April 2024 | Issue #27

Office background featuring CONSTANT's 'C' logo within a circle and a celebrating 20 years banner. A bunny is perched over the background.

Children dressed in matching outfits at an Easter celebration.The start of April marks the official start of the second quarter! Looking back on our Q1 performance we have much to celebrate – winning community-focused recovery work in Maui, wrapping a high-profile project with Los Angeles County on special events readiness, and multiple follow-on Federal projects resulting from stellar current performance. Alongside project work, our team has presented at multiple conferences (so proud!), we have invested in ourselves with ongoing work in our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee (congrats to our new co-chair, Manny!), and the many investments in infrastructure being made across the organization.

 

Looking ahead, we are excited about the Federal budget passing, which will enable the government to move forward with quickly obligating Federal funds before the end of the Federal fiscal year. We continue to make great strides toward our goals for 2024 and execute our mission of making the world a safer place!

 

Picture: Yesterday’s egg-hunting crew.

 

In Service,

 

-Michelle Constant 

"Welcome to CONSTANT" set on a half circle dark blue background with light blue border

Pattijean Hooper, Project Manager - Community Engagement, Maui

Pattijean Hooper Headshot

Dr. Hooper joins CONSTANT with 27 years of experience in emergency management. She brings expertise in emphasizing whole community inclusion within policy development, planning, field operations, training, exercises, and performance measures. She has held roles across levels of government, community-based organizations, higher education, and the private sector. Notably, Pattijean was employed with FEMA for 14 years, working with federal, tribal, state, local, and community-based organizations conducting disaster preparedness, planning and training and deploying to 23 Federally Declared Disasters. She also worked extensively within the State of Washington as a local emergency manager for two large cities, serving on the Washington State Emergency Management Advisory Group and architecting the state’s first CERT training for people with disabilities taught fully in American Sign Language. Most recently, Pattijean worked as a private sector consultant, leading projects such as Concord, California’s Language Access Strategy and the State of Iowa’s Equity and Diversity in Disaster Management Plans Assessment. 

 

Born in Africa, Pattijean was raised in a military family and lived around the world on army bases. She is an avid reader who also enjoys on-track car racing. She has two basset hounds, Sidney and Hazel, who share her love for racing and look magnificent with their floppy ears hanging out the side window.  

Alyssa De La Cruz, Senior Human Resources Business Partner

Howdy! Alyssa De La Cruz is joining Constant as the Senior Human Resources Business Partner. She lives in San Antonio, Texas and has a degree in Human Resources Development & Business Administration from Texas A&M University. She has six years of experience in Human Resources, most recently at PenFed Credit Union as a Human Resources Business Partner.

 

Alyssa is skilled in advising, influencing, implementing, and guiding the application of HR management principles and knowledge across all levels, from executives to managers and employees. She specializes in engaging with employees throughout their entire lifecycle, including candidate attraction, recruitment, onboarding, development, retention, and off-boarding.

 

In her free time, Alyssa enjoys spending time with her friends and family, which is mostly centered around watching or going to sporting events and traveling. Her boyfriend and she support the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Cowboys, and Manchester United. Most recently they went to a Manchester United match and are excited to plan a trip during the World Cup in 2026.

Preston Beahm, Consultant

Preston Beahm Headshot

Preston currently lives just south of Austin, TX, and has over 15 years of experience across a variety of sectors, from telecommunications, hospitality, sales, and healthcare. He has over 5 years of experience in the emergency management world. Preston started his EM career in healthcare emergency management with Baylor Scott & White Healthcare Systems in Dallas, TX before moving to the world of consulting with All Hands Consulting back in 2022. He is very excited about this new role with Constant!

 

Preston enjoys traveling, cooking, hiking, yoga, and spending time with his wife and 3 Australian Shepherds. He is an avid Dallas sports fan and Texas A&M Aggies alum, and, unfortunately, enjoys watching his Dallas Cowboys disappoint him year after year after … you get the point here. 

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CONSTANT's April Birthdays

Let’s cheers to our magical April birthday babies:

  • Alyssa Antczak (April 6th)
  • Jayson Kratoville (April 12th)
  • Lindsey Enslen (April 12th)
  • Christine Carry (April 16th)
  • Derek Morrison (April 26th)

CONSTANT's April Anniversaries

Join us as we celebrate these team members’ work anniversaries this month: 

 

  • Nicole Christensen – 3 years (April 1st)
  • Lindsey Enslen – 1 year (April 3rd)
  • Jennifer Love – 1 year (April 3rd)
  • Tracy To – 3 years (April 5th)
  • Nate Hayes – 2 years (April 18th)

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our mission!

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Cartoon women walking through garden

Blossoming Business Relationships: Springing Forward in Business Development

Business Development by Jeff Philippart, Business Development Director

A common saying in Business Development (BD) is that “BD is all about relationships.” While this may be simplistic, I want to highlight the importance of forming successful relationships to help grow CONSTANT. Sustaining mutually beneficial connections with your networks can allow you to link individuals and organizations with CONSTANT services that address their most pressing and unmet needs.

