Noblis is proud to have a diverse staff, and in honor of Black History Month, we are recognizing our African American professionals and the positive impact they make to the culture of our organization and to our clients. We are proud to feature these professionals and share their thoughts on diversity, equity and inclusion; what they love most about Noblis; their proudest achievements and more.

Meet Erinn

Erinn is a marketing specialist on Noblis’ corporate marketing and communications team where she manages the company’s external marketing strategy. Erinn is also a founding member of Noblis’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee.

What is it about Noblis, our mission or culture, that influenced your decision to come work/stay here?
I decided to work and continue working at Noblis because the work that I do, in our marketing department, is the work that I had been desperately trying to get back to. Prior to Noblis, I worked at two marketing agencies, and agency life is different than being an in-house marketing professional. Typically, when you’re in-house, you have direct access to information and you’re able to better understand the company’s marketing need (holistically).

What is one of your proudest achievements at Noblis? How did this contribution support Noblis’ or your client’s mission?
My two proudest achievements are being a founding member of the Noblis’ DEI committee and knowing that through my consistent push, we’ve expanded our career fairs to include five times the amount of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in 2020 than in previous years.

Do you have any advice for fellow African Americans starting in your field?
I would tell upcoming marketing students to identify a marketing specialty that they want their careers to focus on. In today’s market it’s better to have a specialization than to be a generalist – it’ll take your career further.

What is your message to your colleagues about diversity, equity, and inclusion?
DEI is everyone’s responsibility, not just marginalized groups. We all have to stand up for what’s right and advocate for one another. I also want to encourage others to speak up. Don’t be afraid to say the wrong thing to your colleagues and/or direct reports, especially when social injustices occur. Asking someone how they’re feeling and if they want to talk is more than enough. Showing that you care is what matters to them. Be honest. It’s okay to tell them that you don’t know what to say, the fact that you reached out to them goes a lot further than you think.

If you have a notable first, or if someone in your family does, please feel free to share.
It’s not a notable first, but my great-grandfather had his own dentist practice in Florida in the 1920s. Also, everyone on my mom’s side, and a good portion of my dad’s side, has attended an HBCU.


Meet Phillip

Phillip is a native of Danville, Virginia and has worked in Noblis’ Danville office for the past nine years. He works with the Network Transformation Tools and Acquisition Management team. He is very active with Noblis’ corporate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

What is it about Noblis, our mission or culture, that influenced your decision to come work/stay here?
I appreciate that Noblis values each and every employee. The company always finds the best opportunity to showcase your skillsets to help benefit or continue to grow the mission and vision of Noblis. I enjoy working on multiple projects and meeting amazing team members whose goal is to keep the client satisfied and wanting to work with Noblis services.

What is one of your proudest achievements at Noblis? How did this contribution support Noblis’ or your client’s mission?
One of the proudest moments was when I was the first hire in the Danville, Virginia Office. The office opened in October 2011 and I joined Noblis in January 2012. During that time, we saw a lot of employee transitions at this office. I was able to stay and keep the Danville office open and become a positive liaison from the Danville community and Noblis.

Do you have any advice for fellow African Americans starting in your field?
Stay up to date with the latest technology, find great professional development courses, and continue to go back to school if you have the capacity. Reach out to subject matter experts in your field and network with them to show your interest and why you pursued that degree in college. They are key factors of making a name for yourself and advancing your career.

What work do you believe that we, as a community, have yet to do for members of the African American community?
As part of the DEI committee, my colleagues and I are reaching out to recent graduates at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to showcase jobs at Noblis, which is great. More African Americans need to reach out to youth and tell them STEM fields are growing fields for future jobs. We need to have more workshops at colleges and universities especially talking to diverse and multicultural groups about Noblis and job opportunities.

What is your message to your colleagues about diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Despite race and gender, we are all one. See the value in a person and the positivity they bring to your life and the company instead of worrying if they look like you.
If you have a notable first, or if someone in your family does, please feel free to share. I am first in my family to receive a master’s degree from a university.


Meet La’Ketha

La’Ketha is a retired U.S. Army Active Signals and Imagery Intelligence/Acquisition Lieutenant Colonel. She supports Noblis ESI clients in the Intelligence Community (IC) as a project manager for various programs. She is active in internal subject matter expert groups at Noblis as well as in the company’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. When she is not at Noblis she runs a business and teaches advanced esthetics and skincare, and is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

What was it about Noblis, our mission, or our culture that influenced your decision to come work/stay here?
I have always known Noblis to have exceptionally talented subject matter experts within the IC. The support I received as a U.S. Army Acquisition Officer was always impeccable. I always said, “When I retire, if I decide to work, Noblis would be the only company I would consider.”

