Fort Belvoir –
The Defense Logistics Agency inducted six new members into its Hall of Fame during an in-person ceremony at its headquarters Aug. 17.
DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic, who served as the host of the ceremony, said DLA would not be the agency it is today without the work and dedication of this year’s inductees.
“You're inspiring, as are all 137 members of the Hall of Fame,” Skubic said to inductees. “You're the leaders and the pathfinders and the innovators and the visionaries on whose shoulders we now stand today.”
This year’s inductees are:
Case worked at DLA for 26 years, arriving in 1992 as a Navy commander. As the deputy chief information officer, he led his team in replacing the agency’s 40-year-old legacy IT supply system and transformed its business support processes with the Business Systems Modernization - Enterprise Resources Program. In 2010, he became the DLA chief information officer and then become the vice director in 2012, leading some of the agency’s most complex and wide-reaching initiatives.
Case thanked the “thousands of DLA leaders and associates who worked so hard, accomplished so much over the years – and I took credit for; you know who you are.”
He also thanked his wife while keeping his promise to her to be brief and avoid too many jokes.
“I’m not sure I deserve to be in this Hall of Fame, as all I did was work hard, have fun and try to make it fun for everyone else around me,” he said.
Fantasia served in the federal government for 23 years, retiring as the head of direct delivery fuels for DLA Energy. She ensured uninterrupted fuel support to military and federal agency customers such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan and to the Federal Emergency Management Agency during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.
The events of Sept. 11 profoundly changed the trajectory of her career, she said.
“Little did I know that … I would spend the rest of my career supporting the warfighters in Afghanistan and Iraq,” she said.
Getting back into the workforce after a nine-year break to have children was challenging at first, she said.
“Like many other women, my career was not a straight line,” she said. While interviewing for a procurement clerk position, she was asked who would take care of her children when she went back to work.
“My answer was really quick, and I’m surprised I got the job,” she said, adding her husband ran a business from home and was able to care for their children.
She praised the leadership at DLA Energy for its dedication to training and mentoring future leaders, as well as its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“When I started in Energy in 1991, the leadership was predominantly men,” she said. “When I retired, I saw more women and people of color held leadership positions. The glass ceiling was cracked, if not shattered, and that makes Energy and DLA a stronger and more resilient organization.”
Ford retired in 2016 as the deputy director of the clothing and textiles supply chain at DLA Troop Support. Known as the “father of prime vendor,” he oversaw the rollout of the subsistence prime vendor program that’s still in use today.
He credited his time with DLA for being able to travel the world and the privilege of working alongside outstanding people. He was a manger for his last 25 years at DLA Troop Support, and attributes his management style to those who managed him.
“I managed to gain flexibility, and that's the biggest thing I learned from other managers,” Ford said. “Give the people a job and let them do it. If they need your help, they'll tell you give them the resources they need, and don't micromanage. Don't look over their shoulder. If you're going to do that, do it yourself.”
Hoffheins served as the administrator for DLA Human Resources Services from 2009 to 2016. Her work continues to have a lasting impact on the agency’s mission and human resources department. She led the development of a comprehensive onboarding program for all new DLA employees, regardless of location, organization, job series or grade. The DLA Enterprise Newcomers Getting a Global Entrance is now considered an essential program for promoting the employee culture and is a model of efficiency.
“When I began working at Red River Army Depot back in August of 1965, if anyone had even suggested this little girl from Red Lick, Texas, would be here right now, I would not have believed him,” Hoffheins said.
She thanked her family and companion for enduring numerous moves and job changes throughout her career, as well as her coworkers at DLA.
“Leading good people makes the job so much easier, and I share this honor with them, the men and the women of DLA [Human Resources] and DHRS, whose unflagging efforts every day are the key to providing world-class support to all DLA employees, thousands of other DOD agency employees and our warfighters,” she said.
Perkins served in DLA for 34 years, retiring as the DLA Aviation chief counsel. When he took the role in 2006, he adapted the office to mission changes mandated by Base Realignment and Closure 2005. Perkins led DLA’s first efforts to improve climate and culture, serving as a DLA culture champion. He also planned and conducted the Office of General Counsel’s annual Continuing Legal Education Seminar.
Perkins said he was honored by his nomination but also humbled because he didn’t make a difference alone, adding that his achievements were team efforts.
“When I came out of law school, I was hell-bent on going to DLA,” he said, adding that he wanted to make a difference but quickly realized he made mistakes along the way. “But hopefully, I learned from those. All of the successes were ours. We succeeded.”
As director of procurement process support, Price initiated changes and helped DLA support 3 million national stock numbers and over 1,800 weapons systems with consumable parts. She led the implementation of a new Enterprise Business Management System for DLA to ensure the inclusion of additional missions DLA gained under BRAC 2005. She also led another DLA-wide effort called “time-to-award” that reduced acquisition lead time and streamlined purchasing processes for consumable supply parts.
In a pre-recorded message, Price outlined a few reasons why working at DLA is “the greatest job in the world.”
“Where can you go to work and have such a direct impact on your nation and world events?” she asked, adding that 26,000 DLA employees support five military services, multiple combatant commands, allied nations, and federal, state and local agencies.
“It is really important to love what you do,” she continued. “If you don’t have the right subordinates, the right leader or the right job, don’t be afraid to change your world. Shake it up, search for your niche.”
Each inductee received a medal to wear during the ceremony, as well as a commemorative plaque, a congratulatory letter from the DLA director and a DLA Hall of Fame lapel pin. Inductees’ spouse or family member received a certificate of appreciation.
While attendance was still limited in the auditorium due to social distancing requirements, the ceremony marked the first in-person Hall of Fame induction ceremony since 2019.
Some members from the 2020 and 2021 DLA Hall of Fame, who were previously inducted in virtual ceremonies, attended, including Tony Poleo; Sandra Miller-Thomas; Mary Beth Spann-Mank, who represented her husband, the late Paul Mank; Denise Canada; Jim McClaugherty and Stephen Sherman.
Edward Bittle, a 2003 DLA Hall of Fame member and former deputy director of what is now DLA Energy, died Aug. 14 and was remembered during the ceremony.
"He was a respected leader in the fields of acquisition and petroleum logistics, and he will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on," Skubic said.
During her speech, Fantasia took a moment to remember Bittle, whom she called a “contracting legend.”
More information on the DLA Hall of Fame and its members can found at the Hall of Fame page.