Our employee spotlight shines a light on one employee at a time. We value diversity and inclusion and welcome diverse thinking. It takes a village — through collaboration, living safely and driving innovation we realize our goals and help our clients achieve mission success. Our mantra is people first, mission always. Today’s Q&A is with Jim Wise, Director of Business Development, Surface Ship Programs.
How did you come to join Amentum?
The recruiters were able to find me through LinkedIn.
What is your professional and personal background?
I was a Naval officer with 28 years of service. My specialty was surface warfare. I had the pleasure of commanding two U.S. Navy warships, the USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) and the USS Wasp (LHD 1). I completed three tours in the Pentagon where I served on Navy Staff, the Joint Staff and U.S. Special Operations Staff. Based on my professional tours I know and understand supporting Department of Defense technical and programmatic support.
How did your military service prepare you for a successful career at Amentum?
My military service taught me how do be a servant leader and manager. It taught me that people are first, and it is important to know how to empower people which in turn will create a synergistic effect for everyone to work together to achieve common goals. It also taught me the importance of accountability and responsibility. These characteristics help me to be a good teammate and to be successful in my current position.
Describe the work you do and how you think it makes a positive impact.
My main job focus is to develop business in the NAVSEA Surface Navy Market Space. This job allows me to interface with the government customer to determine their needs and to win work for the Amentum team.
What are some of your accomplishments and/or what has been your proudest career moment?
So far… it was being a finalist for the 2019 Innovation Award. Also, growing the business pipeline for new work and working on winning proposals.
What do you enjoy about working for Amentum?
The camaraderie. The leadership cares about their people, making it a fun place to work.
What are you passionate about?
Serving my country by being a military veteran.
What’s your career advice?
Continue to set goals for yourself and to reach those goals the goals you set. Also be a good listener. Because that is how you learn to improve your skill set.
What does safety mean to you, or do you have a favorite safety tip?
What safety means to me is increase people’s situational awareness whether it is in the workplace or at home to conduct activities in such a way as to not be injured or cause an injury to a fellow worker or friend. My favorite safety tip is while working at your desk, get up and stretch at least every 50 minutes or so and keep yourself hydrated.
What’s the best invention in the world and why?
The Internet is the best invention. It provides unlimited access to information.
We recently closed out the month of February, which is Black History Month.
What does it mean to you?
President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to, “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Black history is American history. The two histories are intertwined and it’s important to know, understand, and celebrate the accomplishments that Black Americans have made throughout history. Black History Month is important because it highlights the achievements of Black Americans from the beginning of our country to current times.
During this time of reflection, I think of early civil rights pioneers such as Harriette Tubman and Booker T. Washington from early in our history. It is in this month that we hold fast to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. as we see his dream being revealed before our eyes. As we honor those in the past, it is important to champion icons that are a part of modern American history like Michael Jordan, General Colin Powell, and President Barack Obama to name a few. Black Americans will continue to forge new paths and overcome adversity now, and in the future, just as the Black Americans have before them.
Not only does Black History Month help Black Americans learn more about their history, it also helps remind America at large the important role that Black Americans have in our society today. This is a time to focus on the success of America through the lens of Black Americans.