March 2019 Member Highlight: Terry Placek

Can you briefly describe your career path?

After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in history and political science, I started my career as a budget analyst intern at the Ammunition and Procurement Supply Agency and then became a program analyst at the U.S. Army Munitions Command. As a GS 9 I was selected to go to graduate school full time and after earning a Master’s Degree in Business and Public Service (Administration), I accepted a budget analyst team leader position at U.S. Army Recruiting Command. After four years there I was selected for a budget analyst position at Headquarters, Department of the Army. While at the HQDA, I held a number of resource management positions in various Army Staff agencies and the Office, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller). As part of the highly competitive President’s Executive Exchange Program, I was a consultant to the Vice President of Finance and Administration of AMERI TECH Mobile Communications. During my career I attended the Armed Forces Staff College, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, numerous courses at the U.S. Army Finance School, Naval Postgraduate School, and executive level Brookings Institution business and executive seminars, the Federal Executive Institute and the National Securities Management Course at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.

What are your future career goals?

I want to learn new skills, do new things, enhance my overall knowledge of world cultures and people and give back to my community and the financial management workforce. Additionally, I want to continue to mentor young people and financial management careerists.

When I was Chief of the Army’s Comptroller Proponency Office our motto was:
If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain
If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees
If you want one hundred years of prosperity, GROW PEOPLE

I want to continue to Grow People!

How has your involvement in ASMC helped to develop your career? Which ASMC programs/offerings have you found to be the most beneficial?

I have been involved in ASMC since the early 1970s first as a member attending monthly chapter meetings then as the chapter president of the Washington Chapter. In the 1990s I was a national committee chair serving on the National Executive Committee. Currently, I am the chair of Training and Education for the Washington Chapter and the chair of the Editorial Board of the Armed Forces Comptroller (AFC). My ASMC involvement at all levels has provided me exposure and knowledge of all financial management areas. The networking opportunities have been invaluable as I progressed in my career. Because of ASMC, I met civilian and military financial management professionals from all organizational levels as well the top financial management leadership not only in the Army but also the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, OSD, defense agencies and the private sector. These contacts provided me additional sources of knowledge and expertise in financial management.

I find the monthly chapter luncheons, National PDIs, and the AFC to be the most beneficial. Monthly luncheon speakers often share information on the hot button issues of the day. The National PDI offers a wide range of workshops, mini-courses, and general session topics many with a joint “purple focus” in all areas of resource management. With its quarterly themes, AFC focuses attention on specific topics of interest to ASMC members.

If you could pass along one piece of advice to ASMC Early Careerists, what would it be?

Volunteer to Take On New Responsibilities and Challenges and Never Stop Learning