Air Combat Effectiveness Consulting Group, LLC

Our Leadership Team

ACE Group is the young, small company with over a century of combined experience in support of this great Nation, the airborne weapons systems that protect it, and the acquisition programs required to design, develop, procure, test, evaluate, field, and support them.

Tom Ganse, Founding Partner and Company President

Mr. Ganse retired from the U.S. Navy following a distinguished career as a carrier-based Naval Aviator, highlighted by more than 3,000 flight hours and 800 arrested landings in tactical jet aircraft. He has been supporting the Naval Air Systems Command since his military retirement in 1998. Tom has extensive expertise in the Contract Support Services industry, having provided continuous direct customer support for advanced development programs, while filling progressively more challenging contract management positions for over 20 years. Before electing to return to his Small Business roots, he served as manager for a major DoD company’s NAVAIR portfolio in the eastern United States, where he was responsible for nearly 350 people across dispersed geographic locations, in support of over 36 contracts worth more than $600M. Tom subsequently pioneered and launched the ACE Group in August, 2013.

Mac McNellis, Founding Partner

Mr. McNellis is a retired U.S. Navy pilot with extensive experience across multiple military disciplines and Areas Of Responsibility.  His operational background includes both Squadron and Carrier Air Wing Command tours while completing more than 4,000 flight hours and 1000 arrested landings in tactical jet aircraft. He previously supported the US Special Operations Command, the US Central Command and the US Pacific Command in strategic communications and operational planning and has been supporting the Naval Air Systems Command since 2011.  Mac’s experience includes systems engineering, operational analysis and management services in the areas of Air Combat Survivability, Common Systems Integration, EW Test & Evaluation, Unmanned Aerial Systems Payload Design, and Air Warfare Analysis as both a senior project manager for a large company and as an Independent Consultant.

Stan Salamon, Founding Partner

Mr. Salamon is an industry certified Project Management Professional (PMP), who provides a broad range of military operational experience obtained while serving twenty six years of active duty with Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) aviation and ground units, afloat and ashore. Unique to his experience is a diverse aviation background with over 3400 flight hours obtained in tactical jets, helicopters, and multi-engine turboprop aircraft, and experience serving with the 3D Marine Division as an Air Officer and principle staff member. The diversity of his background and experience enables him to provide a multi-disciplinary perspective to aviation issues. In addition, he trained and served on the senior analytic staff for the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV N81) as the Assistant Sea Strike Branch Head and Operations Analyst supporting Sea Strike Requirements.  Prior to joining ACE Group, Stan supported Naval Aviation requirements as a Senior Operations Analyst with a private firm and as an independent consultant.

Kelly Graves – Business Area Director, Product Development

Ms. Graves is an industry certified Project Management Professional (PMP), who brings over 22 years of NAVAIR and NAWCAD Senior Analyst experience to ACE Consulting Group.  Her diverse background includes experience in the areas of Accelerated Acquisition, Program Management, Risk Management, Technical and Business analysis, Weapons Systems Acquisition, Systems Engineering, Operations Support and Software requirements analysis and development.  She has been with ACE Consulting since its inception in 2014.  Ms. Graves continues to provide customer support in these areas while leading a diverse team of over 30 people across multiple contracts.

Chris McKay – Business Area Director, Analytics

Mr. McKay is a retired Marine with nearly 23 years of service, including operational tours in both ground and aviation units.  Additionally, he served as an instructor pilot in the AH-1W division at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-One.  His staff tours include H-1 Requirements Officer, OPNAV N98, action officer for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development (ASN RDA) and Deputy Director, Future Force Development, Energy Plans & Programs for the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD ATL).  Mr. McKay is the Business Area Director for Analytics, which focus on modelling, simulation and analysis involving complex trade spaces to enhance air vehicle lethality and survivability.

Dustin Adams - Business Area Director, Test & Evaluation

Mr. Adams is a former USAF analyst. After serving a four year enlistment, he separated from the armed services and relocated to NAS Patuxent River where he applied knowledge of signal theory and the operational environment to both Modeling & Simulation and Test & Evaluation efforts. Mr. Adams entered government service in 2012 when he joined NAVAIR’s Test & Evaluation directorate, and subsequently joined ACE Consulting Group in 2019. He currently serves as Director of ACE Group’s Test & Evaluation business area, where he oversees and works alongside a diverse group of engineers and analysts providing support for numerous NAVAIR projects and activities. He also serves as site manager for ACE Group’s Manchester, NH test lab and facility.

Erin Emery - Director of Human Resources

Ms. Emery has 22 years of diverse human resources experience in support of the defense consulting industry. She works to keep the balance with executive management to provide a strategic and integrated approach to gain a competitive advantage while striving to be an employee champion. Ms. Emery holds an MBA from Purdue University Global and a BA in Psychology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Ms. Emery is also a licensed Realtor in the state Maryland. As the daughter of a veteran, she naturally fell into a role where she was able to dedicate her career assisting veterans & their spouses as they were transitioning from their military career.  She is the Co-Founder & Vice President of The AVA Group, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit that focuses on providing career transitioning services to veterans and their spouses.  Ms. Emery has been with ACE Consulting Group since February 2018.

Katherine Evans - Director of Finance

Ms. Evans holds a degree in Elementary Education from Towson University.  She entered the Patuxent River workforce as a contractor 13 years ago.  She started as a help desk operator, then program analyst, and an acquisition specialist for Navy ERP.  She then entered the government workforce in 2013, eventually becoming a GS-13 FMC Level 2-certified Financial Officer.  She left the government in 2018 to pursue work and learn the industry side of government contracting, becoming ACE's Director of Finance.  In addition, she holds the Treasurer position with ACE Group Foundation, established in 2019 and looks forward to making positive impacts in the community.

Dennis Lacey – Director of Information Technology / Information System Security Manager (ISSM)

Mr. Lacey holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland and has over 35 years of software development, system analysis, database management, and information assurance experience.  Mr. Lacey has worked on various projects from leading the software development team for the Navy’s Air Traffic Control (ATC) system, developing automated data tools for first responders and bomb squads, updating and maintaining an aircraft survivability database, to his current role of preparing and maintaining accreditation packages for Authorization To Operate (ATO) classified information systems.  Mr. Lacey also created the ACE corporate network, maintaining its compliance with DoD/DFARs regulations.