About Us

Our Story

On January 1, 2005, founders Ryan and Hank started Applied Defense Solutions (ADS) with $2,000 in Ryan’s basement. They set out to start the company they wanted to work for. A company that reflected their passions for space, science, and engineering. One where the business model supported their technical goals, not the other way around. “Since that time,” Ryan says, “we’ve been fortunate to surround ourselves with people that are smarter and more talented than we are.”

Ryan joined the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1985, when he was 9 years old. That same year, Hank started writing software on his first computer; he was 11. Engineering is in their blood. ADS works with every customer we can find whose mission takes them into space. In our offices, you can find members of our team solving the elegant problems associated with cis-lunar orbit mechanics, next door another group working on the next generation of Space Battle Management systems, and across the hall people designing data management systems for the newest mega constellations of satellites. They couldn’t be prouder of what the team has accomplished over the years.

Our Values

The culture of ADS is defined by its core values:


We are committed to operating in an honest and fair manner – always.


We hold ourselves to the highest standards of performance.

Continuous Learning

We strive for daily improvement via the pursuit of new and exciting learning opportunities and by remaining accountable to one another.


We understand our success as a company, and as professionals, is measured by the success of our customers, and that it is achieved only through hard work, attention to detail, and uncompromising mission orientation.

Mutual Respect

We adhere to the “Golden Rule,” treating our customers, employees, partners, and competitors the way we want to be treated ourselves – with empathy and compassion.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

We encourage an environment of creativity and risk tolerance while engaging with our customers. We learn from every challenge and tenaciously pursue success.

Our Leaders

Ryan Frederic

Founder and CEO/President

Hank Grabowski

Founder and Chief Technology Officer

Robert MacMillan

Chief Operating Officer

Elaine Brown

Chief Financial Officer

Tom Kubancik

Vice President of Advanced Programs

John Earp

General Manager, Commercial, Civil, and International Space

Tim Craychee

Virginia Regional Manager

Jeff Druessel

General Manager, National Security Space

Bill Rohlman

Western Regional Manager

Our Employees

Today, our team of highly-trained specialists is more than 100 strong, and we continue to actively hire at all levels.

Communication, collaboration, and respect for our peers have created a company-wide culture of innovation, where employees thrive in an integrated network of support and comradery.

Because of this, Applied Defense Solutions has enjoyed significantly lower turnover than the industry standard.

ADS also strongly believes in professional growth, and many of our interns transition into full time employees. This fosters increased career development opportunities and a stronger corporate culture, overall.

ADS provides unique subject matter expertise and builds highly effective mission critical systems for clients throughout the US. Our Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Colorado offices and our remote locations in New Mexico, California, and elsewhere give us the opportunity to work onsite with our clients across the country.

We Have Space For You!

Connect with Our Recruiters Now!