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News | Nov. 17, 2021

My DCMA: Shannon Krimmer, QA specialist

DCMA Public Affairs

My DCMA showcases the Defense Contract Management Agency’s experienced and diverse workforce and highlights what being a part of the national defense team means to them. Today, Shannon Krimmer shares her story.

My name is Shannon Krimmer, and this is “My DCMA.”

I am a quality assurance specialist for DCMA Milwaukee, but I am based in Antigo, Wisconsin. Besides my duties as a quality assurance specialist, I am an American Society for Quality certified lead quality auditor, certified quality engineer and a certified quality technician. I am certified by Villanova University as a Lean Six Sigma black belt, and I have a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota in science and engineering studies.

My job duties include conducting quality assurance surveillance of the contractors I am assigned, one of which is a sole-source supplier of medium-caliber cartridge cases, and the other one manufactures bearings and various components for submarines.

I have been a part of the DCMA team for nine years. Prior to my tenure with DCMA, I worked in private industry for a defense contractor as a quality engineer and later as a quality manager for nine years.

I like working at DCMA because my team, and the rest of the contract management office staff, are like an extended family. We are all unique, just like the commodities and services we oversee, but we are always willing to teach and bolster one another’s skills and knowledge. I have routinely been empowered and entrusted to make decisions and to engage in opportunities to affect change.

I have been blessed to work with a team that has an incredible amount of knowledge and experience. I have opportunities to grow in my career here, and I have been fortunate to work with a multitude of contractors. As a result, I have gained exposure to various manufacturing operations, systems, specialized equipment and organizational functional roles and responsibilities because of the specific, and often challenging, requirements for each. Most importantly, I have been encouraged to enhance my personal and professional skills, including my leadership skills. For example, I completed the DCMA Chicago Tier II Leadership Development Program this year. 

One of the great things about working at my location is that I am close to my hometown and my family. I live in the northwoods of Wisconsin, which is an area where every season is as beautiful as it is dramatic, and summer seems like three weeks and then it is snowing again. When I went away to college, I thought that I would never return to a small community, but I realized that I would rather raise my children in an area like this than in a big city. I love the peacefulness, the natural beauty and the feeling of contentment when I sit on my deck and there is a family of bald eagles hanging out in my pine trees. You just cannot beat that.

DCMA is important to America’s warfighters because the agency is crucial to ensuring that our warfighters receive the items they need to perform their mission when needed and within cost constraints. My husband served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard for 22 years, and most of my colleagues, as well as many of my family members and friends, have served in the military. I take my role seriously because I have a personal connection and understanding of the sacrifices that American warfighters and their families make. It is an honor to serve those who serve our country.

DCMA has changed since I started working for the agency nine years ago. The evolution of change has been commensurate with the broader industry philosophy of risk-based prevention versus detection. There is now an increased emphasis on contractor processes and system controls and less emphasis on physical inspections. I believe DCMA has a bright future, albeit a challenging one, due to budget constraints and resources. However, one exciting thing that I have been privy to is the creative allocation of individuals with unique skillsets working in roles focused on a broader scale to support the agency’s initiatives.

My goals for the next year are to continue to hone my leadership skills and seek opportunities to work on various continuous improvement projects to benefit not only my team, but the CMO, Central Region, and the agency as well. It is important for me to stay abreast of the new requirements, tools, systems and processes. I want to continue to work collaboratively across all of the functional areas, which is key to ensuring that the DCMA mission is accomplished accurately and effectively.

My future career goals include pursuing opportunities to use my skills as a quality assurance specialist and potentially moving into a quality engineering role within the Technical Directorate. I am also interested in becoming a quality group lead.

My favorite hobbies include crafting, reading, kayaking, attending concerts and repurposing old furniture. I play the alto saxophone, and I am currently teaching myself to play the piano. As we are about to enter the holiday season, I take great pride and time in decorating my home, and I enjoy making gifts for people.

More than anything, I enjoy volunteering and providing for the betterment of others. I received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for volunteer work performed in 2019 and 2020. In 2019, I earned the bronze award after 276 hours of service, and in 2020, I received the silver award after performing 465 volunteer hours.

Something unique about me is that I hope to become a registered nurse one day. I would work at DCMA during the week so that I can support our warfighters, and then I would work in the evenings and on the weekends at the local hospital or at an agency that provides in-home care for patients.