Paragon VTOL Aerospace Announces Partnerships Making Brownsville A Leader In Vertical Launch Technology

BROWNSVILLE, Texas, Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Paragon VTOL Aerospace, a lead innovator in vertical take-off and landing technology (VTOL), held…

BROWNSVILLE, Texas, Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Paragon VTOL Aerospace, a lead innovator in vertical take-off and landing technology (VTOL), held a press conference today announcing new partnerships which will place Brownsville at the center of the development of sustainable vertical lift-off and landing technologies.  The partnerships are with Rolls Royce, S&C Electric, ARUP, Texas Southmost College (TSC), the City of Brownsville and Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation (GBIC).  The partnerships include one with Texas Southmost College to provide education and job training to help develop this new industry.

The company also announced the addition of their two newest members, Chief Executive Officer, Ken Peterman, and Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Mobley.

Paragon VTOL Aerospace has previously announced important commitments to Brownsville.  The company announced in June 2021 that it is building its manufacturing hub in the City of Brownsville’s industrial park at the Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport.  In August 2021, the company announced that it will pioneer the urban air taxi movement in the Rio Grande Valley.

About the partnerships announced today, Byron Thurber, Associate Principal of ARUP said:

«ARUP is looking forward to working with Paragon VTOL Aerospace on the planning and design of vertiports and microgrids to support this exciting new transportation system.»

ARUP is a 75-year-old global engineering and design firm, with over 16,000 staff working in 140 offices in 90 countries, focused on sustainable development for the built environment. 

Javier Gonzalez of Rolls Royce Solutions America, Inc., said:

«Rolls Royce Solutions America, Inc. is offering our support and interest in working with Paragon to develop the sustainable infrastructure needed to power this exciting venture in Brownsville, Texas

Tom Hawes of S&C Electric Company, Director of Business Development, said:

«We look forward to advancing Paragon’s vision in building a sustainable energy solution for VTOL and Vertiports.»

S&C specializes in the switching, protection, and control of electric power systems. 

Dusty Baker of Baker Energy, said:

«We have managed unique energy challenges, and we will provide you with the highest of standards in both the environmental and social perspectives, and we are eager to mobilize and develop a microgrid that reflects these values». 

«The Baker Energy Team is excited to be joining forces with Paragon VTOL to bring the Brownsville community their state-of-the-art drone delivery system. The Baker Energy Team was founded by legendary baseball player/manager Dusty Baker, who «looks forward to teaming up with Mr. Smith’s team and developing a modern, renewable, and resilient microgrid to serve Brownsville to power the delivery system.» 

Texas Southmost College (TSC), a key partner in this initiative, will provide students with the opportunity to gain a comprehensive skillset, through developed educational programs. The collaboration with the companies, along with the City of Brownsville, will be crucial to the initiative for advancing zero-emission energy solutions, which will establish a viable, smart microgrid, while also giving local talent the opportunity to expand their horizons.

In noting the importance of the partnerships and the training that Texas Southmost College will provide to support the effort, Dr. Jesus Rodriguez, the college president, said: 

«Our community has so much to benefit from investing our youth in the future that is VTOL. By tailoring degrees aimed at securing permanent positions with companies like Paragon VTOL Aerospace locally and internationally, we continue to demonstrate our fervent commitment to being a torchbearer in breakthrough technologies, putting Brownsville talent at the front seat of conversations, opening doors for them globally.»

Dwight Thanos Smith, Chief Visionary Officer and Lead Inventor at Paragon, discussed technological breakthroughs and decarbonizing transport. He said:

«The time has come to start putting together a safe and reliable ecosystem that is essential for the VTOL sector to be more than just a shiny object. Without a reliable energy grid and comprehensive Vertiport system, the industry will face preventable difficulties that could be avoided by strategically using best and common-sense practices. This announcement signifies the importance of one of many steps Paragon will take to enable the viability and opportunities for the VTOL sector to become mainstream.» 

In praising the partnerships, Mayor Trey Mendez said:

«The City of Brownsville is at the forefront of innovation in aerospace, transportation, and energy sectors that translate into partnerships with cutting edge companies, such as Paragon VTOL Aerospace and the companies mentioned today. Paragon is a company that recognizes the strength of our binational economy with Mexico, while also utilizing local talent at TSC, who will be a key partner in tailoring educational degrees to meet our exponential current and future workforce needs. We must go beyond what we feel is possible, beyond these limits and seize opportunities like these with Paragon and other companies, and our local community college.  We are seeing the future, and it’s happening in Brownsville

For more information, please contact Felipe Romero, Director of Communications and Marketing, at or (956)547-6505 to schedule media interviews.

