Good Times at ERC!

Habitat for Humanity 

ERC has been a long-time supporter of Habitat for Humanity at several of our ERC contract locations. This summer, we came together in Huntsville to help make the dream of a new home come true for a family.  We primed and painted the inside of the home, then tackled the garage.  Despite the heat and lots of paint on our clothes, it was a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

Pictured left to right:  (standing) Cathleen Vincent (RWESS), Michele, Mike Keel (ASRI), Stuart White (Aerie), Paul Robinette (ASRI), (kneeling) Jonathan Robinette (Aerie), Thomas Broadrick (IRES).
Summer PDL Dinner

It’s always a treat to have folks come in from all contract locations to HQ for Purpose Driven Leadership (PDL).  This year, our dinner was held at Campus 805, a fairly new venue located close to downtown Huntsville.  It features several local breweries, restaurants, and even an axe throwing spot.  Josh Wilkins (JETS) and several others checked out the axe throwing….and Josh had a lil’ misfire!

Serving Our Veterans

This summer, a group of volunteers from several of our Huntsville contracts came together to serve lunch to veterans from all branches of service at our local Veterans Center.  Thanks to Bill Alcorn (RWESS)!  He has connected ERC with this center and helps coordinate coffee and crackers for veterans visiting the facility.

The ERC volunteers feeding our veterans!

Summer Happenings!

CASA of Madison County volunteer time!

ERC now has a certified ramp building team for CASA (Care Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound) – a North Alabama non-profit that provides assistance to the homebound and elderly in our community.  A group of ERC employees came together for a fun – and hot – warehouse work night.  We cut planks and pre-assembled various sections.  Once the home site was ready, another team of volunteers from ERC and Aerie came together to build the ramp.  The homeowner was so excited to leave her house in her wheelchair – what a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

Employees sharing their work!

On a recent visit to our JETS contract at Johnson Space Center, Ernie had the opportunity to see first hand some of the cool lab work taking place:

It is amazing to see the various areas where our ERC employees work!

Supporting the Boys & Girls Club

ERC has been a long-time supporter of the Boys and Girls Clubs at several of our locations.  This year, the North Alabama Chapter featured a dinner with famed Auburn and NBA star, Charles Barkley.  ERC was represented well at the event, including some one-on-one time with Sir Charles!

Be safe out there!

Early Summer happenings….and love is in the air!

Love is in the air at TOSC! 

A recent Family Tour day at Kennedy Space Center took on special meaning as Nick Smyth proposed to his girlfriend, Caitlin!

Right after Nick joined the ERC family, he took Caitlin and her 2 children to the Visitor Center for the entire day.  Since then, Caitlin has been inspired to be a part of the space program – so much so that she is currently enrolled in the aerospace technician program at a local college.

When Nick realized that she was the one, he knew the space program had to be incorporated into the proposal.  Nick’s original idea was to propose at the launch pad, but NASA only allows tour buses out there.  So, on to Plan B.

According to Nick, when he gets nervous, he wings it – and that worked swimmingly well this time!  Nick said, “…the moment that I was in the firing room at the LCC, I had that nervous feeling and I wasn’t sure about the location…we walked up stairs…looked out towards the launch pads and [thought] it’s now or never…I asked the launch director [to] please give me 1 minute. That’s when I told Caitlin that I love her and the rest is history!”

Yes, even Ernie gets tested! 

As a government contractor, we are required to perform random drug screens on our employees…and that includes Ernie, Kenny, Ken and Stacy.  You’ll see below that it was Ernie’s lucky day – and he passed with flying colors!  Dana, from Occupational Health Group, is our favorite screener as she always has that big smile on her face.

10th Annual ERC Fishing Tournament

It was a picture perfect day for the 10th Annual ERC Fishing Tournament with 25 boats launching to see who would bring home the biggest catch.  Congratulations to Naaman Robertson (RWESS) and Megan Freeman for taking home the trophy this year.  Together, they caught 10.91 lbs of bass.

ERC 30th Anniversary Celebrations and a big milestone for one of our own!

ERC Celebrates our 30th Anniversary!  

As our founder, Dr. Susan Wu, has said, it’s hard to believe that ERC is now 30 years old!  Each ERC contract location had its own unique celebration, but each one started with that sweet video of Susan and Jimmy talking about the Red Envelopes.   If you missed the video, you can still view it on ERCNet.  In the near future, we’ll have the recording from the 30th Anniversary celebration in Huntsville with Susan and Jimmy talking to our folks about the early days of ERC…it was a treat!

Take a moment to check out these photos from some of the 30th Anniversary celebrations:

Dr. Roscoe Lee:  50 years of service!

September 2017 marked an important milestone for Roscoe, as that date marked his 50th anniversary working for NASA – quite an accomplishment!  With this milestone, Roscoe became the first ERC employee to reach that level of service, so a big congratulations and thanks to Roscoe for his years of service to the space program!

Roscoe has been featured in the ERC blog before.  Several years ago, this youtube video was created to tell the “Roscoe Lee Story – Nearly 50 years with NASA.”   You’ll hear Roscoe talk about the incredible journey of important work that he has performed.  His career with NASA began in 1967 working on the Apollo missions, the Apollo Soyuz project with the Russians, the Space Shuttle missions, and the International Space Station.

IRES joins the ERC family…and early Spring Happenings!

Welcome IRES to the ERC Family!

The ERC family continues to grow with our newest contract, IRES (Integrated Research & Development for Enterprise Solutions), supporting the Missile Defense Agency with locations in Colorado Springs and Huntsville. The new ERC IRES employees in  Colorado Springs recently came together for a Meet & Greet with Mike Finnicum, the new Program Manager, Ernie and some of the folks from HR.  We are so delighted to have you in the ERC family!

