Our Corporate Team

Skip Sayles, President and CEO

Skip completed a long and distinguished career with the United States Air Force in September of 1998. His career spanned 29 years and he attained the rank of Colonel. As a career missileer, he spent the majority of his time in intercontinental ballistic missile operations, serving in Strategic Air Command, Air Combat Command and Air Force Space Command. Skip culminated his career as the Senior Air Force Space Command representative to USSTRATCOM, with a staff in excess of 30 supporting a variety of missions. He joined SPR in October of 2010 as part of a project management team directly supporting the Integrated Strategic Planning & Analysis Network, Electronic Systems Command's (currently Air Force Life Cycle Management Center) top acquisition program at USSTRATCOM. As a demonstrated leader, Skip was a natural selection to become SPR's President and Chief Executive Officer.

Skip received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa in Business Administration. He earned a Master's Degree from Webster University in Business and Public Administration. Skip was also awarded Master's Degrees in Education and Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha and South Dakota State University respectively.



Isaac R. Kleven, Vice President and General Manager

Isaac is a founding member of SPR and is an integral part of business operations. Bringing his experience in accounting, finance, and overall business acumen, he is a major component of SPR's management team for providing exceptional support to existing customers and pursuing new contracts.

As Vice President and General Manager, Isaac conducts all contracting actions with the government and other contractor companies. He also handles day-to-day operations and long-term planning of the company, overseeing internal departments and coordinating with SPR's Project Leader in administration of SPR contracts.

Isaac graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a quadruple major in Accounting, Business Finance, Commercial Banking & Financial Markets, and Investment Science & Portfolio Management.



Michael Vaughn (Mike), Project Leader

Mike completed a long and distinguished career with the United States Air Force in December of 2010. His career spanned 30 years and he attained the rank of Colonel. Also as a career missileer, he spent the majority of his time in nuclear command and control and intercontinental ballistic missiles operations. Mike culminated his career at Offutt AFB as the Chief of Nuclear Operations. He joined SPR in February 2011 as part of a project management team providing services to an intelligence community-wide effort. He assumed the position as project leader in October 2011 and has marshaled the Company's unprecedented growth of nearly 100% since assuming his position.

Mike graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and received a Master's of Public Administration from Golden Gate University.



Matt Palmer, Facility Security Officer

Matt has over 30 years experience in the security field while serving 20 years in the United States Air Force, five years as a Department of Defense Civilian, and ten years as a Federal Contractor. His areas of expertise are Personnel, Information, Physical, and Industrial Security. In his most recent position as a Facility Security Officer, he was awarded the prestigious James S. Cogswell Award for sustained outstanding achievement in implementation of the National Industrial Security Program. Matt is a member of the National Classification Management Society (NCMS) and performs as a mentor to new Security Professionals. Matt joined the SPR team in April 2010.

Matt graduated from the Community College of the Air Force with an Associate's Degree in Information Systems and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Regis University.



John R. Fairlie, Business Development Manager

John spent ten years in the United States Navy working on different ends of extreme, from nuclear weapons onboard Trident submarines to Nuclear Command and Control (NC2) onboard the National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) at Offutt AFB. As a DoD contractor at NAOC in 2008, John assumed the critical role of instructor and trained joint active duty military personnel in NC2 battle staff operations.

In April 2012, he joined SPR as part of the command and control program management staff at U.S. Strategic Command where he provided his superior expertise for a range of systems spanning the command and control enterprise. John has continuously proven his ability to not only succeed in challenging environments, but to master them. In October 2013, John assumed the role as the Business Development (BD) Manager at SPR. As SPR's BD Manager, John is the primary point of contact for establishing new relationships with potential teammates, customers, and the local workforce. John is also SPR's primary field representative and regularly attends Industry Days, Symposiums, Conferences, and Career Fairs.

John graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor of General Studies, Political Science and Government and received a Master's of Science in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from Creighton University School of Law.



Peggy Pattavina, Staff Accountant

Peggy has more than 18 years of experience in the financial and accounting world. With industry experiences ranging from Personal Banker; Mortgage and Loan Processor Team Leader with American National Bank; to financial services, agency regulatory audits, and resource management with PayPal, Peggy brings a wide and diverse breadth of corporate knowledge. For the last six years Peggy was the Operations Manager and Accounting Advisor for the Omaha Firefighters Credit Union where she excelled in the performance of technical financial solutions for not only credit union members, but also for faculty, senior management, and sensitive daily operations. In April 2015 she brought her vast experiences in the commercial sector to the SPR team as the company's Staff Accountant.

Peggy graduated from Bellevue University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics.



Christopher R. Zink (Chris), Chief Compliance Officer

As a licensed Illinois attorney, before joining SPR, Chris spent 15 years counseling business owners on a variety of issues that commonly arise during operations, ranging from negotiation and documentation of customer, employment, and other contracts associated with ongoing business ventures to regulatory compliance issues and dispute resolution. His clients included companies covering the spectrum from local start-ups to multi-billion dollar private and public national corporations. With his wide range of experience in business industries, Chris brings the highest level of professionalism and corporate knowledge. In May 2013, Chris assumed the position as SPR's Chief Compliance Officer.

Chris graduated from Carleton College with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and received his Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.



Taylor Palmer, Office Coordinator

In June 2015, Taylor joined the SPR team where she now brings her energetic and enthusiastic professional experiences to the company as the Office Coordinator and Human Resources Specialist.

Taylor has more than five years of experience in managing the coordination of the day-to-day operations of offices and programs throughout her professional career. During her time at the YMCA in Omaha she coordinated multiple programs, created and implemented program budgets, and engaged with several other departments for collaboration.

Taylor is the primary point of contact for all SPR Human Resources duties such as employee in-processing and benefits registration, administrative tasks and inquiries, company events, and philanthropic activities. Upon completing her training in early 2016, Taylor is now SPR's Alternative Facility Security Officer (FSO) where she assists the Primary FSO with security duties and coordinating Visit Requests for employees.

Taylor graduated from Iowa Western Community College with an Associate of Arts degree in General Studies and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bellevue University.



Rena Appel, Talent Acquisition Specialist

Rena has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources. She began her career performing job analysis in large university organizations, gaining a broad understanding of a wide range of occupations. She has over 15 years of experience as a recruiter in Defense Contracting, Commercial Satellite Communications, and Oil & Gas. Positions she has recruited for range from cleared engineering and technology positions at General Dynamics to entry level Operator Assistants with Halliburton. She spent 6 years performing Recruiting Outreach with Intelligence Careers; teaching career seminars, reviewing and critiquing resumes and providing advice to transitioning military throughout the US and Germany. Rena has earned the respect and appreciation of numerous hiring managers and candidates throughout her career. She joined SPR in April 2016 as Talent Acquisition Specialist.

Rena has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from The George Washington University. She also holds AIRS® Professional Recruiter and Internet Recruiter Certifications.


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