Meet Our Executive Team


Bob Donahue, Jr. is Chief Executive Officer of By Light. Bob’s in-depth expertise in the Government Telecommunication Sector has been the driving force behind the rapid growth of the company. Prior to starting By Light, Bob served as an active duty Army Officer with extensive real world experience in both tactical and strategic communication units. His last assignment was as Program Manager for the DISN Expansion Program (DEP) at DISA, delivering critical infrastructure to the Department of Defense. Bob has an M.S. in Telecommunications and a B.S. in Computer Science. Military qualifications include the Master Parachutist Badge and Ranger Tab.


Brian Donahue currently serves as a cyberspace operations subject matter expert & President of By Light. He provides counsel to leaders at the Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN) and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). Brian served over 30 years in the U.S. Army and he brings extensive experience from Service and Joint assignments. Brian’s worldwide duties ranged from the tactical to the strategic with over 11 years at Corps and below (eight years with the 82nd Airborne Division), responsibilities for U.S. Army networks across the Pacific Theater, and the creation of Task Force 236 to meet urgent operational needs in Afghanistan. Brian’s experience and expertise encompass the operational concepts and technical parameters that underpin the security, operations, and defense of the DODIN.


Mike has been developing and delivering DWDM, SONET, ATM and IP solutions to the Federal Government for more than 14 years. Prior to joining By Light, Mike served as Vice President of Federal Systems for LAMBDA Optical Systems where he focused on 3D MEMS based all-optical-switching and metro DWDM platforms. He also led worldwide sales efforts at Acorn Networks, a semiconductor manufacturer specializing in OC-192 traffic shaping and hardware-based QoS solutions. Mike has also served as a Global Account Manager for Fore Systems/Marconi where he directed all aspects of the USAF sales territory. Prior to Fore Systems, Mike held engineering management positions with DynCorp and Harris Corporation. He holds B.S. degrees in Computer Engineering and Business Administration and is a distinguished graduate of the Defense Language University.


Kylie Allen is By Light’s Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for the financial operations and planning of the company and its subsidiaries. He oversees the Finance & Accounting, Contracts & Procurement, Tax, and Treasury functions. After 15 years of CFO experience in the Aerospace & Defense industry, Kylie has developed passions for building and leading integrated functional teams that embrace customer service, business metrics, and planning rigor. These fundamentals lead to important financial visibility and support business performance. Prior to joining By Light, Kylie was the CFO at Axient (a Sagewind portfolio company), Millennium Engineering & Integration, Culmen International, and a U.S. subsidiary of the Thales Group. Mr. Allen is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and holds an MBA and B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Le Moyne College and a graduate certificate in Taxation from American University.


Mike Hatcher is a seasoned executive possessing more than thirty-five (35) years experience in delivering defense, security, and intelligence services to warfighting and mission customers. He joined By Light in 2019, and is responsible for all Growth Activities for the company. Prior to joining By Light, Mike was VP/General Manager – Joint, Air Force and Coalition sector at General Dynamics IT where he led a team of nearly 5,000 highly-skilled professionals delivering world-wide capabilities and services for some of the most demanding, mission-critical customers in the world. Prior to that, Mr. Hatcher was Senior Vice President, C4 Mission Systems and Services for SAIC – responsible for large-scale systems and network support to US Combatant Commanders and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Mike graduated cum laude with a BS in Computer Science from Texas A&M University-Commerce in 1981. He is a member of AFCEA as well as the Association of the US Army. He is also a member of the strategic advisory board for the Global Special Operations Forces Foundation and a national representative to the NATO Industrial Advisory Group. Mike and his wife Taylor are frequent supporters of the Stay-In-Step Foundation helping wounded warriors, as well as the Navy Memorial, the USO and the Camp Alleghany for Girls.


With invaluable credentials in the Defense Industry, Matt Thompson brings a wealth of expertise to his position as President for Cole Engineering Services, Inc. (CESI). Prior to joining CESI, Mr. Thompson served as a Sr. Vice President and member of the executive leadership team at Camber Corporation. His support spanned strategic areas targeted by the corporation, including Department of Defense (DoD), intelligence, international and commercial business sectors. Prior to that, Mr. Thompson worked at Lockheed Martin and spent almost 20 years at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). He led SAIC’s Orlando Operation for Modeling, Simulation and Training (MS&T), growing it to almost $235M. As Vice President of Operations for SAIC, he was instrumental in the identification and growth of key Live, Virtual and Constructive MS&T programs for the company. Mr. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from Virginia Tech, with postgraduate work at American University. He has extensive experience in business operations and organizational development and has supported the Defense Industry, both domestically and abroad, for over 25 years.


Chris is an electrical engineer and understands technically what it takes to bid, win, and deliver world-class military aviation training systems. Chris began his career with Link Simulation and Training (which later became Raytheon and Hughes) serving in a variety of engineering and program management capacities before becoming a co-founder of Veraxx, a By Light Company, in 1999. Under Chris’ leadership, Veraxx consistently delivered all training solutions and products within contract cost, schedule and performance requirements. Chris earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and a minor in Physics degree from Wilkes University.


Elissa has over 20 years of experience in Talent Acquisition concentrating in the recruitment of Information Technology Professionals. She has an extensive background supporting government customers in the DoD, Intel and Federal & Civilian space in addition to supporting the commercial market focusing on the Telecommunications and Financial industry. In her role at By Light, Elissa is responsible for all aspects of Talent Acquisition to include delivery, strategic sourcing and optimization. Prior to joining By Light, Elissa was the Talent Acquisition Director for the Federal & Civilian Division for General Dynamics Information Technology where she led a team of 45 recruiters.

Meet Our Technical Leads