Sixteen years ago, Angelisse (Angel) was working hard to both achieve good grades and pay her own way through college as a student at Virginia Tech, majoring in Management and Marketing. One day, a guest speaker at her school spoke about a career at Lockheed Martin. Angel was inspired.
After graduating, she was accepted into Lockheed Martin’s Human Resources Leadership Development Program, which helps develop experience and skills to prepare and compete for leadership opportunities at the company. While living in Syracuse, N.Y., Angel received a call from a friend and fellow Lockheed Martin employee asking if she’d be willing to talk with a Coast Guard officer who was coming to the area for a master’s program.
“My friend said he didn’t know anyone in the area and asked me to show him around and welcome him,” said Angel. Meeting Marcus proved to be a blessing for Angel. She married the Coast Guard officer in 2014, and Marcus is still serving today. He and Angel have three children.
After two years of marriage, Marcus received orders to move to Texas. “I didn’t want to give up my career, but I also didn’t want to live apart from my husband and be a ‘geo-bachelorette’ either, especially with a 6-month-old baby.”
Torn between her career and the military’s requirements for her family to move, she reached out to several Lockheed Martin employees she knew through the African American Council for Excellence Business Resource Group for advice. With their encouragement and advice, she put together a proposal asking her leadership to make her role a remote position. Her leader accepted it, because of Angel’s performance record and willingness to travel when needed. Angel was able to telecommute full time.
"My leader was a tremendous advocate for me when I really needed it,” said Angel. “Her support while I tried to balance my family's needs with my commitment to my job was monumental.”
As a military spouse, this flexibility only increased Angel’s motivation and dedication to Lockheed Martin. She is also grateful to her Lockheed Martin team for the encouragement they gave her to support her fellow Coast Guard spouses. Her husband recently became the 4th African American to ever command a Coast Guard Air Station. As a commander’s wife, other spouses look to Angel to organize opportunities for spouses to meet and form friendships at their unit.
“I wondered how to fit this role into my already busy life, but my co-workers were so encouraging,” Angel said. “They really motivated me to use my leadership and engagement skills to bring the spouses together and to give them support. It has allowed them to connect and form lasting bonds.”
“Leaders at Lockheed Martin have empowered me to not only maintain a career as a military spouse, but to truly thrive as one.”