Recognition ceremony lauds individual, team achievements

By Dianne Ryder DLA Public Affairs

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A diverse group of Defense Logistics Agency employees from across the enterprise packed the McNamara Headquarters Complex Auditorium to honor team and individual contributions at the 51st Annual Employee Recognition Awards Ceremony Dec. 13.

DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams said picking just a few to recognize out of a workforce of more than 26,000 was a “tough task.” He thanked the awardees and the workforce members who were not being formally recognized, referring to all DLA employees as world-class professionals with a deep commitment to serve the warfighters and the nation. 

Williams also expressed his and his wife Myra’s appreciation for DLA Vice Director Ted Case, Chief of Staff Kristin French and Navy Command Master Chief Shaun Brahmsteadt, as well as senior leaders from DLA Headquarters and major subordinate commands.

Finally, he thanked DLA Human Resources team for planning and putting the ceremony together.

Established in 1967, DLA’s employee recognition ceremony featured awards for its 10 Outstanding Employees of the Year, a category DLA still recognizes. Williams said the agency has expanded the program over the years to include 12 award categories and a total of 56 awards. 

The director noted that throughout his and Brahmsteadt’s travels, they’ve been struck by DLA employees’ strong commitment to the agency, the keen focus on mission and willingness to provide unparalleled customer support. The lines of effort and objectives in DLA’s strategic plan are “empty words” without the people who breathe life into them, he said.

The general commented on specific “superstar” achievements and teased the audience with mention of two Presidential Rank Award winners; one at the meritorious executive level and one at the distinguished executive level. He noted that of the more than 7,000 Senior Executive Service members in the federal government, only 5 percent receive the meritorious award and only 1 percent receive the distinguished award.

Award presentations were interspersed with “When the Nation Calls, DLA Answers” public service announcements chronicling DLA’s successful missions during 2018.

The 2018 DLA Employee Recognition Awards are as follows.

Ten Outstanding Employees of the Year:

  • Gerald Aguilar, DLA Distribution
  • Kevin Gist, DLA Distribution
  • Bikki Queen, DLA Distribution
  • Air Force Tech Sgt. Renaldo Renee, DLA Logistics Operations
  • Michelle Acord, DLA Land and Maritime
  • Rhonda Blum, DLA Land and Maritime
  • Shona Lawrence, DLA Energy
  • Cynthia Obermeyer, DLA Energy
  • Amie Inman, DLA Logistics Operations
  • Lee Scott, DLA Installation Operations

Leader of the Year:

  • Roberto Santana Irizarry, DLA Troop Support
  • Elaine Applegate, DLA Logistics Operations
  • Michael Saylor, DLA Distribution
  • Stephen Dubernas, DLA Information Operations

Employee of the Quarter Annual Award:

  • Category A (civilian grades 1-6): Jeremy Liehr, DLA Disposition Services
  • Category B (civilian grades 7-12): Marlin Ingram, DLA Energy
  • Category C (civilian grades 13-15): Benjamin Beadles, DLA Energy

DLA Team Performance Awards:

  • Small: Medical Mission Team, DLA Distribution
  • Medium: Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment Team, DLA Land and Maritime
  • Large: DLA Enterprise Hurricane Response Team, DLA Logistics Operations

DLA Service Members of the Year Awards:

  • Field Grade Officer of the Year: Army Maj. Grant Thimsen, DLA Distribution
  • Company Grade Officer of the Year: Air Force Capt. Cynthia Rodriguez, DLA Energy
  • Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Army Sgt. 1st Class Kahlil Warner, DLA Distribution
  • Junior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Army Staff Sgt. Brandon Guevara, DLA Distribution
  • DLA Joint Reserve Force Field Grade Officer of the Year: Navy Reserve Cdr. Luke Hafner, DLA Joint Reserve Force 
  • DLA Joint Reserve Force Company Grade Officer of the Year: Air Force Reserve Capt. Jeanna Butler, DLA Logistics Operations
  • DLA Joint Reserve Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Air Force Master Sgt. Issac Johnson, DLA Distribution
  • DLA Joint Reserve Force Junior Reserve Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Navy Logistics Spec. 1st Class Peter Henry, DLA Distribution

