One of the few constants we all face in life is adversity. Whether we are successful or not, all of us encounter challenges and, in one way or another, have to move forward from them. In this conversation with keynote speaker, small business consultant, and personal coach Emily Harman, she talks about facing adversities and introduces her own just published podcast called Onward. Emily claims that adversities are not necessarily negative as there are positive outcomes and opportunities for growth going through it, as testified by many influential people she has interviewed in her show. Don’t miss out on this enlightening conversation that will have you rethink how to face adversities in your life.
Listen to the podcast here:
Facing Adversities As Opportunities For Growth with Emily Harman
I have someone very special with me. Ms. Emily Harman is with me. I’ve known this woman for several years. I’ve worked with her at NAVAIR. She’s been a part of my career, somewhat a part of my development and she has retired after 38 years of Federal Service as of May of 2019. She served on active duty and as a civilian for the US Navy and she’s published her own podcast called Onward. It consists of authentic conversations on facing adversity and moving forward. Ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome Ms. Emily Harman to the show. Welcome, Emily.
Thank you, Rodney. I’m happy to be here.
It’s a pleasure to have you on the show. Creating a podcast called Onward regarding how to get over adversity, you touched my heart there. That’s something that I’m very passionate about and we all need to know how to get over adversity because that is something we cannot avoid in life. We’re all going to face some type of adversity in our lives. Tell us about your podcast. First and foremost, what made you get started? Why do you want to get a message around facing adversity out into the world?
I’m excited. I’m always happy to talk about my podcast. I started the Onward Podcast. I didn’t come up with that title right away. I started blogging about being divorced because I’m not too proud of the fact that I’ve been divorced three times. One day, I was talking about that with my sister and she said, “At least you’re a sophisticated divorcee.” I started blogging about divorce under that term, sophisticated divorcee and it was about overcoming challenges, but it was specific about a divorce. I thought to myself, “I don’t want to dwell on divorce. I don’t want to talk about it in a negative way. I played a role in it and he played a role in it, but I want to talk about adversity, a more broad spectrum of overcoming adversity. I want to talk about the positive parts of adversity with people overcoming it or figuring out how to deal with it because that’s something that we all face.
I started trying to think of names and then I came up with several different names for the podcast. It was going to be like Onward with Grace and Grit and some others and my brother suggested it, “Why not just Onward?” With that little tagline, “Authentic Conversations on Facing Adversity,” it’s intuitive that it’s talking about the conversations of adversity and moving onward. I’ve interviewed people on depression and anxiety. I interviewed my daughter about anxiety. I’ve interviewed my son on his alcoholism and recovery from alcoholism and drug abuse. I’ve interviewed some classmates of mine from the Naval Academy. I’ve interviewed a man who’s going to be 97 in September 2019. I thought to myself, “I’m sure Mr. Tatigian has faced some adversity in his 97 years. Let me interview him.” It was fun. I like having all those conversations with people. I’ve interviewed you too Rodney and learning about there are some common themes about how people come through adversity. One of those I would say is to get help.
We’re going to get into that a little bit more, but first I want to talk about the positive side effect diversity. Let’s talk about that a little bit because people that go through adversity don’t feel anything positive about going through adversity when they’re going through it. When you hear the word adversity, you don’t think anything positive about it, especially initially. What do you mean when you talk about the positive side of that adversity?
About every single person that I have interviewed has said that the adversity they faced was the best thing that ever happened to them, which is surprising to me. I’ve interviewed a woman who’s Juilliard–educated in piano and she broke her right hand in seven different fractures, has had four different surgeries and now she’s playing left-handed and she says that that was the best thing that ever happened to her. The piano is her way of getting income. That’s one example. Even my son, my son in his interview said, “Everything that has happened to me is my foundation and it builds my foundation for a positive future. It’s not a foundation made of wood. It’s a foundation made of cement. It’s a strong foundation.” Everybody’s had something positive to say about the adversity, although they didn’t see it when they were going through it.
