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CANA Connection July 2020 Newsletter

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

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Team CANA is made up of some pretty superlative professionals. We pride ourselves on our diversity - truly every make and model from all types of backgrounds. Our diversity extends to thought leadership on all sorts of topics and services - from cutting edge technology to the basics of learning and development. Ah, but our diversity is unique - it is unique because we are uniquely passionate about what we do, how we do it, and to whom we do it for.

We hope you enjoy this issue where we speak to our passions - we share technology best practices from a recent (first time “virtual”) symposium; we invite you to learn more about our esteemed colleague, Lucia, the current Learning & Development lead at CANA; and we close by highlighting just one aspect of our diverse hiring programs. Welcome to our Team!



By Renee Carlucci | Principal Operations Research Analyst

DoD API graphic

At the 88th Military Operations Research Society Symposium (MORSS) held virtually this June, CANA Advisors’ Renee Carlucci presented on her recent experience developing a Web API for a Department of Defense (DoD) client. The project utilized an R program backend to be hosted on a DoD cloud. She shared some of her team’s valuable takeaways, lessons learned, and best practices.

Renee discussed the various types of cloud solutions being used by government agencies, the cloud and app certification process, the agile development process, and some of the tools being used that support agile software development. Renee also defined some web application interface concepts and commented on a number of software packages that support the process of building, running, managing, and distributing applications.

Please find the following link for a comprehensive summary of Renee’s recent presentation - Developing a Web API for DoD (full article)



Lucia Darrow | Learning and Development Lead

Lucia Darrow

Lucia Darrow is a Senior Operations Research Analyst with CANA Advisors. Lucia has five years of analytics experience working on both government and commercial projects, leveraging domain expertise in logistics, healthcare, and manufacturing. She specializes in data visualization, R programming, and the development of decision support tools for complex analyses. She is an active member of the Military Operations Research Society (MORS), co-organizer of RLadies Vancouver, and co-chair of the Vancouver Datajam. Lucia is passionate about making analytics accessible and inclusive through training, writing, and community engagement. On CANA’s approach to community involvement, Lucia says, “In the world of open-source tools and fast-paced advancements in data science, community engagement is essential. I love that CANA prioritizes contributing to, and learning from, the broader analytics community!”

Working with CANA, Lucia contributed to the simulation and optimization of a Marine Corps Prepositioning Force offload modeling project through the development of the input and output data miners, which focus on user interaction with the modeling suite. On the commercial side, she developed a set of simulation and optimization tools to model a large-scale mining transportation network at different time scales. Lucia has employed methods like text mining and social media analysis to help customers derive insights from data.

Lucia is also the lead of CANA’s Learning and Development program and is responsible for the planning, development, and execution of short courses in a variety of analytics topics. Started in 2018 with courses made to prepare teams for the INFORMS Certified Analytics Professional exam, this program has grown into a set of customizable, modular training options for a range of audiences. Currently, Lucia is working in collaboration with the CANA Foundation on an exciting new Veterans Analytics Course, created to meaningfully impact participants through concrete skills, career advantages, and community connection.

With Lucia at the helm, the Learning and Development program is also developing a crash course in data visualization. As one of the most often overlooked pieces of the analytics pipeline, Lucia is excited to blend data and aesthetic essentials with the tools of the modern data scientist. She says, “CANA’s commitment to staying on the bleeding edge of analytics techniques and technologies makes day-to-day work exciting. This attitude paired with expertise in statistics and operations research is the recipe for great analytics!”

Lucia holds a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Oregon State University and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Dickinson College. Outside of work, Lucia loves getting outside, hiking, and exploring the Northwest.

If you would like to learn more about Lucia and CANA Advisors’ upcoming courses in analytics or the CANA Foundation, please contact her at!




By Cherish Joostberns | Resource Coordinator

& Walt DeGrange | Director of Analytics Capabilities

CANA Advisors is proud of its veterans and understands the value that veterans bring to the American workforce. Creating a well rounded, diverse team is vital to CANA success and contributes to delivering successful results for clients. Indeed, veterans bring a unique skill set and insight into both CANA's government and commercial projects. As of June 2020, the CANA team is 57% veterans. CANA utilizes multiple avenues to support veteran programs and to attract former military personnel to its team.

Department of Labor 2019 Gold HIRE Vets Medallion Award. CANA Advisors was proud to receive the 2019 Gold HIRE Medallion Award from the Department of Labor. The HIRE Vets Medallion Award is the only federal-level veterans' employment award that recognizes a company or organization's commitment to veteran hiring, retention, and professional development. The program honored CANA for its investments in recruiting, employing and retaining our nation's heroes.

HIREVets Gold Medallion

"Hiring veterans is a force multiplier - our company culture benefits greatly from the sound leadership practices, operational perspectives, and hard work ethic CANA's veterans bring to our team and to our clients."

- Elizabeth Cranston, Chief Executive Officer

To read more about the HIRE Vets government program go to

Hiring Our Heroes

Hiring Our Heroes Program. CANA’s going for gold approach with veterans includes participation in the Hiring Our Heroes Program (HoH) through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This program promotes veteran hires by facilitating corporate fellowships for transitioning military. Service members can utilize their final three months of active duty as full-time fellows with participating companies. In its all-encompassing approach, the Hiring Our Heroes Program also includes military spouses, who are an often under-utilized wealth of skills and experience. The program’s desired end state is job offers, benefiting veterans, their families, and corporate America.

CANA has hosted several Fellows over the past two years and has hired two full-time employees through the program. In fact, CANA’s lead for the 2020 HoH program (Northern Capital Region), kicking off on June 29th, is CANA’s Jason Fincher, a former HoH participant and strong advocate for the program. He is excited that this year’s program has already garnered almost 100 resumes pending review and potential selection; it is a candidate pool of exceptional depth and diversity, showcasing military talent.

To read more about the Hiring Our Heroes government program go to

Veteran Support. CANA is dedicated to supporting and empowering veterans, from involvement in the Hiring Our Heroes program and the Virginia Values Veteran (V3) program, to projects supporting organizations like America’s Warrior Partnership CANA’s holistic perspective promotes veteran well-being on multiple levels and via multiple approaches. If you would like to learn more about CANA Advisors’ Veteran Hiring programs, please feel free to reach out to Cherish at or Jason at



Upcoming Online Events

Free Veterans Analytics Course

Wed, Sep 16 - Free Online Event

Veterans Analytics Course

This complimentary course, hosted by the CANA Foundation, provides an overview of the current analytics environment and aids in the transfer of existing skills to new government and commercial roles. By design, this course equips participants with concrete skills, career advantages, and connections to the analytics community.

Free Veterans Analytics course panel discussion

Thu, Sep 17 - Free Online Event

Veterans in Analytics Panel Discussion

The CANA Foundation also brings you this complimentary event on navigating a career in analytics. Join us for a lively discussion on breaking into analytics, skill transfer, and the analytics community. We'll be joined by a panel of analytics experts, veterans in analytics, and veterans resources experts.

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