COLUMBUS, Ohio –
This year's Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime Hall of Fame ceremony was one of several firsts. It was the first ceremony to be held since the pandemic began, the first to induct multiple classes at once and the first to have an all women class inducted since the Hall’s inception in 2005.
This year not one, but three classes were inducted into the DLA Land and Maritime Hall of Fame in a joint ceremony June 29 at the Defense Supply Center Columbus’ Operations Center Auditorium. The event was livestreamed for associates who were unable to attend in person due to ongoing social distancing restrictions.
“It is unprecedented to be inducting three classes all at one time in one ceremony,” said DLA Land and Maritime Deputy Director Kenneth Watson. “I remember making the first round of six calls over two years ago, saying I’m not sure when we are going to be able to get together, hopefully soon…and here we are.”
Eleven of twelve distinguished individuals who put service before self and made significant and enduring contributions to DLA Land and Maritime were officially inducted.
David Anders, Class of 2022, was unable to attend due to COVID precautions and will be inducted into the Hall next year. Anders is the former Integrated Support Team Chief for Maritime Supplier Operations who retired in 2020.
Collectively this year’s classes have served 448 years with 401 of those years being in service to the warfighter as employees of DLA, Watson said.
The DLA Land and Maritime Hall of Fame was established to honor and preserve the memory of past associates for their exceptional leadership, service, dedication to duty and contributions in supporting the DLA mission.
“The men and women you see before you established themselves as some of our most influential visionaries and performers,” Watson said. “They didn’t come to work just to do their jobs, they looked for ways to improve this agency, improve Land and Maritime, to improve this installation, to improve our mission effectiveness, to make things easier and better for our Warfighters.”
The multi-year induction ceremony brings the Hall of Fame membership to 91 members since its inception in 2005, with 18 also inducted into the DLA Hall of Fame at DLA headquarters in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Most started in small but important roles and worked their way up within the organization. They were interns, clerk typists, supply clerks, shipment clerks, inventory managers, inventory management specialists, customer assistance representatives, a weapons system support manager, a program analyst, a general equipment leader, a procurement clerk and a public affairs specialist.
They worked on platforms such as the high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle and Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle which were instrumental in America’s success in many different operations and conflicts including the Gulf War and Operations Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn and Enduring Freedom.
And they were trailblazers in contracting, IT, finance, public affairs, logistics and procurement creating applications, practices and processes still used by DLA Land and Maritime today, Watson said.
And when each one spoke after being recognized with their Hall of Fame plaque and medallion, not one said they achieved this honor alone. They thanked all the people who helped them along the way.
They rose to great heights and contributed much to the agency not only because they did their jobs well day in and day out for decades but more for motivating others to shine and supporting teamwork in all facets of the organization to meet and exceed mission goals.
Advice given in their remarks centered on a common theme of teamwork, mentorship and collaboration as the key to their successes.
“Teamwork was essential to get the parts to the warfighter in Iraq and Afghanistan and to fill those dreaded backorders,” 2020 inductee Renee Carter said of her work on the Mine Resistant Armored Protected Vehicle program. “We brainstormed, we coordinated and collaborated, and we got it done. The end result was that we saved lives.”
2022 inductee Linda Johnson, who focused on mentorship throughout her long career and beyond, said, “Value people whether peers, subordinates or supervisors. Everyone has something to offer and when people are valued, they will be more productive. Learn from one another, embrace differences and realize how much we have in common striving to achieve the same goals.”
Some of the inductees stated Land and Maritime was a second family to them.
2022 inductee Anna Pino said at Land and Maritime she could be herself and she was accepted for who she was and that she truly loved her job and the people she worked with.
“It’s been a remarkable journey. Together we shared challenges, celebrations, joyful rewards and hard work,” Pino said. She remarked that the memories she has of her work will live forever in her heart.
Jerimiah Taylor accepted on behalf of his late father 2021 inductee John Taylor and said that John thought of everyone he worked with in Installation Management as family.
“I hope my father is an inspiration to you all as he is to me in the sense that you don’t just come to work to come to work, you make the most out of each opportunity given to you, you cherish each other and make as many relationships as you can along the way. Because at the end of the day, the people around you are what make a community so great,” he said.
Another theme of the day was that these classes of inductees came from across the enterprise and from all levels within DLA Land and Maritime.
These professionals “earned this recognition not because of a position they held, or a rank they attained, rather through their own daily efforts, sacrifice and dedication,” Watson said.
2020 inductee Debra Perry said the secret to her success was in the art of listening and at the end of her remarks gave this sage advice to those coming up the ranks behind her.
“Work for a cause not for applause,” she said. “Live life to express not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, make your absence felt.”
The Hall of Fame is open to all DLA Columbus based personnel, DSCC employees and personnel from Land and Maritime detachments around the world including forward operating locations.
Watson emphasized that many phenomenal associates have passed through the gates of DSCC but twelve of them who we honor today have set themselves apart.
