Graduating Class: 2016
Industry: Architecture & Construction, Education & Training, Energy, Environmental, Health & Fitness, Project Management, and Social Impact/Community Service
Jessica Newton is an honorary native of Colorado, born in Dallas, Texas. Jessica relocated to Denver in 1994, due to her father’s new position at the University of Denver. She attended Denver Public Schools and later graduated from Overland Highschool. She then went off to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University to study Aerospace Engineering. As a student, she worked on the Eagle Eye Satellite, where she was the team leader for the energy component.
During college Jessica conducted photovoltaic research for National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) at Texas Southern University and Central State University at the Neo Beam facility in Middlefield, Ohio. There she did irradiation of photovoltaic cells which was then used on satellites for businesses such as NASA and the US Navy.
In search of her true passion Jessica switched her major to Organizational Management and graduate from American Pathways University, Denver, Colorado.
Jessica began her project management career with a nonprofit called The Denver Institute or Urban Studies, where she was the Program Manager for an vocational training program that offered the high school diploma for the Denver Green Jobs initiative, a green energy project awarded 3.6 million (Pathways out of Poverty grant), from the Department of Labor and Employment; training Northeast residents in Renewable Energy skills. She was awarded for Outstanding Program Manager.
After working in the nonprofit sector for several years, Jessica made a career turn and began working at Burns & McDonnell on the project management team at Lockheed Martin Space systems, Water Canyon, Colorado. After some time, Jessica began to recognize her passion for the Design-Build industry and she started taking a great interest in her work even more so. She walked the job sites daily, coordinated weekly safety meeting, asked a ton of questions to the field team, supervisors and always had a passion to be in the executive meetings.
In January 2016, Ms. Newton was accepted into ‘The Urban Leadership Foundation Program where she thrived the entire 11 months of the program. This program is a trademark of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Denver, Colorado. It is a program that gives space for young professionals to grow their leadership skills, learn more about the economics of how Denver works, community service advocacy and how to be a part of local politics. This program was a turning point for Jessica. During the graduation ceremony, Jessica was awarded Class Engagement Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service.
Because the impact of the Urban Leadership Foundation, Jessica begin to be more involved in the community and was asked to be on the Executive Board for Colorado Black Women for Political Action. Ms. Newton was awarded the President’s Award at their annual luncheon, 2017. She served on the board for three years.
Jessica is the founder and director of an outdoor awareness organization called “Vibe Tribe Adventures, formally knowns as Black Girls Hike.” Ms. Newton is an avid outdoor person. She loves being in nature any chance she gets. Within less than one year she grew to have over 1500 members. Her business is thriving so well that Channel 9 and NBC Nightly News have done features on her organization.
Jessica currently is the President and CEO for Obsidian International Power, LLC. OBI Power is a project development company based in the US. OBI Power provides services in project management, development, design, construction management, workforce development, DBE compliance management, project management support services, power plan ownership, management of urban related projects, disaster relief projects as well as utility scale energy projects. OBI Power has expertise, resources, and experience with a variety of top-quality partners. The current sectors of energy her business is involved in is solar installation for utility storage batteries, sustainable oil & gas projects, such as sealing Orphan Wells and provides power for disaster relief projects.
Jessica has one daughter, Joy, who was recently inducted into the National Junior Honors Society. She is continuously receiving awards for maintaining a 3.5 GPA or better. Joy is at the top of her class academically and currently plays the Violin. Jessica and Joy love to roller blade and bike ride together.
Bachelors of Organizational Management, American Pathways University
Apex Design, Burns & McDonnell, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Colorado Department of Transportation, Dynalectric, Primoris Renewable Energy, Obsidian International Power