Faces of Technology: Aerospace Leader Represents Future of Defense Training
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“Use the system to beat the system” is an introspective mantra coined by Amy Gowder to succeed in the field of aerospace and defense.
“To me, it means there is room to innovate in any environment,” said the vice president and general manager of training and logistics solutions for Lockheed Martin. “Sometimes you just have to look at problems through a different lens; that has always served me well in finding solutions.”
Amy discovered her proclivity for problem-solving while pursuing a college degree in biomedical engineering; however, it was more likely the childhood dream of becoming an astronaut that drove her career decisions later in life.
“Lockheed Martin products, the impact they have on the world and the hard problems they solve every day were my inspiration to become a part of the aerospace and defense business,” Amy said.
For decades, Lockheed Martin has been a global leader in the aerospace industry with a focus on technological advancements in homeland security. Its presence in Central Florida has provided jobs for more than 8,000 employees, contributing to the 800,000 jobs in aerospace and defense across the state. In 2018 alone, with the number of launches doubled on an invigorated Space Coast, Lockheed Martin added more than 300 jobs to the region.
Because technology for training and logistics changes more rapidly than in many other areas of the business, each day offers a unique set of challenges for Amy’s team. They are currently employing state-of-the-art gaming technology to create virtual reality training and maintenance devices for all branches of the military. From tactical work like establishing tech solutions to the unpredictable nature of talent development, Amy finds success through a consistent focus on people.
However, she recognizes that building the right team requires access to a diverse talent pool – an asset Lockheed Martin has helped to nurture in Central Florida. Among other contributions, the defense industry titan recently announced a $1.5 million grant to establish a cyber innovation and training center at the University of Central Florida and a $300,000 grant to improve Valencia College’s manufacturing training programs.
Amy believes The Corridor is an ideal hub for this type of collaborative ecosystem.
“When I moved here two years ago, I was surprised to find so much high tech innovation. There is also a real sense of community. Florida has the prime location filled with a skilled, diverse and competitive workforce from top-notch research institutions.”
A strong leader with an entrepreneurial mindset, it makes perfect sense that Amy should live and work in a region that thrives on innovation and problem-solving.