Employee Spotlight: Don West

At Avantus Federal, our employees are the engine of our success. Our people stand out in all the right ways and stand up for true eminence. We believe there is growth in both the successes and the setbacks, and we are insistent on learning from both – which is why we encourage our people to share their stories and lessons learned. In this way, we grow our knowledge, our company, our people and our ability to consistently achieve successful outcomes.  

We want to take this opportunity to shine a spotlight and celebrate members of our teams that continue to exceed expectations and provide excellence to our critical missions. Don West, a 20+ year Air Force communications veteran, achieves success everyday supporting the operations of an Avantus space client in Colorado Springs, Co. See why he chose to grow his career at Avantus. 

Q: What is your job title? 

A: I am the Operations Lead for United States Space Force (USSF) client in our Defense Division. 

Q: What is your role and what does it entail?  

A: Our team provides oversight and management on the delivery of commercial space-based capabilities across the Department of Defense (DoD), including operational performance in-theater. We also work directly with end-users to identify current and emerging operational space-based capability requirements and potential solutions. We have several offices supporting this missionincluding a heavy presence in Colorado Springs. 

Q: How are you advancing the Space capability and its solutions at our company and with our clients? 

A: As a new government contractor for the recently established USSF, it is exciting to see where this new branch of Service will take us. As the customer fulfills new and emerging requirements for DoD, once they go operational, it is my team’s role to keep things running smoothly with the awarded contractor and customer.  This aligns to the Avantus focus of delivering exceptional support that advances our clients’ missions and priorities.  Specifically, Avantus is focused on supporting the National Security Space efforts to maintain our dominance in this critical warfighting domain – I have a direct impact on this in my current role. 

Q: How has your background/influences brought you to this position, and what made you want to work for Avantus? 

A: I joined Avantus after dedicating 22 years to the United States Air Force working in communications. After retiring, I still wanted to support the DoD and our soldiersMy current role at Avantus checked both of those boxes and now gives me a reason to look forward to working every day. 

Avantus is a great company that is dedicated to making sure its employees are taken care of. There are great benefits, resources and programs established to help employees find the opportunities best suited to their skills and ambitions 

A few months into my role, I got the chance to sit down and have a beer with our CEO Andy Maner to discuss the many things happening at our companyThis was such a great example of how accessible the leadership team is here at Avantus. You’re truly able to work with the leaders of our organization in a way not found at most places. 

Q: What advice would you give to those who are just joining our company as they look to advance their careers? 

A: My advice for incoming members of the Avantus team is to make sure theyre utilizing all the benefits the company has to offer and embracing the culture. Going to work every day and earning a paycheck can make for a good dayBut, going to work and enjoying your co-workers and management makes for a great day. 

Q: Why did you decide to grow your career at Avantus? 

A: I was looking for my next career step and Avantus looked like a great fit for me in terms of career flexibility, office culture and people.  

Q: How is Avantus supporting your career development & advancement? 

A: Although I have only been at the company for a few months, I have been able to learn more about how Avantus invests in its employees. The Integrated Talent Management (ITM) program and employee recognition initiatives are great displays of this. With ITM, the company gives every employee access to the resources needed to reach any career destination – big or small. I’m sure if you get back to me in a year or two, I will be able to give you a few examples of this.