over 30 years of experience in the defense industry spanning numerous roles in project engineering support, line and program management, and corporate management. Prior to joining Torch, Watson served as the Director for New Product Development for Dynetics, Inc. where he led corporate business development efforts in hardware development, Air Force and technology programs. Prior to his role in Business Development, Watson led their Florida Division where he managed contracts with the Air Force, Army, Navy, SOCOM, DARPA, NASA and several foreign and domestic companies. Previous to that, Watson was Vice President of the Florida Division for Nichols Research Corporation. Watson received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University and an MSEE from the University of Florida.
Co-Founder of Torch Technologies and CEO of Starfish Holdings
Bill Roark is the co-founder of Torch Technologies, Inc., and the co-founder and CEO of Starfish Holdings, parent company of Torch Technologies, with more than 30 years of Department of Defense-related experience. As the CEO of Torch, Roark guided Torch to national recognition as one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in America, according to Entrepreneur Magazine, and twelve consecutive selections on the Inc. 5000 list recognizing the Fastest Growing Private Companies, including recognition as the No. 1 Fastest Growing Privately-Held Defense Contractor in the Southeast Region. During his tenure at the company, Torch was a three-time recipient of the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for outstanding business ethics, and was recognized by the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce as the Small Business of the Year in Technology (2007). Roark considers employee relations and benefits one of the most important aspects of business management, and he has worked diligently to ensure top benefits and working conditions, resulting in local recognition as one of the Best Places to Work in Huntsville/Madison County in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2012, and 2008. Torch received national recognition by The Principal Financial Group as one of The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security, as well as recognition by Inc. Magazine and Winning Workplaces as a Top Small Company. Before founding Torch Technologies and Starfish Holdings, Roark worked for Camber Corporation as a Senior Vice President. Prior to joining Camber, Roark was with Nichols Research Corporation, at which he worked his way up from an entry level scientist position to become the President of the Criminal Justice Systems Operations Segment. Roark earned an M.S. in Physics from the University of Kentucky and a B.S. in Mathematics from Cumberland College.
Co-Founder and Board Member Emeritus
Don Holder has over 45 years of experience in DoD research and development programs. Prior to co-founding Torch Technologies, Inc., he managed large R&D contracts for CAS Inc. and CSC/Nichols Research Corporation as a Corporate Vice President. Holder directed the CSC/Nichols Army Simulation Programs Business Unit and led modeling and simulation (M&S) initiatives across several business sectors. In this capacity, Holder was responsible for the technical and business management of a $3O-million-a-year operation. Under his management, the operation met all technical, cost and schedule requirements. Before joining Nichols, Holder worked for the U.S. Army Missile Command, working on several research projects. He served as the Technical Director of MICOM’s Fiber Optics Technology Demonstration program. He also served as the manager of several Army Tactical systems simulation and analysis efforts. Holder earned an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Mathematics from Jacksonville State University. In 2015, Don Holder was designated as Director Emeritus.
Chief Financial Officer
Cindy Walz has over 30 years of experience in Finance and Accounting and joined Torch as Chief Financial Officer in 2017. Before joining Torch Technologies, Walz was Vice President, Finance for Vencore, Inc. (formerly Westar Aerospace/Qinetiq). In addition, Walz worked in senior finance leadership positions at Teledyne Solutions, Inc., Intergraph, Sikorsky Aircraft and United Technologies). Walz brings extensive experience in Finance and Accounting in the Government Contract Industry. She earned a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Alabama, and an MBA from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.
Chief Technology Officer
Joe Hill has over 30 years of experience in Department of Defense research and development programs. He has a wide range of weapon system modeling, simulation and testing experience and is considered a subject matter expert in air and missile defense. Hill joined Torch in December 2002 and received appointment as CTO in May 2008. At Torch, Hill has led a number of large modeling and simulation projects, and his Torch team’s achievements are distinguished by strong business ethics, enhanced customer value and advancement of state-of-the-art weapon system simulation and test. Prior to joining Torch, Hill served as a Senior Staff Manager at CAS and as a Division Director at Nichols/CSC. Hill earned a B.S in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Chief Operating Officer
Scott Parker has over 30 years of experience in administration and joined Torch as Chief Administrative Officer in 2007. He assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer in 2008. Before joining Torch Technologies, Parker provided human resources and business development support to CSC’s Commercial Outsourcing organization. Prior to joining CSC, Parker served as Vice President of Corporate Human Resources for Nichols Research, where he spent 13 years. In addition, Parker brings extensive experience in Human Resources management and operations support. Parker earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Alabama.
