Florida Trend recently announced its 500 most influential Florida executives for 2022, naming three modeling, simulation and training (MS&T) professionals to the coveted list:

Grace Bochenek, Ph.D., director and professor, School of Modeling, Simulation and Training and Institute for Simulation & Training, University Of Central Florida (UCF),George Cheros, president and CEO, National Center For Simulation (NCS), and Beverly Seay, southeast regional director, U.S. Department of Defense National Security Innovation Network.

Bochenek said: “It is a tremendous honor to be included and recognized by the Florida 500, such a highly regarded initiative within our region and industry. Especially to be recognized alongside my distinguished co-teammates and colleagues. It demonstrates the true value of the partnerships within our community and what we’re accomplishing together.”

Cheros believes the outstanding showing by the industry reflects its emergence as global influence.

“From Central Florida – the epicenter for the modeling and simulation industry – the National Center for Simulation serves member companies locally, nationally and internationally,” Cheros said. “Together, our industry's technologies, products, and services are distributed worldwide, making MS&T a very powerful business. It is an honor to be recognized by Florida Trend, but our team and our company members are really the key to NCS' growth and success.”

Modeling and simulation solves real-world problems in a virtual space. The U.S. Department of Defense, an early adopter of the technology, has long since used it to train fighters, medics and many other key personnel. Today, healthcare organizations perfect medical procedures with technology, cities build smarter and safer infrastructures, and energy companies are preparing the energy grid of the future.

In Central Florida, more than $6.5 billion in MS&T contracts flow through the region, and thousands of highly skilled, high-tech professionals are employed to support them.

Many in the industry say the full potential remains untapped and that new technology users, who bring new challenges to solve, will discover the power of modeling and simulation.

“I’ve spent a significant amount of my professional life working at the intersection of academia, industry and now government, and It's an honor to be recognized again by Florida 500,” Seay said. “A common thread throughout my career has involved looking for collaboration

opportunities and instilling a culture of innovation to create partnerships of problem solvers. That is the strategic imperative because global security challenges require new solutions to preserve the peace and our competitive emerging technology advantage.”

Florida 500 “represents an immense, year-long research initiative by the editors of Florida Trend” to find the state’s most influential business leaders,” according to the magazine.

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