As the CEO of RELYANT, Dan Smith offers a combination of operations, logistics, and security expertise in remote and austere environments worldwide. Dan has led construction management and operations firsthand and understands the challenges of being a leader and principal of an outstanding company. He has extensive, direct experience in standing up, provisioning, and protecting support operations for the US military, notably in Afghanistan and Iraq. Dan knows how to operate effectively and efficiently in forward deployed military environments. He has successfully managed multiple high risk contracts in The Middle East and Asia and managed over 500 million in total revenue. Dan built a security department of 400 Expats, 600 TCNs, and over 2000 LNs, providing close protection, explosive detection dogs, static security, and a multitude of support services. He developed a matrix based training program in multiple languages and instructed numerous training cadre. He established an industry leading logistics program for sensitive GFP and CFP item tracking, allowing for 100% accountability. Dan created a recruitment and vetting program in country that has resulted in zero breaches of security over the course of over 9 years.
In line with the values of RELYANT, Dan personally supports college education for multiple orphaned Ugandan natives as well as multiple humanitarian projects improving quality of life in East Africa via ministry based charities. Dan also is a supporter of the Wounded Warrior foundation at the local level in Blount County, Tennessee.
Dan is a third generation US Marine combat veteran, with extensive on-the-ground experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa. This experience has allowed him to posses current knowledge of the work environment and challenges faced in the austere and remote environments that RELYANT specializes in. In over eight years with the United States Marine Corps, he was “Marine of the Year”, “Force Recon Team Leader of the Year” and was meritoriously promoted on multiple occasions.
Don Patton is the President and COO of RELYANT. Don’s background is diverse and spans across more than 20 years of proven leadership abilities. His experience includes strategic evaluations of business initiatives, expertise in systems engineering, business development and strategic development. He is an accomplished program and project
manager, including an extensive tenure leading multiple multi-million dollar businesses and global government contracts.
Prior to joining the RELYANT team, Don founded and managed a large business unit within government contracting that was responsible for providing security, construction, life support, K9 services and mine action services to numerous clients internationally. His work with the United States and various foreign governments included strategic planning, proposal preparation oversight, project management oversight, contract management, and customer relations across the enterprise. Don’s efforts resulted in numerous contract awards with a combined value of more than $700 million.
In 2003, Don led the Captured Enemy Ammunition Program in Iraq. This program was a $79 million munitions cleanup operation for the Army Corps of Engineers that collected and destroyed Iraq’s enormous stockpile of munitions. While rising to the position of Vice President, he directed his business’ tremendous growth through strategic initiatives, development of robust processes and procedures, budgetary control of all programs, proposal process management, and assurance that all services provided met quality standards and contract specification.
Don also lent his talents to a variety of progressive leadership positions with General Electric, culminating in his management of their Direct Current Industrial Motor Manufacturing Plant in Dothan, AL, a $25 million production facility with over 150 employees. He simultaneously managed daily production, sales, operating expenses and customer service. Don increased production by 17% while decreasing labor and warranty costs. He exceeded the sales, inventory and operational cost targets despite a declining sales environment. His production facility was presented the VPP Star Award for safety by OSHA, placing the facility among the top 1% of all US manufacturing plants.
In addition to more than 12 years of progressive experience in the corporate sector, Don has 10 years’ service in the United States Army as a commissioned officer. While on active duty, he commanded an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Company at Fort Drum, NY. He also served as the senior logistics manager for the Army’s EOD program, and served as both the Operations Officer and Executive Officer for the EOD Battalion located at Fort Gillem, GA in Atlanta.
Don is a graduate of GE’s John F. Welch Leadership Development Center Advanced Management Training Program. Don is a senior EOD Technician and a certified Six Sigma Quality Black Belt. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama in 1989.