I am an engineer, manager, business owner – and an activist who gets things done on the ground. When I told a retired general who had been in the defense acquisition for a good part of his career that I had delivered a major system with large software content on time, meeting all requirements, within the budget originally bid; he responded that I was the only one he knew that could say that. 

 

I have always been interested in managing developments, with an expert level knowledge of schedule management, earned value management, and subcontracting, as well as the National Environmental Policy Act. Having negotiated hundreds of contracts from large to small, I bring a textbook knowledge and extensive experience in contracts, the Uniform Commercial Code, and Federal Acquisition Regulations. I have applied this across many domains from defense and air traffic control systems, to building projects, to nursery operations.

 

EXPERIENCE – Business and Employment

 

2019 - PRESENT

OWNER, POPULAR BOOK AUTHOR, BREAKING WAVE ENTERPRISES, LLC.

• Published - I Ching of a Thousand Doors. Available from book stores and multiple online sellers. 

• In Progress - COVID WARS

 

2000 – 2018

OWNER, HUMAN INTERACTIVE PRODUCTS, INC.

• Delivered several million dollars of payroll to the Bitterroot Valley.

2006 – 2018 PROFIT CENTER – Great Bear Restoration/Great Bear Natives. The business was sold.

• Ran a Native Plant Nursery providing restoration grade plants from Northern Arizona to Montana and retail-ready plants wholesaled in Montana, Idaho, and Utah.

• Grew 400 species.

• Built an Excel model of the growing cycle, cull rates, etc. along with exported Quickbooks costs to create an accurate cost model. 

2009 – 2011 PROFIT CENTER – Institutional Cafes and Cafeterias Sourced with Local Food

• Opened and operated the Bison Internet Café with partial funding from a DPHHS grant – a safe place for people recovering from mental illness to integrate with their community.

• Opened a café in the Bitterroot College, targeting Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML), and the Hamilton School District for a financially viable business to deliver local, sustainably grown food. Closed after we failed to land the RML contract.

2007 – 2018 PROFIT CENTER – Real Ventures

• Remodeled three commercial buildings for rent. The extensive remodel of the historic Hamilton Carriage House was a carefully thought out to merge function, flexibility, and style. Emma’s house bought the building to accommodate their expanded staff and services.

• Emma’s House, a safe place to do forensic interviews of child victims of crime. Found an investor, a home setting, built to suit, leased it back.

2000 – 2011 PROFIT CENTER – Consulting Services Large Scale Development Programs

• Trained people from Montana in the processes and skills to coordinate and write competitive proposals, Data Management, and Requirements Management. Deployed teams throughout the United States to be integrated into multicompany teams. 

• Led competitive high-end proposals for major defense systems. 

• Embedded teams to support and help recover ongoing development programs. Jim worked at the senior management level. This involved an extraordinary delegation to a consultant. acting as Raytheon’s agent in negotiating subcontracts. 

 

• Programs were valued at $100 million to $4 billion – included airborne surveillance systems across North Africa, India, and Jamaica; the Mobile Objective User System (MOUS) proposal for a world-wide satellite communications system; and ASTOR Sentinel 1, a UK airborne remote imaging system – along with several others including satellite terminals, mobile ground command centers, and fleet defense systems. 

 

• During a multi-year deployment to ASTOR, Jim was assigned to work as a virtual partner with a newly assigned Raytheon Program Manager to get the program going again, have stopped making any visible process integrating the system while spending $1 million a day with projected overruns of $2 billion. 

       Five synthetic-aperture radars built in California were being integrated on upgraded commercial aircraft in Texas, designed to work with ground mobile command centers and a command and training center being built in the United Kingdom.

Jim led the team in developing and integrated recovery schedule; 

  • repaired dysfunctional relationships between the three major company-teammates, four divisions of Raytheon, and the UK Customer; 

  • then pitched the need to change the subcontracting strategy to the CEO and acted as Raytheon’s agent in renegotiating the major subcontracts; 

  • was on the Raytheon team for renegotiating with the customer, the UK Ministry of Defence, sometimes acting as Raytheon’s agent. 