“This distinction is important as it defines one of the quintessential qualities that make the Land and Maritime family special: that every person on our team regardless of rank or position contributes to what is arguably the most rewarding mission in the Department of Defense – equipping our Warfighters with the tools they need to defend our nation,” he added.
DLA Land and Maritime Chief of the Fluid Handing and Nuclear Enterprise Support Office Support Division Sarah Winegardner served as Mistress of Ceremonies, Resolution Specialist Lisa Griffin performed the National Anthem and Management Program Analyst Mary Moore delivered the invocation.
Read more about each inductee and their significant contributions below.
Class of 2022
David Anders, former Integrated Support Team Chief, Maritime Supplier Operations
Anders demonstrated exemplary effort in meeting mission needs and performing his duties with paramount dedication and superior standards. His leadership and vision helped to transform DLA Land and Maritime into the world class organization it is today. He helped modernize the resolution specialist job series through introducing innovative practices and processes that are still used today. His ability to identify problems and improve internal processes contributed to the overall success of the DLA Land and Maritime mission.
Linda Johnson, former Deputy Director, Land Customer Operations
Johnson distinguished herself by exceptionally meritorious service in positions of increasing responsibility culminating as both the deputy director of DLA Land Customer Operations and DLA Land Supplier Operations. Her ability to lead challenging cross-functional and cross-organizational efforts such as the DLA Materiel Cost Reduction Plan, M2 Machine Gun Kit team, Afghan HMMWV initiative, and the Ground Forces Readiness Driver list epitomizes her advanced leadership and collaboration skills. A recognized expert in the areas of organizational culture, Johnson vastly improved the esprit de corps and morale of the workforce, enabling her subordinates to become more efficient and ultimately improving the overall work environment.
Anna Pino, former Lead Supply Systems Analyst, Business Process Support
Pino demonstrated exemplary effort in meeting mission needs and performing her duties with paramount dedication and superior standards. She served as the enterprise coordinator which facilitated organization between specialists in finance, procurement, planning, technical and quality, asset management, defense depots, vendor managed plants, DLA transaction services, defense logistics information service, and order fulfillment sustainment. Pino was a key player in documenting and streamlining the order management processes, developing process cycle memorandums, creating standard operating procedures and job aids to comply with audits and being a resource for end users still used today for reference. Her ability to support and advise on new initiatives and dedication to the workforce contributed to the overall success of the DSCC mission.
Ben Roberts, former Deputy Director, Maritime Supplier Operations
Roberts distinguished himself through exceptional service in three prominent senior leadership positions during his career at DLA Land and Maritime: Deputy Director, Maritime Supplier Operations; Deputy Director, Land Supplier Operations; and Comptroller. Roberts’s leadership, professionalism, and dedication inspired the workforce and enabled them to provide unparalleled levels of customer support. His use of analytics in decision-making and increasing efficiencies through advancing process improvements set a precedent within the agency and became a benchmark for other leaders. Roberts’ leadership in the areas of diversity and inclusion was so prominent that he was recognized by the agency on multiple occasions.
Class of 2021
Jon Bosworth, former Lead Business Analyst, J8 Finance
Bosworth demonstrated unwavering, sustained dedication to the Department of Defense and DLA’s mission. His roles in transitioning DLA financial operations to the Working Capital Fund and transitioning budgeting and financial execution processes to the Enterprise Business System laid the groundwork for future generations of financial and customer support initiatives. During his tenure at DLA Land and Maritime Finance, Bosworth was instrumental in the submission of decades of budgets that supported the execution of over $42 billion dollars. As a lead financial architect supporting MRAP and Industrial Product Support processes, he personally receipted over $1.83 billion dollars in military interdepartmental purchase requests, and tracked them through execution. His enduring role in training, guiding and mentoring associates and managers throughout his career were foundational to the sustained excellence of the Finance Directorate in support of Land and Maritime missions, and are a hallmark of excellence for future generations to emulate.
John Taylor (posthumously), former General Maintenance and Operations Supervisor, DLA Columbus Installation Management
Taylor demonstrated exemplary effort in meeting mission needs and performing his duties with paramount dedication and superior standards. His remarkable leadership and vision helped to facilitate the mission of DSCC. As the supervisor of the Installation Management Building and Equipment Maintenance Branch, Taylor successfully led a team with very diverse trade skills including equipment mechanics, vehicle inspectors, carpenters, plumbers, painters and sign makers. His ability to forge this group into a highly motivated and successful unit by fostering team pride was both recognized and appreciated. While Taylor was very involved with all aspects of base maintenance, the role he most cherished during his 19-year tenure was as the leader of the “Snow Warrior Team” that worked to keep the streets and sidewalks clear during Central Ohio weather events. His snow removal team was recognized for their accomplishments on many occasions and continues to provide superior service to this day in honor of his memory.
