York Space Systems was founded to radically improve spacecraft affordability and reliability, transforming and enabling next generation space mission operations worldwide. Today, it is one of the most innovative aerospace companies, specializing in the manufacture of spacecraft platforms, end-to-end customer space collection solutions, cloud-based spacecraft development tools, and real-time web-based mission tasking.
Charles L. Beames, Executive Chairman & Chief Strategy Officer
A seasoned industry veteran, Beames joins the team from Vulcan Aerospace, where he led the development of its Stratolaunch satellite launch system and oversaw Vulcan’s space investment portfolio as President. Well known for his leadership in the Department of Defense, Beames brings to York an unconventional mix of experience and leadership in space and military systems, engineering, legislative affairs and business. Beames’ expertise spans both the commercial and national security space industry as a former and current board member for several other space companies. Prior to working at Vulcan Aerospace, he was a member of the Senior Executive Service, holding several executive positions within the Department of Defense, his last as the Principal Director, Space & Intelligence Systems in the Pentagon, overseeing the execution of a $90B annual acquisition budget.
Dirk Wallinger, Co-Founder & CEO
An industry expert with extensive experience as the Principal Lead System & Subsystem Engineer on multiple space vehicles, including GeoEye1, ORS-1, Fermi Gamma Ray Observatory, NFIRE, and numerous classified programs. He has successfully executed for a wide range of customers including NASA Goddard, USAF, DoD, NRL, NGA, ORS, and GeoEye (now DigitalGlobe). During employment with industry leaders including Orbital Sciences, General Dynamics, and Lockheed Martin he led Senior Management market assessments, evaluated new market entrance opportunities, set system pricing, and coordinated proposal strategy and messaging for company critical proposals.
Dirk currently leads business development, provides technical guidance for the platform, while developing and implementing York’s strategic initiatives and partnerships.
B.S. Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arizona, Summa Cum Laude
Wells Person, Co-Founder & COO
Former NASA Systems Engineer performing project management roles for critical NASA missions, focused on system design, project and risk management. A versatile professional whose latest experience includes managing a high net worth family partnership, directing investments into private equity, securities, and real estate. Wells additionally developed a testing facilities plan for a consumer product testing and reporting startup, designing a multimillion dollar testing center to optimize operations speed and accuracy.
Wells is responsible for the daily operation of York, financial planning, executing contracts, and developing implementation and execution plans for York’s short and long term strategies.
Master of Business Administration from University of Maryland,
Smith School of Business
Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from University of Colorado
Robert Baltrum, Vice President of Engineering
With more than 20 years of experience, Baltrum’s extensive career includes leading numerous classified space programs and spearheading the engineering efforts for NASA’s Suomi-NPP weather satellite. Mr. Baltrum joins York from Ball Aerospace where he was the Systems Engineering & Integration and Test Lead for the Spacecraft Product Center, he additionally has held leadership positions with industry leading firms including Orbital Sciences and AeroAstro. He has received numerous awards including the NASA System Engineering Excellence Award, NASA Group Achievement Award, and the Follet award.
Mr. Baltrum leads and manage all aspects of the technical team including the development of York’s S-CLASS spacecraft, York’s turn-key space collection solutions, and the development and deployment of cloud-based spacecraft development tools & mission tasking.
York Space Systems management team spans numerous industries and areas of expertise. With expertise in satellite manufacture, finance, start-up, production manufacturing, and coupled with broad industry reach, York is able to leverage the correct talent to meet any challenge.
Brad Wilford, Board Director
Partner at a New York based private equity firm currently managing original capital commitments in excess of $8 billion.
A.B. Degree in Economics from Harvard University
William Bonner, Board Director, CFA
Financial professional with over 20 years of experience working with both a hedge fund and an investment bank in New York.
Former US Air Force Captain and F-111 pilot
Rob Assenmacher, Board Director
President & Board of Directors of CAID Industries, a Tucson, AZ based Engineering/Design firm. Specializing in Automation, Precision Machining, Mining Technology, and Metal Fabrication.
Master, Business Management from University of Arizona Eller College of Management
BSBA Accounting/Finance from the University of Arizona
William Readdy, Advisory Director
Board Chairman of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA), Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) and Former NASA Associate Administrator of Space Operations, Astronaut & Navy Pilot.
In addition, Mr. Readdy was honored as a Meritorious Rank Executive by President Bush in 2003 and in 2005 Readdy was awarded NASA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal for the second time. He has also been the recipient of NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal three times and the Exceptional Service Medal twice. In addition he is the recipient of numerous national and international aviation and space awards, and has been recognized for his contributions to aerospace safety.
Dylan Taylor, Advisory Director
Mr. Taylor is a leading angel investor, thought leader, futurist, and founding partner of Space Angels, a global network of commercial aerospace investors and entrepreneurs. He regularly speaks and writes about the future of the space economy and is a leading advocate of space manufacturing and the utilization of space for exploration and settlement. The World Economic Forum recognized Dylan as a Young Global Leader in 2011 and he was named a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute in 2014. Taylor earned an MBA in Finance and Strategy from the Booth School of Business at University of Chicago and holds a BS in Engineering from the honors college at the University of Arizona where he graduated Tau Beta Pi and was President of the Engineering College.
James Cantrell, Advisory Director
Mr. Cantrell is well known for his international aerospace industry experience, space systems knowledge, and entrepreneurial skills. Throughout his career Mr. Cantrell founded Strategic Space Development, co-founded SpaceX and served as its Vice President of Business Development, was on the Skybox Imaging team developing the technical concepts and venture financing, and held positions at the French space agency CNES and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.