A photo headshot of Hanitua Teai

Hanitua Teai

Knowledge Management & Proposal Coordinator

1 year at Ridgeline

How would you describe your role?

In my time at Ridgeline, I’ve had quite a few roles. I started out in our R&D division researching radios and cars and Bluetooth and the kinds of security issues that go along with those. After about a year, I switched over to the BD Team as a mission manager and quickly transitioned into my proposal and knowledge management role. I help coordinate our proposal pursuit efforts, so anything from editing and reviewing documents, to managing the writing schedule. I also work closely with the Business Development team, helping them use our CRM to track our leads and sales. I’ve been given a lot of room for growth over the several years I’ve been here.

How would you describe your team?

I think all of the teams I’ve been on have been really great. Everyone’s willing to give you time and support when you need it.

I also think one of the best things is that you’re never competing with egos. People enjoy what they do and that’s enough. They’re never aiming to be the best amongst other teammates, but focused on the shared work. Our team is very passionate about what we do here.

Ridgeline does a really good job of bringing people together and fostering a spirit of teamwork and camaraderie. They do things like Convergences, where staff get the opportunity to plan an event outside of work every month, and happy hours where we have a chance to casually meet each other and catch up.

What part of Ridgeline’s mission do you connect with?

I grew up in a military family, and I think what we do is a way for me to be a part of it without actually being on the front lines. I have a very soft spot in my heart for our customers’ missions and at Ridgeline I get to see how we make an impact for the guys on the ground. It makes me feel good to know that people I care about are using our technology, and because of this, are a little more secure.

What has been your biggest accomplishment at Ridgeline so far?

I think it’s being able to stay in the position I’m in right now. I took on the proposal role because it was a need we had that needed to be filled, not because it was something I’ve got a background or experience in. I feel like I’ve helped Ridgeline develop a process for bidding on proposals, writing to proposals, and reviewing them. There has been a lot to work out and I’m really proud of myself for sticking with it. Today, we’re cranking out proposals and ROMs and there’s a more solid process and people know what to expect. It’s a tangible impact I’ve made that has helped Ridgeline grow.

What resources have you taken advantage of in your time at Ridgeline?

I really appreciate our self-managed time off policy, which has allowed me a lot of flexibility. My supervisor has been great about approving the time off I need when I need it – whether that’s just a day when I’m struggling with a health or mental health concern, or when I’m able to schedule a longer trip. I took a trip to Kenya recently and am taking one to Haiti soon. There’s the understanding and trust that I’ll get my work done before I leave and will be right back to it when I get back.

I also think Ridgeline’s people are a unique resource. There’s a lot to learn from everyone here and they all have great stories of past work they’ve done either in the service or in previous careers. It’s fun to hear those anecdotes and to get to know people from all walks of life.

How have you grown professionally in your time here?

I feel like all I’m missing at this point is a certificate that says I’m a full-time proposal manager! I didn’t come to Ridgeline initially knowing I wanted to work in proposals. Truthfully, I didn’t even know what those were or that a role like this existed. So, I was truly starting from the bottom. And now, I’m helping to manage full responses to requests for proposals, I help white glove ROMs. I’m using the terminology, and I can read government bids and contracts and understand what it means and what’s going on. These are a major set of skills that I’ve developed here.

What’s unique about Ridgeline?

I appreciate that our office culture doesn’t feel corporate. Our culture and our attitude toward work is really unique. Everyone’s given the space to try things out, to share ideas, and as long as you’re getting your work done, you’re given the space and flexibility to do it.

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