September 2023 | Issue #20
Heading into September, there is much to celebrate! First, I am thrilled that CONSTANT has earned the Great Place to Work® designation for another consecutive year. This is huge for our organization and represents yet a milestone achievement for us. A whopping 97% of respondents said that people here are willing to give extra to get the job done which underscores our fervent focus on delivering for our clients. And 97% of respondents said that when you join the company, you are made to feel welcome, which demonstrates our commitment to a healthy and positive culture here at CONSTANT. We are combing through survey results to look at how we can make CONSTANT even better and continue to embody excellence for our clients and our people. I encourage everyone to check out CONSTANT’s profile on the Great Place to Work® website.
But wait, there is more. CONSTANT also was recognized on the Inc. 5000 America’s Fastest Growing Companies list. This is our inaugural debut on the list and really demonstrates results of our efforts to not only grow, but to elevate our profile as a company that delivers results. CONSTANT’s commitment to growth enables us to scale, meaning that we can extend mission execution while bringing in more resources that can be leveraged for the benefit of our clients and our people.
To that end, we will be focusing heavily on driving up sales through the remainder of the year – new opportunities, expanded work, and repeat clients. Check out BD’s article below on our teamwide approach.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to making the world a safer place. Have a terrific Labor Day weekend, everyone!
Founder + CEO
Charlene Kvech, Consultant
Charlene joined our Team on August 28th. Her most recent role was supporting the Saint Louis City Department of Health as an Emergency Management Specialist where she was also a member of their Biowatch Advisory Committee (BAC) and Medical Reserve Corp (MRC). Earlier this year, Charlene earned a master’s of public health degree from Saint Louis University with concentrations in biosecurity/disaster preparedness and epidemiology. She is also certified in public health (CPH) and holds multiple FEMA certifications. Charlene is originally from Baltimore, MD, but is currently living in St. Louis, MO with her fiancé, Riley, and their kittens, Leo and Lemon. In her free time, she enjoys reading, gardening, planning her upcoming wedding, and being taught how to fly a plane by her fiancé!
CONSTANT's September Birthdays
Who wants a pumpkin birthday treat?
Join us as we celebrate MANY team member birthdays this month:
- Morgan Forrest – September 5th
- Lenah Mansour – September 6th
- Lauren Day – September 7th
- Tracy To – September 9th
- Mona Bontty – September 21st
- Dylan Yates – September 23rd
- Christina Chapper – September 26th
Happy Birthday to Morgan, Lenah, Lauren, Tracy, Mona, Dylan, and Christina!
Join us in congratulating Nathan Carpenter for being promoted to Consultant on August 21st upon completion of his SkillBridge Internship. Also, big kudos to Nathan for his recent retirement from the U.S. Air Force. We are so proud of your many accomplishments and are looking forward to many more.
The End of the Year (the federal fiscal year, that is)
Business Development by Donna Chaney, Federal Business Development Director
The federal fiscal year ends at the end of the month, and we are in a full-out sprint to the finish, as agencies close out contracts and work to spend their year-end funds. On the state and local side, we continue to see RFPs across all sectors and many of our clients have reached out to ask about additional services.
We’ve had some great successes this year with new sales, but as we near the end of both the federal fiscal year and the calendar year, we are continuing to increase our focus on sales, reaching our goals, and ending the year strong. And this is something you can help with, especially our team members who support our projects.
Here’s how you can help:
- Look for areas where we can help current clients: As you work on individual projects, be on the lookout for areas outside of our current work where a client may need additional assistance. This could be a new plan, training, exercises, or other work.
- Identify new areas where we can focus: Outside of our current projects, we are always looking for new areas where we can offer our services. This could be in response to a new federal, state, or local initiative or change in requirements. It could also be in response to a new need or threat.
- Look for opportunities for outreach: Within your individual professional networks, there may be opportunities to reach out to see if they need help in an area we can provide. There may also be opportunities to just introduce CONSTANT and let them know about our capabilities and services.
What you can do:
- Continue to keep your manager updated within your 1:1s about potential opportunities for new work or outreach.
- Let the BD team know if there is anything we can do to support your outreach.
- Let the BD team know if there are any marketing opportunities we should focus on, including blog posts, a Resilience Report article, a social media post, a white paper, or something else.
Thank you for all your support as we wrap up both the federal fiscal year and 2023!
If You Start Me Up - Preparing for a new set of projects in the fall
Operations by Jayson Kratoville, Director of Operations
The Operations team is preparing to ramp up some new projects over the next couple of months:
- FEMA Qualification System: A direct award to continue our great work in support of FEMA’s Workforce Development Division.