Jim identified some of the top talent and support needed within Raytheon as well as bringing some in through his own subcontract.

As the program got into formal testing and turnover, Jim worked with Royal Air Force and Royal Army commanders and seniors to get through issues with training and readiness. 

Jim also developed the storyline, helped edit and produce the video for the Astor’s coming out party at the Farnborough Air Show and Paris Air Show

The system, ASTOR Sentinel r1 has been deployed, including to Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Libya. The Raytheon Vice President who inherited the program is now the Raytheon CEO.

During the last year of this deployment, Jim submitted a $4 million fixed priced bid for security and accreditation for a change order that Raytheon was afraid to bid for well over that because of the customer relation risk. Jim led the project. The project was set up for profit sharing with the participants, a carefully managed relationship with the UK customer, and incorporated a metrics-based earned-value management system. The participants split the $1 million underrun in addition to their normal pay rate.

 

SENIOR MANAGER/PROGRAM MANAGER, RAYTHEON

• Jim worked half time as on internal consultant from 1993 to 2000 with a home base in Montana, running proposals and fixing problem programs. These included a GPS Landing System, Air Traffic Control, world-wide satellite communications systems.

•  Jim moved to Montana from Massachusetts where he was a Director for a $500 million per year profit center.  Prior to that, Jim held engineering management positions of increasing responsibility on several large defense and air traffic control programs. These included National Missile Defense Programs, radars, command and control, and intelligence systems.

CAPTAIN, U.S. AIR FORCE

• Jim is a twelve-year veteran of the US Air Force, being moved around in the Acquisition Command and what is now Space Command to get early warning and remote imaging systems into operation. The last one was Cobra Judy, the only Air Force ship.

 

EXPERIENCE – Activist, Non-Profit, and Public/Private

2008 – 2009, 2012 – 2014, 2017 - 2019

TREASURER, HAMILTON FARMERS MARKET COOP

• Resolved semi-automatic raffle issue without having the politics escalate. 

• The point person for conflict resolution for both vendors and political – almost always informally but twice using a written due-process formal process that I developed. 

 

2018 - PRESENT

MEMBER, BITTERROOT TASKFORCE ON HOMELESSNESS AND HOUSING

• Working on design concept for an affordable housing complex with shared household functions, support services, and job opportunities that is self-sustaining.

 

2015 - 2017

PRESIDENT, BITTERROOT SCHOOL OF MUSIC

• Financial and governance processes so a local musician could and did create a successful music school.

 

2009 - 2011

FOUNDER, AD-HOC GROUP, YEAR-ROUND SUSTAINABLE GROWING

•  Farmers meet engineers – developed a concept for year-round, sustainable growing, using alternative energy, that is modular, flexible, and can be used world-wide. Pitched to Chinese investors brought over by Ambassador Max Baucus.

 

2009-2011

COFOUNDER, AD-HOC GROUP, COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS CENTER

• Business plan a success – impacts to justice system, people with mental illness, and cost presented to County Commissioners by Jim Olsen and D. Golas.

• Comment by Dept. of Health and Human Services: “You guys get it.”

• West House Crisis Center opens.

 

2007-2008

MEMBER, AD-HOC GROUP, CITIZENS AGAINST FLAT IRON SUBDIVISION

• Recruited by a group of neighbors to inform them how to mount campaign to resist annexation by the City of Hamilton. Became the spokesperson.

• Annexation request denied.

 

2000 - 2002

COORDINATOR, SALVAGE SALE CAMPAIGN, 2000 FIRES BURNED AREA RECOVERY

• Coalition of Friends of the Bitterroot, regional, national groups - public education, field trips, science panels, press, and litigation. 

• Ask to coordinate plan. Effective pacing kept message in front of the public continuously.

• Successful settlement.

 

1999 - 2004

MEMBER, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, CITIZENS FOR A SAFE LAB

•  Did extensive research on biosafety which drove comments to EIS for a Biosafety Level 4 Lab along with press and engagement with the Rocky Mountain Lab Advisory Committee.

