Acuity Spotlight: Kevin Jackson-Beleski, The United States Air Force

The Acuity Spotlight is our way of highlighting some of the incredibly talented individuals that we’re lucky enough to have on our team. At Acuity, we value diversity and inclusion and focus our attention on bringing candidates who have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences onboard. Our mission is to build enduring relationships that provide secure, stable, and long-term predictable outcomes and we are grateful for the men and women of Acuity who embody our corporate values in everything they do.

Which branch of the military did you serve in?
I served in The US Army

What are some of the things you remember about adapting to military life?
The hardest part of adapting to the Army was learning to cope with the strict regimen. It truly felt like I was starting a new life after graduating from high school. Eight months later I was deployed to Iraq in support of the US mission set. I learned to adapt over time, but it was a definite change.

When did you leave the military? What were your first few months out of the service like?
I got out of the military in June of 2016. The first month was slow; I took time to readjust myself. I took the time to develop a plan and establish priorities for what I wanted to do with my life. I ended up finding the perfect balance of traveling, using my military experience, and being financially stable through the contracting world.

How would you describe the work you do at Acuity and the impact it is making?
I think the work I do at Acuity benefits the relations between Iraq and the United States as well as helps facilitate the demise of terrorist organizations that both countries suffer the effects of.

What is your proudest career moment?
My proudest career moment I would have to say is being afforded the opportunity to progress from one department to another and further use my previous career’s tools and knowledge. The skillsets and knowledge I learned from The US Army were ideal for my transition to the contracting world.


About the Author


Kevin Jackson-Beleski, Balad Air Base Life Support/Security Services Project, Security Directorate, Quick Reaction Force (QRF) Team Member, The United States Air Force

Acuity Spotlight: Christopher Hendricks, The United States Air Force

The Acuity Spotlight is our way of highlighting some of the incredibly talented individuals that we’re lucky enough to have on our team. At Acuity, we value diversity and inclusion and focus our attention on bringing candidates who have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences onboard. Our mission is to build enduring relationships that provide secure, stable, and long-term predictable outcomes and we are grateful for the men and women of Acuity who embody our corporate values in everything they do.

Which branch of the military did you serve in?
I served 20 years in The United States Air Force as a member of their security forces.

What are some of the things you remember about adapting to military life?
The whole process of transitioning from being a civilian to becoming a military member was challenging. Going through basic training and tech school (which included having a very strict daily agenda) to getting my first duty station and adapting to being in another country while performing my duties as a US Air Force airman was an adjustment.

When did you leave the military? What were your first few months out of the service like?
I retired from The United States Air Force in 2014.  My first few months out of the service were “odd” to say the least.  Being able to plan and schedule things and no longer having to follow a set schedule established around mission requirements allowed me to decompress from the military life. At first, it proved to be a hard adjustment, even though I found the change both therapeutic and refreshing. I took the time to travel domestically visiting family, and friends and exploring different locations that I didn’t get to visit while I was in the military.

How would you describe the work you do at Acuity and the impact it is making?
The work that I do at Acuity has been phenomenal and it’s something related to what I did in The United States Air Force as a Security Forces member. I’d like to thank Acuity for providing me with my first job as a civilian after serving in The United States Air Force.  Always and forever grateful.

What is your proudest career moment?
My proudest career moment was being part of the Phoenix Raven Program as a team member and then as a team leader. Getting selected as the Phoenix Raven Team Leader of the Year at a US Air Force headquarters was amazing and completed unexpected.

Being able to fly on different aircraft to different locations all over the world providing security support was incredible and something that I put my heart and soul into. I will always be thankful, grateful, and blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a part of, and experience, something of that magnitude.  My dream was to see the world and meet people from all walks of life; The United States Air Force was able to make that dream and vision a reality. I feel such a sense of accomplishment because of my experience, and I’d like to thank The United States Air Force for helping me become the person that I am today.

