WELCOME TO

Cornerstone

Meet Cornerstone Defense’s Chief Delivery Officer, Reilly Leonard. Reilly has been with Cornerstone Defense for 7 years, almost as long as the company has been in operation! He is an integral part of our day-to-day operations at Cornerstone, and an essential part of the management and development of our Recruiting sector.

Reilly’s passion for this industry lies in Recruiting, but his journey to the Recruiting industry was not exactly intended. Starting at the University of Connecticut as an Engineering Major, and then quickly switching to become a Business Major, Reilly ended up finishing school with a degree in Sociology. A school counselor pointed out that based on having a passion for helping people and wanting work that was social-oriented and not always confined to a desk, Reilly would be a great fit for work in Sales.

Reilly spent several years in a traditional Sales role before switching over to the world of Recruiting.  He started off supporting a defense contracting company as a Recruiter, but quickly moved into a hybrid producer/manager role.  From there, Reilly worked his way up and held several Recruiting Management/Director positions at various companies before joining Cornerstone Defense.  When Reilly joined Cornerstone, he applied his years of industry experience to build and shape Cornerstone’s delivery team.  The move to Management from Recruiting was driven by Reilly’s desire to help further others in their careers, which he feels is the most rewarding part of his job. With his promotion to Chief Delivery Officer in 2021, Reilly now oversees Operations and all revenue producing programs that Cornerstone supports.

With Reilly’s varied and extensive experience in this industry, he brings great insight to Cornerstone’s big-picture projects, working tirelessly to ensure Cornerstone Defense sets themselves apart from other Government Contractors. When asked during his Executive Spotlight Interview, “What makes Cornerstone different from our competitors?” Reilly said: “We try to do what everyone else does, just in a mirror image kind of way.  You always hear, ‘make the customer happy, keep the customer happy,’ which is imperative, of course.  But we try to keep the focus on our employees, our people. We try to make sure our employees experience an individualized and personalized recruitment process, because no two engineers are the same.  And once on board, realizing that not all positions and programs are a perfect fit, we continually look for better roles for our current employees, knowing that if we keep our people happy, we keep the customer happy.  By giving our employees ample training and education support, access to great benefits, and an overall embracing company culture, we are making Cornerstone Defense the employer of choice!”

Reilly’s go-to motto in the workplace? “It has to make sense!” We totally agree, and we believe Reilly is one of the best professionals out there to help ‘make sense’ of our Operations at Cornerstone.  Whether he is refining processes, motivating our recruiting team, or determining the next way we can expand and grow, we couldn’t do it without you Reilly – thanks for all you do for our team!

Meet Cornerstone Defense’s fantastic VP of Human Resources, Darcelle Wilson! ⭐⭐ Darcelle has been Cornerstone Defense’s VP of HR for 4 years and brings with her an incredible amount of experience in her field. After attending Slippery Rock University, Darcelle gained skills in several different corporate environments including careers in banking, accounting, finance, working as an FSO, and eventually finding her way into Human Resources in 1996. Darcelle has predominantly worked as an HR professional for Technical/IT companies and has become extremely knowledgeable about HR in this industry. However, her love for Human Resources is rooted primarily in her compassion for people. During her Executive Spotlight interview, Darcelle said whether she is helping “onboard employees, explain benefits, or anything in between, it’s great at the end of the day to know you’ve made a difference for each of those people, and to get to know them on a personal level.” Her favorite, go-to advice is: “Choose Kindness!” Darcelle is a fantastic leader, a great person, and incredibly driven and dependable. We just can’t say enough good things about her – we are so lucky to have you on the team, Darcelle!

Written By: Richard Domikis, Chief Technology Officer, Cornerstone Defense

The cold season has arrived, and we are quickly get ready for Turkey, Snow and Christmas!

Like most of you, I suspect, this is also a time where we need to clean up for guests that will soon descend upon us.  Guests arrive and we, (or at least I) toss things into the corners and closets to make space and get our entertaining done. The holidays start that first cycle of cleaning that often ends with the great Spring-cleaning event sometime in March or April.

So how is house cleaning related to technology?  We clean because we’re cluttered and can’t use our rooms, tables, and garages. Your laptop is lot like your house … when it gets cluttered it’s hard to use.  In fact, your laptop is worse than that – because as you clutter the desktop with files and folders, other applications slow down and can even stop working.  It would be like putting your mess quickly into a closet and finding out that your shower stopped working.  

