2019 Alabama Business Hall of Fame

2019 Alabama Business Hall of Fame
November 07, 2019

Thank you, Dean Palan, for that kind introduction.

Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen.

It’s a tremendous honor to be here with you tonight to be inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame.

I am truly humbled. 

And I am deeply thankful to have the opportunity to share this evening with so many friends, family, and distinguished guests.

No one can achieve an honor like this on his or her own.

Our successes in our careers and in life flow from the hands and hearts of so many who give to us.

It takes countless acts of guidance, encouragement good counsel, and shared effort to make a moment like this possible.

As I reflect on the significance of this special recognition, I’d like to begin by expressing my gratitude to my colleagues and teammates at Lockheed Martin.

Being inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame is ultimately a tribute to the 105,000 men and women that make our company what it is.

I wouldn’t be here, if it weren’t for them.

This recognition like so many, was made possible by their commitment to innovation, teamwork, and excellence. 

Working with them is a high honor.

As I look back at my many years with Lockheed Martin, I feel tremendously fortunate to have joined such a wonderful company – and then to have had mentors, colleagues, and teammates who encouraged me to learn continuously and to strive constantly to do my best.

I remember and especially appreciate my early supervisors who saw my potential, entrusted me with new responsibilities and larger teams, and, who invested in me.

As I rose through the ranks, I never ceased to be in awe of what we do together.

One of the great joys of working at Lockheed Martin is the deep sense of mission and purpose we all share.

Every day, the men and women of our company go to work, all over the world, helping to protect lives, advance scientific discovery, and strengthen economic growth and opportunity.

They take on some of the most pressing science and engineering challenges in human history and, they do so with a spirit of ingenuity and optimism.

It is amazing what they can do.

Thanks to them, we are the only company in the world with two 5th Generation, stealth fighter jets – the F-22 and F-35 aircraft – that give our nation a decisive advantage in the skies and in every conflict.

We are the only company that offers multi-layered integrated air and missile defense – meaning we help protect lives from a vast array of potential threats.

And each time NASA has sought to touch down on Mars, our employees have been there – designing and building vehicles and technologies that would help reveal the secrets of the Red Planet.

These are just a few of the many achievements of my colleagues.

I’m truly honored to lead them and to work with them.

And, I’m grateful that some of these extraordinary men and women are here tonight, joining us from our Huntsville and Troy operations.

Thank you for being a part of this special evening.

I also want to express my gratitude to the leaders and supporters of the Alabama Business Hall of Fame. 

Over the past 45 years, you’ve helped show just how important this state and its people are to build a brighter future for all.

The business leaders who have been inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame touch almost every sector of the modern economy.

This year’s honorees and those already in the Hall are a reminder that Alabama’s impact reaches far beyond the state’s growing economy and technological innovation.

The Business Hall of Fame shows that Alabama’s people, companies, and education institutions are having a positive and lasting impact on our country and on our world.

And, that’s not a surprise to those of us who call Alabama “home.”

We know that the people, ideals, and universities here provide building blocks for success.

That’s why, throughout my career, I have always been proud to represent this wonderful state.

I am deeply grateful for the values and work ethic I saw exemplified by my family, my teachers, and the communities here.

For more than three decades, I have chosen to build my career at a company whose core values mirror the values I saw growing up: to do what’s right, to respect others, and to perform with excellence.

These values continue to serve as the foundation for every business endeavor.

As I look back, I’d also like to take this moment to express my gratitude to The University of Alabama.

The education and opportunities I received at The University have been critical to being worthy of this honor.

In my 36 years with Lockheed Martin, I’ve had the privilege to hold 20 different leadership roles from industrial engineering and manufacturing to finance, supply chain, program management, and executive leadership.

In every one of these positions, I’ve drawn from and built upon the knowledge, skills, and experiences at the Culverhouse College of Business.

The University provided academic breadth, practical insights, and cultivated an innovative mindset that helped throughout my business career.

That’s why The University of Alabama has been, and still remains, such an important part of my life and my family’s life.

Finally, I’d like to say “thank you” to my family.

I want to begin by thanking my husband, James. I could never have made this journey without him. I am forever grateful for his love, encouragement, and support.

And to our two sons, David and Will, I’m so proud of the fine men you are. As you were growing up, we didn’t always know where business opportunities might take us next. Yet, we made decisions and moves together, as a family.

Your energy, good humor, and love have been a continual source of inspiration and encouragement to me. Thank you.

I am also delighted to have the opportunity to share this evening with my brother, my two sisters, their spouses, my niece and her fiancé, and my future daughter-in-law.

Thank you all for coming and for taking time to show your love and support.    

As you can see, I am truly blessed.

Once again, I want to thank the Alabama Business Hall of Fame for this recognition.

I am humbled by the careers and accomplishments of the exceptional group of honorees I join tonight. 

And, I thank the Hall of Fame for your ongoing efforts to identify outstanding business leaders who exemplify the very best of Alabama and who show how ethical leaders and free markets can change lives for the better.

Thank you all for being here tonight, and for helping make this such a special evening for me and my family.

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