New Cumberland, Pa –
Name: Steven Forster
Organization: DLA Headquarters, Chief Data and Analytics Office (J6D)
Years of Service: I have 15 years of government service as of this November 2022. I started as a material handler at Defense Depot Susquehanna, Pennsylvania and spent the next eight years with the U. S. Army Security Assistance Command. The last seven years have been with DLA at DLA Distribution Headquarters on the J4 Business & Technology team and the J3 Operations Workload & Performance Metrics teams. I have been a member of J6D since April 2022, but I have worked with the team for the past several years.
What is your job title, and what do you do, specifically?
My current job title is Management and Program Analyst. I develop solutions for data and analytical issues for internal and external business intelligence departments that provide value in support of the warfighter and support DLA strategic goals.
What is your background, including experience and credentials? How does your background help you be successful in your current role?
After receiving my Lean Six Sigma Black Belt in 2011, I realized everything I’ve done before and after that certification revolved around performance improvement. From user experience and website design to implementing multiple successful projects at all levels throughout the government, I see problems differently than other people. While at DLA, I’ve acquired several certifications from Qlik in data analytics, data literacy, advanced geo analytics development, data modeling, and advanced visual interface design. I also received my Maynard Operation Sequence Technique certification for developing engineered labor standards, which expanded my procedural documentation and quantification experience with real-world impacts at DLA. With this education and training, I’ve developed business intelligence applications that have been used throughout the DOD and DLA in support of the COVID-19 vaccine and test kit missions. Most recently, publishing the new Logistics Response Time application at DLA is a championed example of how an automated application developed from transactional data from an authoritative system can support several of the DLA and DOD strategic goals.
What aspect(s) of your current job gives you the most personal satisfaction? Why?
I find the greatest satisfaction in delivering value to my team and the agency. The collaborative environment in J6D fosters innovative thinking and problem solving across multiple initiatives. Each team member is willing to help where they can and have an open dialog ensuring we are all working towards the same goal. Because of this environment, I find myself wanting to produce better products that support my team and the agency. I find the most satisfaction in my current job whenever I can provide support that helps everyone succeed and move forward.
What are some of your passions outside of work?
From gourmet cooking, working on cars, construction, home remodeling, landscape projects, building furniture and deep-sea fishing, I always find a way to keep busy. I enjoy participating in charity golf events in my area that support youth sports teams, animal shelters and the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) organization that supports families of fallen law enforcement officers in central Pennsylvania. My top passion is movies and home theater. Movies are my “thing,” and I don’t miss a significant blockbuster and have an extensive movie collection. I can’t wait to start my dedicated home theater build this winter that will let me have a better movie-watching experience than most commercial theaters.
What advice do you have for DLA employees?
The best advice I can offer DLA employees is to embody everything about this famous quote from Seneca, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” It is important to understand that luck is not synonymous with fortune. The preparation you put into your work, education, and skill development will be realized when you have an opportunity to contribute and produce something of value. You are creating your own luck in capitalizing on those opportunities.
What other self-initiated efforts have you worked on?
My latest self-initiated effort is the continuation and advancement of my education. I am currently enrolled at the University of Arkansas at Grantham, working towards my Master of Business Administration. I feel advancing my formal education is essential for my personal and professional development. Completing the Build Your Roadmap to Success leadership event this spring opened my eyes to the wide breadth of leadership training opportunities that DLA provides. I worked with my supervisors to select different options to continue my leadership development at DLA. I am excited about how I can grow and contribute more to DLA in the future.