Q: What is your role at JS Solutions (JSS) and what does a typical day look like for you?
A: At JSS corporate I’m the Program Manager, so I manage all the different contracts that we get, manage all the personnel and make sure that all our contractual deliverables are made to our government customers. I manage JSS corporate requirements, ensuring policies are developed and vetted. I make sure timekeeping is correct, up-to-date and approved, and I help run the operational side of JSS so that the rest of the senior team can focus on the direction and development of the company. I’m lucky to work with a great team, and they make our efforts seamless and enjoyable.
On the government side, I am the Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team (FVL CFT) program integrator. One of my major tasks is putting together the necessary information the senior leadership needs for their engagements. I also serve as the knowledge management program integrator, and part of my duty there is making sure that all the knowledge management pieces are up-to-date, and that we are using the latest versions for accurate documentation tracking, managing, sharing and archiving.
Q: Where were you working prior to joining JSS, and what relevant experience do you bring to your current role?
A: I was in the U.S. Army for six years, where I was a Black Hawk mechanic crew chief by trade. I was fortunate enough to be in the top of my class and was selected at Advanced Individual Training (AIT) to go into the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). I was a part of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) when it kicked off and then a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) when it kicked off. During those operations, I deployed to combat theaters in both Afghanistan and Iraq multiple times.
After I left the Army, I entered a large corporation and began as a junior tech writer, writing publications on troubleshooting and maintenance procedures. Eventually, I climbed the corporate ladder to senior tech writer, then to publication manager, then to logistics product line manager of Black Hawks. I’ve been part of sustainment development, early science and technology development on the corporate side. Using that experience, I’m able to provide input and knowledge on FVL. I then took the opportunity to become a support contractor working early acquisition efforts. I worked a number of years working to support Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP).
Before joining JSS, I was with another contractor where I worked on the Integrated Air Missile Defense (IAMD) program, which is to be the command and control platform for all air defense products. We’re doing something similar, just on an aviation platform, with Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA), where everything is plug and play. Eventually, everything will be standardized, so that you can plug new and existing programs into a system for efficiency of development and support. The approach enables everything to play nicely together, versus everything being an independent and unique standalone system with more cost and difficulty integrating. Previously, I was more on the logistics acquisitions side and making sure results were sustainable and affordable, and that there were accurate publications created so others could maintain it. It worked on executing the requirements to develop the end product, rather than supporting it from the beginning like I am in my current role.
Q: What aspect of your job and in working with customers, do you consider yourself an expert?
A: I bring a lot of user experience, corporate experience and government acquisition experience to the team. I am skilled in developing products, evaluating the utilization of products and providing feedback on the requirements of products.
Also, I’m always researching. In my personal time, I’m passionate about researching new devices and technology that can make my life easier. In my professional life, I use that passion to research technology for my government customer. I try to pair my natural curiosity to discover what’s out there with my responsibility to define how the soldiers can utilize technology, to make life easier and work more efficiently. I like to look at how we can use a product or technology for something other than its original, or conceptual intention.
Q: Why do you think companies should work with JSS, and how does JSS bring value to its customers?
A: The company right now is small. It’s agile – it’s adaptive. At JSS we are still shaping our future. I think that we have a lot to offer, and JSS prides itself on getting the highest quality workforce for its customers. We go for quality of talent over quantity of talent. As we grow, we want to get the quantity, while not sacrificing the quality. I want customers to know that they are going to get a top-tier performer on their team, and not just somebody to fill a seat.
Q: What makes JSS different from other companies where you’ve been employed?
A: This is the first time I’ve been employed with a company this early in its development. When I first came out of the Army, I was part of a big corporation, then I was with a medium-sized company, and then back to a large company. Working with a small company has been an enjoyable experience.
This is a family-focused, family-centered environment. It’s small; everybody knows each other and everybody is willing to work together. When you’re a smaller company, you’re all pitching in to help each other out, so you get to know the nuances of each area. Being less heavily manned allows you to get more exposure and knowledge that you would otherwise not have because each group would be well established and running themselves. Teamwork and collaboration are central to JSS, and the desire amongst everybody to work together really starts with our leader, Jason. It’s a fun period to be a part of JSS. I am looking forward to an exciting ride and growing with JSS.