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AOC Windy City Chapter

2018 Leadership Board of Directors






Immediate Past President (2004 – 2015)

Joe Duthie                                                          



Sharon Lyczak                                                    


Vice President

Tom Kus                                                             



Adam Broton                                                      



Bob Cozzi                                                           


Board of Directors


Tony Brees, Emeritus                                          

Greg Butler                                                         

James Conroy                                                     

Earl Copple                                                         

Paula Copple, Banquet Chair                               

Tom Cotter, Century Club                                    

Jerry Dutka, Emeritus                                          

Michael Gardner, Elections Chair                          

Doug Goldberg, Speakers/Presentations               

Daunice „Donny“ Kimball                                     

Tom Kus, Speakers/Presentations                              

Steven Michaels, WindJammer Editor                   

Eric Moser, Scholarships                                      

Robert Palazzo                                                    

Jeff Stone, Membership Chair                                 

Patty Thompson                                                  

Frank Trimble                                                      

Dennis Vaccaro                                                   

Louis Zink, Local Awards                                     

     Vacancy,  Website   


 AOC Windy City Board:




Joe Duthie – Immediate Past President:  Retired, Northrop Grumman Corp, Manager


Joe joined the Windy City Chapter of the AOC in 1990 when he started working for Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Technology organization. He was the recipient of the Windy City Chapter local recognition award in 1994 for Engineering Excellence as well as the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award winner for his support to the Windy City Chapter. He has served on the Windy City Chapter BoD from 1996 through 2015, when he retired and moved to Florida. He completed 4 terms serving as the Windy City Chapter President. Joe is a Life Member of the Windy City AOC Educational Foundation Century Club.



Sharon Lyczak – President:  Northrop Grumman Corp, Program Manager, AFQRC

Sharon has been a member and active board member of the AOC since the mid 1980’s - acting as golf co-chair for most of those years and Vice President from 2004 through 2015.  She has been a Northrop Grumman employee since 1985 serving in various departments throughout the site and has a good overall grasp of the businesses.  She is a strong supporter of our EW business and the AOC scholarship program.   Sharon won the AOC chapter support award in the early ‘90s and again in 2013.

Sharon has a Bachelors Degree from Judson University and her PMI Certification from University of California, Irvine.  She is also a member of various NGC-ERGs; she has been the Chairman of the Northrop Grumman WINS (Women’s Initiatives for Networking and Success) Community Outreach Organization from 2007 - 2013, the president of the Northrop Grumman Scrap booking club; she has served several “tours” as the secretary of the Northrop Rec Club Bowling League; the State/National Rep, and President for her Mothers of Multiples (Twins & Triplets) Club, and involved in many other ERGs and Clubs both internal to NGC and in the local community.


Tom Kus – Vice President ; Speakers/Presentations Co-Chair:  President of TK Technologies

Tom has been a member of the AOC for the past 34 years, and active in the RF and microwave industry since 1974.  Tom comes as a representative of the supplier community, and has represented key subsystem and component suppliers to Northrop Grumman such as Cobham CAES along with Aethercomm and other RF technology leaders.  He has participated in almost all major RFCIS programs at Northrop Grumman with various companies since the early 80’s.  Other key suppliers over the years have included M/A-Com, Avantek, Hittite and HP to name a few.  Tom got his start in the industry as a ground radar technician in the highly specialized 2nd Radio Battalion, USMC, and assumed various other technical and management positions subsequent to that. Tom has also routinely provided guest speakers for AOC technical presentations.

Tom is a graduate of the University of Illinois Chicago with a B.S. in Marketing, along with numerous radar and electronic schools in the Marine Corps and industry. 


Adam Broton - Secretary:  Northrop Grumman Corp, Manager, Receiving Assurance


Adam began his career at NGSC as a summer intern in the Systems Engineering department during the summer of 2008.  After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in General Engineering and Business Minor in 2009, he joined the Engineering Professional Development Program (PDP) with rotations in the Process Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Mission Assurance organizations.  He has experience in both the RFCIS and IRCM business areas as the Program Quality Engineer for the Joint Strike Fighter EW and Advanced Threat Warning programs.  In addition, he is a board member of Connect1NG and is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt from the University of Michigan.  In 2015 he completed his Master of Engineering Management degree from Northwestern University. Adam is a former recipient of an AOC scholarship and has been a part of the AOC since 2008

