Our Executive LeadersWID Palmetto Chapter
Rachel Link is a Strategist, Creative, Innovator, and Entrepreneur. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a focus on Visual Communication, Rachel became passionate about the power of visual story telling that leverages big data visualization to facilitate executive communication. Over time, Rachel has become a trusted client partner creating strategies and communication messages that allow executives to accelerate change and communicate effectively to large audiences up and down the chain.
As Maga Design’s Director of Client Services, Rachel Link leads focus group engagements with executive-level stakeholders to achieve consensus, create strategy, roadmap a vision or way forward, or help articulate a technical solution deployment. Rachel leads the creation of visualization strategy per engagement to deliver innovative information design products including infographics, user and customer experiences and interactive tools. These strategies support a myriad of enterprise challenges including continuous process improvement, change management, strategic planning and enterprise architecture.
Rachel is passionate about building relationships and designing customer experiences. Clients include the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR); Naval Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems; Department of Veterans Affairs and a variety of commercial clients including Cisco, Pepsico and Dell.
Rachel is active in local community initiatives including the Lowcountry Food Bank in Charleston, SC where she resides, as well as Department of Defense industry groups. She currently serves at the Vice President of the Palmetto Chapter of Women In Defense and sits of the executive board of the Charleston Defense Contractors Association C5ISR Summit Committee.
Ally Cullipher is a Program Manager for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Atlantic. Ms. Cullipher supports the Medical Operational Engineering (MEDOPS/E) Integrated Product Team (IPT) and has extensive knowledge in program, project, and financial management. Ally successfully oversees health information technology/information management (IT/IM) programs for federal customers such as the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED). Her contributions to the development and integration of comprehensive financial management systems and various program management tools have also led her to become a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in operational excellence and process improvement initiatives.
Prior to her career in the civil service, Ally worked for Spinvi Consulting, LLC in various Program and Financial Management roles, where she successfully managed multi-million dollar IT programs and budgets. Before joining Spinvi, Ally worked for Textron where she specialized predominantly in program management, business capture and financial management. Ally’s early career began with various roles in the financial services industry where she created personal and business financial solutions and was responsible for building long-term relationships with clients.
Throughout her career, Ally has been a leader in many organizational committees focusing on Women’s Networking, Diversity and Inclusion and Corporate Activities. She joined the Palmetto Chapter of Women in Defense because of her passion for the professional advancement and empowerment of women and also to allow her an opportunity to serve the community. Ally has previously held the Networking Committee Co-chair position and currently serves on the Executive Board as the chapter’s Treasurer.
Ally graduated Magna Cum Laude from Charleston Southern University with a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Ms. Cullipher resides in Summerville with her husband, where they are devoted parents to their two beautiful children.
Immediate Past President
Kelly Russ is an active participate in the Charleston Defense community, holding leadership positions on the WID Palmetto Chapter board as well as a member and committee participant for CDCA and AFCEA. Over her last six years supporting the Defense community, Kelly has held various positions including Vice President, Treasurer, and Fundraising Co-Chair for WID-PC as well as membership sub-committee lead for CDCA. With a passion for helping others, Kelly has assisted with the coordination and event management for WID’s signature Military Woman of the Year event and annual Oyster Roast. During her time on the WID Leadership Board, Kelly has helped the organization raise over $14,000 for the WID PC STEM Scholarship Program as well as $12,000 for the VA and newly established Harbour House project.
Outside of the Defense community, Kelly has served as the Vice President for Follypalooza for the last seven years. An annual fundraiser for Folly Beach locals in need of financial support due to medical ailments, primarily cancer, Follypalooza has raised over $31,000 since its inception.
To pay her own bills, Kelly is the Business Development Manager for Secure Mission Solutions LLC. In this position, Kelly has been responsible for overseeing and coordinating all BD activities across the $100 million company including management of their BD support personnel, and budget. Specializing in process improvement, relationship development, contract management, proposal development, and marketing, Kelly’s diverse experience set is complimented by a can-do attitude and motivation to learn new skills. Over the last five years, Kelly’s accomplishments include capture, proposal, and/or strategic support to over 80 proposals with a personal prime win rate of 66% and subcontracting win rate of 59%. Her efforts have resulted in over $9.7 billion in IDIQ contract ceiling as well as the development and integration of new processes to streamline BD activities across the company.
Kelly has a bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communication from the College of Charleston with a minor in Political Science.