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Meet the Keynotes

Thursday Keynote Presenter

General Gustave F. Perna

General Gustave F. Perna is driven by a deep sense of purpose in advancing missions larger than himself, loyalty to leading organizations and the people within them, and service to others. Defending the Constitution of the United States is in the fabric of his DNA and guided his 38 years of honorable service as an Army Officer. At the core of General Perna’s leadership style is his character: he leads by example and can be counted on to do what is right while holding himself responsible and accountable to executing the mission at-hand while taking care of his people. He believes that a strong and well-understood ‘why’ paired with the power of mission, people, and mentorship enables organizations to move from evolutionary into revolutionary.

General Perna has proven strengths in executive leadership, strategy, supply chain, logistics, and talent development in global, rapidly paced, and forward-thinking organizations. He has a passion for applying his multifaceted perspective to serving on boards across the technology, sports, entertainment, and defense industries. He is currently serving as a Director on Allison Transmission, MD Helicopters, 280 Earth, Paradigm Health, and Corvias Boards. Within these roles, he sits on Audit, Compliance, and Nominating & Corporate Governance Committees.

Prior to his board service, General Perna co-led Operation Warp Speed (OWS) to accelerate the development, manufacturing, distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics for 300M plus people. His ability to operationalize efforts in alignment with the strategy directly resulted in an accomplishment never achieved in the history of our Nation. His routine operational updates to the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs were met with confidence and appreciation.

Additionally, he served as the Commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, an organization with 190,000 military, civilian and contractor employees. His forward-thinking, data-driven approach was key in generating the Army’s projections in both equipment and commodities and readying the supporting supply chain. He drew on his operational expertise when overseeing the Army’s readiness, training, execution, munitions supply chain, and contracting operations. With the long-term success of Army logistics and sustainment always a focus, General Perna architected the Army’s concept for information readiness and data analytics to enable resiliency.

General Perna also commanded the Joint Munitions Command. His finance expertise powered efficient and effective procurement of essential items for the entire Department of Defense. His track record and reliability in decision-making in the highest-stakes environments led to successfully deploying thousands of Soldiers during Operation Iraqi Freedom and deploying the 64th Forward Support battalion to support a maneuver brigade.

He received numerous awards during his service. In alignment to his belief in the power of people, mission, and mentorship, he is most proud of receiving the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster for leading Soldiers into combat as a battalion and brigade commander and the Defense Distinguished Service Medal for co-leading the OWS team in delivering safe, effective vaccines to 300M+ Americans during the COVID Pandemic.

General Perna is a Distinguished Military Graduate from Valley Forge Military College with an Associate in Business Administration. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science in Logistics Management from Florida Institute of Technology.

General Perna is married to the former Susan Lynn Pollack and they have two sons, Cody and Ryan. They are proud grandparents of Cody and his wife Ashly's three girls, Adriyana, Priscilla, and Giavana.