An extreme way to house clean might be to throw out the house and get a new one, then just move what you need into the new house.  It sounds crazy, but many computer users do exactly that and toss a good but cluttered laptop and buy a nice new “clean” one. Many times, we have a user that says, “My laptop is slow or acting weird,” and the first thing we find are excessive files on the computer desktop or an overly full hard drive. All too often user-created clutter is the culprit.

A messy “house” looks like this…

While a clean “house” looks more like this…

Take some time over the holidays to clean up your work and home computers! You may find those “lost” files you were looking for, and even get your computer to run better than ever.  Cleaning is seldom fun, but the results are worth the effort!  At Cornerstone Defense we always seek to optimize the environments our customers own and use before we buy a new one!

From the Tech Corner,

Richard Domikis, Chief Technology Officer, Cornerstone Defense

About Rich Domikis:

With over 30 years of experience as a senior technologist, Mr. Domikis has guided critical solutions for the DoD and Intelligence Community. Rich previously served as the Chief Engineer of Harris/Peraton. Prior to that, he served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of ManTech’s Mission Solutions & Services group. Over his long career, Rich has served as a senior technologist with companies such as Boeing, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. He has served as direct support to technology leadership at DIA, ODNI, NRO, NGA, and others, often working on large cross-agency programs.

Rich has a bachelor’s degree in Intelligence and a Master of Science in Space Systems from American Military University and is a Ph.D. candidate at Walden University in Applied Management and Decision Sciences. Rich maintains CISSP, PMP, International Law/Law of Armed Conflict and Use of Humans in Research Certifications.

What Is the Cornerstone Defense Story?

Written by: Christopher Goodrich, President/CEO Cornerstone Defense

Like many small businesses Cornerstone Defense evolved through partnering with several large integrators to staff critical positions on Department of Defense and Intelligence Community contracts. Through this process Cornerstone grew significantly each year creating a workforce of dedicated, cleared, and highly technical employees. 

Over the past few years and in addition to our technical growth, we deliberately chose to invest in proposal, contracts, and program management assets that has allowed us to submit competitive proposals as a prime contractor. Our goal in developing proposals is to not only replicate the functionality of current contracts but provide technical and management innovations that will either reduce operating cost, provide better operations (faster, easier, etc.) than the existing capability. 

As a result of our prime and sub-contracting activities, Cornerstone has grown every year that it has been in existence. In 2020 Cornerstone was recognized by Washington Technology as one of the fastest 50 growing defense companies in Baltimore, Washington, and Northern Virginia.

As a small business, we find it extremely important to reinvest in our company to improve our ability to support our customers and employees. We firmly believe that if we take care of our employees our products and services will reflect a higher standard. While this is a short story and much harder than reflected above, all the credit goes to the employees of Cornerstone Defense who make the company a great place to work, and contribute to the defense of the United States of America. 

About Christopher Goodrich:

With over 30 years of experience building and leading organizations, Mr. Goodrich has effectively provided the Intelligence Community with mission solutions. His work has been in both the private and public sectors, and has been marked by growth and maturity of multiple organizations. Chris previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of ManTech’s Mission, Cyber, and Intelligence Solutions (MCIS) group. Prior to that, he was the Senior Vice President of the SIGINT Solutions and Cyber Operation Business Unit for ManTech’s MCIS Group where he established a strong Maryland base of operations. Under his leadership, ManTech expanded its Maryland and Colorado presence and successfully executed a premier Department of Defense contract to provide full spectrum systems integration services to support key analytic modernization efforts. Chris spent approximately 20 years working for the National Security Agency. In 2002, Chris transitioned from the Government to private sector joining Northrop Grumman TASC.

Chris has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Chaminade University and is a graduate of executive programs at both the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In addition, he is also a graduate of the United States Air Force War College.

Written By: Richard Domikis, Chief Technology Officer, Cornerstone Defense

What is to be done when new technologies meet old problems?

Whether you are at home, in a hotel, or on a combat field, odds are you have encountered new technologies that challenge our current ways of thinking and acting. How many of us have had a conversation with another person only to have Siri think you were talking to her and suddenly interrupt your conversation? Reminding us, of course, that our phones are always listening to us…

While we choose to invent use these technologies, we don’t always conscientiously choose the complications that come with these technologies.

