Robert Kirila is the founder and Managing Director of Black Powder Partners, a private equity firm that works with the nation’s top veteran executives to grow construction service companies.  Previously Robert served as the CEO and Executive Director for Special Operators Transition Foundation, with a focus on providing Special Operators the support needed to find careers in the private sector. Previously Robert was the Chief Operating Officer for DEFENSEWERX and guided the growth of disruptive innovation practices at Air Force bases around the nation.

For 26+ years, Robert served as a Special Forces Officer in the United States Army.  During that time Rob commanded Special Operations Forces on 4 continents in peacetime and combat and developed a unique portfolio of experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan and culminating as the senior Special Operations advisor to the Commanding General in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Robert holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond and masters degrees from Central Michigan University and the United States Army War College. Among his awards are the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Service Medals, the Bronze Star, and the Green Beret authorized by President John F. Kennedy. Robert lives with his wife Chrissie in Valparaiso, FL.

Speaker Richard Corcoran appointed Robert to the Veterans Florida Board of Directors in 2018, and Speaker Chris Sprowls reappointed him in 2022.