•  Court ordered mediation led to agreements that increased community safety

 

1996 - 1999

MEMBER, HIGHWAY 93 CITIZENS' COALITION FOR RESPONSIBLE PLANNING 

• Collaborate in the midst of conflict: worked with citizens groups in each town to create a safer highway than was planned in the 2-lane to 4-lane expansion.

• Informal coalition of groups from Ketchum to the Canadian Border.

• Follow-on support for the creation of the Montana Smart Growth Coalition

• Build citizen support to upgrade MDOT’s plans to include bike path.

 

1995 - 2000

VICE-CHAIR, SUPPORTERS FOR AN ABUSE FREE ENVIRONMENT (SAFE)

• First male asked to be on board as the group was moving to its first paid staff.

• Provided initial financial, personnel policies.

• Matured organizational infrastructure as SAFE grew quickly in funding, real estate, and staff.

• Initiated idea of the need for dealing with child abuse directly – which became Emma’s House.

• Statewide reputation: SAFE is the “rock star” for the response to domestic abuse in Montana.

1994 - 1999

 

PRESIDENT, FRIENDS OF THE BITTERROOT

• Forest watch group over the Bitterroot, Wisdom, and Salmon forests.

• Metrics show one of the most effective groups in preserving roadless areas.

• Public education campaign created a majority according to a poll: protect roadless areas.

• Public education and pressure resulted in Weed Board agreeing to prior notice of spraying.

• Grizzly Bear endangered species status protected.

• Repaired relationships with another group – cooperated in multiyear ORV campaign.

• Took the group from perceived as “radical” to less so: Republican State Senator – “they are part of the community and deserve a place at the table.:

 

POLITICAL AND GOVERNMENT

• 2002-2003: Executive Committee for the State of Montana Democratic Party.

-   Cofounded Silver Medal Caucus whose purpose was to get the party back to values.

• Served on Ravalli County Central Committee and Precinct Captain off and on.

• Delegate to two Platform Conventions.

• Ran for state legislature twice as a Democrat.

• Government Appointments to advisory committees:

-  City of Hamilton Impact Fee Study.

-  Rocky Mountain Laboratories Advisory Committee.

-  Highway 93 Advisory Committee.

 

EDUCATION

MASTER OF SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA                                     1975

• Industrial and Systems Engineering. Included modeling, statistics, scheduling, and time-and-motion which Jim has used in technical work was well as agriculture.

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY   1969

• Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. This included feedback systems and other theorical mechanisms which occur in machines, business, economics, and nature.

ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM, BY INVITATION – PATAGONIA          

• Seminars on organizing, board development, and journalism with leaders in the field.

ADVANCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, BY APPOINTMENT - HARBRIDGE HOUSE

• Raytheon sponsored for senior managers. A six-month program, one week per month which included program management, finance, corporate governance, union relations, and the empowerment model of organizing work groups.

SQUADRON OFFICERS SCHOOL, COMPETITIVE PLACEMENT - AIR WAR COLLEGE

• Besides military science, this three-month school included leadership as a subject, introducing different leadership styles. Researched-based lectures on informal leadership. Leadership exercises and scenarios several times a week.

• Second in school-wide speech contest.

BUILDING SUPPLY TRADE AND FENCE BUILDING

• Worked my way through college at various jobs starting in High School, ½ to full time, living on the economy beginning in the second year of college.

• Partnered with a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer to create a residential fence building business in the San Francisco East Bay area.

• By the time I graduated from College I had a viable career in the building trades, getting unsolicited offers for driver, yard man, and counter man.

 

COMMERCIAL PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Side projects while working

• LETTER DROP. A computer game in the diskette era. Licensed to Centron Software.

• BRIDGE (The Card Game) SCORING CALCULATOR – Patent 4130871 ------------------------->

   Endorsed by Charles Goren and licensed to Tri Sigma. 

• Help Yourself to Natural Health — comprehensive multimedia project targeted for DVD - canceled as the internet changed the market.