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Florida Trend recently announced its 500 most influential Florida executives for 2022, naming three modeling, simulation and training (MS&T) professionals to the coveted list:
George Cheros, president and CEO, National Center For Simulation (NCS); Grace Bochenek, Ph.D., director and professor, School Of Modeling, Simulation and Training and Institute of Simulation & Training, University Of Central Florida (UCF), and Beverly Seay, southeast regional director, U.S. Department of Defense National Security Innovation Network.
Cheros believes the outstanding showing by the industry reflects its emergence as a global influencer.
“With our roots in Central Florida, the world’s epicenter for modeling, simulation and training, we’re very proud of the impact we’re making,” said Cheros. “Our industry’s technologies, products, and services are distributed worldwide, making MS&T a very powerful national and international business. It is an honor to be recognized by Florida Trend, but our team, our membership and the MS&T community are important parts of NCS’ growth and success.”
Modeling and simulation solve real-world problems in a virtual space. The U.S. Department of Defense, an early adopter of the technology, has long since used it to train fighters, medics, and many other key personnel. Today, healthcare organizations perfect medical procedures with the technology, cities build smarter and safer infrastructures, and energy companies are preparing the energy grid of the future.
In Central Florida, more than $6.5 billion in MS&T contracts flow through the region, and thousands of highly skilled, high-tech professionals are employed to support them.
Many in the industry say the full potential remains untapped and that new technology users, who bring new challenges to solve, will discover the power of modeling and simulation.
“I’ve spent a significant amount of my professional life working at the intersection of academia, industry and now government, and it’s an honor to be recognized again by Florida 500,” Seay said. “A common thread throughout my career has involved looking for collaboration opportunities and instilling a culture of innovation to create partnerships of problem solvers. That is the strategic imperative because global security challenges require new solutions to preserve the peace and our competitive emerging technology advantage.”
Bochenek joined the UCF team last summer and this is her debut on the Florida 500 list. She said, “It is a tremendous honor to be included and recognized by the Florida 500, such a highly regarded initiative within our region and industry — especially to be recognized alongside my distinguished co-teammates and colleagues. It demonstrates the true value of the partnerships within our community and what we’re accomplishing together.”
Finally, Cheros added, “All of three of us have a great working relationship with each other and are in constant communication. That collaboration will continue to serve as a valuable catalyst to our MS&T community into the future.”
Florida 500 “represents an immense, year-long research initiative by the editors of Florida Trend” to find the state’s most influential business leaders,” according to the magazine.
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