The Government Requests the Services of “Mighty Mouse”
Ashley Sanders is the energetic powerhouse behind NetCentrics’ audio-video (“AV”) program at the Department of Defense’s Joint Service Provider (“JSP”) contract. Don’t let her small stature fool you – as Deputy Program Manager she commands a team of professionals that secure all kinds of mission-centric communications and audio-visual support.
Affectionately known in her team as “Mighty Mouse,” Ashley is one of a handful of individuals whose previous work at NetCentrics made such a strong impression that the government specifically requested her contribution on a follow-up contract. She accepted this call from Kirk Johnson, Director of Operations, and returned to work at NetCentrics for a second time under Richard Ranch, Program Manager. She started her current engagement in 2019.
Designing Custom Communication Solutions
Ashley usually works on-site to create AV solutions that range from informal gathering spaces to highly classified conference rooms. She coordinates the operation of all tech inside a space. This includes all the equipment: mobile devices, laptops, audio/visual, and other video teleconferencing hardware. She also approves equipment connected to secure wifi, other devices, and internally shared resources.
A large part of her skillset include fluency in the tough-to-quantify but oh-so-necessary “soft skills”. Building functional, collaborative work spaces requires managing people, personalities, and competing priorities coming from all directions, whether from technical experts on the ground to well-known politicians and their entourage. Moreover, there are the added layers of security necessary, too. All digital communications must be carefully maintained when elected officials, government agencies, and government contractors work together. This means that even after a space is designed, secured, and delivered, there are ongoing needs to ensure it works smoothly for everyone involved.
Five Core Values, In Action
When asked about her job, Ashley quickly outlined her view of the requirements. “You have to be there,” she said, underscoring the emphasis on being present. She meant this literally, but also as it relates to focusing on each person and their individual needs. “You have to listen carefully, build trust and rapport. A lot of people rely on us to build communication systems that are reliable and secure, so I need to really understand what they’re asking for, and what they might need but haven’t thought to request.”
For example, she made the decision to be on-site two days a week during COVID-19. “Some jobs just can’t be done remotely. The people who worked in-person during the pandemic had to be there. It was important we were, too.”
Ashley didn’t mention NetCentrics’ Five Core Values, but it is evident she has embraced all five. NetCentrics’ core values are:
- Be Genuine
- Do the Right Thing, and Do It Right
- Work as a Family
- Leap Courageously
- Engage and Leave an Impact
Interests Outside of Work
Ashley has plenty of other interests to keep her busy outside of work, too. She has two children, 12 and 14, one of whom is active in BMX bike racing. This keeps the family traveling to all parts of the East Coast during “normal” times but less so during the pandemic. “Right now our family really enjoys ‘staycations’,” she says.
One treat to ‘staycation’ has been more time at home, in the kitchen. Ashley is an avid cook and enjoys experimenting with new recipes. She says cooking is a great way to decompress after work. Plus, cooking serves as a creative outlet and sometimes a good kind of a challenge. “I love trying it all, from Afghani food to Mexican!” she says.
Ashley Sanders is one of a handful of individuals whose previous work at NetCentrics made such a strong impression that the government specifically requested her contribution on a follow-up contract
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