 



Christopher Hendricks, Balad Air Base Life Support/Security Services Project, Security Directorate, Flight Line Security Chief, The United States Air Force

Acuity Spotlight: Jacqueline Rodriguez Valdes, Chief Nursing Officer

The Acuity Spotlight is our way of highlighting some of the incredibly talented individuals that we’re lucky enough to have on our team. At Acuity, we value diversity and inclusion and focus our attention on bringing candidates who have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences onboard. Our mission is to build enduring relationships that provide secure, stable, and long-term predictable outcomes and we are grateful for the men and women of Acuity who embody our corporate values in everything they do.

When and why did you decide to become a nurse? What do you like most about being a nurse?

When I was fifteen, I realized the desire to provide care for others was innate. Caring for others is a passion and my driving force for choosing the nursing profession. Being there for my patients at their most vulnerable times and advocating for their well-being was all I wanted to do at an early age.

When I provide bedside care for patients and their loved ones, I take on the role of a family member, always upholding their best interests at the forefront. My aunt encouraged me to become a nurse leader to serve and motivate nurses who in turn will share in this altruistic vision. As a nurse leader, I have the privilege to mentor, motivate, and foster innovation and passion amongst our nursing team.

Can you describe a situation where you felt proud of your healthcare team?

In April 2020, we created a field hospital in New York City during the worst COVID-19 wave in the United States at the time. Nurses from all over the country came to the emergent call for help. This selfless team left their loved ones and the comfort of their homes to serve these critical patients by quickly making the altruistic decision to get on a plane and travel to the unknown that was waiting on the other side. This brave team arrived in New York with a variety of nursing backgrounds, training, and experience focused on one mission, to save lives. It was astonishing to see how this team of professionals melded to form a unified medical unit to provide compassionate nursing care during this most challenging, testing time.

How would you describe the work you do at Acuity and the impact it is making?

I have worked in this organization for five years and during this time we have provided high-quality nursing excellence in a variety of clinical environments. The nursing team champions lead the execution of medical programs such as shelter services, COVID-19 field hospitals, COVID-19 testing centers, emergency response support following natural disasters, mobile medical units, medical reviews, and performing occupational health exams in austere environments. The care provided by our nursing professionals cultivates evidence-based practices, and holistic and compassionate care, which is essential for providing clinical excellence for our examinees and patients.

 



Jacqueline Rodriguez Valdes, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC, COHC, is the Chief Nursing Officer. You can connect with her at jrodriguezv@acuityinternational.com.

 

 

Acuity Spotlight: Matt Lowell, Balad Air Base Life Support/Security Services Project, Security Directorate, and Personnel Protective Officer (PPO)

The Acuity Spotlight is our way of highlighting some of the incredibly talented individuals that we’re lucky enough to have on our team. At Acuity, we value diversity and inclusion and focus our attention on bringing candidates who have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences onboard. Our mission is to build enduring relationships that provide secure, stable, and long-term predictable outcomes and we are grateful for the men and women of Acuity who embody our corporate values in everything they do.

Which branch of the military did you serve in?

I served 13 years in The United States Air Force. I was in the Combat Arms and Security Forces field. I separated with an Honorable discharge as an MSgt (E-7).

What are some of the things you remember about adapting to military life?

I came from a military family so the adaptation to military life was not too difficult for me. My spouse was in the military as well and both of my boys were born on US bases, one stateside and one in Europe. The brotherhood and comradery of the armed forces were one of the most difficult things to let go of when I got out.

When did you leave the military? What were your first few months out of the service like?

I left the Military in 2008. Immediately following my separation, I spent two months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with my dog. I walked from Oregon down to Mt. Whitney in California. After that, I began work with a private security company overseas and returned to the brotherhood of arms.

How would you describe the work you do at Acuity and the impact it is making?

I feel that the work I do with Acuity is vital to the overall success and execution of the contract. I believe that without me and/or others like me doing our job, Acuity wouldn’t be as successful in fulfilling its obligations and current contracts. I take great pride in my job and am thankful that the US military as well as other US government agencies have provided me the training and skillset to effectively execute my protective service for all clients assigned to me.

What is your proudest career moment?

It is not too difficult for me to identify the proudest moment in my career. I have been deployed 11 times in the United States Air Force in support of freedom, I have flown security missions to 122 countries around the world, and I have been stationed on four different continents (and visited five).

