Deon Norals is the President and CEO of iHealth Innovative Solutions (iHealth), a Health Information Technology organization that provides robust innovative technology solutions to help solve today’s healthcare constraints. iHealth supports customers by delivering innovative and visionary technology solutions to help transform and improve patient care, health information technology and health intelligence. Prior to iHealth, Deon served as Chief Information Officer for Westover Consultants, Inc., which is a management consulting organization.
Mr. Norals is a highly seasoned, results-driven executive with IT-to-business vision, industry leading execution, and a proven successful track record in delivering innovation. His career spans over 25 years of conceiving, designing and implementing Information Technology (IT) solutions, as well as managing IT resources, data center migrations, security operations management, and service desk management both domestically and internationally within various healthcare environments. He is also a creative problem solver who focuses on achieving business goals through the innovative use of technology and directing diverse groups of business and technical minds towards a balance of short- and long-term objectives.
Mr. Norals is focused on building a strong, energetic, passionate, no-nonsense team culture, which will be built on the celebration of success and the transparent discussion of failure. He also has strategic leadership experience in delivering and stretching business goals through the product definition, software design and development and ongoing operations of a visionary and robust technical architectural strategy.
Deon has a proven commitment to innovation at all levels that have helped achieve critical business and IT imperatives to deliver exceptional outcomes across various value chains. He is also experienced with and has prudently applied many business and information technology practices, ranging from Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK), COBIT, ITIL, CPHIMS, and Six Sigma.
Deon also earned his Executive M.B.A. from the prestigious Howard University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology and Security from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and his Associate of Science degree from Dunwoody College of Technology. He currently serves as the President of National Association Health Services Executive Washington D.C. Chapter. He also serves on various alumni and advisory boards and is an advocate of community service.
Herbert Thompson, Ph.D., President of KEN Consulting, Inc. has over 40 years of agriculture, 33 years of Statistics, Statistical/Data analysis, application development, program management, SAS and SPSS programming skills. Dr. Thompson has provided innovative statistical analysis, SAS programming, business intelligence services and survey data analysis, to various public and private industries including, CMS (Medicare and Medicaid), Pharmaceutical clinical studies, the
U.S Bureau of the Census, Banks and other large and small private companies.
Dr. Thompson grew up on a farm and studied all facets of agriculture; as a result, he has a wide range of agricultural experiences. Upon graduating from the Jamaica School of Agriculture, Dr. Thompson was offered to a position at his Almeta to be in charge of the school’s small animal division where he assisted in conducting animal sciences laboratories, prepped laboratories prior to lab classes, assisted instructors and assisted students studying animal sciences and animal husbandry. As manager of the small animals’ division he managed all farm labors, inventories and equipment. After teaching for three years, Dr. Thompson applied for a United States Agency for International Development scholarship and was the recipient of one of two scholarships to study agricultural mechanization in the United States. Upon the completion of his studies in the United States Dr, Thompson returned to Jamaica where he helped to establish an agricultural school and formed a department of agricultural mechanization. He then became the chief administrator of the department. While working at this school, Dr. Thompson developed a bio- gas digester that produces methane from farm animals’ waste. He then used the methane gas from the digester to demonstrate how it could be used to power small engines used to operate irrigation pumps for farms and other operations.
Dr. Thompson then returned to the United States to complete his studies earning dual bachelor’s degrees in agricultural education and agricultural technology and later a master’s degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
For his master’s degree research, Dr. Thompson designed and developed a one of its kind force transducers which he used to measure tillage energy over a wide range of soil types and soil structures. The essence of his research was to assess the effect of soil erosion and the energy required to plow or till the soil. The information gained alerted farmers on the impacts of soil erosion and fuel costs. As a program/project manager, he has the ability to design, collect and put mathematics to scientific use in the form of data comparison, analysis, interpretation and presentation for general public use. In addition, he has proven ability in research and development. He has great ability in using logic and reasoning to identify the strength and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. Dr. Thompson has vast working knowledge of major statistical technique including decision tree, software packages and the ability to design, identify and execute quality data analytics using relevant tools appropriate techniques and in the interpretation of the statistical results.
