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Who in the world of CHA is Lisa Loggins?

We’re going on the record now that we love the alliterative nature of the name of this month’s superstar employee, Lisa Loggins! Lisa has been with CHA for about six years and is, according to the nametag on her door, one of CHA’s Manpower, Personnel, and Training (MPT) team leads. While she still serves in that role, she has also taken on the role of Logistics Coordinator for the Carrier-Advanced Reconfigurable Training System (C-ARTS). She directs, supervises, and administers procurement and inventory management functions for the soon-to-be five C-ARTS training facilities. Lisa is currently leading the development of manpower and training requirement documents for the CVN 78-class carriers while keeping up with the day-to-day support of the four C-ARTS facilities already in place and supporting the build of a fifth facility.

Lisa spent 20 years of active duty as a Navy Logistics Specialist. That experience and her analytical, efficiency-oriented personality make her a natural in MPT and Logistics. Her incredible attention to detail, whether in content or format, makes her an invaluable member of the CHA team. That, combined with her ability to always find a more efficient way to perform any given task, makes her someone we’re hoping to keep around for a long time.

As with many of our amazing employees, one of Lisa’s favorite things about CHA is the work-life balance she achieves here. The flexibility to take life as it comes and integrate work into it allows Lisa to focus on that minute attention to detail she has both at work and at home. The freedom she feels to be able to take care of life events when they happen without worrying about missing out at work makes her a happier and more efficient team member. (Noticing a focus on efficiency here? So are we!) We’re happy she feels that way, as a healthy work-life balance is important to us.

Lisa met her husband (of nearly 27 years!) Dan while both were serving in the Navy. They are the proud parents of Sean, 22, and Emily, 17. Sean works full time and Emily is a high school senior. In addition to their two industrious children, Lisa and Dan are kept busy with two dogs whom Lisa refers to as their “Craigslist dogs.” Both are rescues, one coming all the way from Bosnia via the nonprofit organization The Tanzie Project. The Tanzie Project was founded by an Air Force veteran after seeing all the homeless dogs in Bosnia.

In the small amount of free time she has outside of work and family commitments, Lisa enjoys creating paper craft projects and gardening. COVID has put a pause on her participation in craft fairs, but she still creates because, as she says, “I have to do something with the immense amounts of paper I have managed to accumulate.” That may be her reason, but we’re pretty sure it’s because she’s immensely talented.

Lisa loves how much CHA has grown in the six years she’s been here. She hopes to see CHA continue to grow in the next five years, and she aims to have a logistics team working with her in support of the increasing number of C-ARTS facilities CHA manages.

As with everyone we highlight, we asked Lisa to share something others might not know about her. She let us know that back in high school she discovered her fear of heights standing on scaffolding while decorating large windows for school activities. Fast-forward a few years and she found herself in the Navy working with Explosive Ordnance Mobile Unit Two at Little Creek. She had the opportunity to participate in a training exercise that included hanging from a helicopter. Strangely enough, that fear of heights was gone and the aerial tour she received was a highlight of her time there. It may seem odd that hanging out of helicopters isn’t scary, but decorating windows is. The next time you’re in the office, stop by and say hi to Lisa, and ask her about it.

April 14th, 2021|

CHA Speaks: What our employees really think of CHA

If you follow us on social media (and we sincerely hope you do), you’ve probably noticed that we’ve been featuring some quotes from our incredible employees about what CHA means to them. We believe that asking questions sets you on a path of discovery that might end in some truly innovative ideas. So, we’re taking some time this year to ask our employees all sorts of questions about CHA, our mission, our future, and where we can grow. It’s all in the interest of ensuring we’re operating at peak health so we can continue to deliver the best products to our clients in the cutting-edge, on-time manner they’ve come to expect.

We wanted to know just what our employees think about CHA, and what their impressions are of what we do, who we are, and why we’re where we are today. “Everyone truly cares about the end result being the best possible,” one employee told us, and it’s a sentiment we’re hearing a lot. It’s about a focus on making sure our products are the best they can be from concept to reality and they’re right—we are absolutely dedicated to producing state-of-the-art and beyond products to our clients because they are in the business of changing the future and we want them to be confident they have what they need to do so.

