Retired Major General Craig Whelden has been named the inaugural president of Velontra, a startup with the mind power to accelerate America’s development of hypersonic technology.
His military career began with the U.S. Army where he once held the distinction as the youngest general in the Army. Combined with an additional nine years as a member of the Senior Executive Services (SES) with the U.S. Marine Corps he has led thousands of soldiers, sailors, marines and civilians in a storied 40-year military career.
“General Whelden is a strategic thinker who is able to parlay his four decades of significant leadership and service into further assisting our nation in developing aeronautical and military power,” says Velontra CEO Robert Keane. “He has the insights, relationships, and military knowledge to enable Velontra to thrive in a race against time as China and Russia rev up their development of unmanned hypersonic technology.”
General Whelden is the author of, “Leadership: The Art of Inspiring People to Be Their Best.” The book rose to #1 on Amazon’s International Best-Seller List and has won four national book awards. He is also a global Fortune 500 speaker.
“I was drawn to Velontra because this talented group possesses proven scientific knowledge and an extraordinary talent for taking start ups toward award-winning heights,” said Whelden. “I have no doubt that this group can produce what our nation needs quicker, more efficiently and more cost effectively than many larger firms. As the clock ticks, I want to be associated with those who know how to use their past experience in the military and in science to make things happen for the benefit of our great nation. There is no reason why we can’t be a leader in hypersonic technology – with both military and commercial application.”
Whelden joins CEO Rob Keane, a 10-year Force Recon Marine awarded for valor in combat who has worked as an aerospace engineer, and CRO Zachary Green, a former Marine and multiple award-winning entrepreneur.
Rounding out the leadership team are chief technology officer Joel Darin, one of the nation’s authorities on jet engine afterburners, and Mark Longenecker, an acclaimed Harvard-educated attorney focused on mergers, acquisitions and startups who serves as Velontra’s chief legal officer.
Velontra’s goal is to regain America’s military and aerospace dominance. While U.S. airlines have been in the news for ordering planes that travel up to twice the speed of sound, hypersonic speed is at least Mach 5 or five times the speed of sound.
The company currently has offices in Ohio and South Carolina.