This outcome as a result of going through the adversity has produced some positive result or maybe a new awareness, maybe a higher level of consciousness. Something that they weren’t experiencing before that gives them gratitude about the experience. Isn’t that interesting? Let’s dive into that a little bit because a lot of people including myself, maybe you, you would do things to avoid adversity. We don’t like adversity, it’s uncomfortable. It causes us to stretch. It causes us to grow, which we realize that after the fact, but before or during the adversity, it’s more like, “Why me? Why am I going through this? Why do I have to experience this? I don’t like this. This doesn’t feel so good.” I believe it can attest to what you are experiencing with your audiences is that adversity, it squeezes on you and impose the best out of you. Life in my opinion is clever. God is clever and the way things work is very clever. It takes that adversity in order to bring out the best of you at times. It shouldn’t be that way, but unfortunately, you talk to a lot of people that have gone through tremendous adversity and that’s what they say, “It was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I wouldn’t be this type of person. I wouldn’t be this person. I wouldn’t experience this if this situation didn’t happen to me.” Is that something that you feel holds true in your own personal life?
I would say it does hold true in my own personal life. Clearly, there are things that I wish hadn’t happened to me. I’m not too happy with having been divorced three times. There are other things I’m not too happy about, but each time it made me a better person. I would say that we do try to avoid adversity, but there are some times that we need to make a conscious decision to create some adversity for ourselves. For example, if you’re in a job and you’re maybe not feeling challenged or you’re comfortable, it’s time to move to another job. If you want to move up in life, if the timing’s right for you at home, it’s time to move to another job. I‘ve done that for myself on several occasions. I’ve never felt ready for a job that I’ve gone into, but I knew that it was time to move on. That made me stronger each time. That’s an example of where we can consciously inject some adversity. It’s not necessarily adversity like breaking your arm, but it’s making yourself uncomfortable. We can inject that into our lives.
I believe in seeking challenges. If you know how to do certain things, it’s like a goal. I was reading a book or listened to a tape not very long ago and the author was talking about he was mentoring some people. The guy that he was mentoring has set some goals. He wanted to hear what these goals were and one of the goals was he wanted to get this particular car. He said, “Have you ever purchased that type of car before?” He said, “I’ve done it before. I know I can accomplish this.” He said, “That’s not a good goal.” He said, “What do you mean it’s not a good goal?” “Because you know that you can do it. What’s the value in that? Because once you do it, it didn’t stretch you. There’s no value in you going after that goal because this is something that you know that you can accomplish. You need a bigger goal. You need to go try and go get a car at you don’t think you can afford or is it is going to cause you to do something different than you’ve done in the past.” I believe in seeking challenges for that very reason so that we can grow and develop.Sometimes, we need to make a conscious decision to create some adversity for ourselves in order to move up in life. Click To Tweet
When it comes to adversity, my thought is that it’s an opportunity. I don’t wish adversity on anyone, it is not. Some of the things that have happened to people from divorce to injuries, to illnesses, you name it. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone but when that occurs, in my mind, it’s an opportunity because we only have two alternatives. One alternative is to overcome the adversity or to allow the adversity to defeat you. That’s it. There’s no in-between. I don’t believe in staying neutral. You can’t stay neutral. You either overcome it or it’s defeating it, period. That’s it. You have the opportunity to come out a victor, to win, to overcome. It’s going to require maybe some things from you that you never have thought or have ever been leveraged upon you to overcome and that’s where we find that sense of reward. We realized that there was more in us than we thought about then we tapped into than we had experienced ever prior to the adversity.
That’s exactly it and that’s your game changer mentality.
