WDT Experts

Mike Eilts

Mike Eilts

Mike Eilts is passionate about saving lives and helping companies manage operations through effective communication of weather risks to businesses and the public. He has deep expertise in weather analytics and how they apply to business solutions. Mr. Eilts was a co-founder of Weather Decision Technologies and has been the President and CEO since the beginning, over 15 years ago.

Mike received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Meteorology and an MBA from the University of Oklahoma. He is also a Harvard Senior Executive Fellow and is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. Before founding WDT in 2000, Mike worked at the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) for 18 years, the last seven as the Assistant Director.

Mr. Eilts has written over 75 publications on subjects in Severe Storms, Doppler Weather Radar, automated severe weather analytics and aviation weather and can often be found as a participant on panels as well as providing presentations regarding weather safety and communication to the public and large enterprise alike.

JT Johnson

JT Johnson

As CTO, JT Johnson is the visionary and technical leader for all aspects of WDT’s global value-added weather systems and services. Before co-founding WDT, JT was Team Lead of severe weather algorithm development for the FAA and NEXRAD Program and Project Manager at the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) for 13 years. For a 20-month stint as the Science and Operations Officer in the National Weather Service Olympic Weather Support Office for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, JT was responsible for ensuring that state of the science weather and communications capabilities were utilized to support the Olympic Games weather support effort. JT has written numerous journal articles and conference papers on severe weather analytics generation, given dozens of technical presentations and been the lead author on WDT’s patents.

Education/Accomplishments: MS Meteorology, Council for Excellence in Government Fellows Program, Department of Commerce (DOC) Gold Medal and DOC Silver Medal
Previous Experience: National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), National Weather Service, Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS)

Renny Vandewege

Renny Vendewege

Renny leads business development efforts at WDT for its WeatherOps and SkyWise product lines. Renny previously spent eight years as the Director of the Broadcast Meteorology Program at Mississippi State University. Renny transformed the program into a digital media outlet, producing over 100 weathercasts a week and maintaining social media and written weather content for various outlets. Many of his students have received Emmy & Associated Press Awards. Renny brokered deals with media conglomerates and weather broadcast equipment manufacturers to ensure long-standing agreements for job placement and equipment for Mississippi State students.

Accomplishments & Experience: Broadcast meteorologist at KCTV & WTOK covering major events on live television, including Hurricanes Katrina & Rita. Holds an MS in Geosciences (Broadcast Meteorology)

Lee Robb

Lee Robb

Lee leads the team responsible for all of WDT’s API, Alerting, and Imaging systems. He is WDT’s technical authority for developing and architecting highly scalable software systems. With vast experience scaling mission-critical, real-time distributed systems, Lee is considered a pivotal part of the WDT management team. He also leads WDT in establishing and executing software engineering best practices. Over the last three years at WDT, Lee has modernized WDT’s software development process, increasing both development velocity and quality. In addition to the aforementioned, Lee has experience across the entire technology stack, from low-level C++ to distributed Java systems to Python scripting to UX. He was an architect and software engineering leader for over 15 years in a startup environment before his leadership role at WDT, shipping a commercial program with millions of downloads.

Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, The University of Central Oklahoma
Bachelor of Science, Liberal Arts, The University of Central Oklahoma

Steve Strum

Steve Strum

After working within the energy sector, Steve identified an industry need and established Frontier Weather, a provider of historical and forecast weather data to the energy and finance sectors. Frontier was acquired by WDT last September. Steve serves as Vice President of Extended Forecast Services, continuing to operate Frontier under the WDT umbrella.

Dax Cochran

Dax Cochran

Dax Cochran has been with WDT since 2009. He leads WDT’s Global Entertainment Services sales and business development while serving as the solutions expert to leverage WDT’s WeatherOps, Skywise and Frontier product lines to help clients achieve a high degree of safety and success for all productions.

Matt Gaffner

Matt Gaffner

Matt joined WDT immediately after graduating from the University of Oklahoma (2006) and has served WDT in many roles during his tenure. He began his career as a Forensic Meteorologist where he analyzed various meteorological datasets to generate weather verification reports and products widely used in the insurance and roofing/restoration industries. Matt quickly took over management of WDT’s Forensic Weather department where overseeing the day to day operations and was responsible for innovation of new forensic weather products. As part of Matt’s instrumental role in the Forensics business, he leads the effort to unify the WDT and Verisk Climate offering. Matt recently transitioned to a role in business development where he can use his great meteorological and project management background to help prospective customers solve unique problems to make better business decisions based on WDT’s weather products and services. Matt focuses on GIS, aviation, and government opportunities and continues to collaborate with Verisk Climate on sales into the insurance and restoration industries.

Education/Accomplishments: B.S. Meteorology, Mathematics Minor, University of Oklahoma