About Brownsville, Texas

Brownsville is located at the southernmost tip of Texas and it is the largest city in the Rio Grande Valley with a population of approximately 200,000. It is the 2nd most historic city in the Lone Star State, making it rich in history and unique in beauty. A city full of life with over 70 miles of resacas (oxbow lakes) and over 100 miles of walk, hike and bike trails. It is home of the one and only Charro Days Festival and the Gladys Porter Zoo. Brownsville is the gateway to the future with the only deep-water port located on the U.S.-Mexico Border and the newest airport terminal in the region. As the latest New Space City, Brownsville’s space eco-system is growing with SpaceX, Spaced Ventures and Space Channel. Brownsville, Texas is located on the border, by the sea and beyond! Learn more at or by following the City of Brownsville on its official social media pages: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation (GBIC)

The Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation (GBIC) is a non-profit organization, Type A Economic Development Corporation, created to oversee the disbursement of a ¼ cent sales tax collected in the City of Brownsville. The GBIC board, approve funding for job creation incentives and various performance based programs related to manufacturing, infrastructure and education. GBIC also provides business assistance, site selection, and permitting assistance, as well as job training to businesses wanting to locate in Brownsville. For more information, visit GBIC at


Ken Peterman, Chief Executive Officer, Paragon

Ken Peterman is CEO, Paragon VTOL Aerospace, an American company reshaping Urban Air Mobility Infrastructure by moving aggressively on a global scale to establish innovative and sustainable Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) Operations using sophisticated light and heavy cargo VTOL drones, an innovative software highway platform and environmentally friendly, green energy microgrid power.

Founded by visionary Dwight Smith, Paragon VTOL Aerospace is a constructively disruptive air mobility technology leader developing unprecedented infrastructure opportunities in the skies. Previously, as Founder and CEO, The SpyGlass Group, Ken led an innovative thought-leading organization that helped shape aerospace and defense strategic trajectories in the mobile networking, cybersecurity, satellite and aerospace sectors since 2012. As a passionate, creative and forward leaning leader, Ken has been honored with multiple awards, including: – Ten Best Innovative Business Leaders Industry Tech Outlook, 2020 – Businessman of the Year BattleSpace Magazine, 2018 – Game Changer Awardee Vanguard Magazine, 2018 Previously, as President, Viasat Government Systems (2013-2021), Ken led a global defense business (>$1B) recognized as a market leader in satellite communications, hybrid networking, data links, information assurance, cybersecurity, and blended air/ground situational awareness. Under Ken’s leadership, Viasat built a culture of proactively creating unprecedented, technology-enabled capabilities, becoming the fastest organically growing US defense company six consecutive years.

Previously, as President, ITT/Exelis Communications and Electronic Warfare Systems (2007-2013), Ken led a global defense and aerospace business (>$1B). Portfolios included tactical and satellite communications systems, information assurance, cybersecurity, global positioning systems (GPS), electronic protection and counter IED systems, and integrated command, control, communications and computer (C4) systems for U.S. and allied forces in over 35 countries.

(Note: Exelis spun out of ITT in 2011 and was then acquired by L3Harris.)

A distinguished leader in aerospace and defense, Ken enjoyed successful executive leadership tenures at Viasat, ITT/Exelis, Collins Aerospace and Raytheon. Broadly respected as a thought leader and innovator among US and international leaders, Ken serves on a variety of boards and advisory groups. Ken received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (high honors) from Tri-State University (now Trine) and completed executive programs at Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Pennsylvania State University.

Jeffrey L. Mobley, Chief Financial Officer, Paragon

Jeffrey L. Mobley recently joined Paragon VTOL as its Chief Financial Officer. He is an accomplished senior executive with more than 26 years of finance, capital markets, commodity markets, acquisition and operational experience, primarily in the energy industry.

He has a strong track-record in building organizations and designing and implementing sophisticated financial reporting, accounting and IT/IM systems, as well as managing risks and capital allocation. He has led the evaluation of more than 140 acquisition opportunities valued at more than $21 billion resulting in the completion of nine transactions totaling $4.9 billion including the formation and build out of three start-up private companies.

Mr. Mobley has marketed and completed 39 public and private equity and debt offerings totaling approximately $37 billion in capital formation. He also has led oil and gas hedging programs that generated realized gains in excess of $9 billion. He has served as: Chief Financial Officer for Gavilan Resources, a private company sponsored by Blackstone Energy Partners; Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Permian Resources, a private company sponsored by the The Energy and Minerals Group and First Reserve; Senior Vice President – Major Acquisitions for American Energy Partners; and Senior Vice President – Investor Relations and Research for Chesapeake Energy Corporation.

Mr. Mobley’s career has also included equity research and investment banking, as well as private equity investments at Enron Capital and Trade Resources. He has previously been recognized by IR Global Rankings as Best Investor Relations Officer and for the Best Investor Relations Program in North America, as well as for Best Investor Relations in Energy by IR Magazine. Mr. Mobley is a Chartered Financial Analyst and earned a BS degree in Agricultural Economics with Honors from New Mexico State University, as well as an MBA from The Wharton School of Business.

CONTACT:, (956) 547-6505

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SOURCE City of Brownsville