 

There are different networks – professional, social media and personal – that can be leveraged for growth opportunities. Your professional network can be traced back to your past jobs as well as your current role with CONSTANT; these are people who know you from the quality of your past and present work. You can also look for opportunities to expand and grow your professional network. For example, CONSTANT attended several conferences in March. Each event is an opportunity for us to meet new people, exchange ideas, discuss needs and capabilities, and form new professional connections. Mona and Ali displayed selfies on LinkedIn with some of their “new friends” from the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) Mid-Year Forum and Ali and Jessica were able to re-connect with “old friends” at the Preparedness Summit. And, while conferences are a great way to meet new clients and potential partners, there are other ways to grow your professional network, including client engagements, membership in professional organizations, attendance at industry seminars or workshops, volunteering, and more.

 

Another aspect of your network is the social network of contacts and connections developed and maintained through online sites like LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for finding new connections that may be future clients or business partners and for providing those who “find you” with information about your background and experience. Please keep your LinkedIn profile current by updating your headline, summary, work experience, education, skills, and certifications regularly. Share the posts from the CONSTANT page as well as other relevant industry articles, updates, or insights that could be beneficial for your network to see. Participating in discussions and groups can also be a great way to stay informed and build rapport and connections.

 

Finally, we all have a personal network that may include family, friends, and others that you know outside of work. Sometimes new opportunities can be found within your personal network as you share work experiences with family and friends. As we discussed during Winter Summit, when you engage with your professional, social and personal network, remember to stay curious, ask questions, and listen for areas where CONSTANT can provide solutions to make the world a safer place.

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Getting Time on Your Side: Turning time tracking into mindful time management

Operations by Jayson Kratoville

Part of Being CONSTANT is the trust reflected in our flexible time policies and practices. Team members can set and adapt a schedule that’s best for them, and we’re more concerned about the work getting done than minutely managing team members’ time.

 

We all know that reporting time daily is an industry-wide federal requirement; but it can seem at-odds with the flexibility we champion. It doesn’t have to be. This month’s Ops CONSTANT Connections article focuses on strategies for using time tracking to help you better control your schedule, communicate expectations, and unlock even more flexibility:

 

  • Manage your attention. Organizational psychologist Adam Grant defines attention management as “the art of focusing on getting the right things done for the right reasons, in the right places, and at the right moments.” As you’re planning your day, think about where you want to focus your attention and block off time accordingly. As you’re completing your timesheet for the day, use it as a tool to reflect on where you put your focus. We know the nature of the work sometimes requires long days; but better attention management can help prevent you from drifting into working more hours than you need to get things done.
  • Measure your time. Better data empowers faster and more accurate decision-making. By paying attention to your time daily, you can also measure how much time it takes you to complete certain tasks. This empowers you to better communicate expectations and assess the impact of new deliverables, tasks, and projects on your schedule. Teamwide, better awareness of how much time things take us will help us better estimate future timelines and budgets. 
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. It has become almost a cliché in our field that communication is a finding in every AAR. There’s a reason. You will always have the most information on how much bandwidth you have and how much time it takes you to do things. Communicate this with managers, PMs, and sponsors often—your timesheet can be a reliable baseline for that discussion.

Time tracking is a requirement first and foremost. We hope these tips and tricks can also help you use it to take more control of your work life and better balance it with everything else that’s important to you. Have a very happy April and beginning of spring!

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Sharing on SharePoint

People and Culture by Maggie Peters, Director of People and Culture

People & Culture SharePoint site:

People and Culture Hub. If you haven’t already done so, you are encouraged to create a quick link to our P&C SharePoint site. It is a gateway to lots of information about org charts, benefits, newsletters, policies, corporate calendars, Predictive Index results, Learning & Development (CONSTANT University and isolved University), get to know team members, EDI Committee progress, EAP, CONSTANT Summit recordings, Manager’s Toolkit, and lots more!  

 

Your P&C Team’s intention (what gets us up in the morning) is to make a meaningful difference in your life, lead with empathy, reinforce trust, ensure you feel heard and valued, be an advocate for learning and development, care about your well-being. How? Provide guidance, management development, benefits, policies, whatever it takes to support you. These are the things that are at the forefront of every decision, every policy, every change, etc. That we do.  

 

GlassDoor Reviews Requested:

We want CONSTANT to be your dream job. We see that the people that thrive here have a few things in common: a) They have a positive disposition b) They have a growth mindset c) they are adaptable and d) they are passionate about the work they do. We are pretty much always hiring to add to our talent due to growth. Please post a positive review on GlassDoor when you have a moment. This platform is so important for us to continue to attract quality candidates like YOU!  

