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News | Dec. 18, 2020

DLA award winners announced, eight from Columbus workforce named

By Kristin Molinaro DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

Eight Columbus employees and two teams garnered top honors in the 53rd Annual Employee Recognition Awards announced by the Defense Logistics Agency this week.

Three award recipients are assigned to DLA Land and Maritime’s Land Supplier Operations Directorate, two work for DLA Installation Management – Columbus and the three remaining individual awardees are from the Safety and Occupational Health Division, Procurement Process Support Directorate and Joint Reserve Force, respectively.

Notably, Columbus three-peated in two categories, earning DLA Fire Officer of the Year and Achievement in Equal Employment Opportunity by a Supervisor awards for the third straight year. Columbus also claimed DLA Fire Department of the Year for the second year in a row.

Effective acquisition strategies, innovative procurement solutions and pandemic-related support were among the achievements cited in DLA Land and Maritime workforce nominations. Top 10 recipient Ryan Collier received overall honors for representing DLA Land and Maritime in the Agency Synchronization Operations Center and as an acquisition specialist supervisor. Safety Professional of the Year Cecil McQuain was lauded for his work in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, which swiftly manifested an urgency to protect the DLA workforce through hazard identification and control procedures. Contract Review Branch Chief Lilli Hopson and Supervisory Contract Specialist Linda Allensworth netted accolades for their acquisition contributions and leadership involving complex contracting challenges and critical readiness needs.  

The COVID Response Team comprised of members throughout DLA earned the Acquisition Workforce Team Achievement. DLA Land and Maritime team members included Army Maj. Steven Vandezande, Marine Corps Maj. Jeffrey Cisek, Air Force Capt. Michael Weber, Air Force Capt. Michael Ricci, Navy Lt. Loc Nguyen, Navy Lt. Margaret Anderson and Ryan Collier.

Due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, the ceremony typically held at Fort Belvoir will instead be pre-recorded and released to the workforce in late January. 

DLA’s employee recognition ceremony was established in 1967 and featured awards for its 10 Outstanding Employees of the Year, a category DLA still recognizes. The program has since expanded and currently features 11 categories and 47 awards.

The Columbus award recipients span six categories and are as follows:



  • Ryan Collier, Land Supplier Operations



  • Achievement in EEO by a Supervisor or Manager: Donald Schulze, Deputy Director, Land Supplier Operations



  • Joint Reserve Force Company Grade Officer of the Year: LT David Skinner, USNR



  • DLA Fire Officer of the Year: Captain Ryan Bardar, DLA Installation Management – Columbus
  • DLA Emergency Communication Center Dispatcher of the Year: Mark Pennington, DLA Installation Management – Columbus
  • DLA Fire Department of the Year: DLA Installation Management – Columbus



  • Safety Professional of the Year: Cecil McQuain, DLA Land and Maritime Safety and Occupational Health Division



  • Acquisition Support Professional of the Year: Lilli Hopson, Procurement Process Support Directorate, Contract Review Branch Chief
  • Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement: Linda Allensworth, Supervisory Contract Specialist, Land Supplier Operations Emergency Buy Team
  • Acquisition Workforce Team Achievement: COVID Response Team


Click here for the full list of winners.