Angie Burden We Are SCI

Angie Burden

SCI Employee Star of the Month for March 2020

Angie Burden is SCI’s Employee Star of the Month for March 2020.

Angie is a familiar face to many at SCI. If you’ve ever walked around the halls during a typical workday, you’ve likely seen her getting in her steps for the day. What many might not know is that Angie’s dedication extends to her work as well. Her coworkers in BGA repair say she is the go-to person for her knowled

ge about which boards should be repaired, and how. In fact, she’s the “go-to person” for working on some of the most difficult boards that come through SCI.

Angie is described as a “people person” who always has a cheery outlook. Outside of work, she enjoys painting and exercising. Here is some more feedback we received about Angie: “Angie is very knowledgeable about her job. She will take on any task that is given to her. When we have questions about the machines or anything, she is quick to help us. She will even stop what she is doing and not get upset when we need her.”

Keep reading for a Q&A with Angie:


Job Title

Engineering Repair Tech


How long have you been with SCI?

4 ½ years


What do you like about working here?

I love the people


What can you tell us about the group you work with?

They are awesome and so easy to work with! They are all so talented and make coming into work a joy! This group goes over and beyond to get the job done!


At SCI, we often say that we serve those who serve. What personal meaning does that have for you?

We are only as strong as our defense and we support our military to have the equipment and tools necessary to protect our country. What we do at SCI is critical to ensure that happens.


What are your hobbies outside of work?

I love to oil paint, exercise, read and anything creative!


What is your favorite activity to do with your family?



What is your favorite TV show?



How long do you think you could go without using social media? (Be honest!)

Maybe a day =D


If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Can’t stop the feeling


If you could travel anywhere in the world for vacation, where would you go?



Would you rather live without the internet or air conditioning?

I would rather not live without either but if I had to choose, I guess I would choose air conditioning. We didn’t use it growing up and it was rough but I depend on the internet for information,social media and everything revolves around technology these days.


Would you rather be completely invisible for one day, or be able to fly for one day?

Definitely invisible! If I could fly I would probably fly into a building haha. If I was invisible I would see the world as if I were not there and see where I could make a difference the most.

Catherine Townsend We Are SCI

Catherine Townsend

SCI Employee Star of the Month for February 2020

Catherine Townsend is SCI’s Employee Star of the Month for February 2020. Catherine is a long-term member of the SCI family, with 37+ years of service to our company. She has been a Solderer for most of her career and currently serves as an Assembly Lead in the ARINC department.


How long have you been with SCI

37 years


What do you like about working here?

The group I work with


What can you tell us about the group you work with?

They are a wonderful hard working group.


What are your hobbies outside of work?

Do things with my grandchildren and family and Church Act.


What is your favorite activity to do with your family?

Go shopping.


What is your favorite TV show?



How long do you think you could go without using social media? (Be honest!)

All day.


If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

“Steady Love” by India Arie.


If you could travel anywhere in the world for vacation, where would you go?



Would you rather be completely invisible for one day, or be able to fly for one day?

Invisible for one day.

Patricia Johnson We Are SCI

Patricia Johnson

SCI Employee Star of the Month for January 2020

Patricia Johnson is SCI’s Employee Star of the Month for January 2020. She works as a Materials Expediter and has been with SCI for more than 36 years.


Job Title

Materials Expediter


How long have you been with SCI?

July 5th will be 37 years.


What do you like about working here

I told myself in school that I would never work in a factory… well that was 37 years ago.

My original plans were to have my own small business. My time here started as a job, but ended up being a career. Worked, married, and raised a family. I have had various responsibilities during my journey, and each one has given me the opportunity to learn and grow.


You’ve served in a number of different positions over the years. What were they, and which was your favorite?

