Board of Directors

Lord BeaverbrookAVM Lord Beaverbrook

Air Vice Marshal Lord Beaverbrook, Chairman of the Beaverbrook Foundation, worked for Beaverbrook Newspapers from 1972 to 1978, starting as a management trainee and ultimately rising to General Manager of the Sunday Express.

Since 1978 he has served as a director of the Aitken/Beaverbrook Family Office, overseeing a diversified investment fund, specialising in real estate for many years, and more recently in oil and gas.

Lord Beaverbrook was appointed Honorary Air Commodore of 4624 (County of Oxford) Movements Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force in July 2004. In October 2009 he was promoted to be Honorary Inspector General, RAuxAF, in the rank of Air Vice-Marshal. In May 2016 he was appointed to the new post of Commandant General RAuxAF, with membership of the Air Force Board Executive.

After becoming a member of the House of Lords, Lord Beaverbrook was appointed a Lord in Waiting and Government Whip in 1986. He served as Deputy Treasurer of the Conservative Party from 1988 to 1990 and was appointed Treasurer in 1990.

Lord Beaverbrook was a director of the British Racing Drivers Club from 2006 to 2008 and is currently a director of the British Powerboat Racing Club. Through his involvement, the annual Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race that his father created has been revitalised.

He remains active in various charities and is currently a Vice President of Ambition UK (formerly National Association of Boys’ Clubs) having been Chairman from 1988 to 1992. He is a patron of London’s Air Ambulance and was a Member of the Council of the Homeopathic Trust from 1987 to 1992. He was appointed Chairman of the Beaverbrook Foundation in 1985 on the death of his father, having been a Trustee since 1974.

His sporting interests include International Motor Racing (winning the European Sports and GT Car Championship in 1998), and Powerboat Racing in offshore marathon events (Winner Harmsworth Trophy 2004, 2nd overall in Cowes-Torquay-Cowes 1979).

Fiske Board President Kevin Billings

Kevin Billings

Kevin Billings is President of the Billy Fiske Foundation and has been instrumental in the Foundation’s creation.  Kevin is also the CEO and founder of Legation Strategies which provides advisory services in strategic positioning, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity within the energy, infrastructure and national security sectors. Kevin is also a co-founder of Legation Capital Partners. He is a proven executive with extensive experience in the strategic management of defence, energy and industrial organisations in both the public and private sectors.

He was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as an Assistant Secretary of the United States Air Force where his responsibilities included the world-wide management and direction of the Air Force’s $38 billion installations, logistics, environment, and energy programs. Kevin began his career as a Legislative Assistant on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and his experience has been multi-dimensional in terms of strategic management, international and domestic business operations, transformation and change management. As part of his corporate experience he co-led a multi-divisional acquisition project and secured $1.5 billion in financing from international participants, developed a successful acquisition plan for a $2 billion energy company, and created a multi-functional marketing and US government operations business model for a global aerospace and industrial company headquartered outside the United States.

In 2017 Kevin was appointed as an Honorary Group Captain in the Royal Air Force, and one of two American members of the 601 (County of London) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force. He also serves as a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies in Washington, DC. He is a member of a number of corporate and nonprofit boards, including the Royal Air Force Museum American Foundation’s Board of Directors.  He has been awarded the US Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal and the US Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal.  Kevin is a graduate of the Executive Development Program at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a Distinguished Graduate of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

Courtney Dinnebeck

Courtney Dinnebeck was born and raised in Colorado where she distinguished herself as talented multi-sport athlete. Most notably, she was a state champion tennis player and played tennis at the University of Colorado where she earned her bachelor’s degree in economics and English. Upon graduation, while traveling extensively in the UK and Europe, she earned a Master of Science degree in Finance at the Daniels College of Business of University of Denver.

Courtney has served in many significant positions leading risk management and international relations throughout the international gold mining industry. She is recognised for the breadth of her experience in risk analysis, business development, regional and global communications as well as building key relationships with stakeholders throughout the world.

Most recently, Courtney completed a year-long sabbatical living and studying in the UK where much of her writing focused on the relationships between Americans and Britains. Courtney’s extensive charitable activities have include work with Children’s Hospital of Colorado, the United States Golf Association, and the University of Denver’s Reiman School of Finance mentorship program.


James H. “Jim” Bailey

James H. “Jim” Bailey is Legation Strategies’ General Counsel. Previously a partner in two international law firms, Jim has maintained his own law consultancy since 1996.  In addition to his consultancy and work as a mediator and arbitrator, Jim’s work includes service as Special Assistant to the President of the United States (Clinton); Legal Adviser to the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Carter); Oklahoma’s State Conservation Attorney (regulating the exploration & production of the state’s hydrocarbons, including environmental consequences); Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission; Research & Development Vice President of the United States Enrichment Corporation; and was as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army.