That is the game changer mentality and you have to have that. First and foremost, looking at the adversity as an opportunity, that’s the first step because that’s a major challenge is to view it. That takes a certain level of maturity because the pain can be so unbearable that you’re like, “There’s no opportunity in this. All I want is to get out of it. Screw this. Stop the pain and let’s move. Let’s change the page and move onto something else.” When you can face it and say, “This is an opportunity to start looking within for me to grow, for me to become more,” because you got to find that thing about you that will cause you to overcome. It may not be in the case of the divorce, it may not be getting back together. It may not be salvaging the marriage. It could be the fact that you have to find the strength to move on.
The strength to move on and it also can help you if you’re willing to take a look inside yourself as to what you did or the actions you took that contributed to the failed marriage.
With that adversity, for me, it’s all about the opportunity. How old is your podcast now?
The first episode was published around the 1st of June 2019.
It’s fairly young. You’re interviewing individuals that have overcome some type of traumatic event or is it targeted towards certain types of adversities or all kinds?
It’s all kinds. I’m getting a lot of people signing up. I’ve had somebody talk about sexual assault. I’ve had somebody that wants to talk about changing jobs, how they’ve transformed themselves. First they were an engineer and then because things happened they had to switch and maybe become a computer programmer. That’s adversity. You’re worried about keeping your job. Your job is gone away. How do you transform yourself? A lot of the topics that people are contacting me about can fit into what I want to talk about. I interviewed somebody that her parents immigrated from Afghanistan and she was talking about her childhood and how her parents raised her and how she was rebellious. Here she is at age 27 in the United States of America with her PhD. I saw her post on LinkedIn and I reached to her and said, “I know that took some adversity to overcome,” and I wanted to hear her story. I’m excited, interested to hear the different stories that people have and give them a voice through the podcast.
Why this type of show? What pulls the string for you to create a show like this?
I like to help people. When I record my episodes with the positive feedback I get through my Facebook page and through the episode reviews on Apple Podcasts, people seem to like it. That encourages me that I’m helping others. I’ve always liked to help other people and I have the time now to do this. I’m not working full time anymore for the Navy. I remember listening to a podcast where Daniel Pink, who’s an author, said something like, “If you have gifts, it’s your obligation to share your gifts with the world.” I feel like a gift of mind is being able to have these conversations, being able to conduct this podcast, being able to have listeners. I like to share it.It takes adversity in order to bring out the best out of you. Click To Tweet
That’s a beautiful thought. I’m of the same mind when it comes to your contribution and your service to the world. It’s not if you have a gift. Everyone has a gift. The purpose of that gift is to contribute and to define it. Your responsibility is to find that thing that you‘re passionate about, that you are good at, that serves other people well and then give it all you got.
I’ve always been interested in self-help, reading self–help books, improving myself. Maybe it comes and by learning how people went through adversity, that’s a part of improving themselves. It might come from when I was in high school playing basketball. I was a pretty good basketball player. I was the leading scorer in Maryland, DC in Virginia High School. I could have scored 40 points and my dad would say, “Emily, good game. Do you remember that time when you went right? You should’ve gone left.” He was always pointing out how I could improve. I’ve always been somebody who’s very interested in learning how to improve myself. That’s when it started.
How has that athletic background supported you?
It’s the ability not to give up, the ability to participate in a team to realize that everybody on the team has a role to play. There’s no I in team and not giving up. It also helped me with succeeding in a male–dominated work environment because when I was in high school, I didn’t go to the girls’ basketball camp. I went to the boys’ basketball camp. I knew how to play against boys and hold my own. I’d loved it when they would try to block my shot and I’d shoot right over.
At that time, that was probably considered greater competition. You were perhaps considered a level below that, but you put yourself in that type of environment and that paid off for you.
It did. It paid off. I got recruited by different colleges, but I decided to go to the Naval Academy and the reason I did is because I figured I wanted education to be the number one thing, not basketball. I knew I wasn’t going to play pro basketball or anything like that. I wasn’t that good. Back then, there wasn’t a pro basketball team. It helped me get into the Naval Academy and I ended up hurting my knee with three seconds left of the last scrimmage before the regular season started, the anterior cruciate ligament. I came back the next year and played for a couple of years, but then my senior year, I tore the ligament in my other knee. I did end up getting hurt, but I also got a good education.
