Andy Dichter brings 40+ years of national security knowledge and over 20 years of senior executive leadership in a wide range of missions and organizations to 11th Hour Services’ Board of Directors. Andy has over 15 years of federal government contracting expertise, with much of it focused in the defense, analytic professional services industry. He has more than 10 years of both Board Director and C-Suite experiences as well.
Andy has served as the President and CEO of Group W since June 2019. Group W is an employee-owned professional services company that supports national security clients and specializes in studies and analysis, modeling and simulation, war gaming, critical thinking and quantitative problem solving for its clients’ toughest problems. At Group W, Andy led the company’s strategic planning efforts and its growth from approximately 85 to 115 employees along with increased revenue and net income.
Andy transitioned to the private sector in January 2007 after serving over 30 years with the US Air Force where he rose to the rank of Brigadier General. He joined Systems Planning and Analysis (SPA) as a strategic hire, successfully brought new capabilities and clients to the company, grew a new business unit from zero to over 150 members, generated more than $30 million in annual revenue, and rose to Senior Vice President and Director of the Joint, Land, Air and Space Division.
He is experienced in military and aerospace operations, joint warfare analysis, major acquisition program management, and DoD requirements analysis and generation. A career fighter pilot, USAF F-16 Weapons School Graduate, and Desert Storm combat veteran, Dichter served in a wide range of worldwide operational, command, and staff assignments, including four Pentagon tours. Dichter was the installation (wing) commander of Nellis Air Force Base, the USAF’s largest installation. Dichter received his Bachelor of Science degree and USAF commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy and holds a Master of Management and Business Administration from Troy University.
Dichter’s recognition includes the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medals, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medals, and various other awards and unit commendations.
Mr. Kurta began serving on the 11th Hour Service Board of Directors in 2019 with nearly 40 years of experience leading active and reserve officers and enlisted, Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force, Special Operations, National Guard, inter-agency and coalition personnel. This experience allowed Mr. Kurta to serve in several senior level roles focused on policy and strategic development of human capital across the Department of Defense. As a Director on the Board of Directors for 11th Hour Service, Mr. Kurta is focused on providing guidance and insight to support the strategic vision of 11th Hour Service, and to enhance both the solutions offered to, and the team members delivering those solutions to, 11th Hour Service’s clients.
Mr. Kurta also currently serves as the Vice President of the Health and Human Performance team with Leidos, as a CNA Corporation Senior Fellow, and a Volunteer Official with Navy Federal Credit Union. Mr. Kurta spent 32 years in the United States Navy and retired as a Rear Admiral, where he transitioned into the Senior Executive Service as the Director of Navy Flag Officer Management and Development and Performed the Duties of both the Under Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.
A native of Columbia Falls, Montana, he graduated with merit from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981, earned an M.A. in National Security Studies from Georgetown University, is a distinguished graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, and was a National Security Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
James Durham began serving on the 11th Hour Service Board of Directors in 2019 after 40+ years of experience in or at Joint Advanced Concepts, USD(AT&L); Strategic Analysis, USD(AT&L); Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC); Senior Aviation Analyst, OSD PA&E; Marine aviator, fighter pilot, carrier aviator. Independent Defense and Business consultation.
Office of the Secretary of Defense Experience:
As a Senior acquisition official, Mr. Durham played a critical role in initial development of many weapons systems such as F/A-18EF, F/A-18G, JAST/Joint Strike Fighter, Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles, as well as weapons such as the JAGM missile. He led many DoD level reviews such as QDR groups, Program Reviews and Congressionally directed reviews such as The Kosovo After-Action report and the Desert Storm After-Action report to Congress. Mr. Durham also led Joint reviews of Electronic Warfare Systems and Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense (JIAMD). He led development of the only DoD Joint Roadmap, the JIAMD Roadmap. He was the Senior AT&L official on many Defense Science Boards (DSBs), including Advanced Autonomy and other classified programs. Mr. Durham was often involved in SECDEF and DepSECDEF briefings on advanced aircraft and weapons systems. As Director Joint Advanced Concepts, he often visited service development centers such as AFRL, NAVAIR and SPAWAR to participate in program and concept reviews. He also had purview over the complete set of industry cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs), often visiting industry development centers to review advanced concepts and techniques.
