On Saturday June 10th, Evans & Chambers participated in the annual Tough Mudder event in northern Virginia for the third year in a row. The Tough Mudder Mud Runs are team-centered endurance events that challenge one’s grit through a 10 mile course including over 20 arduous obstacles and, of course, loads of mud. This year Team EC ran 10 and a half miles and faced 21 obstacles all the while enduring the scorching 95 degree weather. Nonetheless, Team EC completed the event in slightly over four hours and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
EC’s Robert Chapell, who had captained the EC Tough Mudder Team for the last three years, says this about the event:
“[The Tough Mudder] is not a race but rather it is a challenge that requires teamwork in order to successfully complete the course. There are many ways that the event builds teamwork. Besides the obvious of working together to successfully negotiate obstacles, teammates lean on each other for support, motivation and inspiration throughout the course… When your fuel tank is empty and you feel like you can’t go on, we inspire and motivate each other to keep going. There are also challenges along the way which allow people to safely conquer their fears and set new personal bests … Participating in the Tough Mudder is a great way to work together as a team, to get to know each other, to set and achieve personal goals, and to challenge yourself all while having fun and getting a little dirty.”
Each year, the participants have enjoyed the experience, citing the team-building and camaraderie aspects as highlights. EC Business Analyst and first-time participant Phylicia Phillips remarked about her debut as a Tough Mudder:
“As a first time participant of the Tough Mudder, I think it went great! It was definitely a challenge but the team stuck together, stayed motivated and pushed through every obstacle… I did not know what to expect, but with some motivation from the team, I came out feeling stronger and more confident. The team is what made the Tough Mudder memorable…”
Others, nicknamed “Legionnaires,” had so much fun that they have returned for subsequent events.
With another muddy race under its belt, the EC Tough Mudder team will assuredly return to rule the day and bring each other closer to excellence in 2018.
On Saturday, June 17th, a team of Evans & Chambers employees and friends of EC headed by EC’s Samantha Hess participated in the Relay for Life Beltway event in Falls Church, VA. Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society that occurs across the world. Each event celebrates survivors, remembers those lost to the disease and spreads the message of hope: hope for a cure, hope for a world eradicated of cancer, hope for for more birthdays, hope for life.
Team EC gathered around 11am to decorate the team campsite in a Mexican theme completed with bright colored tissue paper flowers, blankets, pillows, and pool noodles. In front of the tent was a bright and colorful “jail” for our “jail ‘n bail” fundraiser in addition to a memorial wall where people could post a note in memory or in honor of loved ones.
While unfortunately there were some challenges due to weather (for instance, the wind was a terror to the campsite), but the team pressed on with the event. The memorial wall down sized a bit after the wind battering, but remained throughout the event with some beautiful artwork added (beside the memorial notes) from the children at the neighboring “VA Ninjas” tent. After all, the Relay For Life is all about the spirit of perseverance and overcoming hardships.
The children that attended the Relay were a bright spot in a day that was difficult for so many. They brought light and life to the event and spent nearly the entire day at the EC tent brightening Team EC’s day as well. The children weren’t the only people to find a home with Team EC. Katherine, a very kind teacher passionate about Relay, joined the group at the beginning of the event and stayed through till the end. Katherine shared her experiences with the team and looks forward to seeing Team EC representing again next year.
While the event as a whole was smaller than past years’, the team managed to raise $105 from on-site donations for the memorial wall, as well as babysitting money from one of the moms at the VA Ninjas tent (the Relay encourages all forms of innovative fundraising). In total, Team EC has raised $2,030 from multiple sources to be donated to the American Cancer Society and their continuing search for a cure. While the event has concluded, there is still time to donate to the team and make a difference (donations will be collected through August): Donate using this link: http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=83307&pg=team&team_id=2190094
Special thanks to the following people for their support at the event:
EC’s Stephanie Tevenal and Deanna Hess who worked tirelessly to help set up the campsite and get things started for the day. The campsite wouldn’t have looked as amazing as it did without their help.
EC’s Pat Miller for donating water and assisting in the campsite setup while his lovely wife, Rose, represented the team on the track.