Advanced hand soldering/repair; Hand Load Material Handler/Line Lead; Associate Manufacturing Engineer; Documentation Control Administrator (implementation of ISO9000); Manufacturing Maintenance Clerk; Receiving Clerk; Consumables Administrator/Hazmat Responder

My favorite job was as an Associate Engineer because it allowed me to use my immense creativity and design / problem solving skills.


What can you tell us about the group you work with?

They are my extended Family. Each one is uniquely different, but work so well as a complete team. Each love life, family and to have fun (especially love dressing up for Halloween).


At SCI, we often say that we serve those who serve. What personal meaning does that have for you?

We are privileged to have the responsibility of building products that improve the chances of survival for those who serve and protect our freedoms. We are blessed to have employees who served in the US Military and have now transitioned to the SCI Team. Bringing with them vital field experience. Allowing them to improve or create cutting edge products that will improve the survival rates of our troops.

I grew up as a “Coastie” in a military family and married a Navy “SeaBee” — it brings an immense sense of pride. A true leader must have a servant’s heart. A leader must be willing to do what they are expecting others to do….leading by example.


What are your hobbies outside of work?

DYI Projects (Repurposing discarded items into beautiful new things), gardening, fishing/outdoors, bargain hunting.

I love finding people to “pay it forward” to…  My favorite is to find young couples or single parents with small children. I look for those who are frazzled and seem to have made it to the end of their rope that day, and I walk up to them and encourage them by letting them know they are doing awesome job, to hang in there, then I bless them with the gift of a lunch date together. It is so rewarding to see the joy return to their faces.

I also like to do occasional crafting classes with seniors during the winter months.


What is your favorite activity to do with your family?



What is your favorite TV show?

Oak Island


How long do you think you could go without using social media? (Be honest!)



If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas


If you could travel anywhere in the world for vacation, where would you go?

Cannot just pick on place. I want to experience every continent and culture.


Let’s play “Would You Rather” (please explain your choice!)

Would you rather have to read aloud every word you read or sing everything you say out loud?

Music has a tendency to be remembered by the hearer better than the spoken word. Plus, I would have eye contact vs reading and having to look at the written word I am trying to read.


Would you rather be able to control fire or water as your superpower?

With being able to control water, you would have control over fire. Thus in this case water is more powerful than fire.

Brigette Honey

Brigette Honey

We Are SCI

Growing up in North Alabama, Brigette Honey developed a love for all things outdoors – from hunting to fishing to simply getting her hands dirty. And thanks to her father, she learned to change a tire and check the oil in her car at an early age.

You know, all the standard girly girl stuff.

“My daddy didn’t raise a wimp, is what I always say,” Brigette says with a laugh.

But that’s no joke at all. Rather than wimpiness, Brigette exudes determination while tackling whatever challenge she’s currently taking on.

As a Program Manager with SCI, Brigette oversees the company’s business with partners like Lockheed Martin, BAE and Tyonek. Before that, she was a Manufacturing Engineer, developing critical processes for coatings and ruggedization.

And before that, she earned her degree in Aerospace Engineering while staying home with her kids. All five of them.

“In Program Management, you always have some new challenge,” Brigette says. “If I want my program to go down this path, I have more say over that in Program Management – more so than in engineering.”

“In Program Management, you always have some new challenge.”

All of which fits together nicely for a self-described control freak. But Brigette is also friendly and talkative, which dovetails perfectly into her current role.

“The people here (at SCI) are friendly and easy to work with – they’ll help you wherever they can,” she says. “And our customers are easy to get along with. Especially mine right now – they’re there to help.”

“Brigette is able to leverage her knowledge from her role in SCI engineering to successfully engage with and drive manufacturing, while monitoring and maintaining program labor budgets and standards,” says Program Management Manager Michael Kahalley. “She has filled a key role with the Tyonek, BAE, and Lockheed Martin IMS accounts by taking customer requirements and driving them straight in to the manufacturing process, ensuring on time delivery and customer satisfaction.”

