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Michael Pocalyko
Michael Pocalyko in Tysons Corner, Virginia, November 2011
Born December 24, 1954(1954-12-24) (age 67)
Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania
Residence Reston, Virginia
Shenandoah Valley
Nationality American
Education Muhlenberg, Harvard, Wharton
Occupation investment banker
CEO of Monticello Capital
novelist –The Navigator
Known for international business
corporate directorship
corporate social responsibility
Style literary financial thriller
Religion Lutheran
Spouse(s) Barbara Snelbaker Pocalyko
Michael Pocalyko Author Website
Michael Pocalyko on Facebook
Michael Pocalyko on Twitter

Michael Nicholas Pocalyko /pˈkælɪk/ (Ukrainian language: Михайло Микола Поцілуйко ) (born December 24, 1954) is an American businessman and writer.

He is the managing director and chief executive officer of Monticello Capital, a boutique investment bank in Chantilly, Virginia.[1] In business he specializes in corporate directorship and in high technology and green enterprises.[2] He is a Sarbanes-Oxley public company audit committee financial expert and corporate board audit committee chairman.[3] He is also known as a moderate Republican politician and public official.[4]

His novel The Navigator, a literary financial thriller, was published in 2013 by Forge Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.[5][6]

Early life and education[edit | edit source]

Pocalyko is from the Lehigh Valley, born in Fountain Hill, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Bethlehem Township, in a devout Hungarian Lutheran blue collar family.[7][8] His father Walter Pocalyko was business manager of the public school districts in Bethlehem, Sharon, Antietam, and Bangor and a local Democratic political figure.[9][10] His mother Anna M. (Pagats) Pocalyko was an office manager for the brokerage firm of Janney Montgomery Scott.[11] Pocalyko's paternal grandparents were Ukrainians who immigrated first to Canada and then to the United States; his maternal grandparents were Hungarians who arrived in the United States at Ellis Island.[8] His paternal grandmother Dora Bendera (Ukrainian language: Дора Бандера ) was born in Galicia in the family of Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera.[12]

He began writing for newspapers at the age of sixteen when his first article was published in the Bethlehem Globe-Times.[13] His editor was John Strohmeyer.[14]

As a youth he earned the rank of Eagle Scout and received the Vigil Honor of the Order of the Arrow in the Boy Scouts of America.[15]

He graduated in 1972 from Bethlehem Freedom High School.

While a student at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Pocalyko was a union steelworker in the ingot mould foundry at the Bethlehem Plant of the now-defunct Bethlehem Steel Corporation and a professional musician.[16] He is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.[17] In college he published poetry in literary magazines[18][19] and chaired a symposium on the work of novelist John Hawkes; its proceedings became a widely cited book of literary criticism, A John Hawkes Symposium: Design and Debris that he co-edited with Anthony C. Santore for publisher James Laughlin at New Directions.[20]

Academic[edit | edit source]

Pocalyko graduated from Muhlenberg in 1976. He received his Master in Public Administration degree from the Harvard Kennedy School in 1985, where he was a classmate of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1995.[21][22] He was a Trustee of Fairleigh Dickinson University[22] and named by the International Association of University Presidents to the United Nations Commission on Disarmament Education, Conflict Resolution and Peace.[23]

Pocalyko has published on subjects including the novels of John Hawkes,[20] the poetry of Theodore Weiss,[24] international affairs,[25] US defense policy,[26] strategic anti-submarine warfare,[27] nuclear warfare,[28] aviation safety,[29] the Cuban Missile Crisis,[30][31] the Persian Gulf War,[32] leadership,[33] labor rights,[16] the legacy of César Chávez,[34] the international economics of the steel industry,[35][36] NATO expansion,[37] Swedish foreign affairs,[38] Russian and Ukrainian defense industry, economic conversion,[39][40] US and European export control administration,[41] Virginia legislative structures,[42] the 1982-1984 Lebanon war,[43] negotiation theory,[44] the influence of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the Lutheran Church,[45] democracy in the Arab world,[46] the role of the liberal arts college in American higher education,[47][48] SEC compliance,[49] the Dodd-Frank Act,[50] and corporate governance.[51]

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations[52] and was on the CFR's bipartisan independent task force co-chaired by Madeleine Albright and Vin Weber that authored the influential study In Support of Arab Democracy: Why and How.[53]

He has publicly credited economist Thomas Schelling[54] and political scientist Richard Neustadt,[55] both at Harvard, as his most influential teachers.

