Heritage Month Spotlight: Lesley Marangola, Harris Corp.

Lesley Marangola

Director, Business Development Operations and Capture Management
Space and Intelligence Systems (SIS), Harris Corp.

Describe your role and job responsibilities at Harris.

I lead the team that is responsible for much of what happens behind the scenes in new business for SIS. This includes developing competency in our Business Acquisition Process, policies and associated tools via training and coaching. It also encompasses providing independent capture coaching and price-to-win guidance for key pursuits, providing proposal development and print production services, managing discretionary budgets, providing analytics and business operations support, and Strategy and Business Development Harris Business Excellence leadership. We focus on partnering with our colleagues across the segment, including leadership, to drive growth.

What is your educational background and career experience?

I have a Bachelor of Science in Optics from the University of Rochester. I began my career in laser research and then joined Kodak’s government business (now Harris SIS Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and Geospatial Solutions businesses) in engineering. I acquired Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training along the way.

A mentor then requested I migrate to the commercial side of Kodak to manage a digital photofinishing product line. This pivot to the commercial world opened a door to take on a variety of roles, including strategy, product development, strategic marketing, operations, business development and profit and loss management. In 2012, I had the opportunity to “come back” to what had become Exelis and is now Harris. I have enjoyed leveraging my expanded perspective to help Harris grow in a government market that has evolved to have a more commercially-oriented perspective.

What is on your bucket list?

I am interested in exploring parts of the world I haven’t been to, such as Australia/New Zealand, Alaska and the Greek Isles. I would also like to drive on an official NASCAR race track.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Every day, I am energized by the fact that I am learning something new about the business and able to make an impact. There is always another interesting problem to solve. Working at the segment level enables me to help drive improvements that assist our businesses, our functions and connections between the two. With supportive leadership and a fantastic team, we focus our energy on efforts to help the business grow faster and more efficiently – and are responsible for measuring and being accountable for associated results.

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

Women’s History Month provides the opportunity to reflect on the amazing progress we have made toward closing the gender gap, even from my mother’s generation to my own. I feel positive momentum at Harris, as I observe our senior leadership team proactively taking action. For example, I recently assisted the Harris Women’s Leadership Initiative team in standing up a Lean In Circles pilot program, which brought groups of women together to discuss and provide guidance for personal and professional challenges. I found the experience valuable and rewarding. Feedback was quite positive, resulting in an expansion of the effort, which will soon be deployed as a corporate-wide offering for all employees.

While we all have unconscious biases and more work remains, I am hopeful that my daughters and son will experience a world where roles at work and at home are viewed generically and shared to leverage our collective strengths and maximize personal and professional growth.