66 episodes

On this show we'll talk about tech - software engineering, data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning - government contracting, the business of business, money, and what really drives us.

Outspoken with Shana Cosgrove Shana Cosgrove

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

On this show we'll talk about tech - software engineering, data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning - government contracting, the business of business, money, and what really drives us.

    From the Rafters: Nic Cober, Esq., Principal Managing Partner of CJR and Founder of The BOW Collective

    From the Rafters: Nic Cober, Esq., Principal Managing Partner of CJR and Founder of The BOW Collective

    Seeing Abundance, Supporting Women, and Shifting the Narrative.


    In this episode of The Outspoken Podcast, host Shana Cosgrove talks to Nic Cober, Esq., Principal Managing Partner of CJR and founder of The BOW Collective. Nic describes her journey to and through serial entrepreneurship, from her unexpected first small business venture as owner of a hair salon and day spa to her current role as cofounder of a multi-million dollar legal and consulting firm based in Washington, DC. She talks about the joy she finds in working directly with small businesses and consulting with banks, municipalities, and others to support small-business owners. She shares how her new nonprofit venture, the Black Owner and Women’s Collective, came to be and how she got to ring the bell at the NYSE. Nic encourages women to support women-owned businesses and to realize that partnerships are power, and she has ideas for what to read even when you’re tired of reading.


    QUOTES 
    “What I realized and what I think has been my forever light bulb moment is whatever you had you can have again. Because I had the intellectual property to do it the first time. And so: OK, you’ve lost that, well, what did you do right? What relationships did you make? How can you repurpose your gifts in order to get it again?” - Nic Cober [13:35] “I don’t see a lot of married CEO women that are able to have tremendous success personally and professionally without a truly supportive person. And when you own a business together, it stands to reason that it works because you both want it to work. You are both aligned. [. . .] We are both alpha personalities, but we do the beta. We do the beta dance.” - Nic Cober [35:16] “Partnerships are the best key to success. It’s people. [. . .] If you don’t have a collaborative nature on how you can make your business a win-win and triangulate that, you won’t be successful. But if you do, you will always have advocates and allies out there that will come to your aid when you need it the most.” - Nic Cober [46:07]TIMESTAMPS 
    [00:04] Intro[01:55] Meet Nic Cober[03:25] From Practicing Law to Owning a Small Business[11:50] From Running a Small Business to Advising Small Business Owners[14:22] Dealing with Adversity, Getting Past Fears[19:25] Consulting with Small Businesses[24.52] Narrowing vs. Broadening Your Business’s Appeal[26:40] On Partnerships, Relationships, and Inspiring Parents[33:40] Spouses Who Work Together and Marriages That Work[38:38] The BOW (Black Owner & Women’s) Collective[46:07] Partnerships Are the Secret to Success[51:31] On What to Read Even When You’re Too Tired to Read[53:40] Women Supporting Women and Women-Owned Businesses[56:04] OutroRELEVANT LINKS
    Nic Cober, EsquireNic Cober, Esquire on LinkedIn Nyla Technology SolutionsI’d love to hear from you -- your feedback is important to me and I read all of it. If you enjoyed the podcast, I hope you’ll give us 5 stars. I’ll be sure to thank you via email. If not, let me know what you think we should do differently. Don’t forget to hit “subscribe” so you’ll receive notifications about guest interviews and other topics that drop every Tuesday.
    Live well, Shana

    • 56 min
    From the Rafters: Bailey Bickley, Chief Strategy Officer, NSA Cybersecurity Collaboration Center

    From the Rafters: Bailey Bickley, Chief Strategy Officer, NSA Cybersecurity Collaboration Center

    Collaboration, Transparency, and Family Legacy.

    In this episode of The Outspoken Podcast, host Shana Cosgrove talks to Bailey Bickley, Chief Strategy Officer for the NSA Cybersecurity Collaboration Center. Bailey discusses The NSA’s journey from a private organization to one that is now discussing cybersecurity publicly to help ensure online safety. Bailey’s family has been a part of The NSA for 3 generations, and Bailey explains why this family legacy is so important to her. She also explains SolarWinds and other hacking incidents, and why the mission of The NSA is so vital to protect the national interests of The United States. Lastly, Bailey reveals to us her favorite book, future TED talk topic, and the popular movie franchise that puts her to sleep!


