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Katie Gauvin

Regional Director of Safety
Performance & Operations Improvement, Solution Center


Tell us about your experience in the Air National Guard.
I enlisted in the Air Force Reserves in 1988 as an Air Cargo Specialist and was charged with loading people and equipment on C5s. After two years I switched to the Air National Guard and held several enlisted positions. Started as a Personnel Specialist and finally as a Logistics Specialist. In 1998 I earned my commission and started my career as a Supply Officer. I did this for 2 years at which time I decided to take a few years off and switched to the Inactive Ready Reserves (IRR). 12 years passed in the IRR and finally I decided to finish my commitment to the Air Force and rejoined the MA ANG back in 2012 as a Logistics Readiness Officer, a position I still currently hold.

What are the cultural similarities between the military and Sodexo?
The Air Force Core Values are Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do and they dovetail quite nicely into Sodexo’s values of Service Spirt, Team Spirit, and Sprit of Progress. Part of Sodexo’s mission is to “Improve the Quality of Life of all those we serve” and the military isn’t any different. We serve in the military to ensure the quality of life we have all gotten so accustomed to is sustained for the current generation and for all the generations to come.

How did your skills learned in the Air National Guard transfer to a civilian career?
The Air National Guard, and the military as a whole, ensures its members are thoroughly educated in their respective career fields as well as in leadership abilities. A Logistics Readiness Officer is tasked with getting the war fighter ready for the fight, getting them to the fight, keeping them in the fight, and ultimately getting them home. This includes all transportation, supplies, and support needed to successfully complete a mission. In addition officers complete professional military education that prepares them with the leadership abilities and critical thinking skills to successful lead the enlisted force.

My career with Sodexo has been positively influenced by the education and career development I achieved during my tenure as an Air Force airman. Early on with Sodexo I worked in operations which required a lot of logistical planning to successfully run the business, manage frontline associates, and meet the demands and expectation of the client. My current role as a Regional Director of Safety taps into the leadership and critical thinking skills I’ve gained in order to successfully manage a regional team of safety managers, EH&S and Food Safety, and to educate and influence our operators to manage their businesses with safety in the forefront of their minds. These skills are critical for my success within Sodexo as well as when having to interact with various regulatory agencies outside of Sodexo.

What advice do you have for someone transitioning from a military to civilian career?
Learn how to translate your military experience into terms the civilian sector can understand, don’t assume your civilian employer understands all that you’ve done in your military career and be proud of your accomplishments. The education and professional development required in the military is invaluable to Sodexo and the clients we serve.

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