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Winning With Women Wednesday: An Interview With Ginger Wierzbanowski, VP Business Development, ISR Division, Northrop Grumman Corporation

An Interview With Ginger WierzbanowskiGood morning and welcome to another Winning With Women Wednesday. This past week we had the incredible opportunity to interview, Ginger Wierzbanowski, Vice President, Business Development, ISR Division, for the Northrop Grumman Corporation. Within her interview she speaks of her 20+ years as a USAF veteran and gives her three best tips for success for women looking to succeed within their professional careers.

Get To Know Ginger:Wierzbanowki_Ginger

Name: Ginger Wierzbanowski
Education: Bachelor’s degree in Russian-East European studies from the University of Northern Colorado and Master’s degrees in Russian-East European studies and Russian language from Florida State University.
Organization(s): Northrop Grumman Corporation
Position: Vice President, Business Development, ISR Division
Time with the organization: 5 years
Organization headquarters: Falls Church, Va.


1. Ginger, please share with us what drew you to work for Northrop Grumman?

As a USAF veteran of 20+ years, a military spouse, and more recently, 3+ years on the Joint Staff as a Civil servant …I am passionate about serving our country and giving back. When I decided to transition into the private sector, Northrop Grumman seemed like a natural fit because it serves the Defense and Intelligence Sectors.

2. Could you please describe what your current position as the Vice President, ISR Division for Northrop Grumman entails?

I serve as Vice President of Business Development for Northrop Grumman’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) division. I am responsible for global business growth for the entire ISR division portfolio. I lead tactical strategy discussions with key stakeholders, qualify our business pipeline, and prioritize the personnel and financial resources required for key pursuits. I manage the plan for future business across all market segments and coordinate all growth activities across the division’s leadership team.

3. What is Northrop Grumman’s mission/goal regarding women and diversity in the workplace?

Northrop Grumman is a committed champion of women and diversity and makes it a priority to enhance inclusion across the enterprise. Whether that’s in our employee resource groups or our heritage events, the company strives to develop a sense of community and empowerment by enabling networking, providing a support system and mentoring opportunities to facilitate career growth and development of leadership skills and community outreach. When I first looked at the NGC web site…I was really excited to see how many women hold key leadership positions throughout the company, both in core business areas and functional organizations.

4. Was it hard being a woman and climbing your way to the top to achieve your current position? If so, how did you overcome the challenges i.e. support from fellow co-workers, strong desire to succeed…? If not, have there been other women who have held your current position?

When I joined the Air Force in 1986, less than 10% of the Force was women; today that percentage has almost doubled. I knew the women that had come before me had fought hard to be accepted as soldiers/airmen and be recognized as assets to the fighting force…that understanding drove me and my peers to constantly overachieve, to pave the way for those that followed in our footsteps.

5. Have you mentored women throughout your career? If so, what are your three best tips for success?

Yes, I have mentored many women. I’d say the 3 things that are most important are….1) be technically strong in and passionate about whatever path you choose, 2) spend time on building your internal and external network, 3) always make time to help, enable and empower others.

6. What career advice do you give younger women who are climbing the ladder of success and trying to manage life/work/balance?

Be gentle on yourself. There are days when you have to be 100% work focused and days where your family must be the priority…it’s more of a juggling act…it will never be a perfect balance. Create an extended network in your neighborhood, in your workplace of people who can step in to help you keep all the “balls in the air”. Some of my day to day juggling acts could be fodder for a sitcom…but it really does work.

7. Were there ever some moments when you felt treated differently because you’re a woman?

Early on, most definitely, but I was taught to always communicate with someone when they were doing something that was inappropriate. Most of the time, the person just did not understand the impact or consequences of their actions. I took the opportunity to teach and to fix the behavior.

8. More women than men earn college degrees, and increasingly, advanced degrees. Notably, they earn almost half of advanced business degrees. Yet, women only represent 16.9 percent of board directors at Fortune 500 companies. Do you think the conversation around women and leadership is just about power? Why or Why not?

No I don’t think it’s about power. I do see an increased recognition of the need for diversity…diversity of thought, background, experiences and I think this realization will enable more women to have more opportunities at senior levels. The gap between men’s and women’s advancement to senior positions has endured, despite increasing numbers of women with credentials and experience to assume top roles and despite the efforts of many organizations to develop their high-potential female employees.

9. What are important lessons around the topic of women and leadership for you?

I spend a lot of time talking about personal initiative and self-awareness to the women I lead and mentor. For example, many women struggle to self-sell, or to self-identify themselves as the right candidate for a job opening/opportunity. I look for the right opportunities to let decision makers and leaders see my team shine, and encourage those I mentor or lead to take advantage of cross-organizational teams and tasks to enable more people at all levels to personally view their strengths.