“The quality that CHA emphasizes and implements for each and every product is what I love the most,” said another employee, echoing another sentiment we hear frequently. “The most admirable part is the commitment to the products and programs because of a genuine concern for the training of the Sailors. It is not always about the bottom line.” It’s true and we agree: it shouldn’t be all about the bottom line. As referenced in the quote above, one of our clients is the United States Navy, and we truly believe it is imperative to provide products that “focus on ensuring our warfighters are equipped to win the fight.” Which is why, as that employee explained, “We push to do the right things by the warfighter.” And that doesn’t always mean we’ll make the most profit, but we will provide deliverables that “keep our national resources sharp and ready. There’s no more important thing.”

Others touched on how reassuring it is to work for a company that is so dedicated to the process of delivering “the right product on time and on target.” This sentiment was echoed most by the veterans who now work alongside us. “Being on this side [after three decades of active-duty service], I really appreciate all the hard work that goes into the final product delivery,” said one such employee. Another appreciates that “we work directly with the Sailors to get their feedback and tailor our products to ensure they are effective to those who will use them.” Yet another highlighted how that dedication touches on all aspects of the process, especially when it comes to quality assurance. “The double, triple, sometimes even quadruple check on each document before it goes out the door just shows that what we produce to the Fleet matters. As a reservist, I know that the products I am helping to produce could one day help me out at sea, and I can be assured the work was done correctly.” That’s why we do what we do: so our clients will know that what we’ve given them will work, work well, and exceed their expectations.

Still other employees touched on how CHA remains focused on the future. “CHA is ambitious,” said one, “I like that.” Ambition, with purpose, is what we’re all about and why we especially like hearing that not only is that recognized, but that other employees agree. Another stated that that ambition is clearly seen in “the dedication CHA has to develop its employees by mentoring, cross-training, and giving them the opportunity to grow within.” We believe in our employees and in encouraging them to chase the things that interest them. It’s, hopefully, the reason why, as one employee concluded, “our products, such as C-ARTS, are proof that CHA was and will be ahead of the curve.”

Here’s to looking to the future. According to our employees, it’s bold and bright. Who are we to argue? After all, our employees are the heartbeat of our organization.

March 30th, 2021|

Who in the world of CHA is Chris Gallagher?

We’re excited to feature CHA’s Chris Gallagher in this entry of our “Who in the world of CHA” series. Chris has been with CHA for six years (in June), and he’s been a part of our Research & Disruption (R&D) department since 2017. As our regular readers know, we recently featured our entire R&D department and the incredible work they are doing to ensure CHA stays on the forefront of the latest technology while making some truly inspirational strides in the products we offer. So, who better to feature next, than the man who lives and breathes all things tech?

Chris’ official title here is Senior Multimedia Developer and he works closely with a bunch of engineering and computer science types while claiming not to be one himself. We think he fits in just fine, and is an integral part of what makes our R&D department so successful. We asked him what he’s most excited about at work these days and he said, “Using off-the-shelf game engine technology to generate digital twins for machine learning and computer vision.” For those of us who don’t speak CHA R&D lingo, a game engine is simply a software development environment designed for people who build video games. What they’re doing in R&D right now is exploring ways to use these game engines to enhance and expand upon the AI and other products we already produce, making them better and enabling these products to do even more. If you want to know more, check out our article on how R&D is playing with existing technology here.

While not a veteran, Chris is passionate about creating and turning out products that keep our military men and women safe and on the top of their game (pun partially intended). Chris claims his outside hobbies pretty much mirror what he does at CHA. “I’m into 3D, VR, and AR development, motion graphics, and design. These are the things I’ve been doing regularly as a hobby,” he says. Given his passion for technology, it may seem surprising to learn that Chris and his wife have two daughters currently in college studying for careers in the arts. His youngest is studying acting and his oldest is studying the visual arts. But lest we think his daughters may have fallen away from the proverbial parental tree, we should note Chris takes his technology interest in a similar direction:  he makes short films in his free time. “I recently completed an entirely CG-generated short film that now has more than 102,000 views on YouTube,” he told us.

