• December 17, 2018

    Vantage Employees Receive NASA Silver Snoopy Award

    The NASA Silver Snoopy Award is a special honor awarded to NASA employees and contractors for outstanding achievements related to human flight safety or mission success. The award is given personally by NASA astronauts as it represents the astronauts' own recognition of excellence. Vantage...

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  • November 15, 2018

    Vantage Employees Receive NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal

    The NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal is one of the highest awards in the Agency and represents acknowledgement of significant contributions to NASA's mission and purpose. This prestigious NASA medal is awarded to non-Government individuals for sustained performance that embodies multiple...

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  • June 18, 2018

    Back to His Roots for Vantage President & CEO

    For the sixth consecutive year Vantage President and CEO Joe Polk and Vantage Systems contributed to  Virginia’s Pittsylvania County School System’s Graduate of Merit (GOM) Program by supporting Polk’s alma mater, Chatham High School in Chatham, Virginia. To fulfill his...

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Vantage's executive management team provides "hands-on" mission critical leadership. We firmly stand on our commitment to excellence.

Joseph Polk, President/Chief Executive Officer

Joe Polk founded Vantage in 1992 and serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Joe started the business with “customer service and satisfaction” as his mission. Vantage has expanded from a one-person software consulting firm to a highly skilled, highly diverse, and well-respected engineering and IT services provider with more than 100 employees. Joe’s singular philosophy has remained: customer satisfaction is priority one.

Joe has over 30 years of technical experience developing aerospace systems for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the United States Air Force, and developing business applications for the United States Army, Coast Guard, Federal Aviation Administration, and private industry. His experience includes all phases of software life cycle development from project conception through operations and maintenance. He is still “hands-on” in his day-to-day work with GSFC. He has garnered a multitude of awards for his technical expertise and untiring dedication.

Joe’s areas of technical expertise include spacecraft ground and flight systems development and testing; spacecraft system simulations; systems requirements, design, and analysis; spacecraft software systems integration and test; systems deployment; software systems conversion and rehosting; software systems maintenance; system verification and validation; system configuration management; and system documentation.


Mike Ahan, Executive Vice President/Chief Operations Officer

Mike Ahan has over 28 years experience in business and technical management with advanced technology businesses with extensive responsibilities in the technical, fiscal oversight, and management of the design, development, and implementation of complex aerospace, IT, and telecommunications systems and projects. Mike has held the positions of CEO, Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer (COO) and was the Co-Founder and Co-Owner of two high-tech start-ups. 

Mike joined Vantage as the Executive Vice President and COO in 2003. His hard work, integrity, and work ethic are key drivers for the company’s success. He has overseen all aspects of strategic planning—market research, pricing, sales, distribution, and infrastructure support.  He has experience with government, civil, and commercial markets, which extend to international markets. Mike is a seasoned executive and technical manager with special expertise in the development of new products, services, and enterprises. Mike is known for his keen ability to create effective teams, oversee corporate finances, and negotiate and manage strategic partnerships.


Gilberto Colon, Director Aerospace Programs

Gilberto Colon joined Vantage Systems in August 2012 as Director of Aerospace Programs. In this capacity Gilberto will manage a portfolio of Vantage programs in support of NASA Goddard and Wallops, and will support growth initiatives. Gilberto Colon is a former NASA Senior Executive with over 32 years of experience, in the areas of program management, acquisition and strategic planning, systems engineering for multiple, multi-million dollar programs for Space and Earth science missions at NASA, NOAA and the Aerospace Industry. Mr. Col√≥n’s experience ranges from Program Manager for multiple programs to Systems Engineer and Lead Design Engineer of multiple projects at NASA. In these positions, he was responsible for providing leadership and technical expertise to diverse teams in order to deliver products within cost and schedule. Mr. Colon is an expert in national and international interagency agreements, is fully bilingual (English/Spanish) and has experience in the development and implementation of strategic plans for Education and Public Outreach activities. Gil has been recognized with the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal (twice), and the NASA Equal Employment Opportunity Medal.


Ted Sholar, Senior Staff Engineer/Manager

Ted Sholar has over 25 years of experience in aerospace mechanical systems engineering. His areas of expertise include technical program and project management as well as technical supervision of mechanical engineering staff. As Vantage's Senior Staff Engineer, Ted provides leadership on NASA/GSFC’s Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) instrument project. He is the responsible engineer for the Functional Performance Model (FPM), the early validation of the flight design and calibration systems of the TIRS instrument. Prior to TIRS, Ted was the Chief Engineer and Test Director for the ExPRESS Logistics Carrier project at NASA/GSFC. He maintained test schedules, coordinated test requirements with Product Development Leads, and functioned as the Project POC for test facility interfacing, modification, and personnel planning.

Ted’s management role is augmented by his background in systems engineering, requirements definition, conceptual and detail design, LV interfacing, program/project management, functional supervision, static and dynamic finite element analysis, hardware integration, test definition and direction, manufacturing liaison, classic hand stress analysis, fatigue analysis, and fracture mechanics analysis. Ted’s experience relates to spacecraft primary and secondary structures, components, mechanisms, scientific instruments, and ground support equipment for both Experimental Launch Vehicles and Space Transportation Systems payloads.

Ted is a certified Professional Engineer.