- Los Angeles County Emergency Management Large Event Planning: Working toward the upcoming Olympics and World Cup.
- Montgomery County, PA Medical Countermeasures Planning: Collaborating on best practices coming out of recent incidents.
- Mammoth Lakes, CA Winter Storm AAR: Taking a look back at local responses to unprecedented severe weather in California, a trend expected to continue due to client change.
- Manhattan Beach, CA LHMP: Repeat business with a local client in a growth sector.
- Ventura County COVID-19 AAR and San Bernardino County COVID-19 AAR: Continuing our reputation for actionable, impactful reviews of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is a good opportunity for us to examine how we start in a way that empowers PMs and their teams to manage projects effectively. Some tips and tricks include:
- Foster Feedback: Team members are expected to have continual discussions on bandwidth and performance; Sponsors, PMs, and Managers are expected to foster a comfortable but direct environment for these discussions.
- Deputize and Delegate: As we onboard more Consultant-level team members and take on more sophisticated projects, good delegation is going to be critical. This should start early in the project; this staffing plan is meant to empower that.
- Speculate to Accumulate: Invest time on empowerment and expectation-setting early in the project to save time at the end.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: Especially prioritize positive feedback and repeatable successes.
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
Great Place to Work: Congratulations Team! For the fourth year in a row, we have been recertified as a “Great Place to Work!” Thank you to those who participated and provided feedback and suggestions to consider as we analyze these results and prioritize future actions. Please join us in celebrating this outstanding accomplishment that would not be possible without each and every one of you and your daily contributions to this amazing team.
Professional Development: Check out these recent and upcoming courses that were recently added to isolved CONSTANT University:
- Now available on Demand: “Unanet for Managers 101 – Management Tools“ hosted by Derek Morrison. This is a required course for all Managers.
- October 2nd (rescheduled): “Counterintelligence (CI) Awareness” hosted by the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA). This is an optional course and will follow our monthly All Staff Meeting.
“What do I do if I have a (name change, new address, new baby, etc.) …”: Your P&C Team is your one-stop shop for updating information about life events that you encounter (i.e., name changes, relocation, marriage, birth, or adoption). Here are details on these simple steps to get the process started and we will take care of the rest:
- Name Change – Use the “Name/Address View/Update” link in isolved People Cloud to update your name once you have received official documentation of the legal name change (i.e., updated driver’s license, social security card, etc.). We will have your email address updated for you (so, no need for you to send in a separate IT Helpdesk ticket).
- Address Change – Use the “Name/Address View/Update” link in isolved People Cloud to enter your new address. Then, use the “Tax Updates Wizard” to complete any relevant state/local tax forms required for your new address.
- Qualifying Life Event (“QLE”) (marriage/divorce, birth, adoption, loss of coverage, etc.) – Use the “Life Events Wizard” in isolved to report Life Events. You may also want to consider updating your tax withholding, updating your beneficiaries, emergency contacts, etc. QLEs allow you to update selected benefits in Ease – our Benefits Portal – outside of new hire or open enrollment periods. You must do so within 30 days of the QLE.
Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)
EDI by Co-Leads Lona Bryan and Maggie Peters
Thank you to everyone who participated in our August meeting. Those slides are now available on the EDI Page on SharePoint.
EDI Article: Suicide Prevention Month [Lee Williams-Nagy]
Professional Development: New FEMA Courses Available – check out the EDI Path in isolved CONSTANT University.
Hello Team, it's sizzling in September!
Information Technology By Morgan Forrest, IT Manager
As we gear up for the fall season, it is a good time to make sure we focus on the ‘little things.’ As with football, it’s all about consistency. Here are a few tips for how we can focus on the ‘little things:’
- Continue to watch out for spam, phishing, and other email grabs.
- If you are working out in public, please make sure to keep your screen protected and never leave your laptop unattended or unlocked.
- If you need any assistance with IT equipment, please be sure to use email@example.com.
We are continuing our work with CMMC, but we are now also focusing on ITAR as well, which stands for International Traffic in Arms Regulations. ITAR focuses on international security and how we should approach IT abroad. Stay tuned for more to come on that.
How well do you know our Team? *
The first person to email Brea the filled-out sheet will receive a gift card!
*Hint, these answers can be found somewhere on SharePoint. The only way you can win is to complete your favorites list as well!
This person’s favorite movie/fictional character is Wonder Woman. ___________________
This person’s favorite number is 18. ____________________
Who’s first emergency response was hurricane parties growing up in Florida? ____________________
This person’s favorite colors are purple and gray. ____________________
This person’s favorite past time is plant care. ____________________
This person is a twin. ____________________
This person’s ideal survival food is peanut butter. ____________________
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.