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EWeek Spotlight - Q&A with Florence Tela

Corporate Headquarters
Feb 21, 2022 | 2 MINUTE Read

If asked at the dinner table, how would you describe what you do?

I work to ensure secure data and radio communications to first responders, such as police, firefighters, and 911 centers across the local cities, county, state and federal governments. I do this by analyzing and providing the cybersecurity posture and mitigating risk of any new systems and programs so that the systems maintain confidentiality, integrity and availability for our customers. 

Why do you like what you do?

Several reasons: It allows me to use my engineering skills in a great company in practical and meaningful ways by helping keep communities and the nation safe. It feeds my need for intellectual stimulation. It allows me to collaborate with other great minds as well as experience new environments while having personal growth opportunities due to the changing nature of technology, security guidelines and client needs. 

What is one thing you want the rest of L3Harris to know about your technology area?

Cybersecurity is a growing area with a lot of new and unchartered territory. We have to be aware that cybersecurity is more than just the responsibility of a few people in the organization. This technology area exists at a personal level and connects to national security and collective safety. Cultivate a safety culture. By being safe, we protect ourselves, our neighbors, our communities and our country. 

How did you get to where you are in your career today; who were your mentors along the way?

Everyone needs good mentoring relationships. At L3Harris, I had a colleague with eons of experience in the radio world who helped me tremendously in my first year by sharing needed advice on how to get to the next level. My mentors provided advice on how I could advance within L3Harris, including the short term goals I needed to set. Thank you to Dave Brown, Randy Sloan and Mike Axford. I also work with an external career coach on branding and self-development for growth into leadership.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m active in my faith and community and love family time. I spend time with grandkids, biking, hiking and playing ball with them. I’m an avid reader, mostly biographies and self-development books. I enjoy seeing new places and meeting new people. I like to inspire the next generation of engineers, so I’m an active member of, a middle and high school STEM mentoring online community designed to bring the exciting opportunities that engineering represents for girls and women.

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