||It has been suggested that The Navigator (Pocalyko novel) be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since April 2014.|
Michael Pocalyko in Tysons Corner, Virginia, November 2011
|Born|| December 24, 1954
Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania
|Education||Muhlenberg, Harvard, Wharton|
CEO of Monticello Capital
novelist –The Navigator
|Spouse(s)||Barbara Snelbaker Pocalyko|
|Website||Michael Pocalyko Author Website|
He is the managing director and chief executive officer of Monticello Capital, a boutique investment bank in Chantilly, Virginia. In business he specializes in corporate directorship and in high technology and green enterprises. He is a Sarbanes-Oxley public company audit committee financial expert and corporate board audit committee chairman. He is also known as a moderate Republican politician and public official.
Early life and education
Pocalyko is from the Lehigh Valley, born in Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Bethlehem Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, in a devout Hungarian Lutheran blue collar family. His father Walter Pocalyko was business manager of the public school districts in Bethlehem, Sharon, Antietam, and Bangor and a local Democratic political figure. His mother Anna M. (Pagats) Pocalyko was an office manager for the brokerage firm of Janney Montgomery Scott. His paternal grandparents were Ukrainians who immigrated first to Canada and then to the United States; his maternal grandparents were Hungarians who arrived in the United States at Ellis Island. His paternal grandmother Dora Bendera (Ukrainian: Дора Бандера) was born in Galicia in the family of Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera.
He graduated in 1972 from Bethlehem Freedom High School.
While a student at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Pocalyko was a union steelworker in the ingot mould foundry at the Bethlehem Plant of the now-defunct Bethlehem Steel Corporation and a professional musician. He is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. In college he published poetry in literary magazines and chaired a symposium on the work of novelist John Hawkes; its proceedings became a widely cited book of literary criticism, A John Hawkes Symposium: Design and Debris that he co-edited with Anthony C. Santore for publisher James Laughlin at New Directions.
Pocalyko graduated from Muhlenberg in 1976. He received his Master in Public Administration degree from the Harvard Kennedy School in 1985,. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. He was a Trustee of Fairleigh Dickinson University and named by the International Association of University Presidents to the United Nations Commission on Disarmament Education, Conflict Resolution and Peace.
Pocalyko has published on subjects including the novels of John Hawkes, the poetry of Theodore Weiss, international affairs, US defense policy, strategic anti-submarine warfare, nuclear warfare, aviation safety, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Persian Gulf War, leadership, labor rights, the legacy of César Chávez, the international economics of the steel industry, NATO expansion, Swedish foreign affairs, Russian and Ukrainian defense industry, economic conversion, US and European export control administration, Virginia legislative structures, the 1982-1984 Lebanon war, negotiation theory, the influence of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the Lutheran Church, democracy in the Arab world, the role of the liberal arts college in American higher education, SEC compliance, the Dodd-Frank Act, and corporate governance.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was on the CFR's bipartisan independent task force co-chaired by Madeleine Albright and Vin Weber that authored the influential study In Support of Arab Democracy: Why and How.
Pocalyko was commissioned as an officer in the US Navy in 1976 and qualified as a naval aviator in 1977. He later became dual-warfare qualified at sea as a surface warfare officer. He served in the US Atlantic Fleet flying the SH-3, SH-2, and SH-60 helicopters, deploying in destroyers and frigates in the LAMPS and LAMPS Mark III platforms. During his career as a pilot, Pocalyko made more than 1,000 helicopter small deck landings.
He served in the Multinational Force in Lebanon and was the pilot in command of the only helicopter airborne at the moment of the Beirut barracks bombing on October 23, 1983. He also commanded special intelligence missions in the Persian Gulf.
In the mid-1980s he was desk officer for the Navy’s Forward Maritime Strategy and then special assistant to Vice Admiral Henry C. Mustin II in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations. In the early 1990s he was on the personal staff of Secretary of the Navy H. Lawrence Garrett III during the Tailhook scandal. In his 1998 book Against All Enemies, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote approvingly about Pocalyko's role as a veterans advocate with respect to the controversial Persian Gulf War Syndrome during his years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1993 to 1995.
