DLA Land and Maritime Level I Mentees graduate the mentorship program

By Dana Thornbury DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime hosted the Level I Mentoring Program graduation ceremony and reception Mar. 1 at Defense Supply Center Columbus.

“The Level I Mentoring Program provides the opportunity for employees to find their niche in the organization, build strategic relationships and gain a broader perspective of DLA’s mission and future,” said guest speaker and program graduate JoAnn Phillips.

This one-year program for associates below pay grade level GS-9 and equivalent focuses on self- and career-development. The 31 graduates were able to benefit from various mentors through situational mentoring.

DLA Land and Maritime Deputy Director James McClaugherty said, “Trust is the glue of an organization and what relationships are built upon. And building trust and character is exactly what we’re trying to do with mentoring.”

Many of the mentees joined the program to learn more about various career paths as well as receive professional development and networking opportunities.

Protégé Olivia Wells’ favorite part of the program was the time she spent with her mentor and the knowledge she was able to gain from her about life experiences and a work philosophy called the DLA way.

Another popular program favorite among the mentees was access to senior leaders and the opportunity to gain from their knowledge, experience and insights as well as learning about their various leadership styles.

The mentorship program extends beyond networking. Graduate Cory Mason said his biggest takeaway from the program was “being involved with programs such as the mentoring program, Toastmasters and Leadership Development Association among others. It’s important not only for networking but also for training to prepare you for future leadership and goes a long way when seeking career progression.”

McClaugherty’s final words to the Level I graduates encouraged each graduate to become a mentor, informal or formal, and share the knowledge they’ve received. He highlighted the competitive edge pillars (job performance, mentoring, volunteering, mobility, horizontal thinking and attitude) explaining to the protégés how these are the differentiating factors for success.

The mentors also gained from the program.

Mentors agree that they were able to grow from the opportunity by learning about the mentees’ experiences and perspectives.

The mentor/mentee relationship extends beyond the program.

Mentor Adrienne McGeachy said she’s “had more than 20 mentees over the years and more than 90 percent of those relationships still remain in place. We bounce things off each other all the time.”

Kathy Drahosz, Training Connection, Inc. mentoring champion, echoed McGeachy indicating that the mentee/mentor relationship is a long lasting one and beneficial to all. She said that McClaugherty has been one of the best mentors she’s worked with over the last decade, and the work he does at DLA Land and Maritime sets the standard for mentors and other champions.

Concluding the graduation, the Training Connection presented McClaugherty with their Mentor of the Year Award.

DLA Land and Maritime personnel interested in learning more about the mentorship program should contact People and Culture Directorate at 614-692-4655.