The Virginia Department of Veterans Services profiled CTI President, Heather Lacroix in the VDVS eNewsletter Summer 2020 edition. View the full newsletter here.
Virginia Veteran Profile
Please give an overview of your military service.
I was commissioned in 1999 from the United States Military Academy into the Military Intelligence Corps. I served at Fort Bragg, NC in the 18th AVN BDE, 1-159th AVN BN, 319th MI BN HQ, and then in B/319th MI BN.
What was or were your most rewarding assignment or assignments while serving?
I was serving as the acting Company Commander while 75% of my company was on an OCONUS training exercise. 9/11 occurred shortly after the training exercise started. I remember being called to the SCIF’s guard shack with my 1SG just in time to watch the second plane hit the towers on the streaming news channel. The complexities of leadership and accomplishing the mission with a reduced footprint, honestly, seemed very daunting. We were responsible for providing strategic level imagery and signals intelligence analysis and the requests came immediately. The majority of our 25% footprint were not just new to the unit, they were new to the Army. Our small leadership team came together quickly and developed a support plan that not only met the increased mission needs, but brought to the forefront the strengths of every single soldier we had available. It was such a privilege to be a part of such an amazing group of soldiers. Every single person was contributing in an optimal way. We were there for each other. Not a single task was out of question for any person – if a broom needed to be pushed it was pushed by anyone, regardless of rank to ensure that the mission support was not disrupted. I think that the empathy and compassion we showed one another provided some of the greatest life lessons for me. We didn’t even need to ask; everyone came together, not just at work – but extended into our families, ensuring that we were all ok, work and at home. The most rewarding part about my time in service is and always will be the soldiers and their families with whom I had the privilege of serving.
What are you doing now?
I am currently the President of Chenega Technical Innovations, LLC (CTI). CTI provides services and support to Federal, State and Local Government. Leading this company allows me to continue to serve my nation and have the privilege of leading others who feel as strongly as I do about helping our government customers succeed!
What advice would you give to a transitioning service member?
I meet veterans all the time who have struggled to find a work home that aligns to what they value; they often talk about how much they miss the comradery they felt while serving or a desire for flexibility, but they couldn’t pass up the money or the potential for career success. My advice is to be picky, don’t settle, and remember – you can change your mind! Decide what values you want to live your life by and choose a profession and a company that enables you to live aligned to what you value.
About Virginia Department of Veterans Services
The Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is organized into seven service delivery sections: benefits; veteran and family support; veterans education; transition and employment; care centers; veterans cemeteries; and the Virginia War Memorial. The Board of Veterans Services, the Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Services Organizations, and the Veterans Services Foundation work closely with DVS to support the effective delivery of services to Virginia’s veterans and their families. Learn more at https://www.dvs.virginia.gov/.