Amber Whittington taking photos in Air Force Uniform

Our feature series “Meet the Team” gives our readers the opportunity to take a deep dive into what makes our team special. We interviewed Amber Whittington, Marketing Director at Air Force CyberWorx, to introduce her to our readers and tell the story of her career in marketing. Please enjoy getting to know our innovative team members and exploring the people who make AF CyberWorx exceptional.

Drawn to Innovation

CWx: What drew you to Air Force CyberWorx?

Amber Whittington (AW): I wanted to come here because it was the innovation field. I have always been drawn to the innovation field and thinking outside of the box, so I was very excited when I saw this job posting and leaped at the chance to come over here.

CWx: What is your role at AF CyberWorx?

AW: I am the Marketing Director. This is a new position, so I am starting from the ground level and creating everything kind of new. Everybody before me has been doing it as a part-time job, so I am taking it all and expanding it into a whole new world—making it more strategic and hopefully making it a grander plan and working in tandem with our Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA) partners at Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation (CCTI).

A Career Shift: From Space Force to Air Force

CWx: Was your previous professional experience in marketing?

AW: My previous job was as a graphic designer at U.S. Space Force, which was formerly Air Force Space Command. I helped stand up U.S. Space Force. My primary job was as a graphic designer. For the first six months, I was the only graphic designer assigned to the branch, and I was honored to be the design lead on all of the visual branding, patches, emblems, logos—everything.

Before that, I was a graphic designer at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC), in Monterey, CA. I also did social media, web design, web content, community relations, and event management for major events, including Language Day, which showcased cultures, and hosted over 12,000 visitors from multiple states on base in a single day.

CWx: How did you end up at U.S. Space Force?

AW: This [Colorado Springs] is home, so when I was at DLIFLC, the entire goal was to get back to Colorado Springs. Air Force Space Command had an opening, and I was lucky enough to get the job. Within a year we were standing up the combatant command, Space Operations Command, and four months later, we stood up U.S. Space Force.

CWx: How do you feel about the switch from a formal position in graphic design to a formal position in marketing?

AW: I have a degree in Design Management, which is similar to Creative Director. A lot of it was marketing and branding and design management, so I’m looking forward to actually using those skills. I have made my mark in graphic design, but I am looking forward to a much more challenging job in marketing and really getting into something that I have a passion for.

CWx: You mentioned that part of what drew you to AF CyberWorx is the innovation. How did you become familiar with the innovation field?

AW: Part of my degree is in innovation. Through this program, I was introduced to design thinking and human-centered design.

Amber Whittington, Marketing Director

I fell in love with the thought process, but there wasn’t a lot of information at that time—especially in the military—in design thinking, so I was trying to put that into my job.

As time went on, the U.S. Space Force and U.S. Air Force started to embrace Design Thinking and Innovation. I started taking the classes that they were offering, and I started getting into Lean Six Sigma. This was my way of getting my foot into those career fields and getting in with these groups, eventually, I ended up here at Air Force CyberWorx.

Life in Colorado Springs

CWx: So you were in the military?

AW: I was active duty Air Force. I joined the military in the ’90s. I was originally in supply and logistics, and I cross-trained over into photography—from the left brain to the right brain. I did very well in both career fields before I was medically discharged.

After I got out, I came back home to Colorado Springs, where I’m a sixth-generation native.

CWx: On being sixth-generation in Colorado Springs—that’s rare! What year was that first generation in Colorado Springs?

AW: My family came out here in the mid-1800s. I don’t remember the exact year, but they came out here to go to the Deaf & Blind School here in Colorado Springs. My great(+) grandparents were in the very first graduating class of the Deaf & Blind School. My great(+)-grandmother became deaf through polio. My grandfather was born deaf. That’s where they met.

My great(+)-grandmother drew of their adventures in the covered wagon, in the family Bible. Our family has been here ever since we’ve been here before Colorado was ever a state.

Exploring Colorado

Amber's Jeep

CWx: Would you like to say more about what you like to do for fun?

AW: We recently got a Jeep Wrangler. Our family loves to go up into the mountains and take off-roading trails. We try to take some tough trails but ultimately have a good family time. We really like to just get away—get away from technology and just enjoy ourselves. I enjoy those times when we get up there.

CWx: Do you have favorite spots in Colorado for that?

AW: I love the quick trips up to Phantom Canyon. They’ve got a lot of little shoot-offs over there. My husband’s favorite place is Mayberry Gulch, he likes it because it scares me—there’s a very steep incline there that scares me going down, but at the end of that there’s a gorgeous stream. You can just sit there, and it’s just relaxing. My daughter loves running up and down it. We haven’t taken the puppy up there yet. My husband is very excited to take her eventually, but this summer it’s been a little difficult taking her while training her.

CWx: Would you like to say more about Celeste?

AW: Celeste is learning to be a service dog for PTSD and eventually mobility for my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

She’s still very much a puppy at 7 months old. I am learning about dogs, so she is training me as much as I am training her.

She’s doing very well, and our training together has taught me how to be a little more patient and gives me a good excuse to take a walk when I need to step away.

New Beginnings with AF CyberWorx

CWx: In your first six weeks at AF CyberWorx, does anything stand out to you that you’re excited about?

Amber's service dog, Celeste, in the CyberWorx studio

AW: We have a very diverse team, and I think everybody brings a great background of knowledge, information, and wisdom. We’ve got a lot of growing happening. We just brought on five more new people, and we’re going to be bringing on a couple more in the next couple of weeks.

I’m excited to see us grow and as we go into the new Madera building next year, where we can develop. I think it’s going to be an interesting year as we build. I am excited to see all of the skill sets that we are teaching the cadets and to see how excited they are when they come into this space and see how different we are from the rest of the base. All that STEM offers to these young cadets is absolutely amazing. I saw the robot dog the other day, which was very cool!

I think our team here is eager to teach, learn, and develop not only the students but each other, and I think that is absolutely wonderful.

Learn more about aF CyberWorx!

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