Bob Cozzi - Treasurer:   Northrop Grumman Corp, Engineering

Bob has over 30 years experience in Engineering and Project Management and is currently on the engineering staff in the Mission Systems Engineering organization.  Bob has been responsible for the design and development of microwave components and antennas for military and space applications.  Programs have included ALQ-135, ALQ-155, EA-18G, ALR-20, ALR-93, LITENING, MFEW, ABR and ATMS.  Bob also has experience in the RFCIS Engineering Project Management and Program Management organizations where he was responsible for the management and coordination of proposals and programs.  Bob received his BSEE from the University of Illinois, MSEE from the Illinois Institute of Technology and his MBA from DePaul University.  Bob has been an AOC member since 1990 and a board member since 2010.


Regular Directors:


Gregory Butler:   Northrop Grumman Corp., S/W and Digital Technology Manager

In his current responsibilities, Greg manages the Hardware Engineering Digital Technology Team 2.  The primary goal of Team 2 is to design and develop digital hardware (CCA’s) and Firmware (FPGA’s) for the Restricted RFCIS products and AC&TD. His role as manager is to provide leadership, to attract and retain a top notch, engaged team; demonstrate Northrop Values,  ensure performance through compliance to Northrop processes, procedures, and policies, satisfy internal and external customers by building strong relationships and meeting cost, schedule, technical, and quality needs and expectations; act as a change agent that delivers affordable, innovative solutions to complex problems, and perform as a thought leader who creates and executes strategic actions that sustain and generate long term value for the company.

Greg has over 30 years of experience in the military and commercial aerospace market with Northrop,

L-3 Communications, and Recon Optical. His product lifecycle experience includes strategic product development, risk management, product research, resource and budget planning, technical support to Business Development, business case preparation including cost accounting and estimating, negotiation support, product architecture, engineering design and development, scheduling, program management, contracts administration, export and ITAR processes, material management, electronics manufacturing, quality, supplier management,  along with post-delivery customer service and support functions. He has excellent communication skills and has worked with internal division and corporate team members to provide technical and business support to a global customer set. He has led teams in the development and implementation of structured divisional business practices including: ISO9001/AS9100; Lean Six Sigma design, DO-178 and DO-254 Software and Hardware (FPGA) design methodologies, FAA TSO development processes, Lean Office and anufacturing processes, GDT, Mistake Proofing; Process FMEA; 5S; Kaizen; Value Stream Mapping; Kanban systems; Visual Controls; and Cellular manufacturing.







James T. Conroy:  Northrop Grumman Corp, Senior Director, CIRCM

James T. Cnroy is the senior director of Common IRCM Portfolio in the Land & Avionics C4ISR Division of Northrop  Grumman’s Mission Systems Sector, a leading global provider, manufacturer and integrator of advanced, secure and agile In this role, Conroy is responsible for leading the successful execution of all CIRCM-related programs, including the CIRCM program of record’s test completion and production, CIRCM QRC development, and CIRCM activities on the Technical Information Engineering Services (TIES) contract. Most recently, Conroy was a director of programs, where he was responsible for leading the successful execution of the AC/MC-130J Radio Frequency Countermeasures (RFCM) system, including the program’s design phase and critical technology demonstrations.

Conroy has previously held positions in program management, capture management, and engineering. He has experience through the full development life cycle, including conceptualization, development, integration and test, production, and sustainment. He has led prime and sub-contract activities, working with various branches of service and international partners. In addition, he has held program and technical roles across numerous IRCM and RF efforts.

Conroy graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a professional specialization in Computer Engineering. He earned his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from IIT and went on to graduate from Northwestern University with a Master of Science in Product Development. Conroy recently earned a certification in capture strategy from the University of Chicago. He is the recipient of two prestigious President’s Leadership Awards from the Northrop Grumman sector president for demonstrated program and technical leadership


Earl Copple:   Retired:  Northrop Grumman Corp, Power Electronics Design

Earl first joined the Power Supply Design team in 1976.  He was the principal design engineer for the Amplifier LVPS in the ALQ 135 system.  More recent development work includes all of the power supply circuitry for the Viper and Guardian products.  He is the father of the sliding frequency inverter, which is used in both the Viper and the B52 Upgrade supply, to produce low voltage outputs with outstanding efficiency factors.  He has contributed to the Litening program both in specific circuit designs and in lending technical expertise in solving power related problems from the original pod vendor.  Earl developed a four cell, 500 watt Boost Converter which was used to power an MPM from a 28 volt power buss.  He was also instrumental in designing the architecture presently used in all of the MPM products being developed here.

