Kevin Graney became president of General Dynamics Electric Boat in October 2019.
Graney began his shipbuilding career with General Dynamics Electric Boat in 1995, as a senior engineer, working on the high-speed turbine generator set for the Virginia-class submarine. He was then assigned as a fluid systems supervisor, working with Newport News Shipbuilding to design the reactor plant fluid systems of the next-generation aircraft carrier – the CVN 78 program. He later managed a team of Electric Boat designers and engineers in the development of fluid systems for the British Astute-class submarine program. After working on the British submarine program, he became the program manager of capital projects and metrics in the Virginia-class submarine program office. He joined NASSCO in January 2006 as director of quality assurance and was promoted to vice president of engineering in July 2007. In 2010, Graney assumed the post of vice president of Programs and in January 2013 was promoted to vice president of Operations. In November 2013, Graney was named vice president and general manager, a position he held until assuming the role of president.
Graney was born in Cheektowaga, New York, in January 1964. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering and nuclear science from State University of New York Maritime College in 1986. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a naval officer and served aboard submarines and as an instructor at Nuclear Power Training Unit Ballston Spa in New York. Graney currently lives in Jamul, California and is married to Cheryl Kidd Graney from Colchester, Connecticut. Together, they have a daughter, Katherine, currently attending the University of California, Davis.
Kurt A. Hesch
Chief Operating Officer
Kurt A. Hesch was named chief operating officer in August 2016, and is responsible for overseeing critical functions that include engineering and operations for Electric Boat. Before that, he served as vice president of Engineering and Design, and vice president for the Virginia-class program. He began his career at Electric Boat in 1980 as a structural engineer in the Ohio-class SSBN program. Since then, Hesch has worked in positions of increasing responsibility in engineering and program management. He received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1980 and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1992.
Quality and Radiological Controls
Will Lennon was appointed vice president of quality and radiological controls in June, 2019. In this position he is responsible for nuclear and non-nuclear quality assurance, radiological controls, industrial radiography, welding engineering and materials engineering. Prior to this assignment, Lennon held positions as vice president of the Columbia-class Submarine Program; vice president of Maintenance, Modernization and Life-Cycle Programs; vice president of Operations, overseeing manufacturing, construction and test activities at the Groton shipyard; and as the Virginia-class program manager through the design and delivery of the lead ship. He began his career at Electric Boat in 1981 as a Test Engineer. Lennon holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Rhode Island.
Quonset Point Operations
Sean Davies became vice president of Quonset Point Operations in August 2016, responsible for all site operations. Previously he was the general manager of Quonset Point responsible for all site operations including Submarine Module Manufacturing, Quality Assurance, Facilities, Manufacturing Engineering and Support Services and Human Resources. Prior to this role, he was director of Facilities for Electric Boat’s Groton location. Davies began his career at Electric Boat in 1997 as a structural engineer and has since worked in positions of increasing responsibility in Engineering, Program Management, and Operations. He earned a bachelor's degree in architectural engineering from North Carolina A&T State University in 1996, and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2001.
T. Blair Decker
Supply Chain, Materials and Strategic Sourcing
T. Blair Decker became vice president of Supply Chain, Materials, and Strategic Sourcing in August 2016. He leads the material and acquisition value stream across the business including design and engineering, construction, material conveyance, supply chain development, strategic sourcing and product life cycle. He has been instrumental in developing the procurement strategies that have helped secure the reputation of the Virginia-class as one of the nation's most successful shipbuilding programs. He was previously vice president for Quality and Material. Decker joined the company in 1979 as an associate buyer and has progressively advanced through multiple management positions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Fairfield University and a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of New Haven.
Elicia Pegues Spearman
Chief Human Resources Officer
Elicia Pegues Spearman was named vice president and chief human resources officer in May 2019. She is responsible for security and administration; labor relations; staffing and site administration; salary administration and employee relations; health, wellness and disability benefits; and training. Spearman was most recently the Vice President of Human Resources for Hubbell and also served as their Chief Employment Counsel. Prior to her employment at Hubbell, Spearman worked as a lawyer and held several HR leadership positions at Aetna. She is proud of her lifetime of community involvement with numerous national and local organizations/boards, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., which span decades and includes mentoring of professionals and students. Spearman earned a bachelor of arts degree double majoring in political science and psychology from Wellesley College and a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve School of Law.
