Veterans Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program – Speaker biographies

Florent “FLO” Groberg
Microsoft Principal Program Manager, Azure Global Government Expansion

Florent “Flo” Groberg currently leads the Azure Global Government Expansion Mission solution team. He is responsible for working with governments around the world to identify key missions and systems that should operate on the Azure Cloud.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Groberg was the deputy vice president and business director for the Sales and Marketing team of the Russia and Central region in February 2020. He was responsible for leading business operations for all commercial airplanes and services sales in the region.

Prior to that role, he was the chief of staff for Commercial Airplanes and the director for the Sales and Marketing team of the Russia and Central region. He was responsible for simplifying the management system and operating rhythm of the group and leading a focus on simplification across the business. His role also included partnering with other leadership team members to maximize the use of digital and analytic tools and drive the Boeing Behaviors and cultural change throughout Commercial Airplanes.

Prior to joining Boeing, Groberg served as an official spokesperson for LinkedIn. He was responsible for the promotion of LinkedIn’s veterans program, a tailored job search tool for veterans transitioning out of military roles and into the civilian workforce.

Before LinkedIn, Groberg worked as an operations officer for the U.S. Department of Defense. In this role, he served as special advisor for strategic defense projects, providing expertise to defense policymakers and military planners.

Groberg’s military career began in July 2008 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After completing officer training and both U.S. Army Airborne and U.S. Army Ranger Schools, he was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado, serving as a platoon leader. Following progressively more challenging assignments, Groberg was promoted to the rank of Army captain in July 2012.

Groberg is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the United States' highest military honor, for his extraordinary gallantry, intrepidity, and heroism while serving in combat operations in Afghanistan in 2012. He holds a master’s degree in management with a specialization in intelligence policies from the University of Maryland University College in College Park, Maryland.

Larry Stubblefield
Associate Administrator for the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Mr. Larry Stubblefield is the associate administrator for the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In this role, he oversees the OVBD team in formulating, implementing, administering, and promoting policies and programs that equip veterans, service members (active duty, National Guard, Reserve), and military spouse-owned small businesses with counseling and education, access to capital, and contracting opportunities.

Stubblefield joined the SBA in 2016, serving as the assistant administrator for the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Civil Rights, and most recently as the acting associate administrator for OVBD. Prior to the SBA, he held numerous leadership positions with the U.S. Army, including deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Diversity and Leadership and functional chief representative for the Army’s Equal Employment Opportunity Career Program.

Stubblefield has first-hand military experience, having served 30 years as an enlisted soldier and active duty officer in the U.S. Army. In 2005, he retired from the military as a colonel and was appointed to the Senior Executive Service. He holds an MBA from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor’s of Science in business management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Brad Halsey
CEO and Founder, Building Momentum

Brad Halsey grew up wanting to play professional basketball. He accepted a scholarship to play for the U.S. Navy and after graduation joined the military, where he bounced around in special operations and drove ships. In 2001, Brad was medically discharged from the Navy due to a shoulder injury that shattered the nerves in his right arm. Twelve surgeries later, Brad came to the realization that he could no longer make a living with his body and decided to use one of his most powerful tools, his brain. After seeing news reports of the basic tech Al-Qaeda was using against the American military, Brad felt strongly that scientists like him could help soldiers react quickly to new problems.

As a disabled war veteran, Halsey feels the military conditioned him to always keep moving forward despite the circumstances. Building Momentum was founded in 2015 in his basement on the notion of training service members to solve problems with any tool available through innovation and critical thinking. Halsey led an innovation boot camp and through his company trained people to leverage technology such as CAD, 3D printing, laser cutting, and microcontrollers to solve problems. His clients ranged from academics, to engineers, to 20-year-old Marines, who could use these things to be more effective on base and in combat.

Blake Hogan
CEO, Bunker Labs

Blake Hogan served as an officer in the Marine Corps from 2008 – 2012. Following the Marines, he helped develop markets for Sage Glass, a green tech construction product that was acquired by Saint Gobain.

Hogan is passionate about veteran entrepreneurship. His first company, Vet Commander, a video interviewing company connecting employers to veterans, led him to co-found Bunker Labs Austin and Nashville out of a personal need to build a stronger professional network. Bunker Labs, now a national not-for-profit, helps veterans and military spouse entrepreneurs across the nation.

Hogan is also the co-founder of a safety product company, BreakAway Safety Solutions, which provides emergency exits for outdoor events, making it easy to get fans out of fenced-in areas. BreakAway was developed after the mass shooting in Las Vegas and has been deployed at the Country Music Association Festival, the Chicago Marathon, and more.

He is recent a George W. Bush Institute Scholar in the Stand-To Veterans Leadership Program

James Rabuck, Director, Southwest Region, National Security Innovation Network 

Jim Rabuck is a former Army reconnaissance officer who now serves in the Pentagon as the national security innovation network regional director. In addition to working at the Pentagon, he currently serves the Texas National Guard as the deputy chief innovation officer. He is a graduate of Stanford Ignite and is wrapping up his time at Rice University's MBA program.

Rabuck’s interests include the Commerce charcoal business Popsmoke Supply Company and preparing for a yearly hunting trip in his hometown in Wyoming. He is currently working to help our soldiers and their units source military challenges that can be solved by our nation's best asset: Our people.

Samantha Snabes
Co-founder & Catalyst, re:3D Inc.

Samantha Snabes is an officer in the Air National Guard and the CEO for re:3D where she facilitates connections between others printing at the human-scale and/or using recycled materials to access locally driven manufacturing in 53 countries. A serial entrepreneur, she volunteers as the Global Chair of the IEEE Entrepreneurship Steering Committee. Previously, she served as the social entrepreneur in residence for the NASA HQ and deputy strategist supporting the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Space Life Sciences Directorate after selling a start-up for a DARPA-funded, co-patented tissue culture device. Samantha holds a Bachelor of Science in biology, Bachelor of Arts degrees in international relations and Hispanic studies, an MBA with concentrations in supply chain management and international relations, and certifications as a firefighter and EMT-B.

Nicholas McFall
Pro Bono Assistant Coordinator, Primary Patent Examiner, USPTO

Nicholas McFall joined the USPTO in 2011 and examines patent applications related to aircraft and spacecraft. He is also a licensing and review examiner, in which capacity he reviews applications for referral to defense agencies. Prior to joining the USPTO, he worked at Gulfstream Aerospace on the Flight Sciences team as both a thermodynamics engineer and a propulsion engineer. He is currently on detail with the Patents Pro Bono Team in the Office of Enrollment and Discipline.

Sean Wilkerson
Innovation Development Program Manager, Office of Innovation Outreach, USPTO

Sean Wilkerson works in the Office of Innovation Outreach at the USPTO, creating intellectual property (IP) awareness programs and managing outreach services to independent inventors, small businesses, entrepreneurs, makers, and universities. Wilkerson previously worked as an outreach coordinator for the programs leading up to the opening of the USPTO’s Silicon Valley and Texas Regional Offices. He also spent a year as part of the New York engagement team that developed the 2015 Future of Urban Innovation Startups Summit in coordination with Columbia University and the USPTO.

From 2011 – 2013, he served as the program manager of the inaugural Select USA Summit, developing the program, structure, and outreach efforts of a U.S. government-wide program housed in the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. As an education program analyst in the Global Intellectual Property Academy from 2008 – 2011, he managed international programs focused on providing IP training related to enforcement of patents, trademarks, and copyrights and the U.S. patent and trademark system. Prior to working for the federal government, he served as the director of events for the National Association of Homebuilders in Washington, D.C. and as the ideas exchange manager for Accenture in Reston, Virginia.