Earl has three U S Patents related to power supply development and was inducted into the AOC National EW Technology Hall of Fame in 2005.  Earl has been an AOC member since 1998.  Outside of work, Earl is involved in Amateur Radio (KB9YCV); he plays bass guitar, enjoys woodworking, and served some time as the pastor of his church.


Paula Copple – Banquet Chair:   Retired – Northrop Grumman Corp, Learning & Development

Paula worked for Northrop Grumman for 13 years in the Human Resources department.  She has worked with the Employee Relations group and Talent Acquisition group.  Her final position was as a Training Specialist is the Learning & Development group, where she facilitated leadership training for the Rolling Meadows campus as well as other NG campuses. She has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and an MBA from American InterContinental University. Paula has been an AOC member since 2009. Outside of work, Paula is involved in Fiber Arts.


Tom Cotter, Century Club Chair:    Northrop Grumman Corp., Fellow Engineer

Tom joined NG in Rolling Meadows in 1997. He has been a Systems Engineer working on the infrared countermeasures product line. He has worked on system-level requirements development, test, and integration for evaluation of laser systems used for IRCM. His responsibilities have included the design of tests to evaluate system and LRU requirements, development of test documentation for multiple tests, and coordination of testing with associated contractors. Tom was previously employed at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD and in 2014 completed a Master of Science in Engineering in Systems Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University. He also has an M.S.E.E. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and B.S.E.E. from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI.


Jerry Dutka:  Retired, Director of Mechanical Engineering

Jerry joined the AOC in 1975.  He has served on the Windy City Chapter BoD continuously from 1982 to present.  He was the Windy City President from 1990-1991.  Under Jerry’s watch, the Windy City chapter was recognized as Chapter of the year for both 1990 and 1991.  Jerry is a Charter Member (now Life Member) of the Windy City AOC Educational Foundation Century Club, not to mention being the Century Club founder.  Jerry has also been the Windy City Golf Outing chairperson overseeing the Windy City’s Golf Outings since 1984 to present.  The Century Club and golf outings serve as the primary fund raising events for the Windy City Educational Foundation raising thousands of dollars of scholarship funds each year. 

Jerry was recognized by AOC National with the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award for his long and distinguished career in support of the defense of our country.  Jerry is currently retired from Northrop Grumman, however before retiring, Jerry served as the Director of Mechanical Engineering and it is fair to say that Jerry was involved with every EW program within Northrop Grumman while he held this position.  Although Jerry is retired from Northrop Grumman, he is one of the chapter’s most active members and co-leads multiple chapter fundraising events such as the Century Club and the 2 annual golf outings. 


Michael A. Gardner – Elections Chair:  Northrop Grumman Corp, Engineering Program Manager, Fast Jet & Strike Systems

Michael joined Northrop Grumman as a Mechanical Engineer in 2000 where he supported programs in each of the Rolling Meadows business areas.  In 2009, he transferred to the Engineering Program Management organization where he has lead multiple domestic and international programs.  Michael recently completed an 18 month assignment as a Program Manager in the AC&T organization shaping next generation technologies.  Today, Michael supports the ALQ-131 International Product line where he is leading the Engineering team and working with multiple International customers to secure new business. 

Mike received his bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois at Chicago and his master’s in Product Development from Northwestern.


Doug Goldberg – Speakers/Presentations Co-Chair:  Northrop Grumman Corp, System Architect

Doug has over 27 years experience in defining and developing RF EW subsystems, including work on the ALQ-135 and F-16 Block 60 programs.  He also oversaw multiple Independent Research and Development (IRAD) and Contract R&D (CRAD) projects, which support the exploitation of foreign weapons systems and the development of advanced countermeasures to defeat these systems.  Doug has published numerous papers in the field of electronic warfare and is a recognized industry leader in the area RF Electronic Warfare threats and countermeasure systems.  He has been an AOC member since 1997 and is a frequent guest briefer at the AOC lunchtime educational briefs.  Doug has served multiple terms as a BoD member.


Daunice (Donny) Kimball:   Northrop Grumman Corp, Data Analyst in Field Service & Engineering


Donny has been an AOC member since 2014.  She has been the Century Club Chair and the Membership Chair.  Prior to joining the board, Donny helped out the AOC at various events including the scholarships and award banquet and was herself a recipient of the Chapter Support Award in 2014.  She is an Administrative Data Analyst in the Field Service and Engineering Operating Unit at Northrop Grumman.  Ms. Kimball has her executive business administration certificate from South Suburban College and Fox Business College and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management with emphasis on Supply Chain Management through the University of Phoenix.  



