“Family-like” company culture helps attract top talent, Elbit America Engineering leader says

By: Taylor Bargfrede, Communications Intern

Elbit Systems of America’s family-like company culture is key to its ability to attract top talent as a leader in the United States Aerospace & Defense industry.

“Elbit America’s leadership team contributes to this by prioritizing employees, ensuring each voice is heard and each idea explored,” said Trisha Fish, Elbit America’s Director of Engineering at the Advanced Capabilities Center in Orlando, Fla.

Fish made these comments as the featured speaker at a recent Leader Power Lunch for company employees where she discussed her personal background, her previous work in the industry, and her current position at Elbit America. One theme rang out throughout her presentation: Elbit America’s company culture is unmatched.

Fish grew up in western New York and received her Bachelor of Science in Physics from the State University of New York at Geneseo and her Master of Science in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. Shortly after completing graduate school, she moved to Orlando, and spent almost 20 years in a position dedicated to advanced IR sensor design, targeting, missile warning, Infrared Search and Track, advanced feature extraction algorithms and collaborative autonomy.

After spending a significant amount of time with one employer, Fish was looking for something new. She soon found Elbit America and joined the company in 2019. Here, she continues her advanced engineering work at the Advanced Capabilities Center, which specializes in algorithm development and artificial intelligence for multiple critical programs to customer’s mission success. The Advanced Capabilities Center’s work not only advances the high technology in Elbit America’s programs, but is also beneficial to the Aerospace & Defense industry as a whole. Fish enjoys working at Elbit America because of the special company culture – a culture where she feels her voice is heard by her colleagues and leadership.

“I love the open-mindedness and encouragement to innovate that comes down from our leadership. Engineers want to find new ways to solve problems and develop innovative solutions that are efficient, fieldable and affordable for our customers. At Elbit America, the engineers have the opportunity to see their innovations, from the concept and demonstration phase to fielding, which is not easily attainable at other companies. This opportunity is bringing some of the best industry engineers to Elbit America,” said Fish.

Fish’s favorite part of Elbit America’s company culture is the small-company feel. She enjoys the flexibility, respect and autonomy that the engineers are given to articulate and explore new ideas, and get those ideas in front of leadership and customers. This culture promotes collaboration across functions, particularly between engineering, business development, and marketing – this puts customers first and leads to helping them solve hard problems to improve mission success.

Trisha Fish said, “We are an agile and forward-leaning company. We embrace innovation and change, allowing us to create a product that aligns with the customer’s vision.”

Fish is not the first to notice how special Elbit America’s company culture is. Brett Cohen, Vice President of Human Resources and Employee Development believes that the tight-knit company culture is a reason why employees stay with Elbit America.

“Elbit America has a family-based company culture unlike any other. We enjoy a fast-paced, yet informal environment that keeps all levels of employees interacting, so we can continue working towards the innovative solutions we promise our customers,” Cohen said. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing employees to work remotely, many companies have struggled to keep employees feeling connected. Fish doesn't believe this is the case at Elbit America. Employees are getting the opportunity to explore different work styles and see what works. Many people thrive when working remotely and she thinks her team has become even more agile and better connected with the virtual resources that are provided.

“We are still strongly connected, but in a way that accounts for everyone’s personal needs,” Fish said.

Coming into 2021, Elbit America’s Executive Leadership Team continues to prioritize a strong company culture, while advocating for employees’ continued education and professional development. As an innovative company, it’s important for its workforce to continue advancing their knowledge and skillsets, whether that’s through programs like the LINK Leadership Development Program, the company’s mentoring program, or its more informal Leader Power Lunches, such as the one that recently featured Trisha Fish.

“These programs allow us to feel empowered to enhance our own training, both technically and personally. The resources are here and made readily available to us and that’s attractive to many potential employees,” Fish said.

Appreciation and recognition are critical pieces of Elbit America’s company culture. Leaders make time to recognize the value of each employee’s contributions to the company’s mission. There are multiple internal awards programs, along with internal platforms to recognize an employee for a job well done. It’s Elbit America’s stance that when employees feel valued and see that their work has meaning, they are more likely to stay and contribute to the company in beneficial ways.

“Elbit America does an incredible job of recognizing the work that each employee is doing. We feel encouraged and that helps us stay motivated,” Fish said.

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