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CANA Connection April 2023

We’re celebrating all things new! Not only is it Spring - finally - but there’s so many great new things happening here at CANA! We’ve been welcoming new people to the team, working on new (and renewed) projects, and generally keeping very busy. The beautiful weather, the longer days, baseball, golf, and yard projects help keep it all in balance. We always want the CANA team to keep its fresh perspective, and embracing the “new” is imperative to this goal.

In our latest newsletter, we share several CANAers’ recent trip to Hawaii for a Military Operations Research Society (MORS) Wargaming with Pacific Partners Special Meeting (CANA leads in logistics!); we hear from a CANAer who completely switched career gears for something different; and we talk about a visit to George Mason University to share our passion for the growing world of esports. We’re excited about where all these things may lead, and most importantly, we hope our fresh ideas resonate, and inspire you to ask, “What’s new?!”


MORS Wargaming with Pacific Partners: CANA Leads the Charge in Logistics Wargaming

By Walt DeGrange - CANA Director of Analytics Capabilities

Logistics, wargaming, MORS, and Hawaii made the perfect combination for CANA this past February. The MORS Wargaming with Pacific Partners was a unique event that was the first MORS conference ever held outside the continental United States. CANA was honored to lead the logistics wargaming focus area for the conference and to be joined by just under one hundred attendees representing many U.S. DoD agencies and services, other non-DoD agencies, and our international partners (Australia, Great Britain, and Germany), academic, and commercial supporters.

The conference was divided into three days. The first day consisted of multiple tracks designed to teach more about the development and application of wargaming in certain areas. CANA contributed two significant presentations on how to apply analytics in wargaming by Jesse Kemp and how to apply wargaming to explore the use of advanced technologies by Norm Reitter. Both Norm and Jesse touched on using wargaming to test supply chain resilience and how this could inform organizations on actions to mitigate supply chain disruptions.

Day two of the conference featured several panels that addressed issues such as training for wargaming, the role of commercial software, and how funding for wargaming worked across different organizations in the U.S. and with our partner countries.

Day three's final day of the conference was filled with fun workshops to demonstrate topics covered in prior days. CANA led a four-hour workshop. The workshop focused on designing a logistics wargame at two different levels, strategic and operational. The eighteen participants contributed to the basic design for each game's scope, purpose, scale, players, and scenario. By the end of the day, all participants were left with a basic overview of what it takes to develop an engaging logistics wargame to answer important questions.

The MORS Wargaming with Pacific Partners conference was a resounding success. The conference enabled individuals from various countries and organizations to deepen their understanding and knowledge of wargaming and its various applications. It was an incredible opportunity for CANA to share its expertise and learn from others while establishing new connections and collaborations. The success of this conference serves as a testament to the continued importance and relevance of wargaming as a tool for solving complex logistical problems, and we look forward to what the future holds for this field.


CANA eSports at the GMU Career Fair

By Jack Murray - CANA Business Analyst

On March 7th, I had the pleasure of representing CANA at the George Mason University (GMU) Career Jam. The GMU Career Jam is an annual career fair, where students gather to network with companies and organizations. This was a very unique and amazing experience for me, as I am a 2022 GMU graduate and was on the other side of the table just a few years ago. This event was also very beneficial to CANA, and CANA esports, as we look to expand our brand awareness in the collegiate space.

CANA drew the most attention from the Computer Science (CS) majors, as our unique background in federal and commercial analytics was captivating to them. I enjoyed speaking with all the students about what CANA esports is, what we are doing in the esports industry, and where we want to go. With GMU having an esports club, many of the students were interested in our esports recruitment platform and our focus on scholastic esports. I had many interesting conversations that allowed me to gather first-hand insight and opinions on what students think of esports, the offerings we have, and how else we could support the industry. Each student had different comments and questions, but they were all hinting at one main point; they would love to see scholastic esports become more acknowledged and accepted. Data and analytics are a few pieces that can support this in a major way.

Other than engaging with the students, it was great to see many of the program directors engaging with each company. CANA drew a lot of interest from the professors and program directors because GMU, like many other colleges currently, is working to integrate esports into its overall curriculum and offerings. I had the pleasure of discussing with them how scholastic esports is a crucial sector of the overall industry. It can drastically help build a sustainable pathway to success in esports. A structured scholastic esports system can mend the fragmentation the industry currently deals with, which can lead to an overall more sustainable business model and industry as a whole.

