Willie Costa is the Vice Chairman and COO of Garrison Fathom.
An aerospace engineer involved in aviation for over 20 years, he has worked at three NASA centers and served as a NASA Ambassador. Willie's engineering expertise includes leading the research into the design of autonomous VTOL vehicles for cargo delivery and urban air mobility, in programs with budgets in excess of $100 million; he has also worked as an engineering contractor for a private company developing close air support aircraft, which achieved over $336 million in sales to multiple foreign allies. He has also worked at NAVAIR, supporting the Rotary Wing Strength & Fatigue branch, Exercise Citadel Shield, and the Warfare Analysis, Engineering, and Technical Services branch – programs and engineering support efforts with combined budgets in excess of $300 million.
Willie has worked as an operations manager in the power transmission industry, spearheading new product development efforts and implementing lean six sigma initiatives to increase throughput and reduce order turnaround times; this led to a 66% reduction in order turnaround times, as well as a 10x increase in Returns & Repairs revenue at 3x increase in profitability. He has also spent several years consulting startup and growth-phase companies, focusing on operational planning and technical development. Additionally, Willie has advised corporate services and financial technology companies on proxy statements, equities research, and shareholder communications solutions.
Prior to Garrison Fathom, Willie served as President and COO of VUONG Holdings, a multinational holding company. He has worked directly with its founder and CEO, Vinh Vuong, in the creation of public-private partnership efforts within the United States government focused on critical and rare earth minerals, as well as driving legislative support for the efficient and economic expansion of 5G within the United States. Willie has also worked several brokering deals, including a $1.5 billion minerals deal signed in 2020, and led the financial diligence effort in creating a $150 million bid package to purchase Remington Arms Company out of bankruptcy.
Willie remains active in the aerospace field, especially in supporting mentoring, education, and outreach efforts. He has coauthored a best-selling book on rocket and launch vehicle design, which won the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 2022 Summerfield Book Award, which is presented annually to the authors of the best book recently published by AIAA.
Willie is the proud son of Cuban immigrants – an electrical engineer father and mathematician mother – who fled Castro’s tyranny and achieved the American dream. He is an alumnus of Cal Poly Pomona and Penn State.