That had to be devastating to go through that. That to me, that’s adversity at its finest.
My plebe year, which is your freshman year, is the hardest year anyway and I was in a plaster cast from my toe to my hip for a few weeks. When my leg got out of the cast, it was as big as my arm, skinny and it took a while to come back from that because then I was in a brace. My leg hadn’t been bent for a few weeks, bending it and getting it back into shape on top of being the hardest year with tough courses. That was some adversity and I made it.
You’re here. I do want to back up a little bit because I read and understand that you were the sixth class of women to graduate from the US Naval Academy. Can you talk to us about that?
The first class started in 1976 and graduated in 1980 and my class started in 1981 and graduated in 1985. Basketball definitely helped me through because I knew how to get along with guys. Out of about 1,200 people in our class, there’s about 72 or 76 women that graduated. I remember, we usually have a plebe summer, which starts in July and goes through sometime in August, which is a tough time when just plebes are there, just the freshmen. We were being led by the upper class. That’s like a training period and I remember getting along great with the guys. We were all anticipating that we weren’t going to get along with our class and they said they were going to be mean, but to get through plebe summer, we all had to work together.
I do remember some upper-class women coming and talking to just women. Some seniors telling us, warning us that once the rest of the midshipmen came back and the academic year started, that our classmates were going to treat us differently. I remember talking about it with my other friends who were like, “No way. There’s no way that these classmates are going to treat us differently. We get along, we’re buds, we’re teammates.” It was very different once everyone came back because they succumbed to the peer pressure. They were in their teens like we were. You’re going to be in survival mode so you succumbed to the peer pressure. We weren’t treated that well. I didn’t have as many problems because I was on the basketball team. Now that the women, we talk more and we get together more and one of the main things we talk about is that we were all in survival mode and the women probably even more so than the men. We wish that we had bound together and helped each other more, but each individual was trying to survive.
Let’s dive into this a little bit deeper because I don’t think I nor the audience fully understands when you say treated differently. What do you mean? What was it like attending the Naval Academy as a woman? Give us the details.
For one thing and this isn’t the way our classmates treated us, but we were an anomaly. I remember tourists walking around the Naval Academy, sightseeing on the yard, on the grounds there and pointing at us, “There’s one,” like we were an animal in a zoo because they were pointing at the female. It was still new to be a female there. We always had to be the best of the best to get through. For classmates and the way the men treated us, there was a uniform called Working Uniform Blue Alpha or WUBA for short. We were called WUBAs and what that meant was Women in Uniform with Big Asses or Women Used By All. We were called derogatory terms like that. We couldn’t date midshipman at the academy or plebe year anyway but then as we got older, a lot of them wouldn’t even date us because we were considered not attractive. They would date other women that weren’t nearly as attractive as us. I remember one day going to a guy’s house with him and his sponsor. At the Naval Academy, they have families that are sponsors for the midshipman and a home away from home. The wife came down the stairs and she said, “You’re a midshipman but you’re pretty?” It’s little things like that don’t help your self–esteem. The theory was that all women that go to the Naval Academy are ugly and that wasn’t the truth either.
There was a level of stigma and dogma, perhaps discrimination that you experienced. You graduated from the US Naval Academy. Mentally, what was the game-changer? How did you get through that?
One day at a time. That poem, “When things go wrong, as they sometimes will. When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill. When the funds are low and the debts are high, when you want to smile, but you have to sigh. When care is pressing you down a bit, rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.” I used to say that to myself in high school and what kept me through was I had two good roommates that we still get along and hang out now. I had good roommates and my basketball team helped me through going there.
Circling back on how this conversation started, is that common thread true for you now? Do you feel that you are a better person as a result of that adversity? I’m asking because that’s where we started and we identified a common theme where people go through adversity. That was something tough to go through when people are treating you differently and discriminating against you. However, I have to ask the question.
