The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 11, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place live, in-person Nov. 30.
Next is Contracts Industry Executive of the Year (Private Company) finalist Miyanda Hanson, who’s director of contracts and procurement at Buchanan & Edwards. Here, she talks key achievements, success in her current role, career advice and more.
What key achievements did you have in 2021/2022?
I’m focused on fostering strong working relationships with both internal and external customers, and always looking for opportunities for us to improve our support and processes. Since COVID began, my department has been working in a hybrid environment, and I’ve successfully led my team to reimagine our contracts and procurement processes and tools ⏤ leveraging technology to bring efficiency while simultaneously improving productiveness within a virtual environment.
I’m proud to say we have rolled out three-process improvements that have streamlined our service delivery to customers. Additionally, I have prioritized early involvement of the contracts and procurement team in the pre- award process to directly align with BE’s growth and strategic goals. Over the last year, my team has seamlessly supported over $550 million in new business proposal activities and the successful acquisition and integration of RenXTech.
What has made you successful in your current role?
My adaptability, resourcefulness and collaborative nature has supported my achievements while serving as BE’s director of contracts and procurement. Being flexible and willing to venture into uncharted territory, has enabled me to successfully lead many of the company’s strategic initiatives, to include obtaining DCMA approval of our Contractor Purchasing System. This was a relatively new subject to me and required initiative to garner expertise in federal regulations, laws, and business operational requirements. Although it was challenging and required that I step out of my comfort zone, obtaining the knowledge was rewarding and fostered growth and development in my leadership role. Additionally, this experience afforded me an opportunity to work with industry leaders, to craft a successful implementation plan, and address a key company goal.
What was a turning point or inflection point in your career?
Over a decade ago, I transitioned from an individual contributor into a managerial role. This pivotal turning point in my career forced me to grow professionally by sharpening my organizational leadership and strategic-thinking skills. I had to expand my focus from simple task completion to include elevating processes, team development and accountability.
What’s your best career advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Never stop learning and invest in yourself by staying current on industry changes, attending training sessions and pursuing continuous education. Take advantage of opportunities to network with other professionals as it yields priceless dividends for achieving one’s goals and objectives. Treasure the lessons learned and best practices you’ve acquired and share them with others. Get involved in professional organizations, as such opportunities position budding professionals to meet and learn from seasoned leaders with valuable insights and perspectives ⏤ from both industry and government. Finally, tutelage from a mentor and serving as a mentor are equally as important.
Looking back at your career, what are you most proud of?
Over the course of my career, I have benefited from leadership and professional development programs as well as having mentors who encouraged my professional growth. With a strong foundational support, I have acquired a higher degree of emotional intelligence that allows me to pass along my intellectual knowledge and skills to those whom I mentor personally and professionally.
To date, I am proud of my mentees whom I’ve guided in their careers in addition to the high school students I mentor in my volunteer organization. Additionally, as I look back over my career, I am especially grateful that I’ve been able to support missions with a social impact. From homelessness and food insecurity, to modernizing IT for our front-line emergency service workers, I’ve been very proud managing contracts of various types to address issues of national and global importance.
Meet the other Pinnacle Awards finalists here.