Mary McWilliams, lead engineer for DLA Land and Maritime in Columbus, Ohio, has been installed as national chair of NSBE Professionals, a 7,000-member organization of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). The installation took place on March 28, after the group’s national elections, which were held during NSBE’s 41st Annual Convention in Anaheim, Calif. McWilliams and four other professional executive officers (PEO) will lead the Professionals Executive Board, the governing body of NSBE Professionals, for one-year terms beginning May 1.

NSBE Professionals seeks to positively impact lives by leveraging a global community that empowers members to grow technically, access influential leadership, advance careers and inspire the next generation of black technical professionals. The Professionals provide vital support to the National Society of Black Engineers, a student-governed organization whose mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.”

McWilliams was a member of the first class of the engineering sorority Phi Sigma Rho at The Ohio State University. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering technology in 1990, an M.B.A. in 1997 and a certificate in program and project management in 2009. Today, she is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at DLA Land and Maritime, where she is responsible for fiber optic specifications for the U.S. Department of Defense and its agencies.

McWilliams has been an adjunct instructor with Columbus State Community College, Ohio Dominican University and the University of Phoenix. She has also served Phi Sigma Rho as regional field director and vice president of standards, and now serves as the advisor and mentor for the sorority’s Beta Chapter. She has been a member of NSBE since 1982 and has served the Society in a number of national and regional leadership positions over the years.

McWilliams is an associate minister for her church, Triedstone Baptist Church, in Columbus, Ohio, and has a son, Ashton, aged 14. She is in her third year of seminary studies at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, pursuing an M.A. degree in divinity.

Joining McWilliams on the PEO will be Richard White, national Professionals chair-elect, who heads the information technology consulting firm Richard Z. White LLC; Mary Simmons, national Professionals secretary-elect, who is a program manager for Cummins Inc.; Joshua Virgin-Bryan, national Professionals treasurer-elect and project engineer for UTC Aerospace Systems; and Tiffani Teachey, national Professionals programs chair-elect, a mechanical engineer for Chicago Bridge & Iron.