The People of SkyePoint

Meet Our People

Al Kelly

IT Service Manager

Daphne Gray

Operations Support Analyst

Al Kelly
IT Service Manager

Al Kelly is part of the Service Strategy Operations (SSO) team delivering information technology (IT) infrastructure consulting. He is a Service Manager supporting the GuideHouse team on a contract that provides IT support to the Department of State’s Enterprise Network Management Office. We asked Al to tell us more about his work at SkyePoint and what he likes to do outside of work. Here is what he told us:

How and when did you join SkyePoint?
I’ve been with SkyePoint since April of 2018, although there is a gap of about a year within my career with the team. I had the opportunity to try something that I wanted to experience, and afterward, I was fortunate to come back. The SkyePoint team welcomed me back with open arms and I couldn’t be more grateful.

What parts of SkyePoint’s mission do you most connect with?
SkyePoint values being innovative and being able to constantly learn. This allows me to utilize my experience to provide innovative solutions in resource-constrained environments. This is the challenging situation  where I thrive.

Who are some of your biggest inspirations within the Company?
It’s impossible to pick just one. I love the SkyePoint leadership team because no one says, “That’s not my job.” When a team like the SkyePoint leadership team believes in the Company, the mission it supports, and the values it holds as much as they do, there is little that they cannot accomplish. With such a close-knit team, everyone lends a hand to achieve goals.

What kinds of resources have you taken advantage of while at the Company?
You are not going to find a greater proponent for continued education. SkyePoint embraces continued learning (almost) as much as I do. I love the team’s willingness to support its employees with opportunities for continued technical education, training, and certifications.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
I love seeing the processes that I have developed and implemented being used by my customers and seeing the benefits that my customers can realize through their use.

What is the best part of SkyePoint’s corporate culture?
I appreciate the Company’s continuous desire to “live in gratitude.” While there is a lot of focus given to the large corporate events that we support, such as the AARP Meal Packing Challenge, Toys for Tots, or Wreaths Across America, there are so many other smaller efforts that the Company does to embrace the desire “to live in gratitude.” The efforts that the Company continually pursues to improve the lives of its employees are amazing.

What has been the most challenging project or aspect of your job, and how have you been able to overcome it?
We are all asked to do more with less. That is by far the most challenging part of my job, but also one of the most rewarding. Designing and developing new processes that take those constraints into consideration allows me to be creative and innovative in my designs. Each customer is unique in that they may have different missions, services, team sizes, and user demands. Taking all of these challenges into consideration really does give me the opportunity to build new relationships and approach new challenges from different directions while utilizing different tools and techniques to meet their needs. It’s a great challenge, and it’s a challenge that keeps my job interesting and fun.

Have you implemented any innovative tools or techniques that help with your job?
Quite a while ago, I developed a suite of processes with the intent that I could come into any organization and this playbook and suite of templated processes to quickly become ISO 20000 certified. I soon learned that this approach wouldn’t work. Learning this allowed me to take my suite of processes and trim it back to a template that allows an organization to tailor it to their specific wants and needs but still meet the demands of the certification. More importantly, it gave me an appreciation of the vast uniqueness of each organization I work with.

What is your proudest professional achievement?
I was a Program Manager in a former life. I had a colleague that was looking to advance in her career and came to me for advice. I offered to help her as much as possible by working with her and our corporate team to get her the assistance needed to pursue a degree program. Following her graduation, she gave me a handwritten card thanking me for all the support and assistance I offered to help her get to where she was now. I still have that card and look back on it from time to time. It’s funny that I consider one of my biggest professional achievements is seeing a colleague succeed.

How do you define success?
Being able to deliver what my customer needs, when they need it, for those that they wanted, and leaving work for the day believing that I did what I needed to do.

If you could switch your job with anyone else within SkyePoint, whose job would you want? (or whose job would you want to try for a day)
Melanie Fetters. Melanie is part of the critical corporate front office team and works as a Program Analyst. If there was ever one group of people within an organization that a) know a lot about a lot, b) are the most modest about the work that they do, and c) are integrated into nearly everything that is going on, it’s the Program Analysts.

