May 2018 Dinner Meeting
Join us Thursday, May 17 at 5:30 pm as we hear from
Commander Benjamin Wilder, US Navy, LHA Operations Officer at the Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Project Management in Shipbuilding: A Difficult Exercise in Modernization
The Laws of Inertia apply in life, shipbuilding, and program management just as they do in a physics classroom. If you imagine standing down the charge of an angry rhinoceros, you have some idea how hard it is to change a process, corporation, or management team that has been in place for decades. This talk will focus on the lessons of my 20 year naval career from serving as a Nuclear Propulsion Officer aboard the USS Cheyenne (SSN-773) during Operation Iraqi Freedom to delivering the first Ballistic Missile Defense capable destroyer to the Navy, the USS John Finn (DDG-113). The US Navy is a massive organization with layered instructions, standing orders, and procedures to guide everything from the start-up of an engine to which type of gloves you can wear in the winter, and yet, we need to constantly embrace new ideas and integrate them with centuries of naval experience, technical knowledge, and lessons learned. There is a very real need for proper Program Management throughout the world, but the real challenges come in driving change into established organizations. This talk will explore those challenges through a lifetime of “sea-stories” and real-world obstacles.
About the Speaker
CDR Benjamin Wilder is currently assigned as the LHA Operations Officer at the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Repair, Gulf Coast (SSGC) located in Pascagoula, Mississippi. In this role, he leads a team of nearly 50 personnel in the oversight of production and testing activities supporting the construction of two $2.54B LHA amphibious assault ships.
In his previous assignment as the DDG-51 Program Manager’s Representative (PMR), CDR Wilder led a matrixed team of over 150 military, civilian, and contractor personnel in the daily oversight of production, testing, engineering, quality assurance, and contract administration for 4 DDG contracts totaling over $12B in effort.
While serving as the LHA Production Officer from Jan 2013 to May 2014, CDR Wilder coordinated the daily oversight of production activities, execution of sea trials, and delivery of the USS America (LHA-6), a $2.54B amphibious warship. From August 2012 to Jan 2013, CDR Wilder was deployed as a part of the Joint Task Force- Horn of Africa where he served as the Djiboutian Country Engineer supervising production, engineering, and contract administration for several humanitarian projects totaling over $10M of effort.
From 2010 to 2012, CDR Wilder served as the Assistant Program Manager for Terminal Integration and Waveform Development at PMW-146, the Navy's Narrowband Satellite Communication Program Office. Working under the Program Executive Officer (PEO) Space, CDR Wilder was directly responsible for coordination activities with terminal vendors, the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Program Office including the production oversight of software development activities for the MUOS satellite & terminal waveform. While serving in the control-room for the launch of the MUOS-1 satellite, he coordinated all spacecraft payload and launch vehicle troubleshooting with NASA and Air Force personnel.
From 2004 to 2007, CDR Wilder served at SSGC as the Ship Superintendent for the USS Dewey (DDG-105), USS Kidd (DDG-100), and USS Halsey (DDG-97). When Hurricane Katrina caused major flooding in the engineering spaces of the USS Kidd, CDR Wilder supervised the damage assessment, planning, dry-docking, and repair. During 2004, CDR Wilder served as a Calculus and Algebra instructor at the Naval Academy Preparatory School- developing the course syllabus, overall course structure, and administering all grades.
As a junior officer, CDR Wilder served on the USS Cheyenne (SSN-773) as the Main Propulsion Assistant, Reactor Controls Assistant, and Assistant Weapons Officer. In 2003, he was recognized as the Submarine Squadron Seven Junior Warfighter of the Year for his duties as the Tomahawk Strike Officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
CDR Wilder was born in Biloxi and raised in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. He is married to Nicole Wilder of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. They have four children: Jacob (13), Justin (13), Katie (12), and Meghan (9). Since 2015, he has served as the President of the Coast Soccer Club (CSC), leading the organization to a 300% growth in registrations.
CDR Wilder received a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of South Alabama in 1999. In 2010, he received a Master of Science in Physics while a member of the Space Systems Engineering Program at the Naval Postgraduate School. In 2015, he received a Master of Engineering Management degree from Old Dominion University.
CDR Wilder is a qualified Submarine Warfare Officer, Information Dominance Warfare Officer, Naval Nuclear Engineer Officer, and Engineering Duty Officer. As a member of the Department of Defense Acquisition Professional Community, he has received Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification in Program Management (Level III), Production, Quality, and Manufacturing (Level III), Systems Engineering (Level II), and Test (Level II). He holds various military decorations and awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (two awards) and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards).
5:30 pm - Social Hour and Networking
6:00 pm - Dinner and Chapter Business
6:30 pm - Program
Great Southern Club
2510 14th St, 15th floor, Gulfport, MS 39501
Phone: (228) 865-0200
Parking is free after 5:00 pm around the building
|Event Date||05-17-2018 5:30 pm|
|Event End Date||05-17-2018 7:30 pm|
|Registration Start Date||03-12-2018|
|Cut off date||05-17-2018 12:00 pm|
|Individual Price||$5 early bird discount if you register by May 15!|
|Location||The Great Southern Club|