Heart Walk 2022

Saturday, May 14th, the Huntsville Heart Walk 2022 event was held, and it was a huge success! I want to say thank you to all who donated, participated, and supported our cause to raise funds to support the American Heart Association. Together, we raised $9,924.44 and had a great turn out! You all have made a huge difference in others’ lives to care for those with heart disease.




George Gafka named as CEO of APT

Mr. George Gafka has been named as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of A-P-T Research, Inc.

Mr. Gafka formerly served as Executive Vice President, Chief Innovation and Development Officer, and the SEAC and Aerospace Sector General Manager. Prior to joining APT Research, he had a distinguished 30-year career at NASA supporting several human spaceflight programs from a number of diverse leadership positions (Chief Engineer, Chief Safety Officer, and S&MA Director) during life-cycle phases spanning from early development to real-time operations.

Over the span of his career, Mr. Gafka received numerous prestigious awards for his leadership and, as an avid believer in continuous learning, he has earned a diverse set of academic degrees:

  • Master of Business Administration, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, 2014
  • Professional Certificate Aircraft Accident Investigation, Southern California Safety Institute, 2007
  • Master of Space Systems Engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, 2006
  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, 1995
  • Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 1991

Mr. Gafka brings a wealth of broad technical and business management knowledge, seasoned experience across many roles and programs, proven critical decision-making judgment, and expert leadership to develop and implement innovative, tailored solutions that thoughtfully balance complex competing considerations such as cost, schedule, and safety.

Leadership Greater Huntsville #35 and the North Alabama Foster Closet Fundraiser

Photo Courtesy of Huntsville Convention and Visitors Bureau

APT is supporting the “Igniters” of Leadership Greater Huntsville (L-35 Small Group). The Igniters have partnered with North Alabama Foster Closet for a project to create a day of ‘normalcy’ and community for over 200 foster/kinship/adoptive families in North Alabama by attending either the April 16th Rocket City Trash Panda Baseball Game or Ultimate Field Trip at the US Space and Rocket Center.

In order to make these events a reality, the Igniters are counting on the generosity and spirit of charitable giving that is appreciated throughout the Greater Huntsville Area. All donations are tax-deductible as permitted with gifts made to a 501(c)(3) organization. All proceeds raised beyond our project costs, (estimated at $20,000.00), will be donated directly to North Alabama Foster Closet. Sponsorships are requested in monetary increments of $500.00, $1,000.00, $1,500.00, $2500.00 or $5000.00, however contributions of any dollar amount would be graciously accepted and helpful to our cause. Please make checks payable to: Fostering Connections, dba North Alabama Foster Closet with a note that it is for the Igniters project.

To learn more, please visit:

It is groups like this that strengthen our community!


APT Junior Council – A Fresh Perspective from Our Young Employees

At APT, we love the unique perspective we get from our Junior Council. The charter of the council is to assist upper management in decision making, to elevate APT’s goals and missions by providing fresh insight from a unique perspective.

The benefits go both ways. This group has helped to improve our recruiting tactics, streamline APT’s onboarding process, and improve community company awareness. They also help host fun events to include company picnics and social gatherings for APT employees under age 35. As an added bonus, these young employees gain valuable leadership skills through their interaction with upper management.

Thanks for all you do for APT!

APT Junior Council

From left: APT’s Junior Council officers: Sean Webb, Emma Montgomery, Gabrielle Andrew, and Lane Walden.

APT Welcomes New Board of Directors Member

New Board of Directors Member Lisa WilliamsA-P-T Research, Inc., welcomes Ms. Lisa Williams as its newest Board of Directors (BOD) member.  As a new Director, Lisa brings new perspective and business knowledge to the board as part of our effort to add outside talent to help shape the company’s future. Most of the APT BOD and many of our employees have known and worked extensively with her through the years and we have previously teamed with companies she founded.  She brings exceptional experience and thoughtful, articulate, and principled business leadership to APT.

Lisa was the co-founder and president of 3D Research Corporation from 1997-2006. The success of 3D Research was evident by their ranking in the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing companies in America three years in a row. 3D Research had 18 sites across the U.S. and internationally prior to its acquisition by the Schafer Corporation in December 2005. After the sale of 3D Research, Lisa took over as president of Systems Dynamic International in February 2011 after their president unexpectedly died.  She was able to put the company back on track for success and left SDI in March 2012.  She is currently the president of Soldier 1 Corporation.

Lisa was born in Saigon, Vietnam, on the 4th of July. She came to the United States at the age of six.

Lisa received her BS degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She received an Honorary PhD from the UAH School of Business in 2004. She worked as a production engineer for Morton Thiokol on several rocket motor systems, as a Systems Engineer for Wyle Laboratories supporting the International Space Station, and as a test engineer for TASC and Schafer on several missile systems before starting 3D Research Corporation in 1997.