EC’s Jamil Evans who arriver later in the afternoon to support the team, share some pictures on social media and walk a few laps.
Friend of EC and father to Samantha, Dan Hess, who multiple sources say was the hardest working person at the entire event. Dan was there with the team from initial setup around 10:45am till the last piece was carried to the car around 11:20pm. He saved the campsite from flipping due to wind and generally did anything and everything he could to make this event as successful as it could be. Dan certainly earned much praise for all of his effort the day before Father’s Day.
Thanks again to all of the individual donors whose donations are greatly appreciated and are going to a great cause, and special thanks to Samantha Hess for all of her work organizing the event and coordinating multiple efforts at once as Team Captain. Evans & Chambers Technology was proud to support the team as part of EC Cares and hopes this event will be an annual event for the company moving forward (with even higher goals to reach).
While EC’s first year at the Relay had a solid inaugural group, we hope next year will have even more participation and donations. If you would like to help continue EC’s effort with this year’s Relay For Life, please consider making a donation.
On March 2nd, 2017 Evans & Chambers Technology held its second bi-annual Board of Advisors meeting at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. Following the inauguration of the EC Board of Advisors in 2015, the Board meets every six months to discuss matters related to the organization, ranging from strategy to cautionary advice as directed by each Board member’s unique experience.
This past meeting was a great kickoff to 2017 as several topics of discussion were brought to the table aimed to focus on the upcoming year for Evans & Chambers. After a recap of 2016, the Board and several members of EC’s leadership team widely discussed multiple points of improvement and focus for the company over the coming year: how to bring more value to our customers, how to better attract the best talent around, how to promote our capabilities in the best light possible, and how to align EC’s mission with that of the mission of the Federal Government and the services they depend on.
Following the meeting several Evans & Chambers program and project managers met with the Board of Advisors over lunch to discuss the services they are providing for the organization or their client as well as expectations for 2017.
On December 17th Evans & Chambers hosted it’s annual Holiday Party at the Gordon Biersch Navy Yard in Washington, DC. The event marked the perfect occasion for tying off all of the past efforts and successes of 2016, and to toast a glass to the upcoming 2017.
The event laid host to many members of EC, as well as partners and friends to the company. When guests were not catching up with coworkers or having another signature Gordon Biersch beer, they were tearing up the dance floor thanks to the energy of DJ Luccio.
Throughout the night several holiday gift raffles were conducted and folks were able to walk away with some great prizes, like a Samsung 50″ TV, a Xbox One console bundle or a $500 gift certificate to the Ritz-Carlton. All in all the event was largely enjoyed by all (including the excellent Gordon Biersch staff who joined in on the dancing).
Happy Holidays from all of us at Evans & Chambers Technology and to a joyous and successful New Year!
In conjunction with EC’s goal to continually improve at all levels of the enterprise, we have kicked off the CMMI Development Level 3 effort. CMMI is different from ISO in that CMMI focuses on the project management and software development levels of our services; whereas ISO focuses on core corporate processes. We kicked off the effort in June with a Gap Analysis to determine where we currently stand as it relates to the CMMI and to create a plan to meet this development standard. EC will develop processes according to the standards that fulfill the CMMI Level 3 expectations and will implement the processes on a development project.
EC executives have selected NTIR (Non-Traditional Intelligence Repository), ISI SecurityControl and SEMT as the first projects to implement the new process as they are being developed. EC plans to have the CMMI Level 3 certification completed by May 2017.
Three EC managers–Larry McDowell, Sophia Magloire and Joshua Ortiz–have successfully completed several courses as part of EC’s 2016 Spring Cohort. Using the methodology of “Level 5 Leadership” as a framework, EC is able to support employees’ career development goals and provide a path to leadership within the organization. These series of training programs offered are designed to support the knowledge, skills, and abilities at each level of an EC employee’s career along with the qualities EC employees need to support their customer-facing efforts.
Employees interested in pursuing a leadership position within EC are able to use this training to gain more leadership capabilities and provide better professional services to their clients. EC hopes to see more managers pursue this path to increase their overall professional offering.
Evans & Chambers expresses its sincerest gratitude and congratulations to Deanna Hess for her commitment to our mission for the last 5 years!
