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Joyce Putman

What’s your job title and how long have you worked at CBM?

Joyce joined CBM in 2011 and is a Senior Executive Assistant in our Bethesda office.

What do you enjoy most about working at CBM?

When asked what she likes best about her job at CBM, she said, “I have a creative side that welcomes the challenge of putting together a piece, be it a proposal, a PowerPoint presentation or anything else requiring presentation excellence. I am serious about getting points for “style,” and I believe that our proposals are evidence of that. It’s like putting together a puzzle, and when the pieces come together, it’s great.”

What types of activities/hobbies do you enjoy in your free time?

I have always had music in my life, and at an early age I sat down at our piano and started playing based on what I heard my mother play, without any training. That feat got me formal piano and organ training!

I have sung in numerous church choirs, and I’ve been in as many as six choirs at one time – including playing hand bells. I also played the violin when I was younger.

I am active at my church, and enjoy doing volunteer work for the community. I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and I’m also very active in the community with our service programs.

I have discovered that my purpose in life is to write. I have written several short stories, and I placed in the 2017 Writer’s Digest’s short story (inspirational category) competition. I wrote a novella about a piece of family history: I had an aunt who was murdered in the 1940’s. It will be based on that incident, but the story is really about a family’s love and devotion to each other. Still figuring out how to get it published. Look out, Harper Lee!

What do you think you co-workers would be surprised to learn about you?

I think there are a couple of things that will surprise my co-workers:

  1. I am trained as a lawyer and public administrator. I have a law degree and a master’s in public administration. I really do know what I’m doing!
  2. I once sang in a R&B group that won a recording contract in a regional contest. Unfortunately, some of the ladies in the group weren’t ready for that lifestyle, so we did not accept the prize. I could have been Diana Ross! Well, you know what I mean.
  3. I have race walked a marathon and a half marathon (both were the Rock ‘n Roll Marathons). The marathon I had to stop at 19.5 miles due to my back giving out on me, but I finished the half marathon.
  4. I served as a Magistrate for the Commonwealth of Virginia in Alexandria. A magistrate is the first official you encounter in the judicial system in Virginia. . I wrote arrest warrants based on probable cause, made determinations of bond or commitment to jail, and work in shifts (office open 24/7). One Christmas morning, I put Jesus in jail for murder (of course, it wasn’t the bible Jesus!).

If you could retire now and money wasn’t a concern, what would you do with your free time?

Retirement is not something I plan to do. Even if money wasn’t a concern, I would probably continue to work as an administrator. But more importantly, I would become the writer I want to be. I have a lot of stories in my head, especially about women and our challenges in life. Most of my stories tell about everyday women, and there is usually an inspirational twist or lesson.

In addition, I would volunteer more with my church and my sorority to assist our community initiatives, and I would be able to travel to our conferences and on adventures with my family.

What is your favorite motto/quote and what significance does it have to you?

I guess it’s “This, too, shall pass.” I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my life, but I’ve always gotten through them. My mother would say this to me, and I would get so irritated by it. Now, as I’ve gotten older, I know what she means, and I understand the positive side of this quote. Nothing stays the same; there will be change, and change is good. It may not seem that way when life is beating you up, but there is light at the end of every tunnel. Just keep pushing until you get to it.

What one word would you use to describe yourself and why?

Persistent. As I alluded to in my last answer, I’ve been through some rough stuff and going through some right now. But I never give up. I know who I am and whose I am, so I keep moving. I will pick myself up and get to steppin’ again until all is well. Keeping positive and having belief in my abilities is what I rely on.

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