In his law consultancy, Bailey has served as counsel and business advisor for multiple clients, as well as Deputy General Counsel for Fortune 500 and 1000 companies and as National Director of Regulated Industries for Arthur Andersen Economic Consulting.  Bailey was Founding Corporate Secretary of the U.S.-Algeria Business Council and serves as a Trustee of the Patrick & Anna F. Cudahy Fund and is a member of the Strategic Advisory Council of Total Alignment Wealth Advisors.

Laura HermannLaura Hermann

Laura Hermann is a strategist and writer who works with experts whose efforts serve to inform decision-making. She facilitates engagement that integrates public speaking, broadcast, print and online media opportunities into long-term campaigns that produce results. Her experience in the energy, national security, scientific and engineering arenas presents practical lessons to improve how we understand audiences, craft compelling messages and maximize media, marketing and other communication activities.

As a principal at Potomac Communications Group, she contributes strategic counsel that helps leadership teams challenge assumptions and gain consensus necessary to achieve business goals. She supports high- profile executives and investors to prepare for and respond to controversial issues regarding public acceptance, investor confidence, export controls and intellectual property  protections. Her approach to stakeholder management prepares organizations to thrive in scenarios when private, government and association interests intersect. Throughout her career, Laura has focused on challenges that are unique to large-scale, long-term infrastructure projects. Her past efforts have advanced the goals of organizations such as the Chicago Alliance for Neighborhood Safety, the American Red Cross, Battelle Energy Alliance and NASA, as well as numerous nuclear energy interests.

Laura co-founded the Chicago Justice Project as part of her long-evolving commitment to science, technology and social justice issues and is a veteran radio producer. She holds a master’s of science from Northwestern University and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as an undergraduate at Loyola University Chicago. As an interlocutor among public, private and NGO sectors, Laura navigates controversies that often inject negativity into people’s lives; thus, she views  happiness as chaotic. She draws inspiration from the self-organizing, random patterns that generate friendships and joins the Billy Fiske Foundation to help further annotate the details of life that promote gratitude, humility and wonder.

Michael Bayer

Michael J. Bayer is the President and CEO of Dumbarton Strategies, Washington, D.C. Combining deep geographic experience, intimate sector knowledge and clear insights, Dumbarton provides the senior levels of large corporate entities creative, discrete strategic value accretive solutions.

Mr. Bayer also serves as Director of Siga Technologies Inc., Print Energy, API Inc., and DOSS Aviation Inc. His previous Board service includes among others, EG&G, Inc., Duratek, Inc., Athena, Inc., Stratos Global, Dyncorp International Inc., and Vangent Holding Corp.

Mr. Bayer was appointed Chairman of the Defense Business Board in April 2015. The Defense Business Board provides the Secretary of Defense and other senior leaders with independent advice, reflecting an outside private sector perspective, on proven and effective best business practices for application to the Department. He previously served as Chairman from 2007-2011.

In addition, Mr. Bayer serves as a Member of the Defense Science Board, the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel, and chairs the Business Executives for National Security Advisory Board.

Mr. Bayer’s previous U.S. Government service included appointments as a Member of the Sandia National Laboratory’s National Security Advisory Panel, a Member of the Sandia Nuclear Weapons External Advisory Board, a Member of the Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy, Chairman of the U.S. Army Science Board, a Member of the U.S. Naval War College Board of Visitors, Chairman of the Secretary of the Air Force’s Advisory Group, and a Member of the U.S. European Command, Senior Advisory Group.

Mr. Bayer’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in International Economics, a Master of Business Administration and a Juris Doctor. He is a resident of Georgetown, D.C., U.S.A.

Mat Winter, VADM USN (Ret)

Mat Winter is the President of Winter Strategic Solutions, LLC, a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business conducting Leadership and Motivational speaking forums and providing technical and business advice to senior defense, non-defense, nonprofit and academic leaders.

Prior to establishing Winter Strategic Solutions, Mat had a 35 year military career which encompassed three distinct leadership phases: Operational tours of duty as a naval aviator flying the A-6 Intruder carrier-based attack jet; Numerous Navy systems acquisition tours as chief engineer, chief tester and major program manager; and Seven executive-level command positions in large acquisition organizations where he managed multi-billion dollar portfolios and thousands of personnel capitalizing on his program management expertise and effective leadership. His final two Flag-level command positions were as the 24th Chief of Naval Research/Director of Innovation and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Director, where he ran the Defense Department’s largest acquisition enterprise in history, delivering the technologically advanced 5th Generation Strike Fighter weapon system with $30 billion dollars annual budget and over $1 trillion dollars life cycle responsibility.

