James A. Vestermark
Continued from home page
James has a distinguished record of service to the country. He took an oath, three times, to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The first oath was taken as a volunteer into the Army’s enlistment service program; the second time entering West Point at Trophy Point as a Plebe, and the third time during the administration of the oath of office as a commissioned officer- McArthur’s statue at West Point. Those oaths didn’t come with an expiration date.
On graduation from Culver, Mr. Vestermark, enlisted in the Regular Army [ where he received special operations training.] From the ranks, Mr. Vestermark earned the most coveted nomination to West Point – a Presidential appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York where he graduated with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering. His military service included successful completion of four of the top special operations training schools (DD Form 214 records, designations and awards will be made available April- May 2020). His duty at the 101st Airborne Division included military court room service as a sworn commissioned officer presiding as the President of a Courts Martial Board. He conducted CONUS flight assignments, a tour of duty in Panama, and received technical training at the Electronic Warfare School (USAEWS).
After receiving his Honorable Discharge from the Army, [as a pilot with the 101st Airborne Division,] Mr. Vestermark led the manufacturing of first generation, infra-red imaging and detection technology as a manufacturing engineer for the Electro-optics Division of Texas Instruments, Dallas. The team found solutions to engineering and design problems and built infra-red testing equipment used to validate the electrical integrity of Dewar stem devices responsible for quality image sensing of the detectors. Collaboration efforts between Dr. Tom Apple and Mr. Vestermark’s manufacturing leadership, as lead engineer, were essential for on time delivery results for the customer, AEG Germany, and Litton Industries. This was the beginning of his passion to ‘ build ‘ and manufacture concepts from ideas. He also directed the important client relationship, contract negotiations and quality assurance testing of first generation electromagnetic, applied physics, flight materials known as radar attenuating materials (RAM). This classified application- first generation Stealth Program- supplied materials which were used on the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft for General Dynamics, Fort Worth. Mr. Vestermark led the program and relationships with the contractor, test pilots, quality assurance testing, and acted as a laboratory liaison with Dr. Robert Wittenhauer (MIT) of the W.R.Grace Lexington Laboratories in Massachusetts. This successful implementation of the applied physics program and technology sustainment for General Dynamics became a global, theatre-wide, force multiplier for the armed forces. The stealth program technology, RAM, has been recognized by the Harvard Business Review as a Top 10 radical, disruptive invention. His security clearance allowed access to program level management of: ablative coating materials and applications on contracts for NASA’s Space Shuttle Program (STS 9-12); classified design, materials engineering, and procurement for anechoic testing chambers in aerospace and defense applications; and specialty, formulated dielectric materials for the oil and gas industry, defense department and naval shipbuilding. Mr. Vestermark’s clearance allowed him to participate in no foreign dissemination conferences on directed energy technology threats at Bell Textron, US silicon chip manufacturing and strategic supply, and energy conservation projects/ related energy conservation applications. Mr. Vestermark was selected to receive an education as a ceramist in ceramic material preparation used in advanced ceramic packaging technology applications. He led the engineering and marketing of an advance microelectronic package with unique radiation hardening and structural engineering characteristics. He gained assess at the National Security Agency to present a technical brief on the copper-alloy chip carrier which was hosted by the NSA’s Department for Secure Communications. After the technology career, he worked on large ID/IQ, Pentagon contracts for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan with a global design-build contractor. Contracts were authorized on the President’s 2207 Budget, and awarded through the Pentagon’s Project Contracting Offices. He conducted monthly, progress reporting updates from the Green Zone in Baghdad with participating design-build, in-country program managers’ contractors. The White House received a direct report on school reconstruction progress efforts in the Middle East.
All of these corporate experiences advanced and equipped Mr. Vestermark into a second career discipline- his passion for entrepreneurship. He was focused on small business-women-owned, disabled and Veteran-owned SBA business categories.
Mr. Vestermark understands exactly how the government is created to work and should work for the people; its budgeting and allocation processes, procurement laws under FAR and DFAR, and political budget approval methodology and cycles. He was able to leverage all these experiences in order to encourage Veterans’ and SBA business classification to pursue their dream of start-up business efforts. As a state-wide manager and commerce department employee, he has had access to the Pentagon and the DoD SBIR /STTR programs for clients. In his past duties he was able to access classified, sensitive government installations and sensitive national laboratories: White Sands Missile Range, the Nation Security Agency (delivered of a technical briefing on secure communication), Sandia Labs, Los Alamos National Labs, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, NREL, and several DLA locations and technology centers: NIST, the Natick Soldier Center, Fort Detrick and Fort Belvoir.
In 2010, after writing a business plan for a Middle East North Africa (MENA) innovation center and presenting the plan to the US Chamber of Commerce, [plan shared with Margaret Dula of USAID], Mr. Vestermark was invited to present a paper at the 10th Annual Knowledge Within Entrepreneurship Conference in Amman, Jordan. The Dean of the Business and Economic School of Al Zaytoonah University invited Mr. Vestermark to present a paper illuminating case studies of US entrepreneurs, and the importance of preserving and protecting intellectual property laws. Later, he was able to return to Jordan, and live in Amman to establish an international, non-government organization, Al Gazal, LLC. The non-profit’s mission was to advance entrepreneurship for the women and underprivileged of Jordan. Al Gazal participated, as a partner, in Queen Rania’s Global Entrepreneurship Week. The INGO team members of Al Gazal provided lectures at Al Quds College, the Jordan Institute of Science and Technology (JUST) in Irbid, Jordan, and selected agencies throughout the country: Madaba incubator, Injaz, Oasis 500, and Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship.
Mr. Vestermark is married to his wife of 39 years. They have raised two adult boys. His youngest son is an Eagle Scout recipient. Mr. Vestermark’s father won the prestigious Boy Scouts’ Silver Beaver Award which was presented to him in Iowa City. Mr. Vestermark enjoyed playing competitive lacrosse at West Point, and with club teams that participated in the Vail Masters Lacrosse Shootout. He has enjoyed playing on several organized ice hockey, recreational teams. He was a certified USA Lacrosse Coach, referee and player for over 16 years. Three teams that he coached in lacrosse won championship; two at the state high school level. He is an active swimmer, and loves to golf. Mr. Vestermark loves to paint; he has completed over 20, large acrylic canvases. He is an avid reader of military history, science and inventions. Mr. Vestermark has been an active volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, and a volunteer mentor in the Veterans’ Treatment Court system. He has volunteered as an admissions liaison officer for the service academies in four states, and composed nomination application narratives for applicants as part of their files for the Air Force Academy, the Naval Academy and West Point; a total of five appointees, four males and one female.
These life experiences have prepared Mr. Vestermark to lead and to govern; he is bolstered by his motto and sustaining philosophy
- to serve, to strive, and not to yield.
His national platform is based on a balanced view of leadership and governing from the center with compassion for the ‘others‘ in our nation and the world. Sensitivity and compassion for ’the others’ in our world leads to improved understanding and fairness where equal application of the rule of law develops trust.