Two employees at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division were among the 18 women honored by Inside Business Monday night at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. Mary Cullen and Brandi Smith received Women in Business Achievement Awards for their leadership skills and community engagement.
Cullen is the nuclear director, general manufacturing, within the nuclear propulsion division at Newport News. During her 29-year career, she has also worked in radiological control and nuclear production support and refueling. Outside the shipyard, she is the vice chair of the Trinity Lutheran School Board and a BayPort Federal Credit Union board member.
Smith is the acting construction engineering director for the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). During her 12 years with Newport News, she has held several different positions in the CVN 78 Class Carrier Program. She is also a founding member of Girls with Engineering Minds in Shipbuilding (GEMS), a shipyard organization that partners with local school systems to expose girls to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
“Mary and Brandi demonstrate our diverse legacy of service, leadership and dedication to the shipbuilding profession and, as such, deserve this special recognition,” said Bill Bell, Newport News’ vice president of human resources and administration. “They are leaders in their fields and in the community because of their expertise, commitment and strong work ethic. We celebrate and congratulate them on this achievement.”
Women in Business Achievement Award recipients are selected by a panel of judges that reviews nominations from the public. The award was established by Inside Business 12 years ago to celebrate women who “have made a significant impact on the community, within their industry and by helping lift up other women on the road to success.” The weekly business publication honored 18 community leaders who are highlighted in the publication’s Dec. 15 issue.