Mat has a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Science degree from the Naval Post Graduate School in Computer Science and another from the National Defense University in National Resource Strategy. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Support Our Aging Religious (SOAR!), as a Trustee to the Board of Directors for the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation and as a member of the ACTIVZ Global LLC Advisory Board.

Mat holds lifetime memberships with the Army Navy Club, American Society of Naval Engineers, Association of Old Crows, Military Officers Association of America, Navy League, National Defense Industrial Association, Surface Navy Association, The Tailhook Association and the United States Naval Institute. He is a “Teacher Leader,” who fosters a culture of success through positive empowerment, boldmoral leadership and personal ethical accountability. He continues to serve through several volunteer and non-profit organizations to include his personal commitment to supporting local, State and National Veterans organizations.

Paul Beaver

Paul Beaver is very much a hands-on historian with a pilot’s log book which includes the Spitfire, Harvard and Mustang. He regularly flies the family Cessna and coordinates the flying at the Chalke Valley History Festival as an authorised civilian and military flying display director. He is an acknowledged expert on the Spitfire, the Battle of Britain, the Dambuster raid, Naval Aviation and Cold War operations. He is a Vice President of the Spitfire Society.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Paul launched a series of heritage posters and a Flypast Guidebook which led to him being the historical advisor to Channel 4’s presentation of the Battle of Britain at Goodwood. His latest book, SPITFIRE EVOLUTION was published on 5th March, 2016 to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the maiden flight of the Type 300 which became the Spitfire. His latest book is FORGOTTEN FEW, the story of the naval pilots in the Battle of Britain.

Paul spent 15 years directly linked to Jane’s including Naval Editor and Publisher & Editor in Chief of Jane’s Defence Weekly. He made JDW into a household name in 1990 through his broadcasting during the Liberation of Kuwait and eventually became a freelance war correspondent for Sky News and a studio ‘expert’ for BBC News and CNN International, for whom he jointly presented the 50th Anniversary of D-Day (from Normandy), VE-Day (from Moscow) and the Hong Kong Handover. He is also a Trustee of the Barnes Wallis Foundation and the Army Flying Museum, a former Trustee of the International Bomber Command Centre, as well as member of the Air & Space Power Association, a member of the Royal Air Force Historical Society and the Battle of Britain Historical Society. In June 2014, he delivered a sell-out lecture at the Chalke Valley History Festival, taking the people, places and politics of the Spitfire as his theme, which led to Spitfire People, published in June 2015 with a foreword by the late Captain Eric (Winkle) Brown CBE DSC AFC RN. Paul is writing Winkle’s biography for publication by Penguin Random House in September, 2020.

Paul is a Member of No 601 Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force which traces its history back to before the Battle of Britain. Previously, he had been an army aviation reservist, retiring in 2013 with the rank of Colonel. From 2014-16, he was Chairman of No 1010 (City of Salisbury) Squadron of the Air Cadet Organisation and retains a strong interest in education, has advised the Aviation Skills Partnership on armed forces related STEM. He lectures regularly at the Army Flying Museum and for the Royal Aeronautical Society of which he is a fellow. He is a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.

Ross MirmelsteinRoss Mirmelstein

Ross Mirmelstein was born and raised in Virginia. He attended East Tennessee State University, earning a bachelor’s degree (June 1971) with a double major in both History and Criminal Justice. He earned a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice (1975) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. While at John Jay, he was a graduate assistant to the Deans of Faculty.

Upon earning this degree, he relocated to Chicago, where he was one of the founders of the National Commission of Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). While there he helped develop the Standards for Health Care in Jails as well as standards for health care in both prisons and juvenile institutions.  He ran a national jail health care accreditation program and managed the NCCHC’s annual conferences and meetings. Additionally, he co-authored a training manual for jail deputies and correctional officers on suicide prevention of inmates in jails and provided numerous training sessions to sheriffs’ deputies around the country.

In July 1989, Ross joined the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) as Director of Meetings. He was responsible for all aspects of meeting planning (including, but not limited to marketing, contract negotiation, conference management, etc.) for the NSA’s annual June Conference and Trade Show (5000 attendees), as well as an annual Winter Conference (1,000 attendees). He also managed numerous training sessions for sheriffs’ offices on a variety of topics (i.e., jail operations, counterterrorism, courtroom security, etc.). He is now semiretired, serving as Special Advisor to the NSA’s Executive Director and CEO.

In 1962, Ross became interested in the Battle of Britain after reading the biography (Fly for Your Life) of legendary RAF fighter pilot Douglas Bader. Since then, he has amassed an extensive library of over 200 books on all aspects of The Battle of Britain. He also has collected WWII Aviation Art (over 50 lithographs, numbered and signed by both the artists and pilots), the majority of which commemorates the Battle of Britain.