TJ is a cofounder of Red Gate and has been a crucial part of the company since 2006. A military veteran and corporate executive, TJ has over 20 years of experience in organizational and business transformations, as well as the development of technical capabilities and business practices to support critical organizational programs.
Prior to joining Red Gate, TJ served as a program integrator at In-Q-Tel, where he evaluated and integrated new start-up technology firms on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
Additionally, TJ served as a combat engineer officer at the United States Army Engineer Corps and holds a bachelor's degree in economics with a major in mathematics and a minor in computer science from the United States Military Academy.
”It is truly an honor to serve as the CEO of Red Gate. As a founder of this organization, I have witnessed firsthand the development of this very special company. I have been part of the maturity into a company dedicated to the delivery of excellence in every market we touch. I am committed to continuing the tradition of continual improvement as well as the focus on culture and teamwork. Red Gate is truly a reflection of all those who have and still work here today. I am excited for the opportunity to lead this company into the next phase of our growth and value the trust put in me to do so."
Red Gaters joining our team possess one of the traits we look for as we recruit for new talent – the desire to perfecting their capabilities and skills every day. Ongoing learning plays a critical role in personal and professional development – particularly with remote working and the desire for personal fulfillment. We must engage in continuous personal learning to be adaptable and flexible to stay competitive and relevant.
In fact, executive coach Monique Valcour highlights why being a good leader requires a continuous personal development journey in a recent Harvard Business Review article. She also brings up the need to encourage proactivity, develop learning agility, and facilitate learning to encourage proactive problem-solving in a team.
Aligned to our corporate values, self-growth is key to living a fulfilling life and having a successful career. We develop and grow thanks to our ability to learn. Continuous learning is essential to continue strengthening our corporate culture to improve performance and innovation and accomplish employee satisfaction and retention.
The capability of lifelong learning recognizes that humans have an innate drive to explore, learn and grow. It encourages us to improve our quality of life and sense of self-worth by paying attention to the ideas and goals that inspire us.
One of the Financial Times’ latest polls among chief learning officers (CLOs) stated that 82 percent of respondents considered leadership the top learning priority identified for executive education, followed by change management at 57 percent. Other priorities included digital transformation, strategy, and innovation brought up by more than two-fifths of respondents.
How Red Gate Supports Employee Self-Growth
Udemy is an online resource Red Gate offers for free to all our employees immediately upon joining the team. It has a wealth of information to further boost their career from a strategic management and technical perspective, including courses about software development, program management, among many others. Our leadership team carefully selected the most applicable topics aligned to the nature of Red Gate’s business.
One of our team members recently used Udemy to build from scratch a data-driven business tool to generate a recruiting dashboard that will help further enhance the company’s recruiting efforts, analyze its progress, and consequently enable improved performance decision-making tools for the leadership team.
Vistage Executive Training
The leadership team also participates in the company’s self-growth efforts. Every month, they attend remote meetings with Vistage, a senior executive peer mentoring membership group, learn about the latest leadership and management industry trends, and find creative ways to solve business challenges. Red Gate’s CEO has applied some of the concepts he has learned during Vistage conversations, including how personnel decisions are made, strengthening our business strategy, integrating quality management, and boosting our company’s differentiators.
Most recently, Red Gate president T.J. Iak was recognized with Vistage’s Impact Award for being a member who asks deep questions and provides the most valuable feedback.
Quarterly Business Development Virtual Training
Employees have access to learning the latest insights and trends on doing business with the U.S. federal government. With primer sessions and tips shared by chief growth officer Rob Cordray, Red Gaters have access to learning how to participate in the company’s business development efforts.
Professional Development Tuition Assistance
Red Gate offers undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate tuition assistance to full-time employees looking to learn new skills or perfect their current skills. This program is done in partnership with accredited universities, such as George Mason University. Courses that are part of the program are relevant to employees’ positions at Red Gate.
Also, Red Gaters benefit from industry-recognized certification reimbursement benefits providing them with additional resources not available at the company. These qualified certifications allow Red Gaters to enhance their professional skills or get the training required for a specific position.
Tips When Looking to Join Red Gate
As candidates are looking to join our team, Red Gate president T.J. Iak shares, “Staying current in the trends and advances of your profession and making a list of goals of what you would like to learn or be able to do next is greatly beneficial as you aim to perfect or learn new skills.”
Thanks to the fast pace of today’s knowledge economy, organizations are seeing lifelong learning as a core component in employee development. At Red Gate, we are committed to encouraging and supporting our team in maximizing their management and technical skills and boost their performance which in turn become vital elements that greatly complement the ongoing growth and success of our organization.
As our business continues to grow, our team is also expanding its roster of veterans, civilians, and friends and family of our veteran community. A common factor among our existing employees – and a trait we are always looking for among candidates interested in joining our team - is their character of service to community and country with a lasting, positive impact on society at large.
Whether inspired to continue their passion for service to others after leaving the uniform or their desire to make a lasting, positive impact on their communities, churches, and causes they are passionate about, we encourage our team to participate in community service activities as part of their ongoing journey of personal and professional growth.
Bringing DOD, Civilian Agencies Closer
With more than 27 years of paramedic experience, one of our Red Gaters is a dedicated volunteer serving as an intermittent government employee when the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) is activated during natural disasters, public health crises, or man-made incidents.
Following last year’s Category 4 Hurricane Laura, our team member was deployed to Louisiana to support a civilian mass unit installed next to a local hospital. Joined by trauma doctors and nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, EMTs, paramedics, and ancillary services (administrative, logistics, communications), they were able to support the restoration of local medical infrastructure and save the lives of many local citizens.
The work at Red Gate and the knowledge of how the DOD operates played a critical part in setting up a framework for success when DOD and civilian agencies needed to join efforts during NDMS deployments. “I can make a seamless transition and help them navigate through any potential challenges much easier and quicker,” our team member shared. “It became a way to utilize my unique skillsets for the better of the country and make a measurable impact in other people’s lives.”
Repurposing Military Skills for Helping Those in Need
A former member of the U.S. Army Reserve, another Red Gater often serves as a volunteer at Team Rubicon, a national disaster relief non-profit comprised of veterans, first responders, and civilians. Serving as incident commander leading a team of 25 volunteers, they sheltered at a local high school in Dover, Delaware provided by local authorities in response to Hurricane Isaias. For the following seven days, they helped cut and move fallen trees resulting from the strong wind gusts and picked up limbs brought down by a tornado.
“We can repurpose the skills we learned from when we served in uniform and help those in need. In many ways, when we are out on an operation following a disaster, it is the closest I can get to the feeling of unity and family since 9/12/2001.”
The team’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed by the local news. Check out how their story was featured in the Delaware State News and the Dover Post.
Red Gate’s president T.J. Iak shared, “These are just two examples on how our team members who serve as volunteers set a great example for the company. It is inspiring to see that the leadership and dedication our team puts into supporting our government customers is also replicated in their dedication to continue serving the people when they are in need of help. We are very proud of all our Red Gate volunteers across the company.”
Doing Business With Purpose
True to its military roots, Red Gate also supports several non-profit organizations and community causes – through volunteer time or donations – since its founding.
Every year, the company supports transitioning fellow veterans into civilian life, fundraising for the fight against cancer, a foundation in memoriam of a 9/11 firefighter cancer victim, a local police association, among others.
The company is also committed to supporting local businesses through its various employee-oriented initiatives and activities, particularly as they endure hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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