Away from work, Brigette enjoys crafty activities like baking and decorating cakes. She also posts on Pinterest, plays dress-up with her daughter, and spends time at the baseball diamond watching her boys in action. Coincidentally, her father, Robert Sentell, also works for SCI as a Senior Test Engineer and serves as Mayor of Gurley, Alabama.

Jackie Edwards

Jackie Edwards

We Are SCI

Unless you’re an employee at SCI, you might not know the name Jackie Edwards. But if you’ve visited the plant anytime over the last 18 years, you’d almost certainly remember him.

It’s no stretch to say that Jackie, who will mark 18 years with SCI this August, leaves an impression on anyone who passes through the guard station. Standing 6-foot-6, this former college basketball star nearly always wears a smile and offers an encouraging word for all.

“I try to keep a good attitude with people,” he says. “I was brought up with the idea that you treat people the way you want to be treated.”

That’s great advice for anyone. But for Jackie, who serves as a Senior Security Officer, those words are more than just an idea. They’re also part of his job.

“I realize not everybody is the same – there are going to be some cloudy days,” he says. “But I’m dealing with the public. I’m the first person they see. So I’ve got to keep myself at the utmost I can be.”

“I was brought up with the idea that you treat people the way you want to be treated.”

From Selma to Semi-Pro

Jackie’s story starts in his hometown of Selma, Alabama, where he stood out as a high school basketball player. With his talents on the hardwood, he earned a scholarship to play at Alabama A&M University.

At A&M, Jackie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Arts Education and starred at forward for the Bulldogs from 1972-76. As a senior, he led A&M in scoring and rebounding, and ranked fourth nationally in rebounding.

From there, Jackie caught on with semi-pro basketball teams in Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. As a member of the pro teams’ “Taxi Squads,” he played against NBA veterans like “Downtown” Freddie Brown, Jack Sikma, “Big” Bill Walton and Bob Love.

While he never “made it” as a professional, Jackie says he is thankful for the opportunities he had.

“There were three of us to a room, and I used to come back to the room complaining – ‘I’m not getting the right chance, think I can beat this guy out,’” Jackie remembers. “But one of the players sat me down and told me, ‘You’re blessed just to have an opportunity to come here, because the school you went to doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to be looked at. You’re here, just pick your head up and do the best you can do.’ I took his advice, and it kept me around for another year.”


Back to Huntsville

Jackie spent two years in both Seattle and Portland before returning to Huntsville. Back in the Rocket City, he joined a semi-pro team called the Marauders that traveled to different cities to play games.

After his playing days were finished, Jackie changed paths and entered law enforcement. He went through the academy at Jacksonville State University and worked three years for the Alabama A&M police department.

Next, Jackie returned to Selma and worked with the Dallas County Sheriff and Vaughan Regional Medical Center. In 2000, Jackie and his wife decided to move back to Huntsville. He joined SCI’s security team in August of that year and has been here ever since.

“I enjoy working with the people surrounding me here, and that’s what has kept me here,” Jackie says. “If I was working at a place where I didn’t enjoy the people, I wouldn’t have stayed.”

Jay Thayer

Jay Thayer

We Are SCI

Jay Thayer can’t say for sure it’s the exact same Weapons Processor. Then again, the coincidence is hard to ignore.

Years ago, while Jay was on a mission with the 101st Airborne, the AH-64D Longbow attack helicopter he was piloting took enemy fire. When he came to work for SCI years later, Jay came across a Weapons Processor riddled with bullet holes.

Coincidentally, it came from a helicopter flown by the 101st Airborne.

“I can’t prove this, but based on timeframes that I got, there’s a very good chance that came off my bird,” Jay says.

As you might expect, experiences like that uniquely equip Jay in his work as SCI’s Director of Business Development for Aircraft Systems. As a former United States Army Aviator, Jay possesses first-hand insight about how SCI’s products integrate with military aviation platforms to accomplish the war fighter’s mission.

