Management Team

George F. Schmitt, Executive Chairman of the Board and CEO

George Schmitt has over 45 years of broad telecom experience in wireless and wireline companies. Mr. Schmitt  is a Director of MB Technology Holdings, LLC (MBTH), the parent company of xG Technology. He also serves on the boards of Calient, Secure Alert, Ready Jet Go Airlines, and Teleworx. Mr. Schmitt is an SBIC Director at TeleSoft Partners, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm specializing in early stage, mid stage, late stage, and growth capital.

Mr. Schmitt’s experience includes e.spire Communications, Omnipoint Communications, LHS Group, Objective Systems Integrators, PCS PrimeCo, AirTouch Communications, Mannesmann Mobilfunk (Germany), Pacific Telesis, Pacific Telephone, and AT&T.

Most recently, Mr. Schmitt was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of e.spire Communications, a provider of voice, data and Internet services to markets throughout the U.S. Previously, Mr. Schmitt was President and Director of Omnipoint Communication Services (NASDAQ: OMPT) until VoiceStream’s acquisition of Omnipoint Corporation in 2000. Subsequently, Deutsche Telekom acquired Voicestream to form T-Mobile U.S.

Mr. Schmitt also served as a Director of two telecom software companies: LHS Group (NASDAQ: LHSG), where he was a member of the Audit Committee prior to its acquisition by Sema in 2000, and Objective Systems Integrators (NASDAQ: OSII), where he was Chairman of the Audit Committee and member of the Compensation Committee. That company was acquired by Agilent Technologies in 2000.

Prior to joining Omnipoint, Mr. Schmitt was President and Chief Executive Officer of PCS PrimeCo (now part of Verizon Wireless), a national PCS partnership formed by AirTouch, Bell Atlantic, NYNEX and U.S. West. Mr. Schmitt came to PrimeCo from AirTouch where he was Executive Vice President of International Operations responsible for AirTouch’s operations in its ventures in Germany, France, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Japan, Korea and Thailand.

Prior to PCS PrimeCo, Mr. Schmitt was a member of the board of management of Mannesmann Mobilfunk in Germany, and also headed the company’s technical department. Mr. Schmitt’s department was responsible for the complete development and operation of the D2 network, the first commercial GSM network in the world. Mr. Schmitt also served as the Chairman of the GSM Association, an international organization responsible for overseeing the worldwide implementation of GSM wireless technology.

In 2013, Mr. Schmitt was inducted into the Wireless Hall of Fame by the Wireless History Foundation, an organization formed to preserve and promote the history of the wireless industry. The Wireless Hall of Fame Program provides public recognition of outstanding individuals across all segments of the wireless industry. Induction into the Wireless Hall of Fame is one of the industry’s highest honors, acknowledging the leadership, innovation and achievement of each honoree.

Mr. Schmitt received an M.S. in Management from Stanford University, where he was a Sloan Fellow, and a B.A. in Political Science from Saint Mary’s College

Roger G. Branton, CFO

In 1989, Roger graduated from West Chester University in Pennsylvania with a bachelor of science degree in accounting. He trained as a certified public accountant and worked for Horty & Horty in Wilmington, Delaware, USA from his graduation until 1993. Roger went on to become an associate at Dominion Group Limited, an investment/merchant bank which specialized in the technology, agriculture, and environmental industries, where he worked until 1997. His work at Dominion Group Limited included, but was not limited to, acting as interim chief financial officer for several companies within its investment portfolio.

Roger co-founded Mooers Branton & Company and MB Merchant Group, LLC with Rick Mooers in 1997. Mooers Branton & Company is an international merchant bank which provides early-stage financing to emerging businesses in the technology, hospitality, and real estate sectors. Mooers Branton & Company manages its portfolio of investments through the privately held company, MB Merchant Group, LLC. Together with Rick Mooers and Joe Bobier, Roger co-founded xG Technology, Inc. in August 2002.

James Woodyatt, President

James has worked in the financial markets industry since 1990 and held various positions in institutions including Nomura Bank (Japanese equities, convertible and warrant bond sales), Tradition SA (interest rate swaps, inter-bank dealing) and Decillion AG (convertible arbitrage fund marketing). In 2001 James joined Optimal Investment Services SA, the hedge fund arm of Spain’s Grupo Santander where he was a Senior Vice President, head of International sales and marketing and a member of the company’s management committee. In 2006, James co-founded and became the president of Veegoo Holding and Managing Director of Veegoo Capital Services SA, a group which is active in business advisory and private equity.