Engineering and Design
Emil Casciano was named vice president of Design and Engineering in July 2019. He is responsible for all engineering and design at Electric Boat. Prior to this assignment, Casciano was Chief Nuclear Officer. He began his career at Electric Boat in 2013 as Program Manager for fleet support and for the UK TRIDENT Program Office. From September 2014 through April 2017, he served as the Director of Mechanical Engineering and Design. Casciano joined Electric Boat following a distinguished 31-year career in the naval submarine force during which he served as commanding officer of USS Philadelphia and Commander of Submarine Squadron Two in Groton, with responsibility for seven Navy ships and crews, including six submarines. He also carried out assignments as Director for Training and Tactical Development for Submarine Force Atlantic in Norfolk, Va., and as Commanding Officer of the Submarine Learning Center in Groton. In this position, he supervised seven global submarine training sites including four major commands and 200,000 students. Casciano earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College and a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from the Catholic University of America.
James P. Gildart
James P. Gildart was named vice president of Groton Operations in April 2017. He is responsible for manufacturing, construction, and test activities at the shipyard with a focus on continuing Electric Boat’s record of delivering submarines on or under budget and ahead of schedule. Previously, he was the chief nuclear officer responsible for nuclear work and testing performed at Electric Boat Groton and the Nuclear Repair Maintenance Department at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton. Gildart joined the company in 1986 as a nuclear shift test engineer and progressed through a series of Engineering and Operations management positions. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering from Maine Maritime Academy and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Union College. He is also a graduate of the company’s business leader program.
Columbia-Class Submarine Program
Beth Rafferty was appointed Vice President of Columbia Class Program in July 2019. In this position she is responsible for the U.S. Navy’s Columbia Class Submarine Program and collaborative support provided to the UK’s Dreadnaught Program. Prior to this assignment, Beth Rafferty was the director of Integrated Power Systems (IPS). In her current role as Director of IPS, Ms. Rafferty was responsible for leading a team of EB engineers and major suppliers responsible for developing and delivering the COLUMBIA Class submarine electric drive propulsion system. Ms. Rafferty began her career at Electric Boat in 1994 as a structural engineer in solids mechanics, supporting VIRGINIA Class design. In the past six years, she has held positions as Manager of Quality Assurance / Ship Certification, Manager of COLUMBIA Class Material Acquisition, including responsibility for procurement of electric drive components, and most recently as Director of Naval Architecture and Structural Engineering and Design. She earned a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from New York Polytechnic University. She is also a graduate of the company’s business leader program.
John V. Leonard, Jr.
Chief Financial Officer and
Vice President of Finance, Contracts, Strategic Planning and Applied Physical Sciences (APS)
John V. Leonard, Jr. was named chief financial officer and vice president in 2003, after serving as the vice president of finance, contracts and estimating. Previously, he was vice president of Finance at General Dynamics Land Systems. Since 2007, Leonard has been the chairman of the General Dynamics Contracts Council reporting to the General Dynamics chairman. He joined Electric Boat in 1980 as a financial analyst and has since held positions of increasing responsibility. Leonard served in the Marine Corps, attaining the rank of captain. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA from Columbia University in accounting finance.
Matthew S. Luxton
Matthew S. Luxton was appointed vice president and general counsel in February 2017. Luxton is responsible for Electric Boat’s legal matters, including environmental and real estate issues, government and vendor contracts, intellectual property, commercial transactions, export compliance, litigation, employment law and workers’ compensation law. Most recently, he served as vice president and general counsel for NASSCO and Bath Iron Works. Luxton began his career in 1988 as an engineer in the Guidance and Control department of General Dynamics Space Systems Division in San Diego. Luxton earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology, a law degree from Hamline University School of Law, and an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Cathy Smith was named vice president of the Virginia Program in May 2018. In this role, she is responsible for design, construction, final assembly, test, and delivery of Virginia-class submarines for the U.S. Navy. She joined EB more than 30 years ago as an engineer in Nuclear Construction Engineering and moved through various engineering positions primarily overseeing Propulsion Plant structures design and construction efforts on Seawolf and Virginia classes. In 2013, she was named Director, Waterfront Engineering, and joined the Virginia program office in 2014. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. She is also a graduate of the company’s business leader program.
Other Key Senior Staff
Michael P. Gresh
Chief Information Officer
Thomas N. Plante
Kenneth J. DelacruzPresident
Metal Trades Council of New London County
William E. LouisPresident
Marine Draftsmen's Association MDA-UAW
Local 571, Port of New London
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Worker
Robert C. TardifChief Steward/Business Agent
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 1302
Damien KimBusiness Manager/Financial Secretary
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1186
Electric Boat Management AssociationMark Wiggins
Electric Boat Athletic ClubHarry Martinez
Electric Boat Apprentice Alumni AssociationPam Gonski
Women in Defense New England Shoreline ChapterSusan M. Godley
Black Engineering CouncilTolu Fayanjuola
Electric Boat Retired Salaried Employees AssociationKevin Murphy