One other thing I would say too is that some of my classmates were assaulted but they didn’t report it. Only now do they come forward with things that happened to them. I was never assaulted. I had more confidence. I came across as confident, part of it is probably because I’m tall, part of it’s because I played against guys at the Naval Academy. It all did help me because if I could make it through that, I can make it through raising a daughter with invisible illnesses that took a lot of my time, I can get through with what I had to deal with my son and his alcoholism and drug addiction and now he’s sober. It helped me through. It gave me confidence.
Another thing is somebody at the Pentagon, a very senior person told me, he said, “Emily, I admire you for being able to be successful in the Navy at the Pentagon.” He listed a couple of other women that he admired too. I said, “I don’t think I noticed what you’re talking about. What are you talking about?” He said, “You don’t notice Emily because you have grown up in Denver all your life and you’re used to that altitude, so you don’t notice it. I noticed it. I noticed how women are treated in the Pentagon still and you don’t let it get to you.” Maybe people don’t take your opinion seriously sometimes. I know one thing that women need to do more, which is sit at the table. I sit at the table. If there are no assigned seats, I sit at the table. I show that confidence. A lot of times women will sit at the edges of the room, around the corner. Even when there are empty seats at the table, maybe you observe that Rodney and see if it happens.
I’ve seen that enough. I’ve played both roles. I’ve opted to sit on the outer edges and I’ve opted to sit at the front. I’m in a place where now I have no choice and I don’t have the hesitation, but what you’re explaining is a consciousness of overcoming. It sounds like if I can capture it in terms, it’s developing that consciousness of overcoming and that is something that is developed based on you and the number of repetitions that occur overcoming certain adversities. Would you agree to that?Adversities causes us to stretch and to grow. Click To Tweet
I agree with that. When I was talking with my son about overcoming alcoholism, to have big adversity, this applies what my son said. He said he couldn’t get sober and then start eating right, stop smoking, start exercising, start a full–time job, start all that stuff at once. He had to take it in pieces. Sometimes when you overcome something, don’t set yourself a goal that is so huge. It‘s the tiny steps that get you to the big goal. You said that, you would sometimes time yourself on how long it took you when you were in a wheelchair to get from the car to a building. Those are the tiny steps. Each time you achieve that or beat your personal record, you try better.
Not to toot my own horn, but in my book Get up! one of the chapters is dedicated to this very topic. It’s called Ignite the Small Accomplishments. The adversity seems huge, maybe insurmountable. The goal seems huge, maybe insurmountable but I believe in identifying and igniting the small steps that you can take one at a time. My story being able to walk again, I want to walk again. I want to walk independently. I don’t want to have to use the wheelchair. How do I start walking? Start by taking them one step at a time. Let’s see if I can get one step. You provide coaching and consulting services for small businesses as well. Can you talk to us a little bit about what you’re doing in terms of coaching?
My last job in the Department of the Navy was the Director of the Office of Small Business Programs for the Navy and Marine Corps. In that job, I helped a lot of small businesses and led a team that helps small businesses figure out how to do business with the Navy and Marine Corps. It’s not easy. One of the things that I am going to start doing in September, I have on my website, an ability to set up a free fifteen–minute consultation with me for small business coaching or consulting. There is a little difference between the coaching and the consulting piece. I would like to help small businesses out continue to do that, especially since that is what I did when I was in the government. The other thing I did when I was in the government as I did a lot of mentoring so I’m going to do personal coaching sessions as well. The ability to sign up for those personal coaching sessions is on my website as well as a free fifteen–minute consultation. Because I retired at the end of May 2019, over the summer I’m working on my pricing and putting more detail into the kinds of coaching and consulting that I’m going to be doing. That’s what I’m working on there.
To provide a little clarification to your coaching and consulting, is it helping small businesses overcome adversity? Is it helping entrepreneurs establish a small business? Can you be more elaborate about what type?
