NCMA helps you to understand how procurement works; how the government works. We’re a part of the government “working.”

Contract Management What led you to join NCMA?

Anestacia Evans I made the decision to join early in my career—I was intrigued by the career that I just embarked upon, but I had no real idea of what it was all about. I joined NCMA to not only help me better understand what contract management was all about, but also where I could go within this profession.

NCMA was super helpful for me. I was able to find resources to help me truly understand what procurement and contract management involve.

CM Tell us about your experience with NCMA’s Contract Management Leadership Development Program (CMLDP).

AE Let me be very clear: The CMLDP is intense. It’s intense. It’s an amazing experience, but what you give is what you get.

I was accepted into the program as a new leader; I don’t have people under me yet. It was a way for me to learn how to lead.

Some of the training tools they gave us were instrumental in preparing for my new role. For example, how to lead an introvert—which is especially helpful for me, as I’m an extrovert…well, an extrovert with introvert tendencies. Things like constructing agendas so they’re prepared, which in turn helps me be prepared.

CM What are some examples of how your NCMA membership has benefited you professionally?

AE Professionally, being a member of NCMA afforded me the opportunity to get my first article published.[1] (I’ve never been published in my life.) It also provides the opportunity to network and access an enormous pool of professionals that I can tap into when I have questions or if I want to know what trends are happening.

CM What about at the chapter level? How have you been able to leverage your membership with the Tysons Chapter of NCMA?

AE Last year, I served as the scholarship and university outreach director for the Tysons Chapter of NCMA. Serving in that role gave me the ability to award a scholarship for a high school student to attend Old Dominion University. For me, that was amazing.

 I’ve always had a goal to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and to that end, our chapter attended the Alfred Street HBCU Festival[2] as an exhibitor last year. To be able to help all these high school kids connect with colleges and help them establish potential career paths in contract management; that was just amazing. I was super excited. I tapped every resource possible to get us a table there so everyone could see the big NCMA banner front and center.

CM Tell us the most unexpected thing that you have discovered as an NCMA member.

AE One of the requirements of the CMLDP is to write a research paper, and I focused my paper on underrepresented minorities in contract management.[3] I reached out to NCMA National for more information, and I was surprised to find that we’re still missing a lot of information on our profession’s demographics. I was a little surprised by that, but at the same time I got the impression our leadership at NCMA has the desire to become more fully aware of our audience, in order to better serve our audience, which made me hopeful. It means we’re going somewhere.

CM What would you tell a nonmember who is on the fence about joining NCMA?

AE Join. Join NCMA. It’s not just for industry. It’s not just for government. When I meet entrepreneurs that know I’m in subcontracts, I quickly advise them to look to NCMA to help find out what trends are happening and what contract types and contracting practices are truly going to make a difference in your company’s life.

NCMA helps you to understand how procurement works; how the government works. We’re a part of the government “working.”

CM What are some of your hopes for the future of your membership with NCMA?

AE My hope is that I’ll continue to grow and flourish. I hope to serve on the Board of Directors. I hope to continue working with HBCUs. I hope to see NCMA help develop academic curricula at the undergraduate level. I hope to be a part of the evolution of the association as we are bringing up new contract managers and subcontract managers.

And through “Faces of NCMA,” I hope that people will see my face. I’m an underrepresented minority; I’m a woman; I’m a black woman—but I am so much more. I hope that as NCMA continues to grow and evolve so that we see everybody at the table—not just an “underrepresented minority”; there are no minorities here. We are all contract management professionals.

We just need to know what everyone does, how all our “pieces” fit together in the procurement “puzzle,” and how we can support each other. CM

 

Endnotes


[1] Editor’s Note: See Anestacia Evans, “Are We Diverse and Inclusive at All Levels of Contract Management?” Contract Management Magazine (August 2020): 22–26.

[2] Editor’s Note: Since 2003, the annual Alfred Street Baptist Church (ASBC) Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Festival is the largest of its kind in the nation, designed to connect high school students with over 70 attending HBCUs—many offering on-site admissions, interviews, music auditions, waived application fees, and scholarships. To date the ASBC HBCU Festival has awarded over $20 million in scholarships, with $11 million offered in 2019. For more information, visit https://hbcufestival.event.alfredstreet.org/.

[3] Editor’s Note: Anestacia’s research paper was published as a feature article in the August 2020 issue of Contract Management (see note 1).