NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Feb. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) President and CEO Mike Petters spoke at the 27th Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Conference on Saturday in Washington, D.C. Petters was the keynote speaker at the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Engineering Deans' Power Breakfast, which honors leaders in the STEM fields.
BEYA is the nation's largest annual gathering of STEM professionals and leaders committed to increasing the percentage of underrepresented communities in the technology workforce. The conference is an opportunity for students, business leaders and educators to celebrate and promote academic and professional achievement, network, and recruit new hires.
In his remarks during the breakfast, Petters challenged the conference participants to "do something, no matter how small" to make a difference in a young person's life.
"Sometimes someone's path appears to be predetermined by things you cannot change," he said. "Yet I know from personal experience that the best way to change that path--to influence a person's outcome--is through education. … That's where you come in. You're engineers. In fact, you are the best and the brightest. You are leaders. You are trained to solve problems. You just might be able to help solve a problem for someone who deserves a chance--just by getting involved. By turning them from one direction to another. By believing in them when maybe no one else does."
Petters emphasized his point by telling stories about four HII employees who make a difference in their Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding communities by tutoring and coaching sports. They were among nine HII employees honored at the conference for their achievements in STEM.
For the full text of Petters' speech, visit: http://www.huntingtoningalls.com/about/docs/pettersBEYAkeynote09feb13.pdf.
Petters earned a bachelor's degree in physics from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 and went on to serve as an officer on the submarine USS George Bancroft (SSBN 643) and in the U.S. Naval Reserve. In 1993, he earned an MBA from the College of William and Mary. He joined Newport News Shipbuilding in 1987 and held a number of increasingly responsible positions throughout the organization, including vice president of aircraft carrier programs, vice president of contracts and pricing, vice president of human resources, and president of Northrop Grumman Newport News and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. He assumed the role of president and CEO for HII on March 31, 2011.
About Huntington Ingalls
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder at its Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding divisions. Employing about 37,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California, HII also provides a wide variety of products and services to the commercial energy industry and other government customers. For more information, visit: