Deseret UAS Board Of Directors

Deseret UAS Staff

Dr. Tulinda Larsen

Executive Director

Dr. Larsen is Executive Director, Deseret UAS. She is a Part 107 Remote Pilot in Command and a private pilot. Her books, The Drone Hobbyist and a Trustworthy Drone Business are top sellers on Amazon. Recently, her editorial on small drone businesses was published in Aviation Week and Space Technology. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Dr. Larsen holds a B.A. and M.A. in economics from The George Washington University and a doctorate of management from the University of Maryland University College.


Marshall Wright

Government & Industry Relations Director

Mr. Marshall Wright is known as the father of the UAS industry in Utah. He worked for L3 Communications where he envisioned the potential and benefit of Unmanned Systems for commercial, industrial and public service applications. He was in the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) for more than a decade. He is a active member of the Association of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles International (AUVSI) and on the board of the Mountain West Unmanned Systems Alliance. He holds a M.S. in Applied Physics from Hosftra University and a B.A. in Physics from the City College of New York.


Julie Fisher

Contract Manager LSI

Ms.Julie Fisher, contract manager, is Vice President of Economic Development and Workforce Innovation for LSI. She has extensive experience at the state and local levels in the legislative and executive branches of government working directly with the Governor, legislators and the public.


Muriel Xochimitl

Communications Director

Muriel Xochimitl is the President and Founder of X-Factor Strategic Communications. Prior to founding X-Factor, Muriel served as the Communications and Government Affairs Director for the Wasatch Front Regional Council and as the communications manager for the Utah Department of Transportation. Muriel has also worked as a Project Manager for The Langdon Group. Before moving to Utah, Muriel served in Congress as a staffer for the House Foreign Affairs Committee and worked as a legislative consultant in the travel and tourism industry. Muriel is a contributing writer to Utah Policy and has served as a Planning Commissioner for Eagle Mountain City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brigham Young University and a Master of Arts in International Development Economics from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS).


Melissa Mendes

Business Development Manager

Ms. Melissa Mendes provides business development and social media support for Desert UAS. Previously, she was a market researcher for Skylark Drone Research projects including a UAS project involving NASA, marketing support for the 2018 Mobility Unmanned conference, and developing the conference on unmanned vehicles, air, land and sea. She provided membership services support for the International Aviation Club.In addition to working with Skylark Drone Research on aviation issues, she provides compliance monitoring for a major fashion manufacturer.

She holds a BA in merchandising from Fashion Institute of Technology, New York and a AA in Merchandising from Nassau Community College.


Jill Brown

Finance Director

Ms. Jill Brown serves as Deseret UAS finance director. She began her career working for multiple small businesses performing strategic accounting and business operations. Ms Brown brings Deseret UAS 14 years of non-profit and governmental accounting, budgeting, and reporting experience. Ms Brown holds a B.S. for the University of Utah. She was a Dean’s List Academic All-American student athlete at the University of Utah.


Alvin Jackson

Washington, DC Consultant

Mr. Alvin Jackson serves as Deseret UAS Washington, D.C. representative. He is a former Senator for Utah State's 14th district. He was appointed by Governor Gary Herbert to fill a vacant seat caused by the resignation of John Valentine, who resigned to head the Utah Tax Commission. Mr. Jackson did seek reelection in order to move to Washington, DC to resume his government relations/business development practice. Mr. Jackson has served as a member of the BYU Marriott School National Advisory Council since 2006. He holds a B.. degree in Aviation Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. While there he played both basketball and baseball. He also has an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.


Jeremiah Riley

Outside Counsel

Mr. Jeremiah Riley is Deseret UAS’ outside counsel. He founded Premise Law in 2015 to advise businesses that work closely with state and federal government. Over the prior decade, he was a part owner of a federal prime contractor and represented company interests before the U.S. Congress. He has been an advisor to several Utah UAS projects, including Box Elders build out of the Northrop Grumman UAS flight test range. Mr. Rieley holds a J.D. from the University of Utah, SJ Quinney College of Law, and a B.S. from Utah State University, Huntsman School of Business, Logan, Utah


Dr. Cal Coopmans

AggieAir head Operations, Deseret UAS

Dr. Coopmans is AggieAir head researcher and systems engineer.He oversees AggieAir platform, payloads, sensors, avionics development, as well as full system integration and testing. He has expertise in aerial and ground robotics, unmanned systems, embedded/real time systems, digital and analog controls, DSP, Linux kernels and Unix operating systems, networking (TCP/IP, UDP, etc.) all levels of software development (assembly, C/C++/C#, Perl, Python, Java, etc.), mechatronics, electrical hardware design and implementation, mechanical design and materials. Dr. Coopmans holds a Masters and Ph.D of Electrical Engineering from Utah State University.


Mike Newton

Military Lead

Gen (R) Mike Newton, military liaison, is part of LSI’s PTAC Team under a contract with the State of Utah’s GOED/PTAC. Through this effort he supports the growth of small and large businesses. Formerly, Brigadier General Newton, was the mobilization assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Contracting, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, and Washington, D.C.


Amber Rockwell

Administrative Assistant

Amber holds an Associates Degree in Business Systems from Utah State University and was an Administrative Assistant with PricewaterhouseCoopers.