Additional Heroes Recognized by PJM Employees During African American History Month

In observance of African American History Month, PJM employees volunteered to gather and share information about their personal heroes. Look for additional postings from more PJM employees throughout the month.

Annaka Portray, senior IT auditor – Internal Audit
Portray was inspired by Evelyn Boyd Granville’s education journey. Granville was the second African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics (Yale in 1949).

“Her experience and higher education achievement motivated me to pursue my interests in information technology,” Portray said.

Audrey Williams, contract administrator – Office – General Counsel
Williams counts Captain C.A. “Pete” Tzomes – the first African American to command a U.S. submarine – among her personal heroes.

Williams said: “African Americans in America have had many struggles in supporting their families, especially in the South.  One of the ways out of their present circumstances, and a means to provide for their families, was to join the United States Armed Forces.  Pete Tzomes not only provided for his family, but also succeeded through his hard work and dedication to his military craft.”

Esrick McCartha, client manager – Member Relations

Carter G. Woodson’s hopes to raise awareness of African Americans’ contributions to civilization has had profound impact on my identity as an African American,” McCartha said. “Woodson compelled me to study those who have come before me to help shape my identity through their dedication, commitment and sacrifice for freedom.”

Woodson, one of the first African Americans to receive a doctorate from Harvard in 1912, dedicated his career to the field of African American history and lobbied extensively to establish African American History Month as a nationwide institution.

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