What does true leadership mean to you?
Too many people mistake the role of “Leader” and the role of ” “Manager.” I personally strive to always be first a good leader. To me, a “Leader” is someone that makes every effort to set an example for others to follow. A leader knows his/her team and how they can best be used to support a common goal while at the same time knowing how to best support their individual needs.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I would love to fly. Gas is so expensive right now. 😉

Favorite candy?
Toffifee – I’m a sucker for chocolate and hazelnut. That, or Terry’s chocolate orange. I love chocolate and orange. Forget it—anything chocolate.

Daphne

Daphne Gray
Operations Process Analyst

Daphne joined SkyePoint more than 12 years ago and is an Operations Process Analyst on our Department of State Vanguard 2.2.1 contract and she is one of our Department of State Site Leads. She connects most with SkyePoint’s mission; “Enabling our clients to most efficiently and effectively deliver their mission – anytime, anywhere, securely”. We asked Daphne to tell us a bit more about herself both inside and outside of work, and here is what she shared:

Who are some of your biggest inspirations within the Company?
Bo Kimbrough, the founder/CEO inspires me because he is people oriented; he cares about people. He is very direct; you don’t have to guess about who he is or what he is thinking. He is goal oriented and determined and that is impressive.

Heather Conigliaro, the Chief Operations Officer inspires me as a female who came to SkyePoint not knowing anyone but utilized her skills to accomplish not only her goals but the goals of the company. She also cares about people and will do her best to help others. She listens and is always seeking ways to improve. She is a caring and honest person. I always remember when Heather initially came to SkyePoint and I had a concern but didn’t say anything. She sensed that something was wrong and asked me about it. After I told her about the problem, she immediately corrected it and she said to always let her know if something is wrong. We have an open line of communication which I appreciate and value.
Melanie Fetters, our Project Manager is always there to help!! I appreciate her help with different activities. She is just always there and easy to talk to about different things. She is always responsive when I need her.

I think one thing that all these individuals have in common to me is the kindness, caring, loyal and determination for the employees and the company.

What kinds of resources have you taken advantage of while at the Company?
I have enjoyed taking advantage of our brown bag sessions, ITIL training and site lead. One brown bag session I attended that made an impression on me was in July 2021 on the topic of IT Service Management presented by Al Kelly. It was very detailed, informative, and well presented. These types of activities give us an opportunity for continued growth, which I value. The ITIL training was helpful to learn as much as possible.

I’ve enjoyed our holiday events. They are always creative and well organized. Although we were not able to come together in 2020 due to the pandemic, SkyePoint still put together something virtually.

I’ve enjoyed the luncheons we used to have with Bo as well as the happy hours. These types of events bring the company together as well as our families. It is meaningful to us to include our families in our company activities.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? 
Interacting with the staff of other employees.

What is the best part of SkyePoint’s corporate culture? 
The commitment and unity.

What has been the most challenging project or aspect of your job, and how have you been able to overcome it? 
To effectively perform my job, I have to obtain information from others, which can be challenging at times. To overcome this, I utilize all aspects of communication (i.e., text, email, phone messages, etc.). I listen to the employees and take notes of our conversations. I also try to identify with them personally because although we are hired to perform a job, we all have personal lives, and sometimes it helps to know that someone cares.

What is your proudest professional achievement? 
I was the EML (email) Operations Manager for eight years. It was a very challenging and demanding position, but I learned so much and believe I impacted the people within the State Department environment.

How do you define success? 
To me, success is my faith, peace of mind, family, and friends.

What does true leadership mean to you? 
Being able to encourage and motivate others and setting an example for others. People will see what you are doing, and if it is encouraging and motivating, they won’t have a problem following. What you do will trickle down to others to make a difference in your environment. It may not change the world, but it will make a difference where you are.

What is on your bucket list? 
Having my kitchen remodeled.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? 
I would protect children and the elderly from danger.

Favorite candy? 
It used to be almond joy, but as I’ve gotten older, I love a good piece of Ghiradelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Almond (Dark Chocolate).