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Forged Through the Mud

Founded in 2016, WISPR Systems strives not only to manufacture reliable and affordable U.S.A. commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) with turnkey payload options for commercial operations. WISPR Systems supports various industries with our drones such as Surveying, Mapping, Telecommunications, Utilities, Public Safety, and much more. WISPR Systems and our affiliated distributors strive to provide the best drone and service money can buy! WISPR Systems is a one stop shop for all your commercial drone needs!

Proudly Made in Mississippi

As a Mississippi enterprise, we take great pride in upholding the traditions of hard work and innovation that have defined our state for generations. This cultural foundation empowers us to craft cutting-edge solutions for our customers and adapt to the ever-evolving technological landscape. WISPR Systems thrives in Mississippi, recognizing that our employees are our most valuable asset, embodying the enduring strength and ingenuity of this remarkable state.

Meet Our Leadership Team

John Reece
CEO

John began his career in the high-tech industry, where for 25 years he held management positions in production and finance for IBM. In the years since his journey with “Big Blue,” he has remained on the forefront of the technology evolution by providing operational management and leadership, ranging from financial planning and analysis, manufacturing and quality control to customer support and site operations, for innovative technology enterprises specializing in computer hardware and software.

After 25 years at IBM, John served as corporate controller at Tandem Computers.  After Tandem, he served as CFO and/or CEO of 3 venture backed companies which were acquired by publicly traded companies.

John currently serves on the Board of WISPR Systems, Camgian and Board Advisor to S10.AI

John received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Mississippi State University.

Conor Ferguson
Co-Founder/CTO

Conor boasts a diverse portfolio spanning various tech domains, from constructing computers and implementing fixed wireless networks to his current role in the commercial drone industry. His journey in technology began at an early age, inspired by his father’s entrepreneurial venture into Computer/Networking business back in 1987. By the age of 6, Conor was already assembling computers and loading software, earning a weekly allowance.

After graduating from high school, Conor took on the challenge of overseeing the expansion of a fixed wireless internet service that brought high-speed connectivity to underserved rural areas in Northwest Mississippi. In 2014, he embarked on his academic journey at Mississippi State University, culminating in the attainment of his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the prestigious Bagley College of Engineering.

During his time at Mississippi State University, Conor collaborated closely with numerous ECE department professors and other affiliates on diverse projects related to small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) and ground robotics. This hands-on engineering experience sowed the seeds for his subsequent co-founding of WISPR Systems in 2017, alongside Austin Ratcliffe. The mission of WISPR Systems was to provide comprehensive sUAS solutions for commercial applications, particularly in RF and telecommunications.

To realize this vision, Conor worked in tandem with the Mississippi State University Center for Entrepreneurship & Outreach, meticulously crafting a robust business plan and securing investments through avenues like the Bulldog Angel Network and InnovateMS. This crucial financial support enabled the fledgling business to take flight, focusing initially on deploying end-to-end drone solutions in the telecommunications sector, before expanding into broader commercial sUAS markets in 2020. Today, WISPR Systems offers a wide array of solutions encompassing mapping, surveying, inspection, public safety, and more.

Austin Ratcliffe
Co-Founder/COO/VP

Austin’s skill set encompasses a wide spectrum, spanning the realms of automotive and mechanical engineering to the dynamic commercial drone industry. During his tenure at Mississippi State University, Austin actively collaborated with the Electrical and Computer Engineering department on a series of impactful UAV projects. His contributions included the design, construction, and successful deployment of diverse ground and aerial robotic systems. This hands-on engineering experience proved instrumental in the inception of WISPr Systems, a company he co-founded with Conor Ferguson in 2017. The primary objective of WISPr Systems is to deliver cost-effective and dependable drone solutions tailored for various commercial applications.

With a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University, Austin has cultivated a strong foundation of knowledge and practical expertise to drive his career and innovative endeavors in the drone industry.

John McArthur
VP Sales & Marketing

Over the years, John has honed his skills and expertise in the sales and marketing domain through work with a series of start-up and early-stage companies. His experience in these entrepreneurial environments has equipped him with a unique understanding of the challenges and opportunities that come with emerging technologies.

In his role as VP of Sales and Marketing at WISPR Systems, John brings this extensive experience to the forefront. His strategic insights, innovative approaches, and the ability to connect with customers have been instrumental in driving WISPR Systems’ market presence and expansion.

John holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Finance from the University of Memphis.

Meet Our Board of Directors

John Reece
CEO

John began his career in the high-tech industry, where for 25 years he held management positions in production and finance for IBM. In the years since his journey with “Big Blue,” he has remained on the forefront of the technology evolution by providing operational management and leadership, ranging from financial planning and analysis, manufacturing and quality control to customer support and site operations, for innovative technology enterprises specializing in computer hardware and software.

