NDIA announces McConn, Punaro as new heads of board of directors

Richard McConn and Arnold Punaro

ARLINGTON, VA – The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) announces Richard McConn, chief executive officer of M International Inc., and Arnold Punaro, CEO of The Punaro Group LLC, as the newly elected chair and vice chair of the board of the Arlington, VA-based organization. Both served previously on NDIA’s board, McConn recently as vice chair and Punaro as chair from 2013 to 2015. They begin their new roles Oct. 1 for two years as NDIA prepares to celebrate its 100th year of service in 2019.
Hawk Carlisle, NDIA’s president and CEO, welcomed the leaders in their new roles. “Dick McConn and Arnold Punaro bring unmatched knowledge and experience to NDIA’s mission,” Carlisle said. “Their leadership will help ensure NDIA’s continued success in strengthening the defense industrial base to ensure American servicemembers always operate with the best equipment and highest level of support.”
McConn has spent more than 50 years working in security affairs, developing a strong reputation as a thoughtful, informed advocate for a strong national defense. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1966 gaining their Distinguished Graduate Award in 2011.  He served as a White House Aide to President Richard Nixon and a Protocol Officer for the Secretary of Defense.  After transitioning to the Air Force Reserves, he served in the Air Force Vice Chief of Staff’s office and as action officer for Air Force Plans. McConn retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1992. He founded and has led M International Inc. since 1979, operating several turbine engine service centers and providing after-market support to various countries and the U.S. government.
A retired Marine Corps major general, Punaro served as staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee for 13 years and later as an SAIC executive vice president for 14 years. He is CEO of The Punaro Group, a consulting firm he founded in 2010 that guides businesses through the federal marketplace. Punaro received NDIA’s 2018 James Forrestal Industry Leadership Award for his commitment to national security, service members and the defense industrial base. Defense News recognized him as one of the 100 most influential people in U.S. defense.
“Leading NDIA is an honor and challenge,” McConn said. “Modern warfare and our defense establishment are changing faster than ever. Innovation and new technology development now reside greatly with our industrial defense companies. I intend to work closely with our members, chapters and divisions to champion our defense industrial base. Together with Arnold, Hawk and NDIA’s dedicated professional staff, we will offer stakeholders opportunities for access and collaboration that will ultimately lead to unparalleled cooperation between our government and industry.”
For information, contact Evamarie Socha, NDIA communications director, esocha@ndia.org