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News | Sept. 22, 2017

Five leaders join the ranks of DLA Hall of Fame members

By Dianne Ryder

The Defense Logistics Agency inducted five leaders into its Hall of Fame in a Sept. 21, 2017, ceremony at the McNamara Headquarters Complex. Several current and former senior leaders from throughout the agency attended, as well as dignitaries from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the families of the honorees.

The new inductees were honored for their contributions to DLA through 2016, when each was nominated and then chosen by the selection committee.

After thanking the audience and all who made the ceremony possible, DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams began his opening remarks.

“I have always felt that you can tell a great deal about the character and values of an organization by the way in which it honors its people,” he said. “This morning’s Hall of Fame ceremony is as much about this great agency as it is about our teammates we will induct into the Hall of Fame.”

Williams said the 19-year tradition of the agency’s Hall of Fame ceremonies honors the “lives and legacy” of its members. He referred to them as the “game-changing emeritus members of the DLA family.”

“These five inductees collectively served 183 years,” he said. “By any measure, that is extraordinarily impressive, especially when you consider the incredible impact these members have had on our agency and the service they’ve rendered to our agency.”

The first Hall of Fame ceremony took place on Sept. 11, 1998. Williams noted the historical significance of the date as well as the fact that two pillars of DLA were inducted that year, the agency’s first director, Andrew T. McNamara and Karl Kabeiseman, who served as DLA general counsel from 1974 to 1994.

Williams said there are three reasons to continue DLA Hall of Fame ceremonies:

To preserve our history: “We should be grateful and understand that our success would not be possible were it not for the contributions of all of those who came before us,” he said. “So we stand on the very foundation that they built.”

To promote our values: “On this occasion, we talk about integrity, we talk about resiliency, diversity, innovation accountability and excellence – because all of our inductees readily display these values. Hearing their inspiring stories motivates us to pursue these values in our daily work.”

To celebrate excellence: “Here, we have examples of phenomenal leaders who set the bar extremely high and establish aspirational goals – they’re our role models in many cases, mentors … and we should celebrate their contributions.”

“This celebration is also about motivating you and motivating me as we focus on the future – a brilliant future, built on a foundation laid by an extraordinary past,” he said. “That brings us to this year’s inductees into the Hall of Fame.”

• Retired Army Lt. Gen. Kathleen M. Gainey, who served as commander of DLA Distribution from June 2002 to June 2004 and was instrumental in forging the organization’s emergency essential program but credits her success to her civilian counterparts.

• Deborah L. Greger, as the first woman director of DLA Logistics Information Services, she earned the respect of her subordinates and peers through approachability and transparency.

• Donald E. Peschka, former DLA Energy Bulk Fuels deputy director, whose legacy of serving warfighter needs through consistent, on-time bulk fuel deliveries is mirrored in the principles of those he’s mentored.

• Mary L. Studevant, former DLA Aviation deputy director of Support Services, whose dedication to government service and educational excellence not only inspired others, but catapulted her from secretary to senior leader.

• Larry J. Wilson, the former DLA Information Operations Enterprise Solutions executive director, began his career as an intern with a public affairs background, but became a pioneer of early IT modernization; implementing several time- and money-saving DLA programs and systems that are still used today.

“The success of this great agency and its phenomenal reputation over the past 56 years can be directly attributed to the actions of remarkable individuals like Kathleen, Deborah, Donald, Mary and Larry,” Williams said. “The DLA Hall of Fame is a special honor for those who have had a monumental impact on the agency, and I can safely say that these five 2016 Hall of Fame inductees make us extraordinarily proud.”

Williams said the single thread that connects one generation of DLA professionals to every other generation is this simple phrase: “Service to the warfighter and our nation.”

Senior leaders and special guests in attendance included Kristin French, Principal Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness; retired Army Lt. Gen. Mitchell Stevenson, former Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics; retired Maj. Gen. Hawthorne “Peet” Proctor; former Army Quartermaster General and 2005 Hall of Fame member; retired Maj. Gen. Charles Henry, former agency deputy director and 1999 Hall of Fame member; and former Vice Director and 2014 Hall of Fame member, Mae DeVincentis and among other DLA alumni, DeVincentis’s husband, Dan.

More information on the DLA Hall of Fame members can be read in the online DLA Hall of Fame.