Women to Watch: Rising Star
Lindsey Neumann, U.S. Coast Guard, Sector NC Command Center, Operations Specialist
Lindsey Neumann says that her secret for success is to-do lists, and this recently-turned-26-year-old has definitely checked off a lot. Ranked as a second class petty officer, she works as an operations specialist for the U.S. Coast Guard at the Sector NC Command Center, where she has helped save more than 216 lives and over $5 million in property.
But that’s just her day job.
Since 2010, Neumann has volunteered 350 hours. She’s an alumna of Leadership Wilmington, a local Chamber of Commerce program designed to cultivate area leaders.
Clearly, Neumann strives to take on more than what is expected of her.
“I like to keep busy. I’ve always been into volunteering,” Neumann says. “I want to do things for other people, because I feel like I’ve been a very lucky girl my whole life.”
She also maintains a 4.0 grade point average at American Military University, where she is pursuing her Master’s degree in management with a concentration in organizational leadership. But for this grade-A perfectionist, leadership is more than a subject to study; it’s a lifestyle.
For Leadership Wilmington’s annual Work on Wilmington city-wide community service day, Neumann was the volunteer committee chair. She also organized about 1,700 volunteers to improve the Yahweh Center Children’s Village, a center for at-risk youth. Many of her shipmates, including her captain, were inspired to participate in the ambitious beautification project.
Neumann continues to work with under-served children as a volunteer with the Big Buddy Program.
“I have a little buddy. Her name is Victoria. I spend about eight hours a month and go do fun stuff with her,” Neumann says. “If she’s not doing well in school, I just be there for her. She’s had kind of a rough life, and I help her out.”
Neumann also co-founded the Coasties for a Cause Donation Drive, and has worked for Habitat for Humanity and Adopt-a-Highway.
“I’m always going to be trying to get people to volunteer with me. I’m encouraging the sector [NC] now to nominate someone else to Leadership Wilmington,” she says.
Her Coast Guard work has garnered international attention as well. During Hurricane Sandy, Neumann was part of the search and rescue of the 14 surviving passengers aboard the HMS Bounty.
Despite all of her impressive community involvement, Neumann says she was shocked when she received the Coast Guard Shipmate of the Week award earlier this year.
“I don’t expect anything in return in for [my volunteer work]. I don’t expect that acknowledgment, but it was nice to be appreciated,” she says.
And believe it or not, Neumann allows herself some free time, too. She finds time to visit her boyfriend in Winston Salem, to paddleboard and to train for triathlons.
“For me, I like to check things off and make sure I get things done. It makes me sound like I’m not spontaneous, but I just plan out spontaneity,” she says.
Neumann will continue to create her to-do lists, for her short-term and long-term goals. Someday she sees herself as a Coast Guard command center chief.
To view more of photographer Jeff Janowski’s work, go to www.jeffjanowski.com.