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Engineering Engineer

Wayne, NJ
May 16, 2020

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Gary La Placa



Technical Leadership Capture Management Business Development Client Relationship Management & Development Program/Project Management

Team Building & Development System Design, Testing, Integration & Deployment Configuration Management Requirements Management

Engineering Development Lifecyle Management Contract Negotiations Stakeholder Communications Manufacturing

Internal Research & Development RFP/RFI Response Proposal Development Opportunity Pipeline Development & Management QA Practices

Technical Engineering Executive with Business Development experience leveraging over 25 years of experience to effectively build and manage a Multi-national cutting-edge technical team responsible for developing, analyzing, pricing, winning, and executing new business in the Construction, Architecture, DoD, and commercial market segments. Trusted advisor and strategic partner to deliver customer intimacy, included developing solutions using current technologies with commercial off the shelf applications, detailed customer demonstrations and presentations, formal proposal development, and final operational deployment execution. Proven record of success in leading and driving complete System Development Lifecycle (SDLC) management of various C4ISR, Smart Building Technologies, communication and IT related technical programs and projects for various Domestic, DoD, and Commercial customers.


Contract win Mohawk Valley Hospital Smart Building Technologies contract value of $10M

Contract win with multiple Hudson Yards Smart Building Technologies scopes, totaling in excess of $75M

Contract win with Atrium Health Systems Design Assist contract totaling $1M

Contract win Newark Airport Terminal A, Security and Smart Building Technologies contract totaling $14M

Contract win with CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia), multiple Smart Building technologies, totaling $12M

Captured Staten Island Ferry annual maintenance contract, contract value of $9M.

Successful met Sales Targets of $28M, $44M, and $46M for the Eastern Region Product Development Team.

Successfully managed the Integration and Test IPT team for the U.S. Army JTRS Communications contract, totaling $1.5B.

Acquired/vetted new sub-contractors and vendors in order to help facilitate Pre-Sales and Operation initiatives.

Developed tools to monitor, track, and assign engineering resources.


Johnson Controls, Secaucus, NJ- Market Cap $21.3B 1/2016 – 4/2020

Director of Engineering

Directed the day to day Engineering activities for a multi-national engineering team consisting of 20 Product Development Engineers in both the United States and Canada.

In conjunction with the Sales Directorate, evaluate new business opportunities, evaluate probability of win, resource allocation and the cost of doing business.

Execute all business and engineering opportunities to obtain target objective of $168.5M.

Provide weekly updates to Senior management and “C” level executive on health and strength of people and business.

Developed and maintained vendor and sub-contractor relationships including Minority and Women owned businesses. Discovered various customer challenges and gaps through requirement analysis and intensive collaboration and exchange with customers and the vendor community.

Performed on-site technical surveys to ensure all design criteria was being executed properly in the field.

Select Achievements:

Revamped the existing engineering team in order to match more closely the technical requirements of JCI existing customer base.

Led the business development/engineering of JCI first Distributed Antenna System win in NYC at Hudson Yards Tower A and retail podium. Contract value totaling $5M plus all day two services.

Scrubbed the Salesforce pipeline, checking for data accuracy and integrity. Discovered in excess of $15M in “uncoded” revenue.

Established IT vendor relationships with Women/Minority Business owners with resulted in $1M in new revenue.

Guided the engineering development and capture efforts for 2 major hospitals, Mohawk Valley and University of Maryland Medical Center

Promoted to Director of Engineering within 3 years accepting more fiscal responsibility along with more people management responsibility.

Pinnacle Wireless, Fairlawn, NJ, Market Cap $50M 12/2013 – 12/2015

Systems Engineer/Director of Engineering/Vice-President of Engineering

Within two years of employment, received two promotions to Executive Leadership role.

Managed and Directed the day to day operations of 55 direct reports including engineers, Operations, Field Techs and administrative staff.

