When I caught up with our featured member for July he was on a business trip that took him to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. We hadn’t seen him much at Cowork Frederick in the past month. He’d been traveling the country, meeting with customers and promoting the business he shares with co-founder Jake Livesay.
Mason Livesay Scientific delivers scientific solutions and technical project management, offering a wide array of services for nuclear, electrical, and biomedical applications. They provide top notch support services to help organizations meet their goals on time and on budget. Their corporate structure is efficient, flexible and adaptable. The talents of their team of experts extend beyond formal training to incorporate critical thinking and problem solving skills for a wide array of real world challenges. But, my interest was more in Brandon and how he it is he became co-founder and President of Mason Livesay Scientific.
Brandon received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, with a minor in History, from West Virginia University and a Master of Arts in World Politics; Nonproliferation Studies from The Catholic University of America in Washington DC. He got his first taste of government work while in graduate school when he took a full-time internship as a Program Manager and Law Clerk at the Security and Exchange Commission.
Brandon’s first job after graduate school was at Culmen International, a small business with headquarters in Alexandria, VA. His role as a Program Management Analyst had him taking on assignments such as providing project management and technical support on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) detection sustainability program in over 40 countries. A move into a Program Logistics Analyst and Equipment trainer role for the same company had him training over 300 foreign government end-users on border security and nonproliferation equipment. He worked with and provided training to Customs and Border Agents in North Africa, Central Europe/Balkans, the Caucuses and the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and provided program logistics and support on WMD proliferation prevention and related border security procurement, including analysis and research for over 35 countries. “The assignments were interesting”, Brandon commented. “But, as you can imagine, if I was in to address WMD or border security issues, I wasn’t going to the safest of places.”
Next was a job with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he was a Project Manager for nearly two years. It was there that he met Jake Livesay, an applied physicist and radiation/nuclear subject matter expert. They came up with a product idea they wanted to patent, commercialize and sell. After a year of red tape and hassle, they gave up on the patent while employed at the National Lab. By then, Brandon had determined he missed working in a small business. In the back of his mind, he always thought he’d have his own business someday. Now was the time.
In October 2012, Brandon and Jake founded Mason Livesay Scientific. The goal? Definitely not to stay small. They have been steadily growing and now count among their customers the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, Oak Ridge National Lab, National Nuclear Security Administration and Department of Energy and have been actively answering Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) for more business. In addition to the consultative services they have been providing, they will do product development and are seeking venture capital to support that. They just brought on a Chief Operating Officer to help oversee operations and assist with business development and are hiring for other positions.
Oh, and, remember that patent? Patent 13/832,093 for a “Conductive Fabric Seal” that allows for passive breech and leak detection, and electronic storage of the state of being of a containment vessel was filed in March 2013. As we were wrapping up our interview, Brandon noted that his next meeting was to work on a press release to announce a licensing agreement with Oak Ridge National Lab and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.
Brandon describes himself as a political scientist and nuclear non-proliferation specialist by education and an accomplished project and program manager by experience. He combines a strong technical knowledge with a policy background allowing him to express highly complex engineering and technical concepts to non-engineers and to help engineers meet the needs of non-technical customers. He is skilled in product design, complex project management, and creative problem solving. He lives in Frederick, MD with his wife, Jacqie, and their two sons.
Why does Brandon like Cowork Frederick? “Cowork Frederick was exactly what I was looking for when I began my search for work space. The energy, location, and environment make it a great place to get things accomplished. I also believe that surrounding myself with talented people from industries that may have very little in common with my own provide a great way to gain refreshing perspectives and innovative ideas which I can pass along to my clients.” Later he added, “We’re a distributed company, which is an advantage for us. We don’t want all our employees in a single location. The low cost of a coworking space over maintaining a private office allows me to keep rates low, making us highly competitive.”