Employee Spotlight on Edna Mouton
For Edna Mouton, it’s all about balance, and not because she is responsible for the checks and balances of Caltrans contractual cash management in the Division of Program and Project Management. For Edna, it’s all about the ‘yin and yang’ kind of balance – in work and in life.
In her work, Mouton is committed to quality service that involves numbers and people. In her life, she has a passion for reading, writing, philosophy and arts and crafts. She says, “I’m in the right place.”
Mouton is a contract analyst responsible for accurate account management and compliance for outside services that are necessary for Caltrans to deliver a project. Her job is to verify, track and pay all bills incurred during the life of an awarded contract agreement between Caltrans and its contractors.
“Job satisfaction is fifty percent of being in your own ‘right place,'” say Mouton. “I’m glad I found Caltrans when I did because this department is a perfect fit for me. Each day brings its own challenges and surprises.”
Mouton joined Caltrans nine years ago when she became part of Structure Maintenance and Investigations. She has been in her current position for three years and works with five other analysts who manage a workload between 30 to 40 contracts annually. Each invoice submitted by a contractor has at least 60 tasks to log, track, and verify for accuracy. Edna determines whether to pay, dispute, reject or ask the contractor to resubmit for further verification.
“Edna and the entire staff have the responsibility to stay on top of assigned contracts and focus on every detail of the written agreement between Caltrans and its contractors,” said Paul Kwong, supervisor of the Office of Consultant Services. “The job requires a broad knowledge in accounting, budgets, labor compliance and contract management. It’s not easy, but they all make it look that way.”
“I wrote my own mission statement a long time ago. It’s called ‘Job Focus’ and it keeps me focused on what I stand for,” say Mouton who keeps a copy nearby. “I believe in going beyond the call of duty with quality professional service as my number one priority. That’s my way to achieve job satisfaction.”
In her 24 years of state service at various departments ---Social Services, Industrial Relations and Motor Vehicles --- she knows that not every agency has as strong a mission statement as does Caltrans.
“I think that Caltrans is well-defined as an agency,” said Mouton. “Not only do we have a Mission Statement, but Caltrans is in tune enough to know that every now and then, even the mission statement needs updating and tweaking. Things change and get out of balance from time to time. A mission statement is the heart of the company.”
She abides by her code and is so true to her self balance that she laughed when she scratched out one goal that doesn’t apply to her anymore. (That personal goal will remain confidential!) In its place, she added another goal which is to design and sew a king size quilt. While Edna loves numbers and understands the checks and balance system --- she also loves words.
“I will write and publish a book one day on ‘service’ and customer service,” she said. “It’s important to define myself and then put my plan into action. I try to stay focused on where I am and where I want to be.”