Being the face of our human resources department, Deanna has been an essential figure in our core operations by constructing EC’s talent acquisition searches, career management, benefits and compensation analysis, and payroll management. Deanna is the Under Deanna’s leadership, EC has brokered deals with numerous vendors to secure benefits that support employee career development, healthy living, wealth development, and wealth preservation. She also serves her fellow EC Team members through being the watchdog of our company culture and the gauge of employee sentiment. The whole team looks forward to being greeted by her big smile everyday.
Thank you Deanna for your dedication our team, the EC brand, and our mission to provide excellence.
On September 24th, Evans & Chambers held its annual company picnic at Burke Lake Park in Fairfax County, VA to wrap up a fruitful summer and to prepare for a productive year. Many EC team members, new and old, came out with their families to partake in the fun, food, and fabulous weather. Thank you to all of those who came out to celebrate with us!
For a company to thrive, ensuring a wholesome culture and sense of community is paramount. Evans and Chambers is well aware of this and is looking forward to our next company wide event in December.
On August 10, 2016 EC had it’s inaugural Board of Advisors Meeting which represents the next chapter in the life of Evans & Chambers Technology and our opportunities for additional growth and even more interesting and meaningful work. We are excited to announce the incredible EC brain trust that has been established in this Board of Advisors.
The Board will meet twice per year, but EC will have plenty of opportunity to take advantage of the experience and insights the members will provide on various challenges faced during our time between meetings. At EC, we are committed to excellence and building solutions our customers can trust. We believe this Board will support our strategic growth and work expertise goals in such a way that will allow EC to successfully navigate our extremely competitive marketplace.
It is with great pride that we introduce to you the members of the EC Board of Advisors:
D. Michael Bennett
Executive Vice President of Strategy, Evans & Chambers Technology
Michael will be responsible for driving corporate growth through strategic customer engagements and new solution offerings. As an award-winning corporate attorney, retired BAE Systems CIO and Presidential USPS Board nominee, Michael’s corporate executive experience includes navigating complex, multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions, Information Management and Cyber Security strategy and execution, Organizational Management and IT Transformation as well as Executive Leadership.
He is awaiting final U.S. Senate confirmation to the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors. He is also Chair of the District of Columbia Board of Elections, an independent agency responsible for campaign finance and elections. As an experienced Senior Executive, Michael adds worldclass expertise in IT, CyberSecurity, Program Management and innovation to EC Technologies in the most complex environments. Michael successfully brings this expertise to continue to generate innovative technology solutions to EC Technology customers.
A recipient of the Washington Business Journal 2012 Minority Business Leader Award, he holds a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Duke University. He received his Juris Doctorate from the George Washington University Law School, and he is a long-time licensed practitioner of both the Washington, D.C., and Virginia Bars.
CTO, AOL Platforms
Seth Demsey joined AOL Platforms in December of 2010 as CTO and is responsible for the strategic vision and all product, engineering, and research efforts for the company’s industry-leading advertising platforms which are designed to simplify media planning, buying and selling for today’s global digital advertisers and publishers. Since joining AOL, Seth has launched and innovated several core AOL Platforms technologies–all of which empower the world’s top marketers and publishers to engage with their consumers across all screens, formats and types of inventory.
Seth served in senior positions at a number of highly respected global technology companies before joining AOL, including Google and Microsoft. While at Google, he was a key contributor to the development of Google Webmaster Tools, Google Talk and DoubleClick AdPlanner. At Microsoft, he was a part of the original .NET team, which built and released the first two versions of the platform and co-authored the .NET ISO standards.
Seth’s career in technology spans over fifteen years, during which he invented several technology and hardware solutions and has twenty-five U.S. and foreign patents to his name. Seth holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Bucknell University and is a fellow at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. When he’s not building AOL’s advertising products, you can find him with his family, playing guitar or skiing.
ret. Corporate VP, Northrop Grumman
In April 2016, Darryl Fraser retired from his position as corporate vice president of communications at Northrop Grumman Corporation, where he led the development of the company’s global brand and worldwide communications strategy within the U.S., Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions. He also served on the company’s corporate policy council for eight years.
