We are a team of thinkers, designers, and builders. Independently, we have risen to the top of our fields in executive leadership, product innovation, and design. Collectively, we are The Hard Yards.



Prior to founding The Hard Yards, Jason was a Vice President at The HumanGeo Group and a Product Manager at Ringtail Design. Both companies are software development and data visualization pioneers supporting national security agencies. Jason is a former Navy SEAL officer and brings more than 20 years of deep special operations and intelligence community expertise.  He holds an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business with a focus on venture  capital and entrepreneurial studies. Jason also earned an M.S. in the Management of Information Technology from the University of Virginia, an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and a B.S. in Political Science from the United States Naval Academy.  


Mark pushinsky, coo

Formerly a Director of Product Management at Capital One, Mark led transformational, large-scale software development programs using Design Thinking and Agile best practices.  As a Certified Scrum Trainer, Mark has trained thousands of people both in and out of software development including Naval Special Warfare. Mark routinely challenges teams and executives to embrace these new ways for working through assessment, strategic planning, and executive coaching.  Mark holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business, an M.S. in the Management of Information Technology from University of Virginia, and a B.A. in Business Administration from The College of William and Mary.


valerio zanini, pARTNER

Valerio is expert at bridging technology and business, with more than 20 years of professional experience spanning software development, system integration, agile transformation, design thinking, and product innovation. While he was a Director of Product Development at Capital One, he led digital transformation initiatives for retail bank, transforming how customers interact with bankers. Before Capital One, Valerio was the CEO of Goozex (private equity exit in 2012), a Systems Engineer at Cisco, and the co-founder of one of the first web development companies in Italy. He is a Certified Scrum Professional and Scrum Master, SAFe Program Consultant, and Certified Product Owner. He holds an MBA from the University of Maryland, and a MS/BS degree in Electronic and Computer Engineering from the University of Rome, Italy.


ron ocker, principal consultant

Ron has completed a 30-year career in the Army as a Colonel with extensive executive level experience in intelligence and special operations.  During his career, he spent 14 years in Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) serving in a variety of command positions as a forward deployed Task Force Commander, Squadron Commander, and Commander of JSOC's Joint Interagency Task Force for the National Capital Region. He earned an M.S. in National Resourcing Strategy and National Security from the Eisenhower school for National Security and Resource Strategy. Ron also earned an M.S. in Kinesiology from Indiana University and served as an assistant professor at the United States Military Academy. He has a B.A. in History/Government from Adams State University.


LAUREN EGGE, DesigN Consultant

Lauren Egge specializes in human-centered design methodologies, with expertise in both physical and software product design. She is skilled at facilitating teams through the design process, and has worked with a wide range of companies from small local startups to federal agencies. Before joining Hard Yards, Lauren served as a design advisor to the Johns Hopkins Sibley Innovation Hub. Lauren received a B.S. in Engineering: Product Design from Stanford University.