HALO Leadership

HALO Maritime Defense Systems has assembled a team of smart, dedicated, hard-working professionals, unmatched in the industry. The management team is comprised of leading executives from industry and the military, providing the insight and ability to advise and execute substantial security initiatives.

Read more about HALO’s Management Team, Board of Directors and Board of Advisors and see why HALO is the leading marine barrier company that is up-ending the waterside security market.

Management Team

Eric Johnson


Eric Johnson is an experienced manufacturing executive with extensive background in the tooling and production of large parts for the automotive, aerospace, and semiconductor equipment companies. He has managed all facets of small manufacturer in the highly competitive northeast market. His company has developed from prototype through high volume production tooling for molded automotive interior floors and door panel programs as well as aircraft and missile composite components. As the regional market changed he realigned his small company into a 5M supplier of precision machined components, meeting the quality and delivery requirements of customers like Varian Semiconductor and Analogic. Johnson started his career with Raytheon after graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Brendan Gray

COO and President

Brendan Gray is a versatile and hands on executive with over 20 years senior leadership and management experience in both the private sector (VP Global Operations, Financial Services Technology Company) and the US Navy (COO-Navy Region Europe). Brendan Gray most recently was the Vice President of Operations for Interactive Data Corporation, a global provider of financial market data, analytics and related services to financial institutions, active traders, and individual investors. As VP of Operations, he was responsible for the Company's Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) operations across the globe and operational strategy formulation. As Chief of Staff, for the Chief Operating Officer of IDC, he was responsible for organization alignment, prioritization and cross-functional implementation of all Operations/IT programs and projects. A graduate of the US Naval Academy, Brendan served with distinction for thirty years as a Naval Aviator, his last five years as the Deputy Commander and Chief Operating Officer for Navy Region Europe. Captain Gray was responsible for the day-to-day operations, security, and force protection, of the nine Navy bases across five countries in Europe, including the safe and efficient operation of seven ports and six airfields. He deployed the first port security barriers at Navy bases in Europe and he established the first European National Incident Management System (NIMS) Compliant Emergency Operations Center. He has extensive experience in forging international partnerships. He organized and led a multi-national, multi-discipline team from 5 countries and 4 major defense contractors that established requirements for and initial design features of the P-8A (new Navy aircraft). He brought international partners onboard resulting in a $10B funded program. Captain Gray directed the successful recapitalization of the Navy's European infrastructure, encompassing $1.5B in construction for four bases in Italy, Greece, and Spain over a six-year period.

David Tolly


David Tolly is an accomplished Chief Financial Officer and operational professional largely with private equity portfolio companies specializing in permanent and interim C-Level roles to accomplish rapid change in high growth companies (organic and through acquisitions), as well as companies facing performance challenges.

With over 35 years of experience, he is a financial leader who enables business transformation, skilled at leading urgent, yet solid actions and strategies during times of transition in highly complex, global and multi-location manufacturing, distribution, and other settings delivering tangible profitable and cash flow-positive results to satisfied clients. His experience includes companies with revenues from $5-$600 million involved in consumer products, aerospace & defense, plastics, oil & gas, precision metal machining and fabrication, publishing, firearms, sporting goods, point of purchase, packaging, apparel, personal care products, consumer electronics, capital equipment, business services, and other manufacturing, retail and distribution businesses.

As a strong C-Level executive, business strategist, analytical problem solver, and Board advisor, David clearly diagnoses root causes, implements solutions and energizes companies around mission-critical initiatives to maximize stakeholder value. As a change management CFO, he has installed and upgraded ERP and accounting systems, made process improvements, mentored staff and executives alike, and led numerous transactions in building and integrating complex business combinations. David is also recognized as an expert in providing analysis and testimony in financial litigation matters.

David holds a BS in Industrial Management from Purdue University and is a recognized turnaround professional having been named by Turnarounds & Workouts Magazine as a 2011 “People to Watch-Business Professional” for outstanding achievements.

Dr. Judson DeCew


Jud DeCew brings extensive ocean engineering experience to the HALO team, having worked on numerous system from the design and analysis stage through deployment – worldwide. Prior to joining HALO, Mr. DeCew was a Research Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire where he focused on dynamic analysis of flexible structures in marine environments and field deployment, experimentation and validation techniques. Projects included design, analysis and field testing of open water fish cages and moorings, shellfish grow-out technologies, fouling-resistant alloys for marine applications, mooring optimization for marine renewable energy devices and others. He also worked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard where he was responsible for research and planning of refit and enhancement modifications of defense and guidance systems for U.S. Navy nuclear submarines.

