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 Tamara (Tami) Skjegstad, Amentum Aviation Program Manager.
How did you come to join Amentum?
Wanting to get back to my passion and educational background of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), I applied for and was hired by Amentum-DynCorp International in 2006 as a Seasonal GIS Technician on their U.S. Forest Service (USFS) FireWatch Program.
What is your professional and personal background?
I obtained my BS in Geography with emphasis in Cartography and a minor in Geology from CSU-Chico (1996) but ended up spending the next decade working in management in both the service and banking industries before deciding to pursue my original passion of GIS. After two years as a seasonal GIS with Amentum-DynCorp International, I was promoted to Lead GIS Technician/Administrative Assistant/Inventory Specialist and in 2015 I became Program Manager.
Describe the work you do and how you think it makes a positive impact.
I am the Program Manager overseeing 16 employees in support of the USFS Firewatch Program. We maintain and support two USFS owned Bell 209 Helicopters throughout the nation on wildland fires with pilots, mechanics, fuel truck drivers, and GIS Technicians. The aircraft mission is to provide aerial supervision and intel to the firefighters on the ground giving them real time information to make tactical and lifesaving decisions.
What are some of your accomplishments and/or what has been your proudest career moment?
Having started as an entry level, seasonal GIS and working my way through numerous positions within the program my proudest moment came when I was offered the Program Manager position.
What do you enjoy about working for Amentum?
The teamwork and support within the DynAviation group.
What are you passionate about?
Personally: Family. Professionally: Making a difference by providing quality service and products to the fire community.
What’s your career advice?
Follow your passions and never give up.
What does safety mean to you or do you have a favorite safety tip?
My entire crew making it home at the end of each fire season to their families and loved ones. #1 Safety Tip “Situational Awareness.”
What’s the best invention in the world and why?
The Compass – it helps me find my true north as well as my direction forward.