Cited as innovator, role model to women in male-dominated defense industry
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. December 8, 2016 – ADS, Inc. Vice President of Human Resources Jen Weir Edwards has been named a 2016 Inside Business Women in Business honoree, company officials announced today.
Edwards was recognized for serving as a role model to women working in the traditionally male-dominated defense industry, along with her notable accomplishments within her company, industry and community.
Since joining the company in 2006, Edwards has developed leading-edge strategies that have brought ADS to the head of the industry curve on talent recruitment, acquisition and family-friendly work policies.
We at ADS have long known Jen as an innovator, role model and inspirational community leader who has been a vital key to our company’s growth and success. Now the entire region knows it, too.”
– Karan Rai, President
During Edwards’ tenure as Vice President of Human Resources, ADS grew from 100 to 375 employees and annual revenue surpassed $1.5 billion. She designed and launched a successful executive mentor program that offers employees direct access to company leaders at the highest levels of the organization, and instituted developmental classes to help military personnel transition to careers in the private sector.
“She is a passionate innovator and advocate for family-friendly work policies that help women succeed in the work place,” said Caitlin Stojanovich, Communications Director. “She has paved the way for other professional women to succeed and overcome their own obstacles and find leadership roles in places once exclusive only to men.”
Edwards was further honored for her work in the community with Girls on the Run, an organization designed to inspire young girls to take charge of their lives and define the future on their terms and The Honor Foundation, a unique Transition Readiness Institute that supports the Navy SEALs and the U.S. Special Operations community.
She will be recognized during a special event honoring the accomplishments of outstanding women in the Hampton Roads business community on December 12 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott.
At work: In my role at ADS, I have the privilege of working with some of the brightest and most dynamic people in Hampton Roads.
Home and family: I’m so proud of my family and friends. My husband, Rob, and my children, Simon and Lilah, are the smartest, coolest people I know. Together, we’ve built an amazing network. I am humbled by all the love and support we’ve found here. It’s so great we convinced my parents to move here—that’s a win for Hampton Roads!
Volunteer activities: I am so proud of my involvement with Girls on the Run (GOTR) of South Hampton Roads. GOTR provides an after-school program for girls in grades 3-8. We teach about health, confidence, coping skills and friendship while training for a 5K. I am also actively involved with The Honor Foundation whose mission is to help transitioning members of the Special Operations military community prepare for their transition into civilian life.
Motivating factor: I am really motivated by solving problems and helping others become better problem solvers. Nothing gets me more excited than seeing my kids (or my employees) make the move from simply needing my help to wanting my input on the solutions they’ve devised on their own.
Advice to women in business: Always keep an open mind. Know your strengths and have a plan, but be ready when an unexpected door appears. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Hard work is great alone, but hard work with a solid ask leads to advancement. Be cognizant of your value and be able to articulate it. Be genuine. Be curious.
The one thing I would change about Hampton Roads: I would improve our public transportation. I am really disappointed the light rail has so badly stalled. That said, Hampton Roads has so much to offer.
Region’s biggest asset: As an employer, I love the diversity and the access to military candidates. Plus our area has everything—a growing arts scene, great natural attractions, awesome restaurants—I am thrilled to be a part of it all.
Downtime: In my spare time I love to cook, read, and write. Also, for the last two years I have been a student and performer at the PUSH Comedy Theater in Norfolk. I took their Improv 101 class on a lark—it was utterly terrifying, but also so much fun, and now I am a member of multiple performing groups there.
About ADS, Inc.
ADS Inc. is a leading value-added logistics and supply chain solutions provider that proudly serves all branches of the U.S. Military, federal, state and local government organizations, law enforcement agencies, first responders, partner nations and the defense industry. ADS is a Top 50 Department of Defense Contractor and Gold Tier supplier for the Defense Logistics Agency. The company is focused on solving customers’ challenges by providing the best product and service offerings, the broadest array of procurement and contract options, world-class support and legendary customer service.