Do you have any advice for fellow African Americans starting in your field?
For my fellow people of color, I suggest the following:

  1. Noblis has numerous opportunities for professional development, specialized training, and advanced civilian education; take advantage of it all.
  2. Do not isolate yourself, get involved. There are several corporate committees that need great leaders and diverse perspectives to ensure their success.
  3. Work outside of your comfort zone. Noblis has multiple internal professional groups, which are safe learning environments.
  4. Own your career. Proactively access your career path within the organization and engage leadership/mentors to work towards it.

What work do you believe that we, as a community, have yet to do for members of the African American community?
It’s important for Noblis – from its most senior to its most junior employee – to understand what “true diversity” is and what it is not. It is not just about race. It’s about gender, age, work experience, disabilities, and any other characteristic that makes a member of the workforce different. Demonstrating that understanding should include visual representation and diversity on all levels of leadership and training the workforce on generational and cultural differences and how to respectfully celebrate them. Demonstrate understanding in action by creating a psychologically safe environment for all and a company culture where every voice is welcomed, heard and respected.

What is your message to your colleagues about diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Diversity, equity, and inclusion have distinctly different meanings. Not only should we understand the difference, we each have a responsibility to work towards their successful implementation. I recommend getting involved in the company and strive daily to exemplify standards of expectation by being aware of unconscious bias, manage the bias through education, and foster an inclusive work environment. It is a collective effort; It can be done.


Meet Joan

Joan is a Cyber Security Engineer who has been with Noblis for 23 years. She is also a leader within Noblis’ Blacks at Noblis Employee Resource Group (ERG). ERGs were established as part of the company’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

What was it about Noblis, our mission, or our culture that influenced your decision to come work/stay here?
The work we execute “for the best of reasons” fully governed by our ethical constraints. It allows me to be my best authentic self, idiosyncrasies and all. I also like the flexibility provided to facilitate the wide variety of work/life balance structures.

Do you have any advice for fellow African Americans starting in your field?
It is a cliché but … Knowledge is Power. Take advantage of everything in the corporate system. Do not take NO for an answer, find a way to make it work for you. Find someone like you who is willing to help your professional development.

What is your message to your colleagues about diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Expect this to be a long process of belonging. Each country of origin provides a particular template of understanding of “who am I?”


Meet Uzoma

Uzoma is a system security analyst with Noblis’ Federal Civilian Solutions mission area. He has been with the company for just over a year. Uzoma’s goal to humanity is to give back immensely to his roots and immediate community, including helping extend the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ presence in underrepresented countries, especially Africa.

What is it about Noblis, our mission or culture, that influenced your decision to come work/stay here?
I have followed the progress of Noblis from the early days – when they began as Mitretek Systems – to what we have today and my first year has been an amazing experience. I have come to know so many passionate, task driven, wonderful mentors and a family that reaches out to answer the smallest questions one may have. My journey has simply been amazing.

What is one of your proudest achievements at Noblis? How did this contribution support Noblis’ or your client’s mission?
I was convinced to help build Noblis’ first Employee Resource Group (ERG) and the team worked together and today we have a recognized ERG, which is establishing the precedence for future groups. The Black History month activities at Noblis are part of a plan to move, celebrate and showcase the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and I am very proud to be working on both aspects of DEI – the ERG and through the DEI committee. I am part of the charge of improving, creating, and helping to implement the DEI initiatives in line with Noblis’ corporate goals … life changing for me.

Do you have any advice for fellow African Americans starting in your field?
Be open to volunteerism, mentorship, open mindedness, and self-improvement. Always ask questions when things are not making sense, be the change. Support initiatives that not only help you as an individual but that help the entire community of individuals. Do not be scared to be very, very exceptional!

What work do you believe that we, as a community, have yet to do for members of the African American community?
Within Noblis, I’d like to see a dedicated ERG, more inclusive representation at top levels of management, increased activities in the community especially HBCUs, STEM programs, faith-based organizations, and grants to local organizations seeking grants for work done in surrounding communities.

What is your message to your colleagues about diversity, equity, and inclusion?
It will take all of us to succeed (White, Black, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, etc.). Together we are diversified and stronger.