“A lot of combatant commanders talk about the will of a commander and how you are forcing your will upon the battlefield,” Jay says. The human-to-machine interface that we helped create is the end point – that’s his will. Whether it’s executing the right target, or observing a target, or neutralizing it, it’s an extension of his will. It’s going to help him accomplish that mission, and we provide that technology that does that.”

Recon Marine to Warrant Officer

Before he was an Army Combat Aviator, Jay was a Marine. Growing up in Las Vegas, he dreamed of serving as a Recon Marine in Special Operations. So in 1993, he did just that.

“Then I got there and loved it and it was cool, but I thought, ‘What am I going to do now?’” he says.

"It’s going to help him accomplish that mission, and we provide that technology that does that.”

About four years after enlisting, Jay started talking to Army Apache pilots who had gone through the transition process from one service to another. He then filled out the paperwork for an inter-service transfer, was picked up for flight school in 1999, and became a Warrant Officer in the Army.

After the 9/11 attacks, Jay flew AH-64A helicopters for seven months before his unit was transferred to the AH-64D.

“I really got to be raised in Army Aviation by some very experienced, very professional, wonderful men that I got to fight with,” Jay says. “I was very lucky in that regard.”

Afghanistan to Alabama

Following four total tours – two in Afghanistan and two in Iraq – Jay helped develop the curriculum for the Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) School at Fort Rucker. The SERE program trains soldiers to survive when isolated from their unit, making them less vulnerable to the enemy.

After heading to Colorado Springs with the 4th Infantry Division, Jay opted to retire with nearly 21 years of service time. When he came to SCI in 2016, he saw a workforce that didn’t appear to fully understand how their work impacted America’s war fighers.

But thanks to the efforts of some fellow veterans, that has started to change.

“When I first got here, it seemed like there was not a very big understanding by the people assembling our technologies as to what they are really doing. They knew they were making a black box that’s going on a helicopter, and there really wasn’t a whole lot of application to it other than that,” Jay says. “And because of Steve Bane, now there seems to be an awareness that, ‘Hey, I make a Data Concentrator Unit that goes on a Chinook helicopter that landed out here on the front lawn, and my box goes right here in that Chinook, and this is what it does. And this is how I’m helping the United States and my country and supporting the war fighter.’”

Caleb Nicholas

Caleb Nicholas

We Are SCI

As Caleb Nicholas talks about his work at SCI, one fact becomes abundantly clear well before he puts it into words.

“I couldn’t handle a boring job,” says Caleb, a veteran of five deployments with the United States Air Force. “I can’t be idle. It doesn’t work well for me.”

No danger of that in SCI’s Depot & Test Services, where Caleb’s position as MRO Manager is anything but boring. Each day, components from an array of military and commercial vehicles move in and out of his area. As a result, the environment is always fluid – and, like he says, you never know what will turn up.

“No matter what I’ve ever done, I need a challenge to stay involved,” Caleb says. “And this is a challenge, it really is, because it’s always changing. But I love it. I really love it.”

Veterans Helping Veterans

Of course, Caleb’s day job isn’t the only challenge he’s currently taking on.

As an active member of the North Alabama chapter of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, Caleb helps raise money for local charities that support fellow veterans. He linked up with CVMA shortly after his medical discharge from the Air Force, and was instrumental in connecting the group with SCI.

“There’s such a deep-rooted military connection with SCI and with veterans in the area,” says Caleb. “A lot of our guys in our organization (CVMA) are all rotary-wing guys – they’re Chinook guys, Blackhawk guys – so they’re really familiar with what we do here (at SCI) as well.

“So it was an easy partnership. It just made sense.”

“There’s such a deep-rooted military connection with SCI and with veterans in the area."

Projects & Life Lessons

Away from work, Caleb can usually be found working on projects around the house. Oftentimes, that includes passing on lessons to Vinny, his 11-year-old son.

Vinny recently reached the state level in science fair, earning an honorable mention. Among other home projects, Caleb has taught Vinny to solder and also had his son work on some plumbing.