    QUOTES
    “You want to build trust through transparency. Folks won’t take action on our cybersecurity guidance, unless they trust the source of that guidance.” - Bailey Bickley [05:32]“I realized very early on that my enthusiasm, my ability to connect with people was a skill. It wasn’t just a personality aspect, but it was something that I could leverage in the workplace to get the job done.” - Bailey Bickley [21:38]“If you don’t lean into identifying what you don’t understand and remediating that, you’ll only get so far. [...] Making sure you put the work in first, versus relying on other people to teach you, I think is really important.” - Bailey Bickley [38:00] TIMESTAMPS 
    [00:04] Intro[01:31] Meet Bailey Bickley[05:01] The Shift into a Public-Facing NSA[14:42] SolarWinds Cybersecurity Incident[17:15] NSA’s Missions[21:01] How Bailey’s Personality Fits into NSA[24:07] Bailey’s Start with NSA[34:57] Mistakes and Moments of Failure[37:14] Advice for Young People[39:38] Bailey’s Book Recommendation[43:49] Bailey’s Surprising Fact[46:48] OutroRELEVANT LINKS
    Bailey Bickley on LinkedInIntelligencecareers.gov/nsaNyla Technology SolutionsI’d love to hear from you -- your feedback is important to me and I read all of it. If you enjoyed the podcast, I hope you’ll give us 5 stars. I’ll be sure to thank you via email. If not, let me know what you think we should do differently. Don’t forget to hit “subscribe” so you’ll receive notifications about guest interviews and other topics that drop every Tuesday.
    Live well, Shana

    • 47 min
    From the Rafters: Julie Lenzer, Chief Innovation Officer at ARMI

    From the Rafters: Julie Lenzer, Chief Innovation Officer at ARMI

    Creativity, Technology, and Making Geek Chic


    In this episode of The Outspoken Podcast, host Shana Cosgrove talks to Julie Lenzer, Chief Innovation Officer at the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI). Julie talks about her early start in computer science and manufacturing and why she recently completed a master’s degree in machine learning alongside working a fulltime job. She discusses her work in the biotech sector at ARMI, where she has joined innovator Dean Kamen to support and scale new processes for tissue regeneration. Julie shares the story of starting and growing her own tech business—while parenting young children—and her commitment to women’s empowerment, including via a longtime leadership role with the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. Together Shana and Julie celebrate summer camp as a special chance for girls to be in nature and build confidence, and Julie tells us about mostly saying yes to opportunity (including a chance to represent the U.S. on the G20 Innovation Task Force) and occasionally saying no (turning down a post-college invite to try out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders). 
     
    QUOTES
    “Technology for itself? It is what it is. But if you look at its ability to change things and change the world? That’s what kept me going.” – Julie Lenzer [07:02]“I had read articles about the bias inherent—and bias, not algorithmic bias, but bias as in data bias—in machine learning and I wanted to understand what that meant. I wanted to understand how to avoid it [. . . ] How do we make sure that we’re not just supercharging our biases and our bad behavior into making faster bad decisions?” – Julie Lenzer [10:09]  “Building a business isn’t rocket science, but a rocket scientist doesn’t know how to do it. I’m helping these brilliant scientists figure out how to raise capital, figure out how to attract a CEO [. . .] helping them figure out what’s their next milestone and how to get there.” – Julie Lenzer [17:29]TIMESTAMPS
    [00:04] Intro[01:31] Meet Julie Lenzer[04:50] Computer Science and Being the Only Woman in the Room[09:57] Mastering Machine Learning and Managing Bias in AI [14:54] When Biofabrication Is Your Day Job[18:12] Choosing a Mission When You Can Do Anything You Want[19:55] Starting Your Own Company Before Age 30[24:38] Building Something Bigger Than Yourself [28:13] Knowing When to Walk Away [31:12] Building Girl Leaders Through Girl Scouts [38:02] Ignoring Old Programming[43:19] Taking Pride in Letting Teams Shine[46:23] On Failing and Lessons Learned[49:03] Writing about ParentPreneurship[53:20] Saying Yes to the G20 Innovation Task Force[1:00:03] OutroRELEVANT LINKS 
    Julie Lenzer on LinkedInNyla Technology SolutionsI’d love to hear from you -- your feedback is important to me and I read all of it. If you enjoyed the podcast, I hope you’ll give us 5 stars. I’ll be sure to thank you via email. If not, let me know what you think we should do differently. Don’t forget to hit “subscribe” so you’ll receive notifications about guest interviews and other topics that drop every Tuesday.
    Live well, Shana

    • 1 hr
    From the Rafters: Angel Smith, Partner, Mission Solutions and Customer Expansion (MSCE) at Microsoft

    From the Rafters: Angel Smith, Partner, Mission Solutions and Customer Expansion (MSCE) at Microsoft

    Cyber Diversity, Running Heels, and Working Toward the Metaverse.


