Military Spouse Forges Her Own Path at HCSG
Derya Warner is the Senior Vice President of Finance & Strategic Sourcing at Healthcare Services Group (HCSG). Her husband, Mr. Warner, served in the Army for 24 years, 22 of which were together. He was in transportation and ended his military career as a First Class Sergeant in 2012.
The two met at a picnic hosted by a mutual friend in Germany. “I’m originally from Turkey, moved to Germany, and grew up in Germany,” Derya said. “I was invited to a picnic and our host had invited some American soldiers as well. Mr. Warner and Derya connected there and a while later got married in Denmark.”
Derya’s initial experience as a military spouse was a bit different from that of an American one. “My education was in Germany, along with a successful career and worked in a public CPA firm where I oversaw 19 clients located in multiple countries,” she explained. “I had to give all of that up and move to the United States after marrying my husband. No citizenship or work permit and I was not well-versed in the English language.”
A few months after moving from Germany to Colorado, Derya’s husband deployed. “Our furniture hadn’t even been delivered yet,” she said. In total, she moved 14 times since then.
“Military spouses have to become adaptable and find the strength to handle what is thrown at them,” Derya explained. “You have to have your own goals and keep yourself busy! My first goal was to figure out how to convert my educational and work experience to the U.S. work environment and get my work permit. These types of challenges are not easy but you must learn to embrace and grow. That’s also one of the best things about being a military spouse. You learn important life skills.”
During the more than two decades her husband served, Derya ran the household, raised her two children, and oversaw the family finances while working full-time. “As a Military spouse, and the military children, you serve as well,” Derya said.
The courage she gleaned while her husband was deployed or when the family had to move to a new station was crucial. “My advice to military spouses would be to carve out your own identity – – focus on something that makes you happy whether at home or in your career. Your home base will always change but identifying your skills and abilities will help when changes do occur.” When the family moved to the New Jersey/Pennsylvania area, once again Derya was on the hunt for a new job. “I was always very transparent and honest in my interviews that I would probably be moving in two to three years, but in that time frame, I could make a real impact within the company,” she said.
Derya began her career at HCSG in early 2000, shortly after her move, as an Accounts Payable Administrator. “I was attracted to HCSG because of their understanding and support of my situation as a military spouse and mom,” she said. Three months after her initial hire date, Derya was promoted to Account Payable Supervisor.
Once Mr. Warner retired, he assumed the role to support the home and became the financial gatekeeper for the household. “I handed over a lot of household responsibilities to him. After doing it for so long, I was relieved not to do it anymore. I told him it was his responsibility now to keep on top of our finances,” Derya laughed. He needed it after being away so long and often!
Derya believes that every military spouse has the inner inertia to achieve their career goals. “As a military spouse, you owe it to yourself to have goals and always do your best to achieve them,” Derya explained. “It’s in you to make a difference. It’s all in your hands to make your dreams come true.”
At HCSG, we offer military veterans and their spouses an abundance of professional development opportunities for them to achieve their career goals. If you’re seeking an exciting new career with advancement opportunities, visit HCSG.Careers today to apply.