Editor’s note: March is Women’s History Month and this year’s Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute theme is “Honoring the Past, Securing the Future.” Throughout the month, we will spotlight Defense Logistics Agency Energy employees who are honoring their history and making a difference through their accomplishments both in their workplace and community.
Describe your job: I am a contract specialist in DLA Energy Installation Energy. My primary work functions are cradle-to-grave knowledge-based service contracts and electricity contracts. I focus on Energy Savings Performance Contracts and on internal process improvement projects to streamline functionality.
How long have you worked at DLA Energy? Two years. I recently completed the DLA Energy Pathways to Career Excellence Intern program and, will receive my Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level II Contracting certification.
I am incredibly proud of the opportunity to work for DLA. I was afforded an opportunity and provided two years of valuable training and experience. I utilize all the skills I have learned at DLA, both in my personal life and in professional interactions. My opportunity at DLA is one I do not take lightly.
What makes DLA Energy different? I love the culture and work environment at DLA Energy. I genuinely enjoy coming to work. My supervisor and co-workers are personable, professional and hard working. They make the workday enjoyable and fun. As a veteran, I am no longer the “Warfighter,” but I am honored to be serving those who continue to serve. I am a military spouse and a mother. It makes me proud to contribute to an organization with DLA’s mission.
Can you share your most recent professional success story? Learning and mastering effective management of a career workload. Continually seeking ways to excel beyond standard requirements is where I feel I have achieved true professional successful work life balance. Doing all of this and still balancing my very hectic personal and family life is challenging.
What would you consider your greatest accomplishment? My greatest personal accomplishment is returning to the workforce as a disabled woman veteran, military spouse and mother. The challenges I overcame, both personally and professionally, were huge. When I consider where I am today and where I was three or even five years ago, I would never have imagined myself doing so incredibly well, with a great career and boundless opportunities with the DLA community. It is a wonderful feeling.
How do you honor your past? I am a 5th generation veteran (disabled). I served in the Massachusetts Air National Guard for six years as a munitions maintainer. It was an amazing job and I feel proud to have served my country and continue my family’s legacy of military service. I believe this, even more so as a woman, paving the way for other women and showing them that you can do anything, including testing missiles and building bombs for the greatest Air Force in the world.
How do you make a difference in the workplace? I make a difference in the workplace by holiday decorating and assisting my co-workers with fundraising events for DLA’s summer BBQ and holiday party. Having a connection with your co-workers and getting to know them outside of the workplace really improves work rapport. A happy and positive personality is contagious, that is what I strive for.
How do you make a difference in your community? I have been active in my local neighborhood loop on Fort Belvoir in Virginia. I lead fundraising and event planning efforts including the 2019 Easter Egg Hunt, which raised over $300 for egg supplies and an Easter Bunny costume, and a chili cook-off, which connected our residents with the Fort Belvoir Fire Department. I am also part of the Fort Belvoir Housing Advocacy Committee for my neighborhood. It is important to take care of our service members and their families, and I use my advocacy committee position to achieve that.
Additionally, I fundraised over $1,000 for cooking appliances and over $1,300 for toys for over 37 service members and their families that were displaced over Christmas time. These families were living in a hotel for weeks to months while their homes were being worked on. This took a significant burden off those families from worrying about how to make meals and buy presents for their children.