BEYA 2019 honoree spotlight: Tedena Wheeler
The 2019 Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) STEM Conference will be held in Washington, D.C. from Feb. 7-9. The conference is an annual opportunity for professional training and networking with some of the top engineering employers, as well as a career fair for students seeking professions in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). At this year's conference, 10 distinguished Leidos employees will be recognized for their career achievements. Each week leading up to BEYA, we'll profile two of our honorees here on Insights.
Tedena Wheeler is a performance-driven leader with expertise in large-scale business management and project leadership. As a Business Manager in the Office of Technology, she is motivated by opportunities to succeed.
“Having worked for STEM companies for the majority of my career, I have had the chance to witness cutting edge scientific research and development,” Tedena reflects. “Working alongside scientists, engineers, and mathematicians served as an impetus to seek challenges to learn and grow.”
Tedena is a natural at developing relationships with people — she understands stakeholders, their needs, and the constraints of the organization. She has a reputation for being able to leverage that knowledge to help people solve their information technology (IT) challenges quickly. Tedena takes the time to help navigate anything from obtaining proper IT equipment and setting up appropriate cybersecurity controls, to expediting processes. All of these have an impact not only to the individuals involved, but also to the overall efficiency and security of our business.
The true impact of a leader isn’t based solely on their professional accomplishments, but also on their commitment to making a difference for people within the company. Tedena has a track record of leadership in several Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), including chair of the African American Leidos Network (AALN), former secretary of the corporate Women's Network, and president of the San Diego chapter of the Women's Network.
This recognition is reflective of my career working in the STEM industry for over 30 years. It is an acknowledgement and tribute to my family, colleagues, managers and executives that have supported, motivated and encouraged me.
Tedena was part of the planning that led to two "Into the Boardroom" events organized by the Women's Network, allowing employees to interact with members of the Leidos Board of Directors. As AALN chair, Tedena leads the organization, which has expanded to six chapters across the company with more than 400 members. She has coordinated ERGs to deliver community impact as well. For example, she led an effort that delivered Thanksgiving food boxes to 30 military families at Camp Pendleton in 2017. She also led an activity to provide holiday toys to foster children at the Polinski Children's Center.
In recognition of her exceptional professional and leadership accomplishments, Tedena will be honored with a Modern-Day Technology Leaders award at the 33rd annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) STEM Conference.