Architect of Defense 2015

Posted 1/22/16 (Fri)

Architect of Defense Awardees Named for 2015

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN – 22 January, 2016:  The Defense Alliance held its annual award event Thursday evening at HGA.  Nearly 100 people from defense-oriented organizations attended the event which was hosted by HGA, one of the nation’s leading architectural and engineering firms.  The honored guest and presenter was Major General Neal Loidolt, U.S. Army, Commanding General of the fabled 34th Infantry Division (the “Red Bulls”), who spoke about the U.S. Military’s role in global security, and the National Guard’s role in that ongoing mission.

The event, titled “Architect of Defense,” was principally a networking opportunity for the diverse group representing a spectrum of industries that contribute to defense and homeland security.  Following a reception and program, the eighth annual “Architect of Defense” was presented to two awardees for the first time:  Marianna DeMyer, CEO of Roving Blue (Lena, Wisconsin), and Navitas Systems (Woodridge, Illinois).  The award is presented to the Defense Alliance member who best exemplified and promoted the ideals and mission of the Alliance during the year.  Specific accomplishments of 2015’s awardees include: 

  • Navitas Systems is an innovative battery solutions provider for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Energy (DoE), and commercial users.  Their novel 6T lithium battery will be used in a variety of ground combat vehicles (including the new Humvee replacement called JLTV-- recently awarded to Oshkosh).  Navitas has demonstrated outstanding vigor and focus in their technology and business development efforts for DoD, winning numerous multi-million dollar contracts in 2015. 
  • Roving Blue makes a highly ruggedized, portable water filtration device for military expeditionary use, and for the commercial outdoor, and disaster preparedness and response markets.  The startup company demonstrated superior tenacity in listening to and responding to military customer design inputs to improve its products, and innovative commercialization efforts.

The evening was sponsored in part by:  Polaris Defense, which has a rapidly growing defense portfolio; and Veteran Beer Company, a craft brewer that only hires Veterans and provides a substantial portion of its profits to Veteran causes.

Defense Alliance continues its work as a regional catalyst for technology-based economic development.  It recently passed the $150 million mark in contract gains for companies assisted since 2011, when the SBA recognized and funded it as an Advanced Defense Technologies Cluster (ADT).  Learn more at the Alliance’s websites ( /