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AFCEA Personality Profile: Celeste Gushee

October 15, 2011
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Connections
E-mail About the Author

Organization and dedication are two steadfast personality traits that have led to Celeste Gushee’s professional success. A proposal manager at Comprehensive Health Services, Gushee describes herself as always able to talk to anyone about anything without fear of challenges. These characteristics led Louis R. Linden, Canaveral Chapter president, to assert, “Celeste’s organizational ability creates more time to accomplish the myriad of activities that surround this very active chapter.”

The former chapter vice president of programs and now nominee for treasurer of the 2012 chapter board of directors began her career working at the U-Haul company for 16 years. This dedication resulted in Gushee becoming the marketing company president. Her career with U-Haul transitioned in 2000 to a position with L-3 Communications where she put her outgoing personality into her marketing manager position with the company’s business development sector. It was her employment at L-3 that led to involvement in the Canaveral Chapter.

Prior to accepting the position of chapter vice president of programs, Gushee supported the nominating committee and recruited other members to serve as chapter officers and directors. According to Linden, when no clear action officer is assigned to a chapter project, she often volunteers or makes recommendations about how to move forward. “Her commitment and attitude are infectious, which makes the board of directors and officers much more effective,” he says. “She has a wonderfully organized mind that seems to make projects easy to dissect and to simplify the actions required to successfully complete them.”

Gushee admits that her current job amplifies her thriving chapter work. “Being a proposal manager requires that I be very organized. If you miss one deadline or requirement, it can cause your bid to be disqualified,” she explains. “Years of experience and lots of training have helped. I have been very fortunate to work with a chapter that has everyone working toward our goals.”

As the chapter vice president of programs, Gushee recruited and assisted with the needs of each monthly luncheon speaker. Her goal has been to find speakers who will increase luncheon attendance and teach members new or interesting material. But she has other ideas for the future of the chapter as well. “I would like to see our chapter get more involved in the community colleges with a junior group of AFCEANs and may get that going in the future,” she offers.

Now a successful professional, Gushee admits that she should have completed her education earlier in life. “I decided to pursue my education after I was working full time, and anyone who has done that knows what a challenge that can be,” she relates.