Carlo Zaffanella – President & CEO
Carlo Zaffanella is President and CEO of Ultra Maritime. He was appointed in September 2022, upon the acquisition of Ultra Group by Advent International. Ultra Maritime designs, produces and supports intelligent Undersea Warfare solutions across surface and subsurface platforms to support and protect the world’s most advanced navies. UM has over 2,300 employees in multiple locations across North America, UK and Australia.
Prior to this role, Mr. Zaffanella was vice president and general manager of Maritime and Strategic Systems (M&SS) for General Dynamics Mission Systems (GDMS). He led a diverse array of development and production programs serving the US Navy, the US Air Force, restricted customers, various government labs and a variety of international and commercial customers. Areas of emphasis included undersea warfare, maritime autonomy, radar/electronic warfare, surface ship integration and support, specialty computer design and production, and high assurance combat systems for the strategic deterrent. He previously held various leadership positions of increasing responsibility at GDMS, including VP/GM of the Intelligence & Surveillance business, Vice President of Open Combat Solutions, and Director of Core Mission Integration.
Mr. Zaffanella received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also a graduate of GE’s Edison Engineering program. Mr. Zaffanella proudly serves on the Board of Directors of Soldier On, a private non-profit organization committed to ending veteran homelessness, and on the Board of Trustees of Berkshire Community College.
Marcus Onvani – Chief Financial Officer
Marcus Onvani is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Ultra Maritime. He was appointed in September 2022. As the head of Finance and Accounting for the business, he is responsible for the overall financial performance of the company. Onvani partners with the Chief Executive Officer and Advent International, the private equity shareholder, to develop strategies that create shareholder value.
Prior to joining Ultra Maritime, Mr. Onvani was the Senior Vice President of Finance for PE-backed GKN Aerospace, overseeing its Defense Business Unit. Onvani was instrumental in leading the design and execution of several business transformation projects, including: COVID stabilization, a global footprint rationalization & optimization, and an organization re-design. These initiatives matured the organization into a single integrated global operation, with improved customer performance and business profitability.
Mr. Onvani led Lockheed Martin Space Finance & Business Operations (F&BO) for its Military Space Line of Business (LOB) before joining GKN. In this role he collaborated across functions to successfully deliver critical national security space programs such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Space Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) constellations. During his tenure, the LOB achieved exceptional compound annual sales growth rates exceeding 20% and achieved record levels of profitability. Mr.Onvani’s tenure at LM Space is hallmarked by his authorship of a non-standard business proposal that captured a $7B competitive win of the GPS-IIIF contract.
Mr. Onvani’s extensive career in Aerospace & Defense has given him exposure to diverse customer, geographic, cultural, and business model experiences. Onvani is committed to developing his employees, driving innovation, and ensuring Finance functional excellence, and he leads his team with these priorities in mind. A graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, Onvani holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance, a Master’s of Business Administration, and a Master’s of Science in Quantitative Finance.
Mark Kenny – Senior Vice President, Strategy, Technology & Business Development
Mark W. Kenny serves as Senior Vice President (SVP), Strategy, Technology and Business Development of Ultra Maritime, where he is responsible for overall business strategy, growth and technology. He joined Ultra Maritime in January 2023. Previous to this role, Kenny has held leadership roles in L3 Harris and Northrup Grumman.
Kenny had a distinguished career in submarine warfare in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. While serving as commanding officer of the USS BIRMINGHAM (SSN 695) Kenny was awarded the Vice Admiral Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership. He later led the Submarine Commanding Officer Course and was commander of Submarine Squadron 7 in Pearl Harbor. As a Flag Officer, he commanded Submarine Group 2 in New London, Submarine Group 10 in Kings Bay, and Navy Region Northeast. He had various shore tours on the waterfront and in the Pentagon. Additionally Kenny led the Navy’s effort in support of counterterrorism, special operations, and Irregular Warfare (IW) and was appointed to lead the Navy’s IW office as its first Flag Officer director. He supported missions in the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Kenny is on the Undersea Warfare executive board of the National Defense Industrial Association and the Maritime Advisory Council of the Association of Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).
Greg Kelble – Chief Human Resources Officer
Greg Kelble joined Ultra Maritime as CHRO in October 2022. Prior to this, he was SVP and Chief Administrative Officer at Sparton Corporation, which he joined in 2020 following its acquisition by Cerberus Capital management. At Sparton, Greg was responsible for HR, compliance, communications, marketing, real estate, and risk management. He was a member of the Cerberus team which took Sparton Corporation private in March 2019.