Career[edit | edit source]

Navy[edit | edit source]

Pocalyko was commissioned as an officer in the US Navy in 1976 and qualified as a naval aviator in 1977. He later became dual-warfare qualified at sea as a surface warfare officer. He served in the US Atlantic Fleet flying the SH-3, SH-2, and SH-60 helicopters, deploying in destroyers and frigates in the LAMPS and LAMPS Mark III platforms.[56] During his career as a pilot, Pocalyko made more than 1,000 helicopter small deck landings.[57]

He served in the Middle East in the Multi-National Peacekeeping Force in Beirut, Lebanon and was the pilot in command of the only helicopter airborne at the moment of the Beirut barracks bombing on October 23, 1983.[58] He characterized the bombing on its twenty-fifth anniversary in a 2008 commentary for McClatchy as "the beginning of a pattern of internal political conflict and international discontent with America that includes our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." [43] The same year he appeared in the documentary film Standing Strong,[59] commenting on the legacy of Beirut and the bombing.

He also commanded special intelligence missions in the Persian Gulf.[60]

Pocalyko had several tours as a military staff officer at the Pentagon. In the mid-1980s he was desk officer for the Navy’s Forward Maritime Strategy and then special assistant to Vice Admiral Henry C. Mustin II in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations.[61] In the early 1990s he was on the personal staff of Secretary of the Navy H. Lawrence Garrett III during the Tailhook scandal.[62] In his 1998 book Against All Enemies, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote approvingly about Pocalyko's role as a veterans advocate with respect to the controversial Persian Gulf War Syndrome during his years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1993 to 1995.[63]

While a serving naval officer in Washington he was senior fellow of the Atlantic Council of the United States and a protégé of retired Army General Andrew J. Goodpaster, then the Atlantic Council’s chairman. A longtime observer of Russia, he traveled in the former Soviet Union with Goodpaster and Ambassador Paul Nitze and wrote then-controversial positions supporting Russian and Ukrainian defense conversion; economic development of the new nations formed from the Soviet Union; NATO expansion; and deep reductions in nuclear weapons as the Cold War ended.[39][40][64]

He retired from the Navy in the grade of commander in 1995.

Investment banking and business[edit | edit source]

Pocalyko formed a corporate financial advisory firm in Washington DC that became Monticello Capital, a privately held boutique investment bank and private equity firm based in Northern Virginia and from 2003 to 2008 with offices in New York City.[65] He co-founded Monticello Capital with Stephen Frey, an investment banker and author of financial novels who had been a vice president at JP Morgan and Westdeutsche Landesbank.[66] Since 1997 Pocalyko has been a managing director at Monticello Capital.[67]

His business interests are high-growth multinational corporations in the advanced technology manufacturing, engineering services, defense and aerospace, and biomedical industries.[68][69] In the National Association of Corporate Directors, where he is a Board Leadership Fellow,[70] Pocalyko advocates for amplified corporate board audit committee responsibilities, corporate accountability to shareholders, and increased transparency.[71] He is a certified fraud examiner.[72]

As an entrepreneur he initially concentrated in the US information technology, Internet, and medical systems and services industries, including the first attempt to commercially expand the Internet's domain name system.[73] Later his business was international, operated in eleven countries, and focused on environmental services, water, and power grid technologies.[72] He chaired the boards of Advanced Environmental Resources, Inc. in Reston, Virginia and Erdevel Europa S.à r.l. in Luxembourg and Saudi Arabia, whose "industrial focus was energy, the environment, and alternative energy technologies,"[74] and building "water infrastructure in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East."[75]

He is a veteran director who has served on more than a dozen corporate boards[68][76] and is a "public company audit committee financial expert" under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.[77] He was a director and audit committee chairman of defense contractor Herley Industries, brought in after that company’s chairman was indicted.[3] He also chaired the board of TherimuneX Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.[78]

Politics[edit | edit source]

In 1984 Pocalyko became one of the Heritage Foundation's "Third Generation," the "young leaders of [an] army of conservative activists."[79] It was his "Third Generation Military Leadership" that first gained him national notice on the political stage.[80] Pocalyko served terms on the Fairfax County Industrial Development Authority[81] and on Virginia's Commonwealth Competition Council, appointed by Governor Jim Gilmore as the governor's representative and remaining during part of the administration of Governor Mark Warner.[82]

