Four Seasons Ventures has built an investment team that draws from diverse experiences in engineering, politics, operations, executive management, banking, investment research, and venture capital. We strive to be a trusted partner to our portfolio companies.
General (Retired) Lester Lyles’ expertise focuses on helping clients excel in the areas of technology readiness and long range strategic positioning. General Lyles’ 36 years of service in the US Air Force and rank as four-star general supports this focus.
General Lyles is a distinguished retired military officer with 36 years of service in the United States Air Force where he rose to the rank of four-star general. In his last position, he served as Commander, Air Force Materiel Command in the Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Ohio. There, General Lyles was responsible for an 82,000-person organization implementing all U.S. Air Force research, development, acquisition and logistics/sustainment. This command included the development and implementation of policies and processes to annually acquire $42.6 billion in research and development, production, test and logistics support for the U.S. Air Force technological systems and infrastructure.
This budget represented 53% of the U.S. Air Force’s total annual budget. From 1999 to 2000, General Lyles was Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force for the Pentagon in Washington DC. As Chief Operating Officer and the second highest-ranking officer for the U.S. Air Force, he was responsible for helping the Chief of Staff manage 750,000 Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve personnel in executing global Air Force missions.
General Lyles’ awards and honors include the 2003 Black Engineer of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award, the General Bernard A. Schriever Award (recognized the best space program in the Air Force), the Hiram Hadley’s Founder’s Award of Excellence, and the NAACP’s 1994 Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award. Additionally, General Lyles was named “Astronautics Engineer of the Year” in 1999 by the National Space Club and is regularly named among Ebony Magazine’s “100 Most Influential African-Americans in America.”
General Lyles is an active board member of a number of large companies, including General Dynamics Corp., KBR Corp., USAA, Precision Cast Parts Inc., Dayton Power & Light, and Battelle Laboratories. General Lyles also serves as a member of the NASA Advisory Council. In 2010, he was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board in the White House. He is also a member of the Defense Science Board in the Pentagon.
General Lyles has a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University and a Masters in Mechanical (Nuclear) Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology Program at New Mexico State University. He also attended the National War College at the National Defense University in Fort McNair in Washington, DC and the National and International Security Program at Harvard University. General Lyles has Honorary Doctorates from New Mexico State University and Urbana University.