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GSN joins defense, aerospace, military and marketing colleagues of Peter Berghammer in mourning his unexpected and untimely death on October 1 at 51

Peter Berghammer

Peter Berghammer, a towering intellect, business strategist and serial entrepreneur with a dazzling record of lifetime accomplishments in aerospace, defense, cryptology, Internet technology and countless other disciplines, died unexpectedly in his sleep on October 1, 2011.

At the time of his passing, Berghammer was senior strategist at Public Communications Worldwide, a highly respected public relations and marketing communications firm in Garden Grove, CA, that counted some of the largest aerospace companies, defense contractors and technology leaders among its clients.

In a characteristic act of kindness and friendship, Berghammer had signed on as a member of the Distinguished Panel of Judges for the GSN 2011 Homeland Security Awards Program. And, in that capacity, he was probably one of the very few individuals in the world with the intellectual wherewithal to have a thorough grasp of each and every technology represented by the 40-plus awards in the GSN awards program.

In a GSN article written only 20 days ago to describe the credentials of the three fine judges in our 2011 awards program, I summarized Peter’s academic background as follows:

“Berghammer was named a Fellow of Stanford University Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, and in 2007 was listed as one of the world’s leading techno-ethicists for his work on total information programs and data integrity. He is a renowned security vulnerability researcher and speaker. His educational credits include U.C. San Diego, Institute of Theoretical Physics in Beijing, China; the University of Tohwa Fukokua, Japan and CalTech.”

A more complete account of his life was provided in a press release from Public Communications Worldwide, which is reprinted here in its entirety. It is very difficult to bid farewell to such a fine person and dear friend, and all of us here at GSN wish comfort and strength and continued inspiration from his life to his wife Susan van Barneveld, with whom he worked at Public Communications Worldwide, and his daughter Abrielle Ghislaine, who were the lights of his life.  --  Adrian Courtenay

Garden Grove, CA – October 5, 2011  --  It is with a deep sense of sadness and loss that Public Communications/Worldwide (PC/W), a long-time Southern California independent public relations and marketing communications firm, announces the passing of Senior Strategist Peter Berghammer. Fifty-one year-old Berghammer died unexpectedly Saturday evening, October 1, from heart failure. Peter was an innovator and serial entrepreneur who worked on technology, aerospace and public-safety accounts for PC/W. 

Though best known for his marketing acumen, Peter possessed a thorough understanding and appreciation for strategic alliances, acquisitions, and mergers. Through his leadership, The Copernio Holding Company, which he founded in 2001 and in which he served as Chief Executive Officer, quickly grew from an IT solutions provider to an organization with divisions handling consulting, research, warehousing, and logistics. Under his guidance, Copernio expanded from a single location to an international corporation with warehouses and offices in over 18 countries.

In 2003, he founded Future Formats, an offshoot of the research arm of Copernio, dedicated to the consumer electronics industry and photonics research.

No matter the endeavor, Peter’s goal always remained the same: to assist clients in achieving their business objectives through the intelligent and efficient use of information technology along with a strong infrastructure. 

Immediately prior to founding Copernio, Peter served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the on-line marketplace startup Avolo. With an aggressive marketing and product development strategy, he took the company to a leadership position in e-commerce trade. 

Prior to that, Peter served as Director of Worldwide Communications for aerospace, defense, and industrial fastening systems manufacturer Fairchild Fasteners (now part of Alcoa). He was a pioneer in the mid-1990s in the integration of CAD/CAM with solid modeling, and the integration of solid models with the Internet -- effectively building a proof of concept platform, which allowed for models to be designed and deployed in one location and manufactured in locations thousands of miles away. 

Later, as an executive at EDS, Peter oversaw Fairchild’s Web and network implementation strategy and deployment. He was responsible for developing Fairchild’s database-driven architecture, and laid the foundation for later integration of MRP, ERP, and ERP2 systems with the Internet, joining facilities in over 20 countries.

Peter began his career in the late 1970’s with aerospace fastening company Rosan of Newport Beach, CA. Rosan was later acquired by Rexnord, then by Banner Aerospace, and eventually by Fairchild. 

Peter stood out for his forward thinking and strong technical grasp of many issues in the industries with which he was involved. As such, he was active in a number of industry groups. These included being a life member of the American Institute of Aviation and Aerospace (AIAA), and a 20-year member of the Society of Aerospace and Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Optical Society of America. He also belonged to The Center for Intelligence Studies, International Association for Cryptologic Research, and The SIIA: Software and Information Industries Association, in which he was an active participant on the Intellectual Property Sub-Committee, Search Engine watch group, and the Software as Service Sub-Committee.


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