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News | Sept. 30, 2020

Above and Beyond: July employees of the month demonstrate dedication to team success

By Natalie Skelton, DLA Aviation Public Affairs

While many professionals pursue excellence on a personal level, the July honorees of the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation’s Employee of the Month Award demonstrated their desire to achieve excellence as part of a team.

The July recipients are John Shanker, a materials expediter for the Storage and Distribution Division with DLA Aviation at Ogden on Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah; and Daniel Schell, a contracting officer representative with Defense Logistics Agency Aviation at Corpus Christi, Texas.

As a DLA Aviation materials expediter, Shanker recently sought out a position that would actually add to his workload — volunteering for reassignment to a busier aircraft shop service center.

Nominator Tara Sugimoto, branch chief for the Storage and Distribution Division said, “While supporting the aircraft shop service center, [Shanker] has completed a total of 322 picks with no discrepancies and has maintained an outstanding 100% delivery response time.”

Sugimoto added that Shanker also processed more than 400 door-to-floor assets with a 99% response time. These dedicated efforts resulted in surpassing the 90% delivery response time metric standard.

“With little notice, John represented DLA Aviation by briefing an Ernst and Young audit of Air Force programs on the transfer and accountability processes of exchangeable material,” she said.

Shanker is also recognized for continuously seeking out innovative ways to improve his professional knowledge and for developing an esprit de corps with his team.

“I have the desire to contribute even more than I currently am,” Shanker said. “I’m very appreciative of my job; I stay grounded; and I am always trying my best to improve processes and exceed current expectations. I strive to improve on a personal level as well as contribute to the team. There is always more to learn, and I have a healthy appetite to learn.”

Daniel Schell, contracting officer representative with the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Customer Operations Directorate, Army Customer Facing Division’s forward presence at Corpus Christi, Texas, is no ordinary number-cruncher. Schell recently achieved and is sustaining a bin fill rate of nearly 99% for 10,893 national stock numbers that support more than 800 repair programs for the Corpus Christi Army Depot.

Schell’s forward presence supervisor, Melissa Lopez, said “Daniel took the initiative to lead the forward presence team and its mission in the absence of the supervisor [due to illness].”

Schell collaborated with vendors, product specialists and supply planners across DLA major subordinate commands to address a number of issues and reduce customer delays by 11%.

That same work also allowed him to develop a process for mapping prime vendor demand forecasting units to the depot in order to maximize collaboration and effective planning for material demand.

“He demonstrated knowledge, professionalism and integrity at all times during the interaction between internal and external customers and carried out tasks to completion,” Lopez said.

Schell attributes his success to cross-collaboration with internal and external teams.

“Cross-collaboration is an important tool in the bag that helps all stakeholders achieve common ground in supporting the warfighter,” Schell said.

“I have a unique situation in which I am an Aviation employee working for a DLA Troop Support contract at an Army repair depot that repairs rotor wing components for all branches. Cross-collaboration is a necessity for me to achieve success, and I use my networking skills to take what works—and what doesn’t—from all my collaborative partners.

“Being on a forward presence team provides its own sets of rewards and challenges in terms of urgency to the customer,” he added. “But for me, having the collaborative support back in Richmond is imperative.”

About DLA Aviation Employee of the Month
Employee of the Month is awarded to DLA Aviation non-supervisory civilian employees. Two recipients are selected based on individual general schedule pay levels – one from GS 1-9 (Category 1) and one from GS 10-13 (Category 2). Recipients receive a coin, a certificate of achievement from the DLA Aviation deputy commander and a cash award.