JFK, as he likes to be called, is Blacklidge’s new Chief Operating Officer. In this role at Blacklidge, JFK will lead overall operations of the company including the current nine operating facilities and planned expansion. He is responsible for spearheading innovation and growth as well as designing and implementing new business processes while implementing policies that promote company culture, vision, efficiency, quality and safety. Below, JFK shares what he did before joining the Blacklidge leadership team and what he’s looking forward to most in his new role.
What did you do before joining Blacklidge?
Before joining Blacklidge, I served in the Army and was the Deputy Chief Pentagon Support Group for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) at the Pentagon. During my 22 years of active duty service in the Army, I rose through the ranks and finished my Doctorate in Business Administration and earned three master’s degrees. Prior to the military, I worked in retail and opened big box stores for Office Max, Office Depot and Best Buy. I opened the first Best Buy and the first OfficeMax in Mississippi.
Can you share an interesting experience from your time in the military?
I was an Army Master Space Officer for the U.S. government, and I sat in the early planning sessions for Space Force and SPACECOM. At that time, I was the Chief of SPACECOM and STRATCOM Engagement Teams for the NRO. STRATCOM deters strategic attack and employs forces, as directed, to guarantee the security of our Nation and our Allies; which include strategic deterrence; nuclear operations; space operations; joint electronic spectrum operations; global strike; missile defense; and analysis and targeting. Being on the leading edge of innovation and military technology was invigorating and eye opening.
What are you most excited about here at Blacklidge?
The people. It’s been so heartwarming how everybody has accepted me. But it’s also how committed they are to Blacklidge and the customers. Everyone loves this organization and is committed to being their very best every day. It’s been very refreshing for me to see how much they care and want to see Blacklidge move to the next level.
What is your plan to lead Blacklidge forward?
The leadership team and I are identifying the best ways to propel Blacklidge to the next level of growth and success. I bring a fresh set of eyes and unique experience to the team. We are looking at all aspects of our operations and, while we pull back the layers, I can help identify areas we can improve further. We have dedicated people here at Blacklidge that all bring their best every day. My job is to provide everyone with what they need to succeed while holding each other accountable.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I played football at Ole Miss, The University of Mississippi. I was a walk on that worked incredibly hard to earn a full scholarship. My Mama was proud. Seeing what effort can do has stuck with me my entire career.
What are you most proud of?
My kids. I have a daughter and two sons. My daughter is a forensic chemist and officer for DHS in DC and one of my sons owns a successful gym in Jackson, Mississippi. My other son owns a basketball training facility in Atlanta where he works with talented youth, including several members of the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team and members of the Atlanta Dream.