Beacon Interactive Systems


Beacon Interactive Systems, a defense contractor located in Waltham, MA and Norfolk, VA, develops Maritime Internet of Things (IoT) software solutions that deliver Operational Visibility and Efficiency for the Maritime Industry. With a history in commercial development covering Startups to Fortune 500 Companies, Beacon currently works with multiple U.S. Navy organizations (ONR, NAVSEA, NAVAIR, SPAWAR and US Fleet Forces Command).

The Company provides customers with strategic solutions that deliver equally on both business process management and innovative technological capabilities. Our Collaborative Performance Support software solutions provide increased workforce efficiency while improving strategic visibility into an organization’s performance, capabilities and knowledge.

Federal Government Efforts

Over the past 10 years, Beacon has been able to leverage its industrial sector experience in the Federal market sector. The cost-savings and performance improving capabilities of our products have led the U.S. Navy to acquire and actively deploy Beacon products in a number of areas. From the beginning of our work with the Navy, we have focused on bringing work performance applications to the areas of Maintenance, Energy Management and Project Management. While part of this work has involved R&D efforts, we have recently delivered software that will benefit Navy sailors on board ship. In the future, we are exploring deployment of our products and solutions across the Department of Defense as well as other Federal Agencies. 

As we continually grow into the Federal market, we are able to create a broader and deeper product offering for our clients in both of our target sectors. As part of this effort, we have launched a new company, Beacon Labs, that is actively working to transition our Federal innovation into the Private Sector.

Non-Traditional Defense Contractor

Beacon started as a custom software development firm with a focus on building systems that married business process needs with cutting edge technical capability. As software became more pervasive as a tool for supporting companies looking for cost savings and efficiency, we created a specialty in collaboration-based work management solutions. As a small, agile company, we have been able to explore a number of different markets; the specialized needs of each one contributes to our ability to innovate and deliver across all of our markets.

Critical to our ability to continually deliver solutions is our focus on the end user and the quality of that persons’ experience. We start by paying attention to needs and enable our clients to contribute directly to the final product. Our non-traditional defense contractor roots in the private sector continuously influence our current defense sector products. The cost savings and efficiency driven sensibilities of our industry experience systematically informs how we meet the defense system goals of providing work performance capabilities, efficiency and management controls.

Small Business Advocacy

Beacon considers Small Business Advocacy to be an important part of our mission. Having benefited from the hard work and dedication of many individuals and organizations before us we believe that we have a role in helping others following us in the Federal innovation ecosystem. Beacon’s advocacy takes shape through our CEO’s participation in industry association efforts. Ms. Mackey is a Board Member of SBANE, the Smaller Business Association of New England and is the Founder of the SBANE Women’s Business Network. At the national level, she is on the Board of NSBA, the National Small Business Association, and is the Chair of Legislative Affairs & Policy for the Small Business Division of NDIA, the National Defense Industrial Association.

Ms. Mackey is a recognized contributor to national publications and has testified on Capitol Hill on topics such as Small Business Contracting and SBIR, the Small Business Innovation Research Program. Beacon’s advocacy efforts support legislation and policies that ensure a level playing field for the full defense industrial base and the efficient delivery of innovation into the U.S. economy.

Meet the Founders

ML Mackey, CEO

ML Mackey is the CEO of Beacon Interactive Systems, a company she co-founded in 1994. In this role, she manages overall corporate and technical direction. Prior to starting Beacon, Ms. Mackey worked as an Engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation where she was on both hardware and software teams.

In addition to her role at Beacon, ML is a recognized leader in the Federal Small Business ecosystem providing support in a number of ways. On the national level, she is the Chair of the NSBA Economic Development Committee as well as a past Chair of the NDIA National Small Business Conference.  Regionally, ML is a powerful advocate for women in business, whether they own their company or work in major corporations.  In 2011, ML founded SBANE’s Women’s Business Network (WBN), which has connected over 300 women throughout the SBANE community providing training in business networking and leadership. She is also a winner of the WEST (Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology) Leadership Award. ML holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University.

Michael MacEwen, President

Mike is the President of Beacon Interactive Systems, a company that he co-founded in 1994. In this role, he manages strategic planning, product development and R&D. His expertise is in process analysis and the application of Technology to solving challenges inherent in business. Prior to starting Beacon, Mr. MacEwen held several positions at General Electric in divisions as diverse as GE Aircraft and GE Capital and was a member of the Corporate Audit Staff.

Based upon his over 25 years of experience, Mr. MacEwen is a frequently requested speaker on the topics of Collaboration, Technology, and Entrepreneurship. Mike graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelors degree in Government and International Relations and earned his Masters in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School. Beyond playing the occasional golf round, he is a Member of the Executive Board of Primary Source, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing a Global Perspective to the K-12 classroom.

Send Beacon a Message


Beacon Interactive Systems Headquarters

465 Waverley Oaks Rd, Suite 301
Waltham, MA 02452
(617) 441-9229

Beacon Interactive Systems - Norfolk

999 Waterside Drive, Suite 2525
Norfolk, VA 23501
(757) 777-3430