The Monterey Bay DART 501 c 3 corporation was established as a public-private non-profit organization to advance the Drone, Automation & Robotics Technology (DART) initiative in January 2019. The goals of Monterey Bay DART are to:
- CONNECT: Convene stakeholders to coordinate action, advance projects, and establish productive cross-sector partnerships
- FUND: Identify, pursue and secure public and private funding to support research & development, infrastructure improvement and venture creation/growth
- EDUCATE: Host industry and educational forums. Contribute to regional workforce development. Promote curriculum development and education.
- ADVOCATE: Safe, appropriate market, facilities and airspace access
Josh Metz is the Economic Development Manager at the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA). In this role, Josh works with multiple public and private sector partners to advance regional recovery from the economic impact of the 1994 Fort Ord base closure. The FORA Economic Development program builds on regional economic strengths in agriculture, tourism/hospitality, higher education and the military mission; engages with regional partners and stakeholders; develops and provides information resources; pursues new and works to retain existing good-fit businesses; and measures and reports progress. Josh has been instrumental launching the Drone, Automation & Robotics technology (DART) initiative through partnerships with public and private sector stakeholders. He holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from UC Berkeley, and completed post-graduate research in spatial data systems and remote sensing at UC Santa Barbara.
Chris Bley is a Santa Cruz-based serial entrepreneur and co-founder of drone innovation hub, Airspace Integration. Chris has been active in the wind energy industry for 19 years since founding Rope Partner, a rope access service company located in Santa Cruz. Rope Partner currently has 10 supporting staff and 90 technicians that use rope access on utility scale wind turbines throughout the world for inspection, maintenance and repair. In 2012 cofounded InspecTools, to apply emerging drone, database and software capabilities in solving wind energy, solar and utility industries problems. Following years of InspecTools was acquired by PrecisionHawk in September of 2018,, who continues to develop unique solutions in the Monterey Bay region. Chris is currently focused on several additional drone related projects including Monterey Bay DART (a non-profit focused on supporting and connecting drone innovators), Insight Up Solutions (drone and sensor resale) and AirSpace Integration (provides shared work spaces, air spaces and training). These companies are located in the Monterey Bay region, La Selva Beach and the Marina Airport. Chris holds a BA in Biology from UC Santa Cruz.
Michael A. Houlemard, Jr., is the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) Executive Officer. FORA is a broadly representative agency located on the Monterey Bay, responsible for former Fort Ord conversion to civilian reuse program – which was declared a military base reuse national model by the Department of Defense. Mr. Houlemard also oversees a $100 million munitions and explosives cleanup of 3,400 former Fort Ord acres.
In 2004, the Association of Defense Communities bestowed on Mr. Houlemard the award of Local Reuse Authority Executive of the Year. Mr. Houlemard received the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s Ruth Vreeland 2012 Public Official of the Year award. In 2019 the Association of Defense Communities awarded Michael the John Lynch Lifetime Achievment Award.
Mr. Houlemard’s professional career spans 30 years in community planning, real property development, business training, and economic forecasting including managing several successful multi-interest partnerships to complete regional and larger-scale projects. Prior to assuming his current post in 1997, Houlemard served as Executive Assistant to the Chancellor and as Director of Community Planning and Land Development for the University of California at Santa Cruz.
In earlier career positions, Mr. Houlemard received a gubernatorial appointment as a Deputy in the California Department of Housing and Community Development. He served as Project Manager for the Pasadena Redevelopment Agency, Executive Director of the Southern California Urban Coalition, Deputy Director of the Pasadena Urban Coalition, and Assistant Dean/Director in the University of California at Santa Barbara Office of Veterans’ Affairs. In his professional capacity, he has provided a full array of topical testimony in public hearings and before Congress. In addition, Mr. Houlemard has been a columnist for local weekly publications and has written articles for several (regional & national) publications.
Mr. Houlemard was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and spent his formative years in Pasadena, California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a Master of Arts in Urban Studies from Occidental College, and is a graduate of the prestigious CORO Foundation Fellowship Program. He continues his long-time service as an active participant and/or officer on many public and private boards and commissions, and is a certified Special Districts Administrator (SDA). Past activities have included appointments to statewide councils and memberships in several professional associations. Mr. Houlemard was appointed to represent the State of California on the National Governors Association “Federal Facilities Environmental Cleanup Working Group.” In 2009, he was elected president of the Association of Defense Communities and served in that capacity until 2012.
Dr Lawson serves as Dean of the College of Science at California State University, Monterey Bay. Our programs combine solid foundational work in the disciplines with hands-on field and laboratory skills that prepare graduates for work in various science and technology fields or for success in graduate and professional schools. It is an exciting time for the College as we add new degree programs and expand our offerings in existing programs. Our faculty are dedicated to the success of every student and inspire and challenge students through a wide range of experiences, from connecting with community partners through service learning, to engaging in world-class research, to placing students in valuable internships with leading industry and agency partners.
CSUMB and the Monterey Bay region offer students incredible opportunities to engage with our local community, our diverse environment and a wide range of clubs and activities. I encourage all of our students to embrace these opportunities, and challenge themselves with new experiences – to allow curiosity to drive them to explore new fields, and to dive deeply into a few. Because science and technology careers change so quickly, our goal in the College is for all of our graduates to be passionate, lifelong learners who will adapt, innovate and lead the way for the next generation.