Meet The Team

The Team

Applied Ballistics is comprised of industry leading experts. Nowhere else in the shooting industry can you find such an elite team of professionals working together toward the common goal of pushing the envelope of long range shooting. From Ballistics R&D and cutting edge electronics to professional field craft training, Applied Ballistics is the modern one stop shop for anything related to the science of accuracy.

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Bryan Litz

Chief Ballistician

Bryan earned his Aerospace Engineering degree from Pennsylvania State University in 2002. For the next 6 years, he worked for the US Air Force on Air-to-air missile design, modeling and simulation. In November 2008, he left the government and became the Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets. Bryan founded Applied Ballistics and has produced numerous articles, books, and videos related to the science of long range shooting.

Christopher Palka

Operations Manager

Chris spent 9 year in the Air Force before being retired. He spent some time overseas, and half of his career as an instructor. He taught and certified Advanced Assaulters Course, Advanced Explosive Breaching, and the Nuclear Sniper Course. Chris is married to his wife Alex and they have two beautiful daughters Aurora and Aria. They enjoy camping, fishing, and hiking as a family. Chris is also an avid hunter, he spends most of his time devoted to this pursuit.

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Kathy Barnhart

Finance Manager

Kathy has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northwood University. She spent 20 years working in customer service and production at a large printing company, owned a campground, and was the township clerk before joining Applied Ballistics. Kathy likes to make life fun, enjoys knitting and crocheting and going to shooting tournaments in a support capacity.

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Taylor Mitz

Office Manager

Taylor has a business management degree from GRCC. She comes to Applied Ballistics after having her first kiddo and selling her logistics company in 2020. Taylor plays travel softball, enjoys drag racing, hunting and being outdoors.

Mitchell Fitzpatrick

Engineer

Mitch entered the shooting world in 2013 by entering F-Class Target Rifle competition. He, along with his father, are self-taught gunsmiths that have a passion for precision rifle shooting. Mitch’s shooting accomplishments range from Junior FTR World Champion in 2013, earning a place on the US Rifle Team for the 2017 World Championship cycle, to taking first place at the 2016 King of 2 Miles Extended Long Range shooting competition and taking 1st place in open division at the 2019 Nightforce ELR Match. He joined the Applied Ballistics team in 2014 as an intern and is now a full-time engineer after graduating from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelors of Science, with a major in Mechanical Engineering and minor in Aerospace Engineering

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Amanda Wheeler

Marketing Coordinator

Amanda joined the Applied Ballistics team in August of 2017. Managing all marketing efforts, including the new Science of Accuracy Academy and the Mobile Lab. Amanda brings a ton of passion to her job and the team. She enjoys  shooting long range and  meeting shooters while traveling with the AB Mobile Lab.

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Francis Colon

Lab Technician

Francis studied at the University of Michigan and Ferris State University, focusing on physics, chemistry and psychology before earning his degree in Business Management and Marketing. A Michigan native, he and his wife Lynn live in Cedar Springs, MI. He spent nearly 8 years working with radar-based trajectory data in the golf industry prior to moving to Applied Ballistics. As a competitive shooter in PRS, he has compiled 10 wins, 19 top-10 finishes, 2 Michigan championships and 2 Regional championships in his first two seasons. He has a passion for merging the art of precision rifle with the science of accuracy!

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Novalee Compagnari

Administrative Assistant

Novalee is currently studying for her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Montcalm Community College. She has plans to transfer to Ferris State University in Fall of 2022 to finish her degree. She recently joined the company in December of 2020.

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Alex Converse

Lab Technician

I am 25 years old, and I grew up in Michigan. I have an associate’s degree in science and arts from MCC. I have two children, a son who is two years old and a daughter that is one. I love Michigan and love the outdoors, I enjoy camping, hiking, kayaking, anything that gets me outside. I love to share that experience with my children and family. I have a desire to further my knowledge and continue my education in this career. I am dedicated to my faith in God, and have a love for people. I want to serve people to the best of my ability and have a purposeful impact on those around me.

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Doc Beech

Technical Support

Before joining the Applied Ballistics team, Doc spent over a decade in the military; having served multiple deployments to Iraq as a Corpsman of Marines, and graduated with Honors from both Corps School and the top of his class at Field Medical Service School, earning his Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist device in Iraq. Shooting his entire life, and having grown up in East Texas, Doc’s childhood consisted of sports, hunting, and fishing. Doc attended school for Computer Science & Electronics Engineering.

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Nick Vitalbo

Chief Engineer

Nick earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and B.A. in Computer Science from Bucknell University. For the next 8 years, he worked for Lockheed Martin where he was the engineering program manager and chief engineer for Lockheed Martin’s Precision Engagement Technology Group. Nick was responsible for the developing the system design of the One Shot wind measurement system and is the principal investigator for several wind measurement and ballistics programs within the U.S. government. Nick has partnered with Applied Ballistics and has been responsible for the development and integration of the hardware and software for the Applied Ballistics Kestrel devices, the Rapid Engagement Modules, the Wind Sensor Array systems, as well as the Applied Ballistics Tactical Application (US military only). His specialties include hardware / software Integration, laser beam propagation, and EO/IR sensors systems.

Dan Periard

Principal Engineer

Dan earned a dual B.S. degree in Aeronautical Engineering & Physics from Clarkson University in 2006, followed by a Master of Engineering degree in Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University. From 2007 to 2011, Dan worked several different roles in Lockheed Martin’s Precision Engagement Technology group, including lead test engineer and ballistics expert on the One Shot program, and lead systems engineer on the DInGO digital riflescope program. Dan has continued to support various US government sniper-related programs in an engineering capacity. With Applied Ballistics, he has served as the lead systems and mechanical engineer for AB’s Rapid Engagement Modules and Wind Sensor Array systems, as well as working with Mr. Litz to optimize the WEZ tool for public release. His specialties include ballistics modeling, systems engineering, and CAD modeling & simulation.

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Todd Hodnett

Military Field Consultant

Accuracy 1st provides superior sniper training/techniques to the highest levels of Military snipers. Todd Hodnett, President of Accuracy 1st, is considered one of the most respected and sought after instructors in the entire world. With 20 years experience, Todd has traveled the world training soldiers in the art of precision shooting. His determination, knowledge and vision has provided guidance for products to improve the accuracy and function of the sniper. For this reason Todd Hodnett partnered with Prodigy Group, Inc.