BATTLE CREEK, Mich. –
Property Disposal Specialist
Battle Creek, Michigan
Describe your job in a sentence or two. What do you do specifically? I am a Property Disposal Specialist in the Business Support Directorate Compliance Branch within the Process Health Division. I wear many hats, and all are equally important. I have oversight of the Mid-America Region, I am the compliance point-of-contact for the warehousing protocols, I participate as a team lead, a member on effectiveness reviews and ensure all required actions within the Compliance Assessment Management System are current and up-to-date.
How long have you worked for the federal government including military service? I will have worked for the federal government for 30-years on Nov. 9, 2022. I started my federal service as a temporary or term employee for DRMS International Sales Office in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1992. My entire career has been with DLA Disposition Services.
What are some of your favorite memories with DLA Disposition Services? One of my favorite memories is working with the field staff. I’ve been afforded the opportunity to travel and work with DLA Disposition Services employees worldwide. Being able to interact face-to-face and understand their jobs and work alongside them is one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences. Additionally, putting a face to a name is an added plus! An additional favorite of mine and is one that was a huge learning experience was being part of the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 outsourcing process and subsequently, on the Most Efficient Organization team when the MEO was awarded the contract. I was part of the Quality Assurance Team and had oversight of the west region. This initially is what brought me to compliance.
What aspects of your current job gives you the most personal satisfaction and why? My commitment and service to the warfighter is the foundation for what I base my job on. Equally important, is my role in compliance. DLA Disposition Services is a world-wide disposal network and it’s imperative that I perform my job with the resources I have to the best of my ability. Policy and procedures can be written; however, clear and concise direction is important when I work protocols. At times, I feel like I’m a “conduit.” If a protocol is not written clearly and a process doesn’t work, I’ll forward questions and/or issues to the subject-matter expert for direction and resolution. Satisfaction is seeing issues resolved and things coming full circle with a positive outcome. I see us as small pieces to the “disposition“ puzzle, working towards the same goal.
What is the best piece of advice someone has given you?
I have two. The first was to always be adaptable to change, nothing is constant. We must be open and move with the flow of change. I recall a quote I read by Stephen Covey that holds true, “To change ourselves effectively, we first have to change our perceptions.” My second is, Keep It Simple Sweetheart (KISS). This was drilled into my brain by one of my favorite senior-level communication professors. I use this as a basis for anything I work on and focus on the five “W’s and H,” who, what, where, when, why and how.
What kind of training and education helps your work performance in your current role? I believe my background in communications has helped me in my current role. Aside from writing reports and creating briefing charts, I strongly feel that communication is key. Whether face-to-face, email or phone, keeping a good line of communication leads to effective teamwork. I believe in communication being open, honest and two-way.
Tell us something that most people might not know about you? I am first generation American in my family and my first language was Macedonian.
Who’s your biggest influence? My parents were my biggest influence. Both moved to the United States without knowing the English language and only had a high school education. The most admirable trait they had was a dream for a better life. For the 42 years they were together, they were successful in their occupations and raised two daughters. They provided opportunities to me that I may have never had…yes, they taught me how to dream and never give up.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be an attorney. I’ve been told I should have followed that course, as I’m good at arguing. To me, it’s not arguing, it’s passion. Eastern Europeans are passionate people, we express ourselves freely and sometimes it gets misinterpreted.
What’s the most thrilling/adventurous thing you have ever done? Years ago, I had an opportunity to ride in Michael Mancuso’s stunt plane during an air show practice at the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show. I pulled 5 Gs,G-force, over Gull Lake and still can’t believe I did that. Hands down, the most thrilling experiences of my life.