    In this episode of The Outspoken Podcast, host Shana Cosgrove talks to Angel Smith, PhD, Partner, Mission Solutions and Customer Expansion (MSCE) at Microsoft. Angel talks to Shana about how data and data cooperation matter in today’s changing security environment, where the U.S. must consider the potential for conflicts with peer (no longer “near-peer”) adversaries. She describes the career path that led her from a career in the Marines as a C-130 pilot to a Congressional staff role overseeing the Military Intelligence Program and most recently to Microsoft. Angel shares what it feels like to get a second chance at life after a cancer diagnosis at age 23, and she explains what a PhD in organizational psychology brings to conversations about building a future metaverse. She tells young people to trust in their capabilities and learn how to win friends and influence people. 
     
    QUOTES
    “If you think about it - the threats that are starting to come at us - we’re used to [being able to] clearly define an adversary space geographically. We knew where wars were taking place. The way that things work now is everything is global all the time, and we are starting to see the advantage is actually decision superiority: who can get as much information as possible to make the smartest real-time decision?” - Angel Smith [11:58]“One big takeaway was that service looks very different from a lot of different angles. And so I was working with people that had never served a day in their life in the military or anywhere else outside of tech, but they were some of the most incredible patriots I had ever met in my entire life. Some of the most brilliant people who were so, so, so dedicated to mission in such a passionate way. - Angel Smith [26:27]“There’s also this component of We’ve always done it this way, not realizing that we must evolve, because things are—everything around us is changing. We must change alongside that. We must continue to do things a little bit better. - Angel Smith [51:54] 
    TIMESTAMPS 
    [00:04] Intro[01:54] Meet Angel Smith[05:01] Building Connections with Australia and the UK[08:01] Microsoft Mission Solutions: Data and Resiliency[12:31] Digital Action as Military Action[17:48] From Marine Corps to Microsoft and JEDI (and JWCC)[25:38] Post-Corps Culture Shock: From Combat Boots to Running Heels[30:42] Choosing the Marines and Surviving Cancer[37:05] Flying God’s Chariot (C-130s)[41:33] Using Deployment Downtime to Earn a PhD[48:41] Conversing about the Metaverse[1:01:56] OutroRELEVANT LINKS
    Angel Smith on LinkedInNyla Technology Solutions
    I’d love to hear from you -- your feedback is important to me and I read all of it. If you enjoyed the podcast, I hope you’ll give us 5 stars. I’ll be sure to thank you via email. If not, let me know what you think we should do differently. Don’t forget to hit “subscribe” so you’ll receive notifications about guest interviews and other topics that drop every Tuesday.
    Live well, Shana

    • 1 hr 2 min
    From the Rafters: Jennifer Walsmith, Vice President of Cyber and Information Solutions at Northrop Grumman

    From the Rafters: Jennifer Walsmith, Vice President of Cyber and Information Solutions at Northrop Grumman

    Balancing, Pivoting, and Innovating Through Diversity


    In this episode of The Outspoken Podcast, host Shana Cosgrove talks to Jennifer Walsmith, Vice President of Cyber and Information Solutions at Northrop Grumman. Shana and Jennifer talk about the capacity for remote work to broaden access to decision-makers and increase organizational agility. Jennifer talks about her 20+ years at NSA—from a GS-2 to being the Senior Acquisition Executive (SAE)—and her experiences earning a degree in computer science, leaving government for a stint in industry, and prioritizing her family all along the way. She describes her role in relation to Northrop Grumman’s Global Ballistic Strategic Deterrent contract, developing and then seeing through their pivot to cyber solutions. Lastly, Jennifer tells Shana why she originally picked computer science over engineering and describes her surprise when a recent Meyers-Briggs test indicated that she may not be as extroverted as she thought.
    QUOTES
    “As you go through a major change, they used to talk about it in the terms of sailing [ . . . ] When you decide to tack to get better wind, it’s so important that you not get caught in what is called irons, which is that lull as you are trying to move to the new wind. [ . . .] Races are won or lost not on the decision to tack, but the execution of that move.” - Jennifer Walsmith [12:48]“Trust is one of the most important things that you have to build. Trust is really the thing that comes after you’ve built all the relationships.” - Jennifer Walsmith [36:47]“I’m not convinced that more hours is more effective. You have to keep getting more effective with your time. You have to think about how you empower others around you, how you leverage that team. [ . . . ] It doesn’t have to be the 80-hour work week, and it doesn’t have to be the way we’ve always done it.” - Jennifer Walsmith [43:54] TIMESTAMPS
    [00:04] Intro[01:56] Meet Jennifer Walsmith[07:02] Bridging Intelligence and Defense at Northrop Grumman[08:25] On the Cyber Segment of Global Ballistic Strategic Deterrent (GBSD)[11:24] Strategizing—and Executing—the Pivot to Cyber Solutions[15:51] NSA to SAIC, and Back to NSA[23:10] High Energy, the Drive to Achieve, and Following Family Passions[25:31] Choosing Computer Science over Engineering[30:03] Seven Jobs at NSA, All the Way to SAE (Senior Acquisition Executive)[36:47] Trust is the Key to Building a Strong Team[39:29] Being a Woman in Senior Leadership [43:40] Finding New Models for Leadership[46:39] Diversity of Thought Delivers Innovative Solutions[51:08] Be Brave, Have Courage, and Find a Job that Inspires You[56:04] Outro RELEVANT LINKS
    Jennifer Walsmith on LinkedInNyla Technology Solutions

