Bryon Kroger
Founder & CEO
Bryon Kroger is Founder and CEO of Rise8. Before that, he spent seven years as a targeteer using terrible software, which led him to cross-train to acquisitions and spend his first year building a transformation at AFLCMC, ultimately becoming one of three co-founders of Kessel Run.

Bryon served as Kessel Run COO for two years, leading acquisitions, development, and operations for the enterprise-scale software lab that defined DoD DevSecOps. Frustrated by the path the DoD was taking to scale the team’s success across the rest of the enterprise, he separated and decided to tackle the problem as a digital services provider.

Bryon launched Rise8 in 2019 to help change agents overcome bureaucracy and transform the way they build and deploy software to create national security outcomes in prod.
Bryon's View
"The path to improvement starts with committing to a higher standard."
Matt Nelson
Chief Operating Officer
Matt Nelson was an original team member of Kessel Run and served in 3 key leadership positions during his time within the program: chief of the F-35 Mad Hatter digital transformation project, chief of the Business Operations Branch, and chief of the AOC 10.1 Cloud Migration Team.

In his career, he’s helped to develop agile and digital transformation techniques for Kessel Run, USCYBERCOM, P-8 Poseidon program, Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization, and Air.

Matt’s technical specialties are system design, DevSecOps implementation, and cultural transformation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology and a master’s degree in aeronautical science.
Matt's View
"Welcome to the party... you are going to love it!"
Carlo Viray
Director of Customer & Employee Experience
As our Director of Customer and Employee Experience, Carlo is focused on creating and cultivating a great employee experience that leads to a great customer experience. Every experience matters and it’s about experiences that bring together empathy and passion that lead to success and happiness, for both employees and customers.

Before becoming a Riser, Carlo served six years as an acquisition officer managing software programs within the Air Force and Space Force.

Carlo was one of the first project managers turned product manager at Kessel Run, responsible for delivering the first major product adopted by AOCs across the globe. The Air Force sent Carlo to the Space Force to help stand up the Space Force’s first software factory, Kobayashi Maru, and Section 31, where he served as the Director of Product.

Despite helping lead digital transformation efforts for two major organizations, there was only so much he could do as a Captain. Wanting to continue to pursue his passion and to have an even larger impact outside of the military, he separated and decided to rejoin forces with Bryon at Rise8 to continue enabling innovation through people, culture, and software.
Carlo's View
"Welcome to the radical kids club."
Kira Ivarsson
Software Engineer
Kira is a Software Engineer focused on streamlining the delivery of easy-to-use, modern, integrated software. She recognizes that while software is the deliverable, current and future users are the beneficiaries. Kira is currently paired with the Department of Veterans Affairs to deliver both processes and products with continuous authority to operate (cATO), ultimately assisting VA clinicians in their delivery of direct patient care.

Kira brings nearly three years of software engineering experience and real world application of delivering software to warfighters operating across the Middle East. She has a reputation among her Rise8 and VA teams for skillfully debugging problems.
Kira's View
"Any excuse to throw my foot on the desk and say: look, I have socks too!"
Amalan Krish
Staff Software Engineer
Krish is a Staff Software Engineer supporting Tracer, a modernized compliance platform to simplify cRMF. As a riser, Krish is passionate about building innovative and sustainable software solutions and advocating for agile practices such as Test Driven Development, Extreme Programming, and Domain-Driven Design to his clients and customers.

Krish holds a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science and a Master’s degree in Bioinformatics from Rutgers University - New Brunswick. He has nearly 10 years of experience in application development, application transformation, and platform operations in the Department of Defense.
Amalan's View
"Buy yourself an Olive Garden franchise"
Marshall Hendricks
Cloud Software Architect & Developer
Marshall is a Cloud Software Architect and Developer. He brings a wealth of experience to the Rise8 Advanced Battle Management System (AMBS) Program from 20 years as a software developer and, specifically, 10 years supporting the Department of Defense with Raytheon.