A recent United Nations report investigated a Libyan Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) and its autonomous operations. The report suggests that this maybe the first AI guided machine to kill humans without human guidance and specific approval. For most unmanned systems, there is still a person behind the scenes that makes that critical “fire” decision. To a degree we can consider these systems as remote controlled or semi-autonomous. Often, these limitations are not from the technologies but a result of our desire to maintain some level of human control over an autonomous system. For example, we might want a UAV that can fly and look for targets based on human provided criteria, but then we still want a final HUMAN decision before a serious action.

The UN report explores a Libyan rotary UCAV that apparently operated, hunted, and killed human targets autonomously. Now to say that this machine operations completely without human input is a bit ingenious. After all, it was humans that built the machine, the software, and rules of targeting and engagement by which the machine would operate. The report eventually suggests that this UCAV did target and kill humans without additional human approvals. That’s a large and scary step in UAV operations – think about a few scenes from the Terminator movies, for example. https://undocs.org/S/2021/229

There is, of course, an important lesson to derive from the findings of the UN report. As we become more confident and dependent on AI/ML and autonomous systems, we also must decide whether or not to relinquish some controls and decision-making abilities to these systems. When we tell our smart washing machine, “more clean” or “more dry,” we’re also causing the machine to decide what “more” means. When we invite Siri into our house and our lives, to a degree, we give up some privacy to have her listen and be ready to set a timer or quickly answer a question. While it’s unclear what checks and balances the Libyan UCAV had in place to ensure proper operation, it is certainly a scary evolution of combat. 

Cornerstone works to operationally use AI/ML/DL, and a frequent challenge is to accept what the autonomous system wants to do/defaults to after being programmed. Billy Bean from Major League Baseball data analytics fame once said, “It’s easy to do what analytics tell you to do when that’s what you want to do…the challenge is doing what it tells you to do when you don’t agree.”

As Cornerstone creates more effective AI/ML/DL systems, we often put their planned actions into a human decision loop to build human confidence that the autonomous system is planning and acting in a manner consistent with the mission, relevant laws, and rules of engagement. When new technologies meet old problems – it’s important to have a conscientious approach to the solution.

From the Tech Corner,

Richard Domikis, Chief Technology Officer, Cornerstone Defense

About Rich Domikis:

With over 30 years of experience as a senior technologist, Mr. Domikis has guided critical solutions for the DoD and Intelligence Community. Rich previously served as the Chief Engineer of Harris/Peraton. Prior to that, he served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of ManTech’s Mission Solutions & Services group. Over his long career, Rich has served as a senior technologist with companies such as Boeing, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. He has served as direct support to technology leadership at DIA, ODNI, NRO, NGA, and others, often working on large cross-agency programs.

Rich has a bachelor’s degree in Intelligence and a Master of Science in Space Systems from American Military University and is a Ph.D. candidate at Walden University in Applied Management and Decision Sciences. Rich maintains CISSP, PMP, International Law/Law of Armed Conflict and Use of Humans in Research Certifications.

Written By: Richard Domikis, Chief Technology Officer, Cornerstone Defense

My youngest son Jacob, is a junior in college and an Economics major. That’s a bit far from the Technology tree … or is it? I had the great honor of watching Jacob give a Ted Talk last week at Hampden Sydney College. Tying economics and technology together, his very interesting Ted Talk illustrated a situation in which citizens of a country in economic despair turned to technology and virtual gaming as a way to make an income. Read on to see how economy, technology, reality and virtual reality unexpectedly come together in this situation, and why it should matter to us in terms of the future of our global economy.

Venezuela has become plagued by low income and rampant inflation, especially in the last decade. Venezuela is also a victim of a limited export (oil) economy, often called by economists, “Dutch Disease.” In Venezuela the monthly income converted to US dollars is around $25, though perhaps even less when you consider how many citizens are far below the average to offset the few mega-wealthy. With that in mind, some estimations claim the average monthly income for Venezuelans is as low as $4.50 USD. Couple that economic disparity with rampant inflation, and you have a scary mixture of low income and high cost of goods. It’s no wonder many Venezuelans are in desperate need of a solution to increase their income.

