Thank you to Gerald A. Moore Sr., Executive Director at Mission Fulfilled 2030 for answering our questions! This year-long spotlight series is brought to you by the Chamber’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. To learn more, click here.
Where were you born and raised and, if it was someplace else, when and why did you move to Loudoun?
My name is Gerald Moore and I was born and raised in Rochester New York. I was introduced to Virginia as I went to Norfolk State University where I received a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering Technology. Post college I orginally moved to Prince Georges County Maryland. But as an Information Security and cybersecurity professional, many of the companies that I worked as a contractor were in Northern Virginia, therefore in 2015, I made the decision to move to Ashburn. I also thought that this would provide a great opportunity educationally for my children who were in middle school. I also thought that my children would want to attend Virginia colleges and I now have a daughter at Virginia Tech and another at NVCC.
What was your first experience in business and how did you get into your current line of work?
My first experience in business was as an independent Information Security Contractor where I specialized in federal system certification and accreditation work.
Having a technical degree and a passion for technology being a solutions oriented individual I realized after working for several consulting firms Booz Allen Hamilton, Accenture and SAIC that I needed to have the freedom to choose the contracts that I worked where I saw that the work I was doing was having an impact.
In this field, I recognized that there was a lack of diversity for Black males in the field, and for all of the companies that I worked I participated with human resource diversity and recruiting initiatives. Working in this capacity is where I realized that there was a pipeline issue with a lack of diverse talent. This is where I decided to create a pipeline of young talent from disadvantaged and underserved youth which was a background that I am very familiar with. Thus I founded Mission Fulfilled 2030 nonprofit organization whose vision is to impact 100,000 at-risk youth bridging the digital divide and making a dent in the income/wealth gap while creating a pipeline of diverse talent from untapped populations to meet the predicted shortage of digital high-tech and STEM professionals by 2030.
I left my corporate job as a cybersecurity engineer in 2019 to run the nonprofit full-time as the Executive Director as I knew to achieve the vision and mission the organization would need my full participation to raise awareness and funding required to achieve the goals we set.
Have you had any mentors or inspirations that influenced your career?
I have had several mentors and inspirations that influenced my career. Growing up in Rochester New York, I never thought that I would attend college in a blue-collar city most graduated and went to work at the local factory. I thought this would be my future but I saw my father and uncles always designing and building things, though none of them was college educated this was my first experience with engineering and gave me the idea that I could be an engineer. My father was in the middle of 12 children and had to drop out of high school at 15 to work, my mother was the eldist of nine children I have a numerous amount of 1st-cousins but I was the first to graduate from college. As a first-generation college graduate, I knew I was laying a foundation for my family members coming behind me and my children.
What is the best part of your job and why?
The best part of what I do in leadership for Mission Fulfilled 2030 is reaching out to corporations in an effort to help them with their DEI initiatives and creating partnerships and pipelines for diverse talent. I feel like I am on the front lines creating opportunities and developing programs for at-risk youth to be a part of the high-tech and digital revolution which will have a long-standing impact on the country as a whole.
What is it like owning/running an organization like Mission Fulfilled 2030 in Loudoun?
Owning and running Mission Fulfilled 2030 is like a 3-ring circus, I’m always juggling multiple tasks, directing volunteers, and figuring out how to engage corporations to become a part of the show. But I feel as a fairly new nonprofit in Loudoun and our focus we are uniquely positioned to be leaders in helping the county meet its diversity and equity initiatives in the technology sector.
What does Black Business Month mean to you?
Black Business Month means a lot to me because it’s an opportunity to shed light on the type of work that Mission Fulfilled 2030 is doing that is beneficial to the local economy. Especially in Loudoun where we have some hurdles to overcome. I feel that Black Business Month provides companies the wherewithal to take a look at some of the partnerships that can be created to work with smaller Black-owned and founded organizations. Black-founded nonprofits receive less than 1% of all grant funding nationally and hopefully, Black Business Month can open some eyes to this disparity and provide opportunities for funding and partnerships for Mission Fulfilled 2030 and other minority businesses.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you are not working?
Some of my favorite things to do when I am not working, love to play tennis and largemouth bass fishing. I enjoy most outdoor activities as I am a nature lover, therefore hiking, running the trails is a passion. I also love to train young athletes, this could be a job to some but I find pleasure and relaxation helping the youth to achieve their athletic goals and dreams.
To learn more about Mission Fulfilled 2030, click here.