The Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition (ACIBC) represents the more than 2,000 businesses from 44 states that supply parts, equipment and services for the construction and maintenance of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. Established in 2004, ACIBC seeks to preserve the strength of the aircraft carrier force and promote the value of the aircraft carrier industrial base as a vital part of the nation’s overall defense structure.


General Inquiries

Media Inquiries

Steve Bassermann


Widely recognized as leaders in the aircraft carrier industry, our coalition’s leadership brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the coalition that is critical in advocating and raising awareness for the aircraft carrier industrial base.

Lisa Dante Papini

President & CEO
Dante Valve Company

Lisa Dante Papini is the President of both Dante Valve Company and Danco Valve Company. Dante Valve Company is a distributor of valves and related products for both defense and commercial applications. Danco Valve Company manufactures a variety of military specification valves for shipboard applications. 

Jim Kenny

Vice President of Navy Affairs
Fairbanks Morse Defense

Jim Kenny currently serves as the Vice President of Navy Affairs for Fairbanks Morse Defense. He previously served as Executive Director at Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), where he was responsible for all Hull, Mechanical and Electrical (HM&E) equipment on Navy Ships, Aircraft Carriers, and Submarines. He has also worked at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Norfolk Naval Shipyard where he oversaw all aspects of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Plant work.

Rob Hogan

Regional Board Member
Mid-Atlantic Region

Defense Industrial Base Consultant | Former VP of Manufacturing and Material Distribution
Newport News Shipbuilding

Rob Hogan retired in 2018 as Vice President of Manufacturing and Material Distribution for Newport News Shipbuilding, where he was responsible for manufacturing, material warehousing, delivery, and logistics in support of all shipbuilding programs. Since his retirement, he has remained active as a senior advisor to several companies in the aircraft carrier supply base. He began his career with the shipyard as a welder and has held positions at all levels of production and construction.

Ben Thacker

Regional Board Member
Southern Region

Government Sales and Compliance

Ben Thacker is a Government Technical Sales Officer for Level 1 Fasteners, which manufactures and stocks fasteners for military, aerospace, aircraft, medical, valve, and oil drilling applications. 

Harry Epstein

Regional Board Member
Northeast Region

Chief Executive Officer
Marine Electric Systems

Harry Epstein is the Chief Executive Officer of Marine Electric Systems, a Department of Defense contractor since 1942 that manufactures process control instrumentation, power systems, proximity sensors, explosive detection equipment,  audio aides and navigational aides.

Peter Borden

Regional Board Member
Mid-Western Region

VP Strategic Sales & Marketing
General Tool Company

Peter Borden is VP of Strategic Sales & Marketing at General Tool Company in Cincinnati, OH. GTC is a small business that has provided systems and hardware for U.S. Navy ships since the 1970’s. Currently, the company supplies EMALS and AAG hardware for Ford-class aircraft carriers.  

Randy Mellinger

Regional Board Member
Western Region

Chief Executive Officer
Mellinger Engineering

Randy Mellinger is the Chief Executive Officer and owner of Mellinger Engineering Inc., a family owned specialty valve manufacturing company.  With over 50 years of engineering experience, Randy is considered to be an expert in his field.  MEI continues to be awarded crucial contracts from the defense department and is respected as a critical valve supplier to the United States Navy.

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