Our Leadership

Patrick Hood, Founder and CEO

Patrick Hood is the founder and CEO of the Rushlight family of companies, which includes CRG, Rushlight Assets, Rushlight Ventures, Square Rock Holdings and Lectratek, among others. He has over 30 years of experience in defense and aerospace R&D, operations, entrepreneurship, strategy, and management. Hood has founded or co-founded multiple operating start-ups and has been recognized nine times as an awardee of INC 5000’s fastest growing private companies. He is a local fixture in the Dayton Business Journal’s annual Who’s Who in Aerospace and Defense list. Hood holds multiple degrees from the University of California–Davis, including a bachelor’s and master’s in materials science and engineering, as well as a Ph.D. in materials science.

Christopher Hemmelgarn, President 

Christopher Hemmelgarn has over 20 years of experience in aerospace and defense R&D, business strategy, IP licensing, and executive leadership. He was the first aerospace engineer hired at CRG and played a crucial role in establishing the Aerospace Systems Center, the company’s largest technology center. With a career spanning advanced materials, structures for shape-changing aircraft, portable power systems, and aircraft development, Hemmelgarn has led numerous technology development programs. As vice president of strategic development and later as chief revenue officer, he was pivotal in implementing the company’s growth strategy, resulting in a 155% increase in revenue from 2018 through 2022. Currently serving as CRG’s president, Hemmelgarn’s focus is on enhancing workflow efficiency and positioning the organization for accelerated growth. Hemmelgarn holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering and an M.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Dayton.

Jeffrey Bennett, Senior Vice President of Operations

Jeffrey Bennett has 25+ years of experience in logistics and operations management. He has worked for reputable companies such as Clopay Plastic Products Co. as a master scheduler and distribution supervisor, and as a general manager for product support at Gosiger, Inc. Bennett also served as a traffic manager for nine years at Paxar Corp., Rittal Corporation, and The Duriron Company in Dayton. Apart from his operations role at CRG, he specializes in new business startup and coordination, including strategic planning and spin-off business implementation. Bennett’s areas of expertise include new business planning and preparation, management, corporate planning, payroll and 401k implementation, resource allocation, and human resources development. He holds an M.B.A. in management from Wright State University.

Kristin Cable, Senior Vice President of Technology Centers

Kristin Cable is an accomplished mechanical engineer with over 19 years of experience driving technology growth and transition at CRG. She has led R&D projects in medical, aerospace, composites and consumer goods markets, managing over $19 million in project funding. Cable has a proven track record of developing patient transport platforms, advancing medical devices with modulus shifting materials, and leading the development of a smart detection and release system for night vision goggles. She possesses extensive experience in composite design and mechanical testing, coupled with talent strategy and expertise in key systems engineering applications. Cable has eight awarded and pending patents and over 10 published papers, and she graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Dayton.

Paul D. McNiel, Chief Financial Officer

Paul McNiel is a highly experienced senior financial executive for manufacturing and defense-related companies, with expertise as a CPA in public accounting (Big 4 firm) and international finance. He has provided financial leadership and strategic planning for privately held and publicly traded companies, managing complex accounting, treasury, cash flow, audit, and employee benefits matters, as well as hands-on operations experience. McNiel has successfully implemented growth strategies, including identifying and integrating business acquisitions and divestitures, raising investment capital, and serving as an officer and director on several boards of directors for both not-for-profit and for-profit manufacturing companies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance and an M.B.A. in finance and international business from Wright State University.