What inspired such a “passion project,” as he calls it? It all goes back to a visit to the Haunted Mansion in Orlando, Fla., back when he was all of 5 years old. “I was terrified,” he recalls, but the experience stuck with him and when he had the ability and the time, he turned his hand and creative brain toward crafting that experience into something new. It took him five years to complete, working in what little free time he had, but, he says, “my knowledge of 3D grew 500% easily.” Most every aspect of his passion project spilled over into his work at CHA. “Everything from 3D model optimization to having learned how to rig 3D humans (avatars), to proficient audio engineering, virtual camera rigs, storyboarding 3D graphics, atmospherics, and 3D simulations…all of this, I bring into the work I do with 3D game engines and video production at CHA.”

It’s inspired him at work and made him more effective there as well. “What I’m pursuing now, is to go heavily into learning off-the-shelf game engines as much as I can.” He says CHA’s training division is getting into game engines to produce learning content for our clients and it’s something he’s extremely excited about. “R&D is already using [game engines] to develop AR and VR for learning content,” he states, adding that he’s excited to see that trickling over to training and, hopefully, to other departments as well.

Chris really likes what CHA has “already achieved internationally” when it comes to innovation, and he expects that to be exponentially more impressive in five years. He’s happy to be on the CHA team, striving to create new, better, beyond state-of-the-art products for clients, and looks forward to where we’ll be in the future. It’s interesting that Chris is so much at the forefront of undeveloped technology when you consider he’s an 18th- and 19th-century American history buff. “It reads better than fiction,” he says.

March 24th, 2021|

Behind the scenes inside CHA’s Fog Bank division

Recently we sat down with Systems Engineer Nosika Fisher and Senior Multimedia Developer Chris Gallagher of CHA’s extremely talented Research and Disruption (R&D) team, Fog Bank, to gain a little insight into what they’re up to these days. Joining us was CHA Chief Revenue Officer Chuck Wythe, who never misses a chance to showcase the incredible minds behind CHA’s innovative technology.

We asked what things CHA brings that differentiate us from other tech companies in the marketplace. Chuck was quick to point out that CHA doesn’t have a platform; we’re a product developer. CHA doesn’t have a catalog, per se, of pre-built models. Instead, everything is customized to a client’s needs. “We provide stand-alone environments that can be ‘architected’ for a client.  Our FogLifter proprietary product is a technology stack framework that we can scale, adapt, and configure to a client’s need.”

Nosika was quick to agree. “We can set up quick R&D prototypes with it. A simpler way to think about it is that we can take data that companies have but are unable to garner meaningful information from, and we can quickly spin up a prototype without the large cost of a full-blown product. We can prove or disprove theories quickly. Our prototype will answer questions clients have to help them determine their next steps.  It takes several iterations of experimentation to configure FogLifter to work with a wide variety of different structured/unstructured data, but it is not a costly, time consuming process. Once we narrow down what the client finds valuable through the prototyping approach, then we can scale it up to whatever tools or platform they prefer to use.” That adaptability and scalability is what makes FogLifter unique and drives a lot of what R&D is doing these days.

While FogLifter has been used to help our government clients sift through and interpret various data, it also has corporate functionality. “CHA does the interpreting between companies and customer in order to help facilitate industry,” Chuck said. Although it’s an expensive process to configure FogLifter for custom use, it can give a company that competitive edge in AI applications. That’s where Nosika, Chris, and Chuck all see the industry going: toward more and more advanced use of AI technology, especially that which can be completely configured and reconfigured to meet growing and changing needs.

Chris added that he’s been spending more time recently getting into 360-degree VR training. With the advances gaming technology applications have made with products such as Microsoft’s HoloLens, the training industry is seeing a shift in how it operates. “Our military clients especially are interested in how this technology can advance their training into and beyond the 21st century.” CHA has spent a considerable amount of time over the last few years developing training technology that is currently being used in places like the Navy’s Carrier-Advanced Reconfigurable Training System (C-ARTS). Being able to bring state-of-the-art training to wherever Sailors need it, whenever Sailors need it is a game changer and one that is seeing immense success. Expect R&D to continue focusing on revolutionizing VR training that will be ready and relevant for a long time to come.

