Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who is Wayne Martin in a few sentences?

[I was] born in 1954 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and was an Army brat for the first 15 years of my life. My father retired from the Army and we ended up in Lakewood, Washington. I have two brothers, and in 1973 I graduated from Clover Park high school, then left to attend WSU. After graduation, I landed a job with Battelle. I spent 38 years within the lab performing numerous roles, both on the research side and within management, and retired in 2014. Also during that time, I acquired two additional degrees.

Outside the lab, I was involved in numerous community service roles, [including as a] Trustee at CBC, Hospital Boards, and State Board for Community Colleges.

Can you give us a brief history of the Airmen, and what are some key issues facing this group and its members?

The Airmen was started to create a forum for Black males associated with the lab [PNNL] to communicate and share ideas about how to navigate within the lab, what it takes to advance, who’s who. We also discuss issues of the day — political, social, religious. We also talk about the Tri-City community.

How did COVID affect the group?

It really messed things up. We’re not as active right now except through email. Things are starting to pick up a little right now.

Do you believe this group supports the mental health of Black men in the community?

Yes, though fellowship and verbal support. I feel it is very important to have a group dedicated to Black men

How can others join, get more involved and make a difference?

Contact Cheslan Simpson, and he’ll add them to the mailing list.

If you could give the community at large one key takeaway from or about this group — one need-to-know fact — what would that be?

REACH OUT for help, and interact more directly with others—through whatever means possible. This group is small but effective.

Wayne Martin moved to Richland, Washington in 1975 and retired from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).