PANAMA CITY, Fla. –
Linda Hawthorne, contract specialist/contracting officer at Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD), is responsible for developing and maintaining collaborative partnerships with customers, conducting market research, preparing and posting solicitations to acquire products and services, negotiating the terms and conditions of the contract, awarding contracts, and administering contracts after they have been awarded.
Hawthorne explains how contract specialists help bridge the gap between Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and the warfighter.
“To put it simply, nothing can be legally purchased in federal acquisition without a binding written or oral contract,” Hawthorne states “I am one of the acquisition team members who collaborate to be the bridge that connects NAVSEA to directly meet the needs of the warfighter. It is a privilege to serve in that capacity.”
Although her impact has been felt at NSWC PCD for the last 11 years, the Marianna, Fla. native’s call to serve others started long before.
“I am a U.S. Marine veteran and have spent most of my career in the public service sector providing affordable housing for low to moderate-income families,” Hawthorne said. “The common theme of my career path remained the same—providing support to meet a critical need.”
Hawthorne earned her Bachelor’s in Public Administration from Barry University in Miami, Fla. As an administrative assistant, Hawthorne had no intention to apply for a vacant contract specialist position but was encouraged by one of her mentors.
“I participated in one of the Lean-In Circles at NSWC PCD and the book we used to facilitate discussion, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, presented this perspective: Do we think of our career as a series of upward ladders rather than a jungle gym,” states Hawthorne.
“When I reflect on my path, it has definitely been a jungle gym, yet my core belief is that we all have a purpose to fulfill in life. I enjoy positions that bear the fruits of my labor and provide the opportunity to experience the responsibilities and challenges of meeting the needs of the warfighter.”