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Longest Serving GSA Employee Nancy Potter Says Good-bye

Remarks by
Nancy Potter
U.S. General Services Administration
Retirement Ceremony
GSA Auditorium
Washington DC
December 12, 2007


First of all, I want to personally thank Administrator Doan and express my deepest appreciation to everyone who made this ceremony possible. It is far more than I ever expected.

As you all know, my specialty is numbers, so let me tell my story that way:

  • The first important number is 16. That’s how old I was when I started working for the federal government. Back then a gallon of milk cost 84 cents a gallon, you could buy a new car for $1650, and a first class stamp cost 3 cents.
  • The second important number is 62. It was 62 years ago that I walked into this massive building. I never dreamed that one day I’d be standing before you as the longest-serving employee in GSA history.
  • Another important number is 18. That’s how many administrators I’ve seen. Each brought different strengths to our organization, and I was proud to help each of them make sure that GSA remained the government’s premier procurement agency.

So much has changed over these past six decades, and yet some things have remained the same. When I walked in here as a 16-year-old federal employee, I felt important and excited to be working so close to Capitol Hill and the White House. As I prepare to leave GSA, I may not be 16, but I am no less excited by the important work this agency does for our customer agencies and the American people.

These memories will stay with me always.

I will miss walking into this grand old building, with it’s beautiful architecture, but my sense of pride and accomplishment in what we’ve achieved together will never fade.

I will miss my friends and associates. I will miss the satisfaction of a clean audit, and the challenging work that went into improving our financial performance.

Mostly, though, I will take satisfaction in knowing I was part of a team and organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in this nation. From the day the doors swung open in 1949 to today, GSA has played a unique role in our government, touching lives in more ways than most people imagine.

So it is with great fondness in my heart that I say farewell.

I would not have stayed so long and worked so hard if it wasn’t for the love that I have for this agency and the tremendous respect that I have for those who have led and labored here these many years.

Why did I stay so long?

The answer is simple. I valued the work. I’m passionate about the programs. I believe in what we do. I believe in our team. One GSA, One Voice.

They say we shouldn’t be dismayed by good-byes because a farewell is necessary before we can meet again.

And meeting again is a certainty for those who are friends.

And so, my friends, until we meet again, thank you and good-bye.