Prior to joining Sparton Corporation, Greg was the Chief Human Resources Officer of the Cerberus Operations & Advisory Company.
From 2010 to 2017, Greg was Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for AMETEK, Inc and prior to AMETEK, he served as Managing Director and Chief Human Resources Officer for MSCI, Inc; Vice President, Human Resources, Communications and Six Sigma for Honeywell Automation & Control Solutions; and Vice President Human Resources for the BOC Group, plc. In addition, he has held roles at Pepsi-Cola, Textron and United Technologies Corporation earlier in his career.
Greg began his career as a research psychologist with the University of Dayton Research Institute and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marquette University and a master’s degree in organizational/industrial psychology from the University of West Florida.
Gabriel Kopin – Chief Transformation Officer
As the Senior Vice President & Chief Transformation Officer of Ultra Maritime, Gabe is responsible for leading transformation and change to drive the organization forward. He has deep experience as a transformation leader, business strategist and engineer across high-tech commercial, industrial and defense markets. Prior to joining Ultra Maritime, Gabe was CTrO at CAES.
In this prior role, Gabe led the enterprise value creation program at Cobham, which was designed to enhance business performance and accelerate top and bottom-line growth. Gabe has also served as leader of Corporate Strategy at TE Connectivity, a $14B global industrial technology leader in connectivity and sensing solutions. While at TE, his team led an effort to optimize the enterprise portfolio and unlock new sources of long-term profitable growth through both organic technology innovation and M&A levers. Prior to TE, Gabe was a Principal at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). At BCG, he partnered with senior management teams at leading defense and industrial technology firms on transformational initiatives spanning commercial and operational lean excellence, portfolio optimizations, sales and operations planning, and supply chain/planning system redesigns.
He started his career at Lockheed Martin (Maritime Systems & Sensors) in their Engineering Leadership Development Program and progressed into the Chief Engineers Office. As an advanced radar system engineer, Gabe led technical design, systems integration, and business development/capture activities for critical land, air, and sea-based radar and missile defense programs including Aegis BMD, AMDR, LRDR and Space Fence.
Danielle Willard - Senior Vice President & General Counsel
Danielle Willard is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Ultra Maritime. Danielle joined the company in March 2023 and is responsible for all risk-related functional groups, including legal, contracts, security, and compliance.
Prior to joining UM, Danielle ran Jacob’s Risk Management Group for the Divergent Solutions line of business, where she supported the $1B cyber and intelligence US government contracting business by leading legal, contracts and procurement, security, facilities, health and safety, quality and performance excellence, and cyber policy and governance.
Danielle received her juris doctorate from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law while working full time as a paralegal at The KeyW Corporation. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Baltimore chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and on the Board of Directors for the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra.
Robert Van Dyke - Senior Vice President, Operations
Robert was named Senior Vice President (SVP) Operations of Ultra Maritime in February 2023. He oversees manufacturing, supply chain, safety, quality and business process improvement for the business, and is responsible for the overall operational performance of the company.
Prior to joining Ultra Maritime, Robert was the Vice President of Operations for Advent International backed CAES (Cobham advanced Electronic Solutions) for five years. Robert was instrumental in leading a transformation of the CAES businesses, which stabilized the business, improved customer satisfaction, quality performance and overall business profitability.
Throughout his 25-year career in defense and commercial businesses, he has held various leadership positions from operations, engineering, and business development, enabling Robert to gain a deep understanding of business operations. Robert is committed to developing and leading high-performing teams, driving innovation, and ensuring operational excellence.
Robert holds degrees in Administration of Justice and Computer Science and a master’s in business administration.
Laura Wilde - Vice President, Quality
Laura Wilde is the Vice President, Quality for Ultra Maritime. She joined the company in October 2023. Laura is responsible for the quality function, overseeing the creation and enhancement of best-in-class processes across Quality Management and Compliance.
Laura brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the field of Quality and Compliance. Throughout her career, she served as the Senior Director of Quality & Mission Assurance for Aerojet Rocketdyn (an L3Harris Technologies Company), and as the director of Quality for STANLEY Engineered Fastening. Laura’s career spans several other key quality management positions, which have collectively contributed to her extensive knowledge and skills in the industry.
