David Hart, executive vice president of the AFCEA Dayton Wright Chapter and director of business development for Segue Technologies, skydives with Linda Skinner, current president of the Dayton Wright Chapter.
Jumping out of airplanes has been a constant throughout David Hart’s adult life. During the past 30 years, Hart, executive vice president of the AFCEA Dayton Wright Chapter and director of business development for Segue Technologies, has accumulated more than 4,000 jumps. He started while in the U.S. Army, assigned to the 1/75 Ranger Battalion, and is now a tandem skydiving instructor who has “taken all sorts of cool people skydiving via my relationships in the defense industry and with AFCEA,” he says, including military generals, senior executives and industry leaders, and their families.
Hart and his brother own a professional skydiving business, Team Fastrax, and he has jumped into many venues, including professional sporting events. He has competed in the U.S. national skydiving championships three times but says his most rewarding jumps are the tandem jumps he does with wounded heroes.
“I had the great privilege to tandem jump Army Ranger Medal of Honor Recipient [Sgt. 1st Class] Leroy Petry into the National Harbor and Conference Center on the Potomac this last spring. Great guy and a true hero,” Hart says. “The list of inspiring wounded heroes I’ve met through jumping is too long to mention, but I’ll say they are the most inspiring people you ever want to meet.”
Skydiving is a bridge between Hart’s personal and professional lives. After serving in the Army, he joined the Army National Guard while attending school and then began a career in sales and marketing. He discovered he enjoyed the small business environment and now works for Segue Technologies, a small information technology company.
Hart became involved in AFCEA and the Dayton Wright Chapter when he entered the defense industry about five years ago, and in addition to his current post, he has been director of awards, vice president of networking and chapter president. He cites AFCEA as a tremendous source of industry information and strategic relationships for him and his company. “As most people figure out, marketing to the DOD is very different than the commercial world. AFCEA was instrumental in helping me bridge that gap,” he says.
Hart, who was raised on a farm in West Dayton, Ohio, with five sisters and one brother, settled down in the same area in which he grew up. He married his high school wrestling coach’s daughter, Lori, when he re-met her years later. They have three young boys, whom Hart enjoys coaching in youth sports, and the family spends a lot of time in the winter skiing and snowboarding together. Hart also has a passion for cooking, passed down to him from his mother. Sometimes he and Lori take cooking classes; they also love the food channel and try to eat at the restaurants featured when they travel.
Hart credits his farm upbringing with instilling a strong sense of faith, family and country in all he does and his Army experiences with showing him his capabilities and how much can be accomplished through teamwork.
“People inspire me. Often life seems like a constant stream of obstacles and challenges. I’m most inspired by how people rise to the occasion and meet the mountains that are thrown in front of them,” Hart says. “I’ve met so many people that give of themselves to help their community. I really think this is what makes our country great—our willingness to pitch in and get things done. It’s one of things that keeps me involved with AFCEA.”