And really, that’s just the start.

“If I’m out welding in garage, or fixing my motorcycle, he’s going to be right there with me,” Caleb says.

Making The Connection

Caleb started at SCI as a nighttime technician in 2014 before quickly moving into supervision. Today he manages technicians and associated staff who work on incoming parts and repairs.

That job description isn’t too different from his duties in the Air Force. In a nearly 13-year career, Caleb served as an aircraft maintainer and technician, primarily with F-15s and F-16s. He also worked with AFREP, an aircraft repair and enhancement program.

“Personally, I think I’ve got the absolute best group in the entire building,” he says. “It’s the only group of people I’ve ever been able to supervise or manage where we don’t have one single interpersonal conflict.”

Since starting at SCI, Caleb says he’s noticed a positive change in how his coworkers make the connection between their work and the success of America’s Armed Forces. One important factor, he says, is being able to see SCI’s products in action.

Like when a Chinook helicopter equipped with an SCI-built Data Concentrator landed on the front lawn last June.

“When people can put their hands on that product and see it being used in a military vehicle – yeah, that makes all the difference,” he says. “And with the amount of veterans that we employ here, it’s really easy for people to make that connection. They know it’s a personal connection for them, and I think that plays off on everyone else as well.”

Joe Winkelmann

Joe Winkelmann

We Are SCI

When his career came full circle, Joe Winkelmann was in one of the places he feels most comfortable. That is to say, he was surrounded by other military people.

It was just before Labor Day in 2014, and the retired Army Captain was finishing a workout on Redstone Arsenal. In recent weeks, he had been considering a return to Afghanistan and another stint with the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Then SCI called.

“I was getting dressed in the locker room and the phone rang, and it was HR calling and offering me the position,” Joe says. “It was kind of weird because I started here (at SCI), went into the military, and now I’m back here after 30 years.”

When he first came to SCI in the mid-1980s, Joe worked as a QA Inspector while he attended UAH. These days he is Facility Security Supervisor, a role that requires him to manage a guard force and oversee all physical security on SCI and Sanmina’s sprawling campus.

To understand exactly how Joe made such a transition, you have to travel back to the time before everything came full circle. It’s a 30-year journey that ranges from Alabama and Georgia to Iraq and Afghanistan. And along the way, it involves the heartbreak of a Gold Star Family.

Ft. Benning to Baghdad and Back

The son of a Senior Executive Service (SES) Officer on Redstone Arsenal, Joe began his military service as an air traffic control tower operator in the U.S. Army. His career took its first turn when he attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning in Georgia and became a Field Artillery Officer.

As part of the invading force that took Baghdad during Desert Storm, Joe then saw his career take another turn upon reaching the Iraqi capital.

“You can’t really fire artillery inside of a big city – it’s ineffective. So they made me the Battle Captain in charge of security at Baghdad International Airport,” Joe says. “So that’s where I got my interest in security.”

While still in the Army, Joe furthered that interest by completing a Master’s degree in Security Management. He later retired as an OCS instructor back at Ft. Benning, where he had earned his own commission years earlier.

“If you’re in the military for 20 years, it’s really your lifestyle. You’re so used to supporting the country, being part of the cause."

Part of the Cause

Following his military retirement, Joe worked as a Security Supervisor contractor for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Back in Alabama in 2014, he was on the verge of returning to Afghanistan when SCI called.

He immediately knew it would be a good fit.

“If you’re in the military for 20 years, it’s really your lifestyle. You’re so used to supporting the country, being part of the cause,” Joe says. “To come to a place like SCI, where we’re doing these kinds of military projects, and I actually see the aircraft and vehicles that I rode in and flew in, it gives you a sense of pride that you’re still part of the overall military war fighting capability – but you’re doing it from a different perspective.”