Joe Alexander joined the Board of Directors of Torch in August 2012. During his 22 years of military service, Alexander served in a variety of command and staff assignments, including teaching as an assistant professor in West Point’s Department of Electrical Engineering and acting as a Program Manager for the Department of Defense’s Defense Switched Network program. After retiring from the U.S. Army with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, he joined Camber Corporation, and from 1992 to 1999 Alexander served as in a number of positions at Camber, including those of Task Lead, Program Manager, Washington General Manager, and Executive Vice President/COO. Mr. Alexander then served as President of Camber from 1999-2011. During his tenure, he grew the company from 450 employees to over 2,300 and increased its annual revenue from $61 million to $440 million. After retiring from Camber, he started his own business, Alexander Consulting, LLC, and currently serves on the advisory boards of Verit Advisors and the enGenius Consulting Group, as well as serving as a consultant with Camber. Alexander is also on the Board of Directors of the Huntsville, Ala., Chamber of Commerce, as well as that of the Committee of 100, and serves as Chair of the Wells Fargo Advisory Board. Alexander received his B.S. in Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University.
Carl Monk joined the Board of Directors of Torch Technologies in August 2009. Monk served as Chief Financial Officer at Scitor, successfully guiding the company through a complete ESOP buyout from its founding owners. While at Scitor, he also served on its Board of Directors. In 1987, Monk finished a 20-year career as a Naval Flight Officer and Naval Engineering Duty Officer. He went on to found Welkin Associates, ltd., a systems engineering firm providing engineering and program management services within the intelligence community, including the National Reconnaissance Office. As CEO and CFO, Monk grew Welkin over 10 years to a $20 million firm with a reputation based on integrity and technical prominence. Nichols Research Corporation acquired Welkin in 1998. Monk then served Nichols as President of its national programs and as Executive Vice President of its government programs prior to the acquisition of Nichols by Computer Sciences Corporation in 1999. Monk holds both a B.S. and an M.S in Computer Science from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.
Matthew Rogers served as an executive in the Intelligence Solutions Division of General Dynamics Information Technology from March 2003 until May 2010. While at the company, he established a rapidly growing business unit providing technical services to the intelligence community. Before joining General Dynamics, Rogers served 29 years in the U.S. Navy. He directed the National Reconnaissance Office’s Low-Earth-Orbit Systems Program Office. He also served as the Senior Naval Officer in establishing the Office of the Department of Defense Space Architect, directing engineering and investment strategies for satellite communications and command and control for the Department of Defense and NASA. Finally, he was Program Manager of the Navy’s Global Command & Control Systems. Rogers earned an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy.
Mike Stanfield most recently served as President of Miltec and Group Vice President of the Advanced Systems Group in Ducommun Inc., providing engineered products and high-tech proprietary systems for defense, aerospace and industrial applications, as well as engineering services in missile and aerospace system design, development, integration, and test. Mike joined Ducommun in August 2009 and recently announced his retirement. He has over 35 years of experience in DoD and the intelligence community. Previously, Mike was Senior Vice President of Dynetics, responsible for Strategic Direction and Corporate Development. He also served as President of iMs, providing software for drug testing and drug courts. He launched Dynetics commercial activities developing software and hardware support to the automotive industry. He was also Chairman of the Board of DMD, a joint venture dedicated to the Space and Missile Defense Market. Mike is a member of the Engineering Leadership Society – Epsilon Lambda Chi, Engineering Honor Society – Tau Beta Pi, and the Management Honor Society – Beta Gamma Sigma. He was a founding member and serves as Chairman and President of a non-profit company, Lincoln Village Preservation Corporation, refurbishing housing for low income residents in Huntsville’s historic Lincoln Village. He currently serves on the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Cummings Research Park Board. Stanfield received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University, his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Vanderbilt University.