NPower, one of the country’s largest nonprofits providing free tech training and job placement, has announced Gerald Charles Jr. has joined the Board of Directors.
Charles is currently a Vice President and Head of Product for Omni Customer Servicing at Capital One, as well as a McGraw-Hill published author and noted speaker. He has been a Regional Advisory Board member with NPower Maryland since 2017.
Charles has spent the last three decades as a C-Suite advisor building strategies and business models that create markets, generate revenue streams, improve customer experiences, and inspire corporate campuses of the future. During 10 years at Cisco Systems, he served as both an executive advisor and director of strategy, operations, and strategic customer engagement for their U.S. Public Sector.
The Chief Executive Officer of NPower, Bertina Ceccarelli, says Charles’s technology acumen and corporate experience will bring a valuable resource to the nonprofit, helping NPower scale and plan for growth.
“Gerald Charles has a passion for our community and philanthropy and has been an extraordinary leader on our Maryland Regional Advisory Board,” said Ceccarelli. “We are excited to welcome him to the national Board of Directors where he can share his knowledge and expertise with even more individuals across our footprint.”
Charles said his experience as a Black man who rose through the tech world brings a perspective, special empathy, and passion for helping young adults from underserved communities realize goals for themselves, their communities, and their companies.
“I have experienced and seen the obstacles people of color face in their pursuit of a career in technology and business, despite the research that shows the most innovative and profitable companies embed workforce diversity in their operations” Charles said. “My passions include bringing that diversity to technology and lifting young adults of color into positions of leadership.”
Charles played a pivotal role in Under Armour’s rapid expansion and growth. As Vice President of Global Information Technology and co-CTO, he helped transform their technology infrastructure and Customer facing systems into an international enterprise. He led their “Secure Cloud First” strategy, moving operations into the cloud and accelerating their speed to market, a critical pillar in their global strategy. This action plan supported Under Armour’s rapid growth in Asia, opening hundreds of stores in only two years, including an incredible 30 stores in 30 days.
“Gerald Charles brings valuable skills, executive reach and tech experience to the NPower national Board of Directors,” said Gail Fierstein, who is board secretary and heads the board nominating committee with NPower. “We are excited to add his diverse voice to our boardroom as we work to expand our organizations to help more communities.”
Charles is a graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland, holding B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering, respectively. He has been a Board Member of the Executive Leadership Council in Washington, D.C. since 2019.
Over the past decade, NPower has expanded its program reach, and developed a robust network of Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized enterprises, government agencies, staffing firms, and a network of nonprofit partners that host its interns and hire its graduates full time.
NPower is a national nonprofit on a mission to move people from poverty to the middle class by training youth from underserved communities and veterans in a range of tech skills and placing them in quality jobs. Students who enter their free, six-month program, earn industry-recognized certifications and graduate with the competencies of an IT professional with one to two years of experience. NPower also places students in paid internships with corporate and nonprofit organizations. Eighty percent of NPower graduates get a full-time job or continue their education. Not only is NPower changing life trajectories for individuals from vulnerable communities but they are also strengthening the overall competitiveness of U.S. businesses hamstrung by today’s limited pool of IT talent. To learn more about NPower, visit www.npower.org.