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. In September and October, we’ll focus on Hispanic Heritage Month. Today’s Q&A is with Helena Ramirez-Johnson, Executive Assistant, Critical Missions Diplomacy & International Development.
How did you come to join Amentum?
I joined through the acquisition of PAE.
What is your professional and personal background?
Professional: I’ve been with the company for 5 years. I started as EA to the President of PAE Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance under National Security Solutions. After the company was sold, I was offered an EA position to the SVP of what was then ILS-Global Mission Services, now Diplomacy & International Development (D&ID) in the Critical Missions Group.
Personal: I live in Lansdowne, VA, and I’m the mother of 3 (Alia 27, Amina 25, Jalen 20). I have a Maltipoo dog named Khloe. As hobbies, I enjoy interior decorating and traveling.
Describe the work you do and how you think it makes a positive impact.
I am a high-energy individual. I provide EA support to the D&ID SVP and his seven direct reports. I firmly believe that positive impact is from a positive attitude. Energy is the output, and it is what people receive. Some call it charisma, others call it leadership, but all of this together is what makes individuals want to work with you, for you and do more for you.
One of the ways I make a positive impact is by keeping morale high within D&ID. I develop monthly team building events whether virtual or in person. I am the known contributor for getting people together for good purposes. I make sure people are taken care of.
Practicing the value of selfless service requires me to put aside my own self-interests to commit to what is needed for my team to reach mission success.
What are some of your accomplishments and/or what has been your proudest career moment?
At legacy PAE, I implemented PAE PROUD, an ILS news website and internal award recognition program to spotlight employees around the world within the ILS programs. So, newsletters and internal recognition programs are my proud accomplishments.
I am also proud of successfully coordinating and planning D&ID Leadership Conferences & Strategy Sessions in the U.S. and Dubai, UAE. Bringing the teams together from around the world annually for these events and watching this team win new work year over year.
What do you enjoy about working for Amentum?
I enjoy the diversity and passion of the employees in D&ID and the rest of Amentum as well. The people I’ve encountered are passionate about social contributions and making connections.
What are you passionate about?
I’ve been told that I’m passionate about everything and I think that’s what makes me uniquely me. I am someone that wants this to be a place employees want to be – and if they’re feeling down, I make sure to make time for helping them feel better. Everyone has gloomy days, but I remind the early career professionals that life has seasons.
What’s your career advice?
Don’t give too much energy to the noise – stay focused and get to that finish line! Don’t stress over what you cannot control.
What does safety mean to you or do you have a favorite safety tip?
Favorite Tip: Give yourself Grace, or in other words MENTAL SAFETY. Everyone needs a mental break so that creativity has space to flourish. If you are constantly stressed or put pressure on yourself, you won’t have room for creating and seeing beyond what’s right in front of you.
What’s the best invention in the world and why?
Electricity and light must be top of the list! And that’s because your mood and perspective can change based on your environment. The same object in light or in dark can tell a different story.
Anything else you would like to share from a personal or professional perspective?
Leading teams with compassion is a professional perspective of mine. If you give your ears to your team, they will go to the ends of time for you – we are nothing without the people around us.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to highlight our culture’s achievements and contributions. To bring awareness to our community, show our struggles, and be grateful for how the U.S. is a land of opportunities. I am proud of my Mexican roots that taught me the true meaning of community and serving others.