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Careers In Tech: Nike’s Senior Director Of Technology Transformation Is Charting The Path Ahead

Transformers isn’t just the title of a blockbuster franchise. It’s also a spot-on description of the innovative team members at Nike. As we all know, the world of technology is a part of an ever-evolving continuum. Lorry Perkins is one of the transformative team members driving the ongoing change that occurs in technology. And although she’s only been the Senior Director of the Technology Transformation Office for two years, her impact is substantial to those on the Global Technology team. The core of Perkins’ work is giving Nike the tools to think about how it responds to the different waves of tech as well as learning how the company can upscale employees throughout global technology. “I prioritize career growth by ensuring [people] always have resources to connect them back to growth and stretch opportunities,” Perkins explained. As an advocate for career development among BIPOC team members, Perkins leverages Nike’s resources to promote and encourage learning and networking....

Mar 25, 2022

Careers In Tech: Nike Engineer Shares How Innovation Can Break Barriers In Tech

Nike believes that if you have a body, you’re an athlete. This perspective has changed the game for how the company approaches its products and people. Vincent Sanders is aligned with this approach, and he’s committed to using his voice and perspective to help change the world. For him, the mantra “Just Do It” is about more than just getting it done. It’s connected to breaking down barriers and eliminating issues that can hinder success. Although he graduated with an engineering background, Saunders’ journey to Nike was unconventional. His first job was as a systems analyst in the financial services industry. It was during that time that he realized he wanted a role that offered a more hands-on approach to technology. This is where his work with Nike began. Currently, in his fourth year at Nike, Sanders is a Senior Applications Engineer on the price optimization team. In this role , Sanders helps business planners make well-informed price decisions. He’s also responsible for...

Mar 18, 2022

Careers In Tech: Nike’s Olivia McNeil Shares How Innovation Is The Key To The Future

If Biggie Smalls’ opening lyric to “Juicy” — “It was all a dream… ” — was a person and path, it would be Olivia McNeil and her journey with Nike. During her senior year in college, McNeil was approached by a recruiter about an open internship with Nike. As an aspiring mechanical engineer, she was skeptical but decided to take the chance and apply for the role anyway. The risk was well worth it. After applying, she was hired as an intern, which led to completing a summer rotation with Nike. The journey continued when she was offered a full-time role as a mechanical engineer in the Global Sourcing and Manufacturing department. Just after a year in this position, she’s on the Innovation Transition team. “We bring the artistry into it and the technicality into it. We’re [basically] the middleman between those two teams — the engineers and the designers,” McNeil explains. The possibilities are endless as McNeil’s team takes designs from the drawing board and translates them into a...

Mar 15, 2022

Careers In Tech: Meet Gap Inc. VP Of Tech Ops And Cloud Engineering Conrad Meneide

Twitter might have you thinking college grads and young professionals are the only ones working in tech, but the truth is the field has plenty of seasoned technologists. Conrad Meneide, Vice President of Tech Ops and Cloud Engineering at Gap Inc., is one of those industry veterans. Meneide has worked in tech for more than 26 years. At Gap Inc., he’s responsible for managing and innovating foundational technology for the family of brands: Gap, Old Navy, Athleta and Banana Republic. “We are the builders of the interstate highway that gets features to our customers,” he says. At Gap Inc., the engineers and developers deliver best-in-class retail technology for teams and customers. The tech ops and cloud engineering team is responsible for leading the evolution, modernization and performance of tools and shared services. That means, if you work at Gap Inc. or shop at one of the stores, Meneide’s team enabled or created the technology you interact with. Meneide also uses his role as an...

Jan 15, 2022

Comcast Promotes Rasheedah Carr To VP Of Engineering For Its Houston Operations

Comcast has appointed Rasheedah Carr as its new vice president of engineering for its Houston operations, the company shared in a press release . Carr first joined Comcast Houston in 2017 as the company’s director of customer experience in Houston and most previously served as Comcast’s Colorado area vice president of technical operations before being promoted. In this role, she was responsible for 600 employees and served more than 1.2 million customers in Colorado. Carr is now back in Houston for her new position as vice president of engineering, where she will lead the implementation of engineering initiatives to promote more network reliability and foster fast paced growth, a press release states. “Rasheedah is a leader whose proven success for implementing operational efficiencies and developing people to enhance the customer experience will be an asset to the Houston Region,” said Ralph Martinez, regional senior vice president of Comcast Houston. “Her commitment and expertise...

