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July 2023 | Issue #17

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Recognizing our July 4th holiday isn’t just about BBQs, fireworks and beach days (although we love all of these). For us here at CONSTANT, Independence Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the many ways that we’ve contributed to the resilience of our Nation and the communities that comprise our homeland. The first half of this year alone we’ve conducted full scale exercises aimed at building SLTT readiness, crafted trainings that will provide a strengthened response cadre for the Federal government, and developed COVID-19 AARs that are transforming how we look at pandemic and all hazard readiness. Our patriotism is evident in our passion for resilience, and in understanding the interconnectedness between our Nation and the world.

We continue on a remarkable upward trajectory in alignment with our mission and in lockstep with our three-year strategic plan. Our people continue to raise the bar in terms of superior service delivery, innovation, and commitment. I am grateful for the contributions that our team makes on a daily basis, and for the opportunity to work alongside people who support our mission with energy, greatness, and a sense of team. I look forward to seeing everyone at CONSTANT Summit on July 10th and 11th and wish you a safe and memorable Fourth of July. As always, thank you for your ongoing commitment to making the world a safer place.

Michelle Constant

Founder + CEO 

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Dana Bell, ISD Analyst


Dana Bell joined our FEMA FQS Project Team on June 16th. She is a native Memphian who currently resides in Nashville, TN. She is ABD with her Doctorate in Education and plans to complete it when she finishes paying for her son’s tuition. He is currently a sophomore at UT Knoxville. Dana’s strengths center around needs analysis and evaluation of learning and development processes. Outside of her son, she has a cat named Harley, her ginger rescue from Catopia, and is a plant mom of around 100 houseplants. Dana loves and binges all things “Law and Order”/”Criminal Justice”- related, which she listens to on her daily walks around the neighborhood.

Christina Chapper, ISD Analyst


Christina Chapper also joined our FEMA FQS Project Team on June 16th and brings over ten years of experience in the Learning and Development industry. Her passion lies in crafting learning solutions that resonate and inspire adult learners. To Christina, learning is not a destination but a journey that should be enjoyed along the way. When Christina isn’t busy creating amazing learning experiences, you can find her soaking up the sunshine in her beautiful Florida home. She loves traveling, exploring new places, immersing herself in gardening projects, and taking on exciting DIY challenges.

Kayla Malone, Graphic Designer


We are very excited to welcome Kayla Malone to our Business Development Team today! Kayla earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Arts and Design and a Master of Science degree in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL. She has a passion for graphic design and has been able to utilize her unique skill set by working in a variety of environments from broadcast news to higher education. Most recently, Kayla worked at a research center dedicated to creating accessible and inclusive resources to help those with disabilities live more independently. Kayla enjoys finding creative solutions to meet the needs of others and believes that we can continue to make design more accessible and inclusive for all.

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CONSTANT July Birthdays

Please join us as we celebrate these upcoming special days:

Aleks Baran – July 2nd

James Meeks – July 9th

Ali Hochreiter – July 23rd

Manny Rodriguez – July 26th

Happy Birthday to Aleks, James, Ali, and Manny!

CONSTANT July Anniversaries

Party time! Let’s raise a glass (of sparkling apple cider) to this CONSTANT difference maker. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our mission!

Lenah Mansour (1 year) – July 25th

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Client Relationships Are Everything

Business Development by Donna Chaney, Federal Business Development Director

You may know this already, but we love to talk about our awesome BD team at CONSTANT! From the proposal powerhouse led by Christy and supported by Lindsey to the amazing marketing work that Nicole is doing (have we mentioned our new website lately?) to all the great work that Shayne is doing on the federal side, we don’t think its hyperbole at all to say that we have the best BD team!  


But if we’re being honest, we owe our successes on the BD side to two major factors – all of the great work that our Operations team does on every project and the client and partner relationships that everyone in the company has. We are so proud of CONSTANT’s reputation for excellent work, highly experienced and professional staff, and our constant (pun intended) commitment to our mission of making the world a safer place. And the relationships that so many of you have developed along the way just reinforce everything we do. 


With all of this in mind, we’re excited to tease a couple of upcoming things.


First, we’ll be presenting a session on the importance of client relationships at this month’s Summer Summit (Tuesday July 11 at 10am PT). And stay tuned for some upcoming news on some new work that’s coming our way that is entirely due to the great work that is being done by our Ops team! 


Finally, it’s July, which means the start of some great summer traditions – catching fireflies, roasting marshmallows over the campfire, and eating Maryland eastern shore sweet corn. But my favorite July 4th tradition is going to the eastern shore and watching the fireworks from a blanket on the sand in Rehoboth Beach, DE while eating pizza from Grotto’s. 

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Balancing Act: Defining Project Success in an Industry-Leading Work Environment

Operations by Jayson Kratoville, Director of Operations

What does success look like? For projects at CONSTANT, our goal is to find a balance among providing quality service, hitting financial targets, and ensuring a healthy team. Without the third pillar, the other two are not sustainable. In this week’s Operations CONSTANT Connections article, we wanted to share a few strategies for striking this balance:


  • Establish credibility and expectations with the client.
  • Determine what the client needs and their expectations for how we work with them.
  • Show them that our people have the knowledge and skills to get it done.
  • Build confidence and buy-in on a reasonable timeline, scope, and approach.
  • Explain what we need from them to be able to help them meet their goals.
  • Use “we” language while respecting that it’s ultimately their project.
  • Follow up relentlessly, in multiple ways on client expectations and how we’re doing.
  • Set and adjust clear internal expectations on timeline, budget, and level of effort.
  • Plan for the things we can control to prioritize flexibility for the things we can’t.
  • Ensure everyone on the team knows when they will have work to do so they can block off their calendar.
  • For those delegating tasks—know the capabilities of your fellow team members and provide tailored guidance and tools to set them up for success. For those receiving tasks—openly communicate when you need help or additional resources.
  • Meet timelines and communicate risks proactively so nobody is left in a bad position.
  • Listen to pushback on level of effort and timeline and work together on solutions.
  • Provide and solicit thoughtful feedback.
  • Build a good rapport with the team.
  • Ensure feedback is measurable and specific.
  • Recognize that feedback isn’t criticism for doing something wrong, it’s a way to follow up on expectations.
  • Prioritize positive feedback on repeatable successes—this is more powerful.
  • Be great at receiving and responding to feedback, regardless of who is providing it.

