Head shot of Annette Driscoll
Employee Highlight > Employee Highlight: Annette Driscoll

Annette Driscoll

Task Order Lead & Subject-Matter Expert

What is your title at Synergy, and can you give us a gist of your responsibilities?

I work as a Task Order (TO) Lead and Subject-Matter Expert (SME) for one of our critical projects for the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The goal of the project is to help make the USCG Financial Systems more secure, specifically by remediating findings from financial audits.

When I’m not busy with project management responsibilities, I get to put on my SME hat. As the SME, I work with team members to interpret requirements, research solutions, design and implement processes, and create and update documentation in response to the wide variety of policy, process, and technical requirements in compliance with USCG Financial Systems.

What do you like to do for fun?

I like to do puzzlesthe kind with words, puzzles with pieces are fine, puzzles with numbers not so much. I’m a big fan of Games Magazine and recently discovered Puzzled Pint, a monthly, social puzzle solving event held simultaneously in 50+ cities across the world. Puzzles and beerwhat’s not to like!

I like to read. I wish I could say I like to read intellectual stuff, but I prefer murder mysteries, sci-fi/fantasy, and dystopian young adult fiction.

also like to bake. My husband is the chef in the family, but I’m the bakerbread, pies, cakes, cookies. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to do much baking these days, although the weekend sometimes offers a chance to be in the kitchen againRecently, I was forced to learn how to make soda bread (who knew yeast would be just as popular as toilet paper and Clorox wipes in this pandemic?) and plan to start my own sourdough starter soon.

Do you have a favorite book/blog/podcast?

I have a long commute, so I always have audio content on hand. Right now, I’m overdosing on Sirius XM comedy channels, but I also listen to several podcasts like Stuff You Should KnowHidden BrainInvisibilia, and The Pop Culture Happy Hour. If you liked the television show The Good Place, you should check out The Good Place podcastit has great interviews with the cast and lots of behind the scenes information.

What are three lessons you’ve learned thus far in your professional life?

Lead by exampleyou should never expect your team to do things you’re not willing to do yourself.

Different people have different skillsets, preferences, and motivations. A team will be happier if the people are encouraged to play to their strengths and preferences.

Change can be a good thing, but you must communicate it properly. It’s best to avoid surprising people and always explain why the change is happening.

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

My husband, my pillow, and my Kindle.

What is something you have always wanted to try?

I can’t wait to travel the USA full time in an RV. My husband and I are planning to sell our home, buy an RV, and tour the USA full time. In 2011, we went cross country in a popup camper and had such a good time we decided it would be our retirement plan, except, instead of a popup, we want something a little bigger that doesn’t require assembly before you can go to bed.

What is one random fact about you?

I received scuba diving certification twice—first in 1995 when I lived in Biloxi, Mississippi, and again in 2007 when I lived in Hawaii!