My son Jacob’s discussion describes how virtual gaming has offered a solution to Venezuelans, changing the lives of real people. Though perhaps not commonly known by non-gamers, many gamers spend real cash to buy virtual game items. That’s right — those of us in more affluent societies spend real dollars to buy virtual items! Inherently, this creates a supply/demand and a virtual economy. Because of this, Venezuelans are able to play online video games (mainly RuneScape, an old PC game from the early 2000s), to perform in-game virtual tasks for real money. Whether it be killing dragons and harvesting the bones to sell, or any other number of virtual tasks, Venezuelan players can take their virtual earnings and sell them to other players for bitcoin, cryptocurrency or US dollars. A typical player doing this can easily make $60 or more a month, substantially more than the $25 monthly average, doubling or even tripling their monthly income! 

So what this real-life effect of virtual technology have to do with Cornerstone Defense? 

The virtual solution that citizens of Venezuela have found to a real-life problem is just one example of a global entry into the next economy – one where data and information are the key commodity. Yes, we will still mine gold, harvest food, build and drive cars — but many will also find themselves “growing and harvesting” data for profits. Cornerstone Defense is a company built around data and data exploitation expertise.

The fact that citizens of a country where income is scarce can harvest virtual objects for real money is world-changing, and for them, life-changing. Imagine feeding your family based on work within a virtual world! The possibilities are endless. While there are many positives to these possibilities, there are also risks and downsides to the potential of virtual gaming for work. Near the end of his Ted Talk, my son mentioned another interesting point; though a few people are earning income in this virtual RuneScape world, many others are playing this video game just for fun, of course. Suddenly, hunting and stealing from others (which is a regular part of the game), becomes disconcerting when one player is feeding his family and another is “having fun.” Economics, technologies and ethics start to collide and eventually we will have to address how to navigate the repercussions of this new use of technology.

Whenever we embrace new technologies, we also open doors to both the good and challenging effects that may occur.

I certainly walked away with a new perspective from my son’s Ted Talk, and enjoyed his mixture of economic and technologic observations throughout his presentation. Of course, I am very proud of his work! If you found this quick summary of his Ted Talk engaging, I encourage you to watch his presentation on YouTube at the link below.

Until next time!

From the Tech Corner,

Richard Domikis, Chief Technology Officer, Cornerstone Defense

Link: Jacob Domikis Ted Talk

About Rich Domikis:

With over 30 years of experience as a senior technologist, Mr. Domikis has guided critical solutions for the DoD and Intelligence Community. Rich previously served as the Chief Engineer of Harris/Peraton. Prior to that, he served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of ManTech’s Mission Solutions & Services group. Over his long career, Rich has served as a senior technologist with companies such as Boeing, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. He has served as direct support to technology leadership at DIA, ODNI, NRO, NGA, and others, often working on large cross-agency programs.

Rich has a bachelor’s degree in Intelligence and a Master of Science in Space Systems from American Military University and is a Ph.D. candidate at Walden University in Applied Management and Decision Sciences. Rich maintains CISSP, PMP, International Law/Law of Armed Conflict and Use of Humans in Research Certifications.

Cornerstone Defense Added to Washington Technology Fast 50

Cornerstone Defense has been recognized by Washington Technology as the 9th fastest growing company in the Government market in 2020.  This is an annual ranking that celebrates the depth and diversity of small businesses in the federal market, recognizing some of the fastest-growing GovCon firms.  The annual rankings are a showcase for the government market’s fastest-growing small businesses.  This award is a direct result of our customer-facing team and our clients’ determination to get to “The Edge” of differentiated technology in the protection of our nation. We are excited and honored to receive this recognition and look forward to continued growth.  Here is a link to their annual rankings:  Washington Technology Fast 50.

Cornerstone Defense Awarded NSWCDD’s First Ever OTA

Cornerstone Defense is excited to work with Naval Service Warfare Center Dahlgren Division’s hybrid cloud team to enhance performance and data security.

Cornerstone Defense is Awarded First Ever NSTIC OTA

Cornerstone is proud to have been part of the 1st ever award of a NSTIC OTA to our client at the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren. This OTA was based on helping our customer develop a hybrid cloud architecture utilizing a single stack multi-level security posture.

Cornerstone Defense Awarded Contract to Support NAVAIR’s Cloud and Data Security

Cornerstone Defense was awarded it’s first Navy prime contract.  This amazing achievement will be supporting the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO), under NAVAIR, providing data ingest and traceability for their F-35 Data Lake.  