I proudly served my country and fought the war on terrorism when called upon, I have provided security for VIPs, celebrities, and heads of state in both military and civilian functions, but the proudest moment I have was watching my boys grow to mature young men with solid values and follow in their father’s footsteps by joining the military and contributing to the betterment of man and not standing on the sidelines watching. Not failing as a father.

 


Matt Lowell is the Balad Air Base Life Support/Security Services Project, Security Directorate, and Personnel Protective Officer (PPO).

 

 

Acuity Spotlight: Dr. Joseph Mignogna, Chief Medical Officer

The Acuity Spotlight is our way of highlighting some of the incredibly talented individuals that we’re lucky enough to have on our team. At Acuity, we value diversity and inclusion and focus our attention on bringing candidates who have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences onboard. Our mission is to build enduring relationships that provide secure, stable, and long-term predictable outcomes and we are grateful for the men and women of Acuity who embody our corporate values in everything they do.

Tell us a little bit about your background

I grew up in South Philly and attended Temple University for both undergrad and medical school. My mother and father were first and second-generation Italian child immigrants.

What does your job at Acuity entail?

As the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), I provide professional oversight to our exam management, drug testing programs, and international and humanitarian medical operations. I also participate in strategic planning while supporting the continued evolution of our healthcare information systems. I represent Acuity at a variety of industry events and work closely with our Safety & Hygiene professionals, Absence Management & Compliance teams, and health benefits providers.

Did you always know you wanted to go into the medical field?

My mom’s musical skills and dad’s career as an electronics engineer gave me an appreciation of the interplay between art and science. Taking humanities and basic science classes during college led to an interest in human health, leading to a career in medicine. I eventually met and married a lovely occupational health nurse 30 years ago that introduced me to occupational medicine; I’ve never looked back.

Which medical experiences have best prepared you for the Chief Medical Officer role?

Professional variety, both clinical and corporate, were paramount. I’ve worked shifts in busy trauma centers ranging from private occupational medicine offices to military medicine. My corporate occupational medicine education started with worksite visits, followed by rewarding time in Big Pharma and automotive manufacturing. That paired with attending training sessions and obtaining certifications, as well as remaining active in professional organizations, expanded my professional network giving me access to valuable resources and continuing education.

What will be the key challenges in healthcare administration in the near future?

Given our experience through the pandemic, expect to see greater participation in telemedicine/telehealth and challenges to medical state laws and regulations. A growing interest and reliance on healthcare data analytics will drive electronic health records interoperability creating a strong focus on privacy, security, and healthcare cost transparency. Lastly, administrations will be forced to address social determinants of health and their impact on access to and quality of healthcare.

What is the biggest misconception about healthcare?

Call me old school (with respect to Dr. Marcus Welby), the biggest misconception about healthcare in modern medicine is over-utilization and an over-reliance on testing, medications, and expensive diagnostic technology. To quote Dr. William Osler’s advice to physicians well over 100 years ago, “Listen to your patient; he is telling you the diagnosis.” Modern technology and miracle treatments are truly amazing and do save lives, but sometimes we simply just need to pause and listen.

March is National Nutrition Month, any tips, or pointers for those looking to stay and/or get healthy?

Our company’s most recent newsletter touched on this topic. Besides broadening your definition of healthy eating, limiting alcohol, and reducing screen time (a common snack and couch trigger), the USDA’s MyPlate and World of Flavors has great information about making informed food choices and developing healthy eating and physical activity habits. Also, learn How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Labels from the Food and Drug Administration.


About Dr. Joe Mignogna, MD, MPH, CIME, FACOEM

Dr. Mignogna, known throughout most of his medical career as “Dr. Joe,” was originally trained in family medicine. After his Air Force Medical Corps service in family medicine and aviation medicine, he transitioned into emergency medicine for several years and then finally settled into occupational medicine in the early 1990s. He’s held occupational medicine leadership positions with international pharmaceutical and automotive manufacturing organizations and currently serves as Chief Medical Officer for Acuity International in Cape Canaveral, FL, one of the nation’s largest and most experienced providers of workforce health management programs. He has a particular interest in public safety and transportation medicine, as well as employee well-being and wellness. Dr. Mignogna has served as a Special Government Employee for the USCG National Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee (N-MEDMAC) since 2014. N-MEDMAC provides valuable assistance to the Department of Homeland Security on matters related to medical certification determinations for the issuance of licenses, certification of registry, and merchant mariners’ documents; medical standards and guidelines for the physical qualifications of operators of commercial vessels; medical examiner education; and medical research. In addition to his board certifications in family medicine, occupational medicine, and emergency medicine, he is also a certified independent medical examiner, medical review officer, and travel health consultant. He and his wife Jill are avid cyclists.

