One of U.Group’s greatest sources of pride is our team. Their talent and passion enable us to bring the best solutions possible to you, our customer, and we truly couldn’t do it without them. Each month, we’ll shine a spotlight on a member of our team, giving them an opportunity to talk about what they do at U.Group, what inspires them, and more!
Our featured employee for May is none other than Lynn Jenkins, a fearless business development and capture management veteran known for spreading smiles and good vibes throughout the Crystal City office. Prior to becoming Capture Manager for U.Group, Lynn was a small business subject matter expert and training director for both the DoD Velociter Program and the DoD SBIR/STTR Training & Advocacy Program. Read on to find out what helps Lynn bring her A game to U.Group every day!
Describe your role at U.Group.
LJ: I’m a hunter responsible for sniffing out, digging up, and presenting truffles to the hungry team. But wait, they have to be readied and prepared first. So, I’m also involved in prepping and cooking truffle meals, which means I need to work with a team of other hunters, chefs, and others involved in creating truffle-based edibles. For U.Group, I hunt, help team members hunt, and help cook.
Hunt = business development; cook = capture; truffles = business. Put more simply, I’m a Business Developer and Capture Manager focused on working with strategic partners and helping generate revenues.
How did you discover your passion for business development and capture management?
LJ: I worked for a team of IBM Europe, Middle East, and Africa Sales Executives one summer in high school and became intrigued with innovative technology and solution selling. I loved selling technology that solved customers’ business problems.
How do you get inspired?
LJ: Each morning when I wake up, I am thankful for the richness in my life. I think of those less fortunate than me, no matter what is happening in my life. I count my blessings and hope that this day will allow me to give something back to someone else. It could be as simple as a random smile for a stranger or acknowledging a homeless person with a few dollars or a bite of food or helping friends with their struggles. I also think about what I can check off my to-do list that day.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen or read lately?
LJ: I saw a huge bald eagle perched on a tree limb during my morning drive through Rock Creek Park. I am obsessed with raptors and had never seen a non-captive perched eagle before. Too bad traffic was moving, otherwise I would have stopped to snap a photo, honking car horns and all!
If you had one piece of advice to give someone just starting out in your field, what would it be?
LJ: Deliberate and focus on everything you say, write, and do. There is nothing arbitrary in the sales and business development process. Also, never let anyone sit on the other end of your see-saw because no one deserves to take you up or bring you down. That goes hand in hand with putting the interests of your clients before your own. Make it about the “WIFM”—what’s in it for me—from the client’s perspective.
Before working at U.Group, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
LJ: At age 17, I rode my bicycle two miles to/from the home of a consultant who generated EPA reports. My job was to type and record these voluminous reports using an IBM Magnetic Card Word Processor. My secret skill was that I could type between 80-100 words per minute. Didn’t require much thinking, but I often found myself backing up to read the interesting reports.
What is something few people know about you?
LJ: A college art professor and friend, the late Barkley Hendricks, painted an original life size portrait of me during my college freshman year. Two decades later, another friend discovered I was the subject in the painting called “Sweet Thang” when the artist started adding subject names to the painting titles. The philanthropic owners of the painting recently gifted the painting to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) where it sits in their online collection. Thank goodness I insisted on posing clothed versus in my birthday suit!