Jud DeCew received his Ph.D. in Ocean Engineering from the University of New Hampshire, where his dissertation focused on the dynamics of flexible structures in open ocean environments

Board of Directors

Honorable Jay M. Cohen, Rear Admiral USN (RET)


Admiral Cohen is a native of New York. He was commissioned in 1968 upon graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He holds a joint Ocean Engineering degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Master of Science in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture from MIT.

His early Navy assignments included service on conventional and nuclear submarines. From 1985 to 1988 Cohen commanded USS HYMAN G. RICKOVER (SSN 709). Following command, he served on the U.S. Atlantic Fleet as a senior member of the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, responsible for certifying the safe operation of nuclear powered ships and crews. From 1991 to 1993, he commanded the submarine tender USS L.Y. SPEAR (AS 36) including a deployment to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation DESERT STORM. After Spear, he reported to the Secretary of the Navy as Deputy Chief of Navy Legislative Affairs. During this assignment, Cohen was responsible for supervising all Navy Congressional liaison.

In June 2000, Cohen was promoted in rank and became the 20th Chief of Naval Research. He served during war as the Department of the Navy Chief Technology Officer (a direct report to the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations and Commandant of the Marine Corps). Responsible for the $2B+/year Navy and Marine Corps Science and Technology (S&T) Program (involving basic research to applied technology portfolios and contracting), Cohen coordinated investments with other U.S. and international S&T providers to rapidly meet war fighter combat needs. After an unprecedented five and a half year assignment as Chief of Naval Research, Rear Admiral Cohen retired from the Navy on February 1, 2006.

Unanimously confirmed by the US Senate, Cohen was sworn in as Under Secretary for Science & Technology at the Department of Homeland Security (responsible for DHS Research, Development, Test and Evaluation) on August 10, 2006 (the day of the British Airways liquid explosive plot in England). His success at DHS is documented in a recent National Geographic TV special "Hi- Tech War on Terror" that documents the high risk/high gain innovation portfolio which Cohen put in place to make the nation safer. The current administration continues to build on this solid foundation.

Since leaving government, Rear Admiral Cohen is now a principal in The Chertoff Group and serves on numerous corporate boards.

Dennis McGinn

Acting Chair

Admiral Dennis McGinn served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment from September 2013 until January 2017. In this role, he moved naval installations toward greater security and mission resiliency though energy efficiency, renewable energy, micro-grids, and other technologies.

Greg Hersch

Greg is a Senior Vice President in Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services in New York City. He has over twelve years of experience as a financial advisor working with a diverse range of clients from sophisticated family offices and high net worth individuals to institutional relationships such as hedge funds, pension plans and endowments. Greg was recently recognized as one of the 'Top 400 Financial Advisors in America' by the Financial Times, a globally respected daily financial news publication, and has been named one of the 'Top 40 Advisors under 40' by On Wall Street magazine in each of the last three years. Greg was born and raised in New York City, and received a BA in History from Georgetown University in 2001. He is actively involved in a number of charitable organizations in the New York City area including serving on the Board of Trustees as well as Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx.

Nick Lewin

Nicholas S. Lewin has been a private investor since 2000 operating in both the public and private markets. Mr. Lewin has invested across many industries, and throughout the capital structure. Mr. Lewin invests in special situations and in companies with innovative technologies and strong intellectual property. Generally, these are activist situations working with management. Representative industries include, Biotechnology, Healthcare, Telecom, and Media. Along with HALO, Mr. Lewin sits on the board of Duramedic, a Durable Medical Equipment provider. Mr. Lewin holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University.

Admiral Sam J Locklear

US Navy (RET)

Admiral Locklear is President of SJL Global Insights LLC, a global consulting firm specializing in a wide range of security and defense issues and initiatives. Today he serves on the Board of Directors of the Fluor Corporation, the National Committee on U.S. China Relations, is a Senior Advisor to the Center for Climate and Security and New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, and is a Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

In 2015 he retired from the US Navy after serving with distinction for over 39 years, including 15 years of service as a Flag Officer. During his significant tenure Admiral Locklear lead at the highest levels serving as Commander U.S. Pacific Command, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, and Commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command. In 2013 Defense News ranked him eleventh out of the 100 most influential people in global defense issues.

