Employee Spotlight: Niki Heflin
APTIM spotlights Niki Heflin, senior director for contracts administration, who has maintained the integrity of APTIM and its extraordinary partners for 19 years.
How long have you worked for APTIM?
I have been with the company for 19 years. I started in 2001 in the Miami Lakes, FL office. I left for a couple years, and then re-joined the company in 2006 in the Baton Rouge, LA office.
What does a typical workday look like for you? Any big projects you are working on that you can tell us about?
The contracts administration team is part of APTIM’s legal department. I have supervisory responsibility for contracts administration support across the company and I provide day-to-day contract administration support for our commercial remediation team, many of our energy solutions teammates, and our construction, operations, and maintenance teams including the teams in Canada and Peru.
A typical day could include: reviewing request for proposals (RFPs) and contracts to identify and mitigate risk in a project we are bidding; negotiating contracts for new awards; securing contract deliverables such as bonds or insurance certificates; drafting contractual correspondence to our clients; helping a project manager ensure compliance with contract terms; ensuring we have the necessary state and professional licenses to bid a project; helping complete qualification packages for our various clients; assisting with audits; and the most common task which is responding to the question, “Do we have a contract with [insert company name here]?”
One of the big projects I’m working on right now is the implementation of a corporate Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) system to automate our contract review process and to have a central repository for company contracts.
What do you like most about your job?
What I like most about my job is that every day is different. While the underlying contract administration tasks are the same, each project presents unique challenges to solve. In some cases, we may be able to apply lessons learned from a prior project to help solve a current challenge, but in other cases we must come up with a new solution. In this career field I am constantly learning.
What do you like most about working at APTIM?
What I like most about working at APTIM is our robust service offerings and my responsibility to understand what we do and how we do it. It is important that I have a basic understanding of the scopes we perform and how we execute our projects. This technical awareness helps me provide meaningful input about the risks and ways to mitigate those risks. It helps me provide a contract review and to recommend contract edits that are applicable to each opportunity.
What is the best career lesson you have learned so far?
One of the best career lessons I learned is to not be afraid to make mistakes. No one is perfect. The key is to learn from our mistakes and apply those lessons learned in the future. I have learned more personally and professionally from mistakes that I’ve made then from any training I’ve attended.
What inspires and motivates you?
I love being part of a team, the camaraderie, and that everyone is working together toward a common goal. I’m always motivated to do my personal best so that the entire team can be successful.
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?
I have always been fascinated by forensic science. I had an opportunity to work in this field when I was in law enforcement during my time in the military. If I wasn’t in Contract Administration, I think I would most definitely be some type of forensic scientist. Either that or I would own an ice cream shop in a beach town.
Any interesting facts about yourself you could share with us?
I played several sports growing up, softball being my favorite. I played D1 softball in college, was on the Air Force women’s softball team (winning the gold medal at the Armed Forces tournament), and ended my fast-pitch career playing in France on an international team. Now my days are spent keeping the scorebook for my youngest son’s travel baseball team.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
When I’m not working, I enjoy watching sports, running with my run group, reading, and traveling.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.” – Jerry Rice
Interested In A Career At APTIM? Your Journey Starts Here.
What you can expect from APTIM:
- Work that is worthy of your time and talent
- Respect and flexibility to live a full life at work and at home
- Dogged determination to deliver for our clients and our communities
- A voice in making our company better
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