Fraser has more than 30 years of experience in engineering, strategy, business development, government relations and communications in the global aerospace and defense industry. He joined Northrop Grumman through its TRW acquisition in 2002. At TRW, he held a number of increasingly responsible positions in the company’s space and information systems businesses.
He previously served as director of strategic planning, director of marketing communications, vice president of Washington Operations, and sector vice president of business development. Fraser earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980 and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1984. He also served as a Brookings Congressional Fellow in 1995.
Co-Founder & Senior Partner, IVY Group
Gary A. Smith is co-founder and senior partner of IVY Planning Group (Ivy), a 26 year-old management consulting and training company that specializes in strategy, diversity, leadership and change management. Consulting Magazine honored Mr. Smith as one of the Top 25 Consultants. Profiles in Diversity Journal named him a Diversity Pioneer. He has more than 30 years of strategy, technology and management consulting service to Fortune 500, large private sector and government organizations. He has led numerous engagements to develop core business, technology, diversity, and marketing strategies, leading to improved revenue performance, mission-critical improvements, and more effective customer service. Smith assists clients in solving problems. He has worked directly with corporate CEOs, executive teams, agency administrators, and senior officials to build strategies, facilitate challenging discussions, and achieve their organization’s vision.
Smith co-founded Ivy Planning Group after a successful career managing sales, marketing, and technical organizations, including IBM where he held marketing and technical positions; Amdahl Corporation as account executive; Masstor Systems as Director of U.S. Operations; Comdisco Inc. as Director of Federal Marketing; and Technical Software Services as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Ivy has been featured in numerous publications, including USA Today, The Washington Post, Washington Business Journal, Working Woman, Diversity Journal and Black Enterprise.
Smith has successfully developed and implemented strategies, led teams, and served the needs of a wide spectrum of clients, such as MetLife, Nike, L’Oreal, Sony, Lockheed Martin, Deloitte Consulting, Verizon, U.S. Departments of Treasury, Justice, Labor, and State, to name a few. His work with nonprofits includes Special Olympics International and United Way.
A native of Washington, D.C., Smith earned his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Yale University. He lives in Maryland with his wife and business partner, Janet. They have three sons.
Corporate VP, Huntington Ingalls Inc.
Michael S. Smith is executive vice president, strategy and development for Huntington Ingalls Industries, America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of manufacturing, engineering and management services to the nuclear energy, oil and gas markets.
In this position since March 2016, he is responsible for strategy and development activities at HII, including the development and integration of strategic planning efforts as well as the analysis and entrance into new adjacent markets.
Smith joined HII in 2014 in in the role of corporate vice president, business growth, and served most recently as corporate vice president, corporate development—nuclear and environmental services. He came from BAE Systems, where he worked for 10 years—most recently as sector vice president, business development, strategy and planning, for the Support Solutions sector. Prior to BAE, he worked at Marsh USA, Inc. as a leader for the company’s nuclear risk practice and then as vice president for insurance services.
Smith earned two degrees at Stanford University: a bachelor’s in industrial engineering in 1995 and a master’s in engineering management in 1996. He also served five years as a surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy, including tours on three HII-built ships: the cruiser USS Valley Forge (CG 50) and the aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
CEO & Founder, Keating Advisors
Kim Keating is CEO & Founder of Keating Advisors. With more than 20 years of experience, Kim serves as a trusted advisor to organizations in helping develop effective talent management strategies. She specializes in working with leaders to align their business strategy, organization design, and compensation practices to attract and retain top talent and deliver improved results. Kim also speaks, conducts workshops, and advises professionals on how to negotiate equitable pay.
Prior to founding Keating Advisors, Kim was a consultant at Mercer Human Resource Consulting and Sibson & Company, human capital consulting firms where she worked with organizations to address strategic human resources challenges. Her senior corporate roles include leading the rewards function for The Advisory Board Company, a research think-tank, and the Motley Fool, a financial education company. Preceding her human resources career, Kim was a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley Investment Bank and Chief Financial Officer at Teach for America.