As Commander U.S. Pacific Command, the United States’ oldest and largest geographic unified combatant command, he commanded all U.S. military forces operating across more than half the globe. He accurately assessed the rapidly changing geopolitical environment of the Indo-Asia-Pacific, the most militarized area of the world, made significant advancements in how U.S. forces are postured for crisis or contingency, and was instrumental in addressing the growing global cyber challenges in the region. A key architect of America’s rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, Admiral Locklear provided the vision, strategic framework, and detailed planning that began the rebalance of U.S. military influence to the Asia-Pacific. He skillfully managed the US military relationships with our five Pacific treaty allies, numerous key security partners, and emerging multilateral security forums. Additionally, he maintained a pragmatic but lasting relationship with China’s military and made significant progress in developing a deeper strategic security relationship with India.

As Commander U.S. Naval Forces in Europe and Africa, Admiral Locklear managed the U.S. Navy’s relationships with all key navies throughout two continents, developing key partnership capabilities and capacities. To protect U.S. interests abroad and to halt the spread of terrorism in the region he successfully commanded all maritime aspects of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Europe and Africa. In 2011 in Libya, in response to a UN mandate to protect the Libyan people from the Gaddafi regime, Admiral Locklear designed and led the multinational Joint Task Force (Odyssey Dawn), successfully enforcing the mandate, and then commanded the follow on NATO Operation Unified Protector (OUP) until the final collapse of the Gaddafi regime. As Commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command, he provided operational level command and oversight of NATO’s ongoing stability operations in Kosovo and NATO’s training mission in Iraq, and was a primary architect of NATO’s twenty-first century command structure.

A nuclear qualified surface warfare officer, Admiral Locklear’s numerous commands at sea included the US Navy’s Third Fleet, USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Destroyer Squadron Two, and the Spruance class destroyer USS Leftwich (DD 984). Ashore he served as the Director of the Navy Staff, the 78th Commandant of Midshipmen at the US Naval Academy, and head of the Navy programming and assessment divisions where he oversaw the programming of the annual Navy budget of over 125 billion dollars. Admiral Locklear is a 1977 graduate of the US Naval Academy, a 1992 graduate of the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the George Washington University. He is the recipient of numerous awards and decorations including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and decorations from South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Australia and France.

Steven Nelson

Steven Nelson

Steven Nelson has extensive experience in building successful companies. He began his career in health care in 1983 with Republic Service Bureau, Inc, a nationwide hospital auditing company. Under his leadership, the company expanded into several other areas of health care cost containment before being sold to a Washington D.C. investment group in 1989. In 1990, Mr. Nelson founded two new health care cost containment companies, Medical Bill Review, Inc. (MBR), and Preferred Payment Systems, Inc. (PPS), serving in President and CEO positions. In 1997, PPS was sold to Concentra, Inc. and became known as Concentra Preferred Systems, Inc (CPS), a Concentra, Inc. subsidiary of which Mr. Nelson served as president until January 2000. In 1999, Mr. Nelson founded HealthNetwork Systems LLC (HNS), a private provider of network management services to the payer and PPO industries and served as President and CEO until it was sold to CPS in 2001. Mr. Nelson serves on the Board of Directors of several companies Viant, Inc. and IntelliClaim, Inc. He is currently a private investor. He has a founding role in ClariCon, Inc., a network services management company specializing in providing services to the provider community. Mr. Nelson is a graduate of Western Illinois University with a bachelor's degree in Health Care Administration.

Michael B. Greenwald

Michael is a senior member of the firm’s business development strategy team. He is responsible for working with clients and prospective clients and assisting with the firm’s overall business development efforts.

Prior to joining Tiedemann in 2017, Michael worked in senior diplomatic roles within the U.S. government, serving as a financialdiplomat in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East spanning the tenures of U.S. Treasury Secretaries Geithner, Lew and Mnuchin. Most recently, Michael served as the first United States Treasury Attaché appointed to Qatar and Kuwait and opened the Treasury Department’soffice in Doha, Qatar in August 2015. Prior to that role, Michael served as the United States Treasury Policy Advisor for Europe. Inthis role, he was appointed as the head of the United States Delegation to the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money LaunderingMeasures and the Financing of Terrorism before the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. Michael has also served in a varietyof roles in the U.S. Intelligence Community and in the Office of General Council at the U.S Treasury working closely with the NationalSecurity Council at the White House working on issues related to countering ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Iran, Ukraine/Russia, Syria, and North Korea.

He is a frequent speaker on international security, the Middle East and illicit finance issues. Past speaking engagements include lectures at The Council on Foreign Relations, The Aspen Institute, The Atlantic Council, Harvard University, Yale Law School, Stanford, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University and Northwestern Business School in Doha.Certifications and memberships include:

Michael earned a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law, a Master of Arts from Boston University’s Frederick S. PardeeSchool of Global Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from George Washington University. Originally from Brookline, Massachusetts, Michael resides in Washington, DC, and Palm Beach, Florida.

