FOUNDER, CHIEF DESIGNER, CO-OWNER KAREM AIRCRAFT INC.
WHY: Dubbed the “drone father’’ for Predator device that revolutionized aerial warfare. Runs Lake Forest-based company with about 55 employees and growing, makes manned and unmanned rotorcraft vehicles mainly for the military.
RECENT: Company now moving into development of civilian air taxi, called “Butterfly,” with Uber. Received $25M in Series A funding from South Korea. New division, called Overair, has set up shop at nearly 100,000-square-foot facility in Santa Ana.
NOTABLE: Born in Iraq, emigrated to Israel and then to the U.S. Emphasizes that in his more than 50 years in aviation, none of his teams has ever met failure on the technical side.