In more detail is I’m not going to get it. I know the ten basic steps that you have to do in order to do business with the government, like get a DUNS number and some things like that and how to set up their company. I’m not going to help in the details of that. I will help them navigate. How do they find which command within the whole Department of Defense or the whole Federal Government? How do they figure out who sells what they buy? How do they approach people? Should they lead with their capabilities or should they lead with the fact that they’re a service–disabled veteran–owned small business? I can give feedback on a capability statement. I can advise on with whom they should meet and things like that. That’s what I can help them with. A lot of times small businesses want to start out, they say, “I sell to anybody or I sell to the government.” Help them figure out that the government’s a huge organization and it’s better to narrow down your niche.
This is helping them understand the process of getting government contracts.
I moved to Staunton, Virginia which is in the Shenandoah Valley and they’ve opened an innovation hub and they’re going to be expanding that. They’re working hard in the Shenandoah Valley where University of Virginia, James Madison and Mary Baldwin University are because that’s a rural area but low cost of living, higher quality of life. A lot of people are looking to move down here and those folks can still do business with the government because they’re only two hours away from Washington DC. There’s going to be an opportunity to help those small businesses in this area here.
Tell us what’s in the future for you, Emily. You retired. You have this amazing podcast called Onward. Are you interested in writing books? Do we see an author in the near future? Maybe some speaking, I know you’re doing the coaching and the mentoring. What should we expect from you in the future?
I do have on my website speaking and I have a couple of people already that have signed up for some coaching and some consulting appointments in September. I’m going to be speaking at a conference in March, a Government Contracting Conference. Hopefully, those opportunities will pick up. The reason I retired, and I called it at graduation at age 56, is because I felt I’m not going to retire and go home and sit and watch TV. I’m going to graduate on to doing something different. I’ve been working for the government my whole life since 1981 and I want to do something different. One of the main reasons is so that I could spend more time with my parents. They both retired a couple of years ago. My dad’s 85, my mom is 76. I’ve enjoyed now that I moved down here, having time to spend with my parents because that’s not time that you can get back.
My dad has written a couple of books and he wants help with publishing them. I’m going to help him with that. I’m hoping that he’d write a book with me. I’m not sure if he would or not. I’ve been doing a lot of walking with my mom. One of my goals in retirement is to get in better shape. The other day I posted that I went walking with my mom and in the heat of the day. We’ve had a heatwave here in July. Because of traveling on airplanes so much in my last job, my hip hurts. I’ve been going to a chiropractor so it was hurting that day. We went to a track and I walked two laps and then I posted a picture of my mom walking and she’s 76 and I said, “I quit walking before she lapped me because my hip hurt.”
I’m working on getting in better shape. That’s something else I want to do mentally, physically, spiritually. My hardest obstacle to overcome is to slow down. I am not looking to be working 40 hours a week. I’m going to be very selective on the clients that I take on and how I spend my time. I would like to write a book at some point, yes. Hopefully that helps. I’m focusing on me because I’ve been focused all my life on working and about taking care of my children who had both had their challenges, which we’ve talked about in my podcast. Now, this is time for me while still helping others, but slowing down is my hardest challenge but I’m doing pretty good so far.
Congratulations on the retirement. That’s awesome in your next chapter in life. I love everything that you’re doing, not just regarding your podcast. It does play a special song in my heart to talk about how to overcome adversity and move forward. Good on you for doing that. How can people reach you if they wanted to connect with you, learn more about you, maybe solicit some of you are coaching and consulting services? How can they reach you?
My website is EmilyHarman.com and that’s where they can listen to my podcast from there if they wanted to. They can sign up for a coaching or consulting meeting and they can also contact me regarding speaking opportunities through that. They can also follow Onward Podcast on Twitter or Instagram and as well as Facebook.
