Event Calendar

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Executive Briefing: Sparking Innovation at Air Force

Start Date: 1/7/2020 7:30 AM EST
End Date: 1/7/2020 10:00 AM EST

Venue Name: The Tower Club

8000 Towers Crescent Dr Suite 1700
Vienna, VA  United States  22182

Organization Name: SECAF Events

Julia Nelson
Email: info@secaf.org
Phone: 703-574-1117

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Executive Briefing: Sparking Innovation at Air Force

The Tower Club
8000 Towers Crescent Drive #1700
Vienna, VA 22182


Join us for a breakfast presentation and panel discussion on IT modernization and innovation efforts underway at the United States Air Force. The program will feature USAF’s Chief Transformation Officer and Director of Cyberspace Innovation and industry perspectives from small and mid-tier businesses working at the leading edge of USAF IT modernization.

Moderator:  Molly Cain - Founder, GovCity


  • Lauren Knausenberger - Chief Transformation Officer, United Stated Air Force
  • Sam Stollar - Vice President, Intelligence Operations, Octo Consulting Group
  • Rick Tossavainen - CEO, Dark Wolf Solutions

Molly Cain is a government and civic innovation strategist, executive communications consultant and advisor to public/private sector entities. She is an expert at identifying + designing new ventures for organizational change, launching new verticals, organizing never-before-done collaborations, relying on an uncanny skill to connect topics + people in seemingly unrelated, but perfectly complementary, ways.

After more than 10 years as an award-winning strategic business communicator specializing in information security, cyber security, resilience, disaster recovery, finance, policy and acquisitions, Molly found her love of technology and its intersection with cultural disruption by fortuitous mistake in 2013, leading her to abandon her corporate career to enter the startup ecosystem.

She is a 3-time startup founder, angel investor and successfully led one of the nation’s top ten startup accelerators from 2014 to 2016 as Executive Director, overseeing a portfolio of more than 100 startups, tech scouting more than 1500 worldwide for potential recruitment into the top-ranked program.

In 2016, Molly joined the Department of Homeland Security where she served as the Director of Venture and in 2019, Molly launched GovCity, the first 48-hour think tank for positively disruptive civic, corporate and academic emerging leaders, during SXSW. 

Lauren Knausenberger recently joined the U.S. Air Force to drive innovation across the Department of Defense, speed adoption of emerging technologies, and create stronger partnerships between DoD, start-ups, and the venture community. Prior to joining the government, Lauren was founder and President of Accellint, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in solving problems of national security importance and investing in commercial technologies that could be applied to a government mission. An enthusiastic Angel investor, Lauren is active with NextGen Angels, has invested in emerging technology companies, such as Graphene Frontiers, and is now applying the VC model to the Air Force through Spark Tank, a DoD version of the Shark Tank television series. 

In her role as Director of Cyberspace Innovation she has actively fought to bust traditional barriers to capability development, including shifting the risk equation for cybersecurity accreditation to incentivize rapid adoption of modern, secure systems. As a champion for Kessel Run, Lauren generated the Continuous ATO concept, which helped set the bar for excellence in DevSecOps and enables Air Force software factories to accredit and deploy systems at commercial speed. She was also a major contributor to the recent Fast Track ATO, which emphasizes pen testing and threat/vulnerability assessment over compliance. Finally, Lauren acts as an advisor and connector across the Air Force community to enable projects, remove barriers to entry for best in class businesses, test innovative concepts, and bring new voices and capabilities to the table.

She holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, has served as an executive for a large defense contractor, and has extensive experience supporting the intelligence community. Outside of work, Lauren enjoys traveling, trying new cuisine, and chasing two little girls. She also recently founded a non-profit that encourages excellence in education at the intersection of Art and STEM – STEAM. Ms. Knausenberger received a Jimmy Doolittle Fellowship award for Inspiring Air Force Innovation and was included in Fedscoop’s 2018 Top Women in Technology.

Sam Stollar serves as a Vice President at Octo Consulting Group, an IT modernization company supporting Federal Civilian, Defense, Health, and Intelligence Community clients.  He leads 200 engineers supporting the Intelligence Community and Air Force including major Agile software and cloud implementations at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and Air Force Lifecycle Management Center (AFLCMC).  He's partnered with NGA to pioneer the use of firm-fixed price Agile contracting to deliver consistent, high quality software resulting in the Agile Web Presence (AWP) program's 2017 Packard Award for Acquisition Excellence.  He also leads a team of 50+ software and DevOps engineers supporting the award-winning AFLCMC Detachment 12 Kessel Run program.

Prior to Octo, Sam was a Lead Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton supporting modeling, simulation, wargaming, and analysis for Joint Staff, Combatant Command, and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) customers.  At Booz Allen, he managed multiple projects supporting joint requirements development, special operations planning, offensive cyber operations training, and OSD social media policy.

Sam has a M.S. in Information Systems from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and a B.A. in History from the University of Virginia.  He also maintains active Project Management Professional (PMP), ScrumMaster (CSM), and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Program Consultant 4.0 (SPC4) certifications.

Sam lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and daughter.

Rick Tossavainen serves as the CEO of Dark Wolf Solutions, a company supporting commercial, civilian, defense, and Intelligence Community clients in the areas of cyber operations, software development, cyber security, and management, engineering, and logistics support. He has developed solutions and applications from cradle to grave in classified environments, architecting, developing, and deploying mission and enterprise systems that support operational activities. Rick recently finished a project working onsite in the Intelligence Community where he developed next generation cyber capabilities based upon a five-year capability roadmap that Dark Wolf helped to create. Rick has helped to increase cybersecurity resilience at USAF by drafting Continuous ATO playbooks for several of the software factories and assisting with the selection of tools and technologies in CI/CD pipelines to deliver hardened and secure applications to cloud environments.

Previously, Rick served as Vice President of Technical Solutions at Wolf Den Associates, LLC, after working at SRA International (now part of GDIT) for 16 years. At SRA, he managed multiple projects for the Intelligence Community and other government customers, supporting various CIOs in enterprise applications and services, disaster recovery and service high availability, database migration, and cloud computing. 

Rick lives in South Riding, Virginia with his wife and pug. 



SECAF Members

  • $45 Register by 7:00 pm on January 2
  • $55 After 7:00 pm on January 2

NEW for SECAF Members!  If you know someone who might want to join SECAF, invite them to attend an event with you at the member rate.  When you register for an event, you will see a GUEST tab.  Enter the email address of the guest followed by the first name, last name and company name.  You can pay for both of you when you check out.

  • $85 Register by 7:00pm on January 2
  • $100 After 7:00pm on January 2

ATTIRE:  Business

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Closed: 1/6/2020 1:20 PM

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