National Mentor Day: Championing Succession Planning
The importance of succession planning in any industry is necessary, but it is vitally important when national security is involved. This National Mentor Day, Omega is highlighting relationships that reflect some of the many ways we succession plan – for our internal office employees, field employees, the industry, the nation, and the world.
At our headquarters office, a strong mentorship has formed within our Human Resources department. Joanna Bain, Human Resources Administrator, joined Omega this past summer looking for a career change. With previous experience in policy interpretation, filing and reviewing insurance claims, servicing existing contracts, premiums, commercial auditing, client relations, office management and regulatory and state compliance, her previous roles have had her often interfacing with Human Resources.
“I have always had a connection with people. I believe people need a human connection in business. This human connection builds trust. And trust is the oxygen that keeps business going. I came from insurance, and care about people deeply. It makes sense I ended up in an HR role, but I will admit, I needed someone to still teach me the ropes,” said Bain.
Recognizing similar needs in all departments, Omega sought to establish a senior staff across the board that could mentor the younger generation and newer roles in our office. Janet Sexton, Human Resources Generalist, was shortly hired thereafter.
“As an experienced HR professional with over 40 years of involvement with the DOE and Y-12 National Security Complex, I have always been an advocate for pushing people up, not out. And you push people up by teaching them, just as I was taught. I began my career at Y-12 in 1977 and was the first female union representative from the Local Machinist Lodge 480 in Oak Ridge, TN. Whether we are in the office or on-site, mentorships are what keep us bettering ourselves and the industry. Especially for women in the workplace. I value being able to teach Joanna what I know. Put her great ideas on top of that and she will be an even greater force for good. One day, I will go back into retirement officially. Sometimes it is a hard truth to accept that the world goes on without us, but it does. For national security, for the next generation, for everything – we have to be ready for that,” said Sexton.
Likewise, Omega’s Communications Specialist and recent college graduate, Lindsay Jones, has sought mentorship with Christina Santisi, Vice President of Business Development.
“While I have always been interested in government and public relations, the nuclear industry was something I was not familiar with. The challenge excited me, and I continue to learn something new everyday. Christina has played a big role in making this transition not seem overwhelming. From the start, she has put me in circles to be seen, heard, and valued both internally and externally,” said Jones.
As Santisi also came from an outside industry into the nuclear world and a management role, she credits her mentorship with Omega leadership for shaping her into who she is professionally today.
“Tim and Colleen Trapuzzano basically gave me crash courses on everything. Not only have they been my bosses, they have treated me like family and are some of my best friends. I spent countless days traveling with Tim and taking note of every little thing he said and did in hopes to learn from him. I can’t let him get too big of a head, but I am glad he was and still is my go-to teacher. Now as I manage my own department, this mentorship means even more,” said Santisi.
Currently, Omega is working to establish a more formalized mentorship program for every new hire so that this culture can continue to be ensured. We call this approach The Omega Way, and it has proven to be transformational. As new entry-level field work opportunities become available, recently hired college graduates will be paired up with one of our Subject Matter Experts already onboard to teach them the ropes and keep nuclear talent alive. This also values the entire employee career life cycle – creating stable careers in a project-based industry.
“It is up to us to bridge the gap and retain critical knowledge through generational transformation. For a safer nation. For a safer world. If we do this in the office, and then pass this along to our field employees, we gradually are bringing new blood into an industry that greatly needs it. Mentorship is our culture, but it is all for a much greater good,” said Omega’s President, Tim Trapuzzano.