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

“No matter what, people are always the most important asset,” said Jennings, who retired as a Colonel in 2013 soon after he completed a one-year deployment in Afghanistan. He joined Empower AI a year later. “As a platoon leader, I could have 30 people, or as a PM, I could be managing 600. Whatever it is, if those people need something and I can help them do it, I feel a responsibility to help.”

Jennings said that’s what he enjoys - helping people be successful at what they do.

“That’s what has always attracted me to Empower AI,” he said. “That’s how they’ve always treated me, which encourages me to treat others the same.”

Jennings noted that he’s been trying to help others be successful his whole life, starting from his days growing up in a small town in southern Illinois, where he enjoyed sports and scouting (he was one of the first Eagle Scouts ever in his community). Those activities led him to an ROTC scholarship at Auburn University where he met his wife, Dianne. After graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the National Guard for a year, before he came on active duty in the Army at Fort Belvoir, Va. He graduated in the top 10 percent of his class, which meant he had his choice between going to Airborne School or becoming an Army Ranger.

“I chose Airborne School, because I liked my current body weight,” he joked. “Ranger School, that’s tough stuff.”

Veteran Leadership Today

Today, Jennings uses all that experience to lead several programs for Empower AI, ranging from the U.S. Capitol Police and the Department of Justice, to supporting one of the company’s largest programs at the Department of Defense that focuses on artificial intelligence. These days, he manages most of the projects from his home office in Florida, where he moved in 2019 to help take care of his and his wife’s aging parents. He’s grateful that Empower AI has always had trust in him and his teams to perform at their best, no matter where they’re located.

“Empower AI was doing telecommuting before COVID-19 hit, before it was the only way to do business,” Jennings said. “When we made the decision to move to Florida to support our family, Empower AI’s senior leaders said, ‘Absolutely, go ahead. We’ll figure it out.’ So, we made it work because the senior leaders were willing to support that kind of thing. I am proud to have Empower AI’s branding on my wall. I want to make sure everyone sees that. That’s where my loyalty is.”

As for celebrating Veterans Day, Jennings noted the significant change in the way people recognize veterans today, versus when he first joined ROTC in 1978. He said as cadets, they weren’t allowed to wear their uniforms off campus due to safety concerns related to how service members and veterans were treated after the Vietnam War.

“It’s changed a lot in my lifetime, compared to now,” he said. “When I was in uniform and going through airports or wherever, people would come up to me and say, ‘thank you for your service.’ Or today, they do that if I’m wearing my Army hat.

“The first time they did that, was Afghanistan,” Jennings continued. “I didn’t know how to deal with that at first, but I’ve become more comfortable with it. And now I say, thank you for saying that, or you’re welcome. But the mindset has changed, and most people look at service members as people doing service to help people, help the country, serving the country. So, I’m glad we have Veterans Day, and we can recognize veterans. It means a lot to me to have a day set aside for veterans, and I’m proud to be one.”

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U.S. Army Telecommunications Technician, Project Manager, Empower AI

Ashley Wilson

Ashley Wilson