After 25 years at IBM, John served as corporate controller at Tandem Computers.  After Tandem, he served as CFO and/or CEO of 3 venture backed companies which were acquired by publicly traded companies.

John currently serves on the Board of WISPR Systems, Camgian and Board Advisor to S10.AI

John received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Mississippi State University.

Conor Ferguson
Co-Founder/CTO

Conor boasts a diverse portfolio spanning various tech domains, from constructing computers and implementing fixed wireless networks to his current role in the commercial drone industry. His journey in technology began at an early age, inspired by his father’s entrepreneurial venture into Computer/Networking business back in 1987. By the age of 6, Conor was already assembling computers and loading software, earning a weekly allowance.

After graduating from high school, Conor took on the challenge of overseeing the expansion of a fixed wireless internet service that brought high-speed connectivity to underserved rural areas in Northwest Mississippi. In 2014, he embarked on his academic journey at Mississippi State University, culminating in the attainment of his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the prestigious Bagley College of Engineering.

During his time at Mississippi State University, Conor collaborated closely with numerous ECE department professors and other affiliates on diverse projects related to small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) and ground robotics. This hands-on engineering experience sowed the seeds for his subsequent co-founding of WISPR Systems in 2017, alongside Austin Ratcliffe. The mission of WISPR Systems was to provide comprehensive sUAS solutions for commercial applications, particularly in RF and telecommunications.

To realize this vision, Conor worked in tandem with the Mississippi State University Center for Entrepreneurship & Outreach, meticulously crafting a robust business plan and securing investments through avenues like the Bulldog Angel Network and InnovateMS. This crucial financial support enabled the fledgling business to take flight, focusing initially on deploying end-to-end drone solutions in the telecommunications sector, before expanding into broader commercial sUAS markets in 2020. Today, WISPR Systems offers a wide array of solutions encompassing mapping, surveying, inspection, public safety, and more.

Austin Ratcliffe
Co-Founder/COO/VP

Austin’s skill set encompasses a wide spectrum, spanning the realms of automotive and mechanical engineering to the dynamic commercial drone industry. During his tenure at Mississippi State University, Austin actively collaborated with the Electrical and Computer Engineering department on a series of impactful UAV projects. His contributions included the design, construction, and successful deployment of diverse ground and aerial robotic systems. This hands-on engineering experience proved instrumental in the inception of WISPr Systems, a company he co-founded with Conor Ferguson in 2017. The primary objective of WISPr Systems is to deliver cost-effective and dependable drone solutions tailored for various commercial applications.

With a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University, Austin has cultivated a strong foundation of knowledge and practical expertise to drive his career and innovative endeavors in the drone industry.

Chris Ewing

Founder, Chairman and CEO of Ewing/Kessler, Inc., one of the largest independent building systems companies in the Mid-South, providing engineered solutions related to air conditioning, power, and energy management.

Chris is a Graduating at the top of his class with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State University, a Distinguished Fellow of Mississippi State University’s Bagley College of Engineering and serves on various higher-education advisory boards at Mississippi State, Liberty University, and Moore Tech

Wade Patterson

In Wade’s prior work he was VP of Engineering for Intergraph Computer Systems where he later became the President and CEO. He was founder and CEO of Smart Appliance Controls that was sold in 2006 and Co-founder and CEO of Synapse Wireless, Inc. which was sold in 2014. Experienced in worldwide corporate management including corporate strategy, intellectual property, engineering management, manufacturing, sales, marketing, finance, organizational dynamics.

Specialties: Organization dynamics, electronics design, software design, networks, user interfaces, big data, cloud, project management, marketing, M&A, startups

Mike Dunlap

Bio coming soon.

Bruce Deere

Bruce brings a diverse 35-year background ranging from hardware engineering, software engineering to executive level management as CIO, CTO, COO and CEO. He has experience in different sizes and types of companies as he has worked for startups, mid-size companies and large multi-national corporations.

He served as COO for Spread Networks, President and CEO of SkyTel, and prior to that Bruce worked for Lockheed Martin in various technical and management responsibilities.

Bruce is an electrical engineering graduate of Mississippi State University and also has a Masters of Engineering from Southern Methodist University.

Stephen Buehler

In Stephen’s prior work he was the Managing director of the Hedge Fund Solutions Group and COO of Blackstone Individual Investor Solutions. He was previously a relationship manager with Merrill Lynch in the greater New York City (NYC) area and senior manager of assurance and advisory services at KPMG LLP. He is now founder and CEO of Astra Ventures. Astra Ventures is an alternative investment firm that invest in alternative assets – private equity, venture capital, real estate, direct lending, public markets and more.

Stephen has a bachelors in Business from Mississippi State University and a Master in Business from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.

We’re With You All the Way

With world-class training and support, owning a WISPR Systems drone means years of productive and well-supported flying.

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