Equal Employment Opportunity Awards:

  • Outstanding DLA Employee with a Disability: Sally Davis, DLA Distribution
  • Achievement in EEO by an Employee: Maurice Sanabria, DLA Aviation
  • Achievement in EEO by a Supervisor or Manager: Benedict Roberts, DLA Land and Maritime
  • Achievement in EEO by an Organization: DLA Troop Support

Installation Support Excellence Awards:

  • DLA Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Facility/Program Excellence Award: DLA Columbus Outdoor Recreation Team
  • Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Facility/Program Management: Jennifer Russell, DLA Installation Operations, Columbus
  • DLA Police Officer of the Year: Officer Joshua Jauga, DLA Installation Management, Susquehanna
  • DLA Lead Police Officer of the Year: Sgt. Joshua Stokes, DLA Installation Operations, Susquehanna
  • DLA Supervisory Police Officer of the Year: Capt. Harry Salcone, DLA Installation Operations, Columbus
  • DLA Police Unit of the Year: DLA Installation Operations, San Joaquin
  • DLA Firefighter of the Year: Firefighter/Inspector Danny Riley, DLA Installation Operations, Susquehanna
  • DLA Fire Officer of the Year: Assistant Fire Chief Randy Shirey, DLA Installation Operations, Columbus
  • DLA Fire Service Instructor of the Year: Capt. James O’Brien, DLA Installation Operations, Susquehanna
  • DLA Emergency Communication Center Dispatcher of the Year: Kristine Roller, DLA Installation Operations, Susquehanna  
  • DLA Fire Prevention Program of the Year: DLA Installation Operations, Susquehanna 
  • DLA Fire Department of the Year: DLA Installation Operations, Susquehanna

Enterprise Safety Excellence Awards:

  • DLA Safety Professional of the Year: Christopher Littrell, DLA Installation Management Europe & Africa
  • DLA Safety Champion of the Year: Gerald Stover, DLA Information Operations
  • Employee Safety/Voluntary Protection Program Team Award: DLA San Joaquin Marketing and Media Support Team, DLA Distribution
  • Management System Achievement (Safety): DLA Battle Creek, DLA Installation Operations

Acquisition Excellence Awards:

  • Excellence in Acquisition: Donna Kautz, DLA Distribution
  • Acquisition Support Professional of the Year (Individual): Sheryl Woods, DLA Disposition Services
  • Acquisition Support Professional of the Year (Team): Medical-Surgical Manufacturer/Direct Procurement Team, DLA Troop Support
  • Acquisition Workforce Team Achievement: DLA Distribution J7 Acquisition Team, DLA Distribution 

Information Technology Awards:

  • Information Technology Person of the Year: Jeffrey Williams, DLA Information Operations
  • Information Technology Program Manager of the Year: Kimberly Pisall, DLA Information Operations
  • Information Assurance Professional of the Year: Christopher Combs, DLA Information Operations
  • Information Technology Small Team of the Year: Directory Services Active Directory Team
  • Information Technology Medium Team of the Year: DISA Enterprise Voice over Internet Protocol Team

At the close of the ceremony, DLA Human Resources Communications Manager Kathy Rhem announced the last two award presentations.

“Presidential Rank Awards are the highest recognition available for career members of the senior executive service” she said.

DLA Human Resources Director Brad Bunn was honored at the meritorious executive level for his laudable efforts in several significant human resources focus areas and for improvements in the department’s ability to maintain a highly skilled workforce.

“For our final presentation today, I’m pleased to announce that Mr. Ted Case, DLA vice director has been named a recipient of the FY 2018 distinguished executive Presidential Rank Award,” Rhem said.

Case, who was named DLA vice director in March 2012, will retire from the agency with 46 years of combined military and civilian service.

As Williams presented Case with the award, he asked the audience to join him in a standing ovation to honor the vice director.

A reception followed the recognition ceremony in the Headquarters Complex cafeteria.