John Payne IV, President of the IMT Division

Mr. Payne has served as President of the xG Technology IMT Division since January 29, 2016. Mr. Payne was previously IMT’s Chief Technology Officer and VP of Engineering from February 2012 to January 2015. In January 2015, he became Chief Operating Officer of IMT through January 2016 while continuing as Chief Technology Officer. From August 2010 through March 2012, Mr. Payne was the Vice President of Technology for IMT, a Vitec Group company. From 1996 through August 2010, Mr. Payne worked for Nucomm, Inc. in various positions, including as Vice President of Engineering. Mr. Payne holds several patents in the area of wireless communications and is considered an industry expert in the wireless video communication industry related to broadcast television and military and civil manned and unmanned systems. Mr. Payne has a Master of Science in communication systems from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science in engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Scott Garlington, Vice President of Engineering

Over the past 25 years, Scott Garlington has brought to market many new products in the voice, data and wireless networking industry, including T1 multiplexer, IP Router, Soft Switch, Voice application servers and Mesh Wireless Networks. He has previously served as the Senior Product Manager for Motorola’s Mesh Network Product Group. In this role Scott drove Motorola’s product roadmap and strategy as the industry leader in high-reliability standard based and purpose-built mesh networks.

Scott’s experience has brought him from Systems Engineering, Director of Quality assurance to Market Development and Senior Product Management for Motorola’s Mesh Networking product team. Scott initially spent 13 years with Motorola, but then worked in several successful start-up companies such as Excel Switching acquired by Lucent Technologies and Mesh Networks acquired by Motorola. Scott earned his electrical engineering degree from the University of Massachusetts.

Brian Lasagna, Vice President of Business Development

Brian has diverse experience as a business development executive, consultant, and program and project manager serving the Intelligence Community and government and military clients around the world, with a focus in secure tactical  networks and communications technologies, including satellite, microwave and tactical radio solutions. Brian has also developed many productive and long-standing relationships among major telecommunications, oil and gas, and scientific exploration firms.

With a superlative record of delivering smart, reliable, and ruggedized network solutions to a demanding clientele operating in the most austere and remote environments, Brian brings a broad, multi-discipline technical expertise and commitment to true customer advocacy to the xG management team.   Brian earned an MBA from the University of Texas, and is a U.S. Navy veteran.

Mike Johnson, Vice President, Product Management and Customer Services

Mike Johnson has over 25 years experience in leading-edge telecommunications projects. He has extensive experience bringing products to market in the wireless networking area. Previously at Motorola under the title of Program Manager, Mike was responsible for bringing new products to market based on 802.11n technology. He also held the title of Director of Advanced Technology, a role in which he advised the wireless broadband group on new technology and market opportunities.

Before Motorola, Mike was at Mesh Networks where he held the titles of Vice President of Engineering and Chief Science Officer. Mesh Networks developed a wireless network system that included peer-to- peer and peer-to-network operation. Mike led groups that developed hardware, firmware, ASIC, systems engineering, consumer applications, network management and test. Mesh was sold to Motorola in 2004.

Previously, Mike was at SkyTel where he held the titles of Vice President of Product Delivery and Director of Software Development. SkyTel built and operated domestic and international one and two way paging networks. Mike led groups that developed paging firmware, IVR systems, customer service systems, operator dispatch systems and consumer applications.

In earlier positions, Mike worked on telephone switching systems, power company wireless communications and data center networks and installations.

Pertti Alapuranen, Technical Expert Consultant

Pertti Alapuranen has over 20 years of experience in bringing new wireless communications systems and devices to market at firms including Motorola, Mesh Networks, Nokia, and Elektrobit. Prior to joining xG Technology, Pertti was a Distinguished Innovator at Motorola, where he architected new products and directed the development of hardware at Motorola’s Mesh Networks Product Group.

Prior to that, Pertti managed the Systems Group at Mesh Networks Inc., where he was responsible for new technology and systems development.

Pertti is the author of numerous patents in wireless communications, including Spread Spectrum, CDMA, OFDM, and Ad-Hoc networking technologies. He holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Oulu, Finland, and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Paul Kolodzy, Technical Expert Consultant

Dr. Paul Kolodzy has over 20 years of experience in technology development for advanced communications, networking, devices, electronic warfare, wireless components and new wireless networks and architectures, as well as government spectrum policy as it is impacted by new technology. His career has included experience developing and deploying technology and technology management as a manager at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, a Director at Sanders (a Lockheed Martin Company), and as a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the Department of Defense. In addition, he has served as Chairman of the FCC Spectrum Policy Task Force.

Dr. Kolodzy’s current areas include the radio and policy for upper 700 MHz commercial and public safety spectrum policy and interference mitigation technology, Advanced Wireless Service (AWS), TDD/FDD Coexistence, Fourth Generation (4G) radiotechnology inclusive of intelligent antenna and adaptive spectrum resource allocation. His current research includes the development of interference metrics for communication systems such as the interference temperature, determination of the viability of interoperability between wideband data systems and DTV signals within US TV spectra, physical limitations of current device technologies and impact for spectrum policy, and dynamic spectrum policy.