Meet CTMA Project Manager Susan Shaw

Susan Shaw comes to CTMA project management from a slightly different perspective. Rather than industry or military, Shaw combines her hospitality and contracts experience to provide both her government and industry partners great customer service, attention to detail, and risk reduction foresight.  

A Michigan native, Shaw attended Michigan State University where she received her bachelor’s in Business with an emphasis in Hospitality. Hired by the Hilton Corporation, she traveled the county opening properties and also rescuing hotels that were struggling, helping to make them profitable. After years of moving, working nights, weekends, and holidays, Shaw decided to pursue something that would allow her the ability to set down some roots. She earned her MBA at Wayne State University, then took a contracts position at Electronic Data Systems where she was in charge of negotiating contract pricing, compliance, dispute resolution, and other complex facets of a $350M IT account.  

“The best thing about the hospitality industry is the traveling,” says Shaw. “But it can also be the worst aspect. I loved working with people, celebrating a new hotel, and also finding solutions to help the ones struggling. But I was drawn to try something new.”  

In 2017 Shaw took a position in the contracts department at NCMS. There she learned how to navigate her way around the complexities of government contracts. But soon Shaw found herself reading, and enjoying, the content of the Concept Papers, the Statement of Work, and other documents that are not necessarily known for their entertainment value.  

“I was really interested in the content of these documents and I found myself offering to help create them. To me, that was fun,” says Shaw.  

In 2019 Shaw joined the newly created CTMA Project Preformation team as a concept paper editor and a project manager. She hit the ground running and hasn’t looked back.  

“I was totally prepared for this role,” says Shaw. “In project management, unexpected things can happen and I have the experience to find solutions and make my customers happy. With my contracts knowledge, I could anticipate areas of risk and mitigate them to ensure a smooth process.”