Marine Flying Experience:
Mr. Durham was designated a Naval Aviator in 1971 and has over 4,500 flight hours in tactical fighters such as F-4 and F/A-18. He has over a hundred arrested landings flying from aircraft carriers Nimitz, Forrestal and Independence. He is a graduate of US Navy Strike Leader Attack Training Syllabus (SLATS), USN HARM/EW school as well as USMC Air Combat Tactics Instructor course. He was an Adversary Instructor Pilot for two years, flying many simulated air combat missions.
Mr Durham is a 1967 graduate of Rhodes College with a BS (with Honors) in Physics. He was a Rhodes Scholar finalist and accepted a Fulbright Scholarship to Norway. He holds three Masters Degrees:
Cand Mag from University of Oslo 1969 (Physics); MS in Aeronautical Systems, University of West Florida 1973; MS in National Security Strategy, Naval War College 1992.
He is also a graduate of the MIT Seminar XXI study in National Security (2003), The National Security Studies Program, Syracuse University (2005) and The National Security Studies Seminar, George Washington University (2007).
Jimmy Smith started his own small business entitled, “Smith Advisory Consulting” after retiring as a member of the Senior Executive Service after 32 years of working for the Department of the Navy in April 2023.
In 2019, Smith served as the Small Business Director for the Department of the Navy. There he was chief advisor to the Secretary of the Navy on all small business matters. Smith was charged with overseeing small business acquisition policy; strengthening government and private sector partnerships; and fostering opportunities to leverage small businesses as a strategic advantage for the benefit of our warfighters. In fiscal year 2022, in a collateral duty capacity, Smith served as the Chairman of the Federal Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization Directors Interagency Council. There he led small business directors from across 87 different Federal agencies. He worked closely with Congress, the Small Business Administration, and the Office of Management of Budget to ensure that the barriers to small businesses doing business with the Federal government were eliminated through more inclusive policies and the adoption of best practices.
In 2017, Smith served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Expeditionary Programs & Logistics Management delivering upon urgent warfighter needs, and overseeing acquisition logistics policy.
In 2013, Smith served as the Director for Integrated Nuclear Weapons Safety and Security within the U.S. Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs. He was charged with the safekeeping of nearly 70% of this Nation’s nuclear arsenal.
Smith received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering, in 1990, from Tuskegee University. Graduate-level studies included Environmental Engineering, Marine Engineering, and Business Management. He also possesses four executive leadership certificates from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and two executive business certificates from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill–Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Vincent Coglianese began serving on the 11th Hour Service Board of Directors in 2019 after 37 years as a United States Marine. He commanded at all levels including five combat tours and culminating as the Commanding General of Marine Corps Installations Command (MCICOM) overseeing 24 bases and installations worldwide. Mr. Coglianese’s position on the 11th Hour Service Board of Directors focuses on Department of Defense mission support, providing for the warfighter in all manners of operations and readiness, including supply chain and infrastructure recapitalization.
Mr. Coglianese is a retired Major General with extensive global experience across logistics and supply chain, global security operations, and infrastructure management. His career has been marked by orchestrating successful large-scale transformations in organizations with as many as 33,000 personnel. In 2015, he led logistics policy for the Marine Corps at the Pentagon and positioned the Corps as the Department of Defense’s leader in logistics audit readiness.
Throughout his career, he has led both small and large organizations to accomplish missions in environments ranging from stable to hostile. With diverse operational experiences spanning logistics, special operations, interagency initiatives, and coalitions supporting anti-terrorism and global security, he has established operational excellence at every level. Mr. Coglianese is an Executive Consultant focused on logistics and infrastructure. He has a proven record of transforming organizations, people and processes to maximize results.
Mr. Coglianese’s credentials include a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Public Environmental Affairs from Indiana University. He attended Penn State University as the Senior Marine Fellow in the Supply Chain and Information Systems Program.