Sarah Stolzfus has never been afraid to pursue new pathways if she believes it will lead to new personal and professional development opportunities. That’s what brought her to Fairbanks Morse Defense as a Customer Experience Specialist in 2022 – the opportunity to make her mark on a rapidly growing company and the chance to help shape and expand the team.
“From the very first interview, it was clear to me that Fairbanks Morse Defense is well on its way to becoming a leading defense contractor,” Sarah said. “I remember being told during the interview process that there was no better time to join the company and be part of shaping its future. There is tremendous potential for personal and professional growth by directly contributing to FMD’s business goals.”
Sarah was especially attracted to FMD’s pillars - Velocity, Integrity and Teamwork – and how they have been adopted throughout the company. She especially likes the consistency that comes with having these values so thoroughly entrenched across the company that they still drive decisions, even when business goals change. This consistency is something Sarah has not always experienced, as her previous companies would often change their core values as leaders, business priorities, or revenue goals changed.
Within a short time, Sarah has embraced FMD’s pillars to drive marketing initiatives and events that will leave a lasting impression on the company for years to come. Among the most notable is Technology Innovation Day, and event that evolved from discussions between Sarah, the technology team and the Navy. She fully threw herself into spending long days to manage all of the moving parts involved with establishing a new event of this magnitude, along with the accompanying road shows to introduce the Technology Center of Excellence to FMD sites across the nation. In fact, the launch was so successful that it generated one of the first contracts from the Navy for FM OnBoard. She’s already planning to make the next Technology Innovation Day a more memorable event for the company, its technology collaborators and its customers.
The opportunities Sarah saw for herself at FMD extend to other women seeking positions in the defense industry.
“I see opportunities across the entire organization,” Sarah said. “Manufacturing, especially manufacturing within the defense industry, has been predominately male, but that is something we can change. FMD provides opportunities to qualified candidates, and that includes women. It is up to us to seize these opportunities.”
She advises young women interested in the defense industry to resist being intimidated by a male dominated industry, to be confident in their abilities, and to fiercely pursue their career goals.
“The only way to change is to continue applying for these careers and changing the diversity narrative” Sarah said. “Shying away from opportunity only maintains the status quo. Go after the career you want, despite the current gender demographics. Your professionalism, abilities and charisma will shine through in the end.”
Overall, Sarah is proud to be a part of the team that makes FMD a defense contractor of the first rank and is committed to contributing to the company's objectives while remaining accessible to all departments.