Ed Cook - Vice President, General Manager – Ultra Maritime US
Ed Cook joined the company in November 2023. He is responsible for Ultra Maritime US, including developing and executing our strategy, cultivating customer relationships, talent development and ensuring operational excellence. Additionally, Ed will provide overall leadership and guidance to the US line of business, overseeing program management, engineering and business development functions.
Prior to this role, Ed served as the Vice President of General Dynamics Mission Systems’ Airborne Systems business, where he spearheaded the design, development, production and support of complex electronic products for NAVAIR and other customers. He previously served as the Senior Director of Surface Ship Mission Integration.
Ed is based in the US and reports to Carlo Zaffanella, President & CEO.
Wayne Clifton - Vice President, General Manager – Ultra Maritime UK
Wayne is Vice President, General Manager of Ultra Maritime (UK). He was appointed in April 2023.
Prior to this role, Wayne worked for Leonardo in its various guises for more than 25 years. Wayne joined GEC Marconi in 1995 as an Electrical Apprentice and has held various roles throughout the business. He was responsible for the performance of the ISP Business, running both Basildon and Southampton sites with circa 900 staff. This business is a leader in the integration and supply of ISR and Force Protection electronic systems.
Wayne is an Industry delegate of the Shrivenham Defence Academy, Advanced Command and Staff course; Strategic Programming module, and has a broad range of experience in the delivery of large high-profile programmes. Working across Air, Land and Sea, Wayne’s experience has seen him deliver Mode 5 IFF to the UK Ministry of Defence, Lead TvTAN support and provision of various equipment and services to the UK Ministry of Defence.
John Gallagher - Vice President, General Manager – Ultra Maritime Canada
John Gallagher is Vice President, General Manager -Ultra Maritime Canada. He joined Ultra Maritime in August 2023.
He is responsible for business strategy and growth, customer relationships, talent development, operational excellence while providing overall leadership and guidance to Ultra Maritime Canada. He has extensive experience and proven leadership in the industry, with an impressive track record of nearly two decades at Raytheon, where he consistently demonstrated his exceptional leadership capabilities. In his most recent role as Managing Director of Raytheon UK’s Weapons and Sensors business, headquartered in London, UK, he played a crucial role in driving strategic initiatives and achieving exceptional business outcomes. Before that, he held the position of Managing Director at Raytheon ELCAN, an optics business located in Midland, Ontario.
Mark Potter - Vice President, General Manager – Ultra Maritime Australia
Mark Potter is the Vice President and General Manager - Ultra Maritime Australia. He joined Ultra Maritime in May 2023.
He is responsible for business strategy and growth, customer relationships, talent development, operational excellence and overall leadership of our business in Australia.
Prior to joining UM, Mark led Babcock’s Marine business in Canada and in Australia & New Zealand prior to that in Adelaide. Prior to that role, Mark was the General Manager of the Submarines business in Adelaide, managing their Collins Class business and looking at future opportunities. Mark spent 29 years in the Royal Australian Navy, finishing his career as Commander Submarine Force there.
Peter Crawford - Vice President, General Manager – Signature Management & Power
Peter Crawford is Vice President, General Manager – Signature Management & Power and has been in the company for 25 years. He has led the Signature Management and Power business for 14 years.
Peter is responsible for business strategy and growth, customer relationships, talent development, operational excellence and overall leadership of our Signature Management & Power business.
Board of Directors
Shonnel Malani is an experienced business leader with over 20 years’ experience in the financial and private equity sectors. As Managing Partner of Advent International, he has overseen significant investment in innovative companies across the UK, US and Europe. He joined Advent International in 2011 and has led large companies through significant change in the engineering, space, and national security sectors.
Shonnel is currently chair of UK-headquartered aerospace and defence companies Cobham and Ultra Electronics and is a non-executive director of Maxar Technologies.
Shonnel also serves as Lead Non-Executive Director for the UK Government's Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
Patrick Oehlschlaeger joined Advent in 2015. Following business school, he rejoined Advent in the London office, focusing on industrial investments. Previously, Patrick was a consultant at Bain & Company in Frankfurt, focusing on strategy, private equity due diligence and post-acquisition value creation projects. He also spent time as an intern at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Elliott.
Patrick earned a BSc, summa cum laude, in International Management from ESB Reutlingen / Northeastern University, an MSc with distinction from London Business School and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.
Patrick worked on Advent's investments in Cobham, Maxar Technologies, Rubix (formerly known as IPH-Brammer) and Ultra Electronics.
