News | Jan. 17, 2019

In good company - DLA leaders learn from each other through working group

By Natalie Skelton DLA Aviation Public Affairs

A meeting of some of the best and brightest minds at Defense Logistics Agency Aviation occurs monthly through the DLA Aviation Leadership Working Group, an organization created to provide a peer network of and for supervisors. Officers in the group serve one-year terms, and this year’s new 2019 officers are:


President – Army Lt. Col. Clarence Montague

Vice President - James “Travis” Beasley

Secretary - Maria Ryan

Coordinator - Lisa Alexander


The Leadership Working Group has been active since 2014, and hosts monthly supervisor meetings with representation from each organization. There are also quarterly forums that are open to all supervisors. It works in partnership with the Senior Leadership Council and other DLA Aviation senior management groups.


LWG officers and supervisors from each directorate, including forward sites, gather to share experiences and lessons learned through leadership, sharing best practices that help strengthen bonds between managers and resolve common problems.


Throughout 2018, the LWG hosted guest speakers who provided lessons in leadership. One speaker was John Michel, a TED (technology, entertainment, design) Talks speaker with a doctorate in Transformational Leadership, business leader and recognized expert in culture, strategy, and individual and organizational change.


Other guests included leaders from the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Chester, Virginia, and Army Col. John Smith, chief, Army Customer Division, Customer Operations Directorate, DLA Aviation.


Rennae Kimbrough, procurement supervisor, Engines and Auxiliary Components Division, Supplier Operations Original Equipment Manufacturer Directorate, DLA Aviation, who was the 2018 secretary for the group, said Smith’s presentation focused on the importance of life balance, particularly the balance between work and family.


“We have received a thumbs-up from supervisors and leaders about all of our guest speakers,” Kimbrough said.


Julia Roquemore, outgoing 2018 LWG president and chief, Aviation and Airframes Division, Supplier Operations Commodities Directorate, said the forum was developed for leaders by leaders of the organization. Roquemore said she believes she is better because of the forum and the interaction with her peers that it has enabled.


Marita Hawkins Beckles, chief, Air Force Foreign Military Sales and Civil Aviation Team, Air Force Customer Facing Division, Customer Operations Directorate, served as last year’s coordinator for the LWG. Jason Sagadraca, branch chief, Post Award, Supplier Operations Commodities Directorate, served as vice president.


“My expectation in this position was to be able to reach out to some of our new supervisors and leaders, and to provide them with information they can use in their daily supervision [duties],” Hawkins Beckles said. “Not only do I believe that we were able to reach others, but I also gained additional knowledge by communicating with various organizations. This was definitely time well spent.”


The next meeting is scheduled to take place at the Lotts Center on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, Jan. 28, 2019.