Legacy awards were introduced at BEYA’s 30th-anniversary conference to celebrate the scientific and technical contributions of men and women who have won the Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) since 1987.

The Rodney C. Adkins Legacy Award for Business Transformation carries on the legacy of Rod Adkins, the 2007 Black Engineer of the Year.

Adkins held several senior vice president roles at IBM, where he was responsible for leading the transformation across IBM and developing strategies for a new era of computing, new markets, and new clients.

One of the first winners of the Rodney Adkins award is Verett Mims, assistant treasurer in Boeing’s global treasury operations.

This year the Rodney Adkins Legacy Award went to Paul F. McKenzie, a technical specialist in the tracked combat vehicles software modernization program at General Dynamics Land Systems.

McKenzie works within the Vetronics, Software, and Lethality Department, under the Tracked Combat Vehicles Line of Business Engineering Directorate at General Dynamics Land Systems.

As a software engineering manager, he leads a talented team in the execution of software projects related to the integration of technologies on the Army’s Abrams Main Battle Tank and Navy’s MK46 Gun Weapon System.

McKenzie also manages the execution of strategic technology solutions to meet both immediate and emerging needs for the nation’s Army, Navy, and Marine war fighters.

He has had a distinguished career with breakthrough technical contributions at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, and General Dynamics Amphibious Systems.

McKenzie earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics and computer science from the Courant Institute at New York University, and a master’s degree in computer science from Columbia University. He also holds a certificate in project management from Stevens Institute of Technology and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional.

He founded and currently leads the Dynamic Network of African Americans (DNA2), an organization to support and empower African Americans at General Dynamics Land Systems.

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