November 16, 2020
Out of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) nearly 5,000 employees, nearly one-third are veterans. They’re represented at our facilities around the country, including our office in Madison, Wisconsin. That’s where program manager Bobbie S. is located. After spending a decade in the military and working for other companies around the country, she and her family decided it was time to finally move back home to the Badger state.
In this Employee Spotlight, Bobbie tells us how her service in the military has prepared her for a life in the private sector and how SNC supports her military mindset.
Please share how you served our country.
At 18 I enlisted active duty in the United States Air Force. I served four full years, followed by another six years in the Air National Guard. I served all around the world, including a few deployments. I was stationed in Texas, North Carolina and the United Kingdom and was deployed three times. Once to Qatar and twice to Iraq, where I provided support for the F-15 and F-16 fighter missions. My main job was avionics, so I provided intermediate shop level maintenance to the F-15 and F-16 Fighter Aircraft. F-15s are still my favorite bird.
Why do you think it’s important to serve our country?
I feel it is important because it is a way to become something bigger than yourself and provide value from your individual self to a greater cause. It is truly an honor to carry on the tradition of service to this great nation like those that served before me. Serving taught me about pride and honor for those sacrifices that grant us the freedoms of living in a nation like ours. I get a lump in my throat every time the national anthem is played.
How did you hear about Sierra Nevada Corporation?
I heard about SNC while I was employed with Northrop Grumman. SNC was our customer, we were providing Infrared Counter Measure (IRCM) and data acquisition technologies to SNC. SNC was big deal. We had a lot respect for this company.
30% of employees at SNC are veterans, why is that important to you?
That is very important to me because I feel it gives a sense of comradery to the SNC culture. I believe veterans very much value people and team building because of the structured team environments the military offers. Most of us started in our military careers at a young impressionable age so we have built skills that help us perform with flexibility and leadership elements. The aerospace industry supports a team mindset with everyday challenges and much of our backgrounds mold into that fold.
What is your current role at SNC?
My current role at SNC is program manager. I am currently working a lighting solution for a customer that will utilize it in a beyond low-Earth orbit vehicle. I am also providing program manager support on the pressure control system (PCS) for the Dream Chaser® spaceplane. The PCS controls the atmosphere within Dream Chaser as part of its environmental control life support system.
What about SNC inspires you and makes you want to stay with the company?I absolutely love the technologies SNC employs and appreciate the intimacy of the company. We work on really neat solutions. I inspire to grow with the company and look forward to learning where I can be of best added value.
Why is space exploration so important to you?
I had a moment on my first deployment when I was an F-15 avionics technician. It very much occurred to me that I wasn’t just preparing an F-15 aircraft go into service. I was part of a bigger picture that provided safety and comfort for those that had to be in challenging areas. From then on, I always wanted to be part of that solution. Space exploration contributes to providing answers to those challenging areas whether it is experimentation or providing communications to remote areas. With that, I still feel I am doing my part even though I am not in uniform anymore.
If you could travel to space with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My husband for sure, he is my best friend. With that said, we will sneak my kids in the suitcases, provided weight and oxygen limitations are not a factor.
Interested in joining the Sierra Nevada Corporation team? Apply today at sncorp.com/careers.