Finally, lest you think Fog Bank R&D doesn’t know how to have fun while developing new technology, Chris and Nosika shared that one of the more “fun” experiments they’re running these days involves refining their identification technology. “We’ve been working on an ID tech that will allow the military to determine different data, such as IDing tanks, weapons, etc. on the battlefield,” Chuck said. “And we’ve had some success, but we’ve recently shifted focus to identifying biological stuff.” Experiments are being run right now on how accurately our tech can distinguish between male and female deer. Yes, some of us really do get to come to work and determine how well an artificial intelligence can identify bucks and does. While it’s a bit of lighthearted fun, the result will be highly-efficient and accurate AI that will be of monumental value to our military service men and women. We think you’ll agree: it’s a motivation we can get 100% behind.

 

 

 

March 5th, 2021|

CHA Speaks: Where will we be in 10 years?

Here at CHA, we believe a collaborative environment fosters the best and most innovative ideas. Teamwork really is at the hallmark of everything we do, from dreaming up the “impossible” to delivering those dreams to our clients. In the spirit of that philosophy, we’re launching a new blog series titled “CHA Speaks,” where we will hear straight from our employees about all kinds of topics CHA – some serious, some more lighthearted. Since we do dream big, we decided to start with a simple question: “Where do you think CHA will be in 10 years?”

We’re happy to report our employees overwhelmingly believe we’ll still be around in 10 years. Not only that, but as one put it, “We’ll be a big company, but with small-company attention to detail.” We wouldn’t have it any other way. Keeping that small-company dedication to detail is exactly what our clients have come to expect from us and we’ll continue to deliver cutting-edge products that don’t cut corners.

Many of our employees echo the idea that CHA will only grow and expand. We heard that a lot, but almost always with the caveat that it would be with a focus on the products and services that have helped us make our name. One put it quite succinctly: “CHA will be earning bigger contracts, but continuing to do what it does best.” Another said, “We’ll have an increased presence on the West Coast to coordinate MPT, specifically with C-ARTS operations.” Some weren’t sure we’d be a “big company,” but did say we’d be “growing a bit more, but not too much.” We hear and we’re listening. Any growth we make will be considered and executed with precision planning.

When asked more specifically what CHA might be doing in 10 years, we also heard a lot of consensus opinions. “Still at the forefront of helping DoD/DoN develop manpower and training solutions for future Sailors and the systems they’ll operate”; “Leading the industry”; and “the number-one MPT provider with exponential C-ARTS growth” were some of the responses we got. Several referenced our work with AR/VR/MR technologies. “We’ll be actively involved in AI and virtual training” as well as “at the forefront of AR/VR/MR technologies as the go-to company for AR/VR/MR development.” It’s an exciting time to be a part of the technology development world and we’re eager to explore the various ways these technologies can be applied.

Overwhelmingly, our employees answered with an understanding that they would still be part of CHA in 10 years. “We’ll be Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger,” said one employee. That might be what we’re most proud of: assembling a team of dedicated, hardworking visionaries who not only know how to dream the (seemingly) unattainable, but have the practical knowledge and skills to make the “unattainable” the next big offering our clients haven’t even yet imagined they need.

February 19th, 2021|

CHA Services Overview

We’re probably as eager as you are to put the challenges of 2020 behind us and look toward the possibilities of 2021. We learned a lot about ourselves and how we operate and are even more confident that we can adapt, improvise, and overcome. Since that’s the case, we thought we’d take a moment to focus on some of the amazing services we provide as well as offer a little insight into what you might see from CHA this year.

Our proprietary software, Lighthouse, is a fantastic place to start, as it is the basis of much of what we offer. This highly versatile technology stack can capture and integrate diverse datasets while providing analysis at near instantaneous rates. From training, to courseware, to instructional systems and SMART classroom design, Lighthouse can do it all. One example of this workhorse technology: the High Velocity Learning Environment, C-ARTS, is at work for the Navy helping train Sailors at their point of need as part of the Navy’s Sailor 2025 initiative.

