If Acquisition and Procurement sounds like a mundane career choice, talk with Lynn Yvonne Moon, or better yet, step inside her office at the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The Tidewater Community College instructor and alumna, who has taught each of the classes necessary to earn the 18-credit Career Studies Certificate in Acquisition and Procurement, has a desk just a few paces away from a control room that allows her to see all the major roadways in Hampton Roads.
“I like to say we keep Virginia moving,” said Moon, a contract administrator for V-DOT. “We help stranded motorists. If there’s an accident, our safety service patrols can direct, traffic assist emergency responders so we can get our motorists moving again. If you get ever bored here, you’re doing something wrong.”
Moon has worked on both the government side and the contractor side of the field, holding procurement positions with Hampton Roads Transit, the City of Hampton, Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Computer Science Corporation and General Dynamics.
“When I lecture on a regulation or law, I can bring in real-world application,” said Moon, sharing a favorite example of why contracts need to be precise in their wording. Something as seemingly routine as a contract for grass cutting can fall apart if the language is vague, she said. “In one contract, the specs didn’t say anything about grass cutting; it said the vendor would maintain the grass at a certain number of inches. The vendor brought out goats!”
At her day job, Moon applies procurement law and regulations, sometimes bending them but never breaking them, to solve the problems and meet the needs at V-DOT. At night, she teaches at the Virginia Beach Campus, immersing her students in federal and state acquisition management. She doesn’t just lecture. Consider her second-semester fundamentals class that operates like a learning lab.
She breaks the students into groups and has them each form an agency to solve a customer need. Students learn how to complete a government solicitation during the first eight weeks and then break into different groups to form companies that must bid on a solicitation. Sometimes she’ll throw in a curve, sending a company an out-of-compliance letter during the process. When students ask for help, she poses this question:
“What would you do in real life?”
After graduating from TCC in 1989 with an associate degree. Moon earned her bachelor’s in business administration/management from Virginia Wesleyan College, initially working in an administrative position at an IT company. Eventually she worked her way up to proposal manager, taking it upon herself to read the entire Federal Acquisition Regulation, a thousand-page manual on regulations governing federal purchasing.
“It answered lots of questions for me,” said Moon, who also holds a master’s in public administration from Troy State University. “I couldn’t read it fast enough.”
Moon enjoys sharing a field that she say is a mix of accounting, legal and logistics with students who range from teens to CEOs of companies coming back for continuing education credits.
Mother of four adult children and 17 grandchildren, Moon is also an author of what she calls the “Agency Series," murder-mystery stories for women, but men seem to enjoy the novels, too. She is currently working on a second series titled “Journey’s Travels,” with book one named, “Reflection,” which explores teen science fiction. She is also working toward a second master’s in fine arts from Lindenwood University.