In your own words, can you describe your role as a Subject Matter Expert? How do you leverage your background when bringing your guidance to leadership?
My role at Iberia is to leverage my broad background and extensive network of industry leaders to provide subject matter expertise in support of our Financial Management workstreams. Erica Mehm and Ryan Waguespack lean on me as an advisor for any key client activities or challenges that Iberia handles.
My background includes 30 years of experience at the Navy, 3 years at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and almost 7 years as a consultant. It’s been almost 40 years since I graduated from Elon College and started working at the Navy. I began my career as a GS-3 clerk typist and quickly became a budget analyst and eventually became a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES).
I’ve worked in different echelons across multiple agencies. I worked both at Navy and NASA Headquarters, the Echelon II level at the Navy’s Field Support Activity, and the field level at the Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Aviation Depot, Cherry Point.
My experience over the years includes:
- General and Working Capital funds
- Planning, Programming, Budget, and Execution (PPBE)
- Budget and Accounting Policy
- Financial Operations
- Financial Systems Implementation and Sustainment
I’ve done all kinds of stuff so that broad, diverse background enables me to jump in and assist with any challenge that somebody is working on. If I don’t know the answer, I have a huge network of contacts and I generally know who to go to. If I can’t fix a problem, I know who to pull in to facilitate a solution.
What were two or three key decisions you made throughout your career that led you to where you are today?
When were attacked in the Pentagon on 9/11, it drove me to reevaluate my priorities. My kids were 2 and 4, and I realized I had to prioritize family time more, so I transferred to the Navy’s Office of Financial Operations at the Washington Navy Yard which was a much shorter commute from Annapolis. This was a big career change for me.
Another big career change was when I decided to accept the Senior Executive Service (SES) position at NASA. I never thought I would leave the Navy. The opportunity presented itself to become an SES and I took it.
An additional decision point was when I decided to retire from the government and become a consultant to the Navy. While I loved my time at NASA and they were great people, I missed working with my Navy family, so I came back in a subject matter expert capacity.
Who are some of your female role models?
I was very fortunate to work with a lot of strong women at Navy’s Office of Budget that had become SESs and GS-15s, as branch heads and division directors ahead of me. They paved the way for me I and I have always looked up to them.
- The Honorable Ms. Gladys Commons
- The Honorable Ms. Caral Spangler
- Ms. Ariane Whittemore
- Ms. Mary Kay Tompa
- Ms. Gaye Evans
- Ms. Sheryl McNair