Power Moves: Opportunity@Work has an official CTO, who will use tech to help job seekers without a degree - Technical.ly DC

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Power Moves: Opportunity@Work has an official CTO, who will use tech to help job seekers without a degree

Plus, Taylor Poindexter will be taking on a role at Spotify in October, Gannett created a chief data officer role, women are heading up the North American labor movement and a whole bunch of other leadership changes in #dctech.

Opportunity@Work's new CTO, Kelcey Reed.

(Courtesy photo)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, new gig or promotion? Email us at dc@technical.ly.


For the month of August, we’ve been taking a look at what’s what in the work environment world for our How We Work Now theme. And while we’ve found pockets of IRL work trends in coworking space revamps, with take-backs on return-to-office mandates and Delta strain concerns, many are still hanging out in pajamas from the waist-down at their home desks.

But that doesn’t mean they’re staying put. Here’s who’s making moves and taking on new roles in DC.

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Opportunity@Work, a downtown DC nonprofit focused on creating job opportunities for employees without college degrees, named Kelcey Reed as its new CTO. Reed will be replacing interim CTO Julie Elberfeld, a former Capital One executive.

Reed told Technical.ly he was excited to take on the role of CTO because its mission to rewire the labor market to include STARs — short for Skilled Through Alternative Routes — resonated with him.

“I have seen throughout my career how so many individuals are blocked from opportunity due to what others think they lack, and I wanted to be a part of affecting positive change for them,” Reed said. “I want to help level the playing field for STARs and give them the opportunity to succeed based on who they are, what they’ve done, and what they’re capable of doing — and I can do that here.”

Reed added that over the past year, Opportunity@Work has seen the growth of its job marketplace StellarWorx into the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas. But going forward, he’d like to see an API-centric system to help users better understand the workforce, job market and skills employers are seeking today. Once the system is created, he said, the organization can scale it and expand into new markets faster.

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“Opportunity@Work has been doing a tremendous job awakening the labor market to the presence and value of STARs,” Reed said. “The next step — and where I come in — is ensuring those STARs can connect with the employers looking to source talent and the employers training that talent.”

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Starting this October, Black Code Collective cofounder Taylor Poindexter will be taking on a new role as engineering manager at music streaming service Spotify.

Poindexter, a 2020 RealLIST Connector and 2019 RealLIST Engineer, began her career in IT consulting before moving into various technologist roles in the district. She announced the news of the Spotify role in a tweet earlier this month.

“I’m happy to announce that Spotify has officially taken me off the job hunt market,” Poindexter wrote. “I will join the company in mid-October as an Engineering manager & I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Continuing on in the thread, for this particular role she credited the social media platform with her ability to network, which eventually landed her the gig.

“My job hunt was made infinitely better by the amazing people on Twitter,” she said. “Complete strangers jumped to assist me in any way they could & it paid off ten fold. I will forever be grateful for this amazing community & I look forward to continuing to grow with you all.”

P.S. Noms for the 2021 RealLIST Engineers are open now through Sept. 15.

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Media conglomerate Gannett, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, appointed Nate Rackiewicz as its chief data officer this week, a new role centered on the company’s data strategies.

In the new role, he’ll be leading the global team in implementing customer identity, data and growth analytics, plus data science and modeling. Rackiewicz previously held roles as head of analytics for Take-Two Interactive as well as consumer data and analytics at A+E Networks and HBO.

“I am thrilled to be joining Gannett and spearheading data operations during such a pivotal time for the business,” Rackiewicz said in a statement. “Gannett is transforming from a legacy publishing company to a customer-obsessed, subscription-led content platform and I am looking forward to leveraging data and analytics to inform our success and growth.”

