Press Releases

AcceleratUM Launches in the Drone Space; ZRG Recruits President Brett Feddersen

Rochelle Park, NJ, June 19, 2020 – Earlier this month marked the official launch of AcceleratUM, a new entity founded by the former head of the FAA and industry colleagues to advance the unmanned air mobility industry. ZRG Partners Managing Directors Samantha Foster and Craig Sabina led an exhaustive search culminating in the placement of Brett Feddersen as the organization’s President.


Brett Feddersen
President, AcceleratUM

Headquartered in Park City, Utah, with additional offices in Washington, DC, the new company was co-founded by Lessing Stern, its Board Chairman; Michael Huerta, former FAA Administrator; Jim Williams, former Director of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration; and Ben Rifkin, CEO of Ten Eighty Capital.

The technical and commercial application of unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, continues to grow at a rapid pace. AcceleratUM was conceived to develop consensus-based solutions considerate of the needs of manufacturers, commercial end-users, municipalities, emergency service providers, and regulators alike.

“Unmanned aircraft systems are growing at a fast rate, and the standard regulatory processes are slower and more deliberative by design. This poses a risk to the safety and security of our critical infrastructure and the National Airspace System,” Michael said. “AcceleratUM was created to accelerate the development and implementation of policies, standards, and best practices necessary to address that risk.”

Lessing and the Board of Directors have expressed their confidence in Brett to guide AcceleratUM in the unmanned mobility space. Before his appointment as President, Brett led the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) programs for national security, incident response, and unmanned aircraft systems security. In this role as well as in previous senior executive appointments with the Department of Defense and the National Security Council, Brett developed and implemented guidelines to increase the competitiveness of the drone industry and counter threats and privacy concerns raised in response to their growing popularity.


ZRG Managing Directors Craig Sabina and Samantha Foster were instrumental in Brett’s recruitment. As new businesses and business models emerge within the drone sector, they anticipate a myriad of career opportunities for executives in this new market.

“We are excited to take the drone industry to new heights, so to speak,” said Craig. “Leveraging ZRG’s suite of comprehensive executive search tools, along with both mine and Samantha’s experience in aviation and aerospace, we look forward to delivering results as more companies begin to take flight.”

Craig specializes in the aviation and aerospace industry with a particular focus on the UAV, UAM, and traditional general aviation sectors. He has led a number of searches for Boeing’s Insitu division and placed three executives and a Board member at New York State’s NUAIR Alliance before partnering with Samantha to lead the President search for AcceleratUM.

Samantha leads ZRG’s US Aerospace and Defense Practice. With over 20 years in aerospace and defense, she has placed roles including C-Suite, Legal, Operations, Engineering, Sales & Marketing, Finance, General Management, Supply Chain, and Human Resources

About AcceleratUM

AcceleratUM is an inclusive, non-partisan, privately funded collaborative developing consensus-based solutions for the unmanned mobility industry by bringing together commercial end-users, municipalities, emergency service providers, manufacturers, technology providers, researchers, and regulators. For more information, visit www.AcceleratUM.com or follow AcceleratUM on Twitter (@Accelerat_UM) and LinkedIn.

About ZRG

Since 1999, ZRG’s data-driven approach to executive and professional search has been changing the way clients think about identifying top talent, and for over 20 years, clients have trusted us to recruit top talent around the world. Today, ZRG is one of the fastest-growing global firms in the search industry and provides a full suite of retained executive, middle-management, and customized search solutions globally through its offices in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia.

ZRG’s sole focus is to match clients with the right leaders by leveraging technological innovation, years of experience, and our ability to identify quality candidates. Strong leadership effectively steers the ship of a company, and it’s not uncommon for businesses to falter under a sub-par executive team. That’s where ZRG comes into play by helping firms identify and hire the right leaders. ZRG’s analytical process and collaborative culture give us the competitive edge to provide our clients with the industry advantage.