Headquarters complex employees ring in the holidays

By Dianne Ryder DLA Public Affairs

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Following an unexpected federal holiday to honor the late President George H.W. Bush, committee members, sponsors and planners rallied to bring music, talent and an annual holiday tradition to McNamara Headquarters Complex employees at the Dec. 6 Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Heads of the HQC tenant agencies helped Defense Logistics Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams boost holiday spirit as he led the crowd in a chorus of “Jingle Bells” before addressing members of the workforce who manned the rails and filled the complex’s main lobby.

Williams thanked the Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff and the DLA chaplain, as well as the planning committee, sponsors, the Mount Vernon High School choir and the preschoolers from the HQC Child Development Center for their part in the event.

The director expressed appreciation for what all employees do daily for the complex and for the nation. He urged everyone to remember in prayer the nation’s military and civilian members, especially those who are deployed and unable to be with family during the holidays.

Just before the tree lighting ceremony, DLA hosted an agencywide open house event to encourage employees to mingle and share refreshments. This year, employees received “passport” stamps at the DLA headquarters front offices, each representing a different geographic location where DLA has a presence. Festivities included an employee talent show and an “Ugly Sweater/Most Festively-dressed Contest,” which boasted 11 contenders.

Contest award winners were announced at the opening of the tree lighting event.
Ugly Sweater:                                                      
1st Place Winner - Mark Jackson, DLA Information Operations
2nd Place Winner - Theresa Taylor, DLA Public Affairs
3rd Place Winner - Erica Parrish, DLA Onsite Inspection

Most Festively Dressed:  
1st Place Winner - Sara Doxey, DLA Logistics Operations
2nd Place Winner - Carol Coleman, DLA Finance
3rd Place Winner - Elsie Valdes, DLA Protocol

DLA Human Resources Communications Manager Kathy Rhem announced the first, second and third-place winners of the complex’s annual door decorating contest. She thanked the judges who took the time to view more than 35 doors decorated throughout the complex and the agency’s Lorton, Virginia, facility.

1st place winner - Defense Technical Information Center, Suite 1948
2nd place winner - Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Suite 2608
3rd place winner - DLA Installation Support, Suite 3339

As parents snapped cell phone photos, Child Development Center teachers led the children in three musical selections. Williams then asked them to sing one more chorus of “Jingle Bells” to welcome a special guest. As the children sang and jingled bells attached to their wrists, Santa Claus and his elves descended the stairs into the atrium to distribute gifts to delighted preschoolers.

After the ceremony, Williams encouraged employees to take part in a holiday social in the HQC cafeteria, complete with refreshments and entertainment.