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In celebration of Black History Month, the highly anticipated BEYA STEM Conference is gearing up to host its 38th annual gathering in the heart of Baltimore’s bustling downtown area.

From February 15th to the 17th, attendees can expect a dynamic environment filled with talented individuals, thought-provoking discussions, and exciting opportunities for growth and development within the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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The Army Contracting Command has announced that two of its employees will be receiving awards during the conference.  Joseph Giunta Jr. will be given the Stars and Stripes Senior Executive Service Award, while Tiffany Barnes will receive the Stars and Stripes Award for Career and Professional Achievement.

BEYA Stars and Stripes is an important event that takes place during the annual BEYA STEM Conference hosted by US Black Engineer Magazine, which is a flagship publication of Career Communications Group.

The tradition of the breakfast event started two decades ago, and since then, the veteran group of Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) winners has been honoring service members at a yearly dinner to celebrate Black History Month and National Engineers Week in February.

Some of the past honorees include Lloyd J. Austin III, the 28th Secretary of Defense, who served more than 40 years in the United States Army, and Vincent K. Brooks, a retired Army general who served as the chief of Army public affairs at The Pentagon.

Giunta, the Army Contracting Command acting deputy and the executive director of ACC-Redstone Arsenal, supported his entire staff and led the way in ACC-Redstone Arsenal’s efforts in recruitment and retention, diversity, and value-based service to the nation.

He served with distinction while assisting Army commands and agencies in procuring, developing, and employing innovative technologies and systems.

Under his guidance, ACC-Redstone Arsenal established the first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council within the Army Contracting Command to promote equal opportunities, foster an inclusive work environment, and drive positive change.

Barnes, the chief of the business management section for the ACC Chief Information Office Directorate, effectively managed an annual IT budget exceeding $20 million and ensured soldiers, civilians, and contractors across the global ACC footprint had the technology needed to perform their missions.

She led her team with expertise in administering IT contracts, overseeing Government Purchase Card purchases, ensuring compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, managing Records Management, and maintaining service-level agreements.

Richard Thomas, the area engineer for Robins Air Force Base Area Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, has been named a 2024 Modern-Day Technology Leader.

The Modern Day Technology Leader Award recognizes mid-level professionals who help shape the future of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in their careers and communities.

Growing up in a household where both parents were educators, Richard Thomas aspired to follow in their footsteps. However, his parents steered him towards alternative paths. Consequently, Thomas pursued a degree in civil engineering, leading to a fulfilling career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Today, Thomas not only excels in his current role as the USACE Savannah District Area Engineer for Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, Georgia but also actively inspires and guides the next generation of engineers.

In his current position, Thomas blends teaching and engineering, combining his expertise with a natural desire to educate and empower others, primarily through mentoring young engineers.

Thomas has spent his entire career with the Corps, starting as a cooperative education student with the Huntington District in Huntington, West Virginia, to his current position as the area engineer at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia.

In his current role, he oversees all construction activities at Robins and Moody Air Force bases and in the Atlanta metro area. Additionally, Thomas has completed two one-year deployments to Afghanistan and Bulgaria, overseeing more than $400 million in construction projects.

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