    I’d love to hear from you -- your feedback is important to me and I read all of it. If you enjoyed the podcast, I hope you’ll give us 5 stars. I’ll be sure to thank you via email. If not, let me know what you think we should do differently. Don’t forget to hit “subscribe” so you’ll receive notifications about guest interviews and other topics that drop every Tuesday.
    Live well, Shana

    • 56 min
    From the Rafters: Shana Cosgrove, Founder and CEO of Nyla Technology Solutions.

    From the Rafters: Shana Cosgrove, Founder and CEO of Nyla Technology Solutions.

    Taking Time, Refining the Process, and Creating a Unicorn Farm


    In this special episode of The Outspoken Podcast, Rebecca Scott of TallSmall Productions interviews podcast host Shana Cosgrove, founder and CEO of Nyla Technology Solutions. Shana describes how her goals changed over time: at first she’d hoped to climb the corporate ladder, and then she realized she could start a company of her own. Shana tells Rebecca the story of how she named her company after her mother, Nyla, creating a people-centered company rooted in the values that her mother lived by. She talks about navigating the uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic as a contractor in the defense sector, where remote work is common but security constraints mean “work from home” can’t work for every employee. Shana explains that she started Outspoken because she wanted to hear from female experts—and she reminds us that you don’t have to make every single sandwich to be a great mom.
     
    QUOTES
     
    “I’m a huge risk-taker professionally. I never was attracted to going to the big companies. I was never attracted to the long-term stability of the company. I was always very interested in the work that was going to be done.” - Shana Cosgrove [15:26]“There’s an endless amount of work to be done, but not all of that is valuable. Sometimes you are gold-plating or making something better or making something bigger that doesn’t need to be done [. . .] It is really understanding the limits, which will force a prioritization of what needs to be done. And that’s why they say, ‘You want something done, you give it to a busy person.’” - Shana Cosgrove [34:19]“The best thing you can do is just really enjoy where you are and embrace all that’s good of where you are.” - Shana Cosgrove [53:23] 
    TIMESTAMPS  
    [00:04] Intro[02:14] Meet Shana Cosgrove[04:18] On Understanding Business and Starting Nyla Technology Solutions[09:58] On Learning to Like the Defense Industry[13:20] Getting Ready to Launch[17:17] Just Know That You’ll Figure It Out[22:35] Naming for Values, Naming for a Woman[25:13] Navigating COVID-19 in a People-Centered Company[31:50] When to Wind Down . . . and When to Double Down[36:13] Nourishing Yourself While Managing a Company[39:36] Inviting Women to Be Outspoken [43:04] Making Money is Freedom[45:46] Envisioning Nyla’s Future[49:34] Raising Children While Running a Unicorn Farm[53:35] Winning Friends and Influencing People in Tech[57:16] OutroRELEVANT LINKS
    Shana Cosgrove on LinkedInTallSmall ProductionsNyla Technology Solutions

    I’d love to hear from you -- your feedback is important to me and I read all of it. If you enjoyed the podcast, I hope you’ll give us 5 stars. I’ll be sure to thank you via email. If not, let me know what you think we should do differently. Don’t forget to hit “subscribe” so you’ll receive notifications about guest interviews and other topics that drop every Tuesday.
    Live well, Shana

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

DEHarwoodLLC ,

Stimulating!

Shana is able to develop a stimulating, fun conversation during every interview!

ltl one ,

Inspired!

Shana is a gifted conversationalist with an enviable talent for inspiring the best in her peers. I enjoy listening to what motivates her guests to pursue their chosen paths to personal and professional fulfillment.

Ebenum ,

Great Insights

I loved your episode with Leandra. Great job probing with the hard questions. Thank you for shining a light on successful government contracting. I love learning from leaders in the industry.

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