Connect with Dr. Joe at jmignogna@acuityinternational.com

 

 

Acuity Spotlight: Susan Thibodeaux, Small Business Liaison Officer

The Acuity Spotlight is our way of highlighting some of the incredibly talented individuals that we’re lucky enough to have on our team. At Acuity, we value diversity and inclusion and focus our attention on bringing candidates who have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences onboard. Our mission is to build enduring relationships that provide secure, stable, and long-term predictable outcomes and we are grateful for the men and women of Acuity who embody our corporate values in everything they do.

Tell us a little about your professional background.

I am Acuity International’s Small Business Liaison Officer (SBLO) and have over 30 years of experience working in the Defense and Space industry. Prior to Acuity, I served as a Vice President at a successful small business and was the Sr. Director of Operations for a large federal contractor. Throughout my career, I have explored a wide range of jobs in both the operations and the acquisition career fields including a portfolio of The Continental U.S. (CONUS) and outside The Continental U.S. (OCONUS BOS) contracts, contracts management, pricing, proposals, subcontracting, and supply chain.

I have always been passionate about the role small businesses play in government contracting, supporting prime contractors, and our economy, and because of that passion, I was awarded the South Florida District and the State of Florida Minority Small Business Champion of the Year Award from the Small Business Administration (SBA).

I earned my MBA from Webster University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama. I’m a Sigma Blackbelt, a Certified Federal Contracts Manager, and was named as a Fellow in the National Contract Management Association in 2021.

What does your job at Acuity International entail?

As an SBLO, I am responsible for Acuity’s small business program office. This includes promoting supplier diversity, developing and administering small business plans, and working with our Business Development team to maximize opportunities for small businesses on new programs. I also assist with identifying small businesses to help achieve small business goals, handling the required contract for small business compliance reporting, and interacting with federal agencies to promote Acuity’s efforts in support of small businesses across the enterprise. I frequently attend small business outreach events in various roles from matchmaking to workshop instructor and speaker.

What are you seeing that’s different in the workplace now vs. when you first started out?

When I started out in federal contracting and programs over 30 years ago, I was often the only woman in the room. Contracting and procurement weren’t considered professions with career paths in quite the same way that finance, accounting, and human resources were and many of us had to find our way on our own.  Small business requirements were often ignored and there was little information on how to run a small business program.  Now when I go to meetings there are an equal number of women in the room. Acquisition is a respected and valued career field, and it’s not uncommon for colleges and universities to offer acquisition programs.

Who are some of the most influential people in your personal and/or professional life?

I’ve always looked at my Nana as my role model. She raised a family during the depression and WWII.  She was in management for a large corporation long before it was common for women to be in company leadership roles. From her days working at the Mack Truck plant during WWII to her retirement as a manager in Sears catalog operations, she had an amazing life balancing family, work, and her various interests.

My other grandmother was a bank Vice President during a time when it was very unusual for women to hold those roles, which always inspired me not to be afraid to stand out. Professionally I’ve been blessed with wonderful mentors, most of them being retired military officers providing me guidance in my career and coaching my leadership skills.

What are you passionate about?

Professionally I enjoy teaching and mentoring others new into Federal Contracting whether it’s a small business or a person new in their career path. I love to help small businesses and watch them grow. Small business owners are so committed to their dreams and work hard to make their vision become a reality, it’s a blessing to watch them succeed.

In my spare time, I show dogs and enjoy photography. 

How can we help shed light on the importance and meaning of Women’s History Month?

It’s important to celebrate the contributions of women and to study the history of women’s roles and the changes which brought equality. When my grandmothers were born, women couldn’t vote. For me personally, that puts the significance of this month and the progress into context and highlights the importance of Women’s History Month.


