Interview with Tamika Gray, BEYA STEM Modern-Day Technology Leader

Health Catalyst Proposal Project Manager Tamika Gray has earned the 2023 Modern-Day Technology Leader Award, a part of the BEYA STEM Outstanding Achievement Awards. Gray will be recognized for her achievement at the 2023 BEYA STEM Conference at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD.

As part of the 2023 BEYA STEM Conference, more than 50 training sessions are available to students and professionals that offer insights on leadership, career development, and technical advancements in the digital economy. These sessions are led by experts from top organizations and facilitate interaction in knowledge environments that promote networking, training, and mentoring.

In addition to receiving her award, Gray will also serve as a panel moderator for the session (2501): Deloitte Insights University – Diversity and Inclusion: Old Rules vs. New Rules and Global Human Capital Projections, Trends and Insights for 2023, which will be held Saturday, February 11.

To celebrate her award, we sat down with Gray to learn more about her role, accomplishments, career goals, and passions outside of work.

Would you tell us about your role at Health Catalyst?

I joined Health Catalyst in February 2020; I was hired as a member of the Proposal Team. I’ve been a proposal manager and writer for more than 20 years, working in government and commercial sectors with teams as small as two and up to 20 team members.

Behind the scenes of every request for proposal (RFP) response is a proposal team, which consists of a diverse group of individuals working toward the common goal of winning new business by delivering compelling proposal responses.

Over the course of my career, I’ve served in every aspect of the Proposal Management role and was specifically brought into Health Catalyst to assist the sales leads with crafting and messaging the Executive Summary portion of our responses. The Executive Summary can be the most crucial piece as it is the first thing the client will typically review, so it’s essential we convey not only our understanding of their needs but our ability to provide solutions that solve their most challenging issues.   

I also have a project management aspect to my role that involves keeping everything on task, which includes leading kickoff calls, assembling the necessary stakeholders, guiding the schedule from fruition to submission, making sure we’re compliant, and working in collaboration with my other team members.

What about this position are you most passionate about? 

I like the challenge of it. I’m always passionate about taking on new challenges.  In prior positions, I was responsible for managing the whole proposal response process instead of specific aspects, being this position is more centralized and focused on customization and writing. Because of that, it has allowed me the opportunity to grow and challenge myself more than I have before.

I wasn’t extremely confident about my writing capabilities prior to Health Catalyst. This position has allowed me the opportunity to not only build my confidence but enhance my writing skills along the way.  

Would you share a role model or quote you find inspiring? What about this person or quote inspires you? 

My favorite quote is simply, “Live on Purpose.” I have it tattooed on my wrist as a reminder that life is so precious. Don’t just exist but truly live each and every day with intent. Have the courage to make a difference or an impact in any way.

What are some of your passions outside of work?

I really enjoy furniture refurbishing. My husband and I purchased a new home at the end of the summer. It required a lot of work, and we did most of it ourselves. I was able to utilize my passion in finding and refinishing some amazing accent pieces to go around the house. It’s still a work in progress, but we are getting there.

I have a creative spirit at heart. I love doing stuff around the house to make it our own. That’s one of my passions.

My other passion is simply spending time with my family and friends. Time waits for no one, and we make it a priority to get together as often as we can.

We recently lost a family member over the holidays, and it has brought us closer and made us more appreciative and conscious of things we need to do and not take for granted.

What is one accomplishment you have achieved this past year that you are most proud of?

I would definitely say one accomplishment I have achieved this past year that I am most proud of is purchasing our new home. Because of the market, it was a journey, to say the least. We sold our first home a little over a year ago and decided to rent for a year so we wouldn’t feel rushed.

But then, when we decided to start looking before the lease was up, investors were scooping up properties left and right in the Atlanta area where we were looking to buy. It was an intense time to find a place ahead of the lease ending, but thankfully we ended up with the home we have now. I love it as we’ve made it our own, and it is closer to our family.

How does the mission of Health Catalyst or Health Catalyst values resonate with you and inspire your work? 

All the values really speak to me.

It’s rare to see a company that is as transparent as Health Catalyst. I love the fact Health Catalyst makes team members such a priority. When I was considering the role that I am in now, I remember looking at the website and reading about the value the company had for its team members. Once I got in the door, it was refreshing to see the leadership and company live by what they preach. It’s been a different experience here. I appreciate the relationships I’ve been able to build and the opportunities for growth.

Our CEO Dan Burton being available, transparent, and open is inspiring. He takes the time to get to know everyone, which rarely happens at a company as large as ours. Health Catalyst is just a different culture, a breath of fresh air.

What are you most excited about at the BEYA STEM Conference? 

This will be my first time in person. I’m excited to feel the energy in the room and network with like-minded individuals, especially young adults who are just starting their journey. It’s always inspiring to see that.

Nadine Louis, Health Catalyst Director of Client Success, and I will be attending to represent Health Catalyst as presenters on two different panels.

We were panelists last year as well, but it was virtual. This will be the first time being a panel member in person, which, I’m a little nervous about, but I’ve been preparing with my co-panelists and have been getting more excited the closer we get. I’m paired with two amazing women leaders from Deloitte, along with another DE&I director from Amtrak. We’ll be talking specifically about Deloitte’s DE&I Trends and Insights reports and the impacts that have been made from 2017 to 2023.

I hear the BEYA conference is an awesome event to experience in person. With all the excitement in the room, it’s always a better time when you’re able to get together face-to-face.

Will you share with us some of your career goals or personal goals?

I’m in a field that I enjoy. At this stage in my journey, I want to continue to learn and grow in this field.  I’m working to achieve a few certifications in the proposal space – the main one being with the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP), which is the worldwide authority for professionals in my field.

The association offers industry-recognized professional certifications, and there are several of them available. Earning my Foundation level certification is one of my main goals this year.

Additionally, I’m always dipping my toes into something new. I currently operate a mobile notary business in which I perform general notary work, real estate closings, and an array of other services here in Georgia. I love entrepreneurship, and I try to encourage that passion with my family as well. I’ve been interested in eCommerce for a long time, and currently doing some initial research into opening my first Shopify store. I also assist my husband with his flooring company, Gray Flooring Innovations.

On the personal side, I am working to take better care of myself. My best friend and I have made self-care a priority this year. We have implemented self-care Sundays because we have crazy schedules. We meet at least twice a month and get together to either get a massage or a facial. We’ll have lunch, catch up, and block out a few hours. It’s been extremely helpful to slow down a bit.

What advice do you have for other women pursuing a career in STEM? 

First and foremost, don’t be afraid or count yourself out if you’re interested in STEM. There is more than one path to getting there. You don’t have to have a tech background to work in STEM. There are so many different areas within a tech company, such as proposal management, marketing, operations, legal, and accounting. All of these fall within the “operations” side of a tech company and can provide the same access—the same path.

What advice would you give your younger self? 

I would tell my younger self not to be afraid of rejection. It’s part of the journey. It’s part of your growth. Be confident in who you are. Be bold, speak your voice, and live each day on purpose.

Health Catalyst Named a Top Workplace in the USA in 2023

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