Christina Newton knew contracting and acquisitions was where she belonged before she even graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Management and Society. Little did she know that working as a Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) summer hire would allow her to form a family that has helped her career flourish.
Her path to Officer in Charge of Construction (OICC) Florence started just up the road with the Resident Officer in Charge of Construction Cherry Point, and then at the former OICC Marine Corps Installations East, where she worked during her breaks from school learning the ins and outs of NAVFAC contracting.
“Right before I graduated, I found out there was a contracting job open with Marine Corps Community Service (MCCS) Cherry Point,” said Newton. “Joe Andrews, who is now a Supervisory Contract Specialist at our Cherry Point office actually interviewed me.”
Christina nailed the interview and started with MCCS in May 2013.
“It was a really cool experience,” added Newton. “The airshow was probably my favorite thing to do because it was very high paced and there were a lot of interesting folks; so high visinbilty, everyone was on top of everything.”
After a few years with MCCS, Christina transitioned to the Defense Logistics Agency on Cherry Point, where she worked as a purchasing agent for about a year, then increased her knowledge base by accepting a contracting position at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune.
“I found out they had some positions opening at the ROICC Camp Lejeune office, and I was like ‘yes, please sign me up,’” remembered Newton. “I desperately want to comeback.”
Her return to NAVFAC was joyful for two reason: she was coming back to her family, and she was coming back to the construction environment.
“I kept up with a handful of people who I used to work with as a summer hire…it was nice to feel like people were looking out for me,” said Newton.
When she first arrived, it was only a team of three: Newton, a service member, and Meghan Hislop, the Contracting Division Director for OICC Florence. The team slowly started to build up, and Newton was able to form a contracting family here by adding a team mate from her time at the hospital, Diana Rivera.
“The contracting team is top notch,” gushed Newton. “I think because everyone came in and it was so green, it was really important for us to lean on each other, support each other, and research and help each other out.”
The knowledge base she built while working in a variety of acquisition functions has also allowed Newton to teach and mentor the contracting specialists at OICC Florence.
“It is very beneficial because she provides a lot of input and assistance with different scenarios or situations that she’s experienced in the past,” said Rivera.
“Between Diana and I, we’ve helped put together training and hosted meetings,” she added. “What’s most valued in my eyes are some of the templates, where if you’ve done something right the first time and it gets approved, follow the same steps again and compile all the information.”
Looking forward, Newton has a lot of paths open to her, including helping OICC Florence complete its mission, or working toward a higher level warrant. But ultimately, Newton really enjoys what she is doing now.
“For the longest time, I didn’t know if I wanted to be a manager or supervisor, but I feel like I want to be in a mentor or lead capacity and build my career that way,” said Newton.
Ultimately, Newton loves where she is at and the OICC Florence mission, providing world-class engineering, construction, and acquisition services supporting the Marine Corps’ recovery from Hurricane Florence and deployment of the Joint Strike Fighter, re-establishing the readiness of expeditionary forces for MCIEAST and II MEF.
“I feel like it’s very rewarding,” said Newton. “We went out to a steel beam signing and topping out ceremony and I loved it! My name is on that steel and I helped with that project.”
When Newton isn’t working on a multitude of projects with OICC Florence, you can find her at the beach, in Durham at the performing arts center, our looking for different restaurants to try.
OICC Florence is the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command’s standard-bearer for innovative, effective, and efficient post award design and construction delivery. The members of OICC Florence workforce are the most valuable command asset and deliver superior results through exemplary character, professional preparedness, teamwork, and disciplined execution.