If you have a notable first, or if someone in your family does, please feel free to share.
My dad was, and still is, my hero. He was the first in his immediate family to get a college degree. In Imo (Nigerian state), there weren’t good physics teachers, so in high school, he taught himself chemistry and physics. After high school, he received a scholarship to pursue his bachelor’s degree in physics. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree, he continued his education through getting his PhD in experimental physics. Growing up, he taught me math and physics, showing me how to calculate shapes and how physics applies to real life. This daily practice really helped me understand my school studies better, and even made me pursue a bachelor’s degree in physics. After college, I wrote a book on acoustics, which my dad used to help him write a book on sound and electromagnetism. He used this book when he taught first level physics at the polytechnic university (similar to our community college in the U.S.). He also helped the children of less privileged families in our community to gain admission into the polytechnic university when certain courses didn’t meet up to required student quota. His activities helped increase the number of graduates in our community, and he is the reason why I love science and have such a strong sense of community.


Meet Jessica

Jessica first joined Noblis as an intern in the 2018 summer program and then came on board full-time in 2019, she works in the Federal Civilian Solutions mission area.

What was it about Noblis, our mission, or our culture that influenced your decision to come work/stay here?
I really like how all of the projects we work on are for the public good and that Noblis doesn’t answer to shareholders. I think this [commitment to ethics] makes Noblis unique compared to other companies in this industry.

What is one of your proudest achievements at Noblis? How did this contribution support Noblis’ or your client’s mission?
Obtaining my CompTIA Security+ certification is one of my proudest achievements. I was able to take a training class through one of Noblis’ corporate memberships. After obtaining the certification I was able to better help my client with writing security requirements.

Do you have any advice for fellow African Americans starting in your field?
I think it’s important to find mentors and confidants, people that are where you are trying to go and are willing to help you get there. The right mentor can help accelerate your growth and they can provide great insight on the situations you may face as an African American.

What is your message to your colleagues about diversity, equity, and inclusion?
When interacting with clients, we should provide them with a space to be honest with us, in turn for our empathy. Sometimes just listening is just as important as trying to solve the problem. I hope that we can keep these things in mind when thinking about diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Meet Andrea

Andrea has been with Noblis’ Homeland Security mission area since April 2015. She is a member of several internal groups, including professional development groups, the Blacks at Noblis Employee Resource Group (ERG), and the Divine Nine & Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Networking Group.

What was it about Noblis, our mission, or our culture that influenced your decision to come work/stay here?
I learned of Noblis at a postdoc career fair and was blown away by the vast portfolio of expertise that the employees offered. One of things that I have appreciated about this company, is how much value and priority is placed on improving the professional development of the employees. I am truly appreciative of the various growth opportunities, which has contributed to my retention as an employee. Over the years, various people have helped me to have a smooth transition into government consulting as a person of color. I have been fortunate to have my voice heard when we have discussed our shared organizational values in various platforms (i.e., cohorts, working groups, focus groups, etc.). Working together in this regard has increased my understanding of corporate policies and procedures and enhanced communications and employee involvement for positive changes that all persons could benefit from.

What is one of your proudest achievements at Noblis? How did this contribution support Noblis’ or your client’s mission?
One of my proudest moments at Noblis was participation in the Frontline Leader Impact (FLI) Program. The six key competencies have proven invaluable with client engagement and providing better mentorship and management to my direct reports. The intensive leadership program allowed me to gain a detailed picture of my personal strengths and challenges. The proven techniques from the experienced faculty provided a different way to approach current and future professional challenges.

Do you have any advice for fellow African Americans starting in your field?
Find ways to challenge yourself and take calculated risks. Ultimately, step outside of your comfort zone. Introduce yourself to others in your field to build your network and attend seminars, conferences, and workshops to keep yourself immersed in your field. Additionally, join respective professional societies related to your fields and professional interests.

What is your message to your colleagues about diversity, equity, and inclusion?
It is important to recognize and realize that people of color bring a different and unique perspective to the table. Inclusion is one of the best gifts you can give an individual. We all play a part in making Noblis a better place; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a step in the right direction towards that. My hope is that employees embrace the efforts and participate in the events to learn something new, provide solutions to our most pressing national issues and concerns, and perhaps create solutions to social problems. Imagine for a moment, if we lived in a world without pre-judgement of others.

Learn more about Noblis’ commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion here.

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