Employee Spotlight: Safe & Secure With Alicia M.

November 04, 2020

With a desire to move to Colorado and work in the aerospace industry, information system security officer, Alicia M., had her sights set on Sierra Nevada Corporation.

Described as a self-starter, Alicia explains to us how she’s tackling her greatest challenge of transitioning from the military to the civilian world and how SNC’s flexibility is helping her tackle her job requirements while being present for her current military duties back home on the east coast.

What drew you to Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and how long have you been working with the company?
My previous job was settled on the east coast where I grew up. I wanted to not only branch out geographically, but grow my experience within the aerospace community. SNC showcased itself as a smaller aerospace company whose primary goal was growth and innovation within aerospace. I’ve been working at SNC since September 2019. Since then, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the way the company’s owners, Eren and Fatih Ozmen, pay close attention to the needs of their employees. My team is also phenomenal. They are not only dedicated to setting the company up for success, but they are passionate about helping each other achieve personal and professional growth. I would not change moving to Colorado and having this opportunity for anything!

You are an information system security officer (ISSO) for SNC, what does that position entail and what’s a day in the life like?
Since our team is small, we rely heavily upon each other. As an ISSO, I am required to ensure our information systems are secured and adhering to policies and procedures. This takes effort not just on my side, but effort on our system administrator and information system security manager. I review the policies set forth by a customer and ensure they are implemented. Compliance is constantly checked weekly, quarterly, monthly, etc. to ensure our systems are operating at industry standard and beyond.

A day in the life varies. For instance, one day I came into the office to check if our workstations were operating with up to date software versions, when I realized some software needed updating. Queue meetings and calls with vendors and our engineers to brainstorm what software improvements might be helpful to keep our proposal work flowing successfully. This is still a work in progress, but it’s a small glimpse into a “week-in-the-life” and a great opportunity to learn about the engineer software we use.


Interested in joining the Sierra Nevada Corporation team? Apply today at

Why are ISSOs so crucial to SNC’s missions?
To put it in layman’s terms, the work that we do to win contracts and advance in the aerospace community needs systems to support its work. These information systems we use must be accredited properly. Accreditation is a golden ticket given to us so that we can operate on the systems. As an ISSO, I need to ensure those systems are following policies and procedures in accordance with major Department of Defense organizational standards. I primarily work alongside my system administrator to ensure our current operating information systems are meeting security requirements. The work that SNC needs to do cannot be done without systems that are approved for operation. Getting and maintaining system approval is a key element as an ISSO.

What is your favorite thing about your position at SNC?
My favorite thing about my position is my team. I have been in work environments that limit growth within the position. My team here at SNC is dedicated to helping each other learn, grow, and become more proficient and innovative. We are able to bounce ideas off of one another with no fear of judgement or reprisal. The environment sets the tone to make you want to do more, achieve more, and really set the company up for success because it means that your team also comes out successful. Leadership is also extremely understanding of military obligations. Since I am required to fly back to my home state for military duty, my leadership is understanding of the flexibility needed to ensure I can meet both my SNC requirements and still be present for military duty.

You have been described as a self-starter who is motivated to take on challenges. Can you tell us about at least one challenge you faced at SNC and how you overcame it?
My greatest challenge has been adjusting from being a military technician to the civilian world. In my previous job I was also an ISSO, but heavily relied on the military side of the house for system accreditations. Coming to SNC, I have had to face a lot of challenges regarding the separation between the military and civilian world. Shortly after I started, I was required to submit two accreditation packages for systems we needed to support proposal efforts. Being the only ISSO, it was imperative that my work produced was clean, concise, and adhering to policies and procedures. It was a lot of effort to gather old material and produce a package that was updated, without a predecessor to rely on for advice. Our team was able to submit the packages successfully and I felt confident in the material produced.

If you could travel to space with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
This is a difficult question! My best friend since kindergarten, Nicole, would be pretty high on the list. She, to this day, is the only person that can make me cry from laughing ridiculously hard. If I’m going to take a trip to space, why not have a great time while I’m at it? As we get older, life takes us further away from our childhood and presents challenges that often stifle the feeling of being carefree. When Nicole and I meet up, we are always able to relax for a minute and not let life get in the way of having good time. Sometimes, that’s just what you need.


Interested in joining the Sierra Nevada Corporation team? Apply today at