Virtual Heroes Leadership Promotions

Virtual Heroes Leadership Promotions

The Virtual Heroes Division of ARA recently promoted three employees into new management positions:

Jeff Lyons

Jeff Lyons has been promoted to Associate Division Manager. Jeff has been with ARA since 2006 and has worked in the modeling and simulation domain for more than two decades. Jeff’s accomplishments include developing a complex radar simulation for the F-35 radar system; simulating validated weapons effects in real-time for the live, virtual, and constructive domains; and architecting a cloud-based synthetic environment generation system.

Jeff is an experienced project and software team manager, leading his team with a customer-first focus. His management expertise includes project planning, project financials, scheduling, resource planning and tracking, business intelligence, staff performance, and business unit management. Jeff earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Florida State University and his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Jeff has been a key contributor to the success of the Virtual Heroes Division since before we merged the Central Florida Division and the Virtual Heroes Group in 2012,” said Division Manager Randy Brown. “Jeff has worked closely with Wes Milks and I to grow our opportunities in the Modeling and Simulation market along with our expansion into the Intelligence Community. He has also spent the last two years spearheading our push into a PowerBI-based financial reporting and tracking system to improve the day-to-day business intelligence of Division Managers and Group Leaders. Well deserved, Jeff!”

Ryan Hite

Ryan Hite has been promoted to Group Leader and also serves as Technical Lead. Ryan joined ARA in 2017 after graduating from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where he studied biochemistry and computer science. In his tenure, he has worked a variety of training and simulation efforts for the Army, Navy, and Marines Corps. His focus now is guiding the development front of utilizing modern languages and deployment strategies, with a focus on cloud-native practices and techniques, while also targeting a wider domain of business use cases for his team’s work.

“Ryan has worked for me for the last five years, and in that time he has proven himself to be capable, insightful, and innovative,” said Business Development Manager Wes Milks. “His performance and attitude put him on the fast track on day one. He has great technical and leadership ideas about the way forward for his group, and I’m excited to see where he takes the group in his new role.”

Brian Olive

Brian Olive has been promoted to Group Leader. During his time with ARA, he has provided technical design and development support on multiple modeling & simulation, GIS-based applications for various military customers and operations.


He has been recognized by ARA for technical achievement as a member of the development team for the ASCEND (Assimilation of Sources for a Cohesive Environment Description) program. More recently, Brian has been integral in the development of web-based business workflow applications for the intelligence community. He earned his M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida. As a Group Leader, Brian will now be responsible for leading group members and growing a business area within ARA.


“We’re thrilled to have Brian step into a Group Leader role at Virtual Heroes Division,” said Associate Division Manager Jeff Lyons. “Brian has proven very capable in many areas, including his technical work, customer interactions (including critical software demonstrations), and leading his scrum team as scrummaster. Brian started with ARA in 2015, earning a Master’s in Computer Science from UCF while interning with us. His growth since then has been exceptional. We’re excited to see how he embraces this new role.”