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Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) announced the nominees for its 25th annual Greater Washington Technology CFO awards. Winners will be announced during a virtual ceremony Sept. 22. Here’s who made the cut:

CFO Success Stories Honorees:

  • John Ferrari, QOMPLX
  • John Hall, Notal Vision
  • Doug Horne, Gannett
  • Phillip Jung, Mindoula Health
  • Chris Knibb, SOC Telemed
  • John Rickman, ReAlta Life Sciences

Class of 2021 NVTC Rising Stars:

  • Jessica Batt, Maximus
  • Joe Harar, EdgeConneX
  • Kathleen Henry, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • John Ross, Microsoft
  • Shannan Winkler, IntelliDyne

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Following the death of Richard Trumka earlier this month, Liz Schuler has been named acting president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). She was previously the secretary-treasurer of the organization, which counts 11 million members.

Her appointment also coincides with Bea Bruska’s election to president of the Canadian Labor Federation in June. According to AFL-CIO, this is the first time that the top leaders of the North American labor movement are both women (and in case you were wondering, yes, tech unions are a thing).

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And — phew — check out these other moves from around the DMV:

  • Beginning Oct. 4, Peggy Clark will take on the role of CEO at the International Center for Research on Women. The organization works to promote gender equity across the globe.
  • Webby award-winning VOICE Talks, a web show on voice and AI tech from Modev CEO Pete Erickson, announced Megan Grace as its new host. Grace will begin the role in an episode premiering Aug. 26.
  • Neil Jacobs, former acting U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, joined data analytics company Spire Global as a scientific advisor.
  • Damon Griggs, CEO of Rockville software company Dovel Technologies, was named an Entrepreneur of the Year in Ernst & Young’s Mid-Atlantic award. Check out the full list of awardees.
  • Investment firm the Acacia Group appointed Amanda Brownfield, formerly of SAIC, as the new CEO of its subsidiary Applied Insight. Meanwhile, Dede Dascalu, previous CEO of Applied, is moving to the position of lead technology partner at Acacia.
  • Smart home technology provider Frontpoint Security Solutions, based in Sterling, Virginia, named Michael Lacorazza as its new CEO and board member.
  • Pangiam, a provider of travel technology based in Tysons Corner, announced that Iyad Hindiyeh would lead as CEO of its new division focusing on tech for all aspects of traveler journeys.
  • Falls Church aerospace company Electra.aero, appointed former Lockheed Martin executive Robie Samanta as COO.
  • Joerg Ruetschi, a former Goldman Sachs and Strategy& executive, is the new COO of Charlottesville workflow software company Cosaic. The company said Ruestschi was hired to take Cosaic into its next growth stage.
  • Arlington stock media company StoryBlocks added three new members to its team. Kristen Sanger is the company’s new VP of content, Lucy Huang is the VP of product and James Peel is the latest SVP of engineering.
  • Former chief product officer and cofounder Richard Queen has been promoted to CEO of DignifiHealth. James Hale also joined the company as COO and Ali Price was added to the team as VP of marketing and communications.
  • Tysons IT service company DXC Technology appointed Chris Drumgoole as its new EVP and COO. Earlier this year, Drungoole joined DXC as CIO.
  • Two Six Technologies, a national security technology firm based in Arlington, announced Daniel Ragsdale as its new VP of architecture. In his last role, Ragsdale was the acting director of defense research and engineering for modernization for the Department of Defense.
  • As part of its plans to go public in a merger with Osprey Technology Acquisition, Herndon’s BlackSky added three new executives to help with the transition. Johan Broekhuysen will serve as senior advisor, and CFO once the merger is completed, Henry Dubois is its new chief development officer and Chris Lin was added as general counsel.
  • Hydrosat, a DC infrared satellite developer, appointed Joshua Fisher as its science lead following an announcement of $5 million in seed funding.
  • Tysons consulting firm MorganFranklin named former KPMG partner Perry Menezes as its managing director of cybersecurity practice.
  • Deloitte added senior military commander Chris Weggeman to its government and public services practice to oversee operations in cyber and strategic risk.
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