Team

Bringing together communities, thought leaders and companies to unlock economic prosperity and create jobs in the emerging Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) industry.
    STAFF
  • Craig Mahaney - Executive Director
  • Sallie Traxler - Co-Founder
  • Rob McNaughton - Controller
  • Sam DeNies - IT Administrator
  • Charles DeNies - IT Specialist
  • Catherine Myers - Administrative Assistant + Accounting
  • ADVISORS
  • Robert Heard
  • Jim Troxel
  • Kraettli Epperson
  • PARTNER
  • UAS Cluster Initiative
STAFF

Craig Mahaney

Executive Director


Craig joined Development Capital Networks (DCN) in January 2022 as the Executive Director for the Unmanned Aerial System Cluster Initiative (UASCI) of Oklahoma and the nationwide DronePort Network. Prior to joining DCN, Craig served as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor within the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Aviation Policy and Plans. In 2020 he was selected as a Georgetown University Capitol Hill Fellow where he served as a policy advisor and professional staff to Senator James Lankford (R-OK), subcommittee Chairman on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. During Craig’s sixteen years with the FAA he held numerous operational and management positions focused on Air Traffic Control, Traffic Flow Management, UAS, and Strategic Planning. Before joining the federal government, he spent five years in the U.S. Navy as an Air Traffic Control Specialist and completed multiple deployments to the Middle East. Craig is a certified private pilot, graduate of the FAA’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Course and has a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

STAFF

Sallie Traxler, MBA

Co-founder


For over 20 years Sallie has been a strategic mind behind organizations identifying and achieving their goals through thought partnership, innovation and change management. Committed to creating the space for organizations to move from vision to implementation, she has led initiatives aimed at how organizations meet the needs of their customers and stakeholders. She is known for her ability to forge deep partnerships with businesses, nonprofits, and local, state and federal agencies.

Sallie has led and consulted with national and international professional and trade associations to drive strategic growth by aligning industry, network and organizational resources to meet emerging needs. Her work has raised the national bond cap for development authorities nationwide, advanced the campus housing profession for more than 970 institutions and 215 corporations worldwide, secured partnerships with leading Fortune 100 companies in support of startup businesses and business incubators, successfully secured grants and federal contracts, and led community development efforts for rural renewal.

Sallie has an MBA from The Ohio State University, and a MA from Morehead State University in Kentucky.

STAFF

Rob McNaughton

Controller

Rob brings a broad work experience. He began his career in public accounting at Arthur Anderson in Oklahoma City serving as an auditor. Since that time, he has transitioned to the private sector working in wholesale distribution, data storage management, retail and manufacturing.

Rob received his undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma.

STAFF

Sam DeNies

IT Administrator

Sam serves as the lead for all things IT. He has nearly 20 years of professional experience developing websites and database applications. Sam is responsible for designing and developing new database applications, websites and other internet services as well as maintaining servers, workstations and networking infrastructure.

STAFF

Charles DeNies

IT Specialist

Charles is a design specialist. He provides website, graphic, identity and database design, and is responsible for general support to the IT department.

STAFF

Catherine Myers

Administrative Assistant, Accounting

Catherine serves as office manager and administrative assistant. She assists the finance department with invoicing, event registration and payment processing. She is also responsible for the production of corporate events.

Catherine received her undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University.

ADVISOR

Robert Heard

Co-Founder and Managing Director 
Cimarron Capital Partners

Robert Heard is a Cimarron Managing Director and Co-Founder of Cimarron Capital. Over the past 20 years he has founded three funds of funds and one direct fund. He is active as an individual investor in technology startups.

Robert was a founding director of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds (NASVF), a founder of the Latin American Venture Capital Association, and co-authored the National Governors' Association study, “The Experience of States with Seed and Venture Capital." He currently serves on the Advisory Committees of numerous private equity funds and previously as a member of the National Advisory Council of the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer. 

Robert earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma and his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

ADVISOR

Jim Troxel

Founder, Co-Managing Director, Development Capital Networks
Founder, Co-Managing Director, WBT Angels, LLC

Jim Troxel is an author and consultant to public service organizations and private companies worldwide.

He previously served as Training Director for the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds (NASVF) and has led close to 100 seminars for 3500 people on seed investing for entrepreneurs and angel investors.

His career in community and organizational development and leadership training spans 40 years and a dozen countries.

Jim has inspired more than 70,000 people in over 1000 seminars and workshops.

His editing credits include two books, Participation Works: Business Cases Around the World and Government Works: Profiles of People Making a Difference as well as several published articles.

Jim launched the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) now active in 30 countries, with a membership base of close to 2,000. The IAF awarded Jim the Certified Professional Facilitator status.

Jim received his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University and his graduate degree from DePaul University where we served as an adjunct faculty member for its School for New Learning.

ADVISOR

Kraettli L. Epperson

CEO
Vigilant Aerospace Systems

Kraettli is the CEO and Co-Founder of Vigilant Aerospace Systems, which provides airspace management and autonomous collision avoidance software for unmanned aircraft based on a patent exclusively licensed from NASA. He has a 20-year career as a serial entrepreneur and investor in technology startups. He is an expert speaker at major UAS industry conferences, including InterDrone, Xponential, the UAS Summit & Expo, addressing topics such as unmanned aircraft detect-and-avoid, and UAS flight safety and airspace management systems for commercial operators, fleet managers, and unmanned airfields. He is the co-author of multiple industry research papers on autonomous systems and is an FAA certified Part 107 remote pilot.

PARTNER

UAS Cluster Initiative


UAS Cluster Initiative logo

The Unmanned Aerial Systems Cluster Initiative (UASCI), is funded through a contract with the U.S. Small Business Administration to accelerate the growth of the Unmanned Aerial System industry in the U.S. by enabling established companies and emerging entrepreneurs to connect, work together, and gain access to national technology, global capital, advanced business models and global markets.