Heritage Month Spotlight: Irene Lockwood, Harris Corp.

Irene Lockwood

Senior Manager, Communications
ISR and Geospatial Businesses (SIS)

Describe your roles and responsibilities at Harris.

I provide external communications support to the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Geospatial business areas at Harris’ Space and Intelligence Systems (SIS) segment. I’ve been with Harris (via the Exelis acquisition) for 14 years.

My role as a Senior Communications Manager is to create positive awareness of the company’s brand and to tell the company’s story externally through the media, thought leadership and social media. I write press releases, develop story ideas, schedule media interviews and encourage media to cover the technology and products that Harris develops.

I work closely with SIS’s Marketing group on campaigns and event/tradeshow planning. Most recently, I’ve been involved with promoting STEM-related events for Harris, including our work with the Space Foundation’s Space in the Community program. This program reinforces the importance of STEM in K-12 schools around the country.

What is your educational and career experience?

I’ve worked in the Communications and Marketing fields for nearly 25 years. I have a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Economics from the State University of New York College at Brockport. In college, I held an internship at a global advertising agency headquartered in Boston. The week before I graduated, I landed a job as an account executive with a leading full-service advertising agency in Rochester, N.Y. It was a blast! Prior to Harris, I held Marketing positions at an eLearning company, as well as the largest privately-held regional provider of telecommunications services in the U.S. I’ve been a member of the Public Relations Society of America for more than a decade, and I was on the board of the American Marketing Association’s Rochester, N.Y. chapter.

What is on your bucket list?

It’s a big list, but one thing I’d love to do is travel with my husband and children to the Netherlands to see where my grandparents lived and to visit the house where my father grew up. Dozens of my extended family members made the trip 13 years ago, but I was days away from giving birth to my first child and could not attend.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

I love space. Like so many in this industry, I was fascinated by space exploration as a child. Today, I’m grateful to be able to work with so many incredibly smart people who have a passion for the work we do. To work for a company that develops and provides the most advanced products and technology used in space is such a thrill.

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

Women’s History Month means celebrating and remembering the incredibly strong women who paved the way for me. There are many women in history who I admire, but no one more than my own grandmother, Ymie Lubberts. My grandparents risked their lives and the lives of their nine children to hide more than 200 people in the walls of their three-bedroom home in the Netherlands during World War II. My grandparents participated in the Dutch Resistance movement by supporting and providing shelter to civilians and military personnel in need. As a mother to four children myself, I often wonder what my grandmother would do in situations that I face today. My grandmother used to tell me that though she knew of the great personal risk to her and her family, she could not refuse anyone who needed shelter. Her values are instilled in me today. She did the right thing, always. She is my hero.