Apr 8, 2021

Meet the CEO of Winston Engineering Inc, the Only Black-Owned MEP Firm on the West Coast

Anthony Winston III wanted to make a positive impact within the construction industry while also having the ability to spend more time with his family. With that in mind, he created Winston Engineering Inc, a minority-owned business specializing in the design of Mechanical, Electricial, & Plumbing (MEP) Engineering for residential & commercial buildings. Winston’s hard work and dedication have made his firm the only minority-owned MEP business on the West Coast, but it wasn’t easy to do. “My story is fairly similar to a lot of my peers growing up. Not having a father around as much and dealing with broken promises has turned me into the driven individual I am today. I am fiercely loyal and somewhat obsessed with sticking to my word,” he told AfroTech. “Luckily this trend is no longer the case since Black dads – whether they live with their children or not, are more actively involved in their children’s lives than their counterparts of other races.” Despite all of that, he overcame...

Meet Dr. Fadji Zaouna Maina, the First Nigerian Scientist to Join NASA 

Dr. Fadji Zaouna Maina — the first Nigerian scientist to work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) — has always had dreams of solving water problems in her hometown since the age of 10. Now, she will take on the entire world’s water crisis with data from NASA, reports Face2Face Africa. Nigerian President Mahamadou Issoufou has deemed the 29-year-old Zinder, Niger native as “a national pride, and a role model for the youth of Niger.” “I pushed the boundaries, I made it possible and I made a whole country proud,” said Dr. Maina. “The chances for a girl like me, born and raised in Zinder (Niger), to become a scientist at a well-known institution like NASA are almost zero.” Growing up in Zinder, she acknowledges that Niger’s water crisis is deteriorating due to climate change. Dr. Maina knows having tap water in her home gave her an edge over other children, especially girls who were tasked with searching for water from the lake or from neighbors. “People think...

Nov 27, 2020

Meet Caleb Anderson, the 12-Year-Old College Sophomore Studying Aerospace Engineering

Caleb Anderson is not your average 12-year-old. Despite his young age, Anderson is already a sophomore studying aerospace engineering at Chattahoochee Technical College in Georgia. According to 11Alive , he began to show his brilliance from the time he was in diapers, learning sign language to effectively communicate before he could even speak. He leveled up even further by learning to read the United States Constitution at the age of two. “By nine months old, he was able to sign over 250 words, and by 11 months old, he was speaking and reading,” shared Anderson’s family. At the age of three, Anderson could already speak Spanish, Mandarin, and French on top of his native language English. He also qualified for MENSA — the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. According to Face to Face Africa , this society is only open to people who score at the 98 th percentile or higher on a supervised, standardized, or other approved intelligence test. “As we started to interact with...

Oct 2, 2020

Justin Shaifer Breaks Down 10 Ways to Keep STEM-Loving Kids Engaged at Home

With schools closed and summer quickly approaching, parents are most concerned about ways to keep their kids busy and entertained. Thankfully, Justin “Mr. Fascinate” Shaifer , science communicator and STEM personality, has the answers. The Southside Chicago native is the founder and executive director of Fascinate, Inc., a nonprofit that educates underrepresented students about STEM careers. With his expertise and knack for keeping kids engaged, he strives to make science cool for Gen Z through the Magic Cool Bus project, exciting content, and partnerships with organizations, such as Microsoft, Google, and the MIT Media Lab. “I was one of the kids that were really disengaged from STEM because it wasn’t really perceived as cool,” he said. “So it’s really important to engage your kids’ curiosities. Showing kids role models of people in STEM that look like them is a huge part of creating that intrinsic motivation that can make kids understand that a future in STEM is possible.”...

May 20, 2020

Vanessa Wyche Appointed As The First African American Deputy Director at NASA's Johnson Space Center

Vanessa Wyche is the first African-American to hold the role of Deputy Director at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.  She has worked at the JSC since 1989 when she joined the team as a project engineer. She’s also a South Carolina native who graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor of science in materials engineering and a master of science in bioengineering. In this role, the deputy director is responsible for leading more than 10,000 civil service and contractor employees and also a number of human spaceflight activities for the space center. Wyche, who has received two NASA Achievement Medals among other accolades, is highly respected at NASA and has built agency-wide relationships according to JSC Director Mark Geyer . In a press release from NASA, Wyche said the following about being appointed to the role: “I am incredibly humbled to take on this role at JSC, and also excited to assist Mark with leading the home of human spaceflight,” she said. “I look forward...

Aug 14, 2018