Although not supported by popular opinion these days, there are incredible journalists out there with genuine care for people and helping others. One of those is no other than AVIAN’s Sallie Brosnan. She isn’t a newsroom reporting journalist you’d see on your social or streaming feeds she makes an impact by improving documents and manuals that allow Navy Sailors and Marines to perform their job safely and effectively. Her meticulous attention to detail, particularly of the written word, stems from some pivotal experiences at The College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. Along with her husband, Sean, and their fluffy dog Mr. Watson, Sallie lives in the sunny panhandle of Florida where she seeks opportunities where she can make a difference.
1. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ROLE AT AVIAN AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH US?
I started with AVIAN in April of 2018. There were actually 14 of us who joined that day supporting the Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM) contract [in Panama City Beach, Florida]. I am a Technical Writer for AMCM where I put my Journalism degree from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) to good use working on Technical Manuals. I’ve also helped edit, format, and improve the readability of procedures, plans, and reports that may seem dull to some, but it’s very fulfilling to me to create something that in the end is better for the fleet.
2. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST IMPACTFUL MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER THUS FAR?
Over the years I’ve done a lot of work that I am very proud of. As a teacher, working with the homeless and with teens at the pregnancy crisis center. These have all made big impacts on my life as an individual.
Specifically speaking about my role here at AVIAN, I was recently able to support proposal writing for a contract we were going after in my area. I edited and wrote a lot of content. In my research, I interviewed fellow teammates about their capabilities and learned just how cool our team is. As you know, we just won the contract for that work and I’d say the impactful moment was hearing that news and knowing that I contributed in some way to the company’s success; it was extremely powerful. AVIAN does so much for us as employees, especially down here after Hurricane Michael. Knowing that I could support this effort and give back to the company was incredibly impactful. It feels good to be a part of something.
3. WHAT MAKES YOU MOST EXCITED TO SUPPORT AMCM/NSWC-PCD?
I am more in touch with helping people. In other jobs, I felt disconnected from how the work was improving people’s lives. In this role, I can make a real difference.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING FOR AVIAN?
I’ve never worked like this before…in a company that says, “We put employees first” and then actually does. It was odd at first. You want to hear my thoughts and how I could contribute. That goes a long way and it’s a great feeling.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:
1. NAME ONE PERSON WHO MOTIVATES YOU.
That’s my mom. 100%. My mom raised two babies while going to college at the University of Florida and helped the lead Chemist at the university with additional research. She taught me how to use the whole day, leave the world a better place.
She’s just an incredible lady. She went back to school at 50 and eventually because a Principal of a school before she retired. If she weren’t my mom, she would still be my role model.
I am who I am today because my mom helped me build a toolbox of skills and resources. Whenever I need something, I reach into my toolbox for help. If it isn’t there, I know how to add it. She taught me how to problem solve and work through challenges.
2. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “PERK” ABOUT WORKING FOR AVIAN?
The work and play balance. Work is a big part of my life. I like it that way. So to have an employer who allows us to also play and laugh at work is really important.
3. WHAT WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD DREAM JOB?
I didn’t really have a “dream job” as a kid. All I knew is that I wanted to help people. I started volunteering in 5th grade by helping the Pre-k kids. I have a strong desire to help with the quality of human life.
4. IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ANY CELEBRITY, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
That’s easy. John Steinbeck. As a journalist, his honesty and immersion journalism is inspiring. What he did as an author was research. That’s really missing in today’s journalism.
People say that if you need your idol, they will disappoint you, but I don’t think so. I’ve visited his hometown, his gravesite, the National Steinbeck Center. I have original copies of my favorite stories of his. I even have several copies of the same books and publications. They have different cover art, which makes them unique in their own way.
If I had a chance to have dinner with him, I would ask him what it felt like to be so misunderstood. Some people care a lot, but they are not willing to get their hands dirty. Not Steinbeck. The Grapes of Wrath is a hard book to read because of the tragedy of the Depression-era, but it's powerful and honest.