In July of 2020, techfrederick formed a Task Force of passionate local tech leaders to address the barriers to access and advancement that our underrepresented groups are facing here in Frederick’s local tech industry. The Task Force is creating programs which will engage underrepresented youth and connect Frederick technology organizations.

More Tech in Frederick For ALL!

As techfrederick honors Black History Month, we honor the contributions of African Americans throughout history, as well as, celebrate the hometown talent within our own community.
Each week of Black History month we will be honoring the hard work and commitment to the Task Force while celebrating the incredible local talent and accomplishment within our area.
Take a moment to get to know more about each of these dynamic tech leaders…
Masai Troutman
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
MASAI Technologies Corporation (MTC)
What services does your organization offer?
Over 20-years of service supporting Public Sector Government (Federal & State) agencies with Enterprise Business System Applications, Business Intelligence (Data Analytics), and Project and Process Management services.
What motivated you to join techfrederick’s Task Force?
The shared mission to increase and improve Information Technology (IT) careers, knowledge, and skills for historically underrepresented Persons of Color (I.e. African Americans, Latinx) here in Frederick County.
Name a person in history who has inspired you and why?
Frederick Douglass inspires me to value education, bring my best to the world, and to value all people.  Frederick Douglass’ autobiographical writings and speeches from the 1800s, as a former slave, were eloquent, brilliant, and held accountable all Americans to live the tenants of the U.S. Constitution that all people are created equal.
Do you have a favorite book that has helped to develop your career mindset and/or leadership style?
The Book of James in the Bible, because it tells us to establish a standard of action not just theory in how we live;  and it directs us to be tactful in communicating to build not destroy.
Tell us about one of your favorite Quarantine pastimes or new hobbies. 
I was able to dedicate more quality relationship time with my two teenagers through activities (i.e. painting wood fences, doing nutritional challenges, learning more about Python computer language, and mastering basketball jump shots).

 


Jonathan Pernell
Vice President of Federal Solutions
Yakabod
What services does your organization offer?
Yakakbod is a Frederick, MD based company focused on technology that supports the Federal and US Defense Intelligence agencies throughout the country. The company’s highly secure knowledge sharing platform allows customers to rapidly utilize secure & customized business process applications. Some of the common applications include asset tracking, outreach management, project management, secure case management, insider threat, and risk & compliance management. The platform allows for real-time collaboration, secure file sharing of sensitive info, very granular access controls, end-to-end encryption, and an API for integrations with enterprise tools. The company has deployed in a variety of networks and is accredited for use on JWICS, NSAnet, C2S, AWS GovCloud, and other private cloud environments
What motivated you to join techfrederick’s Task Force?
I’m a true believer in everyone playing a part in helping us all get along.  This includes better understanding of each other while appreciating our differences.  TechFrederick’s key leadership team has a heart to be very inclusive and from the beginning I’ve noticed a variety of ways the organization has tried to make all feel welcomed.  Specifically, this Task Force allows me to take part in addressing ways to overcome some of the negative impacts of systemic racism, and how it keeps some people from having leadership opportunities in the technology community.
Name a person in history who has inspired you and why?
As a West Virginia University alumnus with two daughters I love the story of Katherine B Johnson.  The NASA mathematician overcame so many obstacles and stereotypes.  As a black female genius that was handpicked to be one of West Virginia University’s first black students for a new graduate program it’s very inspiring that while she was a genius supporting in the background her expertise was used to calculate the 1969 orbit to the moon.  In short, by most counts she wasn’t very significant on the surface but she was used to help our country successfully complete one of the greatest space missions in history.
Do you have a favorite book that has helped to develop your career mindset and/or leadership style?
I have four that play an integral part on the regular. First and foremost, the Bible has helped shape my whole person and I rely on the Holy Scriptures on a daily basis. The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass has really helped to provide a context of perseverance as a black business professional in a world where people may not always be overly accepting. Douglass’ remarkable demonstration of someone that was once a slave to not only escape that life but also have great success as an abolitionist, public speaker, and businessman is an amazing feat.
Two books that have helped me in sales and business are 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, by Steven Covey and How To Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. Each of these four books continue to help me strengthen my core being.
Tell us about one of your favorite Quarantine pastimes or new hobbies. 
It’s not new with the pandemic but I do enjoy and appreciate just getting outside even more.  Any and all opportunities to do things that keep me active while not requiring long extensive periods of mask wearing.  This includes: hiking, cycling, golfing, and long walks in the city.  During these cold months I’ve enjoyed roller skating again, but we do wear our masks the entire time when going to the roller skating rink.   I think that getting out to exercise and getting closer to nature is especially important to stay grounded and not be overcome by things like the pandemic and/or the political news of the day.