Board of Advisors

David B. Waller

Mr. Waller served as Deputy Director General and Head of Management of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 1993 through 2011. The IAEA — with its more than 160 Member Countries — has a multicultural staff of more than 2,300 in Vienna; regional offices in New York, Geneva, Toronto and Tokyo; laboratories in Austria and Monaco; and inspectors and experts working around the world. It is charged with verifying nations' nuclear non-proliferation commitments (including the special cases involving Iraq, Iran, Libya and North Korea), advancing the fight against nuclear terrorism, enhancing the safety and security of nuclear power reactors and other fuel cycle facilities worldwide, and promoting peaceful uses of nuclear technology. Previously Mr. Waller served at the White House as a legal counsel to President Ronald Reagan (1981 - 86), and in 1986 was nominated by the President, and confirmed by the Senate, as Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs, US Department of Energy (DOE) – a position he held until 1989. In that role, he served as the Secretary of Energy's chief advisor and spokesperson on international energy policy and emergency preparedness programs. He represented the United States at various multinational agencies and was responsible for the formulation and implementation of bilateral energy relations and programs with foreign governments. Mr. Waller began his professional career as a lawyer in the Attorney General's Honor Program at the U.S. Department of Justice. Thereafter, and immediately prior to his service as White House counsel, he was in private practice at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lowell). Mr. Waller was the representative of the IAEA's management at the ceremony in Oslo awarding it the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2003 he received, on behalf of the Agency, the Albert Schweitzer Gold Medal for Science and Peace. And, in 2011 the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) awarded him its Gold Medal in recognition of his contribution to the reduction of the threat of nuclear weapons. Earlier, while at DOE, he received The Secretary's Award — the highest honor given by the Secretary of Energy — for outstanding leadership, and the Superior Achievement Award, in special recognition of his achievements in the international arena. Mr. Waller is a graduate of Denison University (B.A., cum laude). Following undergraduate school and duty in the Army Reserves, he graduated first in his class from the University of Tulsa, College of Law (J.D., cum laude). He delivered the commencement address at Denison in 2005 at which time he was awarded a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

John Shephard

John Shephard is Vice President for strategy, business development, international sales and congressional relations at ITT Defense, one of the top ten defense contractors in the United States. Prior to joining ITT, he was CEO of Pallas-Athena Group, and provided strategic consulting services for businesses ranging from start-ups to Global Fortune 500 corporations. He has been President of Newport News Industrial Company and Senior Vice President of Operations for Northrop Grumman-Newport News, producer of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines for the U. S. Navy. Prior to this he held senior executive positions at Newport News Shipbuilding Inc., Tenneco and NASA. A 1977 distinguished graduate of West Point, he served more than twenty years of active and reserve service in the U.S. Army, held progressive command and staff positions from platoon to division level, and is a Gulf War veteran. Mr. Shephard holds an M.S. degree in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a White House Fellow. The American Society of Engineering Management honored Mr. Shephard as “Engineering Manager of the Year” at its national convention in 1999, citing his innovations at Newport News Shipbuilding. He serves as a board member and advisor for several companies and non-profit organizations. He and his family reside in Williamsburg, Virginia.

RADM (RET) Jeffrey Hathaway

Jeff combines thirty three years of military and federal law enforcement accomplishments serving the nation as a U.S. Coast Guard officer, with prior private sector experience as corporate vice president of L-1 Identity Solutions, a successful identity management technology company, and his current position as vice president of Flatter & Associates, a rapidly growing veteran owned service disabled firm, offering management and engineering professional services to federal government clients. Jeff has a unique depth of professional experience across the Executive (DHS, DOD, DOJ, DOS, DOT) and Legislative branches of the federal government. During his military career, rear admiral Hathaway most recently led the Nation's premier international counter-narcotics effort as Director of Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West, FL. Coordinating the efforts of Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice resources, as well as over a dozen international partner nations, he more than doubled the annual amount of cocaine seized while enroute to U.S. and international markets. While assigned as Director of Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection on the Navy Pentagon staff, as well as Assistant Director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, from 2001-2003, Hathaway was a central figure in enhancing the Navy's force protection posture around the world in the wake of the USS Cole bombing and the attacks of 9/11. While serving as Director of Coast Guard Operations Policy from 2003-2004, Hathaway managed a broad array of missions, including maritime law enforcement, homeland security and defense operations, search and rescue and national boating safety. He also spearheaded efforts to integrate Coast Guard operations into the Department of Homeland Security. Admiral Hathaway has extensive seagoing operational experience, including command of three major cutters, performing search and rescue, defense operations and maritime law enforcement missions from the Bering Sea to the southern Caribbean Sea. Duties included serving as maritime task force commander during two mass Haitian migration episodes. He also headed the Coast Guard's Congressional and Legislative Affairs Staff and served as executive director of the U.S. Interdiction Coordinator staff during his military career. Hathaway received a BS in economics from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and also holds an MBA from the University of California at Irvine Paul Merge School of Business, as well as a MS in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Lawrence E. "Rocky" Holliday

