Executive Bios & Staff Members

As the CEO of RELYANT, Dan Smith offers a combination of operations, logistics, and security expertise in remote and austere environments worldwide. Dan has led construction management and operations firsthand and understands the challenges of being a leader and principal of an outstanding company. He has extensive, direct experience in standing up, provisioning, and protecting support operations for the US military, notably in Afghanistan and Iraq. Dan knows how to operate effectively and efficiently in forward deployed military environments. He has successfully managed multiple high risk contracts in The Middle East and Asia and managed over 500 million in total revenue. Dan built a security department of 400 Expats, 600 TCNs, and over 2000 LNs, providing close protection, explosive detection dogs, static security, and a multitude of support services. He developed a matrix based training program in multiple languages and instructed numerous training cadre. He established an industry leading logistics program for sensitive GFP and CFP item tracking, allowing for 100% accountability. Dan created a recruitment and vetting program in country that has resulted in zero breaches of security over the course of over 9 years.


In line with the values of RELYANT, Dan personally supports college education for multiple orphaned Ugandan natives as well as multiple humanitarian projects improving quality of life in East Africa via ministry based charities. Dan also is a supporter of the Wounded Warrior foundation at the local level in Blount County, Tennessee.

Daniel J. Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Military Background

Dan is a third generation US Marine combat veteran, with extensive on-the-ground experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa. This experience has allowed him to posses current knowledge of the work environment and challenges faced in the austere and remote environments that RELYANT specializes in. In over eight years with the United States Marine Corps, he was “Marine of the Year”, “Force Recon Team Leader of the Year” and was meritoriously promoted on multiple occasions.

Don Patton is the President and COO of RELYANT. Don’s background is diverse and spans across more than 20 years of proven leadership abilities. His experience includes strategic evaluations of business initiatives, expertise in systems engineering, business development and strategic development. He is an accomplished program and project

manager, including an extensive tenure leading multiple multi-million dollar businesses and global government contracts.

Prior to joining the RELYANT team, Don founded and managed a large business unit within government contracting that was responsible for providing security, construction, life support, K9 services and mine action services to numerous clients internationally. His work with the United States and various foreign governments included strategic planning, proposal preparation oversight, project management oversight, contract management, and customer relations across the enterprise. Don’s efforts resulted in numerous contract awards with a combined value of more than $700 million.


In 2003, Don led the Captured Enemy Ammunition Program in Iraq. This program was a $79 million munitions cleanup operation for the Army Corps of Engineers that collected and destroyed Iraq’s enormous stockpile of munitions. While rising to the position of Vice President, he directed his business’ tremendous growth through strategic initiatives, development of robust processes and procedures, budgetary control of all programs, proposal process management, and assurance that all services provided met quality standards and contract specification.

Don also lent his talents to a variety of progressive leadership positions with General Electric, culminating in his management of their Direct Current Industrial Motor Manufacturing Plant in Dothan, AL, a $25 million production facility with over 150 employees. He simultaneously managed daily production, sales, operating expenses and customer service. Don increased production by 17% while decreasing labor and warranty costs. He exceeded the sales, inventory and operational cost targets despite a declining sales environment. His production facility was presented the VPP Star Award for safety by OSHA, placing the facility among the top 1% of all US manufacturing plants.

Donald M. Patton

President & Chief Operating Officer

Military Background

In addition to more than 12 years of progressive experience in the corporate sector, Don has 10 years’ service in the United States Army as a commissioned officer. While on active duty, he commanded an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Company at Fort Drum, NY. He also served as the senior logistics manager for the Army’s EOD program, and served as both the Operations Officer and Executive Officer for the EOD Battalion located at Fort Gillem, GA in Atlanta.


Don is a graduate of GE’s John F. Welch Leadership Development Center Advanced Management Training Program. Don is a senior EOD Technician and a certified Six Sigma Quality Black Belt. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama in 1989.

Bruce has over 24 years’ experience in project and operations management with an immense understanding of logistics and project management. He has been paramount to RELYANT’s expansion into Guam, Kurdistan and Africa. Bruce oversees all company operations and leads our outstanding operations team across our global footprint. He ensures that our excellent reputation of project execution is maintained.

Bruce Carroll

Vice President of Operations

Bruce served in the U.S. Army for over 6 years in roles including Platoon Leader, Executive Officer and Company Commander.

Military Background

B.S. in Business Administration award by The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.

Education and Professional Registrations

Alix King, MBA

Vice President of Business Development and Contracts

Alix is responsible for overseeing and ensuring the success of the strategic vision of RELYANT.  In that role, Alix oversees all of RELYANT’s Business Development and Contracting activities, including all contract and subcontract management, global marketing, proposal development, business development operations, customer outreach and new teaming negotiations. She is also responsible for ensuring all compliance and legal requirements are being met, including timely and accurate reporting of all company certifications, registrations, licenses, oversight of claims, and corporate set-ups.

Education and Professional Certifications

Alix holds a B.S. in Organizational Management with a concentration in Financial Management, and a Master of Business Administration, also concentrating in Finance. She is a member of the Society of American Military Engineers and the National Contract Management Association.

With over 20 years’ experience, Aaron leads all financial operations including all account practices, budget and project reviews, forecasting, project controls, audits, payroll and generally establishing best practices in government accounting and oversight. Aaron has worked throughout the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. Aaron brings experience from leading industry experts to provide an insightful and qualified approach to financial matters

Aaron Mordan

Director of Finance

Aaron earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the George Mason University. During his career, he has also completed numerous advanced courses including Managerial Accounting, Risk Management, Operations Management and Corporate Finance, as well as holds a Six-Sigma Green Belt.

Education and Professional Certifications

RELYANT U.S. and World Headquarters

1009 Hampshire Drive

Maryville, TN 37801

PH: 865-984-1330

FAX: 865-322-9713