Innovation Showcase Judges


Judges are subject matter experts from a variety of backgrounds and related fields, providing thought leadership and suggested ways to proceed.


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Dwight Deneal, Director of Small Business and Industry Liaisons Programs, US Coast Guard

Dwight D. Deneal is a seasoned and experienced acquisition/procurement professional for the Federal Government. Dwight has performed a full-range of contract administration from developing the request for proposals, soliciting request for proposals, participating in source selection and preparing analysis for contract awards. Dwight seeks to leverage his acquisition/procurement subject matter expertise (SME) to develop strategies which encourage Small Business participation as prime contractors in federal contracting and aid in increasing small business subcontracting goals.

Sarah Djamshidi, Managing Partner, Speedshift Ventures

Sarah Djamshidi has more than 18 years of experience providing fiscal, strategic, operations and M&A leadership to the board members, business owners and executives of over 200 companies. She has focused onon growth, merger and acquisitions, and business succession plans and has worked with government contractors and hyper growth companies from various sectors, including cybersecurity, biotech, chemical, nanotechnology, supply chain and logistics, SaaS, IT services and solutions, data analytics, and visualization. Djamshidi is a frequent speaker at conferences and judge of numerous innovation challenges. Read more...

James L. Griggs, Jr., Vice President, Chief Information Officer (CIO), AFCEA International

Jim Griggs has more than 2 decades of experience in federal, state, local and private sector engineering and technology management. Since 2003 Jim has served as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at AFCEA International. As the CIO and CTO he heads up both day to day AFCEA International IT operations as well as leading outreach efforts to the National Security IT community. In his role with AFCEA Jim also serves as the chief liaison to the AFCEA Technology Committee, an all-volunteer group of senior industry and government technology leaders, which among other things helps drive the program for several of AFCEA's events, and selects recipients for the annual AFCEA technology awards program. Read more...

Glenn Hernandez, CISO, OpEdge Solutions, LLC

Glenn Hernandez is passionate about creating strategic partnerships to revolutionize organizational transformation with resilient technology and meet mission objectives. Hernandez is a senior consultant with OpEdge Solutions. He served more than 26 years in the U.S. Coast Guard and retired in July 2017. From 2013-2017, he was the Coast Guard’s Chief Information Security Officer. Hernandez co-authored the Coast Guard’s Cyber Strategy and led the Coast Guard’s first cyber crisis response based on the National Incident Management System framework. Read more...

Cmdr. Maria C. Horton, USN (Ret.), CISSP-ISSMP, Cloud Essentials, IAM Chief Executive Officer at EmeSec

Cmdr. Maria C. Horton, USN (Ret.), is a recognized cybersecurity and compliance expert with hands on experience. She has presented information at conferences about cloud, FedRAMP, CUI, IoT and cybersecurity. She serves as a mentor to other small business start-ups providing real world feedback, encouragement and industry advice. Horton has published articles with Bloomberg News, SC magazine and the Huffington Post. In 2017, she joined Government Matters TV as a regular guest commentator addressing cyber, CUI and the due diligence implications for SMBs. Her company is one of 43 FedRAMP Third Party Assessment Organizations and holds four ISO certifications. EmeSec was awarded a Silver Stevie Award and a Gold Golden Bridge award for its #SimplifyCUIservices capability in 2017. While serving in the US. Navy, Horton was the CIO of the National Naval Medical Center, now known as the Walter Reed Military Complex. Read more...

David Kriegman, CEO, Z2B, LLC

David Kriegman is CEO of Z2B, LLC, a small consulting firm that helps companies achieve their strategic growth goals. He is also the author of the book, “Zero to a Billion: 61 Rules Entrepreneurs Need to Know to Grow a Government Contracting Business.” Prior to opening his own consulting firm, he was Division Sr. VP & General Manager, Strategic Solutions Group, Inc. for Jacobs Technology. Other distinguished accomplishments include President, Command Information, Federal; and COO for SRA International, Inc.

Elvis Oxley, President and Founder, Oxley Consulting, LLC

Elvis Oxley is President and Founder of Oxley Consulting, LLC, a government business development firm igniting the growth of enterprise businesses. Oxley Consulting ( offers its clients a unique hybrid of government business development, capital access, and comprehensive political intelligence strategies. Oxley’s clients have achieved success from his consistently innovative results-driven approach and strong relationship management. Oxley and two partners are currently in the process of applying for a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) license from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The investment fund will focus on levering another SBA program, the new All Small Mentor Protégé Program (ASMPP), to facilitate more rapid and strategic growth of small business government contractors. Oxley’s team will provide strategic business development, and back-office services to portfolio companies. Read more...

Heather Price, Industry Influencer

Heather Price has had a diverse consulting portfolio across the Pentagon, including providing solutions in weapons systems acquisition, strategic communication, private industry outreach, and business management to the U.S. Army, the Air Force, and the Department of Defense. Previously, she was International Business Development Manager for Raytheon Company, focused on expanding Raytheon’s global growth and international weapons sales. She has also served as a Business & Industry Specialist on the Iraq/Afghanistan Investment & Reconstruction Task Force at U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, DC and Baghdad, Iraq, and has worked with the Office of Iraq at U.S. Department of State. Read more...


Rob Stewart, Managing Director and CEO, Federal Government Experts, LLC 






















 Robert (Rob) Stewart is managing director and CEO of a highly technical business consultanting practice that specializes in the development and growth of companies across the Defense Industrial Base. Subject matter experts in federal procurement, process development & implementation, business intelligence & analytics & CFIUS. Read more...

Justin Wilder, Vice President and Technical Lead, In-Q-Tel

Justin Wilder is Vice President and Technical Lead of the Cyber Practice at In-Q-Tel, an independent, non-profit, strategic investment firm that identifies, adapts, and delivers innovative technology solutions in support of national security priorities serving the United States Intelligence Community. In his role, Mr. Wilder establishes technical investment direction while overseeing a portfolio of innovative cybersecurity companies addressing complex challenges at the intersection of national security and commercial industry. He has led the research and technical diligence exploring a number of domains leading to developmental investments in close to 20 startups spanning Digital Forensics, Behavioral Analytics, Endpoint Protection, Orchestration and Automation, and Secure DevOps. His cybersecurity experience spans twenty years in service of Academic, Fortune 50, DoD, Federal, and Intelligence Community clients as a developer, engineer, advisor, and entrepreneur. Justin received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and his Master’s degree in Computer Science from George Washington University.


Innovation Showcase Judges | AFCEA Events


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