News | Feb. 28, 2019

Black History Month Spotlight: Sam Watson

By DLA Energy Public Affairs

Editor's note: This year's Black History month national theme is “Black Migrations” honoring African Americans in motion. Just like their ancestors, these DLA Energy employees are driving forward, progressing their lives and careers in positive ways.

My name is:

Sam Watson 

I am:

Supervisory Customer Account Specialist, DLA Energy Americas at Houston, Texas.

Describe your job in a sentence:

I manage the Customer Support team for direct delivery fuel non-capitalized Department of Defense customers. My team is the primary customer facing point of contact for ordering, invoice management, unfulfilled and unliquidated customer orders for our region.

How long have you worked at DLA?

Nineteen years. I started working at DLA Energy Korea Facilities Management Office in May 2000 after transferring from Navy Fleet Industrial Supply Center Fuel Department in San Diego, California.

What is your favorite thing about working for DLA?

Helping to solve customer issues. I never can anticipate the everyday challenges and issues my team and I will face. I enjoy working with a large customer service base because I have great DLA Energy civilian and military employees working with me. They are a varied group of professional experts with a wealth of DLA Energy experience who work diligently to support the Warfighter. I’m also very appreciative of the DLA employee benefits of telework, educational training and physical fitness. DLA Energy is an excellent place to work!

What are your best memories of working here?

Being able to help customers with emergency requirements. One specific memory was when I received a requirement for smoke oil only five days prior to the required delivery date to support the Navy Blue Angels Air Show in Pensacola, Florida. The DLA contract for ordering smoke oil stipulates 10 work days, so the contracted vendor could not support the requirement. I contacted Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the only other customer to have an inventory of smoke oil within 1,000 miles. Tinker AFB fuels manager approved a transfer sale of 3,500 gallons of smoke oil. I then contacted several trucking companies to arrange for a truck to transport the product and, in the end, we were successful in supporting the air show requirement.

How do you make a difference?

Simple basics. I treat the customer with respect, have a positive attitude, communicate clearly with the customer and provide the best support possible. We make every effort to not only meet the customer requirements but also let the customer know we are here to assist.

How are you driving forward and progressing in your life and career in positive ways?

Overall, while my career has progressed a touch slower than I would have liked, I have had the opportunity to experience various different fields and push through road blocks. I started my civil service career as a GS-1 and was recently promoted to a GS-13. I would say that progress means continually moving forward, even if that forward motion may be a bump in the road or an exceedingly high wall. As my career moves towards retirement, I look forward to enjoying some traveling with my wife, fishing and getting started on some home projects.