Susan Thibodeaux is Acuity International’s Small Business Liaison Officer. Connect with Susan at susan.thibodeaux@acuityinternational.com.

 

Acuity Spotlight: Beth Corbley, Director of Business Development, Digital Sales at Acuity International

The Acuity Spotlight is our way of highlighting some of the incredibly talented individuals that we’re lucky enough to have on our team. At Acuity, we value diversity and inclusion and focus our attention on bringing candidates who have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences onboard. Our mission is to build enduring relationships that provide secure, stable, and long-term predictable outcomes and we are grateful for the men and women of Acuity who embody our corporate values in everything they do.

Tell us a little about your professional background.

While I began my career in the advertising world, I quickly moved into sales and have never looked back. I have been working in construction technology sales for 13 years and I am passionate about providing solutions that create efficiency and solve problems.

What does your job at Acuity International entail?

I am part of the Engineering & Technology Solutions (ETS) business practice serving as the Director of Business Development for CostCenter, a solution estimators and contractors use to help make smarter decisions while controlling costs and risks. I am currently working hand in hand with executive leadership, product development, and cost engineering to build out the product roadmap for CostCenter. I also engage with prospects and partners across AEC Top 400 to introduce our product, identify pilot users, and gather feedback that will help continue us better understand needs and problems to shape the direction and the future state of CostCenter. I work in tandem with our marketing team to ensure we are connecting with our stakeholders and creating messaging that speaks to the specific problems the industry faces.

What are you seeing that’s different in the workplace now vs. when you first started out?

Corporate America has changed a lot since I was a recent graduate. I am slowly beginning to see more women in technology and technology leadership which gives me hope for future generations of women in STEM. I am grateful to my predecessors for carving a path of opportunity for me, and I look forward to making that path bigger and brighter for the women just getting started. Work-life balance is more widely accepted. The pandemic had a huge, honestly must-needed, impact on remote working options and it brought the health and wellness of employees front and center. With more jobs than employees available today, organizations are having to get creative about what they offer outside of compensation alone, to both attract and retain talent. Paid benefits, aggressive 401K matches, profit sharing, unlimited PTO, and flex working are just a few I see repeatedly offered. As Acuity continues to grow, I am excited to see how these shifts in corporate culture are applied across our company.

Who are some of the most influential people in your personal and/or professional life?

My father both personally and professionally. He is truly a man who leads by example, and I feel lucky to have him as a dad and as a business mentor. He taught me that knowledge is power, and honesty is always the best policy. These principles are the pillars of who I am as an individual and are at the core of my professional sales success.

What are you passionate about?

I am extremely passionate about cooking, traveling, and my Peloton. Having the opportunity to explore and experience other countries’ traditions, food, art, and culture is one of the best gifts we can ever give ourselves. Bali, by far, has been one of my most amazing trips. I also believe movement is medicine and love to start my day with a Peloton ride or yoga class. It clears my mind, wakes up my body, and sets me up to have a productive, energy-filled day.

How can we help shed light on the importance and meaning of Women’s History Month?

The gender gap is still HUGE. Celebrating progress is important, BUT we still have a long way to go. I believe it begins by ensuring girls and young women across the globe have equal access to education and training, so they are empowered to play an active role and shaping their life and future.


Beth Corbley is Acuity’s Director of Business Development, Digital Sales. Connect with Beth at beth.corbley@acuityinternational.com.

 

Acuity Spotlight: Melanie Enman, Senior Capture Manager at Acuity International

The Acuity Spotlight is our way of highlighting some of the incredibly talented individuals that we’re lucky enough to have on our team. At Acuity, we value diversity and inclusion and focus our attention on bringing candidates who have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences onboard. Our mission is to build enduring relationships that provide secure, stable, and long-term predictable outcomes and we are grateful for the men and women of Acuity who embody our corporate values in everything they do.

Tell us a little about your professional background.

I am a geologist with 22 years of experience performing Environmental Remediation and Munitions Response services for both federal and private clients.

What does your job at Acuity International entail?

