Terrance Branch, Director, Office of Innovation and Technology, Chief Information Officer, ORS/ORF
Terrance Branch is the Director of the Office of Innovation and Information Technology. He serves as the Chief Information Officer for both ORS and ORF. In this role he operates as the IT leader responsible for all technology. He's been a federal employee for 28 years. He spent 10 of those years in active-duty services. He is originally from Flint, Michigan and joins us from the Defense Health Agency under the Department of Defense.
One of his proudest career moments was being a part of the team that helped plan and organize the first joint base hospital through the Department of Defense. His role was to design the IT infrastructure and implement all the technical solutions for the new facility valued at nearly $1.2 billion. The success of this project would serve as a new benchmark in relation to future construction of healthcare facilities while additionally implementing new technology services.
What he enjoys the most about ORS is the forward thinking of the many teams and friendly environment. He likes that he can contribute to the organization's mission and provide services that have positive outcomes.
“The leadership is empathetic and sincerely cares about the opinions of the employees, and they also make sure the employees feel that they're valued and recognized."
Terrance enjoys carpentry work and would likely have become a carpenter if he didn't work in IT. His biggest motivation comes from his faith and family.
Jessica H. Chertow, PhD, Associate Director of Scientific Resources
Dr. Jessica Chertow is the Associate Director of Scientific Resources. Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Long Island, New York, she has been at the NIH since 2011. She first came to NIH while completing her post-doctoral training in malaria pathogenesis at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. She eventually joined a laboratory in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and then moved into science administration beginning as a program analyst and moving up to deputy science director. She joined the ORS team seven months ago and has gotten the opportunity to work on many projects. Her favorite project has been working with the Division of Veterinary Resources and getting to know the team at the Poolesville, Maryland location. She spends her Wednesdays there working in logistics and inventory.
She's passionate about giving back and believes that if she were in a different career field she would work in a nonprofit. She came to this realization while completing her MBA at Northwestern Kellogg where she did a lot of work learning how to run different kinds of companies including nonprofit organizations. One unique experience she had was living in Cairo, Egypt while studying at American University.
Her motivation is her family and conquering new challenges. “I have two boys, 10 and 14. They keep me busy, so doing well by them really gets me up every morning. I think that's what we all are looking for, really trying to find that balance between work, home, and other things in your life. That's the kind of challenge I look forward to every day."
Woody Machalek, Chief, Medical Arts Branch
Woody Machalek is the new Branch Chief of Medical arts. Originally from Springfield, Virginia, he first learned about NIH and ORS from his wife who has been a member of the NIH family since 1996. After sharing with him the information about an open position in Medical Arts Woody applied and soon became a member of the team. His favorite project has been working with the different division directors to present a newscast for the recent November Town Hall meeting. He enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with so many people for such a big project. One of Woody's favorite things about ORS is that he feels everyone is very insightful and willing to help.
The proudest moment of his career is a personal one. Years ago, while working in another company, he befriended a fellow coworker. They'd often talk about the ups and downs of fatherhood and life in general. Sadly, his coworker, a single father tragically lost his only son as the result of an unexpected accident. The coworker was in a space where he no longer understood his purpose. Woody made it his mission to be there and extend himself as a support system. He would continually meet and check in with the coworker. Eventually, he connected the man with someone who had a volunteer position in community work for people who were rebuilding their lives. This new volunteer position helped the man find purpose again by working with others battling a series of hardships. Years later, that former coworker still volunteers in that role and has found new spaces of happiness.
Woody is motivated everyday by helping others, whether its customer service or working with someone to find a solution and outcome to a problem.
“Even if it's just lending an ear when somebody needs somebody to talk to, I like knowing I have an opportunity everyday to make someone's life better."