Lawrence E. "Rocky" Holliday

Mr. Holliday is President of Holliday & Associates Inc., a management consulting company that provides international business development support services to a variety of corporations around the globe. Such services include strategic planning, marketing program development, the creation of strategic alliances and the management of customer relationships. Prior to forming Holliday & Associates, Rocky was the Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB), a publically traded company that he co-founded in the United Arab Emirates. ADSB is currently the largest and most modern shipbuilder in the Middle East and is the only shipyard in the region with the ability to build, repair and upgrade complex naval warships. In 2004, ADSB was named by the US Defense News as the fastest growing defense company in the world. At his retirement in 2005, ADSB had accumulated a contract backlog valued at nearly $1 billion. Rocky established ADSB in 1996 and, in that same year, completed a very successful public stock offering in the UAE that raised capital sufficient to fund the company’s growth over the next ten years. ADSB’s IPO was the first such private offering in the fledgling Emirates equities market and became the model by which other UAE stock offerings were conducted over the following decade. In 2004, Mr. Holliday co-founded a second company in the UAE through a joint venture between ADSB and Selex Sistemi Integrati S.p.A, a major company within the Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica. This new company, Abu Dhabi Systems Integration (ADSI), was the first in the region to provide software and hardware integration for complex military electronic systems, including combat management systems, weapons and fire control systems, naval and airborne radars and sensors, as well as military communication systems. Within the first year, ADSI captured a major contract as combat systems integrator for a series of new naval corvettes being built for the UAE Navy. During the twenty years prior to establishing Abu Dhabi Ship Building, Rocky held a variety of senior management positions within the US energy and defense sectors with such companies as Babcock & Wilcox and Newport News Shipbuilding (later Northrop Grumman). His positions within these firms covered a very broad range of business functions including Finance, Operations, Marketing, Quality Assurance, Facilities Management, Engineering and General Management. Rocky graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Industrial Management. He received a Masters in Business Administration from the College of William & Mary's Executive MBA Program. Rocky is a graduate of numerous academic programs including the prestigious Executive Program (TEP) at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He currently serves on Advisory Boards for several private and publically traded companies.

MG (RET) James A. "Spider" Marks

Spider Marks is CEO of InVisM, a Denver-based company which creates cutting edge, interactive products for the Knowledge, Learning, Education and Training (KLET) market. MG Marks served over 34 years in the US Army and his business experience spans defense intelligence, national security, and interagency. Currently a Managing Partner with ERGO, a leading, global primary research and consulting firm specializing in emerging and frontier markets, General Marks was previously President and Chief Executive Officer, Global Linguist Solutions (GLS), where he helped create a new joint venture of over 9000 employees deployed between Iraq and the United States with total annual revenue of $715 million. Prior to GLS, General Marks was senior VP, McNeil Technologies, a defense and intelligence-related enterprise backed by Veritas Capital. He is a former Commanding General, US Army Intelligence Center, Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, and served as Chief, Intelligence, C-2, for the Coalition Forces Land Component Command in Operation Iraqi Freedom. General Marks also served as Assistant Chief of Staff for U.S. Forces Korea. During his military career, Marks served from the tactical to the strategic levels, commanded at the battalion, brigade, and two-star levels, and was a senior intelligence officer in multiple theaters of war. He is an Honor Graduate of the U.S. Army's Ranger School, a Master Parachutist, and has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and multiple expeditionary and service ribbons. He is a 1975 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, and holds a Master's degree in International Affairs from the University of Virginia. Marks was a military and intelligence analyst for CNN from 2004-2007.

Scott Yaphe

Scott is a General Partner of ABS Ventures, a Boston-based venture capital firm. Scott focuses on software, business services and media investment opportunities. Before joining ABS Ventures, he was Director of Corporate Development at Saraide, a wireless software provider acquired by Infospace. Prior to that, Scott was a management consultant with A.T. Kearney where he focused on the technology and communications sectors. Scott serves or has served on the board of directors of Synchronoss Technologies (NASDAQ:SNCR), Workbrain (TSX:WB, acquired by Infor), IQ Financial (acquired by Misys), ScaleMP, Vesta GMS, and Adeptra. He received his Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University and MBA from Harvard Business School.