He was a district chairman for six years in the Republican Party of Virginia.[21]

1999 Virginia House Campaign[edit | edit source]

In 1999 he was the endorsed Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates from the 36th District, in Reston and western Fairfax County, and ran against incumbent Democrat Ken Plum, then chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia.[83] Pocalyko campaigned as a "progressive Republican" in the left-leaning district with strong backing from Senator John Warner, a Capitol Hill mentor, and from Governor Jim Gilmore. He took conservative positions on limited government, fiscal matters and taxation (although he refused to sign the Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge"[84]), law and order, Second Amendment rights, faith-based initiatives, and backing the death penalty, but was moderate on issues like the environment, immigration, and public education.[85] He was among the very few Virginia GOP candidates who met with gay community leaders; he pledged active support for expanded gay and lesbian rights and appeared at Log Cabin Republican events.[4][86]

Pocalyko lost to Plum by 61.83 percent to 35.42 percent of the vote.[87]

Writing[edit | edit source]

Since the 1970s Pocalyko has published newspaper features, academic papers, essays, reviews, and opinion pieces, notably for McClatchy, in The Morning Call, The Florida Times-Union, The Virginian-Pilot and Ledger Star, Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute and NACD Directorship. He is frequently quoted in print media and on-line as an expert on business economics, banking, and corporate governance.

The Navigator[edit | edit source]

His novel The Navigator was published by Forge Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers. A fast-paced contemporary literary financial thriller, the book begins with the point of view of the eponymous navigator of a B-24 bomber seconded to an intelligence operation as a liberator of a concentration camp in 1945. The narrative instantly surges forward to the present day, as "Wall Street Comes to Washington" through the "story of . . . the Street's biggest technology deal with enormous risks that will save a wallowing global economy or consume it."[5]

Publishers Weekly, in a profile of Michael Pocalyko published on the novel's launch, noted the book's significant political and cultural context "tackling the next big thing," the "confluence of big government and big business."[88] Booklist highlighted the novel's themes of "Washington political intrigue" and "corporate espionage."[89] The Navigator was a "Top 100 Amazon Best Seller" in the category "Political Thrillers & Suspense."[90]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Pocalyko married his classmate Barbara Snelbaker after their college graduation in 1976. They have two grown children, James and Kathryn. He lives in Reston in Northern Virginia and on the Blue Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley, where his mountain home "Hamatreya" is named for a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson.[91] He speaks German.

Awards, Honors and Associations[edit | edit source]