As CHA’s Chuck Wythe likes to say, “This is an exciting time to be part of the artificial intelligence world.” CHA’s AI and Machine Learning office is working at breakneck speeds to develop and implement first-rate technology for our clients. Powered by NVIDIA NGC, our mobile AI framework, FogLifter, is capable of rapid ingestion of a wide variety of data with flexible visualization options. Our clients know that our AI and Machine Learning office will deliver state-of-the-art (if not ahead of its time) technology options.

Engineering and Logistics remains a strong part of the CHA mission. Backed by Lighthouse, we offer a wide variety of services from maintenance systems analysis to maintenance gap analysis. We also provide manuals and system installation.

Requirements Analysis also operates at “exceeds standards” levels. Need a tool to accurately and efficiently identify and analyze potential problems? Want recommendations on how to make the most of what you have and where you need to “shore up” possible soft spots? Requirements Analysis ensures our clients have the agility and strength necessary to remain at the top of their game.

Finally, we can’t go without mentioning our Research and Disruption department. The people in this department drive the innovative, industry-changing technology CHA offers. Without R&D, there would be no Lighthouse, no C-ARTS – really none of our cutting-edge services. We’re so enamored with this division in fact, that we will be offering a series of blogs providing a “sneak peek” into the work they do. If you’ve ever wondered about the great people who dream up the “impossible,” you’ll want to tune in. Who knows what you might learn? It might even inspire you to dream. If it does, rest assured that we at CHA can make that dream a reality.

February 19th, 2021|

How technological innovation is contributing to “Army Strong”

The history of warfare and international security is the history of technological innovation, and today is no exception.

-Klaus Schwab

The ability to work and learn from home as so many of us have been doing for nearly a year now was practically unheard of not so long ago. We may take the technological advances that make this possible for granted these days, but they are the result of years of innovation. A fierce determination by the United States Military to remain ready, relevant, and the world’s premier military force has brought about many of the technological advances we enjoy today, including the development of a little thing we like to call the internet. We are currently living in what the World Economic Forum has dubbed “the fourth industrial revolution,” one characterized by “a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.” This is occurring at a rate that has no historical precedent. The 2020 COVID-19 quarantines look nothing like those of 1918, for instance. At least in the technological sense.

The United States Army is no stranger to being on the cutting edge of technological advances. In fact, it’s one of the world’s foremost leaders. One only has to look at the most obvious ways they advance the technology cause: the development of the SB-1 Defiant and V-280 Valor aircraft, light tank prototypes, and the ever more ubiquitous autonomous aircraft otherwise known as drones. Of particular note is the Army ALIAS program, which aims to make aircraft such as the Blackhawk optionally piloted drones. With such capability, they could pick their own landing zones, fly at near ground level, and even pilot themselves better than with humans at the controls, according to Military.com.

It’s easy to point to such big-ticket items, with their wow factor, but equally impressive is the depth of attention the Army is paying to ensuring its technological dominance. For instance, the Army is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to implement the Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army (IPPS-A), which combines more than 30 existing systems and allows soldiers to add trainings, language skills, and even hobbies to a central database that more accurately reflects their abilities. This type of technological upgrade will provide commanders with a real-time view of their forces and their capabilities, while also allowing them to identify and correct weaknesses.

Even gaming industry technology is finding a new purpose in the military. In 2018, the Army closed a $478 million deal with Microsoft that will provide Soldiers with 100,000 HoloLens headsets. This will allow for more refined and state-of-the-art training as well as have implications for real-world combat situations. Infantrymen and other troops will have heads-up displays they can use for a number of in-field applications with the potential for even more tech-savvy uses in the future. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Squad X Experimentation Program seeks to nest robots into the Army and Marine Corps to take over menial tasks, freeing up soldiers to focus on more important maneuvers.

Klaus Schwab, founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, states “the distinction between war and peace, combatant and noncombatant, and even violence and nonviolence (think cyberwarfare) is becoming uncomfortably blurry.” The Army recognizes that the state of warfare has changed drastically in the last few decades. It’s currently looking to technology to create a product that would effectively “see through walls and dense foliage.” This technology will allow Soldiers to identify friend from foe and more easily locate and track targets, and even allow tanks to see through their own armor to track enemy vehicles.