Cornerstone Defense Attends KubeCon NA 2019, San Diego, CA

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s flagship conference gathers leading technologists from leading open source and cloud native communities to further the education and advancement of cloud native computing.

Rich Domikis joins Cornerstone Defense

HANOVER, Md., March 4, 2019 (Newswire.com) – The Board of Directors of Cornerstone Defense LLC today announced it has named Richard Domikis as Chief Technology Officer effective March 4, 2019. Regarding this new opportunity, Mr. Domikis commented, “I’m excited to begin this great journey with the entire Cornerstone team. Cornerstone’s leadership and technical team are truly second to none. The commitment to the customer mission is evident in every area. Each member of the Cornerstone team is an important part of our future and working with this team is simply amazing at every level. My intent is to provide technical leadership, deliver customer-focused solutions and provide opportunities for  growth both on an individual and corporate basis.”

William Bradley, the founder of Cornerstone Defense, expressed, “Rich’s proven technical leadership, mission understanding, and history of delivering solutions will serve Cornerstone’s customers, partners, and employees extremely well. Rich is the obvious choice for the company based on his experience and vast technical knowledge of the DoD and Intelligence Community.”

With over 30 years of experience as a senior technologist, Mr. Domikis has guided critical solutions for the DoD and Intelligence Community. His work combines technical knowledge, mission operations, and business expertise, ensuring each solution is mission focused, technically viable and achieves enterprise business initiatives. Rich previously served as the Chief Engineer of Harris/Peraton. Prior to that, he served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of ManTech’s Mission Solutions & Services group. Over his long career, Rich has served as a senior technologist with companies such as Boeing, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. He has served as direct support to technology leadership at DIA, ODNI, NRO, NGA, and others, often working on large cross-agency programs.

Rich has a bachelor’s degree in Intelligence and a Master of Science in Space Systems from American Military University and is a Ph.D. candidate at Walden University in Applied Management and Decision Sciences. Rich maintains CISSP, PMP, International Law/Law of Armed Conflict and Use of Humans in Research Certifications.

Cornerstone Defense Wins SeaPort-NxG

SeaPort-NxG
Prime: 
Cornerstone Defense LLC
Contract Number: N0017819D7415

End of Period: 1/2/2019 through 1/2/2024
Contract Administration: John Snevely – 703.880.2697 direct, 703.244.8955 mobile, j.snevely@csdef.com
Business Development: Patrick Palmer – 703.691.5103 direct, 703.598.6695 mobile, p.palmer@csdef.com

Description:

Cornerstone Defense LLC is a small business prime on SeaPort-NxG. This contract is the Navy’s new electronic platform (replacing SeaPort-e) for acquiring support services that includes Engineering, Financial Management, and Program Management. The Navy Systems Commands (NAVSEA, NAVAIR, NAVWAR, NAVFAC, and NAVSUP), the Office of Naval Research, Military Sealift Command, and the United States Marine Corps compete their service requirements amongst many SeaPort-NxG IDIQ multiple award contract holders. The SeaPort-NxG portal provides a standardized, efficient means of soliciting offers from amongst the diverse population of large and small businesses and their approved team members. All task orders are competitively solicited, awarded, and managed using the SeaPort-NxG platform. Simply stated, SeaPort-NxG provides an efficient and effective means of contracting for professional support services and enhancing small business participation.

Cornerstone Defense Wins GSA MAS Schedule

GSA MAS Schedule  
Prime: 
Cornerstone Defense LLC
Contract Number: 47QTCA18D00ME

Period of Performance: 09/28/2018 thru 09/27/2023
Contract Administration: Paul Kumpf – 703.691.5104 direct, 703.786.7939 mobile, paul@csdef.com
Business Development: Patrick Palmer – 703.691.5103 direct, 703.598.6695 mobile, pat@csdef.com

Description:

Cornerstone Defense LLC is a small business prime on GSA MAS Schedule. This is a long-term contract issued by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to a commercial technology vendor. Award of a Schedule contract signifies that the GSA has determined that the vendor’s pricing is fair and reasonable, and the vendor is in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Purchasing from pre- approved vendors allows agencies to cut through red tape and receive goods and services faster. A vendor doesn’t need to win a GSA Schedule contract in order to do business with U.S. Government agencies but having a Schedule contract can cut down on administrative costs, both for the vendor and for the agency. Federal agencies typically submit requests to three vendors on a Schedule and choose the vendor that offers the best value.