Meet our Search and Rescue Instructors and Speakers
Stewart Ditto is the Executive Director of the Kentucky Aerospace Industry Consortium and brings a wide array of experience from his time as a leader in the United States Marine Corps, the private sector, and state government. Stewart received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M before spending the next four years as a Marine Corps Aviator (MV-22 Osprey) and Operations Officer. In the years since he has worked as an international trade specialist and as the President of AIRLEX Intelligent Solutions, a small business that specialized in consulting on the integration of Aviation and Aerospace systems into existing government and commercial industries. Stewart has spent the past two years conducting the thorough, statewide defense & aviation economic impact study, analyzing the defense-related supply chain in Kentucky before forming KAIC. He also works alongside the broader KSTC Advisory Services to help Kentucky businesses grow.
Bart Massey, Executive Director of the USA Drone Port is a Licensed Remote Pilot with the FAA and is the Executive Director of the USA Drone Port. The nation’s first non-profit drone facility used to train, invent, innovate, develop and manufacture unmanned robotics. The USA Drone Port is the catalyst for entrepreneurs, educators, students and innovators grow. In the fall of 2017, he led the first team to have a live UAS integration into Search and Rescue in the state of Kentucky. This event included three helicopters, seven UAS Pilots, five fire and rescue departments, land-based rescue vehicles and many spectators and facilitators. The USA Drone Port has collaborated with the State of Kentucky in a proposal of partnership for the Integrated Pilot Airspace issued by President Trump. Bart is excited about the future of southeastern Kentucky.
Chris Stiles is CEO of Unmanned Services Inc., and currently serves over 200 customers to include government and academic institutions, and has 5 licensed pilots that have conducted 2,288 flights totaling 952 hours under Part 107 Rules. USI was also one of the first entities granted a night flight waiver. Chris has experience on over two dozen UAS systems operating a variety of specialized payloads and sensors, and has conducted 8,000+ hours operating in BVLOS and EVLOS conditions while conducted flight operations from military airfields and at international commercial airports.
Rick Lusk is the Founder and Director of the UAS Research Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His first implementation of unmanned aircraft was while serving as a Marine Corps intelligence officer during the Gulf War in 1991. With more than 30 years of professional experience, he is an expert in designing and planning integrated technology platforms and managing their creation and transformation into comprehensive, authoritative, and intuitive decision support systems.
Darian Williams is a Captain with the Hazard Police Department and serves as the Chief Pilot for their UAS Program. HPD has utilized UAS technology for Collision Reconstruction, Search and Rescue, Intelligence Gathering, and Situational Awareness during high-risk warrant service. Darian previously served as the Aviation Technology Project Manager for a U.S. Department of Justice program that provided technology assistance to state and local public safety agencies. In that role, he worked closely with FAA representatives to assist public safety agencies with integrating manned and unmanned aircraft into their operations. Darian is also a Certificated Private Pilot and serves as the Pilot in Command during the USA Drone Port Search and Rescue event trainings.
Leonard Toler has 19 years of experience with the fire department, he is the Fire Chief at Avawam Volunteer Fire Department in Perry County, and serves as Captain at the Hazard City Fire Department. Leonard is a certified Hazard Materials Technician, Kentucky Certified Fire Instructor , Certified Fire Fighter level 1 & 2, Kentucky Certified and National Registry Certified Emergency Medical Technician, Certified in Search and Rescue. He serves as the Fire Chief in command for the USA Drone Port during Search and Rescue training events.
Paul Campbell is an officer and a UAV Pilot for the Hazard City Police Department. Campbell, along with Williams, has conducted aerial photography utilizing a UAS for accident reconstruction as well as search and rescue operations during reports of high-risk missing persons.
Donna Farler Roark is the Chief Information Officer at Hazard Community & Technical College overseeing Technology Solutions. Donna was instrumental with the organization of the Search and Rescue Pilot and command post setup project last fall and serves as research chair for the USA Drone Port.
Charles Hoskins works at Hazard Community & Technical College with Technology Solutions as the Information Technology Project Manager. Charles has hands on experience with the technical integration of the UAS digital feeds and command post setup. Charles serves as the Command Post Technician in charge during Search and Rescue training with the USA Drone Port.
Brandon Munsen works at Hazard Community & Technical College with Technology Solutions as an Information Technology Specialist. Brandon has hands on experience with the technical integration of the UAS digital feeds and command post setup. Brandon serves as a Command Post Technician in charge during Search and Rescue training with the USA Drone Port.