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BTS Behind the Scenes: Meet Operations Manager Kevin Spurlin

BTS Behind the Scenes is a chance to showcase the people who are making things happen at BTS and give you a “behind the scenes” look into their worlds. In this month’s feature we’ll talk with Operations Manager Kevin Spurlin and hear about perspective gained, experience applied, and what it means to be a “reformed triathlete.”

We hear a lot about people making the switch from Big to Small in govcon. What was your experience making this change?

I’m absolutely loving it. In the highly dynamic govcon world, I’m finding that it is far easier for Smalls to adapt and respond more quickly, effectively, and efficiently to the ever changing landscape. It gives us the agility often missing in Larges to better meet our customer’s needs. At the end of the day, it feels pretty good to be able to do that. 

We heard you have a commonly-heard catchphrase at work: “Monumental change comes incrementally” – tell us about that!

That goes hand-in-hand with another adage, “Alexander the Great didn’t conquer Rome in a day.” Anybody that studied history will tell you he never conquered it…lol. Back in the day, our greatest adversary was a large lumbering monolith, so we could get away with being one ourselves in our attempts to counter it. Today, we have to be flexible and adaptive to counter our adversaries- that said, government business doesn’t (and to be fair, can’t) operate at lightspeed. We just need to be persistent and advance the bar one step at a time.

You made the move from active duty Air Force to defensecon. What advice would you give to those transitioning out of active duty?

Well, after Active Duty Air Force, I had what I call a “13 year internship” with our customer in the form of the Air Force Reserve. I would tell our active duty folks to seriously consider the Guard and Reserves. That opened many doors for me, and I ultimately chose govie, retiring out of both the Reserves and gov civ, before becoming a contractor.

What was your experience coming onboard with BTS? Expectation vs reality?

Having a great run with 40 years experience with our customer, running the gamut of Active Duty, Reserve, Enlisted, Officer, Govie, working for a Large, and being twice retired, I knew I had at least one good fight left in me. I wasn’t just going to work for the sake of working just for a paycheck. I wanted to be part of something, where I knew we would knock it out of the park for our customer. It didn’t take long to realize BTS was the place to make that happen. We have a great team, people enjoy coming to the office, and our customer is thrilled!

If you could go back in time, what would you go back and say to your younger you?

Get in on the ground floor of Apple, Microsoft and Intel! Lol. Actually, I would say Guess What? You were right, to have a great life, and a successful career, you don’t have to chase the promotion at the expense of all else. You don’t have to claw your way to the top at other people’s detriment and the glass isn’t half empty or even half full; it is overflowing. Except for the days when an airplane flies into the side of your building, for the most part, you get to decide what kind of day you are going to have. Remember all of that always.

You’re a “reformed triathlete”- What does that entail exactly?

When your orthopedic specialists tell you that your knees and rotator cuffs just can’t handle long distance running and swimming any more, it’s time to consider other athletic pursuits. For me, that’s kayaking, aqua fitness class, hiking (With my knee braces lol), yoga, and golf. I can still bike, but now it is about conditioning (and safety), not speed. 

Lightning round!

  • Most amazing place you’ve lived: I have been privileged to spend 12 years of my adult life living abroad, including the Greek Island of Crete, Australia, South Korea, and Baghdad in Summer 2003. The only one of those I can safely take off the table is Baghdad, though I highly recommend the Baghdad Weight Loss Plan – I dropped 20 pounds in 3 months.
  • Top go-to food at an Eagles game: Whatever we are cooking up pre-game in our themed tailgate that day.
  • Cycling brand you can’t live without: Cannondale
  • Favorite kayaking spot: The Chesapeake Bay. My best outing so far was making it 5 miles from my house to Thomas Point Lighthouse and, more importantly, 5 miles back.

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