Lisa was awarded the Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Alabama by the Small Business Administration, and was also awarded Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs of America, as well as the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce’s Executive of the Year. The Women’s Economic Development Council honored her in the technology category at their Women Honoring Women awards ceremony.  The University of Alabama in Huntsville awarded her the UAH Business Fellow Award and the Distinguished Alumnus Award. She was also named as one of the Women Who Shape the State of Alabama. And she was just recently awarded the Women of Impact Award.

Lisa is active on many boards and councils. She is on the boards of the Tennessee Valley Corridor representing the 5th Congressional District, The Committee of 100, Still Serving Veterans, the Liberty Learning Foundation, and Leadership Huntsville/Madison County.  She was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission. She is very active in mentoring and counsels many small businesses in Alabama. Lisa resides in Huntsville with her husband, Phil Williams, and son, Tyler.

New Life Mission Donation

In 2021, Florida APT employees voted to share giving funds between two organizations.

Club Esteem

Vision – Inspiring kids in our community to embrace and excel in education by providing individualized tutoring and mentorship, guiding them to becoming compassionate, college and career-ready leaders.

Brian Gloade presenting check to Ellena Little, Executive Director of Club Esteem

New Life Mission

Giving NEW LIFE to homeless women with children.

Florida Giving Fund check presentation at New Life Mission facility in Melbourne FL. Photo Stacia Glavis (right) New Life Mission Founder and SA-F Joshua Oppenheim Giving Fund POC. 

From New Life Mission:

Thank you for your gift of $1500 to help give NEW LIFE to homeless women with children!

At New Life Mission, we are on the frontlines everyday hearing from moms and their children who are experiencing homelessness. The need is growing here in Brevard County by the day! Moms and children are living in motels due to evictions; in cars due to loss of income; and on the streets due to hard times that have fallen upon them. Worst of all, they have lost hope.

BECAUSE OF YOU… HOPE IS NOT LOST! Your gift is restoring lives and helping people who have no where else to turn. Because of your giving, we stand ready to help them by providing a program that teaches valuable life skills, provides access to housing, healthcare and education and so much more.

Thanks to everyone who contributed!

APT Ranked on Military Times Best for Vets: Employers List!

APT is proud to be ranked on Military Times Best for Vets: Employers list!
>> APT’s ranking page on militarytimes.com.

Military Times “Best for Vets: Employers” rankings for 2021 has a different look this year, with more emphasis on the practices that veterans say make civilian workplaces attractive to their talents and needs.

But the rankings still contain many of the same familiar names of companies focused on recruiting, retaining and promoting veterans within their operations.

More than 160 employers participated in the 2021 survey, the most prominent annual public rankings of its kind. Each year the rankings provide a snapshot of different employment policies and services that companies provide to America’s veterans, and highlight firms that veteran job seekers should target.

The full list of this year’s Best for Vets: Employers rankings is available here.

This year’s list was compiled in partnership with the Fors Marsh Group, a research firm specializing in the veterans and the military community. Officials there tweaked findings from previous years to better emphasize “areas that are of greatest importance to the veteran and veteran-connected community when looking for an employer.”

That included recruiting practices aimed at current military members and veterans, retention and support programs, and a higher emphasis on employers who provide assistance and flexibility for individuals in the Guard and reserves.

“We had conducted focus groups with subject matter experts and with subscribers of Military Times,” said Tina Kurian, senior researcher for the Fors Marsh Group. “So they ordered which topics were most relevant for organizations to be the best for veterans.”

The result, said group Director of Customer Experience Research Nicole Tongo, is a list of firms “that care about the things that veterans care about, and good companies for them to explore if they are looking for a job.”

Excerpt from “Caring about what veterans care about: The 2021 Best for Vets Employers,” by Leo Shane III, 4 Nov 2021, militarytimes.com

APT selected as NASA KSC Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year

For Immediate Release:  Our APT SMASS III team at Kennedy Space Center, FL, has won NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year Award! The NASA Small Business Industry Awards (SBIA) recognize the outstanding Small Business Prime Contractor, Small Business Subcontractor, Large Business Prime Contractor, and Mentor-Protégé Agreement that support NASA in achieving its mission.

The award citation reads: “All involved from the first line employees to the company Corporate level are to be highly praised as the contractor was selected as KSC’s Fiscal Year 2020 Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year in recognition of their superior performance on the SMASS III contract. The contractor’s efforts have proven to be invaluable as they have consistently performed at the highest level and routinely going above and beyond what is required to ensure the success of the Government and its partners. SMASS III’s diligence, pursuit of excellence, and responsiveness in executing their role within SMA embodies the spirit of this award.”

This is a huge honor for our employee-owned ESOP company and we are proud of all the hard work that made this very prestigious award possible!

John R. Fellows,
Chief Executive Officer
A-P-T Research, Inc.
“Providing Safe Solutions”