 

Professional Development:  

Having a growth mindset to being the best you can be is a differentiator here at CONSTANT. We have over +150 courses [including paths and certificates] that can fit your needs for continued growth. Check it out: https://learning.myisolved.com/ 

 

Important April Dates: 

  • April 2: Manager’s Huddle (8 am PT / 11 am ET) 
  • April 4: CONSTANT University Governance Committee Meeting (9 am PT / 12 pm ET) 
  • April 5: Payday  
  • April 15: Submit Timesheets  
  • April 19: Payday 
  • April 29: Monthly Staff Meeting (9 am PT / 12 pm ET)  

Benefits Highlight EAP Highlight:  

We care about your wellness. That’s exactly why we provide you with a multitude of resources, insurance plans, and programs to help you with this thing called life. Whether it be professional life or personal life, there are resources available to help you navigate the tough stuff. Don’t wait until you ‘need’ it, check this out so you know what’s available. You’d be happily surprised!  Uprise Health Member Portal Use code 70101. All services are confidential.

Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

EDI by Maggie Peters 

Welcoming Manny Rodriguez as the new EDI Co-Lead!

 

Our meeting deck has been posted on the EDI SharePoint site. We also want to share our gratitude to Shelia Sescoe for her April EDI educational article “Autism Awareness Month.”

 

Brea and Maggie talked about a really good webinar sponsored by the University at Albany / State University of New York: “Small Acts, Big Impact: Understanding and Addressing Microaggressions in the Workplace.” Here is a recording of the webinar. To view past webinars, visit webinar archive.

 

Reach out to Manny and Maggie, EDI Co-Leads, if you ever have a need to assist a client with their EDI efforts or how to incorporate EDI into our engagement.

 

Next Meeting:  Our next EDI Committee Meeting will be June 26th. The meeting is linked on the Staff Calendar.

 

Phased growth of a money tree from gold coins in a pot. Business investment and income growth concept. Saving and increasing money. Vector flat illustration.

A 401(k) can be your retirement EASTER EGG!

Finance By Loretta Pascuzzo, Sr. Accounting Manager

Did you know that the Revenue Act of 1978 was signed into law in November of 1978 and is the foundation for the 401(k) retirement savings plans. With the decline in pension plans being offered, 401(k) plans have become the choice for private companies.

 

Constant and Associates has a 401(k) plan that is available to all team members once they have reached one year of employment with the company. The company will match 100% of the first 3% and 50% of the next 2% that you defer into a 401(k) or Roth after-tax account.

 

The contributions limit for 2024 (per the IRS) is $23,000 for anyone under the age of 50. If you are 50 or older you are eligible to contribute a catch up amount up to $7,500 in addition to the $23,000 (total of $30,500). The annual limits make the 401(k) an effective way to begin to save for retirement.

 

If you are eligible to participate in the 401(k) I encourage you to do so. If you are not yet eligible, keep an eye out for an email from P&C when you eligibility date approaches. 

desktop with a wall decorated with flowers and butterflies and a floor lamp and clock and a work table with a laptop, pen and folders.

April Showers Brings VPN Flowers!

Information Technology By Morgan Forrest, IT Manager

As the year flies by we are in April! Don’t the let April showers get you down. This month we want to focus on some VPN Tips!

 

When you are connected to the VPN, you will see that you are connected to the US Gateway. If you encounter a website, you are unable to access, click on the US Gateway one time. This will disconnect you from the gateway. Try to access your site. Once you are done, please remember to re-connect to the US Gateway as you are unprotected without it.

 

The other tip centers around VPN slowness or latency. If you find that your internet, Teams, or meetings are running slowly, here is a tip. You can click on Settings, then VPN connections. In there uncheck auto connect and select Nord Lynx. You can also switch back to auto-connect. This will refresh the connection and should resolve latency issues.

 

As always if you have any issues, please contact me at the helpdesk. To submit a helpdesk request please use this form Constant Help Desk Support Form. Thank you all! 

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Who was this? During our St. Patrick’s Day virtual event, we learned some fun facts about our team. Please email Brea your answers to win a prize!

 

  • Who helped Tiger Woods win the 2000 PGA Tour?
  • Who just went and saw Hamilton live?
  • Who scored a hole-in-one in a skirt & clogs?
  • Whose mini pig Dottie made an appearance on the call?
  • Who has an alligator named Daisy Mae?
  • Whose children make leprechaun traps?
  • Who guessed that 40% of presidents have Irish heritage correctly?
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Our mission is to make the world a safer place.

It’s that simple, and that’s why we are here. We have a strategic plan for the next three years, called CONSTANT Strategy, which outlines what our biggest priorities are:

 

  • Take care of our people
  • Forward our mission
  • Respond to our clients’ most pressing needs
  • Expand strategically across markets
  • Build infrastructure for the future

To help us execute on our mission, we have developed the CONSTANT Credo and our aligned core values (see the graphic below). We live by these.

CONSTANT Credo

Constant Credo 20th Anniversary Version

We appreciate all of your hard work as we continue to grow. We hope you enjoyed reading this issue of CONSTANT Connections! We are open to any ideas, suggestions, or feedback on CONSTANT Connections. Please submit your ideas to Brea Dees.