Class of 2020
Renee Carter, former Material Planner Supervisor, Land Supplier Operations
Carter is recognized for her exceptional performance in her 42-plus years in service for DLA at the Defense Supply Center Columbus. Carter is respected and admired in the supply community for her incredible knowledge, willingness to help others, and tremendous commitment to supporting the warfighter. In support of the deployment of the MRAP weapon systems, the MRAP Integrated Support Team was created in 2007 within the Land Supplier Operations at DLA Land and Maritime. Carter was transferred to the team as the inventory management supervisor. Carter’s leadership and knowledge were the critical backbone for the success of the MRAP team and the project. This assignment followed a regular trend for well over a decade of Carter being assigned as the supply lead on important projects or teams within the organization. She was truly the “quarterback” that successfully led the entire team to perform in an outstanding and successful manner.
Debra Perry, former Chief, Executive Programs Office
Perry transformed the DSCC Public Affairs Office to better meet its customer needs, advised senior leadership on protocol and media issues and intentionally built a bridge of understanding with federal and defense agencies throughout Columbus and Central Ohio. Perry was instrumental in transitioning the “Regioncy” magazine to “The Columbus Federal Voice” newspaper expanding its reach from the DSCC workforce to the whole Central Ohio federal community, increasing the newspaper’s distribution to over 8,000 employees throughout Columbus and Central Ohio. In her tenure as Executive Programs Chief, Perry was the DSCC Combined Federal Campaign coordinator, and chairwoman for the CFC Local Federal Coordinating Committee for the Central Ohio and West Virginia CFC in 2012 and 2014. She introduced innovative ways to achieve fundraising goals resulting in DSCC exceeding its 2014 goal of $255,300 for the first time in three years.
Barbara Robertson, former Director, Business Process Support
Robertson demonstrated diligent and superior commitment to warfighter support through communication and innovation. Her leadership spanned both formal and informal positions. Robertson was always the go-to person no matter where she sat in the organization. She developed new strategies and was the driving force behind Land and Maritime’s 90% Material Availability strategy. Robertson was able to balance being the voice of reason while at the same time being the driving force for change. Robertson has always been a catalyst for change and as the Director of Business Process Support, she was able to use her influence to make improvements to metrics and processes. An example was her focus on predictive analytics. Robertson pushed analysts to develop predictive models for everything within the contracting environment. Robertson was always on the cutting edge. She was metrics lead as Land and Maritime rolled into Business Systems Modernization and was also one of the first leaders in demand planning in DLA.
Martha (Marty) Sass, former Acquisition Division Chief, Strategic Acquisition Programs
Sass demonstrated exemplary effort in meeting mission needs and performing her duties with paramount dedication and superior standards. Her leadership and vision helped to greatly increase the quality and timeliness of DLA Land and Maritime acquisitions. She acted in the role of supervisory supplier relationship manager, where she worked to develop strategic relationships with some of DLA’s largest suppliers by way of strategic supplier alliances. She was a catalyst to some of the organization’s strategic contracting programs such as the Customer Pay Industrial HMMWV Recapitalization Program. While Sass was involved in numerous high-level contracts during her career, one of the most visible was that of the MRAP program. Sass was particularly impactful in her participation in the program where she drove efforts to expeditiously execute multiple long-term contracts. Due to her efforts, the weapon system experienced unprecedented levels of readiness. Her ability to develop others has contributed to the overall success of the DLA mission and will benefit the organization for decades into the future.
Debra Schultz, former Lead IT Specialist for HR Applications, DLA Information Operations
Schultz was the consummate professional. In her career, she demonstrated exemplary effort in meeting the warfighter’s needs. Her hard work and leadership helped mold J6 and Land and Maritime IT systems. Schultz collaborated on teams and/or led the development efforts for many applications still in use today such as the DSCC Event Scheduler, DSCC Visitor Notification, DSCC Vehicle Registration, and DSCC Message of the Day. One of the last contributions Schultz made in her career was helping J6 move the Learning Management System to the cloud, meeting a DoD mandate. Schultz’s work accomplishments reflect her dedication to her job and to the DLA mission.
Susan VanMeter, former DLA Enterprise Business System Portfolio Manager, DLA Information Operations
VanMeter demonstrated exemplary effort in meeting mission needs and performing her duties with paramount dedication and superior standards. Her leadership and vision helped greatly increase the quality of information technology support to accomplish the DSCC mission. Her ability to develop new initiatives and take risks to improve internal processes contributed to overall success. She oversaw the orderly transition to the Enterprise Business System and was responsible for supporting more than 90% of the system. In 2006, VanMeter was named as Site Director of Information Operations at Columbus and became responsible for all IT support for the DLA Columbus campus, including laptop/desktop support, local area network, audio visual support, mobile platforms and printing services. She also served as systems manager for most of DLA’s Human Resource applications, with responsibility for incorporating major and minor enhancements as well as maintaining their daily operations. One of her most notable achievements was the first ever successful Continuity of Operations failover of the production system to an alternative processing site at St. Louis, Missouri. For this effort, she and her team were nominated by the Program Executive Officer for the DLA Director’s Strategic Goal Award “Warfighter First – Make Promises and Keep Them”.