 Steven (Steve/Mongo) Michaels, WindJammer Editor:   Northrop Grumman Corp, CCA Technology Domain Team Supplier Mission Assurance Lead, Fellow Engineer

Steven joined Northrop Grumman RM and the AOC in late 2005 as an EPM on the MFEW & Litening programs.  Upon his return from a one-year mobilization with ISAF Joint Command in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2010, he utilized his Six Sigma Black Belt skills to run Continuous Improvement projects.  In August 2013, he was promoted to Fellow Engineer as the CCA Technology Domain Team Supplier Mission Assurance Lead for the ES Sector.  He helped stand up the Rolling Meadows VOICE ERG in April 2008 and held Emeritus, Chair, Vice Chair & Treasurer positions until December 2015.   He also works with VERITAS ERG, the Scuba Club, Running club and Multi-sport club.  Steven has 25+ years of engineering experience at IBM, GE Aerospace, Motorola and NGC.  He earned a B.S.E.E. from Northwestern University, an M.S.E.E. from Illinois Institute of Technology, a P.E. license in the State of Wisconsin, a PMP certification, and Joint Professional Military Education Phase 1 Certificate from Air Command Staff College at Maxwell AFB.  As a Commander (O5), he has 22+ years of service in the US Navy Reserve Component.  Currently, he’s the Commanding Officer of NR SurgeMain Central North Region where his mission is to train & provide the 200+ qualified journeyman Sailors under his command as fleet support to the four public naval shipyards as well as recruit & qualify junior officers in the Engineering Duty Qualification Program.  Steven is a BSA Eagle Scout (1979) and assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 182 in Palatine for the past 14 years.  His HAM license is KC9NUP.


Dr. Eric Moser, Scholarships Chair:   Northrop Grumman Corp. Advisory Engineer & Architect

Eric joined NGC in 2001, becoming an AOC Windy City member the same year.  He holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Mathematics and Physics from Hope College, and a Doctorate in Solid State Physics from the University of Notre Dame.  He was a collegiate National Merit Scholar, and Schmitt Fellow during graduate school.  He began his professional career in 1993 at Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio doing R&D on new materials, and later moved to Albany, New York in 1997 to become a development engineer and program manager, leading development programs for MRI magnet upgrades and cryogenic systems.   With NGC in 2001, Eric initially worked on development of IRCM lasers and turrets.  He became an architect for LITENING upgrades (laser system, imaging, processing, and sensing improvements, with evolving interfaces).  In 2017 he moved to the Multispectral Solutions group.  Eric is a proponent of STEM and is experienced aiding mentees through high school and college.  He enjoys judging local science fairs, and in 6th grade built a fully functioning (marginally safe) steam engine to demonstrate at the science fair.  Eric enjoys cycling and competing in flat-water kayak races.



Robert Palazzo:  Retired


Bob Palazzo, has worked 50 years both in the government and industry on numerous DoD electro-optical, laser, RF radar and infrared R&D and Production programs.  40 years of which were in Electronic Warfare. He has held numerous engineering and management positions with the U. S. Army at Ft. Monmouth, N.J., Northrop Grumman at Rolling Meadows, IL. and ITT/Exelis in Clifton N.J. His numerous positions have included Deputy Director for Systems at the US Army EW laboratory at CECOM; Director of System Engineering, Advanced Systems and IRCM at NG, Director of Bus Dev and Advanced Systems at ITT/Exelis. A life long member of the AOC, he has been President and BOD member of the N.J. Garden State Chapter, President of the Illinois Windy City  Chapter, awarded the Bus Dev medal by the National AOC, and is a National AOC Hall of Fame inductee. He was also Chairman/Vice Chairman, BOD, and symposium committee member of the DoD IRIS IRCM symposiums for many years. Since his retirement, he has returned to Illinois and resides in the Village of Mundelein, Illinois.





