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News | July 7, 2021

Three supervisors earn DLA Aviation’s April Leadership Award

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

Defense Logistics Agency Aviation has long recognized ties between its success and the dedication of its workforce. This month, the activity is highlighting three supervisors, who tied for the DLA Aviation April Leadership Award.

The award recognizes leaders who promote and demonstrate the four dimensions of transformative leadership: idealized Influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration.

DLA Aviation Leadership Working Group Vice President Brian Kovach has only been in his position a few months, but says it is the first time they have had a three-way tie.  He said while ties are unusual, the command group elected to recognize all nominations with the highest vote total. 

The four dimensions of transformative  leadership.
The DLA Aviation Leadership Award recognizes the four dimensions of transformative leadership.
The four dimensions of transformative  leadership.
Three supervisors earn DLA Aviation’s April Leadership Award
The DLA Aviation Leadership Award recognizes the four dimensions of transformative leadership.
Photo By: DLA Aviation Public Affairs
VIRIN: 200826-D-D0441-1002


Mercedes Melendez, a planning and support team supervisor at DLA Aviation at San Diego, was nominated by her supervisor Barry Haynes who supervisors the Planning and Support Division.

In his nomination, Haynes said Melendez sets goals, expects more and refuses to settle.

Haynes recognized Melendez for her inspirational motivation.

“She creates new strategies to improve performance and facilitate meetings with the customer, other DLA teams, and procurement [employees],” he said. “She has established a way to identify each team’s role in supporting the warfighter and initiating tasks and goals to achieve the best possible support.”

An example Haynes highlighted was how Melendez’ inspired her team to think outside of the box and to enhance, change, and upgrade how they present information to their leadership.

Her team came up with what they call “The State of the Platform,” a briefing/open discussion tool provided to the commander and the deputy director that provides an awareness of weapon system readiness and parts that may degrade readiness. Through the briefings, her team is also able to help educate the audience on what the planning team is analyzing, researching, collaborating on with the customer and the actions taken to mitigate future supply constraints.

The tool helps those working for her to understand their responsibilities and holds them accountable for improved results. During the award period, her team achieved fill rate and material availability goals up to 94%.

Haynes also praised Melendez for her focus on people to generate and fulfill goals.

“She excels in focusing on strategies to improve performance and customer service,” he said. “She encourages employee input and openly solicits ideas.”

Amanda Parker

Amanda Parker is a division chief in the DLA Aviation Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate.  Randy Dortch, DLA Aviation Strategic Acquisition Programs deputy director, submitted her for the award.

“Amanda leads by example, while including her team in complex assignments to allow them to learn from her as they complete the tasks together,” said Dortch. “She practices individualized consideration with her team as she coaches them to tackle initiatives with limited oversight.  Amanda is an exceptional leader.”

Parker’s team manages the Air Force Industrial Product Support Vendor Gen III Program, which supports over 50,000 items. Through her leadership and guidance, the team’s current program performance exceeds the 99.5% first pass acceptance metric, ensuring the customer has the needed item on time over 99.5% of the time.  In April, Parker led a DLA Aviation wide effort with her team to collect contract information in support of a small business audit, compiling over 1,000 files for validation of coding, bundled acquisitions and other audit requirements.

Kevin Ryan

Kevin Ryan is the Aviation Logistics Operations Center chief for DLA Aviation.  Moses Williams, one of nine members on Ryan’s team, submitted him for the April leadership award.

Williams’ said Ryan is DLA Aviation’s go-to resident expert when faced with long or short suspense’s from DLA Headquarters and other agencies. 

“Over the past four years.  Kevin has continuously demonstrated his desire to lead and excel.   Kevin uses his extensive organizational skills to assist in a successfully ran ALOC,” he said. “My assumptions and beliefs of Kevin’s knowledge sharing, transformational leadership, intellectual stimulation, idealized influences and individualized considerations makes him a true example of a leader.”