By Yolie Canales, Yuma Proving Ground Public AffairsMarch 18, 2013
YUMA PROVING GROUND, Ariz. -- Women's History Month celebrates the contributions women have made to history, culture and society. It also recognizes achievements by women in specific fields and a wide range of careers, including those at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz.
Among those is a member of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command who has overcome various obstacles to contribute professionally to the YPG workforce while meeting the challenge as a single parent.
Georgette Dilworth is the small business specialist for the MICC-Yuma Proving Ground Small Business Programs. She's a single parent of four children: Dominique, 24, is an operation specialist in the Navy; Destiny, 18, a freshman at New Mexico Highlands University who was awarded a full athletic scholarship in track; and 17-year-old twins Desiree and Darius who have recently been accepted into Grand Canyon University and Northern Arizona University, respectively.
Since August 2009, Dilworth has been a strong advocate for the capabilities of small business suppliers and has ensured the contracting office's compliance with Army Office of Small Business Programs. She is dedicated to supporting YPG test experts with a focus on bringing small business excellence in the developmental cycle. She has been instrumental in collaborating with the service-disabled veteran owned small business Elite Network for a regional summit and trade show held in 2010 in Yuma. The first of its kind, it surpassed all expectations, drawing an unprecedented attendance of 400 participants.
Prior to assuming her duties as the MICC small business specialist, Dilworth spent the previous two decades working in a number of contracting and acquisition positions. She began as a purchasing agent at the Fleet Industrial Supply Center Naval Station in Long Beach, Calif., and the Naval Air Technical Engineering Command as an engineering analyst as well as other positions of higher responsibility. She has more than 22 years of federal government leadership and purchasing and contract policy experience under her belt. In addition, she volunteers at various local organizations and school activities.
A graduate of the University of Phoenix, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and is Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level 3 certified in contracting.
Dilworth attributes her determination to succeed in life to her mother.
"My mother was a truly remarkable woman who had class, style and dignity and was always a loving spirit," she said. "She taught me to have the audacity to dream and go after those dreams, which is exactly what I did. I've passed on this same advice to my children."
Dilworth believes a successful career consists of sustained activity with a diverse array of people.
Like many who attempt to find a balance between family, career and other responsibilities, the days can be daunting. Dilworth was no exception. Juggling work, transporting children to and from school and extracurricular activities, and finding time to travel out of town for sports competitions is a challenge in itself. It becomes overwhelming when unforeseen obstacles are encountered along the way. She suffered a brain aneurysm in 2009 and developed blood clots in both lungs three years later.
"I must admit, health issues slowed me down, but I'm back and running again and thank God for my new health," said Dilworth.
A proud mother, she tips her hat to all her children equally.
"My children have been my greatest and most proud accomplishments," she said. "To see them fulfilling their dreams at this level in their lives shows me they have determination, ambition, confidence, are noble and highly likely to reach the top."
Dilworth has already begun to see that realization for her daughter Destiny, the described cowgirl. The NMHU women's track and field student was named freshman of the year by the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and posted an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 3408 points in the pentathlon on the way to scoring 20 points in the meet -- a school record for a freshman. She was also named all-region by U.S. track and field coaches in both the long jump and pentathlon for the 2013 indoor season.
The value of Dilworth's guidance to the contracting community and in raising a strong family illustrate the lasting contributions women have and continue to make that are significant in the development of our nation.