Bob Hitt serves as Chairman of Advent portfolio companies Ultra Maritime, Maxar Intelligence and Maxar Space Infrastructure and a board member of Cobham Advanced Electronics. Ultra Maritime is a leading global company specializing in design, development and production of maritime defense technologies, particularly in Undersea Warfare. Maxar Intelligence is a world leading in secure, precise geospatial intelligence and Maxar Space Infrastructure manufactures satellites including the largest commercial communications satellite ever built. Cobham Advanced Electronics is a leading provider of mission critical electronic solutions for the United Staes Aerospace and Defense industry. Previously, Bob was Chairman of the Advent portfolio company Laird, Chairman of Cobham Mission Systems and Chairman of Ammeraal Beltech. The three companies were successfully sold by Advent with an above average return for the investors. Prior to his Chairmanships, Bob was President and CEO of Rexnord Industries which he grew to $1.85 billion sales under the ownership of first Carlyle and then Apollo. He was previously the President of Invensys Climate Controls and then the divisional CEO of Invensys Automation Systems.
Kim Gillis AM serves as the Chairman of Avincis Aviation a company based in Portugal that provides aeromedical, fire fighting and search and rescue across Europe. He is the former Chairman of Cobham Australia , which was successfully sold by Advent in 2022. He is also a former Deputy Secretary for Defence Acquisitions in Australia and a former Vice President of the Boeing Company. In the early 2020s he led the Austal Ships design team for the US Navy Littoral Combat Ships. Kim was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the Australian Defence Department and defence projects .
Mark Sirangelo is currently an independent board member for several Advent companies. He is the current Scholar in Residence for the University of Colorado and a member of the NASA Aerospace Safety Panel.
Mark is the most recent past Chairman of the DOD’s Defense Innovation Board for the Secretary of Defense. Previously Mark was the founding
executive and former head of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems which led teams which have managed billions of dollars programs for over 300 missions. He has been inducted into NASA/Space Foundation’s Technology Hall of Fame, is AIAA Fellow, was appointed as the Chief Innovation Officer of the State of Colorado and has served as an officer in the US Military.
Sir Nick Hine is Managing Director for Babcock plc leading on all AUKUS relationships and future programming and the lead for new international business. He moved to Babcock after 37 years’ service in the Royal Navy ultimately serving as Second Sea Lord, Chief Executive of the organisation.
Nick is a member of the board of Directors of Ultra Maritime and an adviser on maritime matters for Advent and Bain & Company consulting leading on strategic future capability. He is Chairman of the two UK secure companies Ultra PMES and Ultra Cyber ensuring UK Government equity is protected.
Hine’s military career was wide ranging and impactful - he spent the first twenty years of his career as a submariner on classified operations in the North Atlantic, the second in Command of HMS Splendid who tested and operationally employed the first Tomahawk missiles for the Royal Navy, then in Command of the nuclear submarine HMS Talent at 33. He also Commanded surface ships HMS Blackwater in the Northern Ireland troubles and then HMS Westminster. He spent a year under US Command in Baghdad leading on the reconstruction of the Iraqi Navy during the Iraq War in 2009. His senior Naval career took him from procurement to being the sole military adviser in HM Treasury working directly to the Chancellor, then into policy and strategy development and finally delivery as Second Sea Lord. He is well known for his original strategic thinking and no nonsense, blunt attitudes to problem solving.
Nick is chairman of UK Charity Resources for Autism, bringing his own autistic experiences and change management skills to help the charity move to the next level in delivering world-beating support to individuals and their families.
Hine has taken on the Chairmanship of the ADS International group working to influence Government in support of industry and is a member of the Corbett Group, the influential academic think tank for maritime matters.
Hine has been decorated by the UK and US Governments and was knighted in 2023.
Rob Weiss retired in 2018 as the Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin Advanced Development Programs (aka, the Skunk Works), after 35 years with Lockheed Martin.
Rob Weiss is an Operating Partner with Advent International, currently serving as Chairman of the Board for Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions (CAES), and as a Board Member for Ultra Maritime.
He is also an advisor to Bell Helicopter/Textron, Catalyze Dallas and Hermeus Corporation. Rob serves on the executive board of the SMU Lyle School of Engineering.
Rob is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy (BS), University of Southern California (MS), and retired as a U.S. Naval Reserve Captain and aircraft carrier jet pilot.