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Spotlight On: Christian Willis

From US Air Force Instructor to Skillbridge Intern, to Program Manager III at Dynepic, Christian Willis has always aimed high. 

I have always strived to be the best, so when it was time for me to consider my options after the Air Force, working at Dynepic was at the top of my list!” Christian shared.

SkillBridge helps match highly skilled military service members with training and development opportunities in different industries through internships during their last 180 days of service. The hands-on experience and training in a civilian work environment can be critical to ensuring a positive transition, and Dynepic is proud to already employ several former SkillBridge interns!  In Christian’s case, the internship turned into a full-time, fully remote role, and he hasn’t looked back since.

“I wanted an opportunity that would allow me to build on the knowledge and experiences I garnered over the past few years, especially my role as an Instructor Air Battle Manager and the Chief of Group Virtual Training at the 552d Air Control Wing,” he said. “I’m proud to be working in support of our military and comforted by the knowledge that what we do will be helpful for both my friends and former students.” 

He shared that his top skills came from his time as a USAF Air Battle Manager, where he learned how to manage resources, think objectively, and execute under the most intense time crunches. 

“They are good traits to have in any profession, and have been helpful here when I’ve needed to think on my feet or pivot on a plan with a moment’s notice,” he said. 

Day to day, Christian works closely with Dynepic’s vendor ecosystem, made up of about two dozen companies that provide the various technologies and training lessons and XR apps activated on MOTAR. He also manages our vendor licensed accounts and ensures things run seamlessly as both the platform and eXtended Reality tech evolves. Additionally, Christian is helping manage MOTAR-In-A-Box, which will provide portable access to sync and download MOTAR-hosted third-party training content and courses, regardless of internet access. 

“A Positive relationship with our vendors is my primary goal, as they are the ones creating the training content Airmen need to be successful,” Christian shared. “And I’m excited to have even a small part in supporting MOTAR-In-A-Box as it will be critical to ensuring those apps are available, especially in the era of AFFORGEN deployments and contested/degraded operations,” Christian explained. 

Outside of work, Christian can be found staying fit and hanging with his wife, Lauren, and their rescue pup; all things that make him an even stronger fit at Dynepic! 

I come from an active upbringing and was continuously involved in sports growing up,” he shared. “Today, I maintain that fitness and competitive spirit by going to the gym six mornings a week and participating in our team’s Wellness Wednesday and Fit Friday workouts. Plus, Dynepic has graciously provided me the opportunity to work 1:1 with personal trainer Ben Schroeder and take my fitness to a new level!” 

We’re thrilled to have you on the team, Christian

SPOTLIGHT ON: The Iron Chick

There’s no doubt about it, Rebecca Jackson is unstoppable.

A seasoned athlete and professional trainer, Rebecca earned the nickname “Iron Chick” while training an NBA player and running him through one of her highly effective - and very challenging - sessions.

“I love the energy of athletes, regardless of age and sport,” Rebecca said. “And when someone tells me they can’t do something, or their doctor said they’re no longer able, that’s the best challenge!”

In high school, Rebecca was active in just about every sport possible, including tap, jazz, ballet, and anything that involved a ball whether it was a game or just making up new ways to play. With her dad as a coach, she was supported and encouraged to try everything, eventually going to college and earning a degree in kinesiology and exercise science.

“I considered nursing school but what drove me was helping rehabilitate athletes, particularly after surgery,” she explained.

Her strength, both mental and physical, did not come easy.

When she was 22, Rebecca’s path abruptly shifted after she was in a car accident, revealing symptoms that were eventually diagnosed as a hereditary condition affecting the brain and spine.

“The impact of the accident really jarred my brain and sort of shook loose this condition I didn’t know I had, causing me to blackout at random times and the potential for further problems with my spinal cord,” she explained. “I was 22 years old with an incredible neurosurgeon, but after brain and spine surgery, they just handed me a bunch of pills and said, ‘Good luck, kid.’”

During her recovery, Rebecca found herself staring at the bottles of muscle relaxers and painkillers and thought - this can’t be the answer. Physical therapy had never been mentioned, or any kind of physical rehab.

“I knew I had to do this myself because no one else was going to do it for me,” she said. “That kicked off my mission to help others do the same.”

As Rebecca found her way back to the healthy, active lifestyle she loved, she became a Mom and continued dedicating her time and energy to helping others do the same.

When her youngest was just 2 years old, she found herself with a new diagnosis - thyroid cancer - resulting in another surgery and a lifelong prescription for thyroid hormones.

Undeterred and focused on her future, she knew was she had to do.

“I found a new way to do things and when I was 35, I started competing in fitness competitions, and winning!” Rebecca said. “There’s no excuse, you just have to find a new way of doing what you love.”

Today, the Iron Chick owns her own training company - ICF Performance - and among her clients is the Dynepic team. “Fit Friday” is a live, weekly online session where she takes us through everything from Pilates to kettlebells to heart-pounding intervals. The company offers two similar sessions each week during work hours and has shown significant results in team morale and individual health concerns.

“The way Rebecca trains, she helps you understand the correct way to perform the movements and provides variations so everyone, regardless of where they’re at in their fitness journey, can maximize their time at Fitness Friday,” shared Christian Willis, Dynepic’s Program Manager III.

“My husband says I act like I’m 12 years old, but I’m walking proof that age doesn’t define you,” Rebecca shared. “This attitude has allowed me to do so many cool things - things doctors said I couldn’t do - I just don’t take no for an answer.”

Dynepic’s Fitness Friday led by the Iron Chick is held at 0900 Eastern each week. Joining the Dynepic, Inc. team means you too can be part of the fun and #LevelUp!

Employee Spotlight: George Moats

George Moats is one of a kind and a stellar fit at Dynepic!

As our Senior Cybersecurity Engineer and platform Information System Security Officer, George recently helped secure an IL4 Authorization to Operate (ATO) for MOTAR, a huge accomplishment for a small business that requires strict cybersecurity compliance and significant coordination with federal law, Department of Defense policy, and standards. Thanks to his experience and unrelenting motivation, Airmen and MOTAR Creators can rapidly contribute and deliver Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) level information, enable students and instructors to use virtual reality headsets for multi-modal learning (including XR applications), and allow creators to operationalize their code. MOTAR Live (IL4) will open in May 2023.

Achieving ATO was no small feat and George was quick to give credit to everyone involved: "When you stand on the shoulders of giants to achieve something like ATO, it's easy to see over the horizon to a powerful and innovative future! And this is only the beginning."

Having served several years in the US Air Force and nearly 20 working in education and DoD information technology roles, George’s passions are what ultimately led him to his role at Dynepic.

“Right now, I'm chasing down a process to secure Unity applications in a continuous integration pipeline, and I’m really excited to streamline and securely scale AR/VR training and host on our platform” he shared. “It's an awesome role for me as I get to explore all of the coolest technology but cannot dwell on any one thing too long. The chess match I play with possible adversaries is exciting.”

While he’s certainly proud of his professional milestones, there is nothing George is prouder of than his family. He and his wife currently reside in Nebraska where they’re raising their two boys with plenty of access to the outdoors and daily adventures.

Working with a fully remote team fit into his lifestyle well, too.

“The freedom is unmatched,” George said. “We all work incredibly hard, but it’s a gift to be able to take a 10-minute break for a chore or enjoy a smile with my boys in the summer.”

He added: “I’m grateful to be able to innovate and grow with Dynepic. We have miles to go before we sleep, but something tells me I’ll enjoy the walk.”

Thank you, George!