Skip to main content
About Us | Our Company

Our Leadership Team

Stephen Powell, DHA, MSc

Chief Executive Officer

Stephen Powell is the CEO and founder of Synensys, a professional services company headquartered in Peachtree City, Georgia, USA. Dr. Powell is a recognized leader in performance improvement having led programs in the U.S. Navy, the commercial airline industry, and the healthcare industry for more than 30 years.

His most recent experience includes patient safety, quality and patient-centered care improvements, health systems strengthening, learning systems, high reliability, care coordination, value-based initiatives, and team training. Dr. Powell regularly provides assessments, training, consulting, and coaching services to senior leaders, managers, and teams in civilian, government, and military healthcare organizations worldwide.

He has authored numerous articles on human-centered design, reflective learning, teamwork, global health, safety, change management, communication, quality improvement, patient experience, and patient safety culture. His book, “The Patient Survival Handbook: Avoid Being the Next Victim of Medical Error,” is a call to action for deeper patient engagement and activation for patient safety, increased effectiveness, and quality improvement.

Dr. Powell earned a Doctorate in Health Administration and a Graduate Certificate in International Health from Central Michigan University. He is a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate Aviation Safety School, Monterey, CA. and the U.S. Navy Command Leadership Safety Program. Dr. Powell earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Science in Human Factors from Embry-Riddle University.

Dr. Powell is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists, the Clinical Human Factors Group, and the American College of Healthcare Executives. He also serves as a Board member for the North Carolina Quality Center and the Armed Forces Mission.

Daniel Wyman, MD, MPH, FAsMA

Brig Gen, USAF (ret)

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Daniel Wyman serves as the Chief Medical Officer at Synensys. He has more than 30 years of specialized experience leading large-scale health operations across the care continuum, including strategic health transformation and strengthening initiatives.

Prior to joining Synensys, Dr. Wyman served as the Chief Medical Officer for Pruitt Health of Atlanta, with responsibilities for the clinical policies, procedures, and oversight of healthcare delivery within more than 100 skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, assisted-living facilities, and home care and hospice agencies across North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Prior to his role at Pruitt Health, Dr. Wyman served in numerous senior leadership positions in the U.S. Air Force (USAF), including Command Surgeon for USAF Air Combat Command, Assistant Air Force Surgeon General for the Medical Corps, Commander Keesler Medical Center, and Command Surgeon to USAF Headquarters Pacific Air Forces and USAF Special Forces Command. He retired from the Air Force as a Brigadier General.

Dr. Wyman completed a residency in family practice at David Grant USAF Medical Center, dual residencies in aerospace medicine and occupational medicine at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, and a Master’s in Public Health at the University of Texas. He is board certified in aerospace medicine and is licensed to practice medicine in the State of Georgia. Dr. Wyman previously served as the U.S. Air Force Delegate to the American Medical Association and Past President of Society of U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeons. He is an advisor to the National Foundation for Integrative Medicine.

Michelle Axelson, BA, CPPS

Program Manager

Michelle is a diversified management professional with a background in High Reliability Organization (HRO), Quality/Performance Improvement, Patient Safety, TeamSTEPPS and Customer Service. Michelle has served as a Patient Safety Program Manager within US Air Force Military Treatment Facility for the past 8+ years, and is currently the Patient Safety Program Manager, supervising multiple positions across DoD and oversees locations. She has been recognized by DoD for her Patient Safety Program in 2019, immediately following implementation of a new electronic health system of records. Michelle consulted weekly with DoD to assist in analysis of patient safety event reports involving the electronic record. Michelle is a Certified Professional in Patient Safety and is highly sought for her expertise and experience from leaders within her patient safety community and across the US.

Previously, Michelle was a Senior Enlisted Leader and Dental Functional Manager within the US Air Force. Michelle has more than 20 years of health care experience as an executive of a team promoting High Reliability concepts to deliver safe care. Michelle has combined her expertise as a leader and educator of Patient Safety and clinical care to lead numerous successful process improvement initiatives improving healthcare quality, patient safety, access, and patient experience.

Mark H. Smithwick, MBA, PMP, CPPS

Program Manager

Mark is responsible for managing all aspects of our aviation safety management portfolio while also supporting our healthcare practice requirements. Mark holds a Master of Business Administration from Midwestern State University in Texas.

Mark is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Professional in Patient Safety, TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer, HRO 7 Leadership Methods Instructor, HRO 8 Master Safety Certifier, and a licensed commercial pilot.

While serving in his previous role with Synensys, Mark was the Patient Safety Program Manager at a U.S. Air Force base clinic. During his tenure, the clinic earned a National Patient Safety Foundation Ambulatory Stand Up for Patient Safety Program Management Award along with five DoD Advancement Toward High Reliability in Healthcare Awards.  As a member of the United States Navy in his final deployment to Afghanistan in 2010, he earned an Army Commendation Medal along with a Navy & Marine Corp Achievement Medal (third award).

He is committed to safety and quality improvement for all Synensys clients through his award-winning innovation, ingenuity, and exceptional contract performance reports.

Christine Tilson Alford, BA

Business Development Manager

Christine manages business development across our Aviation, Healthcare, and Nursing Education (StoryCare) practices. She successfully leads our marketing and business capture processes by developing strong relationships with current and potential clients.

Christine holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hospitality Sales and Marketing from Florida State University and brings more than 20 years of experience in client development, customer relations, and innovative marketing strategies in the government and commercial contracting fields.

Synensys fuels her enthusiasm and passion for building partnerships and opening doors that will continue to promote and produce greater levels of safety and better outcomes that can truly make a difference not only in organizations, but also in people’s lives.

Todd Spain, MSc, SPHR

Human Resources Leader

Todd serves as the Human Resources Leader and his duties include managing all HR-related functions, including recruiting, staffing, training, employee relations, maintaining compliance, and developing policies.

He has an extensive background with more than 15 years in human resources leadership roles across various industries, serving both large and small organizations. Todd received his Bachelor of Science, Psychology, from Kennesaw State University and a Master of Science, Information Technology, from Southern New Hampshire University.

Todd is passionate about helping Synensys reach its full potential through developing an inclusive, diverse, productive, and happy workforce.

Melissa Speice, CPA


Melissa is responsible for managing the delivery of financial services such as accounting, treasury, reporting, budgeting, and insurance management, in accordance with governmental requirements and organizational policies and strategies. She also coordinates all IT efforts, ensuring compliance with NIST/CMMC certification and other essential corporate compliance programs.

Melissa has more than 20 years of experience in providing professional accounting services including nearly 10 years working with Government contractors. Melissa earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Georgia State University. Her dedication to accurate reporting and managing the bottom line are invaluable to our continued financial success.

Alana Keller, MBA( c ), PMP

Program Manager

Alana has over eight years of experience, including project management, customer service, team leadership, personnel management, and logistics. She has built strong relationships with Government and civilian clients, domestic and international.

Alana serves as Program Manager for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration contract aimed at improving Laboratory Data Exchanges through System Safety Engineering. Her past experience includes managing Line Operations Safety Audit (LOSA) contracts with the U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command, Air Force District of Washington, and Air Force Global Strike Command as well as coordinating the U.S. Air Force Medical Service Patient Safety Program. She has also served as Project Manager for civilian healthcare High Reliability Organization (HRO) contracts.

Alana is a Master of Business Administration candidate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia and holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication/Business Administration from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP)® and is a member of the Project Management Institute.