Thank you for being on the show, Emily. It has truly been a pleasure. It’s good to connect with you once again. It’s been a long time. Now you’re in Virginia so I’ll be seeing a lot less of you. You’re retired, you’ve moved on and to reconnect with you has been a pleasure and I’m happy to see that you’re doing well. Thank you for coming on the show.
Thanks, Rodney. I listen to your podcast quite a bit and I enjoy it and I follow you on LinkedIn.
Thank you. I appreciate you doing that. As we wrap up here, any final words, maybe a game-changing mentality message you would like to share with the audience before we depart?
Before I do that, I meant to say one other way to connect with me is through LinkedIn. I’m on there quite a bit. Final words are to start and keep going. That’s my final words. It was hard for me to start a podcast when I was the Director of Small Business for the Navy. I was the advisor to the Secretary of the Navy and I was doing both so that I could publish my podcast on the 1st of June after I retired and I published seven episodes. It took a lot of work. I didn’t know how to do a podcast. I knew what I wanted to do. I started small and I kept going and definitely even people tend to think that, “If you’re a senior executive in the government or in a company, you’ve got it all together.” No, I didn’t have it all together. I have times when I feel like I’m an imposter and who the heck are you to start a podcast? Why do you want to start a company? I have tons but I’ve kept going. You’re going to have some days when you’re down, experience it, feel it, then move on, keep going.
Emily, you bring up so many memories for me. I remember when I couldn’t move anything and I started and kept going. It’s been many years since the injury and here I am walking and three–time bestselling author, podcast host, who knew. It started because I started and kept going. Thank you, Emily, for being on the show. I love you and until next time.
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About Emily Harman
Ms. Emily Harman is the retired Director, Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) for the Department of the Navy (DON) serving as chief advisor to the Secretary on all small business matters. She is responsible for small business acquisition policy and strategic initiatives.
Ms. Harman joined the Secretary of the Navy Staff as member of the Senior Executive Service in August 2015 and has over 30 years of federal service. Prior to receiving this appointment, she served as Associate Director of the Naval Aviation Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) OSBP from November 2005 to August 2015.
Ms. Harman’s previous experience includes serving as a Division Director in the Major Weapons System for Air-Antisubmarine Warfare, Assault, Special Mission Programs Contracts Department and as the Multi-Mission Helicopters Program Office’s (PMA-299) Contracting Officer. Ms. Harman has NAVAIR experience as a Services Contracting Officer, as well as a Contracting Officer for the AV-8B Weapon Systems Program Office (PMA-257). Prior to joining NAVAIR in 1997, Ms. Harman served as a Contracting Officer for the Naval Supply Systems Command’s (NAVSUP) Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC), Norfolk Detachment Washington. Ms. Harman served as a Supply Corps Officer in the Navy from 1985-1992 and retired from the Naval Reserves. She served onboard the USS Emory S. Land (AS-39) and earned the Supply Corps Surface Warfare pin. Her other duty stations include Supreme Allied Command Atlantic, Commander in Chief U. S. Atlantic Fleet, United States Naval Academy, and FISC Norfolk Detachment Washington.
Ms. Harman is a member of the DoD Acquisition Professional Community and is Level III certified in Contracting. A Certified Professional Contracts Manager through the National Contract Management Association, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Science from the United States Naval Academy, and a Master’s degree in Management/Acquisition and Contract Management from the Florida Institute of Technology. Ms. Harman is a member of Leadership Southern Maryland’s Class of 2010. Ms. Harman is a graduate of NAVSUP’s Corporate Management Development Program, NAVAIR’s Senior Executive Leadership Development Program, and the Federal Executive Institute. Ms. Harman has a number or personal and command decorations including the DON’s Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, DON’s FY2010 Acquisition Excellence Award, and the 2015 Public Servant Award from the St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce.
Soon after retiring from federal service as a Senior Executive in May 2019, Emily published the podcast, Onward. Today, she consults with small businesses and also serve as a personal coach. Her personal coaching services cover several areas including leadership, working in a male-dominated workplace, time management. planning for retirement, as well as parenting.
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