Federal Spotlight: Suzi Inman
Suzi Inman serves as Acquisition Management Specialist/Contracting Officer’s Representative at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division, in Crane, Indiana. She is also Vice President for Membership and Chapter Organization for Federally Employed Women (FEW). Here is our Federal Spotlight interview:
MC: How long have you been in Federal service and what is your main responsibility in your role today?
Suzi Inman: I have been in the Federal service for 27 years. I started out as a GS-3 Clerk Typist, which was to be a short-term engagement for only 90 days. It quickly turned into several years of service and multiple positions.
I have worked in the Comptroller Department in the Budget Branch, and from there moved to a Line Division as a Financial Analyst for their Financial Core Team. After doing financial work for several years, I became a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma and worked on a Continuous Improvement Team. All of these different positions provided knowledge and experience allowing me to move up to my current position of a Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR).
MC: What keeps you motivated and passionate to stay in the public sector?
SI: Participating in the work we do supporting the Warfighter. And we have many opportunities to rotate our positions to various areas here on base, or to take on a totally new position while remaining at Crane. Many people question how we have a Navy base in the middle of Indiana, but our service to the Warfighter is essential to keeping our naval fleet the most powerful in the world.
Working as a COR is very motivating, and I love working with people. In this role, I have the opportunity to solidify contracts that keeps our work moving forward.
MC: What is one of your biggest achievements?
SI: During most of my 27 years of Federal service, I have been a member of FEW. During that time, I have held several positions at Chapter, Region, and National levels. I have served as the FEW National Training Program Chair several times. I was rather shy before I joined FEW, but by stepping out and taking on various leadership roles it has made me a stronger person. Throughout the years, I have addressed large audiences, when before working with FEW I would run the other way.
Through my volunteer service with FEW, I have made friends all over the country. Working with FEW in all the various leadership capacities gave me the experience that has allowed me to move up in my career.
In 1998, I received the Barbara Boardman Tennant award from FEW. This award is an overall achievement award to recognize an individual’s achievements of national significance during a period greater than one year. The criteria states that the person nominated must be one whose actions and leadership resulted in service to the organization at a national level to a degree above and beyond that required by membership. This award is the highest award you can receive at the national level within FEW.
MC: What advice would you share with young people on entering government?
SI: My advice for young people starting out with the government would be to:
- Work hard in your position
- Be flexible with schedules
- Be respectful of others
- Register for classes offered, especially leadership
- Network with all age groups
- Invest as much as possible in your TSP account
- Take charge of your own career growth
One way of networking would be to join a professional organization at your agency. Choose a professional organization at your agency that interests you and fits your needs. Many offer free training or training at a lower cost to members and always provide a good opportunity for networking and advancing your career.