Being part of the cause holds a very personal meaning for Joe, whose son, Ryan Joseph, was killed while serving in the Army as an Infantry Sergeant. But while the heartbreak from that loss might never fully heal, taking a job in Huntsville meant Joe could spend time with his son’s son.

Now 4 years old, he lives not far from Joe’s work.

A Different Kind of Culture

In his duties with SCI, Joe oversees what he calls a “very, very professional guard force.” Many of its members are retired police, military or both – which makes for a great work environment.

“I think it’s because of the guys on the team,” he says. “They have such similar backgrounds in law enforcement and military that they really understand the team concept and working as a team to support each other in a potentially dangerous situation.”

When he’s not at SCI, Joe is most likely spending time with his family. His parents, brother and sister all live in town, and his twin son and daughter are seniors at Grissom High. The latter recently accepted an academic scholarship to attend the University of Alabama.

But when he gets the chance, Joe also likes to return to Redstone Arsenal. The reason, he says, is simple.

“Just about everything I do is either here (at SCI), at home, or on the Arsenal,” Joe says. “It’s just a different kind of culture. And we have a lot of military guys here, so we’re able to communicate really well and work really well together also.”

Cary Bone

Cary Bone

We Are SCI

Those who know Cary Bone know that he’s a man of many talents – and projects. As it turns out, some knew it before anyone else.

“I remember when I was coming up, my grandmother told me, ‘Cary, I can see it, you’re going to be a jack of all trades, master of none,’” Cary says. “I didn’t quite catch it at the time, but I understand what she was talking about now.”

It’s just a guess, but Cary’s grandmother might have been talking about work ethic. In order to be labeled a jack of all trades, a person needs to be working on something – anything, really – almost all the time.

That’s a description that evidently fit Cary in the past. And it certainly still fits today.

Whether he’s at home in his workshop, or on the job with SCI’s TOCNET team, Cary can usually be found working on – and often mastering – one project or another. Each one is likely to be different than the one before it, from beekeeping, to growing his own food, to wood turning, just to name a few.

Balancing Duties

For some people, projects like these might seem like a drain on their time. But for Cary, it’s simply a case of putting his time to good use. Like when he had some trees cut down on his property last year:

“I gave some of it to my dad as firewood, but then I thought, wait a minute, I could take some of this firewood and turn that into something useful,” he says.

Some of that firewood turned into another project: Antique-style pepper mills carved on a lathe and finished with Cary’s own hands. Not bad for a guy who only took up the hobby last spring – and who also balances out all the projects with family time as a husband and father of two sons.

“Everything that we do, especially with our TOCNET system, is tied to our customers’ mission success.”

Top-Tier Support

That same resourcefulness translates to SCI, where Cary serves as Support Manager for TOCNET. He’s responsible for coordinating the day-to-day activities of the TOCNET Support team including trade shows, in-house training, on-site training and customer support.

“Cary is a fantastic employee who helps set the standard of a high-quality work ethic that puts our military customers first,” says Kevin Duke, SCI Vice President of Tactical Systems. “In both his personal and professional life, Cary is always pressing himself to expand his knowledge and experience in a wide variety of subjects and activities. He then carries that over to our larger team with a commitment to always improve – enabling us to offer world-class products and support.

Top-tier support is especially important with TOCNET, Cary says, because of who uses the product – and why they use it.

“Everything that we do, especially with our TOCNET system, is tied to our customers’ mission success,” Cary says. “So I really feel that it’s in our best interest to ensure that they are receiving quality support, because a down system could literally be the difference between mission success and mission failure.”

Of course, providing quality support is a direct function of working with a strong group. Specifically, Cary points to Ken Eichman, John Adams and Greg McClain as “cornerstones” of the TOCNET support team.

“They have years of experience. They have the demeanor needed to work through complex issues without getting emotions involved. And not only that, but they also have such a drive to deliver a quality product,” Cary says. “And outside of the support team, our PMs, the software developers, test engineering, that really resonates through.”