The Apex Skills Group Inc. Management Team
Overseeing our elite cadre of trainers is a strong management team whose members possess over 125 years of business experience related to training services design and delivery and 20 years of military service. In addition to those listed below, Apex Skills Group recruits, screens and delivers exceptional professionals across a wide spectrum of services. Over 95 percent of our instructors are elite former special operations veterans.
Mr. John Kokkinos, Chief Executive Officer/Owner
Mr. Kokkinos, founder and president of Apex Skills Group, Inc., is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL, combat veteran and tactical trainer with extensive knowledge in special operations. A former senior noncommissioned officer, he held positions responsible for the management, training and direct supervision of highly trained and skilled SEAL platoon members as well as the planning and successful execution of high-risk air, land and water-borne operations in numerous countries and throughout the U.S.
Mr. Kokkinos deployed during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Iraq, and Restore Hope, Somalia. Mr. Kokkinos’s naval career include tours at Underwater Demolition Team TWENTY TWO, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team TWO, Commander Naval Special Warfare Group TWO, SEAL Team TWO, Naval Special Warfare Center Detachment Little Creek and SEAL Team FOUR. Following retirement, he co-founded P&K Ventures, Inc. a franchising company and served as its Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Following the sale of that company, he created Apex Skills Group, Inc. to meet the challenge of providing 21st century hostile preparedness training.
Mr. Kokkinos is a Master Training Specialist holding credentials as:
- Naval Special Warfare Instructor
- Range Master (Demolitions and Small Arms)
- Rappel Master, Helicopter Cast Master, SPIE Rope Master, FastRope Master
- Free Fall Jumpmaster/Static Line Jumpmaster
- Open/Closed Circuit Diving Supervisor/Submarine Diving Supervisor
- National Rifle Association Instructor
- Microsoft Certified System Engineer
Mr. Kokkinos was recognized for his training expertise as: Instructor of the Year, 1997, Commander Naval Education and Training (CNET) and a Master Training Specialist, Commander Naval Education and Training.
Ms. Penny Jo Pagona, Co-Owner
Ms. Penny Jo Pagona was the former Florida State Deputy Director of the Office of Workforce Innovation. She was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush in September 2000, and directed the efforts of the offices of Financial Management, Budget, Grants and Contracts, Human Resources, Performance Excellence, General Services, Labor Market Information (LMI), One Stop Coordination, and Program Guidance and Support for Florida’s state workforce agency. She was responsible for management and operations of a $2 Billion budget and over 1,600 staff.
Ms. Pagona was also a former director of the Business and Industry Center, Norfolk, VA. She operated the Business and Industry Center as the only entrepreneurial unit of Tidewater Community College, and managed highly successful workforce programs throughout the commonwealth. The center delivered targeted training and consulting services to business, industry and government, increased revenues from $225 thousand to $1.7 million in only three years. Fully leveraging sector strategies and partnerships with business, government, social service agencies, and economic development, developed or expanded the following programs: Job Skills Training Program, Information Technology Training Program, ISO/QS 9000 Statewide Initiative, Hampton Roads Retail Skills Development Program, Interactive Computer Training Program, GED Training Program, Conference Center Facilities, Electronic Collaboration Meeting Services, and the Hampton Roads Maritime Training Center. Ms. Pagona has a M.S. in Management and Financial Analysis and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.
Ellen Endicott, Co-Owner
Apex Skills Group, Inc. owner Ellen Endicott retired from Bank of America in 2006 after twenty six years in the financial industry. Throughout her financial career she held positions responsible for the management and direct supervision of products including installment loans, credit cards and branch operations. She retired as a Senior Vice President responsible for marketing and product development in support of a highly profitable product line. She has managed product, personnel and project initiatives including the management of a twenty five billion dollar portfolio. She is certified as a Design For Six Sigma professional. In 2006 she joined P&K Ventures, Inc. a franchising company and served as its Chief Operations Officer. Following the sale of that company, she joined with her partners in Apex Skills Group, Inc. Ms. Endicott has a master’s in education and spent five years in public education. She has extensive teaching and training experience including as an instructor trainer for water safety, an instructor for first aid, CPR and canoeing as well as an emergency medical technician.
Ella Reilly, Director of Marketing and Development
Ms. Reilly has more than 12 years experience working in public and private higher education venues assisting with curriculum development (writing content, proof reading and editing); creating instructional/training materials including PowerPoint presentations; and writing required government reports. Ms. Reilly has a Master’s degree in journalism in public affairs reporting; has worked as a web content manager and designer with extensive knowledge of Dreamweaver and other web site editing software and tools with additional training in Cisco networking, computer programming, digital photography. She has extensive experience in desktop publishing with more than 15 years experience with Adobe PageMaker (now InDesign) and Adobe Photoshop. She has extensive knowledge of the personal computer software needed for developing and disseminating instructional/training materials; knowledge of the design and development of student information databases (PeopleSoft); extensive experience writing articles, designing newsletters, editing, and proof reading. She worked as a public information specialist for four years on a $5 million Department of Education grant at Hampton University developing instructional/training materials, and providing government quarterly and annual reports.
For more information, Contact Us
For anyone wishing to apply for employment; send resumes to Resume@ApexSkillsGroup.com.