Domenique Malone is a Macintosh System Administrator for NetCentrics, supporting the Joint Service Provider (JSP) Service Delivery Team at the Pentagon. Originally from Wisconsin, Domenique graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a BA in Multimedia Digital Arts and Information Technology. He worked as an Apple Creative while pursuing his Master’s in Education, with an emphasis in Educational and Instructional Technology, then transplanted to the DC area after receiving his degree. While with Apple, Domenique focused on maximizing the end-user experience for his clients, unveiling untouched capabilities, minimizing frustrations, and leveraging technology to simplify everyday challenges and frustrations. But this focus on experiences didn’t stop with Apple – it extended into his personal life as well.
From thoughtful Thanksgiving dinners with family, to meaningful conversations with almost every person he meets, Domenique values every moment, every exchange, every second of his experiences with others. So, when he decided to propose to his girlfriend of 5 years, Shoji, Domenique decided to pull out all the stops and create both an experience and a memory.
After handpicking the perfect diamond and setting, Domenique planned a trip for him and his soon-to-be-fiancé to Rio de Janeiro. Because he wanted his proposal to not only be an incredible experience, but also carry religious significance and sentiment, he planned to propose at the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue on Pentecost Sunday in 2016.
The day arrived, and after a flight from DCA to Miami, Domenique’s master plan started to crumble. Neither he nor Shoji had their Brazilian visas and could not board the last leg of their flight.
However, after showing some of the JetBlue airport staff the ring and explaining what had happened, Domenique was able to secure a next-day flight to Barbados, one of the islands JetBlue services that neither Domenique nor Shoji had been to previously. Thinking his original proposal plan was ruined, Domenique stayed up all night trying to figure out how he could pull off the perfect proposal experience. The next morning, he and Shoji decided it might be fun to go parasailing, so they booked a boat before their afternoon flight.
Once out at sea, Shoji unexpectedly volunteered for them to go first. Because Domenique talked to the Captain and other guests ahead of time, everyone knew what was about to unfold, and the pressure was on. Once harnessed, the couple slowly climbed their way to about 500 feet before Domenique carefully pulled out a ring box and started to open it.
Domenique said, “I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” As he slowly started to open the box, he asked, “Will you be my….” – but before he could finish the question, the box slipped out of his hands and fell over 500 feet into the water below, giving Shoji but a glimpse of the ring that he was about to put on her finger.
After what seemed like an hour in the air, the pair finally landed back on the boat, and Domenique got down on both knees (because they were on the boat) to properly propose all over again – but this time with a ring between his fingers. Confused and overwhelmed, Shoji said “absolutely” – only to learn later that Domenique had intentionally dropped the box with a fake ring for dramatic effect but had the real ring safety-pinned to his shorts. The turn of events, the obstacles, and overall experience of the entire trip and proposal went viral, with more than 7,000 views. Check out the video of the proposal here.
Domenique and Shoji were married on August 13, 2017 and continue their experiences locally and abroad, sharing their experiences on social media via #themaloneexperience.
Domenique’s personal passion and dedication to the most meaningful experience is demonstrated in both his personal life and his professional career, demonstrating NetCentrics’ core values of “be genuine,” “leap courageously,” and “we are family” – and we’re proud to have him as part of our family.