 


Mike Battle
CEO
BRMi Holdings
What services does your organization offer?
BRMi is a privately held, minority-owned, award-winning information technology services firm supporting both government and commercial markets. “BRMi” is an initialism derived from the company’s first legal name: Battle Resource Management, Inc., which was incorporated in 2004. Mike Battle, the company’s founder and President, formed BRMi to affect implementation and bridge delivery gaps that prevent organizations from effectively executing change.
In 2019, BRMi acquired Data Management Services, Inc. (DMS), a Frederick, MD-based government contractor with expertise in the public health market. Founded in 1981, DMS is an information and management sciences company serving clients in the biomedical research, public health, and small business sectors. Its services include IT management, enterprise application management, data analytics, and bioinformatics and scientific programming. The acquisition gave BRMi critical qualifications and a strong base of business in the health and human services arena and provides an important platform to impact our presence in Frederick through success in the growing federal health IT market.
Today, BRMi, provides a wide range of information technology and advisory services. These services are supporting the mission needs of the Health, Homeland Security and Financial Service markets.
What motivated you to join techfrederick’s Task Force?
One of the core principles of BRMi is our commitment to making a difference in the communities we live and work in. Following the acquisition of DMS, I learned a great deal about the Frederick business community. I also learned about some of the real challenges facing the minority community in the region. The Task Force was a perfect opportunity to get involved in the community in a meaningful way. As a minority, I understand the issues facing our youth. Leveraging the Task Force to provide a path for the minority youth of the region to see the art of the possible, aligns with our corporate goals and my personal passion.
Name a person in history who has inspired you and why?
One of the most inspirational individuals in my life was my father, Dr. Huey J. Battle. He was an inspiration for his intelligence, perseverance and drive. During a time in the 1940s and 50s, when the notion of African American’s getting the opportunity for higher education, my father, upon completing his military service, pursued and achieved the distinction of becoming the first person of color to receive an advanced degree in the history of the State of Oklahoma. He dealt with unbelievable challenges of lack of inclusion and prejudice to become a role model for so many. His legacy is built on his work to help so many see the art of the possible an achieve their dreams of academic success.
Do you have a favorite book that has helped to develop your career mindset and/or leadership style?
My favorite book is “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni. It has helped me develop situational awareness and emotional intelligence that has impacted the way I manage individuals and lead my organization.
Tell us about one of your favorite Quarantine pastimes or new hobbies. 
Since COVID I have so missed my favorite past time, which is attending James Madison University football games. As a former player, I loved the comradery and passion of the events. So instead, I have taken to cooking. It gives me a creative outlet and a task that has a definitive result. But I can’t wait for the return of football!

Wendy Drummond
Chief Strategy Officer
Defense Technology Integration (DTI)
What services does your organization offer?
DTI is an information technology, defense, national security and intelligence professional services company. With deep technical and executive leadership experience from senior ranks of Government IT, National Security, Intelligence, Defense and Civilian Agencies delivering secure complex services and solutions. With over 20+ years of comprehensive Department of Defense (DoD) experience in support of the warfighter, defense planners, and senior policymakers, I strive to build synergistic relationships, maintain professional excellence, integrity and a willingness to go the extra mile.
What motivated you to join techfrederick’s Task Force?
It’s important to remember to give back to your community; the hand that gives is the hand that receives. As a young person, it was through the acts of others’ time and talent that I was able to see the world in a more unrestricted way. This Task Force provides me with an opportunity to address a gap in our community by exposing our underrepresented youth to Information Technology (IT) as a career option.
Name a person in history who has inspired you and why?
Kamala Harris, John Lewis, Cicely Tyson, Loretta Aiken, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, Venus and Serena Williams, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Misty Copeland, Claudette Colvin, Sarah Rector, Mary Eliza, Maya Angelou, Mayor Bowser, Alice Dunnigan, Joyce Meyer, Shirley Chisholm………. Some of these names are recognizable, others not, others are no longer with us. They all experienced life challenges, yet did not allow those challenges to prevent them from excelling in their craft. I stand on their shoulders.
Do you have a favorite book that has helped to develop your career mindset and/or leadership style?
“The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership”. This book helped me to see that true leadership stems from relationships and genuinely caring and sacrificing for the needs of others.
Also, in Michelle Obama’s interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2018 to discuss the former first lady’s memoir, Becoming, she stated to a room of young women that she is always evolving, “there is never a point where you arrive at a thing. And if you do, that’s kind of sad”. That book spoke to my soul and somehow gave me permission to evolve in my womanhood.
Tell us about one of your favorite Quarantine pastimes or new hobbies. 
Staying physically and mentally healthy has always been a priority of mine. I’ve added in biking and circuit training to my regime as well since COVID. I also go on long walks to clear my mind, connect with nature and converse with God.

 


Stay tuned throughout the month of February as we highlight each talented local tech leader serving our techfrederick Task Force!