Dr. Benita Bell received her doctoral degree in nutrition and chemistry from Howard University. Her bachelors and masters degrees are also in chemistry from UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina A&T State University. Dr. Bell has taught chemistry at Howard University in the School of Allied Health Sciences, North Carolina Central University and Bennett College where she was an Associate Professor of Chemistry and the Director of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Program. She was awarded a NASA Administrator's Fellowship position where she served as a NASA Fellow in the Office of Biological and Physical Research at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. There she developed a pilot clinical research study on soy isoflavones and their role in immunity and heart disease.
Dr. Bell has also had corporate experience working with Johnson and Johnson and Smithkline in the medical and pharmaceutical sales industry. She has received numerous honors and awards, a few of which include the recipient of the Board of Trustees Faculty Teaching Excellence Award and the Division of Higher Education Exemplary Teacher of the Year Award. Dr. Bell is currently working at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with the Minority University Space Interdisciplinary Network (MUSPIN) in the area of Astrobiology. She is the Co-Director of the Minority Institution Astrobiology Collaborative (MIAC). Her research interests are in the areas of astrobiology, science education and women's health. She joined GESTAR in May 2011.
Michael Bell Currently works as an intern with KDM& Associate’s while also working as an educational leadership development specialist through the work studies program with the state of North Carolina. He is the Assistant divisional leader in the tutoring lab at Guilford Technical Community College. His skill set include, but are not limited to budgeting, team management and problem resolution. He holds an associate degree in History and another in Education. Michael attends North Carolina A&T State University, majoring in Agricultural Education and minoring in Agricultural business.
He has served in student government. He also was a member of Future Farmers of America while in High School. He joined the Creative writing club and was a Teacher cadet during his last two years of high school.
His desire to aim towards a future in Agriculture stem from his upbringing in North Carolina. His family owned farms in excess of 100 acres in both Rockingham county and Guilford county. Watching property that was once farmland being turned into neighborhoods sparked a desire to preserve his rich heritage and land ownership within his own family.
The success and reputation I built has allowed me to transition into a Virtual Summer internship this summer for KDM & Associates, LLC, a Washington DC based Business Development, public relations and government affairs firm and Haynie Farms a 5th generation farmer who manages nearly 10,000 acres across the country.
Charles Sills is a recognized authority on U.S. Government Contracting, and an advocate for Small Business access to Federal and Military contracting opportunities, serving as a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Council; an observer to the White House sponsored Inter-Agency Task Force on Veterans Business Development; and a member of VET-Force (Veterans Entrepreneurship Task Force). He has helped moderate the Army, Navy and Air Force Contracting Summits in Jacksonville, Norfolk Naval Base, Ft. Hood, Texas and Eglin Air Force Base for the Defense Leadership Forum; keynoted the Veterans Day Panel on "Wartime and Worldwide Government Contracting" at the Mt. Vernon Chamber’s forum on "Winning Army Contracts – from Ft. Belvoir to Afghanistan"; and was commended by the Small Business Affairs Director, U.S. Army, for the "overwhelming response" to his presentation on the "Marketing to Prime Contractors" Panel at the National Veteran Small Business Conference.
He is President of FED/Contracting LLC, a Washington DC based consultancy that assists U.S. Small Businesses, as well as overseas firms and their American affiliates, in accessing Government acquisition programs; helps Prime Contractors qualify Veteran, Minority and Woman-owned vendors as teammates for project opportunities with mandated Diversity Supplier content; and brings Small Businesses and Fortune 1000 corporations together under Government Agency ‘Mentor-Protégé’ partnerships. Based on the U.S. Defense Dept. Mentor-Protégé program that he managed for Trillacorpe Construction, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, the company was awarded the prestigious 2010 Defense Dept. Nunn-Perry Award for "superior performance in the areas of business growth and return on investment, Government contracting, technical performance and quality management".
