Navy Leadership Participates in BEYA Reunion Event

Story Number: NNS100707-21Release Date: 7/7/2010 8:54:00 PM
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By Lt. Laura Stegherr, Diversity Directorate Public Affairs

BALTIMORE (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy was a key participant in the inaugural Career Communications Group, Inc. (CCG) Alumni Reunion and Planning Retreat July 1-2 in Baltimore.

Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, Vice Adm. Mel Williams Jr., gave a presentation to members of the organization, which promotes significant minority achievement in engineering, science and technology through such events as the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA), the National Women of Color Technology awards and the Minorities in Research Science awards.

Williams, an awardee of BEYA in 1994 and 1995, spoke about leadership, from both his perspective and from that of his father, retired Master Chief Mel Williams Sr. Williams was the 2009 recipient of BEYA's Stars and Stripes Award.

"Leadership involves achieving desired effectiveness. Leadership involves character, competence, courage, commitment, caring, communicating and community," said Williams. "This has been the experience of a couple of Sailors - Master Chief M.G. Williams Sr. and Vice Adm. Williams Jr."

Speaking to a crowd of nearly 150 past BEYA attendees and award recipients, Williams addressed the seven "Cs" of leadership, which helped him and his father to seize opportunities which were provided to them by the U.S. Navy.

"For my father and for me, what we really have experienced over the nearly 60 consecutive years across two generations in the Navy is that the number one leadership 'C' is character," said Williams. "Character is the core of the leader. It is what helps a leader to achieve desired effectiveness and to realize vision."

The Navy also received honors at the conference during an awards gala July 2.

Rear Adm. Michelle Howard, a 2008 Women of Color Career Achievement Award winner, was among the 17 people inducted into the 2010 CCG Alumni Hall of Fame.

Inductees included past winners of the BEYA Awards, Women of Color Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Awards and the Minorities in Research Science Conference Awards recognized for their continued contributions to STEM fields.

Retired Capt. Donnie L. Cochran, the first African-American aviator assigned to the Blue Angels, was also inducted.

"This year's inductees exemplify the amazing contributions men and women continue to make to the world through science, technology, engineering and mathematics," said Tyrone D. Taborn, founder, publisher and chief executive officer of CCG.

The Navy has maintained a sustained relationship with CCG and with the annual BEYA Awards for the last 20 years. Additionally, in 2008, the Navy signed an agreement with CCG to promote further Navy participation in CCG events in an effort to reach a diverse workforce.

Monica Emerson, the Navy's Diversity Officer, explained the importance of this partnership.

"There are a lot of different ways that the work of the CCG aligns with the objectives and the mission of the Navy," said Emerson. "Participating in events like BEYA is a wonderful tool for retention - it provides an opportunity to recognize top talent in our organization while giving us an opportunity for us to share knowledge about different career opportunities that are available in the Navy."

Demonstrating a commitment to promoting STEM programs, the Navy was also recognized by CCG July 2 as a top supporter of engineering programs at the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

"As we look to the future, and we know that the demographics of our nation are changing, and the requirements for excellence and technical knowledge will only continue to grow," said Emerson. "It is imperative for the Navy, and for our nation, to ensure that we're doing all that we can to create greater awareness within minority communities of the great opportunities that there are in the Navy and to encourage them to study and to pursue STEM professions."

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