Turner Consulting Group's Nina Pruess learned her organizational skills as a teenager, and now she's using them to solve health care problems.
Nina Preuss has been organizing people since she was a teenager. It started at home with her mother, a brilliant researcher who lacked organizational skills. So Preuss would pay bills and set up systems to make the household run more smoothly.
“I’ve always been organizing really smart people who want to focus on their research and don’t want to deal with legal, contractual and the financial aspects of what they’re trying to achieve,” said Preuss, a project manager at Turner Consulting Group, an information technology services firm based in Washington.
So it’s no big surprise that she now organizes and manages large government projects and helps different segments of federal workers and contractors collaborate and communicate.
One of her most noteworthy projects was setting up the Neuroimaging Informatics Tools and Resources Clearinghouse Web site. The National Institutes of Health had hired TCG to put together a Web site so that scientists can collaborate on neuroimaging research and share resources. The site's purpose is to encourage researchers to reuse those resources so NIH can redirect funds to primary research.
“The return on investment was quite convincing, and that’s why we got that award,” she said.
Preuss, who previously worked as a regional manager for a national young arts nonprofit organization, also manages TCG's scientific and technological applications subcontract with a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Biosafety Level 4 facility at Fort Detrick, Md. She also manages business process re-engineering efforts for the Office of National Drug Control Policy's Drug Free Communities program.
Preuss, 46, is also looking to advance her career by earning a program management professional certification because her role at the firm has advanced from managing a project or two to handling multiple projects at the same time.
Her inspiration for working in government contracting is the knowledge that her firm is saving taxpayers money.
“I truly believe that every dollar we spend on projects is my own tax dollars,” she said. “When I look back and the clients are happy, we all benefit.”2010 Rising Stars