Mr. Sills is a former Naval Intelligence Officer who served in a succession of National Security positions in the Pentagon, including the National Military Intelligence Center and the Defense Intelligence Agency/Worldwide Estimates Directorate (Deputy Director), following assignments on the staff of the U.S. Middle East Force Command (based in Bahrain with responsibility for the Persian Gulf/Red Sea/Indian Ocean area), and the Geopolitical Briefing & Analysis Division, Supreme Allied Commander NATO/Atlantic. He received numerous commendations for his contributions to Defense Dept. crisis teams and special reports, including a series of briefings to Members of Congress on the findings of “Project Provodnik” which he directed, a comprehensive re-thinking of Soviet conventional and strategic Military capabilities as well as the effectiveness of their projection of ‘soft’ power throughout the Developing World. He was recently appointed Sr. Advisor, Global Partnerships Development for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission, mandated by the U.S. Congress, which is developing conflict resolution and regional stabilization and security initiatives based on Eisenhower’s legacy as NATO’s first Supreme Allied Commander.
Mr. Sills also has extensive experience planning and directing international industrial, infrastructure, environmental and energy initiatives, having served as a member of the Danube Task Force, the governing council that ran the Danube Basin Environmental Restoration Program led by the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development and the UN Development Program, involving 13 countries from Austria to Moldova. He also served on the Japan-U.S. Joint Fund for Social & Economic Development in Central/Eastern Europe; the Helsinki Commission, focused on the environmental clean-up of the Baltic Sea; the Kaliningrad Defense Conversion Initiative which sought to transform Soviet weapons factories to consumer product manufacturing; and the NGO Delegation to NAFTA, where he helped draft the Environmental Supplements. And he was responsible for securing major funding support for the Smithsonian Institute's biodiversity preservation/cancer cure research program in Brazil's Amazon region; for the Sassari, Sardinia symposium on ozone depletion organized by the International Council of Scientific Unions, that led directly to the Montreal Protocol which has been successful in mitigating/reducing the ‘Ozone Hole’; and for the White House Presidential Awards program sponsored by the President's Council on Sustainable Development.
Mr. Sills led the Martin Marietta Aerospace (now Lockheed Martin) team that won the contract for and installed the world’s largest (at that time) solar photovoltaic energy installation, under a pilot program co-funded by the U.S. and Saudi Arabian Governments; researched and wrote a worldwide, country-by-country survey of renewable energy technologies and commercialization opportunities; and testified before Congress on the need for pro-active U.S. Government support for advanced renewable energy R&D and demonstration programs. Currently, he serves on both the Defense & Security Advisory Committee and the International Advisory Committee for the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE); onthe International Committee of the DC Chamber of Commerce; and the International Advisory Committee of the National Council on US-Arab Relations (NCUSAR).
He also serves as a Board Member and Advisor on International Security, Energy and Environment for the Eurasia Center/Eurasian Business Coalition, where he has planned and moderated conferences on “Doing Business with the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)”, and “Transforming a Continent: Energy and Infrastructure Investment Opportunities on the New Silk Road”. In that capacity, he was designated one of only five or six U.S. delegates to the annual Moscow Conference on International Security in 2015, 2016 and 2017 – involving approx. 900 delegates and 40-plus Defense Ministers focused on implementing cooperative programs to contain and defeat worldwide terrorism.
Mr. Sills’ education includes an M.A. in Defense & Foreign Policy, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts and Harvard Universities); and an A.B., Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is a graduate of Collegiate School in New York City, the U.S.’s 2nd oldest school founded in New Amsterdam in 1628.
Major General Nick Justice joined PowerAmerica in January 2015. He was extremely active in establishing the newly formed institute sponsored by the Department of Energy. PowerAmerica is the first institute lead by a university.