10. What’s unusual about the culture at Northrop Grumman?

I would say something that makes us unique is our significant focus on supporting our troops and veterans. As a global security company with many DoD contracts, this would seem commonplace, but I think Northrop Grumman goes the extra mile to design and implement solutions and strategies for this community. For example, we have a program called Operation IMPACT where we focus on assisting severely wounded service members as they transition from the military to a private-sector career. The program provides wounded service members with one-on-one personalized assistance in identifying potential job opportunities as well as marketing their skills to hiring managers and recruiters inside and outside our company. I have been the advocate for this program and for the service members we hire and I’m incredibly proud that Northrop has taken the lead with this program.

11. If you were to receive an award for, “Best At ____”. How would you fill in the blank and why?

I would probably receive an award for “Best at connecting the Dots…or Best non-redundant node”. I have the ability to look at a specific research or technology project and see many ways it can be used…not just the targeted use case. I do the same thing with talent or processes…I easily see how something/someone can be evolved or applied to a myriad of things.

12. How do you hire?

I look for people that are extremely competent and driven, but also those that have very strong inter-personal skills. I look for new team mates to possess the following traits: strong passion, empathy, transparency, but most of all…someone who cares deeply about the mission we support (protecting the national security of the United States). Our mission gives our work meaning and a moral motivation.

13. What was the “Aha” moment or turning point in your life that had a direct impact on your career and leadership?

A recent example…a little over 3 years ago, shortly after joining Northrop Grumman, I was introduced to the leader of a User Experience (UX) team. This manager was buried in an organization, in Huntsville and had an amazing team of Software Engineers, Graphic artists, Mathematician’s and Illustrators…a team you’d expect to find at Apple or Google. After he gave me a presentation on some UX work he’d been doing on behalf of the Army, I was able to see a much broader application for his team and their ability to really get at the heart of customer needs and requirements. I used my network and called across the company to help get the UX or User Centered Design integrated into our everyday captures, proposals and ongoing programs. It took about a year for it to start bearing fruit, and even longer for the larger population to see the intrinsic benefit of a User Centered approach. Today, the bulk of our company sees the value and is a Defense Industry leader in applying UX. As far as my career and leadership…it made me realize how much and how many people I could positively impact, even in a large company. It also made people realize…. that we can change our company if we work together.

14. What is something you would be doing if you had just one more hour to incorporate into every day?

I would spend more time with our junior talent…they need to see it’s okay to lean forward, challenge the status quo and they need to be valued and connected to the people fabric of our company.


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MILSPRAY’s Sales Manager, Chris McDonald will be in Attendance at the Special Operations Summit & Warfighter Expo in Fort Bragg, NC

Chris McDonald HS Final

Chris McDonald is a retired US Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant with over 20 years of experience in Small Arms Repair and Maintenance Management.

Chris joined MILSPRAY in 2008 as the Subject Matter Expert (SME) for providing Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services as well as Corrosion Prevention and Control solutions to the US Marine Corps. He leverages his vast knowledge of small arms repair and corrosion control requirements from his experiences at the Marine Corps Ordnance at Camp Lejeune, NC.

Chris has been successful in delivering MILSPRAY’s Small Arms Repair; Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services (PMCS) to the U.S. Marine Forces Reserve, U.S. Army and U.S. National Guard.

Chris will be in attendance at the Special Operations Summit & Warfighter Expo taking place in Fort Bragg, NC from June 22-24, 2015.

Contact:
Chris McDonald
Program Manager, Small Arms Repair
Cell Phone: 910-382-4380
Office Phone: 732-886-2223
Fax: 732-886-2250
chrismcdonald@milspray.com


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Photo Recap: MILSPRAY’s VP of Business Development, Peder Cox in Stuttgart, Germany

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This past week MILSPRAY’s Vice President of Business Development, Peder Cox, attended the USAFRICOM Partnership Forum which took place in Stuttgart, Germany.

Would you like to find out more information about our Renewable Energy Solutions? Click Here

Want to find out which Trade Shows and Events MILSPRAY team members will be attending? Click Here

Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @MILSPRAY


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MILSPRAY’s Vice President of Business Development, Peder Cox, to Attend the USAFRICOM Partnership Forum in Stuttgart, Germany

Peder Cox, VP of Business Development

Peder Cox, VP of Business Development

Mr. Cox has over 40 years of both national and international experience in the field of Logistics and Transportation Management. He is a retired U.S. Army officer with a broad span of experience in all areas of logistics management, from the strategic to tactical levels, command and control, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and Logistics Support and also Security Operations.

