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In 2017, Albert “Benjie” Spencer won the Professional Achievement Award for his work as the chief engineer and director of the engineering standard division at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

He returned to the BEYA stage to present the 2024 Professional Achievement Award to Nelson Ndukwe Akwari,  a Boeing executive based in South Carolina. Nelson is responsible for overseeing the development of new technologies that are helping to shape the future of the aerospace industry.

He is also involved in various executive boards focused on STEM educational initiatives, well-being, and affordable housing. Additionally, he spends a lot of time volunteering to mentor Boeing teammates and students within the Charleston community.

During his acceptance speech at the BEYA gala held in February, Nelson expressed his gratitude for receiving the Professional Achievement award. He acknowledged the support of his wife, children, parents, mentors, sponsors, and friends at the Boeing Company.

He also shared that he is a first-generation Nigerian-American who has been fortunate enough to travel the world as a professional soccer player, earn a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. from U.C.L.A., and now work as an executive for the number one aerospace company in the world.

Nelson attributed his success to his foundation in Jesus Christ and encouraged others to stay focused on their journey, seek help from those around them during tough times, and give back to their community.

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