As a Senior Capture Manager supporting the Munitions and Environmental Remediation business unit, I am responsible for identifying federal opportunities that fit within Acuity’s experience and personnel expertise. I meet with both clients and industry members to better understand their specific needs and the problems they face. I then work within our team to identify and highlight Acuity expert capabilities which solve those customer problems.

What are you seeing that’s different in the workplace now vs. when you first started out?

When I started in May of 2020, the culture, landscape, and leadership team has changed completely.  The direction of the MER business unit has also changed.  In 2020, the direction of MER included gaining Continental United States Munitions Response contracts. As tasked, we were successful in winning two prominent federal contracts with the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Since then, Acuity has pivoted the direction of the MER business unit to broaden into an environmental business, while still pursuing Munitions Response work. This presents a challenging but exciting opportunity for Acuity!

Who are some of the most influential people in your personal and/or professional life?

While I’ve gained influence from many people in my life, my biggest influencers are my parents.  My parents are a constant source of inspiration and support for me.  They are smart. They are both emotionally and physically healthy, open-minded, honest, fair, kind, and overall great people.  They raised me to be an independent person, to believe in myself, and judge my successes and failures on myself and not the successes and failures of others.  I feel incredibly fortunate to have been gifted the foundation of their love and support and I wish for many other children to be as fortunate. Their support has allowed me to have a successful career in a male-dominated industry.

What are you passionate about?

I have spent most of my life exploring and traveling. I find that experiencing new cultures and ways of life is an enriching experience.

How can we help shed light on the importance and meaning of Women’s History Month?

The purpose of Women’s History Month is to celebrate the global, social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.  While companies can highlight some of history’s most influential women and provide that information to employees as a point of education, Acuity is focusing its efforts on current female employees who are accomplishing these achievements and celebrating them to their peers as part of a plan to create a culture of gender equality within the company.


Melanie Enman is Acuity’s Senior Capture Manager.  Connect with Melanie at melanie.enman@acuityinternational.com.

 

Acuity Spotlight: Pamela Adorno, Contact Center Manager

The Acuity Spotlight is our way of highlighting some of the incredibly talented individuals that we’re lucky enough to have on our team. At Acuity, we value diversity and inclusion, focusing our attention on bringing candidates onboard who have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Our mission is to build enduring relationships that provide secure, stable, and long-term predictable outcomes, and we are grateful for the men and women of Acuity who embody our corporate values in everything they do.

Tell us a little about your professional background.

I have been in customer service for over 20 years. Most of my professional experience has been spent with telephone companies such as AT&T and Apple.

What does your job at Acuity International entail?

I am the Contact Center Manager, supporting the MMS programs and contract scheduling efforts, for both incoming and outbound call campaigns. I collaborate with interdepartmental groups on a regular basis to ensure that contracts are being properly executed. On a daily basis, I oversee the phone queues and monitor call center dashboards, generating data on our call center (wait times, etc.) to help senior leadership determine pricing for future business proposals.  A primary focus for me this year is to implement a new telephone system and work to ensure the call center team is making a strategic impact. Creating a positive environment that is customer service-centric is what I pride myself in.

What are you seeing that’s different in the workplace now vs. when you first started out?

It was evident that Acuity was continuing to grow very rapidly, and it was comforting to know that our leaders were all advocates for change. More and more companies (Acuity including) are adapting to the needs of their employees in response to COVID-19. Whether that’s flexible schedules or remote work, employers are understanding the new normal.

Who are some of the most influential people in your personal and/or professional life?

In my personal life it would be my mother, Claire. She instilled a good work ethic and is still my biggest cheerleader today. Professionally it would be my Director Katie Tennis, she taught me to remember the human side of our workforce and to show compassion and grace in times of uncertainty.

What are you passionate about?

Vacations! I love to travel and am eager to visit different places around the world. A motto I live by is “live life to the fullest”. It is very important to me to have a life that I enjoy.  Happiness is a choice and I choose it daily.

How can we help shed light on the importance and meaning of Women’s History Month?

The number of women in leadership positions is significantly higher than it was just a few years ago, and it’s still growing today. As women, it is our job to continue to try to empower and respect women both personally and professionally by highlighting their accomplishments.


Pamela Adorno is Acuity’s Contact Center Manager.