Importantly, when communicating project status, include all three pillars and proactively identify risks to any of them. This allows us all to work together to ensure our projects are truly healthy.


What strategies do you use to drive project success? Share with the team! 

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People and Culture by Maggie Peters, Director of People and Culture, and Lauren Day, People and Culture Business Partner

People and Culture (P&C) Updates

Summer Summit: We are excited to see everyone on July 10 and 11 from 8 am to noon PDT / 11 am to 3 pm EDT! There will be a variety of topics and activities during this year’s summit including a Q&A with Michelle, interactive discussions including sessions on The CONSTANT Experience and Using AI in Emergency Management, followed by a fun (and competitive) teambuilding activity with prizes!


Quarterly Pulse Survey Results: The focus of the survey was Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Thank you for your participation and suggestions! Overall rating +91% positive. 


Professional Development: We recently added new on-demand professional development opportunities (optional) in CONSTANT University:

  • What is a Documentation Review?” hosted by Jessica Driskill. This course covers the documentation review process to include some best practices and explains the reason we complete a documentation review during the AAR process.
  • Using R to Enhance Data Analysis Capabilities” hosted by Dr. Cindy Beard and Dylan Yates. This course introduces you to R statistical software and provides an overview of how R can enhance CONSTANT’s data analysis capabilities for surveys, reports, and other products.

To see New and Upcoming CONSTANT University courses, click HERE.

2023 Team Member Guide [action required]: CONSTANT’s refreshed Team Member Guide (aka Employee Handbook) is here! All Team Members will receive a message in their isolved People Cloud to read and acknowledge receipt of this guide.


Equifax I-9 Verifications [action required]: We’ve partnered with Equifax to automate and streamline our Form I-9 Documentation Review which will ensure compliance with DHS guidelines. Starting this month, our team members will receive information on how and when to easily schedule in-person I-9 verification appointments in their local areas. Please prepare now by having your acceptable documents ready.


Holiday: On Tuesday, July 4th, CONSTANT will be closed in observance of Independence Day. This day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared the American colonies’ independence from British rule. 

Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

EDI by Co-Leads Lona Bryan and Maggie Peters

Our 2023 EDI Committee Meetings are on the Staff Calendar: Everyone is welcome to attend. Here’s the link to the EDI hub: EDI.


Next Meeting: Wed, August 23 at 9am PT / 1 pm ET


EDI Article: Our monthly educational article, “Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act” (ADA) can be read here

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Where has the time gone? Hello July!

Information Technology By Morgan Forrest, IT Manager

Hello Team and welcome to July! Where has the year gone? 


Here is a step-by-step procedure for adding an email to the Safe Sender list!


1. Open Microsoft Outlook and go to your Inbox.

2. Find an email from the sender that you want to mark as a safe sender.

3. Right-click on the email and select Junk from the dropdown menu.

4. From the Junk dropdown menu, click on Never Block Sender.

5. A pop-up window will appear asking if you want to ensure future emails from this sender are always delivered to your inbox. Click on Always Deliver From [Sender’s Name].

6. The sender’s email address will now be added to your safe senders list.

7. To access and manage your Safe Senders list, click on the Home tab at the top of the screen, then click on Junk in the Delete group.

8. From the dropdown menu, select Junk E-mail Options.

9. In the Junk E-mail Options window, click on the Safe Senders tab.

10. You can add or remove email addresses or domains by clicking on Add or Remove respectively.

11. Click OK to save changes to the safe senders list.

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Young Female Blogger Doing Freelance Work While Traveling.

What Are Your Colleagues Reading?

The Butcher and the Wren by Alaina Urquhart

“This book was awesome and a quick read.” – Monica Machacek-Chiapello

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

“It’s a collection of short stores that influence pretty much all robot/AI sci-fi books that were written after. The short stories make it excellent for the summer.” – Derek Morrison

Edison’s Ghosts: The Untold Weirdness of History’s Greatest Geniuses by Katie Spalding

“This magnificent little gem tells the stories of all of the weird stuff that “smart” people have done. I was laughing out loud sitting at the bar at the APMP conference reading this. Fair warning for language though if you’re not a fan of swearing.” – Christy Carry 

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

“Tells the story of the Trojan War from all the women’s perspectives.” – Kim Hayward Buys 

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

“I just finished and highly recommend it.” – Jessica Driskill

Wahala by Nikki May

“It’s a fun read about three Anglo-Nigerian best friends and a fourth who infiltrates the group and shakes it up.” – Brea Dees

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. Shows core values of team, integrity, service, gratitude, and quality. We believe we have the talents, experience, and responsibility to make the world a safer place. We believe that, in addition to our calling to the field, we have a responsibility to serve our employees and our community. We will do this by making a commitment to serve as a premier employer to our staff, contributing to the community through philanthropy, by instituting environmentally conscious practices, and supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion.

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.

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