Faces of Yuba Water Andrea armstrong, contracts and procurement administrator

Yuba Water Agency's contracts and procurement administrator, Andrea Armstrong, oversees the processes for purchasing items and services, as well as all of the agency's administrative facilities. Learn more about the woman responsible for ensuring that the agency remains compliant and transparent.

What do you do for Yuba Water Agency?

I oversee what and how we purchase items and services. I make sure that the purchasing processes and decisions the agency makes are fair, transparent and meet all of the legal requirements that relate to purchasing for a government agency. I also oversee our administrative facilities. This includes coordinating and supporting the planning of new facilities and renovations to existing facilities that house our staff.

What does your day look like? What are some of your essential duties?

My average day involves staying informed on the projects that are being planned and providing my staff guidance on how their roles and duties fit into the successful completion of those projects. This includes traveling and communicating between our three major administrative facilities and discussing and listening to the purchasing needs of each department.

Photo: Andrea discusses plans for Yuba Water Agency's new power systems administrative office and warehouse with contractor Jim Thrower, during a site visit in Dobbins.

Do your duties differ throughout the year? And if so, how?

Duties differ from day to day. We just started a new fiscal year, which involves a lot of communication and planning to make sure purchasing is aware of timelines for projects, and organizing our workload to support those projects. Right before our annual hydropower unit outages, there are a lot of purchases for tangible items that get used during the outage. With those purchases, we are looking at the best cost and/or best match for our needs, while creating standardizations in products to maintain the stability and consistency of the operation of our units.

Andrea meets with the contractors who will be renovating Yuba Water Agency's new administrative office in Marysville (left and right). Andrea poses in her Star Wars costume with other Yuba Water Agency employees on Halloween (center).

What do you enjoy most about working for Yuba Water Agency?

The variety. Every day is a new day with new challenges, new adventures and lately, a lot of new people. We are growing and we have some of the most amazing, driven people I have ever worked with.

Before working for Yuba Water Agency, what was the most interesting job you had?

My most interesting job would be the human billboard for housing developments (aka the people that hold the signs on corners). We had to learn spins, twists, and how to properly create an inviting image with our giant arrow sign. Very different than today's sign holders. There was a ton of training and even your 'sign mentor' would drive by and check on you and make sure you were enthusiastic. Oh, and the dress attire was all white, including a white baseball cap. It paid $10 an hour when minimum wage was $4.25 per hour, so it was a great 2nd job for an 18-year-old in college.

Tell us something about yourself that most of us don't know.

I used to eat snails when I was very little in the strawberry patch in our front yard. I know. Not very surprising. I don't remember it, but my siblings and mom remind me of it regularly.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to spend time with my family going on adventures. We are always going somewhere or doing something.