In addition to numerous military decorations, Pocalyko received the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award from Muhlenberg College[92] and the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America.[93] He is a Lutheran,[48][94] a Freemason,[95] and a member of the Cosmos Club.[96]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Forbes.com Corporate Director Profile
  2. Green IT in the Public Sector with Michael Pocalyko and Tony Cicco
  3. 3.0 3.1 Herley Announces Election of Michael Pocalyko to Board of Directors, January 12, 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 Robert A. Jones, "Pocalyko Cites Need for Change, Reaches out to Moderates," The Reston Connection, October 20–26, 1999
  5. 5.0 5.1 Publishers Marketplace: Dealmaker: Kathleen Murphy (Agent)
  6. [1]
  7. "Commodity trap, bad technology and greed sealed Beth Steel’s fate," Allentown Morning Call, November 8, 2001
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Democracy in Arab world will have Islamic flavor," Allentown Morning Call, June 14, 2005
  9. Nancy J. Freeman, "Business Manager Appointed," Allentown Morning Call, March 6, 1984
  10. 1969 Progress Report, Township of Bethlehem, Northampton County, Penna.
  11. Anna M. Pocalyko Obituary, Allentown Morning Call, April 26, 2001
  12. Dora B. Pocalyko Obituary, Allentown Morning Call, November 4, 1991
  13. Special Correspondent Report, "Patriot Band Pleases Deep South Audience," Bethlehem Globe-Times, December 31, 1970
  14. "Full Disclosure Necessary," The Reston Connection (November 10, 1999)
  15. "Camp Minsi continues great traditions," Allentown Morning Call, August 1, 2008
  16. 16.0 16.1 "In Bethlehem, USWA broke its moral compact," Allentown Morning Call, January 19, 2003
  17. '76 'Berg Buzz & Beyond 1,1 (October 2011)
  18. "Chain," Arcade 29,1 (Fall 1974)
  19. "Dexter," Fusion 1,2 (Spring 1977)
  20. 20.0 20.1 Santore, Anthony C. and Pocalyko, Michael N., eds. [2] A John Hawkes Symposium: Design and Debris (New York: New Directions Pub. Corp., 1977) ISBN 9780811206716
  21. 21.0 21.1 Biographical Entry - Marquis Who's Who in America, 67th Edition, 2013
  22. 22.0 22.1 Inside FDU: New Trustees Named (June 2000)
  23. "Class Notes," Muhlenberg Magazine (December 2010)
  24. "A Gunsight Approach: The American Dream," Contemporary Poetry: A Journal of Criticism 2,2 (Autumn 1977)
  25. W. Tapley Bennett, Jr., William Howard Taft IV, and Michael N. Pocalyko, The NATO Infrastructure Program: U.S. Imperatives in Restructuring (Washington: The Atlantic Council, 1993)
  26. "Riding on the Storm: The Influence of War on Strategy," Chapter 4 in Tritten, James J. and Stockton, Paul W., eds. [3] Reconstituting America's Defense: The New U.S. National Security Strategy (New York: Praeger, 1992) ISBN 9780275942496
  27. "Sinking Soviet SSBNs," United States Naval Institute Proceedings 113,10 (October 1987)
  28. "The Nuclear Maritime Strategy," United States Naval Institute Proceedings/Naval Review 113,5 (May 1987)
  29. "That Insidious Second Guess," Approach, The Naval Aviation Safety Review 51,1 (September 1978)
  30. "25 Years After the Blink," United States Naval Institute Proceedings 113,9 (September 1987)
  31. "The Cuban Missile Crisis," Naval History 2,3 (1988)
  32. "Desert Shield: The First Lessons Learned," United States Naval Institute Proceedings 116,10 (October 1990)
  33. "The Fleet Nugget," United States Naval Institute Proceedings 109,7 (July 1983)
  34. "1974 Visit by Cesar Chavez Linked Labor Roots of Two Valleys," Allentown Morning Call, May 4, 1993
  35. "1950s pension decision haunts Bethlehem Steel," Allentown Morning Call, October 15, 2002
  36. "Creativity, consolidation can save steel industry," Allentown Morning Call, October 16, 2002
  37. "Future of Force in Maritime Europe," United States Naval Institute Proceedings 118,8 (August 1992)
  38. "Neutral Sweden Toughens NATO’s Northern Tier," United States Naval Institute Proceedings 113,3 (March 1987)
  39. 39.0 39.1 (Rapporteur) The Future of Russian-American Relations in a Pluralistic World (Washington: The Atlantic Council, 1992)
  40. 40.0 40.1 (Rapporteur) The Future of Ukrainian-American Relations in a Pluralistic World (Washington: The Atlantic Council, 1992)
  41. The New Trade Order: After COCOM (Washington: The Atlantic Council, 1994)
  42. "Our Legislative Chambers Are Two Equal Bodies," Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, April 16, 2001
  43. 43.0 43.1 "Remember the Marines of October" McClatchy-Tribune, October 15, 2008
  44. The Black Swan Group: Special Guest Lecturer at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business
  45. "Mark 8:31-38" In Our Own Words (Fairfax, Virginia: King of Kings Lutheran Church, 2012)
