A Culture of Patriotism: Q+A with Director of Procurement, Nathan Evans.
Nathan Evans is a retired logistics Major of the United States Army Reserve and joined the United Stated Army Reserve on July 30th, 2000 as a combat engineer. After basic training he joined the ROTC program at the University of Northern Iowa. After graduation, he attended the US Army Transportation and Logistics school and served three time oversees in multiple logistics roles in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait. After 20 years of service, he retired in April of 2021. Today he serves as the Director of Procurement for DEPCOM.
The U.S. Army is renowned for some of the most efficient logistics management capabilities in the world. What types of management best practices have you brought to DEPCOMs procurement team from the military?
A key element to being successful in the solar industry that I learned from the military, is the ability to pivot or re-prioritize. This industry moves fast and changes daily, it is necessary to have the ability to react and overcome. In the Army they teach you the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP) to drive preparation of operations. During the MDMP process you develop three courses of action to support a mission. My mind now instinctively uses those processes to solve problems, prioritize tasks, and prevent future problems.
While performing logistics during my deployment in Iraq, we managed supplies by “days of supply” and had daily requirements that either must be immediately available or stored in a warehouse. This experience was directly applicable to planning and procuring for a solar construction site. I take the same approach to plan, schedule, and sequence materials so that the construction team experiences no logistical material delays. When faced with a challenge, the Army teaches you to never give up no matter how tough it gets, or you think you are backed into a corner and can’t get out. The same is true when faced with logistical challenges for projects in every phase of development and construction, you need to keep working to find that solution to support the jobsite.
Why is DEPCOM’s dedication to Veterans and Buy American important to you?
DEPCOM’s Buy American standard is a point of pride because it not only keeps jobs in America, but it also creates jobs and allows for our local economies to thrive. It’s also important that DEPCOM supports domestic manufacturing with high standards of labor laws over certain overseas manufacturers with unfair and forced labor. At the end of the day, there’s a certain pride when looking down at the material you bought for a project, and it has that iconic “Made in America” stamp.
DEPCOM recognizes that the transition to civilian life after years of service is not easy and it can be intimidating for Veterans to make those first steps, like searching for new career opportunities. That’s why DEPCOM is committed to upholding a pro-Veteran culture and prioritizing Veterans to fill open positions.
What value do Veterans bring to the DEPCOM team?
Veterans bring a variety of hard and soft skills unique to their military training. DEPCOM’s culture is strongly aligned with many values that are inherent to military training such as accountability, leadership, loyalty, integrity, and a commitment to working hard. In DEPCOM’s perspective, many things in a position are teachable, but finding talent with solid core values are critical to our success as a team.
What types of Veteran hire programs does DEPCOM partner with?
DEPCOM partners directly with Hiring Our Heroes, Still Serving Veterans, and Hire Heroes to recruit more Veterans to the team. We actively encourage all our subcontractors to hire Veterans as well, and partner with local Veteran recruiting organizations in the communities where we build solar. Another way we look for Veteran talent is via LinkedIn.
DEPCOM recently joined the Hiring our Heroes Fellowship Program, how does the program work?
DEPCOM is proud to partner with The Hiring our Heroes Fellowship program, an opportunity that was born from our company’s internal Veteran Committee. Our committee was formed with the goal of partnering with new, creditable Veteran recruiting programs, hiring new Veteran talent into our organization, and providing a hands-on civilian career experience for transitioning military members.
The fellowship is a 12-week program, held 3 times a year in 16 locations. DEPCOM was able to interview multiple candidates for various managerial roles. At the end of the interview phase, the candidates are best matched to a host company. DEPCOM is excited to welcome its first Veteran fellow Joseph Dudding, from Cohort 20-3 who started his fellowship at our HQ office in Scottsdale this past week.
How can Veterans learn more about career opportunities at DEPCOM?
Veterans and transitioning service members can find open positions on DEPCOM’s LinkedIn page or by reaching out to email@example.com.