Jeff Stone, Membership Chair:  Northrop Grumman Corp, Engineering Program Manager

Jeff has over 36 years of EW expereince with the last 30 years developing Multispectral EW Systems for Northrop Grumman.  Jeff is currently lead engineer for development of an advanced countermeasures system to improve the survivability of the AC/MC-130J for USSOCOM.  Recently Jeff was the lead engineer for the AAQ-24 DIRCM system which protects Large Aircraft installations against UV & IR threats with laser based countermeasures.  He has also been responsible for development of APR-39 (A/B/C/D) lowcost Radar Warning Receiver programs, the ALR-93 Advanced Self Protection System, and the F-16 Block 60 Falcon Edge program.

Jeff graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering with a BSEE and an MBA from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.  He was the receipient of the Windy City Chapter Engineering Excellance Award  for his work Digital Receiver Design for F-16 Block 60.   He has been a member of the AOC Windy City Chapter since 1990, past Secretary, a member of the Board of Directors for the last 10 years, and a member of the Educational Foundation Century Club. 


Patricia A (Patty) Thompson:   Northrop Grumman Corp., PMO for Fast Jet and UAS

Patricia was a Northrop Grumman employee from 1985 to 1996 serving in Reliability Engineering and Quality Assurance Management.  Patricia joined the Telecommunication Industry at Sun Microsystems from 1996 to 2009 as a Field Service Manager on 3G infrastructure deployments. She rejoined Northrop Grumman and the AOC on 2009 as a Program Manager in the RFCIS area. Patricia is currently a PMO for LITENING Product.

Patricia has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Industrial Technology from the University of Wisconsin Stout. She is a certified Program Manager (PMI) since 2008 and member of the Chicago PMI chapter. As an avid cyclist, Patty rides in the Ride 2 Recovery Honor Ride supporting wounded Vets through cycling.  She also coordinates AOC and Northrop Grumman support to the Honor Ride.  Outside of work Patty is a PSIA certified ski instructor and teaches during the snowy time of the year.



Frank TrimbleNorthrop Grumman Corp, Systems Engineer

Frank has over 30 years experience is design of RF ECM systems and project management.  His responsibilities have included circuit design and subsystem architecture development for ALQ-135, and ALQ-162, F-16 Block 60 ECM systems.  In addition, Frank has 15 years of IR&D and CRAD project management, including anechoic chamber and field demonstrations.   Frank holds a BSEE from Ilinois Intititue of Technology (IIT) and an MSEE in Communications Theory and Circuit Design from IIT along with numerous other certifications and professional development courses.   Frank has been a member of the Windy City Chapter of the AOC since 1984.



Dennis Vaccaro:  Northrop Grumman TS, Manager Advanced Projects

Dr. Vaccaro has over 30 years of professional experience in both the academic and defense communities.  As part of ES-RM, he has made contributions in the areas of EW modeling and simulation, test and evaluation, system design and development, and system integration.  Dennis has been involved in the design and development of several classified ESM and ECM systems.  These systems involved both manned and unmanned air vehicles.   He is currently an Adjunct professor in the Electrical & Computer Engineering department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he teaches microwave engineering, automatic controls, and digital signal processing.  Dr Vaccaro received his BS from the University of Chicago in 1977 and his PhD EE from the University of Illinois - Chicago in 1984.  He is the author of the book “Electronic Warfare Receiving Systems”, Artech House.  Dennis won the AOC National RF Technology Award in 2000.  He is currently the Awards chairman for the Windy City AOC board and has been an AOC member since 1993.  He was elected to the EW Hall of Fame in 2003.


Louis Zink, Local Awards Chair:  Northrop Grumman Corp, RF Engineer

Lou has been an Electrical Engineer for 24 years and has been with Northrop Grumman for 15 years.  He has an AAS EET from Triton Community College, a BSEE from the University of Illinois at Chicago where he was an EECS Senior Scholar.  He also holds an MSEE from the Illinois Institute of Technology.  He has worked various programs including F-16 Block 60, ALQ-155, ALQ-131, ALQ-135, ATMS and recently the Vigilant Hammer II demo with the BAT-12 UAV.  Currently, he is supporting the Commando II effort.  He has had several papers for ES symposia.  He is currently working as an RF Engineer in the Signal Conversion Technology group.  His interests are in Architecture and Circuit Design


With over 13,000 members internationally, the Association of Old Crows is an organization for individuals who have common interests in Electronic Warfare (EW), Electromagnetic Spectrum Management Operations, Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA), Information Operations (IO), and other information related capabilities. The Association of Old Crows provides a means of connecting members and organizations nationally and internationally across government, defense, industry, and academia to promote the exchange of ideas and information, and provides a platform to recognize advances and contributions in these fields.