Sumner founded Fuse with a vision to deliver critically needed capabilities to the warfighter through application of Design Thinking processes. He leads the company by aligning the team to a Noble Cause of “Advancing warfighter capabilities with elegant, user-focused communications, networks, and software systems.” By combining deep operational experience of veteran operators with exceptional engineering expertise inside Fuse, Sumner has assembled a team that successfully applies cutting-edge technology to real operational issues. The combined experience and expertise of the Fuse team has enabled successful transitions from research and development to products in the hands of our customer users.
Sumner started his career as a naval aviator. After graduating from the US Naval Academy, he graduated first in his class from flight school and flew H-46 helicopters through two deployments with the HC-11 “Gunbearers” out of San Diego. Later, he accepted a position leading the SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific airborne networking team. He was a plankowner of the Joint Tactical Edge Networking working group, and while at SPAWAR, he won three ONR Rapid Technology Transition projects, co-wrote the technical plan for the $70 million CABLE Joint Capability Technology Demonstration, and transitioned two airborne networking programs from projects into programs of record.
Before founding Fuse, Sumner worked as Director of Business Development at RKS Design, an internationally recognized strategy development and product design firm, where he came to appreciate the value of human-centered design. Sumner has been awarded a patent for a multi-enclave networking solution, an Exemplary Achievement Award from SPAWAR, and previously he served as a lieutenant in the US Navy. He also served in a leadership position at Centurion Boats, the Hindu Kush Ski Patrol, and founded M-WERX LLC. Sumner holds an MBA from the University of Southern California.
As Director of Operations Natalie leads the critical infrastructure and support functions that make our team successful. In her role, she overseas daily operations along with planning for our long-term vision with a focus on our team, culture, and ensuring a dynamic and creative work environment. Operations serves to build our awesome and multi-faceted team through strong recruiting, talent acquisition, and resourcing initiatives. She also overseas company-wide policies, personnel and facility readiness, career development, and security. Being a prior Naval Aviator, Natalie embraces our warfighter focused ethos and Noble cause of advancing warfighter capabilities with elegant, user-focused communications, networks, and software systems.
Natalie served in the Navy for 9 years flying in the F-14 as a Radar Intercept Officer, completing two combat cruises in support Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom. She has over 600 hours in various naval fighter platforms (mostly the F-14) and 168 carrier arrested landings. As a Strike Instructor and Adversary Lead at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center she completed the Adversary course at the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN). After leaving active-duty Natalie lead F/A-18 test missions in a Flight Test Engineer position at the Advanced Weapons Lab in China Lake before earning her MBA and coming to Fuse. She was drawn to Fuse by the dynamic and passionate leadership, fun team environment, and mostly importantly – our mission.
Natalie has a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the United States Naval Academy and an international Master’s in Business Administration from the University of San Diego.
Dell is responsible for creating the company’s strategic technical direction and new programs as well as providing engineering subject matter expertise for software, network, and hardware solutions. He manages the engineering processes and documentation to ensure the delivery of high-quality systems. Dell applies his “Get S**t Done” attitude to the user’s needs by creating working prototypes early in the design and development process, building on decades of experience driving projects in this agile fashion. For every initiative, Dell brings his deep expertise in communication system development for robotic systems, POS systems, enterprise routers, carrier grade telecom analysis equipment, wireless MANET, sensor networks, airborne networking, and satellites.
Prior to Fuse, Dell served as software manager and lead engineer at San Diego Research Company, Argon ST, and Boeing (via acquisitions), responsible for various R&D wireless networking efforts and the ORBCOMM Gen 2 Satellite development effort. He previously served as software engineering instructor for UCSD Extension and was a principal engineer for Acterna, developing telecommunications test equipment. Earlier in his career, he worked at Newport Systems and Cisco developing the first PC based router.
Dell is an IEEE Senior Member (communications, robotics, control) and member of American Mathematical Society. He holds a PhD in mathematics from the University of California, San Diego, an MS in mathematics from the University of California, Irvine, and a BS in mathematics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Allen is responsible for engineering development of Fuse’s product lines. He oversees engineering operations, capability demonstrations, and ensures our development efforts align with our customer’s strategic goals. Allen acts as a champion for our warfighter’s needs through user centric design and balancing our development cadence with our customer requirements. He brings a track record for new product development and introduction in both government and consumer markets that has matured the Fuse delivery cadence.
Before joining Fuse Allen served as VP of Engineering at Robo 3D, an investor-backed consumer 3D printer developer that was acquired by Boxlight. Before that he served as Operations Manager in the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms Fab Lab network’s San Diego lab, providing a variety of services to the local startup community as well as clients like the Salk Institute, the City of San Diego, and educational institutions. His time in uniform included 6+ years as a Navy Corpsman with combat experience serving with 1st MARDIV in Iraq.
Allen is an MBA candidate at University of California San Diego, a member of the Forbes Technology Council, and an occasional mentor for the Tech Stars community. Previous awards include the CES Best of Innovation Award and the coveted Good Design® Award.
Rebecca oversees business development at Fuse, guiding the sales, marketing, and contract management activities with an eye toward delivering results for the company and clients alike. Before taking on her current role, Rebecca served as the Fuse project manager for Orison. She is known as a flexible, resilient leader who understands how to drive a strategy that benefits all key stakeholders.
Previously, Rebecca worked at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she provided PM support for Navy Multiband Terminal and Naval Senior Leadership Communications – Aircraft. At Booz, she was a project analyst supporting the stand up of NAVWAR 6.0 competency and definition of NAVWAR acquisition process. Rebecca holds an MS in global leadership from the University of San Diego and a BA in music and history from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Dennis is responsible for the daily operations of Fuse. He oversees program execution, leads the program management office, and manages the CORE solution program. His commitment to the warfighter and drive for systems engineering excellence comes through in every interaction with the Fuse team and the clients we serve. Dennis has a track record of elevating quality management while encouraging innovative approaches, experimentation, and prototyping to solve the next warfighter challenge.
Before joining Fuse, Dennis served as the Director of Programs Common Mission Management Systems and HALE Mission Control Systems at Northrop Grumman. Previously, he served in the US Navy as an Advanced Development Integrated Product Team Leader focused on E-2C/E-2D network-centric warfare and a naval flight officer flying E-2C Hawkeye aircraft. Dennis earned a masters from the Joint Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering. He holds a BS in electrical engineering from Marquette University.