While a serving naval officer in Washington he was senior fellow of the Atlantic Council of the United States. A longtime observer of Russia, he traveled in the former Soviet Union with Goodpaster and Ambassador Paul Nitze and wrote then-controversial positions supporting Russian and Ukrainian defense conversion; economic development of the new nations formed from the Soviet Union; NATO expansion; and deep reductions in nuclear weapons as the Cold War ended.
He retired from the Navy in the grade of commander in 1995.
Investment banking and business
Pocalyko formed a corporate financial advisory firm in Washington DC that became Monticello Capital, a privately held boutique investment bank and private equity firm based in Northern Virginia and from 2003 to 2008 with offices in New York City. He co-founded Monticello Capital with Stephen Frey, an investment banker and author of financial novels who had been a vice president at JP Morgan and Westdeutsche Landesbank. Since 1997 Pocalyko has been a managing director at Monticello Capital.
He has served on more than a dozen corporate boards and is a "public company audit committee financial expert" under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. He was a director and audit committee chairman of defense contractor Herley Industries, brought in after that company’s chairman was indicted. He also chaired the board of TherimuneX Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
In 1984 Pocalyko became one of the Heritage Foundation's "Third Generation," the "young leaders of [an] army of conservative activists." It was his "Third Generation Military Leadership" that first gained him national notice on the political stage. Pocalyko served terms on the Fairfax County Industrial Development Authority and on Virginia's Commonwealth Competition Council, appointed by Governor Jim Gilmore as the governor's representative and remaining during part of the administration of Governor Mark Warner.
1999 Virginia House campaign
In 1999 he was the endorsed Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates from the 36th District, in Reston and western Fairfax County, and ran against incumbent Democrat Ken Plum, then chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia. Pocalyko campaigned as a "progressive Republican" in the left-leaning district with strong backing from Senator John Warner, a Capitol Hill mentor, and from Governor Jim Gilmore. He took conservative positions on limited government, fiscal matters and taxation (although he refused to sign the Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge"), law and order, Second Amendment rights, faith-based initiatives, and backing the death penalty, but was moderate on issues like the environment, immigration, and public education. He was among the very few Virginia GOP candidates who met with gay community leaders; he pledged active support for expanded gay and lesbian rights and appeared at Log Cabin Republican events.
Pocalyko lost to Plum by 61.83 percent to 35.42 percent of the vote.
Since the 1970s Pocalyko has published newspaper features, academic papers, essays, reviews, and opinion pieces, notably for McClatchy, in The Morning Call, The Florida Times-Union, The Virginian-Pilot and Ledger Star, Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute and NACD Directorship. He is frequently quoted in print media and on-line as an expert on business economics, banking, and corporate governance.
Pocalyko married his classmate Barbara Snelbaker after their college graduation in 1976. They have two grown children, James and Kathryn. He lives in Reston in Northern Virginia and on the Blue Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley, where his mountain home "Hamatreya" is named for a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson. He speaks German.
Awards, honors and associations
In addition to numerous military decorations, Pocalyko received the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award from Muhlenberg College and the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America. He is a Lutheran, a Freemason, and a member of the Cosmos Club.
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- Publishers Marketplace: Dealmaker: Kathleen Murphy (Agent)
- "Commodity trap, bad technology and greed sealed Beth Steel’s fate," Allentown Morning Call, November 8, 2001
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- '76 'Berg Buzz & Beyond 1,1 (October 2011)
- "Chain," Arcade 29,1 (Fall 1974)
- "Dexter," Fusion 1,2 (Spring 1977)
- Santore, Anthony C. and Pocalyko, Michael N., eds.  A John Hawkes Symposium: Design and Debris (New York: New Directions Pub. Corp., 1977) ISBN 9780811206716
- Biographical Entry - Marquis Who's Who in America, 67th Edition, 2013
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- "The Cuban Missile Crisis," Naval History 2,3 (1988)
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- "1974 Visit by Cesar Chavez Linked Labor Roots of Two Valleys," Allentown Morning Call, May 4, 1993
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- Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, MPA Class of 1985 Reunion Class Book (May 21, 2005)
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- About Stephen Frey
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- WorldCat item record
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