From Bookseller to Material Coordinator

Whether it’s stacks of books or racks of consumables for mechanics, Donya Allen has it handled.

By Jennifer Ferrero, APR, DTM

Donya Allen started her career selling books for Walden Books and is still an avid reader today. She prefers the horror genre, “the types of books that keep you up at night,” she said. She likes Stephen King and Dean Koontz and is currently working through short stories in that genre.

She is also a resident expert in a variety of departments within Erickson Incorporated, having been an employee for a total of 23 years.

Allen currently works as a Material Coordinator in the Medford, Oregon Military Hanger. She prides herself of having the parts needed by mechanics and said she knows the mechanics well, “we are constantly interacting.”

She said that she often knows what the mechanics need for a project even before they know what’s needed. She said, “We have paint strip projects and there’s a laundry list of things to order ahead of time,” she explained that she knows the parts they will need for each job before it starts.

Allen said that she has a counterpart, also a woman, who works in the tool crib and manages the distribution of tools and a female Avionics Tech in her area. But she noted that otherwise, it is mostly men in her department.

Because of her years of service in the company, Allen said that she knows almost everyone. She has relationships with many people, even outside of her department that come to her with questions, “I am a great resource,” she said. “We all have these tribal tidbits, things that we know and have learned, there’s a lot of value in that. I like it when my boss comes to me and I have what is needed,” she said.

She has an abundance of pride in the work she does and said if she ever makes an error, she takes it more seriously than others. Integrity and safety are the two most important company values for Allen. Regarding integrity she said, “without integrity, you have nothing. Do what you should even when no one’s looking,” she added.

Allen said that the organization is like a family and they take care of each other. In 2020, she had a major health event and said that her co-workers were, “incredibly supportive – the support from my Erickson family was amazing. It made me feel like, wow, they really did miss me!”

The most exciting thing she has done as an employee was going up in the S-64 Air Crane® Helicopter. “We were testing the snorkel and I was able to sit in the see-through glass bubble (on the underside of the aircraft) as we hovered 3-feet over the Rogue River sucking up water.” She said it was a thrill for her to be a part of the testing that day, “We have some really good pilots,” she concluded.