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More than 400 people in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers were honored at the BEYA Technology Recognition event. The luncheon took place on Friday, Feb 10 at the 37th annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards, which was held Feb 9-11 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.

“Today’s Technology Recognition event is all about the game changers transforming the technology landscape,” said co-host Angela Stribling.

They are “engineers, inventors, all kinds of scientists that simplify what it means to push forward; try and try again and stick to the path for becoming everything they can be,” added Kendall Harris, Ph.D. “Today’s awardees have been selected by their respective companies in two categories: Modern-Day Technology Leaders and Science Spectrum Trailblazers.”

Stephanie C. Hill, 2014 Black Engineer of the Year and currently executive vice president of rotary and mission systems at Lockheed Martin Corporation, was the first keynote speaker at the event. Lockheed Martin has co-hosted the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) STEM Conference for 37 years, partnering with the 15-member Council of the Engineering Deans at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Career Communications Group’s US Black Engineer magazine to advance diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.

“On behalf of the 116,000 team members of Lockheed Martin, I am delighted to congratulate all the outstanding innovators who are being honored here today,” Hill said. In addition, I’m incredibly proud of the Lockheed Martin team members receiving Science Spectrum Trailblazer and Modern-Day Technology Leader Awards. The jobs they do every day are unlike anything you’ll find in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Whether it’s providing service members with the tools they need to deter aggression from our adversaries and save lives, sending spacecraft deeper into the cosmos than ever before so that we can better understand our universe, or using satellite imagery, artificial intelligence, and other state-of-the-art technologies to help detect and control dangerous wildfires in the American West, faster than ever before.”

The work of Denise Durant and Will Fletcher from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Research Institutes and UL Standards & Engagement has positively impacted society. UL is a world leader in fundamental and applied safety science research.

“Denise and Will are exemplary leaders,” said 2016 Modern-day Technology Leader Dr. Charlotte Farmer, president and chief operating officer of UL Research Institutes and UL Standards and Engagement.” Denise brings passion to her standards engineering program manager role and is critical to our mission. Likewise, safety is in Will Fletcher’s DNA. Beginning his career as a firefighter gave him a foundation built on developing expertise that’s led him to UL Standards and Engagement, where he serves as the technical lead fire-related standards,” Farmer said. “From structures to materials and code analysis for sprinkler design, Will is a force in making the world safer. We are honored to recognize and celebrate their achievements and look forward to their continued success in the future.”

Farmer said it was an honor to recognize dynamic people and those who work behind the scenes. “You may not have heard of us at UL Research Institutes, but we know you. We’re probably in your home somewhere; we are dedicated to advancing technology and promoting innovation. With a focus on R&D, we work to identify and solve critical challenges facing energy, industry, and society. In addition, we support the growth and success of emerging technologies, all with a mission of creating a safer, more sustainable world.”

Actalent is an operating company of Allegis Group that focuses on engineering and sciences services and talent solutions.

Olakunle Arowolo, Actalent director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, said he was “incredibly honored to be back” at BEYA for the second time. “I’m happy to be here for many reasons, like getting to speak with so many of you today,” he said. “Life is truly full of opportunities to change the game. I was born here in the United States, but my life changed forever when I was one year old. My parents decided to move to Africa, where my dad accepted a job at the United Nations that took us around the continent. Growing up, I remember Kenya being a hub for diplomats and ambassadors around the world. I was constantly curious about who they were and where they came from. Then, we moved to other countries, and that curiosity about our international community and my classmates persisted. Then, when I was sixteen, we moved back to the US, and I had a whole other culture to be curious about. I learned from a young age that everyone has a story to tell with unique strengths and perspectives that make them unlike anyone else. That curiosity forms the foundation for my interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Among the myriad pivotal moments and game changers in my life, I was honored to have Bill Swanson [fomer Raytheon Chairman and CEO William H. Swanson] as a mentor and friend. He was an ally and always curious about anything that would allow my career progression. He wanted to ensure that my name was mentioned in rooms I wasn’t in. He actively promoted my work and was always right there. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. He changed the game for me. I think about my parents and a multitude of leaders that invested and believed in me. The common thread I see in my life is that we all have the power to be game changers when we look around and say whom we can positively impact. Today, it’s a privilege to introduce the flowing awardees who are reshaping our world through their impact on the people around them and their innovative contributions that will leave an indelible impact on our society.”

Raytheon’s chief diversity officer Shanda Hinton also spoke at the event. “There is an unprecedented opportunity at this moment,” she began. “With the pace of change in the world, the evolution of technologies, we find ourselves defining and, in many ways, redefining our future. We must have a profound commitment to look to, to life, and launch the new visionaries who will lead the new STEM world. At Raytheon Technologies, we are pushing the limits of known science.

“We need new visionaries to chart the path forward and redefine how we connect and protect our world by advancing aviation, building smarter defense systems, and creating innovations that take us deeper into space. At BEYA, there is an unparalleled commitment to identifying, accelerating, and celebrating exceptional leaders who drive excellence and innovation. We at Raytheon Technologies share your dedication. We are very intentional from the highest levels of the company about seeking out and leveraging the unique perspectives of our diverse 182,000 employees worldwide. We proudly celebrate leaders who continue to drive excellence in all they do and model their behaviors and achieve success to which we can all aspire. We cannot carry out our mission without leaders in our organization who develop cutting-edge and innovative solutions. It is the same innovators who actively put into their communities, support young people the moment they decide to become an engineer; military veterans the moment they make the switch to a civilian career; people in communities where we live and work, and the many moments where we need to come together. We are committed to driving transformative, multigenerational impact by connecting innovators united in purpose, lifting underserved communities, inspiring the next generation’s workforce, and building a more prosperous and equitable world for all.”

Presenters and keynote speakers included:

  • Gwen Clavon, senior vice president and general manager of cyber and intelligence, Jacobs
  • Will Johnson, operations manager, logistics mission support, Leidos
  • Crawford Green, regional manager, Otis
  • Jamie Hoyt, senior director of engineering and logistics, combat missions systems, BAE Systems
  • Derrick Pledger, senior vice president, and chief information officer, Leidos
  • Jennifer Boykin, president of Newport News Shipbuilding and executive vice president of Huntington Ingalls Industries
  • Robert Duhart, vice president, and deputy chief information systems officer, Walmart
  • David J. Albritton, executive officer, Four Forces Executive Group
  • Ann Marr, vice president of global human resources, World Wide Technology

The BEYA Career Fair also included booths from  Abbott, Actalent, Aerospace Corporation, the Air Force Institute of Technology, BAE Systems, Ball Aerospace, BGE, The Boeing Company, Exelon, Booz Allen Hamilton, Boston Scientific, CACI International, Cornerstone Brands, Corning Research & Development Corporation, Deloitte, Department of the Air Force, Ford Motor Company, General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), General Dynamics, General Dynamics Electric Boat, General Dynamics Land Systems, General Dynamics Mission Systems, General Motors, Gulfstream Aerospace, Health Catalyst, HSN, Huntington Ingalls Industries, IBM, ICF, Jacobs, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, L3 Harris Technologies, Leidos, Lockheed Martin, MITRE, National Security Agency, Georgia, Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Naval Nuclear Laboratory, Naval Sea Systems Command, NetApp, Northrop Grumman, Oceaneering International, Otis Elevator, Qurate Retail Group, QVC, Raytheon Technologies, SAIC, Sandia National Laboratories, Textron Aviation, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Futures Command, U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command, U.S. Army South, U. S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, UL Standards & Engagement, University of the District of Columbia, Vitesco Technologies, Walmart, World Wide Technology, and Zulily.



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