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On Friday afternoon, the BEYA Conference recognized hundreds of individuals who are blazing trails in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. The Technology Recognition event at the conference is dedicated to early- and mid-career trailblazers.

Nominees are chosen by their employers for two award categories: Modern-day Technology Leaders (MDTL) and Science Spectrum Trailblazers. MDTLs are shaping the future of engineering, science, and technology, while Science Spectrum Trailblazers are creating new paths for others in STEM.

2024 winners include experienced executives with innovative approaches, mid-career professionals breaking new ground, and graduates showing pioneering promise. All of them prioritize opening doors for others in STEM.

The emcees of the event were Dottie Li, founder and CEO of TransPacific Communications, and Michael C. Ford, who has a three-decade track record of success in multinational companies.

The sponsor speakers for the 2024 Technology Recognition event included long-time partners Lockheed Martin Corporation, GE, BAE Systems, Ford Motor Company, CACI, Leidos, HII, Amazon, Collins Aerospace-RTX, and the Department of Defense.

Stephanie C. Hill, executive vice president of rotary and mission Systems at Lockheed Martin, expressed her delight at being present at the event, representing the 122,000 teammates from Lockheed Martin. She also extended her congratulations to all the exceptional innovators who were honored at the conference.

The conference was attended by more than 12,000 people and was held in Baltimore, where it originated and where Lockheed was one of the first conference sponsors. Hill expressed her appreciation for the city, which has been at the heart of Black American history and culture, and for the remarkable achievements of all the innovators.

Furthermore, she thanked the 2024 Modern Day Technology Leaders for their contributions and for carrying on the legacy of those who came before them. She commended them for daring to dream big, utilizing their God-given talents, and blazing a trail in the world of STEM to lead in a new era of innovation, making the world a safer and better place with solutions that Lockheed’s customers and partners rely on to connect and protect people around the world in land, sea, airspace, and cyberspace.

“I feel humbled by the opportunity to speak at this event,” said Gwendolyn Moss, the director of the program management office at Fast Labs, BAE Systems. “You all are a testament to the incredible work that is shaping the future of technology. At BAE Systems, our engineers are the ones driving our results, working on mission-critical capabilities that directly impact the warfighter. The advancements you enable, and the challenges you navigate, protect those who protect us. Our engineers are intuitive problem solvers with resilient personalities. They come from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, and this is by design. At BAE Systems, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are not just talked about or included in PowerPoint slides; they are laid out in memos and emphasized as the foundation of what drives professional development. I believe in the importance of mentorship, sponsorship, and networking, which are crucial for professional growth. In this room, I am surrounded by employees whose innovations and aspirations will continue to support company initiatives.”

Cynthia Williams, the Global Director of Sustainability at Ford Motor Company, expressed her admiration for the winners and their organizations for their innovative work and the difference they have made.

She emphasized that diversity is essential in enabling innovation and encouraged the audience to embrace various experiences and thought processes. By diversifying the workplace, we can develop new products, processes, and technologies.

Williams urged the attendees to act as a bridge between the older and younger generations, guiding the latter toward a future in technology.

Glenn Kurowski, CACI‘s senior vice president and chief technology officer, expressed his delight in welcoming the first Modern Day Technology Leaders on stage.

He admired BEYA for recognizing that outstanding achievement goes beyond one’s professional life. He commended the awardees for volunteering their time and talents to make a positive impact on their communities, especially among the youth.

Kurowski extended his congratulations to all the awardees, particularly the 21 CACI members, who received the Outstanding Achievement Awards, including the Modern Day Technology Leader and Science Spectrum Trailblazer categories.

He felt blessed to have such talented individuals in his company who are driven to lead, meet commitments, and work toward success.

Their innovative talent and ability to overcome challenges and transform old business practices are essential for national security and government modernization. Additionally, their talent inspires and motivates their colleagues to achieve greater heights.

Felica Coney, Google‘s Vice President of Global Server Operations, emphasized the importance of recognizing the achievements of past BEYA winners while also looking to the future.

These trailblazers are responsible for shaping the technological frontier in areas such as AI, quantum computing, sustainable energy solutions, and groundbreaking medical technologies. However, it’s important to remember that technology is not just about machines and algorithms, but it’s also about people. We must strive to improve lives, connect communities, and build a better world for everyone.

Tanya Spencer, who is the chief diversity officer of GE Power, stated that General Electric, with its over 130 years of trailblazing innovation, has played a significant role in shaping the world with its technologies. GE has launched two separate but equally promising ventures, namely the Energy Powerhouse and GE Aerospace.

The company’s commitment to innovation remains unwavering as it continues to lead into the future, fueled by a profound understanding of the world’s needs. The focus of GE is to shape the future of flight, navigate the energy transition, and champion decarbonization. Change, although inherently challenging, catalyzes the company’s growth and progress.

Paul C. Harris, the executive vice president, and chief sustainability officer at HII, a global engineering and defense technologies provider, expressed his honor to be among the next-generation STEM leaders. He announced that HII had ten employees receiving various awards at the BEYA STEM Conference.

He also stated that HII, as America’s largest shipbuilder, has a rich history of advancing the national defense interests of the United States. Their diverse workforce includes engineers, skilled tradespeople, artificial intelligence, and machine learning experts, scientists, and business professionals, who play a crucial role in the HII mission.

Oluchukwu Raymond Okeke, senior vice president, and program manager of Leidos Partnership for Defense Health, is a 2017 Modern Day Technology Leader awardee. Reflecting on BEYA’s 2024 theme of how people, processes, and technology intersect, Okeke emphasized the importance of considering the impact on people.

He said that people bring diversity in thoughts that are vital to driving technical and process-centric advancements. Without pioneers, innovation stagnates.

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