Utah Aerospace and Defense Association adds head of Fortem Technologies to board

Utah Aerospace and Defense Association adds head of Fortem Technologies to board

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, January 10, 2023- A key player has signed on to play an even more prominent role in Utah’s aerospace technology sector as Jon Gruen of Fortem Technologies joins the Utah Aerospace and Defense Association (UADA) board of directors.

Why it Matters

The aerospace and defense industry is a key component of the Utah economy and critical to our national interests.

Chairman and CEO of Fortem Technologies, Gruen has a strong background in the defense and aerospace industry, having previously served as a Navy SEAL Officer and as a Director of Business Development at Lockheed Martin. Gruen is also a founding partner of Gothams, a venture capital accelerator program.

“Utah provides a tremendous environment which has enabled Fortem to grow rapidly over the past six years in the Aerospace and Defense industry,” said Gruen. “The support from local government, the education opportunities from local universities and colleges, and the family friendly environment are just a few examples of why Fortem has such a strong team here. I look forward to continuing the development of this ecosystem as part of UADA.”

Go Deeper

Gruen holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics and oceanography from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA in Entrepreneurial Studies from the Hass School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

“Jon brings the economic, defense and technology experience that will help propel us forward as we work to establish Utah as a world innovation leader,” said Aaron Starks, UADA President and CEO. “His willingness to help lead our association will have significant impacts for our members and will strengthen the aerospace and defense industry in Utah.

About UADA

The Utah Aerospace and Defense Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and advocating for companies in the Aerospace and Defense industry in Utah. UADA’s mission is to is to position Utah as a world leader in aerospace and defense by fostering collaboration and connectivity, promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, and supporting workforce development. UADA represents a diverse range of companies and organizations in the state, from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations.

UADA Board

The board now has 15 members representing a variety of companies that play a role in one of Utah’s most important economic sectors.

Chairman: Robert O’Brien

Vice Chairman: Adam Fife – CEO of Cencore

CEO of UADA Aaron Starks – VP of Fortem Technologies

Treasurer: Kay Hall – CFO of Zions Bank

Director: Lyndon Smith – VP of Hexcel North America

Director: Andy Pierucci – Northrop Grumman

Director: Tamara Tran – CEO of Rylex

Director: Troy Keller – Partner at Dorsey Whitney

Director: Gregg Robison – CEO of Ram Aviation

Director: Brandon Fugal – Chairman of Colliers Int’l

Director: Michelle Smith – CHRO at Larry H Miller Companies

Director: Brad Mortensen – President of Weber State University

Director: Ryan Starks – Managing Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity

Director: Greg Levesque, CEO of Strider Technologies

Director: Jon Gruen, CEO of Fortem Technologies