1888 Main Street Ste C185
Madison, MS 39110
Click Here to Email Us
Consulting Services Team
Joel Smith is the President of U.S. Aerospace Defense Group, a certified Veteran owned company providing consultation services and insurance solutions to the aerospace and defense industry, government contractors, and government agencies. He is a widely-respected business professional and executive with a successful record of leading companies in the aerospace and defense industry. Joel has been a vital leader in the space, aerospace, and DoD industry supporting programs to include: COSMIC-2, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Lockheed Martin Space Systems - Satellite redesign, NASA Space Station programs, and DoD CARB programs.
Both a visionary leader and hands-on manager, he chaired numerous Proposal Committees and Engineering Change Boards for aerospace and defense programs. Earlier, Joel Smith spent 23 years in program management, procurement, contract management, negotiations, and auditing in the aerospace industry. He managed over
$150 million in annual sales and was a liaison to the Department of Defense and key manufacturers within the aerospace and defense industry.
Joel holds a Master of Business Administration from Belhaven University and a Bachelor of Commercial Aviation from Delta State University. As a Lean Six Sigma Expert and a C.A.S.E auditor, he has served as an advisor to government and private contractors and manufacturers. Joel is also a commercial multi-engine pilot. He is a
23-year Veteran of the U.S. Military serving in Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom.
For many years, Joel and his wife have been active leaders for local and national charitable organizations.
Mr. Clark has 20 years of insurance industry experience. Most Recently he served as the Head of the Aviation Business Unit at QBE, reporting directly in to the North American Board. He and the team founded the Aviation Division there as a de novo greenfield endeavor in 2011 and quickly moved the business unit into a market leading position in both general aviation and aviation workers’ compensation, becoming the 3rd largest underwriter of workers’ compensation in the aviation sector by the end of 2014 and one of the largest players in the North American corporate and commercial aircraft and airport insurance space. While at QBE, he worked with various partners to found the IFBOA workers’ compensation safety group dividend program which became the largest and most successful program of its type in the aviation sector.
Prior to QBE, he served for 10 years as a Senior Vice President for Old Republic Aerospace, where he led the Special Risk Division, overseeing all underwriting activity for public entity aircraft, airports and aviation workers’ compensation.
At Old Republic he led the underwriting team that was responsible for the creation of the NBAA workers’ compensation safety group dividend program which quickly grew into one of the largest and most prestigious programs of its kind in the industry (the National Business Aviation Association, NBAA is the largest civil aviation interest group in the world, responsible for the 4th largest industry trade show of any nature in the United States).
Mr. Clark has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and is a 2008 graduate of the Thunderbird School’s top ranked European Based Executive MBA Program. He is a former U.S. Marine, an avid runner and an aviation enthusiast. He lives in Atlanta Georgia with his three daughters and his wife of 17 years.
Philip A. Wagner, Chief Marketing Officer - Mr. Wagner brings with him over 20 years of commercial aviation insurance underwriting and program administration experience with some of the most respected names in the aviation insurance marketplace, including AIG and Old Republic Aerospace.
While working on his Risk Management degree at the University of Georgia he got to know the aviation business from the ground up while working as a line technician at Briscoe Field (KLZU) in Lawrenceville, GA. He is a 1996 graduate of the University of Georgia’s Risk Management and Insurance program. He currently resides in Birmingham, AL where he oversees Plimsoll’s carrier relations and placement strategy.
In addition to being the CEO of Cannon Clay, Shane also operates Antler Ridge, his private family office,
and is a partner in a Chicago IL based multi-family office/ private equity firm.
He started his career in the independent retail industry and transitioned to corporate retail where he
found himself in an executive role with a Fortune 50 retailer. He used the knowledge gained in this
consumer centric environment to lead two international multi-brand consumer products conglomerates.
Shane has extensive experience corporate strategy, business development, infrastructure, logistics,
importing, and mergers and acquisitions. Additionally, Shane has led world class manufacturing facilities
and supplied products to the automotive and medical industries as well as the US Military. As an investor
and portfolio manager Shane has identified companies for acquisition and piloted the due diligence
Shane’s multi-family office/private equity group operates as TNE Management and has holdings in
manufacturing, infrastructure, consumer goods, hospitality, commercial real estate, technology, and
consulting. During the TNEM portfolio buildout Shane was focused on sorting through opportunities and
focusing on those that not only needed capital but also could benefit from strategic relationships.
Shane specializes in business development, strategic management, mergers and acquisitions,
reorganizations, negotiations, multi-generational companies, infrastructure creation, and brand
He obtained his MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School in Manchester, England, studied towards
his Doctor of Business Administration at Fox School of Business, Temple University and is currently
pursuing his PhD in Public Policy at Liberty University, Helms School of Government. Shane obtained his
Six Sigma Black Belt and Lean Sigma Certifications from Villanova University.
Shane is a Board Member for Vertigo, True North Enterprises, and Three Sixty Eight. He serves as
Strategic Partner to Integrated Strategy Group and US Aerospace Defense Group.
Shane is married to his best friend, Stephanie. They have two sons, Michael and Easton and two
grandchildren, Hayden and Grayson. They currently reside in Chicago, IL.
Jeff presently runs a division within state government and understands intimately the drafting, implementation,
and enforcement of regulatory policy. He is far from a government ‘insider,’ however.
After many successful years in consumer product and B2B sales and sales management, Jeff returned to school
and obtained a JD from Mississippi College School of Law, graduating with high honors. He began his second career in a boutique real estate litigation firm and later added
government regulatory compliance experience in both securities and nonprofits.
His diverse legal experience also includes defending government entities and officials in civil rights litigation and
working with startups in capital formation. Jeff is a member of the state bars in Mississippi, Illinois, and Louisiana.
In addition to his sales and legal experience, Jeff has worked at the highest levels of management and operations, including leading the turnaround of several distressed consumer products companies.
He is an inspiring speaker, but is also a great listener. Jeff specializes in identifying the best type of business
organization for a company’s needs, navigating regulatory and compliance legal hurdles, and in encouraging developing leaders and maximizing their potential.
Jeff has been married to Shelley since 1999, and they have one son, Grant. The Lees live in