The Army is pursuing programs that will improve existing technologies and merge different technologies in innovative ways. One such example is utilizing AI and quantum computing to improve image recognition and target identification, thus allowing for the development of more autonomous weapons and cutting-edge systems. CHA is proud to be among those working to develop such technologies for our Armed Forces. Our Army has always been comprised of men and women of superior strength of character, working to protect our nation from threats of all kinds. Technological advances are simply giving them additional superpowers to ensure they remain “Army Strong” well into the next century.

November 24th, 2020|

CHA salutes our veterans

Cape Henry Associates (CHA) is proud to be a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSM) and we’re especially proud of the fact that 58 percent of our employees are veterans of the world’s premier military force. So as you can imagine, November is a significant month for us as we get a chance to honor those men and women who have put it all on the line to serve our country and who, after their active duty service has ended, choose to continue to serve by helping CHA develop and deliver some truly cutting-edge products that will continue to ensure America’s military strength and success.

In the past we have used this space to offer generic thanks to our nation’s military heroes (in our mind, EVERY man and woman who has put on the uniform, done the job, and more than earned the title “veteran”), to highlight specific veteran employees, and to just in general do our part to recognize the efforts, sacrifices, and patriotism of the less than 1 percent of our country’s population that answers the military call to service.

This year, we thought we’d do things a little differently. We asked our employees, both veteran and non-veteran, to tell us what they like best about working alongside CHA’s veterans. We expected certain answers (which we got) about how their knowledge of the military and the specific roles they played qualifies them to serve as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), but some of the answers surprised even us. Read on for some of the ways our veteran employees help us achieve our 99.5 percent on-time delivery rating, and how they make CHA the best place to work.

Several of our employees stated that our veterans help us because “their background allows us to utilize them as SMEs, which ultimately allows us to provide quality products.” They talked about how “our vets understand each other. They speak the lingo. This makes us uniquely qualified and adept at knowing not only the ‘what,’ but the ‘why’ behind our customers’ needs.” Our veterans added that it’s “nice to share stories and experiences. The problem with companies with mostly civilians is that civilians can be complacent to get a task done. With veterans we know how to work hard because we had to during our time in the service.” They told us how “having something in common right off the bat” helps them fit in with the CHA culture and be able to start producing quality work right away.

Everyone, veteran and civilian alike, told us time and again how the “strong sense of community and bonding” makes CHA a unique place to work. Veterans bring “commonality, understanding, and an incredible work ethic” to CHA that “ensures quality work.” “They know stuff,” said one civilian employee, “…they’re respectful, dependable, and mission-oriented.” They make it “fun to come to work” was also heard frequently.

The single word we most heard was “resourceful.” Veterans know how to work around and through obstacles. Another word we heard often was “teamwork.” Veterans are effective team members, with an “absolute passion to get the job done.” Everyone knows that teamwork is essential to CHA’s success.

What surprised us the most (though in retrospect, it shouldn’t have), was how often we heard that our veterans are the ones who contribute the most to the number one thing our employees love about working at CHA: our family culture. “The camaraderie” and the “strong sense of community and bonding” are attributes our employees find most endearing and most rewarding about our veteran work force.

So, to all our veterans, we salute you. Thank you for helping to make CHA the success it is and, more important, for fostering the type of community that engenders creativity, productivity, and success. For making us stronger by simply being who you are, and for the experiences you bring to the table, we are ever grateful. That you do so while making us laugh? Priceless.

November 10th, 2020|

Who in the world of CHA is Ed Myers?

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!

September 28th, 2020|

CHA and C-ARTS featured again

The latest issue of Military Simulation and Training (MS&T) magazine is out and features an article on C-ARTS. We are incredibly proud of the role we played in the design and implementation of this high velocity learning environment that is already providing ready, relevant learning to our nation’s Sailors. CHA and its partners remain dedicated to creating the most advanced products to assist our clients in surpassing their expectations.

August 19th, 2020|
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