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NAVFAC Washington selects Ariana Gray as the Contract Specialist in the Spotlight

12 September 2022

From Regina Adams

Ariana Gray is an environmental contract specialist who serves Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington on the Environmental Core team at the Washington Navy Yard.

Ariana Gray is an environmental contract specialist who serves Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington on the Environmental Core team at the Washington Navy Yard.

She is responsible for negotiating, establishing, monitoring and administering contractual arrangements and procurement proposals for products and services. Gray issues request for proposals to contractors, closeout contracts, and monitor existing contracts. She also attend site visits for workload projects and creates market research reports.

Before joining the NAVFAC Washington team in 2019, the Maryland resident graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance.

She enjoys spending time with family and friends. Although her four year-old niece is more than 600 miles away, she brings Gray so much joy when talking to her on FaceTime.

In her free time, she reads and does yoga. Her passion is creating memories, whether it’s traveling to new places, checking out new restaurants, participating in new adventurous activities, spending quality time with family and friends, or attempting to cook something for the first time.

Gray feels contracting is important to the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy and federal service because it provides access to specialized essential products and services. The best part of her job is knowing she plays a huge role in the Navy’s mission by executing contracts that keeps business flowing and tasks completed.

“Contracting is vital to maintaining military readiness. I feel a huge sense of relief when I’m able to remove an action from my workload even when challenges occur throughout the process of awarding an action.”

She recently received her Level 1 Warrant and completed her first time-sensitive cooperative agreement action. She credits her supervisor, Olisha Costa, who is a great communicator and mentor, for encouraging and believing in her.

Gray, who is always ready to learn new skills and tasks in the career field of contracting, says there are so many opportunities for growth and promotion in contract specialist. Her career goals are to obtain an increase in warrant to level II, obtain Level III Certification, participate in cross-training opportunities, and complete leadership courses. She would also like to learn how to certify invoices and become more proficient at contract closeouts.

“I would like to take on more projects that are outside of my comfort zone like executing a Cooperative Agreement, Standalone, and 8a Sole Source Contracts.”
Gray enjoy her job as a contract specialist and has sound advice for anyone wanting to make contracting a career.

“Anyone thinking of making contracting a career should pay close attention to detail, take every contracting course taken seriously, always ask questions, and never hesitate to refer back to any and all resources when curiosity and/or when questions arises. Staying organized is key in the contracting career field because we keep up with a lot of correspondence, documents, files, etc. Remain focused and stay up-to-date on workload actions.”

Her focus paid off. She was recognized as Contract Specialist in the Spotlight.

“I am grateful for the recognition. I enjoy working in the contracting career field because of the people on the awesome Environmental contracting team. We all work great together and I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without them.”

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