Nick retired from the United States Army after more than 42- years of service as an American Soldier. He began his Army career as an enlisted Soldier drafted from his native state of North Carolina. As an enlisted soldier, he held numerous military occupation specialties including electronics warfare operator; telemetry analyst; telecommunications operator; an infantry platoon sergeant. He was later commissioned upon graduation from Officer Candidate School in 1977.
He earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Maryland, a master's degree in Management from Pepperdine University and a master's degree in International Relations from Salve Regina College. His military education includes a master's of science degree from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, the Senior Acquisition Course of the Armed Forces, and a master's degree from the United States Naval War College.
His recent assignments include Commanding General, Research and Development Command and Aberdeen Proving Ground where he led the transformation of the installation during Base Realignment. In 2010, the Association of Defense Communities named MG Justice Military Leader of the Year.
General Justice also served as the Program Executive Officer for Command, Control, and Communications-Tactical. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he served as Commander of the Information Management Task Force in Kuwait and Iraq.
His coalition experiences include an assignment to the Sixth Allied Tactical Air Force as Chief, Project Management for Command and Control Systems during Operation Desert Storm as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He also served as Task Force Commander for battlefield Information Management during Iraqi Freedom.
General Justice has received numerous awards and recognitions including being named the 2002 Army Acquisition Award for Excellence as PM of the Year Award. He was twice awarded Federal Computer Weekly's Federal 100 Award, once in 2004 and again in 2008 as well as the Monticello Award in 2004. In 2008 he received the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Award of Excellence in Information Technology. MG Justice was inducted into the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 2009.
General Justice currently consults in industry and education.
Returning for his second year as an intern, Samuel Hammond, a second semester senior at Old Dominion University studying economics, is no stranger to the culture and intentionality of drive at KDM/OGTV. During his first year with the KDM team, he wore several hats, and performed a variety of tasks. Sam helped with Strategic Business Assessment (SBA’s) with partners of KDM by editing and revising documents before being presented to the KDM client. He has also drafted a Department of Defense contact book to enable easy contact between KDM and key decision makers within DoD. Among several other tasks performed, Samuel completed a business survey between KDM and Cramer, a Videonitch client partnership that was launched back in 2018. Sam is currently in the process of liaising with KDM and Teamesteem, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, whose mission is to meet the mentoring and career development goals of college students. Sam will work with Team KDM and its team of virtual interns to help scale the organization’s delivery system, and to promote Teamesteem to both the federal government and to corporate America as a 21st century workforce development, and mentoring program for young professional talent.
In the Spring semester of 2019, Samuel Hammond had the privilege to study abroad in the United Kingdom. In between taking higher level economic and finance courses, Samuel got involved on campus by joining both the ballet and boxing clubs offered on campus. His learning abroad experience enabled him to distinguish political policy, society, and culture differences while studying in Europe. In between semester breaks, Samuel had the chance to travel to neighboring countries such as Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and France. But his greatest venture was when he left the western world and travelled to Ghana where he experienced life in a third world country and rekindled with his father. Despite being born of Ghanaian descent, Samuel still felt the unpleasantness of culture shock while with his family. It was while in Ghana, Sam discovered a new appreciation and gratitude for the strides his parents made to get to America. Samuel wants to continue to explore internationally and continue to grow as a young aspiring professional by taking on new challenges in different countries.
After traveling to different corners of the globe, Samuel has a greater passion for international work. His remaining courses as a senior are macroeconomics, urban economics, money and banking. He recognizes that interning with KDM allows him to analyze public policy, refine his communication, and networking skills. Sam is excited for the new challenges that KDM presents as each task helps him gain exposure to the business world, and better prepare him for his transition from College to the “real world”, and the Future of Work.
