U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
FHWA Works: Careers in Motion
FHWA Works: Employee Spotlight - Joey Hartmann
Full Name: Joey Hartmann
Title: Director of the Office of Bridges and Structures
Division/Department: Office of Infrastructure
Location: Washington, DC
What is your current position and how long have you been in this role?
I am the Director of the Office of Bridges and Structures in the Office of Infrastructure. I have been in this position since April 7, 2014.
What is your typical workday like?
I am an early riser…which isn't rare at FHWA. Although I don’t think I could say I have a typical day from a content perspective, I do tend to maintain a structure to my day. I generally use the first hour or so that I am in the office to relook at my plan for the day and adjust priorities or my own expectations. If I have any HR issues, especially difficult ones, this is the time of the day I address them so I am neither distracted nor emotionally preoccupied by other business. In general, I use the rest of the morning to work on existing near or long term goals. After lunch I try to make it a point to check in with others in the office to be sure I am supporting them as best I can that day, as well as take on any identified or emerging short term needs that haven't already been brought to my attention. By the late afternoon I am reviewing what got accomplished and starting on a plan for the next day and the rest of the week ahead. At the end of particularly busy days, I also try to accept that despite the expectations I set for myself in the morning and my level of effort, I am not always going to get everything done.
What has been your biggest accomplishment over the last year?
I am both grateful and much honored to work with a staff that is talented, capable and diligent. Everyone contributes…and what they produce every year is as impressive as it is significant. While sometimes driven by an individual or team, I generally view the accomplishments of the office as "our" accomplishments and would not claim any as solely mine own. However, as I just recently reflected on the office's accomplishment of the last performance year, what I am most proud of was being able to provide an environment in which the technical specialists, program managers and Team Leaders of my staff continue to succeed in addressing their individual and collective challenges.
Prior to working at FHWA, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?
With the understanding that bridge engineer is likely the most interesting job anyone could have, prior to starting my career as an engineer, I held a number of interesting paid positions including grocery bagger, line cook, ski patrol, soccer referee, roofer/framer and airplane caterer. The most interesting position was a job I had during my senior year of high school. My father was also a Federal employee. As a result of his career we often lived overseas. While living in West Germany in the early 1980s I attended high school at Patch Barracks…a military institution just outside of Stuttgart and the home to United States’ European Command (USEUCOM). As we lived about 40 minutes away (at 100 mph on the Autobahn!), I needed to fill about 90 minutes each afternoon from the time I was out of school until the time my parents got off work, after which we would drive home. To fill that time I took a Dependent Youth Part Time (DYPT) position with Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR)…this was a Joint Command meaning the Commanding General directed the Special Operations activities of all 4 branches of the military in Europe at that time. As a DYPT, I was given a clearance that allowed me to work in Message Room handling incoming and outgoing communications classified Secret and below. The job only paid $2.90/hour but as you might imagine, although I often did not understand the content of the messages, they were always interesting!
What are your hobbies in your spare time?
Spare time? As I mentioned, I grew up in Europe so I still play soccer every week…7am Sunday morning (it is the only weekend time that the adults can reserve the field!). I also jog and regularly attend a workout class with my wife, the yoga instructor. I like the productivity of maintaining the yard (my Grandfather told me once that a nice yard is a gift you give to your neighbors every day)…and I enjoy home improvement projects and renovations. I also enjoy reality TV…as long as reality is defined as either sports or news. Finally, I have two daughters in college who actually still like spending time with me!
What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned in your career to get you where you are today?
In my experience, if you focus on knowing your job and doing it well, then your career opportunities will find you. Also, be aware of and strive to meet the expectations of the people you work with and for. In that regard, if you are forward leaning, visible, credible, and accountable; maintain a corporate perspective; and are an agent for engagement...you will probably do okay!
Complete this sentence: "People would be surprised if they knew..."
...that I have had season tickets to University of Maryland Men’s Basketball for 25 years. Go Terps!
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Page last modified on September 15, 2015.