Meet Our Team
Dr. Dale Olsen, Founder and President
Dr. Olsen is responsible for general oversight of all of SIMmersion’s activities. His expertise includes technology innovation, training systems design and construction, management, statistical analysis, and business development. In addition to leading the executive leadership team, he is the Principal Investigator on a series of SIMmersion research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Prior to starting SIMmersion, Dr. Olsen worked for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he had various management titles. During his tenure, he developed the PeopleSim® technology that powers SIMmersion’s conversations. The first implementation was used to train new FBI agents to improve their communication skills. That effort proved successful and the system was used by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. As a result of that success, Dr. Olsen founded SIMmersion in 2002 and grew a business in which more than 50 other conversation training systems have been commissioned by the federal government to train skills ranging from detection of deception to suicide intervention.
Dr. Olsen earned an A.B. in Mathematics from California State University, Chico and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Statistics from Oregon State University. Dr. Olsen lives in Columbia, Maryland. His two daughters live in the area.
Laura Boteler Humm, Chief Operating Officer
Laura Humm collaborates with subject matter experts and SIMmersion team members to design and engineer interactive training programs to improve communication. As a member of SIMmersion’s executive leadership team, her day-to-day tasks include project management, client relations, product design, content development, software integration, quality assurance, research design, and staff training. Laura is passionate about the benefits of effective communication and strives to create an environment in which all members of the team feel valued and empowered to do their best work.
Laura has been with the company since its founding in 2002. She began her career with SIMmersion as an Administrative Assistant and, since, has had the opportunity to work on every aspect of the interactive training programs, including script development, instructional design, video production, code development, user interface creation, research design, and client integration. During her tenure, Laura has led the design and development of more than 30 training programs, served as Program Manager or Co-Investigator on 18 federally funded grants, and co-authored 18 publications.
Laura holds dual B.S. degrees in Psychology and Sociology from Towson University. She lives in Halethorpe, Maryland with her husband.
Dr. Chris Steacy, Chief Business Officer
Chris Steacy is responsible for advancing the company’s business strategy across all verticals and is a member of the company’s executive leadership team. Additionally, he provides direction to a multi-disciplinary team to support client marketing, customer experience, and research. Chris is committed to expanding SIMmersion’s share of the interactive training space through research and commercial partnerships.
Prior to joining SIMmersion, Dr. Steacy spent 15 years as an owner and clinic director of Sport and Spine Rehab (SSR), a multi-disciplinary healthcare facility with seven locations throughout Maryland and Virginia. In addition to working with patients and overseeing staff and treatment plans, Dr. Steacy participated in clinical research trials as a site supervisor. By leveraging his experience blending people with process, the SSR team was named one of “America’s Most Loved Practices” by DrScore.com, the nation’s largest online patient satisfaction database, and was named to the Inc. 5000 list in 2011 as one of the fastest growing private US companies.
Dr. Steacy holds a B.S. and B.P.H.E from Queen’s University and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from New York Chiropractic College. He currently resides in Columbia, Maryland with his wife and two children.
Jeff Elkins, Chief Script Engineer
Jeff Elkins oversees the script and content creation for all the company's conversation simulations. Collaborating with subject matter experts, he empowers the writing team to develop collaborative communication styles, mimic expert behavior, and manage complex scripts, all while adhering to ambitious production timelines. Jeff is committed to ensuring SIMmersion programs are authentic interactive experiences that provide unparalleled training.
Prior to joining SIMmersion, Mr. Elkins spent 15 years serving as a Program Manager and Change Manager for multiple nonprofits. Through this work, he established mentoring programs for inner-city youth, developed adult-focused small group systems for life development, built after-school programs for disadvantaged elementary school students, helped found a system of charter schools in Baltimore City, and walked multiple organizations through seasons of institutional growth and development.
Mr. Elkins holds a B.A. from Baylor University and an M.Div. from George W. Truett Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Cockeysville, Maryland with his wife and five children.
Michael McDermott, Vice President of Technology
Mike McDermott oversees the architecture, development, and maintenance of the technology infrastructure that powers SIMmersion’s training systems. Mike’s expertise includes software planning and architecture, systems administration, and programming in a variety of different languages and platforms. In his tenure, he has rebuilt and enhanced all of SIMmersion’s products, including the core training product, the authoring tool, and both the student and administrative portions of the Learning Management System (i.e., Training Center and Administration Center). Mike is committed to developing reliable, flexible, and efficient code that allows SIMmersion’s team, collaborators, and customers to experience conversation training in a whole new way.
Mr. McDermott began his programming career at the age of 14 when he first built a game on his home computer. After college, he joined an advertising agency where he focused mainly on web development. He continued developing his skills as a software engineer at a web hosting startup. In his career, he has managed and executed hundreds of successful projects, from small websites to the migration of thousands of servers to a new monitoring platform.
Mr. McDermott holds a B.A. in Computer Science and B.S. in Biology from East Carolina University. He currently resides in Bowie, Maryland with his wife.
Courtney Small, Systems Coordinator
Courtney Small is responsible for customer service, technical support, client training, and product implementation for SIMmersion’s training products and websites. Ms. Small also provides internal support through extensive quality assurance testing, video production support, and general administrative support. Her commitment to excellence ensures each and every customer, partner, and vendor sees the very best SIMmersion has to offer.
Ms. Small joined the SIMmersion team out of college and served as the Administrative Assistant to the executive team. Her organization, planning, and communication skills quickly outgrew the position, and she began taking on responsibilities of the Systems Coordinator. She continues to grow and excel in the position and has goals for growing within the company.
Ms. Small holds a B.S. in Management from Penn State University. She currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.