SMA Associate Spotlight: Deniz Dalay

We recently had the pleasure of spending time with Deniz Dalay, an SMA associate of three years. Deniz specializes in capturing and executing military and commercial programs in the aerospace and defense industry. She told us she feels fortunate that some of her day-to-day duties over the past 25 years have included walking across helicopter final assembly lines, connecting with products and people in the industry, working in client-facing roles, and traveling extensively in the United States and internationally to negotiate contracts.

Deniz received her MBA in Business Management from Boston University. From there she began her career working as a program manager for various international programs at Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company. In fact, Deniz spent most of her career at Sikorsky and held many titles in USG international, civil, and commercial programs covering all market segments as the manager of government relations and legislative affairs, IT manager, program manager of USAF programs, and regional director of worldwide sales for EMEA to name a few. She then made her move to work at Pratt & Whitney, a Raytheon Technologies company, working in Commercial Aftermarket Programs where she was a program manager.  She also expanded into other industries, leveraging her experience in A&D.

Deniz’s initial encounter with SMA occurred while she was at Sikorsky which had hired SMA to support an $8 billion program proposal to the US Navy to win the US Presidential Helicopter Modernization Program. In addition to winning the campaign, Deniz was impressed by our systematic process and professionalism. She made a mental note that this might be the type of work she would like to do in the future. Fast forward to 2020, Deniz joined the SMA family. Her first engagement at SMA was with Delta Dental as a writer and proposal manager supporting IT-enabled healthcare enterprise transformation. Her most recent SMA project was working as a contracts volume lead on a nuclear DoD proposal for resilient energy to meet climate goals. This proposal represents a first-of-a-kind, nuclear technology product and its related services. She states, “as an SMA consultant, it is very rewarding to help clients hard solve business problems and win new business.”

We asked Deniz to share some words of advice. She explained the importance of understanding the customer’s requirements and being fully engaged and responsive to the team and the solution. She also noted that it is important to be flexible and patient and always remember that relationships matter.

When not working, Deniz enjoys spending time traveling with her family and playing tennis competitively year-round. She is rated as a United States Tennis Association (USTA)  3.0 player and participates in local leagues.  She said, “The mental aspect of the game requires maintaining a positive attitude which is not always easy” and explained how this mindset also relates to work and life.

To meet other hardworking associates like Deniz, log in to our TOD® platform. SMA Talent on Demand (TOD®) is the industry-leading platform that connects project needs with an array of professional talent more precisely, efficiently, and effortlessly than before. If you have project needs, click HERE to find the perfect SMA associate or team to help you succeed.

Published on March 9, 2023 by

Nicole Matar