Mr. Morgan is co-founder of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He also serves as managing partner of D. Morgan & Partners, a government relations firm at the center of business and the political system. Prior to launching the firm, Mr. Morgan served for almost ten years as Vice President Government Affairs for the American Express Company. In that role, he managed the government and public affairs portfolios for the American Express OPEN business and the Tax and Human Resources functions and also served as Treasurer for the American Express Company’s political action committee. Mr. Morgan received a B.S. from Cornell University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an LLM in Taxation from Georgetown University.
Afia Owusu-Forfie is a trained Computer Scientist (BSc. from University of Ghana), Statistician (MSc. from George Mason University) and Operations Researcher (MSc. from George Mason University). She is a two-times Founder and Executive Director of two Technology organizations as well as a Speaker invited by Team Esteem DC, Africa Tech Summit and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
She is formerly a Risk/Data Analytics Consultant for the Advisory wing of the Deloitte & Touche LLP. US firms where she delivered analytical and modeling solutions for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) services and other clients such as the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSSE), Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and the US Coast Guard. She has received quality trainings at the firm’s flagship Deloitte University and Deloitte US HQ in New York. As Senior Programmer Analyst II for Mathematica Policy Research (MPR), she served as Task Leader to produce congressionally mandated reports for the National Science Foundation. MPR also tapped her to create a Minority internship initiative for the Washington DC cluster of Universities.
In June 2016, Afia established the first sub-Saharan network for Women Who Code Inc., Women Who Code-Accra, which was covered by Trent Smith in the Huffington Post article: Learning to Code is changing the lives of Ghana. In December 2016, the British Broadcasting Corporation aired a segment that covered her work titled, Ghana’s women who code network.
Inspired by her past performance, Afia’s friends and colleagues helped her to establish Coders Who Travel Inc., Coders Who Travel L.L.C. and Coders Page Inc. A US-based 501[c] tax exempt Not-for-profit (NPO) organization, a future US-based Limited Liability Company and a Ghana-based Non-Government-Organization (NGO) respectively. The mission of the NPO is to inspire and advance the careers of individuals- Veterans, Women Returning to the Workforce, Coal Miners and the briefly Homeless in developed countries. The goal of the LLC is to deliver data and predictive analytics solutions. The aim of the NGO is to discover local gurus: software engineers and data scientists overseas.
In developing countries, the mission of the NGO is to inspire an Adopt-A-Programmer campaign on behalf of middle-class College students and Career Professionals. Coders Who Travel was featured on the Diaspora News Television in January 2020. Afia was also interviewed by Class CNBC Italy and InnovationPost in September 2019 at the World Manufacturing Forum’s Annual Meeting in Cernobbio, Italy.
Over the past thirty years Jose F. Niño has built a National and International business development company. His company El Niño Group, LLC has a long and productive history growing and serving as the primary connection in establishing partnerships, opportunities for business development, certifications and strategic planning for clients. He is a Co-founder of Allied Wireless Infrastructure Services, a Hispanic owned neutral Digital Infrastructure Services Company. AWIS is a wireless & small cell infrastructure, dark fiber, network edge micro data center and management services company. AWIS services the North American market with offices located in Florida, New York, Washington DC, Mexico City and Querétaro, México.
Last year, he assisted MicroTech, based in Vienna, Virginia, to obtain a $50 Billion IDIQ (Indefinite Demand/Indefinite Quantity) Government wide contract along with nine other companies. The agreement is to do the re-infrastructure of the US Government’s Telecom and IT systems. Mr. Nino has many years of experience working with entrepreneurs, federal government, corporations in the US with Hispanic and other ethnic communities, as well as in Latin America. Mr. Nino was a founding member and President/CEO of the US Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (USHCC). He expanded the Chamber from less than 30 Chambers to over 258, representing the interest of more than 1.3 million US Hispanic owned businesses. The USHCC provided the climate to foster more businesses and more customers by building the brand and advancing programs for scalable sustained growth. The USHCC is now a significant force within the US economy, promoting the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs nationwide.
