Listen to the BENS podcast:
5 Questions with the CEO

5 Questions with the CEO podcast title card

In this space we will highlight short conversations of 10-15 minutes each by General Joseph Votel. Speakers will include leading BENS members and experts in the topics driving trends in national security, American foreign policy, U.S. resilience, and issues with which the membership is engaging. New episodes will debut 1-2 times per month and will be featured in the Executive Brief newsletter, our website, and social media. You can find the podcast at the popular streaming platforms below.

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Jonathan Evans, Lithium Americas Corp

ep. 8: Jonathan Evans

General Joseph Votel speaks with BENS Southeast member Jonathan Evans. President and Chief Operating Officer of Lithium Americas Corporation (LAC); a company currently bringing to market two world-class lithium resources located in Argentina and in Nevada, USA. Formerly he was the Chief Operating Officer of Diversitech, a portfolio company of the private equity firm Permira. Jon has more than 20 years of operations and executive management experience across businesses of various sizes and industries. Throughout the conversation, we get insight into Jon's perspective on the lithium industry, supply chain resilience, AUKUS Alliance, and what brought him to BENS. 

George Knost III

ep. 7: George Knost III

General Joseph Votel speaks with BENS Texas member George Knost III. Owner and President of Arkel International, an infrastructure and technical services company helping organizations, governments, and militaries work successfully in the world’s most austere and remote locations. With a 60+ year history of working overseas building plants, providing construction and power generation, logistical and life support, Arkel goes where others cannot or will not. Throughout the conversation, we get insight into George's perspective on climate change, battling corruption, managing in developing markets, and what brought him to BENS. 

Pete Dordal

ep. 6: Pete Dordal

General Joseph Votel speaks with BENS DC member Pete Dordal, President of GardaWorld Federal Services. He's an accomplished security management professional and a business leader with over 35 years of experience in the military, private and public security, the intelligence community, and entrepreneurial commercial endeavors. Throughout the conversation we get insight into Pete's perspective on the Afghan evacuation, changing threats and risk hotspots, the role of government contractors, GardaWorld's logistical support of government agencies during the COVID-19 crisis, and what brought him to BENS.

Ed Davis

ep. 5: Ed Davis

General Joseph Votel interviews BENS Boston member Ed Davis, founder and CEO of the Edward Davis Company, a business strategy and security services firm. Davis leads a team of former federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, military officials, researchers, and attorneys advising on crisis response, risk management, and more. His prior career in law enforcement culminated as Police Commissioner for the City of Boston from 2006 to 2013 and included oversight of the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing—now a model of inter-agency cooperation and communication. The discussion explores Davis’ background, the physical and cybersecurity challenges his clients face, and improving resiliency and crisis response.

Dr. Suzet McKinney


ep.4: Suzet McKinney

General Votel interviews BENS Chicago member Dr. Suzet McKinney, Principal and Director of Life Sciences for commercial real estate developer Sterling Bay. In this role, McKinney helps create urban campus labs and research environments optimized for quality of life. She shares perspectives from her work as a former public health official and educator who literally wrote the book about emergency response (Public Health Emergency Preparedness: A Practical Approach for the Real World.) Votel and McKinney discuss lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic response, decompressing the health care system in Illinois through alternative care facilities, and the intersection of national security and commercial real estate.

Nate Morris, Rubicon

ep. 3: Nate Morris

General Votel speaks with Nate Morris, founder and CEO of Rubicon, a software company focused on waste and recycling. The conversation highlights the innovative approach Morris and his company have used to disrupt the waste management industry, the national security implications of tech hardware disposal, and Morris’s efforts to promote education and entrepreneurism in the state of Kentucky.

Raj Shah, Resilience

 ep. 2: Raj Shah

General Votel interviews California member Raj Shah, the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Resilience, which provides insurance and tools to help mid-market companies manage cybersecurity threats and recovery. The conversation explores Shah’s perspectives from the private and public sectors, his time at the helm of the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), and his experience as an Air Force F-16 pilot and reserve pilot.

Hank Greenberg

 ep. 1: Hank Greenberg

In the first episode, we mark the June 6 anniversary of D-Day as General Votel speaks with BENS Director and longtime member, Hank Greenberg. The conversation recalls Mr. Greenberg's experience as a young soldier at the D-Day landing, his career leading financial services firm C.V. Starr, and insights on business in Asia.



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