The Department of Enterprise Services with agency and higher education representatives make up the Contracts & Procurement Training Advisory Group (TAG). Procurement reform law (RCW 39.26.110) requires employees of state agencies and higher education who are responsible for developing, executing, or managing procurements or contracts to take DES approved training on best practices for state procurement. The Contracts and Procurement Training group with the subject matter expertise of TAG develop statewide training.
During my first 24 years I followed a traditional path, completing high school and going off to college. I completed by Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in June 2010, focusing on both Operations and Supply Chain Management, as well as Economics. I almost immediately went to work for a global logistics corporation, where I became disillusioned with the corporate world in less than two years. I quit my job without any concrete plans and traveled off and on working odd jobs through the start of 2014, with my journeys taking me as far as New Zealand.
Many may say I wasted valuable time that could have been spent building up my career experience and retirement account. However, I choose to look at it through the lens of having gained invaluable life skills. I experienced immense beauty, but I also experienced setbacks such as having my passport stolen and job discrimination as a foreigner.
After arriving back in the U.S., it took me significant dedication to find work. I learned to persevere, despite hearing "no" countless times.
While working as a waitress, I got a phone call which started my journey at the Washington State Department of Agriculture on a temporary assignment as a Purchasing and Procurement Specialist in March 2015. I quickly proved myself a valuable asset to the agency and was offered a permanent position. Through my relentless pursuit to learn, I have advanced rapidly in my time with the agency. Most recently I was promoted to the Acting Contracts and Procurement Manager in December of 2018.
I began as an Administrative Assistant for the Department of Information Services (DIS) in 1994 working with the Information Technology division. Cyber-security was a big deal, and a lot of my job was working with Homeland Security for security clearance for employees. I worked there for 18 years before transferring to Department of Enterprise Services. I began working with the Contracts and Procurement group. We were on the forefront of creating the Delegation of Authority in conjunction with RCW 39.26. Since then I have been working hand-in-hand with procurement reform, and now work for training as an LMS Administrator.
Some of my favorite things at work are developing relationships with other LMS Administrators throughout the state and in higher education.
My college courses included pre-law, and I ended up getting my degree in paralegal studies. After interning with lawyers in Spokane, I switched my focus to education, and began my career working with developmentally disabled adults. It was an easy transition for me. I moved to Western Washington and worked for Central Kitsap School District for many years before becoming a manager for Labor and Industries (L&I). During my time at L&I, I designed an online statewide training program called Customer Service University which continues to be utilized by the fine folks at L&I today. After Customer Service University, I created another agency-wide required training in response to a DOJ investigation. In 2014 I began working for the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) as an Instructional Designer, and I immediately became part of the TAG family.
I truly love creating accessible curriculum and designing eLearning and videos that meet my three M's: Motivational (so learners want to change behavior), Meaningful (so learners know how to change), Memorable (so learners remember how and why their work is so important). I don't always nail it, but I really love the journey and enjoy the people along the way.
I joined Contracts and Procurment as the Training Manager in September 2019. Previously, I worked for DES' Workforce Support and Development Division, the Department of Labor and Industries, and the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. My public service career has ranged from providing clerical support to teaching others for formal leardership, and I'm grateful for the many opportunities along the way to partner with colleagues, volunteers, and members of the public. While on this journey, I also developed curriculum, delivered classroom instruction, written policy and promulgated rules. I am excited to see the passion TAG members and DES staff have for procurement work, and I appreciate being a part of such a dedicated, engaged team.