Quentin Noreiga, Ph.D,’s resume reads like someone who constantly pursues opportunities to challenge and strengthen his mind. Noreiga spent 25 years in the military, most recently serving as Military Director for the Army Materiel Command Analysis Group. To no surprise, upon his retirement, he landed a role as Director of Aerospace and Defense at the fast-growing minority & veteran-owned Supply Chain technology company, Vibronyx. How will Noreiga apply his unique depth of experience to help clients transform their supply chain management?
Q: Since graduating from West Point you’ve served in the Army. Why leave now?
A: As an Operations Research System Analyst in the Army, 25 years of service felt like a good time to retire. As I began exploring all possibilities in the private and government sectors, it was important to me to find an opportunity where I could leverage my unique perspective to problem-solve for organizations.
Q. What made you decide this is the place for you?
I thrive when I’m surrounded by business-minded people eager to solve challenges with ingenuity. When I sat down with Clay and learned about how Vibronyx has strategically utilized emerging technology to help clients like the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) develop a strategic plan to modernize its food supply chain with digital transformation, I thought, “Wow, this is perfect; this is exactly what I want to do.” I’m also humbled to have the opportunity to continue working with the same parent organization [Department of Defense (DOD)] I’ve been affiliated with for most of my military career.
Q. What does a “Director, Aerospace and Defense” do? How did your previous military experience prepare you for this position?
A: My primary responsibility is to ensure successful delivery and growth of Vibronyx DLA and DoD clients.
I spent the last 25 years in the military serving as an Army systems engineer, strategist, logistician and educator specializing in optimization, game theory and complex problem solving. An analyst by nature and by military specialty, supply chain is one sector I’ve worked in extensively, primarily during my role as director of the U.S. Army Logistics Data Analysis Center where I led the 700-person center conducting logistics execution, data analysis and tool development. My intention in this position is to help our clients by aligning my expertise and unique experience with Vibronyx’s promise to drive supply chain predictability, visibility and speed of delivery.
Q: Your resume is robust. What is the most important skill you’ll bring to your role?
A: My ability to translate and I don’t mean translating foreign languages. I’m referring to the ability to speak business, industry, professional and defense “languages,” and my ability to communicate with senior government officials, civilians, computer science engineers, mathematicians and beyond. This translating skill ensures customer needs are met, and that concerns are accurately communicated and solved effectively and efficiently. While on active duty, I regularly noticed that individuals responsible for solving problems typically face a communications barrier with management or senior leaders, making it difficult to solve problems. I can speak these “languages” to make progress, ultimately helping clients make confident supply chain decisions.
Q: How did you end up in this career field?
A: The Army Operations Research program has four different fields: business, applied mathematics, engineering and computer science. As in many cases when the military has specialties, they recruit people based on the type of work where they have knowledge and experience. Since my undergraduate degree is in mechanical engineering, the field picked me.
The beautiful thing about the Army Operations Research program is that it’s very diverse. The core set of skills one learns can be applied to essentially any industry. After learning and developing problem solving skills – structuring issues, generating and evaluating courses of action to solve a problem and communicating with leadership to execute – I realized I’d never be bored with the work. While the scenery and people may change, problem-solving techniques can be applied across sectors and will always be relevant.
With career burnout being so common these days, I encourage people considering the tech field to explore careers that are diverse and relevant to any industry, similar to what I found with technology problem-solving.
Q: How will you help enable your clients to build future-ready supply chains?
A: I’m a problem solver by nature – it’s what I enjoy doing most. At Vibronyx, I’ll utilize the most relevant and actionable data to identify client’s unique pain points in order to help them evolve their supply chain strategy. By developing a strategy and implementing emerging technologies, we can help clients manage operations and respond efficiently by better harmonizing supply and demand.