WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
I joined SeaTec this spring as a system engineering consultant. I’d been a software developer and engineering manager on Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft program. Now, with SeaTec, I’m working on the E-7 early warning aircraft. They’re scheduled to deliver a prototype aircraft within two years, so they’re hitting the ground hot and heavy. Currently, I’m assisting with their contractual documentation deliverables but plan to get involved in software testing. The head architect wants me to champion how they’re doing their unit testing and ensure the developers use the same tools consistently. I’m also a deputy, helping to support Mike DeVogel (SeaTec’s Director of Aerospace), which draws on my experience as a software manager and recruiter.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS CAREER PATH?
My high school algebra teacher, Mr. Hardy, was quirky and fun and made me love math. He loved Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and most of his tests had one problem that resolved to 33, Abdul-Jabbar’s number. When I went to college, I thought I wanted to get a degree in math. But once there, everyone said you need to do computer science. I graduated with a computer science degree and a math minor. After graduation, I was hired at Boeing in software development, and it was a great career.
HOW HAS YOUR CAREER BEEN FULFILLING, AND WHY?
I love working with real-time software. Whenever I heard that the operators on the P-8 were using my software and it was performing and adding value to their mission … it was thrilling. I really enjoy working in defense, because being a part of defending our great nation has become a passion for me. Becoming a manager was wonderful because I could promote and encourage my staff. I enjoyed going to bat for my employees and making a difference in their personal lives.
My goal was to retire at 60, and I was able to do that in 2022 after over 30 years at Boeing. My friend Donna Hays, who was my former lead at Boeing and is a current SeaTec employee, encouraged me to talk with Mike DeVogel. Donna also told me that SeaTec was superior to other consulting firms she had worked for. I eventually thought, “Um, I wouldn’t mind working part time.” In March, I reached out to Mike DeVogel and here I am, working on the E-7 program and enjoying the assignment.
YOU’RE INVOLVED WITH THE RAISING GIRLS ORGANIZATION? HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED AND WHY?
Studies show that 1 in 4 teenage girls experiences period poverty in the United States. It’s a shame when a girl can’t go to school or can’t do sports because she’s afraid of being embarrassed and can’t afford hygiene or sanitary products. Also, my sweet daughter had some major difficulties that resulted in the removal of an ovary at age 14.
When I heard about Raising Girls from friends at church and as a menopause wellness coach, their mission resonated with me. It’s a small nonprofit organization in Tacoma, Washington, that provides hygiene products to junior high and high school boys and girls. I do love their motto: “Respect for Every Girl.”
Last year, I approached them about doing a fun run/walk. We held it at Chambers Creek Park in University Place, Washington, and raised about $5,000. Our goal is to raise $10,000 from this year’s 5K Run & Walk through entry fees, sponsorships and online donations. The event is a tangible and easy way to be a part of the solution.