Previously he worked for 2 years for Ecolog International as their head of Business Development and Program Support and for 12 years for DynCorp International in all areas ranging from establishing global support operations to running their international recruiting operations and for the last 4 years as a Director of Business Development.

He attended the United States Military Academy and currently holds a B.S., in History from Campbell University and an M.A. in History from the University of Alabama.

Peder will be in attendance at the USAFRICOM Partnership Forum from June 9-11, 2015 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Contact:

Peder Cox
VP, Business Development
Cell Phone: (US) +1-215-813-7300
Cell Phone: (SA) +27-72-3589723
Office Phone: 732-886-2223
pedercox@milspray.com


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MILSPRAY’s VP of Business Development to Attend 121st Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference

VP of Business Development

VP of Business Development

John McMullen is MILSPRAY’s Vice President for Business Development. Mr. McMullen is a former member of the US government Senior Executive Service in the Department of Homeland Security. He is a retired US Army Colonel with 30 years in Special Forces and Intelligence Community assignments worldwide. Following 35 years of continuous military and government service, Colonel McMullen joined several defense corporations as a senior executive. Before joining MILSPRAY he was Executive Vice President for a certified small business manufacturing CBRN and WMD defense and protective equipment.

He holds a B.S., in Engineering from USMA, West Point; an M.S. from Saint Joseph’s University; and an M.A. from Salve Regina University. He resides in Northern Virginia.

John will be attending the 121st Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference and Law Enforcement Education and Technology Exposition taking place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL from October 25-28, 2014.

Contact:
John McMullen
Vice President for Business Development
Cell Phone: 732-266-8138
Office Phone: 732-886-2223
johnmcmullen@milspray.com


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Day 2: Fort McNair

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As another day started, Joseph Gerschutz, Director of Engineering, began started his day with MILSPRAY’s  truck.

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We were all a little envious of Joe and John’s view of the National War College this morning.

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They were able to take great photos of our Scorpion Energy Hunter ™.

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Tge sun is surely shining a light on our Scorpion Energy Hunter display at the #TIDESDemo14.

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Here is a straight on view of our Scorpion Energy Hunters ™ alongside our MILSPRAY Tent.

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This is our MILSPRAY banner on our tent.

As Day 2 continues on we will keep you posted on new photos from the event.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram for great photos taken at the events and demonstrations we attend.

Want to find out more about our Scorpion Energy Hunter™? Click here.


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MILSPRAY’s VP for Business Development and Director of Engineering to Attend 8th Annual STAR TIDES Technology Field Demonstration at Fort McNair

John McMullen

John McMullen is MILSPRAY’s Vice President for Business Development. Mr. McMullen is a former member of the US government Senior Executive Service in the Department of Homeland Security. He is a retired US Army Colonel with 30 years in Special Forces and Intelligence Community assignments worldwide. Following 35 years of continuous military and government service, Colonel McMullen joined several defense corporations as a senior executive. Before joining MILSPRAY he was Executive Vice President for a certified small business manufacturing CBRN and WMD defense and protective equipment.

He holds a B.S., in Engineering from USMA, West Point; an M.S. from Saint Joseph’s University; and an M.A. from Salve Regina University. He resides in Northern Virginia.

John will be representing MILSPRAY at the 8th Annual Star Tides Demonstration taking place at Fort McNair, Washington, DC from October 7 through October 10, 2014.

Contact:
John McMullen
Vice President for Business Development
Cell Phone: 732-266-8138
Office Phone: 732-886-2223
johnmcmullen@milspray.com

Joe Gerschutz

Joseph Gerschutz is MILSPRAY’s Director of Engineering. Gerschutz has been with the company since 2011, specializing in alternative energy systems for military and commercial applications. His work at MILSPRAY includes product development and program management of hybrid renewable energy systems, energy storage systems, and electric vehicle development. With over 10 years of professional experience, his previous work includes developing fuel cell vehicles in a partnership between General Motors and the U.S. Army, as well as work on other major automotive OEM research and development teams.

Joseph received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton, and holds a Master of Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University.

Joseph will also be attending the 8th Annual Star Tides Demonstration taking place at Fort McNair, Washington, DC from October 7 through October 10, 2014.

Contact:
Joseph Gerschutz
Director of Engineering
Office Phone: 732-886-2223
Fax: 732- 886-2250
josephgerschutz@milspray.com