CCI/Speer’s own Jeanette “Jet” LaVance in Lewiston, Idaho was recently highlighted as one of The Lewiston Tribune’s Employees of the Year.
The Lewiston Tribune honored local employees for their contributions to their companies and to their community. Jet was nominated by the CCI leadership team and spoke with the Lewiston Tribune about her time at CCI.
Below is a short write-up, reprinted with permission from The Lewiston Tribune.
In her work, she blankets the planet
Jeanette LaVance used to sell for ammunition maker; now she does good deeds for Lewiston operation
Jeanette LaVance once split the globe with a co-worker to sell Vista Outdoor ammunition to the world.
LaVance got the Pacific Rim, South America, Mexico, Canada, India, Australia and Africa.
“She took one half of the world and I took the rest. It was amazing,” said LaVance, Vista Outdoor’s employee of the year.
In that role, coordinating international contracts, LaVance, helped the company win millions in business. Her customers included the Royal Thai Police and the government of Israel.
Having enough customers was never a problem. Law enforcement and military personnel called her seeking Vista’s cartridges.
“Usually they’re coming to us. …They pretty much wanted what the U.S. Army was purchasing,” she said.
What was challenging was keeping track of all the details that went with each order, such as how the ammunition needed to be labeled.
She usually communicated with clients in English by telephone and email, learning time differences between continents.
“(I realized) not everybody takes Christmas off in the rest of the world,” she said.
Often factors beyond her control could affect her ability to meet customers’ expectations. If the U.S. government was shut down, for example, U.S. State Department officials wouldn’t be reviewing documents needed to finalize sales. Or if a hurricane emerged in the Pacific, vessels might be delayed.
“You have to work with all kinds of scenarios to make the deadline,” LaVance said.
Handling international sales is just one of the positions that LaVance has thrived in at Vista, where she has held more than a half-dozen jobs.
Her duties now involve deciding which community projects Vista will back. She helped organize a drive to donate 100 turkeys to the Community Action Partnership Food Bank for Thanksgiving.
She also helped bring the “Eyes of Freedom” to Lewiston. The exhibit featured life-size paintings of the 23 fallen soldiers of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, one of the hardest hit units in Iraqi Freedom. The soldiers died in the largest improvised explosive device blast ever recorded in Iraq in 2005.
“This was a very emotional exhibit and was visited by many of our employees,” she said.
Title: Program administrator
Employer: Vista Outdoor (CCI/Speer)
Education: Attended Lewis-Clark State College
Family: Husband, Eric; son, Dylan; daughters, Alex and Rachel
Career history: Began working at CCI/Speer in the central stores office in 1994 and has held a variety of positions at the ammunition maker. Took present position as program administrator in 2018.
Civic involvement: Director on the board for Lewis Clark Chamber of Commerce; trustee for Tri-State Memorial Hospital Foundation.