We’re back and shining a spotlight on one of our favorite Cape Henry Associates (CHA) employees, Ed Myers. Well, they’re all our favorites, actually, which is why we like to take the opportunity to highlight them. If you haven’t met Ed, you really should, because he’s had an amazing career and is a stalwart as compliance director at CHA.
Ed started at CHA in January 2014, but you could make an argument that he’s been part of CHA from the very beginning. Prior to Charlie Arrants and Bill Allen starting CHA, Charlie and Ed worked together at the Center for Naval Engineering Excellence in Norfolk, Va. When Charlie and Bill decided to go after a big contract in the early days of CHA, they actually used Ed’s resume as part of the proposal. When they won (as a subcontractor), the salary they could offer Ed was so low that Charlie was embarrassed to offer it and instead mentored Ed in a different direction. So, after almost 31 years of active duty in the U. S. Navy, Ed started work with ITA International. Once sequestration hit in late 2013, Ed was let go from ITA. Charlie was on the phone that same afternoon, interviewing and offering Ed a job. Ed started at CHA in January of 2014 and the rest is the stuff CHA history is made of.
Speaking of Ed’s naval career, during that time Ed was a finalist for Fleet Master Chief Europe and a semifinalist for Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. He served as the senior enlisted leader for the Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic and at NATO Headquarters in Norfolk. He retired as a Command Master Chief (E-9). It’s no wonder Charlie and Bill wanted him at CHA as soon as they could manage it. Ed is proud of his naval career. Although he was offered a full ride at Carnegie Mellon University and a three-year scholarship to the United States Air Force Academy, they weren’t great options for various reasons. Instead, he made an appointment with his town’s Marine Corps recruiter. When he showed up 10 minutes late, the Gunnery Sergeant had gone to lunch. Not one to miss an opportunity, the Navy recruiter came over and said they covered for the Marine Corps when they went to lunch and “since they’re part of the Navy anyway,” why not just join the Navy? We’re pretty sure that recruiter took one look at Ed and knew what an asset he would be. Ed gave almost 31 years of remarkable service to our country.
Ed currently works directly for CHA’s CEO, John Jackson. He primarily researches various certifications and requirements that cross department/divisional boundaries. He cuts through all the legalese and translates it into English for the rest of us. He tracks progress toward completion of certification requirements, and coordinates with various elements while providing much needed oversight and subject matter expertise on ISO, quality, and risk management. His favorite CHA contract that he’s been part of is the Philippine Coast Guard training curriculum. He was recently named a U.S. Subject Matter Expert to the ANSI/ASQ Technical Advisory Group 176 on Quality Management System Documentation and will serve as the ASQ Tidewater Section 1128 Leadership Committee Chairperson.
We asked Ed what he likes most about CHA and he said without a doubt, it’s “the fact that, while not always possible in the world of government contracting, we take care of each other as best we can.” The leadership “genuinely cares about their employees” and tries everything they can to keep them employed no matter what. This was truly evident when COVID-19 caused a need to convert to telework. As a high-risk individual, Ed was forced to work from home. (He is a throat cancer survivor – just ask him about how much he appreciated working for CHA through that – he’ll tell you how quickly CHA went from a work environment to a family one.) The transition was seamless. As great as teleworking is, he definitely prefers working from the office where he can more naturally interact with his work family. With leadership that is “actively involved in doing what is best for the company and its employees,” Ed sees CHA going great places in the next five years. Ed thinks we’ll be actively involved in AI and virtual training and will expand our reach in these areas past the U.S. Navy and even past DoD contracts.
Ed’s a born leader and we benefit from that every day. His leadership style is very much in keeping with his core personality: he’s a coach in the best sense of the term. He wants his team to think about how to get something done and is happy to let them try inventive ways as long as they “aren’t too out there,” while providing them with the right tools and latitude to see things through. “There are times,” he says, “when as a leader you must make the hard decision,” but doing that too often tends to breed resentment “and possibly a lemmings-just-following-orders mentality.” Ed doesn’t want that for anyone at CHA. Creativity leads to the innovations we’re striving for and if he can help that by coaching his team to “victory,” then that’s what he’ll do.
Ed believes we should live for today because anything could happen tomorrow…whether that’s an amazing opportunity or a global challenge such as COVID-19. “Have fun,” he says, “but don’t be the one caught short if the proverbial bus happens to find you.” It’s all about learning how to be decisive and living with the consequences of your decisions, good and bad. There’s always something to learn, whether you’re right or wrong. Bottom line: Life is good! It really is, Ed, and we’re glad you’re living yours here with us at CHA!