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Huntsville Committee of 100: Women in Leadership Series

The Huntsville Committee of 100 is  a group of 272 members, with 50 of those being young leaders in our community. This week we have the privilege to introduce you to one of our Young Professional members, Joan Smith. Joan serves as the Chair for our Young Professional Program. As a Vice President at PeopleTec, Inc and a commited community volunteer, wife and mother, Joan is a great example of the future of our community.

Joan is not one to shy away from a challenge. The daughter of an educator, Joan has never doubted what she is capable of accomplishing. Her mother, sister and mother in law serve as incredible examples of smart, well rounded leaders for she and her kids. Beginning her career in AMC, where only 11% of the employees are female was a unique challenge for Joan. She had to seek out mentorship from men in her field and as she served as the first civilian and female Executive Officer for AMC she saw how people struggled with a female in that position.

When asked where her passion for serving comes from, Smith says,  “It is part of my foundation, it was a core value passed from my mom and dad.” Specifically, her affinity for the Huntsville Committee of 100 comes from her desire to see long term effects through changes to process and policies. As she says, “I’m in it for the long game.” Luckily for our organization, we are too.  One piece of advice that she shared for her peers and those coming along behind her was to “be very cautious about the rules you make in your head. Check your assumptions.” She also reminds women in particular to take care of and to advocate for themselves.

The vision she brings to leading our Young Professional Program is a game changer. Under Joan’s tenure we have increased retention, formed a true mission statement and began working on civic focused projects to allow our group to walk through the process of finding creative solutions to challenges in our community. We are grateful for her passion and the impact she is making on the future of our community.

More about Joan: 

Joan Reichwein Smith is a Vice President at PeopleTec Inc. PeopleTec is a PeopleTec, Inc. is a growth-oriented, employee-owned small business that was founded in 2005 and has been voted a Huntsville Madison County Best Place to work for 9 years. At PeopleTec, Joan is responsible for efforts that support the U.S. Army’s future and enduring fleet of helicopters.

Joan leverages more than 15 years expertise in engineering and business management to serve Defense and Aerospace customers Prior to joining, PeopleTec, Joan was the President of S-RAM Dynamics. S-RAM Dynamics was privatelyfunded, registered small business specializing in technology development. At S-RAM, Joan developed a manufacturing facility, increased revenue, and successfully ensured continued efforts for S-RAM and affiliated companies. Joan also served as a US Army civilian for 11 years. In her last position, she served as the Integration Lead for the US Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP). She was responsible for program management of multiple efforts that enabled a higher powered, more fuel-efficient engine in the next generation of Black Hawk and Apache helicopters. Throughout more than a decade with the Department of Defense, Joan led missile research efforts, was selected as the first civilian to serve as Executive Officer to the AMRDEC Director, and managed multiple programs that facilitated improvements to the Black Hawk helicopter fleet. Through these roles, Joan led interdisciplinary teams across both Aviation and Missile portfolios and throughout the system lifecycle including research, development, engineering, and sustainment. Ms. Smith was born and raised in Alabama. She is passionate about improving her local community, state, and country. Designing, developing, and testing products in the United States is important to Ms. Smith and demonstrates her commitment to our country’s economic development.

Locally, Joan serves on the Committee of 100 Young Professional Executive Committee and volunteers to support local schools and athletic teams. Joan serves on the University of Alabama’s Blackburn Institute Advisory Board where she works to develop a network of leaders across Alabama devoted to understanding the challenges which face our state and act as agents of change. She also serves on the University of Alabama Capstone Engineering Society’s Board of Directors where she helps support the College of Engineering recruiting, program development, and alumni involvement. Ms. Smith is a graduate of The University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering. She also earned a Master of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Joan is also a Leadership Huntsville Madison County Connect Class 9 graduate.

Joan and her husband, Will, live in Huntsville with their eight-year-old daughter, Kayleigh, and four – year-old son, Wilson. Joan and her family are members of Huntsville First United Methodist Church. In her spare time, Joan enjoys cooking from her garden, reading, and college sports.

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