  46. Albright, Madeleine K., and Weber, Vin, co-chairs. [4] In Support of Arab Democracy: Why and How (New York and Washington, Council on Foreign Relations, 2005) ISBN 0876093500
  47. "The Teaching of the Human Heart," Muhlenberg Magazine 7,1 (Winter 1984)
  48. 48.0 48.1 "What Makes Muhlenberg Muhlenberg," Muhlenberg Magazine (Fall 2011)
  49. "What Is (Or Should Be) on Directors' Minds?" Compliance Week Annual Conference Address (May 2011)
  50. "Corporate Directorship, Risk and Regulation in a Dodd-Frank World," Rotary Economic Outlook Address, Great Falls, Virginia, July 7, 2011
  51. "The Turnaround Director," NACD Directorship 37,3 (June-July 2011)
  52. Council on Foreign Relations Membership Roster
  53. In Support of Arab Democracy - Council on Foreign Relations
  54. "Final Word," Business Today 45,1 (Spring 2008)
  55. Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, MPA Class of 1985 Reunion Class Book (May 21, 2005)
  56. Naval Aviation Museum Foundation National Flight Log
  57. "Records," Naval Aviation News 72,4 (May-June 1990)
  58. Carol L. Bowers, "Marine Museum Honors Marines Who Served, Died in Beirut," American Forces Press Service, October 15, 2008
  59. Standing Strong: The 25-year Quest to Design Blast Resistant Buildings
  60. Carlos C. Campbell, "From Pilot to Politician: Pocalyko's Passion," Washington Metro Herald, October 22, 1999
  61. Hattendorf, John B. The Evolution of the U.S. Navy's Maritime Strategy, 1977-1986, Newport Papers No. 19 (Newport: Naval War College Press, 2004) ISBN 1884733328
  62. Susan Snyder, "Navy Secretary Speaks at Muhlenberg, Defends Base Closing," Allentown Morning Call, August 26, 1991
  63. Hersh, Seymour M. [5] Against All Enemies: Gulf War Syndrome, The War Between America's Ailing Veterans and Their Government (New York: Ballantine, 1998) ISBN 9780345427489
  64. Brady, Rose. [6] Kapitalizm: Russia's Struggle to Free Its Economy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999) ISBN 9780300082623
  65. Monticello Capital firm brochure (2007, 2012)
  66. About Stephen Frey
  67. Alicia Biggs, "Catching Your Business Before A Fall" Loudoun Business 5,6 (May 2008)
  68. 68.0 68.1 Distinguished Eagle Scout Award Citation, Boy Scouts of America, Washington DC, October 3, 2011
  69. National Association of Corporate Directors Presenter Biography, How to Be(come) a Director
  70. 2011 NACD Board Leadership Fellows Celebrated in NYC
  71. NACD Directorship Forum 2011
  72. 72.0 72.1 Herley Industries, Inc. Notice of Annual Meeting of Stockholders, January 11, 2011
  73. Jon Postel Condolences and Remembrances, The Internet Society (1998)
  74. Monticello Capital Private Investment Case Study "Harvest: Sale at the Peak of Earnings"
  75. Profile at Sourcewatch.org
  76. "Battle Stations," NACD Directorship 38,1 (January/February 2012)
  77. Herley Industries, Inc. SEC Schedule 14D-9 Solicitation/Recommendation Statement (March 16, 2011)
  78. "TherimuneX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Management Team" Retrieved 2013-09-30
  79. Hart, Benjamin. [7] The Third Generation: Young Conservative Leaders Look to the Future (Washington: Regnery Books, 1987) ISBN 0815969244
  80. "Where It's Happening," National Review 36,17 (September 7, 1984)
  81. Clerk's Board Summary: Report of Actions of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, September 25, 2000
  82. Competition Watch 8,1 (July 2003)
  83. William Branigin, "District 36: Plum Faces Lively Opponent," Washington Post (October 28, 1999)
  84. @mikepocalyko July 30, 2011 Twitter.com "In my 99 campaign I never signed #pledge"
  85. "The Pocalyko Campaign Toughens as Vote Nears," Reston Times (October 27, 1999)
  86. "Election 99: 36th House of Delegates – Mike Pocalyko," The Connection, McLean, Virginia (October 27-November 2, 1999)
  87. Commonwealth of Virginia, State Board of Elections, "Election Results, November 2, 1999 General Election"
  88. BEA 2013: Michael Pocalyko: Tackling the Next Big Thing
  89. Review of The Navigator by Michael Pocalyko, Booklist Online, May 1, 2013
  90. "Amazon Best Sellers" Retrieved 2013-06-28.
  91. Alexander Walker AIA, "Designing Hamatreya" Custom Wood Homes 5,2 (Summer 2007)
  92. "Celebrating with Henry! At Reunion/Homecoming 2011," Muhlenberg Magazine (Fall 2011)
  93. "2012 Friends of Scouting Campaign Kick-Off," The Scouter Digest 51,1 (Winter/Spring 2012)
  94. Reconciling Lutherans List
  95. "Master's Message," Alexandria-Washington Lodge No.22 Trestleboard (September 2008)
  96. Marlene Tanzer, "Kudos for Club Members - Michael Pocalyko," Cosmos Club Bulletin 66,4 (April 2012) pp. 34-35.

External links[edit | edit source]

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