Mr. Niño is Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Board member of the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, an Advisory Member for Hispanics in Energy and serves on the National Executive Committee of the Boy Scouts of America, Vol. Executive Director for One World Literacy Foundation. He’s also a University of Maryland graduate and a former Small Business Advisory Board Member of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank.
Neela White is a Project Director at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She currently directs the HBCU Making & Innovation Showcase and Innovation Forward: Invention and Startup Road Shows. She also manages the day to day operations for the AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador Program, and supports the work on the Marion Milligan-Mason Awards and the AAAS-appointed Committee on Opportunities in Science. She has served as an external evaluator for multiple projects including the NSF INCLUDES Early STEM Engagement for Minority Males (eSEM) project and the Verizon Innovative Learning Summer Program for Minority Males at Morgan State University. She has also served as a Program Associate for the AAAS District of Columbia program. Her areas of focus have been within the sectors of invention; innovation; entrepreneurship; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education; Maker movement; international research collaboration; and diversity, equity and inclusion in science.
Prior to AAAS, she worked at the Brookings Institute as the Administrator for the Center on Social and Economic Dynamics. She also served as the Public Affairs Manager and Board Liaison for the Center for Excellence in Education. Ms. White earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Temple University in 2003.
Iris R. Wagstaff, Ph.D., is a STEM Program Director in the Education and Human Resources Department of AAAS. She is a former 2015-2017 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow that served at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in the Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences. At NIJ, she led an agency-wide strategic diversity and inclusion initiative to expand NIJ’s pool of STEM graduate research fellows, peer reviewers and R&D grant applicants to broader audiences in the scientific community.
She is a native of Goldsboro, NC and has a BS and MS in Analytical Chemistry from the University of NC at Greensboro, and NC A&T State University respectively. She has over 20 years of STEM outreach and advocacy in the community developing informal science programs, mentoring STEM majors, equipping parents with tools and resources to encourage their children in STEM, and providing culturally relevant science education pedagogy to teachers. She has advocated for students at the K-20 levels and built strategic partnerships between industry, educators, researchers, and community activists. She worked as an analytical chemist at the Rohm and Haas Company (now Dow Chemical) for 15 years where she led project teams to reverse-engineer competitive products and solve customer problems. She obtained a PhD in STEM Education research and Policy Analysis from North Carolina State University where her research focused on examining factors that predict science self-efficacy, science identity, and STEM career intent.
She is the founder of the SMART Scholars initiative for middle school girls that provides hands-on STEM outreach, role models, and parent resources in NC and the DMV. She is a long time member and serves on the Executive Board of the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE). She has received numerous awards for her STEM advocacy that include the 2015 NOBCChE Henry McBay Outstanding Teaching Award, and a 2016 nomination for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).
As a “Native Washingtonian” born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Prince George’s County Maryland, Graduate of Bowie State College/ now Bowie State University. As a Fairfax County Public Schools educator for the past thirty six years, Joyce Matthews has worked tirelessly to ensure that ALL Children become “hands on life-long learners” and access to as many resources and educational experiences that allow students to develop a strong foundation for their successful STEAM Focus Career. These experiences and resources allow students to become a productive citizen in their community and the world!
Joyce Matthews has spent her entire Fairfax County Public Schools career refining and developing her skills as an educator, technology training specialist, technology integration staff developer and currently as an XSTREAM Programs Coordinator ensuring every student takes advantage of all opportunities to be a successful student achiever through their educational experiences with Science, Technology, READING, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics.
Ms. Matthews has developed the XSTREAM (Exploring, Engaged, Enriched and Enhanced Experiences in Science, Technology, READING, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) Program to support student learning, developing skills and knowledge to build a strong foundation for a STEAM career. Joyce believes, “Partnerships Are Powerful!” Connecting with numerous STEAM Focused organizations has provided amazing interactions for students. Introducing students to successful STEAM Professionals through meaningful learning experiences, workshops, conferences and activities, supported by nonprofit STEAM organizations, has truly “Made A Difference” for the students.