As a Riser, Marshall is focused on facilitating tailored, digital transformation that successfully integrates a specific organization and the associated people. He thrives on helping teams identify paths-to-prod or minimum viable product (MVP) integrations, delivering value to end users with minimal time from identification of need to capability.

Marshall lives by “6Cs of Engagement:” Challenge, Communication, Collaboration, Culture, Credibility, and Consensus.
Marshall's View
"The only good thing about that meeting was the call quality."
Product Designer
Jessica Jin (JJ) Yu is a product designer at Rise8 working with customers at Section 31, a team delivering software for the Space Force. She works on Team Metroid designing for apps Space Board and BlueStat (coming soon). In a nutshell, she constantly advocates for the users, helping the team remain focused on solving problems with them in mind.
JJ's View
"Typography is a true art"
Jose Ricaurte
Portfolio UX Lead
Jose is a user focused, Portfolio UX Lead who is paired with the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) Program. He comes to Rise8 with 15 years of design experience, including six years in support of the Department of Defense, and over two years in Product Design at Kessel Run.

As a Riser, Jose strives to mitigate “technology soup” and remind teams that software and hardware exist to enable humans who, in this case, are our Warfighters. He rejects the notion that users must needlessly suffer due to institutional friction as he contributes to the accelerated delivery of next-generation Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) capabilities.
Jose's View
"When in doubt, left-align!"
Alexandra Brierton
Product Designer
Alexandra is a product designer pairing with Kobayashi Maru. She is accurate, logical and reserved, motivated by precision, accuracy and logic. Likewise, she judges others on their ability to think logically.

With three years of UX/UI design experience, she defines, clarifies, evaluates and tests information to produce accurate results.
Alexandra's View
"Go with the flow and make the best of any situation!"
Rob Monroe
Product Manager
Rob Monroe is a Product Manager pairing with the Veterans Affairs Lighthouse Organization, and on a mission to create the safest and leanest path to production for product development teams. Rob joined Rise8 with four years of tackling the path to production domain for large scale commercial IT organizations, and hopes to create an opportunity where fewer bad things happen, and greater velocity of continuously delivering value is achieved, because of software.

Rob is a product-centric enthusiast that loves to iteratively and incrementally grow Lean Product Management teams and organizations as a Product Leader. From individuals to portfolios, he enjoys coaching and operationalizing a Lean product mindset and culture that evolves to increase learning velocity and innovation at scale.
Rob's View
"Sweet potato fries for the win!"
Ramona Jackson
Product Portfolio Manager
Ramona is a Product Portfolio Manager pairing with Kobayashi Maru (KM), Space Domain Awareness Branch. She is currently pairting with the branch Materiel Lead and the Product Lead for the Advanced Tracking and Launch Analysis System (ATLAS) to form a nascent branch product practice, enable new product practitioners and facilitate delivery focused progress towards an operationally accepted lean slice of the satellite catalog administration/maintenance and event management domain.

Ramona brings with her over a decade of IT program and product portfolio consulting experience in the fintech, logistics, and the public sector. She’s spent the last few years enabling teams from BESPIN, Rapid Capabilities Office Advanced Battle Management Systems (Applications), Kessel Run (Data Ops) and now Space Force KM. Ramona is committed to execution first and foremost and education on the value of product portfolio management as a practice as opposed to product management at scale.
Ramona's View
"I joined Rise8 to get ship done. I’m a no nonsense product delivery professional and I saw in this role an opportunity to move forward from the theory of transformation to the business of transformation long term."
Clark Pain
Product Manager
Clark is a Product Manager pairing with the Space Force software program Kobayashi Maru. He is focused on product strategy development to unify the space operations community while bringing space closer to the other warfighting domains.

Clark leverages skilled experience from serving as an Air Force Intelligence Officer, during which he had the opportunity to lead process improvement efforts across the National Security Agency and Air Force Space Command. In pairing with Kobayashi Maru, Clark contributes to building an application that maintains and delivers both space domain strategy and priorities to planners and tactical audiences.
Clark's View
"I mean... force lightning is objectively pretty sweet"