Happy Black History Month! We wanted to celebrate by highlighting a black leader who is part of the future of STEM and a changemaker in his community. Joseph (Joe) Parker is the CEO of iN2STEM Solutions, Inc., a minority business enterprise (MBE) and Service-Disabled Veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) in Reston, Virginia. Joe’s vibrant personality, leadership skills, and industry expertise leave a lasting mark on all who have the pleasure of meeting him.
Joe has been married for 48 years to his wife and they have one son. He is a Deacon at his church where he teaches Sunday School for the High School, manages the Hospitality Ministry, teaches Bible studies, and works with young adults. As an ex-US Army officer in Intelligence and Communications, he holds a BSEE and an ME in Systems and Information Engineering, giving him the opportunity to manage and grow large and small businesses over his career. He sits on the Board of a few nonprofits that focus on helping young people find their passions. He is a lifetime learner who continues to study courses in the Bible, Leadership, and STEM.
Joe founded iN2STEM so young people and veterans could find their passions in STEM and R&D while solving problems for clients. He researched an advanced method called Model-Driven Architecture (MDA) for developing software and wanted to use it to revolutionize systems development. iN2STEM reduces program risk and uncertainty while optimizing performance and results. The Veteran-owned company works with businesses from many industries, preparing them to solve problems using their quantitative methodology to deliver effective project management, high-quality solutions, software, and systems for lower life cycle costs than leading competitors.
iN2STEM uses Innoslate for a variety of applications such as their life cycle management, business re-engineering, and even evaluating the viability of social programs. They use it to craft solutions for proposals and for their customers’ problems. It is their go-to tool for analyzing problems from a systems point of view; doing quantitative analysis; and planning large projects. Joe explains that Innoslate is the only SE tool he can use to collaborate and facilitate understanding with many different roles and teams such as PMs, Finance, Operations/Missions, Engineers, Scientists, and Programmers. Innoslate serves as iN2STEM’s Project/Program/Portfolio Knowledgebase, providing a single authoritative source of truth for stakeholders.
iN2STEM will be using Innoslate in the future to help Norfolk State University, a Historically Black University, improve its services to its students, faculty, and staff, as well as local communities, schools, and churches. iN2STEM will instruct them on how to use Innoslate, and preface the training by reading Real MBSE by SPEC Innovations President, Dr. Steven Dam.
When asked about other black leaders Joe looks up to the most, he prioritized community changemakers over those in history books: teachers, family members, community leaders, military people, and other small business owners have all played an important role in his life. The leaders he looked up to the most, however, were his mother and father. Although they were not wealthy, they invested every extra minute and dollar into improving the lives of their children and loved ones. His father, a high school dropout that completed high school when Joe was in middle school, developed plans for a new community and helped the city to get a national model city award during a period when the city was entertaining plans to destroy the community. Everyone can make a difference and leave an impact on someone else.
Joe’s advice to young minds in the industry is always to continue to hone your craft and become as knowledgeable as possible, invest in your future rather than today, and find your passion in your career. Find a mentor you respect and who will love you enough to tell you when you’re wrong. On a more personal level, be willing to have a conversation with everyone, especially when you disagree. Diversity of thought is always a winner. You will not understand your adversary if you are not willing to talk to and learn more about them. Don’t be angry with those who will not receive you; become so valuable they have to talk to you. Lastly, always be willing to help others.