DVIDS – News – FRCE Mentor of the Year encourages others through mentoring

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, NC — Angela Bell, lead engineer for the VH-92 Fleet Support Team at Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE), believes it’s better to learn from the mistakes of others than to make the same mistakes yourself . This is one of the reasons why she is very committed to mentoring – both as a mentor and as a mentee.

Bell’s strong support of mentorship and willingness to share her experiences with others was recently recognized when the Naval Air Systems Command named her Fleet Readiness Center East Mentor of the Year in a recent virtual ceremony.

“I was proud and excited that my efforts were recognized as useful or helpful to someone,” Bell said. “I take part in mentoring just because I want to help other people, but it was gratifying to be recognized for a job well done.”

Bell’s 23-year career path includes positions as an aerospace engineer on the Propeller Fleet Support Team (FST), as a technical team manager for the Joint Engineering Training Team (JETT), as the head of the propulsion systems department, and as a senior propulsion engineer for the H-53 FST and now Chief Engineer for the VH-92 FST Presidential Helicopter. She did not have a mentor until 2006 when she entered the Executive Leadership Program; A mentor was required for participation. Bell has maintained the same mentoring relationship since that time, and she credits her mentor’s guidance for much of the success she has had in her career.

“A good mentor never tells you what to do — they just ask the right questions to get you thinking, and I try to apply the same philosophy in my own mentoring relationships,” Bell said. “Mentoring is a phenomenal opportunity to understand what leaders expect, to get advice on some dos and don’ts, or some lessons that have already been learned. Being able to share and ask for advice and have someone invest in you is a good thing.”

FRCE FST Engineering site manager and Angela’s supervisor, Russell Padgett, said Bell’s breadth of experience makes her effective as both an engineer and supervisor.

“Angela is proactive, not just with her job, but with her employees,” Padgett said. “She is an astute engineer with a wealth of experience who brings a lot to the table. Her previous JETT leadership has also given her a great perspective on what it is like to be a young employee in an organization and that is a valuable trait for a mentor.”

Bell estimates that she has formally mentored around 25 employees over the course of her career, but emphasizes that mentoring can take many forms, both formal and informal. It can be a structured relationship with scheduled meetings and set goals, but it can also be as informal as a phone call between friends and co-workers.

“Everyone knows my door is always open and they’re welcome to ask my thoughts,” Bell said. “I have people who I consider co-workers who just occasionally call and say, ‘Can I run something at your place?’ That’s the same thing I do with them.”

Rose Waggoner, Head of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Engineering Dynamic Components, has relied on Bell Trust’s advice since beginning her career at FRCE in 2013 to help her succeed in her own career.

“It’s been great to have a woman in leadership who is your biggest cheerleader. Angela is an excellent example of a strong and empathetic leader,” Waggoner said. “She’s helped me develop my strengths, but she’s also helped me identify weaknesses and work on them so I have the confidence to take the next step.”

Bell said she firmly believes that everyone can benefit from mentoring, both in giving and receiving guidance and support.

“If you have a development need or a goal you want to achieve, a mentor can help you get there,” Bell said. “Anyone who has had career success should take this opportunity to give back. We become a stronger organization when we are willing to help others benefit from the lessons we have already learned.”

FRCE is North Carolina’s largest provider of maintenance, repair, overhaul and engineering services with more than 4,000 civilian, military and contract workers. Annual sales exceed $1 billion. The depot provides service to the fleet while functioning as an integral part of the larger US Navy. Naval Air Systems Command; and Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers.

Date of recording: 03/21/2022
Release Date: 03/21/2022 11:34
Story ID: 416834

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