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What We Do

Empower AI uses innovative technologies and their specialized platform to support federal missions and empower agency personnel to solve unique government challenges​.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Robert Shook - Army Counterintelligence and Technical Security Specialist

From Army counterintelligence to technical security specialist, Robert Shook has made service his...

Katrina Whitenack - Army Combat Medic and Medical Reviewer

After 5 years in the Army, Katrina Whitenack turned her experience as a Combat Medic into a succe...

Judith Buford - Naval Reservist and Medical Reviewer

Judith Buford uses her experience in organization and time management from her time as a Naval Re...

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Robert Shook - Army Counterintelligence and Technical Security Specialist

What inspired you to join the military?

I was raised in a patriotic family by God-fearing parents who encouraged us to live a life of service. Our family was large, and my father, a career firefighter, brought in enough money for our daily needs but not enough to put us through college. I worked full-time while attending college, and after five years of schooling with credits for three academic years, some Vietnam vets at my summer job convinced me to consider the military. The recruiters discussed options based on my testing, and in July of 1979, I joined the Army, attended basic in SC, and then went to the Intelligence School at Ft Huachuca, AZ.


What was your role during your time of service?

I was an Army Counterintelligence Special Agent my whole career (25 years) with specialized training in security technologies. CI Agents were trained and appointed to conduct CI investigations and operations supporting the Army, the DoD, and, in my case, NATO and other allies. The authority and jurisdiction for Army CI Special Agents includes investigating national security crimes using special investigative procedures, conducting counterintelligence operations, conducting both surveillance and counter-surveillance activities, and supporting counter-terrorism operations as authorized by Executive Order 12333 and applicable regulations.


What are some key achievements from your time in the service?

I was selected for and attended Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) training before my third year in the Army was finished, which set the path of my career. In 1995, I was assigned to the Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) at Ft Belvoir. LIWA was a newly created unit with a mission to develop intelligence support to the emerging information warfare and cyber threats across the DoD; LIWA is now the 1st Information Operations Command (Land), with an ever-expanding cyber and information operations mission.


My next assignment sent me back to Belgium for my third tour supporting the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). In August 2001, I was deployed to Skopje, Macedonia, to conduct CI liaison with the Macedonian military and the UN mission in support of the reconstruction of Kosovo. While in Skopje, the 9/11 attacks occurred, and our liaison efforts produced valuable counter-terrorism support to the NATO forces and the US embassy. My final assignment was as the Army TSCM PM, providing oversight and managerial support to all Army TSCM assets worldwide.


Why is it important that we celebrate Veterans Day as a nation?

In the US, Veterans Day is a time to remember and honor the service and sacrifices veterans have made throughout history to protect the United States, particularly in times of war. To quote President Ronald Reagan (1983), “Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us.”


How do you recognize Veterans Day and Military Family Appreciation Month?

My wife, also a veteran, and I will often meet with friends from our many assignments to share time and comradery with them. This year, however, we are focused on my wife’s family, who have served in an active duty position or as a federal employee in the DoD.


What is your role at Empower AI?

Our team supports the US Capitol Police Special Security Bureau. Specifically, I am on the team providing technical security, technical countermeasures, and counterintelligence expertise to the mission of the USCP.


How do you use the skills you learned in the military today?

The foundation of all my security, technologies, and investigations expertise is based on my Army career.

Tia Brown - RN and Medical Reviewer

What inspired you to get involved in nursing?

I always knew that I wanted a career that would allow me to help people, so nursing was an obvious choice. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Austin Peay State University in May of 2003 and officially became a registered nurse (RN) in July of that same year.

In your role at Empower AI, how do you use the skills you learned as a nurse?

Throughout my almost twenty years as a nurse, I have worked in many different clinical specialties, including general Med-Surge, Neurology, Urology, Gynecology, Plastic Surgery, Orthopedics, and both inpatient and outpatient Pediatrics. I also have three years of education experience, both classroom and clinical realm, along with 8+ years of experience in Medicare and 4 years of experience in Medicaid, encompassing a transverse field spanning from patient appeals in the private insurance sector, to fraud, waste, and abuse investigations, and payment error rate measurement within the scope of government contracts. In my role at Empower AI, I use my broad-based experience from both clinical and instructional aspects of the health care field; complimented with experience in medical review, management, and process improvement to assist our team in continually ensuring the best product for our customer, CMS.


During your career, what are some specific challenges or obstacles you have faced along the way, and how did you overcome them?

I feel the biggest challenges or obstacles I have faced in my nursing career have been centered around nurse-to-patient ratios. Unfortunately, nurses can feel like we aren’t able to give our patients all the care they deserve when the nurse-to-patient ratios are not ideal. I feel it is probably going to take legislative action to ultimately correct this issue, and hope I am able to see those changes take place while I am still working.


Based on your training, what are some of the key achievements or milestones in your career that you are proud of?

In addition to my job here at Empower AI, I also work Saturdays at a local mid-sized hospital as the Nursing House Supervisor. Although I love having my remote position here, I like to keep a position that allows me to maintain my clinical certifications and nursing skills as well. I am proud that the hospital administration has the confidence in my knowledge and abilities to entrust me with such a significant vital role.


With service to the country and our communities in mind, what advice do you have for others who share that commitment of serving others?

I feel that in nursing and any profession, where service to others is key, you will be successful if you always keep this quote in mind:

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou


What motivates you to continue pushing boundaries and striving for excellence in your work?

I strive to always perform at my absolute best no matter what the job, so that I never have to question what I could have done better, had I just put forth more effort. To be continually gaining knowledge and refining skills is my aspiration. I refuse to become stagnant.


In your view, why is it important that we celebrate Nurses Week?

I feel it is important to celebrate Nurses Week to honor all nurses, in every arena, for the essential role they play with their vital and matchless contributions to health care. Nurses are the forefront of healthcare, and ultimately determine the patient’s experience, regardless of the type of visit or specialty.

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