Great Minds in STEM™ recently honored Booz Allen Principal Tony Zertuche with the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC) Executive Excellence Award. HENAAC annually recognizes achievements in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by the nation's best and brightest engineers, scientists, and technology experts who happen to be Hispanic.
Tony has more than 35 years of professional experience in technology in the aerospace and Department of Defense industry in the areas of real-time systems development, hardware/software engineering development, test and integration, operations concepts, requirements analysis and management, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Mission Control Center operations.
Before coming to Booz Allen, Tony worked for Lockheed Martin, where he designed and conducted hardware and software tests on Space Shuttle inertial system components at NASA. Later, he worked directly for NASA in the crucial role of Space Shuttle Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) flight controller in the Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center.
Booz Allen Senior Vice President Angie Messer said, in nominating Tony for the award, “He first joined Booz Allen in 1989 to help establish the firm’s Houston office and manage its space business market. He was a natural choice for this role, having worked with NASA and the Space Shuttle program since its infancy in 1976.”
Bill Bastedo, a Booz Allen Senior Vice President in the firm’s Houston office, has worked with Tony for many years. “At an early stage in his career, Tony was a prestigious front room flight controller at NASA,” said Bill. “When the Space Shuttle first launched, Tony was one of the people sitting in that control room, monitoring and guiding the mission. He also played a key leadership role in the development of NASA’s second generation training flight simulators with real-time operating systems, which were cutting-edge at the time.”
Today—from one of the firm’s San Antonio offices—Tony leads Booz Allen’s emergent multi-million dollar military healthcare market, including Army, Air Force, Navy, and Joint services. He is responsible for driving firmwide capabilities—such as technology, strategy and organization, and analytics—throughout the healthcare market.
“I’ve always valued the importance of hard work in reaching professional and personal goals,” said Tony. As one of six children in a working class Hispanic family, he knew paying for college was his responsibility, and his alone. He received an American football scholarship to study in Mexico at Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education). There he earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1975, becoming the first in his family to receive a college degree. He started working for NASA soon thereafter.
In addition to recognizing Tony’s professional achievements, the HENAAC Award also honors his work as a STEM role model. At Booz Allen, he mentors and coaches junior staff to help them succeed as STEM professionals. On a national level, Tony represents the firm at professional events in the Hispanic community, including the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers and HENAAC.
“Tony’s unwavering work ethic—as well as personal drive and determination—have helped him successfully shape a stellar career in the aerospace and technology sectors,” said Angie. “Through his leadership, guidance, and engagement, Tony serves as an outstanding role model for the Hispanic and STEM communities.