She is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and has been published in the WorldatWork and CUPA HR Journals, as well as featured in numerous business and women’s publications, including Washington Business Journal, Glamour Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine. Kim is currently a board member of Leanin.org Foundation, whose mission is to encourage women to pursue their ambitions, and NURU International, a nonprofit dedicated to ending global extreme poverty.
Kim holds a B.B.A. in Finance from Southern Methodist University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. Kim was also awarded an International Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship and studied at the United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya.
Partner, Blank Rome LLP
Paul Honigberg is a partner at Blank Rome LPP. He has more than 35 years of experience litigating a variety of complex civil cases in federal and state trial and appellate courts, many of which were on the cutting edge of law, science, and public policy. He also provides counseling and litigation services to political campaigns, corporations, and individuals regarding campaign fundraising and expenditures, registration and disclosure under the Lobbying Disclosure Act and Foreign Agents Registration Act, formation and activities of political action committees, and compliance with government ethics and regulations at the federal and state level.
In addition to his experience in private practice, Mr. Honigberg spent nearly 15 years in the United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, where he handled cases involving environmental and toxic torts, and civil fraud. As deputy director of the Justice Department’s Tobacco Litigation Team, Mr. Honigberg was responsible for all aspects of the early stages of the federal government’s action against the cigarette manufacturers.
Mr. Honigberg received his Bachelors of Arts degree, cum laude, at Duke University and his Juris Doctorate at Vanderbilt University School of Law. He serves as one of the regional co-chairs of DukeDC, the chapter of the Duke University Alumni Association serving the 13,000 Duke alumni in the Washington area.
Last Friday, Evans & Chambers COO Andre Chambers and VP of Strategy D. Michael Bennett had the opportunity to visit the campus of the Year Up program in Arlington, VA. According to Year Up’s website, their mission is to “close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.” Evans & Chambers was invited to their DC regional campus (one of many across the country) to share some insight with the current cohort about working in the IT industry and being a professional in today’s world.
After receiving a full tour of the institution (both academic and administrative sides), Mr. Chambers and Mr. Bennett first sat down with a small group of students for a short Q&A session before speaking to a full room of young men and women enrolled in the program. I had the privilege to sit in on this presentation that detailed each of their journeys, starting from their younger years towards how they were able to eventually overcome obstacles in their careers and in their lives.
The tone of the discussion itself was relaxed in nature, thus allowing the students to lessen the intimidation factor and become comfortable and fully immersed in the stories of both Mr. Chambers and Mr. Bennett. Each story was incredibly humbling and powerful, and the energy from the audience a direct reflection of it. The students resonated with these personal anecdotes to a largely personal extent as made clear by multiple nods of empathy and the occasional exclamation of agreement. As a spectator I was able to remark on the faces of these young attendees, and it was apparent that they were hanging onto every word.
Mr. Bennett wrapped up the discussion with an allegory utilizing a $50 bill as a visual aide. After bringing up the shyest student (as voted by her peers) to the front of the room, Mr. Bennett asked her to state the value of the $50 bill, to which she replied that its value is $50. Upon crumpling the bill, the same question surrounding its value was posed, to which the student replied “$50.” After again crumpling the currency and placing it into the paper trash bin and retrieving it, the same question of the bill’s value was asked, to which garnered the same response: “$50.” The moral of the story, to which Mr. Bennett concluded on, was that no matter how defeated or beaten down one may be at certain points in their life, their value never changes. Conversely, no matter how good things are going, that $50 bill is not $200 either; one’s value always remains the same.
Multiple students approached Mr. Bennett and Mr. Chambers after the talks to ask questions of their own and to thank them for their visit (some even thanked me for being present even as a bystander). One member of the campus’ leadership was present to scan for students who seem disengaged or were visibly sleeping, which earns them an “infraction” (Year Up employs a merit-based system on their students). After the talks she remarked that every student was fully alert and engaged in the talks, something not seen since the time when President Obama spoke at Year Up.
Evans & Chambers was very honored to have the opportunity to speak to so many young and ambitious minds of the Year Up program. Evans & Chambers hopes to partner with the organization in bringing more young talent into the IT and cybersecurity industry by way of providing opportunity through our immersive internship program.