JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Dec. 16, 2014) -- The MICC is saying farewell this month to two small business assistant directors at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas.Lynette Ward and Barbara Brown represent a combined 66 years of federal service - almost 50 of those in the contracting career field."Their passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of small business have set the standard for the small business program," said Mark Massie, associate director for the MICC Small Business Programs here. "Lynette and Barbara have always been major contributors in helping the MICC reach record small business goals. They will be sorely missed in the MICC and especially in the small business program as they enter the next phase of their life."Ward, whose final day in the office is Dec. 31, has spent the last four years of her 35-year federal career with the MICC serving as an advocate for small business, "trying my best to get contracting officers to do the right thing and recognize the capabilities of our nation's small businesses.""Besides the paycheck, I'll miss co-workers and employees who are dedicated to their jobs and, even though under-appreciated, still forge ahead each day with a smile," Ward said.In addition to her 24 years of service in contracting, Ward's career also spans stints in the aircraft maintenance, legal administration, education, finance and civilian personnel career fields.The Minneapolis native who now calls San Antonio home plans to spend her spare time in retirement with family, seeking volunteer opportunities, traveling and making new hobbies and friends.Brown completes her federal service Dec. 18 after more than 31 years of federal service, 23 of those in contracting. She joined the command's legacy organization, the Acquisition Support Group under the Army Contracting Agency, seven years ago. She is one of the four MICC small business programs assistant directors and has oversight of contracting offices under the MICC Field Directorate Office at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. She is responsible for small business issues and supervision of five full-time small business specialists at MICC offices in Virginia, Georgia and Alabama.Brown began her federal career as an administrative assistant for the community adjutant's office at Baumholder, Germany, where she was responsible for tracking bad checks written by post exchange and commissary patrons. She went on to work as a clerk-typist for what was then the Army's single finance center at Fort Harrison, Indiana; and dental clinic receptionist and clerk-typist at Fort Hood, Texas.Brown's first venture into contracting was when she served as a legal technician for a contracting office's legal team at Yongsan, South Korea. It was there that she was selected for a position offering upward mobility from a GS-5 to GS-9. She went on to accept positions as a contract specialist for the Army Atlanta Contracting Center at Fort Gillem, Georgia, before the office moved to Fort McPherson, Georgia; contract specialist for the Defense Supply Service in Washington, District of Columbia; contract specialist and contracting officer for the Wiesbaden Regional Contracting Office in Germany; and procurement analyst for the Army Contracting Command in Heidelberg, Germany. While at Wiesbaden, she deployed as a contracting officer in support of operations in Bosnia."In Huntsville, Alabama, I was fortunate to have been selected for the Army Competitive Development Group, a three-year developmental program," said Brown, a Shulenburg, Texas, native. "I had the pleasure of working in the Space and Missile Defense Command headquarters, the Army's Blackhawk Product Management Office, and a six-month (temporary duty) to work in the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army-Systems Acquisition Office in Crystal City, Virginia."Brown said what she'll miss most about work are the people, seeing the passion of small business specialists in action, and the opportunity to stay current with information technology.She said her priorities following a career in federal service are "no alarm clock" and spending more time with her mother, siblings and extended family. Brown plans to jumpstart retirement with a 33-day trip to Australia and New Zealand in February.