Enlightened Takes Flight Into the Transportation Sector
ENLIGHTENED, INC. ATTENDS THE 44TH ANNUAL COMTO NATIONAL CONFERENCE IN BOSTON, MA.
WASHINGTON (July 20): Over 900 transportation CEOs, professionals and other industry leaders gathered in Boston last week at the 44th Annual Conference Of Minority Transportation Officials’ (COMTO) National Meeting and Training Conference. Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh served as honorary conference chairs as transportation professionals from across the country. The Honorable Anthony Foxx, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, delivered a stirring keynote speech at the conference’s opening plenary session. Introduced by former U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, Secretary Foxx used his own life story as proof that public transit can transform lives.
CEO and Co-Founder, Antwanye Ford, of Enlightened, Inc., a leading IT Consulting firm, began expansion into the Transportation industry by supporting COMTO at this year’s conference held at Harvard University Law School and the Boston Park Plaza. Ford’s interest in Transportation stems from his mentor who is Senior Advisor to COMTO, Colonel Jim Paige (RET) and mentee Howard R. Jean who is a part of COMTO’s National Staff. After one passionate conversation with the two, hearing of the footprint COMTO is making, not only in the industry but in the lives of millennials as future transportation leaders, Ford chose to attend and sponsor the COMTO National Conference.
Moments after landing in Boston on Friday, July 10th, Ford led a two hour impromptu mentoring session, with the COMTO CITY Interns, who are benefactors of his sponsorship. Ford and Jean shared touching stories of their successes, failures and lessons learned over the years to a room full of college students aspiring to become transportation professionals. Ford’s focus on “The choices that you make now determine your tomorrow and your tomorrow”, was the basis of his conversation with the captivated audience. Jean also shared remarks on the value of “work ethic in a hyper-techno society where people confuse resourcefulness with work ethic”. Jean shared that a key differentiator to success in the workplace will not be where you received your degree but in becoming a critical thinker and a servant leader with tireless work ethic.
On Saturday, July 11th, Ford participated in one of COMTO’s most historic events to date “A Day at Harvard”. The historic daylong event, provided by the COMTO Leadership Institute (CLI) and hosted by Harvard Law School’s Dr. Charles Ogletree, the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, kicked off COMTO’s national conference. COMTO interns received sage advice from Ford and other panel members participated in the “CLI Ladders of Opportunity: Connecting Transportation with Education Panel Discussion at Harvard”. Other members included James Cole, General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Education; Barbara Gannon of GannonConsult; Terry Ruhl, President, Transportation Division, CH2M; and Bev Scott, former MBTA General Manager.
While at the conference, at the annual Scholarship Luncheon, held on the Sunday, July 12th, Ford heard of the gap of funding for the scholarship fund in a room of full of hundreds and did not hesitate in pledging $15,000.00 to close the gap. Ford says, “Supporting COMTO’s initiative to provide scholarships to the next generation of transportation leaders is consistent with Enlightened’s corporate philanthropic philosophy of ‘to whom much is given, much is required'”.
The company took the non-traditional and unconventional route of breaking ground into a new industry. Ford’s approach, although atypical, is in concert with his company’s values of addressing issues with unique & creative strategies. Ford says, “It is one thing to want to profit from an industry, making a thumbprint by successfully accomplishing goals of the client but it is another thing to want to make a long term footprint in the lives of millennials who will become change agents and also successfully meeting the needs of our clients. Enlightened not only cares about the business of doing good business but also about the business of building future leaders. We are honored to support COMTO as they enhance the quality of the transportation industry and look forward to doing more.”
Enlightened is an award winning company that provides Cyber Security, IT and management solutions to resolve complex business problems for federal, state, and local government agencies. Enlightened holds GSA IT-70 and MOBIS schedule contracts, HUBZone and Small Business certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and rated CMMI-DEV Level 3 and CMMI-SVC Level 2 by the CMMI Institute. For more information please visit www.enlightened.com.