Responsible for the execution and delivery of the Cellular, Public Safety Life Safety, and WIFI, and Two-way Radio distributed antenna systems for World Trace Center, contract value of $26M.

Select Achievements:

Created test schedules, budgets and Engineering resource allocations for Executive and Customer (PANYNJ) review and approvals.

Contract win with Rutgers University football stadium for Cellular DAS network. Contract won on Engineering expertise and design. Contract value of $2M.

Contract win for 2nd Ave Subway for Cellular and PSLS DAS systems. Contract value of $5M

Developed a customer requirements matrix in order to verify and validate that all requirements have been tested, for customer review and sell off (Site Acceptance Test).

DRS Technologies, Merrimack, NH & Oakland, NJ, Market Cap $3.8B 08/2011 – 12/2013

Senior Test Engineer/Supervisor

Senior test engineer assigned to execute all test procedures and deliverables on a Radio Direction Finding System.

All field tests were executed at Eglin Airforce Base Florida.

Interfaced across multiple disciplines in order to maintain schedule and budget.

Select Achievements:

Successfully executed the FAT (Field Acceptance Test) within schedule constraints and under budget with the customer present. Received numerous accommodations.

Uncovered multiple flaws in proposed engineering design, which eventually yielded to an Upgraded and enhanced system.

Developed a comprehensive Integrated Master Plan (IMP) to be used for missile enhancements and upgrades.

Executed multiple Test Readiness Reviews (TRR’s) to ensure that entrance and exit criteria are completed and have obtained customer approval.

Transferred to Oakland, NJ, promoted to Supervisor. Managed 3 direct reports.

Led technical reviews, including design, development, and integration as well as execution activities.

Supported earned value management analysis and execution of the program.

Verizon Wireless, Warren, NJ, Market Cap $240B 04/2011 – 08/2011

Product Development Engineer, Telematics

Supported the newly developed Telematics division directorate.

Responsibilities included validating all technical specifications for Telematic opportunities, verify and conduct Interoperability Testing (IoT).

Design and attend trade show events showing Verizon’s Telematic offerings.

BAE Systems, Wayne, NJ, Market Cap $20B 10/2007 – 04/2011

Systems Engineer, IPT Test lead, Lead Systems Engineering Manager

Systems Engineer for leading DoD contractor for the U.S. government that provides turn key technical solutions in the design, development, integration and fielding of various vehicles, communications, and weapons systems.

Successfully captured and executed several key programs in the DoD, totaling in excess of $10M within a 3-year period by strategically aligning with key partners, customers, and subject matter experts.

Select Achievements:

Intimately liaised with Prime Contractors to fully understand develop requirements

Led the technical design, development, integration, and verification activities for common test set.

Oversaw ~$10M engineering budget and maintained the technical baseline and schedule.

Developed system engineering documents in accordance with associated Verification Cross Reference Matrix (VCRM).

Planned and executed tests in accordance with associated Verification Cross Reference Matrix (VCRM).

Initiated a reusable framework of architectures and delivered technical solutions to existing projects and new proposals.

Developed Statements of Work (SOW) to ensure integration and test tasks were articulated clearly to achieve project success.

Coordinated all test activities such as interoperability testing, qualification testing, reliability testing, and U.S. Army evaluations.

Assisted in the test and verification of C4ISR capabilities in conjunction with various C4ISR Integrated Product Team members.

Supported live Technical Field Tests (TFT) and Limited User Tests (LUT) at assorted test ranges and facilities.

Formulated, updated, and maintained the C4ISR overall Test Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP).

Delivered technical contributions to ensure product functionality was tested appropriately to support a highly reliable end product.


Master of Science (M.S.), Engineering Management NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Newark, NJ

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Electrical Engineering NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Newark, NJ


Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project), GMP auditing, Packaging and Labeling, UNIX, Project Leadership, Definity PBX, ISO 9000/9001, LAN, WAN, ATM, SONET, Cellular DAS, Public Safety Life Safety DAS, two-way radio.

DOD Security clearance - Inactive

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