It was fascinating to hear the thoughts and ideas of GMU professors and program directors on esports and how they plan to implement it at Mason. Their comments and questions were much more geared toward why esports are beneficial to both the students and the school from an academic standpoint. What most don’t realize is that esports is an amazing path for students in STEM careers. It gives them an opportunity to learn through something they enjoy.

We had some really good discussions about the benefits just an esports club team can have, but also the major upside to having a curriculum built around esports. As CANA esports builds for the future, with a main focus on scholastic esports, we look forward to more events like this, growing the relationships we made, and expanding our network! CANA esports - providing the analytics intel for success.


Changing Careers, Changing Mindsets

By Lauren Dimberg - CANA Software Developer

We all have something we are “good” at. Maybe you pick up a baseball for the first time and throw a strike, or you have a ratatouille taste pallet and anything you cook is amazing? For me it was art. I struggled with most other subjects but art was a subject in which I excelled. Growing up, this attitude made me “good at art” which later led me to a career in it.

Fast forward to 2021, I have a successful career as a Senior Graphic Designer but it no longer challenges me. I feel stagnant in my current job as I have felt in other positions during my career. The sterile environment a year into Covid only exacerbated this feeling. A change was due which made me think of a career I was always curious about, that of a Software Developer.

Three years prior I had taken UI and UX courses at Nashville Software School as a way to spice up my resume. During that time, I saw other students taking a Software Development Bootcamp that intrigued me; however, at the time it seemed like an unrealistic prospect. Yet three years later the idea of pursuing a career as a Software Developer still excited me. With the “end of the world” vibe in the air, I felt reckless, applied to Nashville Software School, and got a scholarship. The scholarship alleviated the anxiety of finances during the boot camp, yet my main obstacle was my mindset which told me “I am not good at this”.

Flashback to my elementary school years and the mindset that I grew up with. Praised for high grades in Art and English, but nothing in regards to courses with more logical thinking, of which I associated with coding. I steered away from these more challenging subjects because I wasn’t “good” at them. However, I craved a challenge, and the “Aha” moment after taking the time to investigate and solve a coding problem was magical. I knew coding wouldn’t be easy because I wasn’t good at it, but it didn’t mean I couldn’t get better. I used this mindset whenever I struggled and instead of shutting down with negative thoughts such as “I’m not smart enough for this?” I reframed my thought process to, “I don’t know this yet, that’s ok. I can learn.” Or even better “I don’t know this yet, but why would I? This is all new!” Whenever a failure came I took it as an opportunity to ask questions, practice using my developer tools, and acquire more knowledge. To say I struggled at Nashville Software School is an understatement, however, I pulled through, and in doing so I created a more exciting future for myself. Every day I start work, I know I will learn something new, continue to grow, and be a better version of myself. Best of all, I can give myself a high five because if my high school self saw me now she would think that the world went through a black hole and I was in an opposite land. There’s something cool that I, not a black hole, could change my future in this way.

Now that you know my story, I have a challenge for you. Think of all the amazing experiences this world has to offer, now think of something you have been putting off. Maybe you want to paint, but you aren’t “artistic” or you put off running a race because you aren’t “athletic”? Maybe you want to learn Spanish and move to Alicante. Whatever it is, don’t let anything hold you back, give it a shot and see if it sticks. Your future is yours to create, no matter where you are on your journey.



The CANA Connection offers insights from the team CANA experts into analytics, logistics, supply chain operations, big data, and more. Check out some of our latest sessions.

Let's talk Colorado Mountain Club Analytics with Kendall Chastain and Norm Reitter

Our Host Rob Cranston, and Co-Host Norm Reitter speak with Conservation Manager Kendall Chastain of the Colorado Mountain Club. So, come along with us as Kendall and crew talk about the conservation efforts the Colorado Mountain Club are involved in along with the vast amounts, and types of data they are acquiring within their community using the CMC RIMs app and other efforts. [Connect]

Let's talk esports at NYU with Professor Jason Chung

Join Guest-Host Jack Murray as they sit down with Director and Esports Business Professor at NYU, Jason Chung to discuss all things collegiate esports. From the rise of esports in higher education to the challenges and benefits of starting and maintaining varsity teams, Dr. Chung brings his wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Don't miss this fascinating and informative conversation on the CANA Connection Podcast. [Connect]

The CANA Connection Podcast is available on your favorite podcast platforms!


The CANA Connection Newsletter April 2023 © CANA LLC. All rights reserved

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