RC Headquarter Staff is reading, discussing and learning to work together as a team!

Many members of the ERC HQ staff are currently reading The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

Ernie led us in reading this book as part of a Directed Sprint. A Directed Sprint is an activity used by Deliberately Developmental Organizations (DDOs), a term used to describe organizations that are intentional about helping their people grow.   The corporate office held a developmental sprint a couple of years ago using the Immunity to Change process developed by Harvard Professors Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey. In that sprint, HQ staff worked on personal improvements.   In this directed sprint, rather than working on individual objectives, the group reads material together. They then meet to discuss the book, relate it to organizational goals, and reflect upon their individual roles and responsibilities from that perspective. Teamwork is a topic the corporate office decided to tackle because ERC’s growth makes aligned and cooperative behavior ever more important. Rather than hoping for better teamwork, the corporate office is tackling it deliberately.

AIAA Team at Carts4Hearts

Carts4Hearts, a loose parody of the Iditarod Alaskan dog sled race featuring human teams with decorated shopping carts, is an annual fundraiser for the Downtown Rescue Mission. This year’s race included a team from AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the world’s oldest aerospace professional association) with our own Naveen Vetcha (ESSCA).  Naveen is the Greater Huntsville Section Chair for AIAA, which covers Alabama and Mississippi. Not only did the team have an awesome space-themed cart, they took home 1st place for the amount of food collected – over 500 lbs! Thanks to all the Huntsville ERC folks who donated food to make this happen!  Way to go, Naveen!

ERC and our employees are making an impact! 

Thanks to some of the PFCs at TOSC for distributing the funds to the selected charities in the Brevard County community – what a terrific impact to make on so many lives!


ERC was a proud sponsor of the Cycle4ALZ – a ride to raise funds for the Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation. At the end of the race, Mary Banasik was presented with a surprise special award for her fundraising efforts over the years.  Congratulations to Mary for this recognition!

ERC employee featured in “Apache Warrior” movie!

Bill Neal, a Test Program Integrator on the RWESS contract, is part of a documentary on the Apache helicopter.  Filmed during the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, this documentary provides a pilot’s eye view of action as U.S. forces struck deep into enemy territory. The action takes place in near real time as the Apache crews offer close ground support to troops battling Iraq’s large mechanized army.

Bill recently attended a screening for the film, which included a raffle and other donations, all benefiting the Apache Warrior Foundation.  The film has been viewed at multiple movie festivals across the country and has already won several awards. The documentary became available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon on Dec.12 and will be screened at select theaters across the country.Click the link below to view the story that aired on the local news:, thank you for being part of the team to share this powerful story, and thank you for your service to our country.

Bill Neal, left, with a contact from the Apache Warrior Foundation

2017 Year End Activities and 2018 Start!

Because of the generosity of our employees that support the ERC Helping Hands Charitable Giving Fund, the following grants were made possible in 2017:

In Huntsville:



Additionally, thanks the many of you that support the ERC Benevolence Fund, several ERC employees have been helped with financial assistance as they faced hardships.

Space Night with the Huntsville Havoc!

ERC was proud to support the first ever Space Night with the Havoc…and our very own Ryan Noe (from Business Development at HQ – see the red arrow!) was on the ice for the ceremonial puck drop.  Jan Davis, former NASA Astronaut, was also on the ice to officially drop the puck.

A few recent happenings at TOSC

In December, the Purpose Driven Leadership (PDL) program was taught at TOSC. It was great to have Ernie, Kenny and all of the instructors at TOSC, then come together with the class for dinner at the beautiful Exploration Tower!

Cardiovascular Screening at TOSC

Miguel Fernandez  puts on a brave face as he partakes in the monthly free cardiovascular screening. At the screening, they will check your health numbers: cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose. Hopefully we’ll see more ERC faces at future screenings!

Happy Fall!

Fall is off to a good start at ERC!

Several folks from AFTD (RWESS) attend training session

3 ERC flight test engineers attend a short course at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River, MD.   The project aircraft was a Howard DGA-15P, flying from the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport.  Each took turns in separate flights, on the controls and observing flight test techniques, and spent approximately an hour in the air for each flight.They all enjoyed the class and the opportunity to gain more insight to do their best to support our customers at RTC and to support the warfighter.

Huntsville/Madison County Leadership Connect Program

Ruby Stevens, ERC HQ Business Development, is a current member of Connect, the young professional leadership program offered by the Huntsville/Madison County Leadership Office.  The program features 5 monthly program days that focus on various aspects of our community.  This past program day was: The Value of Public Service.

According to Ruby, “the goal was to place us in real life scenarios to help us understand what first responders have to deal with on a daily basis. In one activity, we were tasked with suiting up in firefighter gear, and completing an obstacle course one by one that consisted of chopping wood, crawling through a 36 inch tube, utilizing a fire hose, other strenuous exercises. As a result of this activity, I have gained a greater appreciation for firefighters and the work they do to keep society safe.”

Halloween Fun – the ERC way!  

We had a fun Halloween celebration at HQ, and so did some of the folks at RPS!  Yep, it’s fun to cut loose sometimes!

Perfect day for a Shrimp Boil! 

The ERC family at ESSCA (MSFC) gathered together on a beautiful Fall day to enjoy some good fellowship, recognize a few ERC employees with milestone service awards and enjoy an shrimp boil!  We do some good eating at all of our ERC locations!