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News | June 22, 2022

Employee Spotlight: Cara Vaughn

By DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

Employee spotlight regularly features outstanding non-supervisory personnel from throughout the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation and other DLA employees on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. Organizational directors may submit names of employees they wish to feature in this column to DLA Aviation Public Affairs. For more information, call (804) 279-3139. 

Name: Cara Vaughn

Organization: DLA Aviation at Richmond

Years of Service: 10 Years

What is your job title, and what do you do, specifically? I am a purchasing agent and contracting officer. As a PA, I perform all post award actions needed on contracts once they are awarded to a company/contractor. I do contract modifications, expedites, delinquent requests as well as financial settlement issues. In my role as a contracting officer, I sign contract modifications for other employees within the division.

What would you say has been your major contributions to your organization this year in your job? I’ve had a hand in working over 3,000 post award requests and exceeded my output metric by 180%. I also helped with the training of our new hires and am usually the go to person for any hot items or actions that need to be taken care of in a timely manner.

What aspect(s) of your current job gives you the most personal satisfaction?  Why?  I would have to say the thing that gives me personal satisfaction about my job is helping the warfighter. They are out there keeping us safe and the small part I do to help them is very satisfying.

If you could speak directly to the warfighters you support, what would you tell them? I would thank them for the work they do to keep me and my family safe and for their service to our country.  I would also tell them that I come to work every day and do the best that I can to support them.

What advice would you have given yourself 10 years ago? The advice I would have given myself 10 years ago is the same advice I would have given myself when I was in my late teens. Get your college degree because you’ll need it and the older you get, the harder it seems to achieve that goal.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?  In five years, I see myself in some sort of higher management position here in post awards.

What are some of your passions outside of work?  I love spending time with my husband and son!  We enjoy going camping, fishing, going to music festivals and spending time with family and friends. I also love watching my son play baseball.

If you could start your life over again, what would you do differently? I wouldn’t do anything differently! I believe everything happens for a reason and if I went back and changed something, it would most likely change other aspects of my life. I’m completely happy with where my life is and the way God laid it out for me.

Have you had a mentor that helped you grow in your career?  If so who, and how did they help? I’ve had several people who have helped me along the way in my career here at DLA, but the person who stands out who has helped me the most is a previous supervisor, Heather Gomez. We met when I first started working for her while I was a contractor. I was fortunate to be placed on her team when I was picked up by the government in 2002. She has always helped to guide me down the right path with my career as well as keeping me on task when it comes to finishing my degree. I unfortunately don’t work for her now, but I know she’s always a phone call away and I thank her for that!