Empowering leaders at LULAC

By Irene Smith DLA Energy Public Affairs

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Two Defense Logistics Agency Energy employees attended the League of United Latin American Citizens 90th annual national convention and exposition in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 10 -13.

Resolution Specialist Christian Sivelle and Supply Systems Analyst Carmen Tallada attended the four-day convention that brought together more than 20,000 Latino leaders from across the country for seminars and events. 

Sivelle has been with DLA Energy Americas West in San Pedro, California, for six years. He said he found the speakers very inspirational. 

“I had a great time, and I met a lot of great people,” he said. “My favorite part of the conference was hearing the stories of the Latino Veteran Warfighter. One in particular, was a class to help Veterans set-up a disability claim. A lot of personnel do not know how to do that let alone have someone take the time to help them.”

Employee development is an integral part of DLA Energy’s culture plan and a critical tool in attracting, developing and retaining a diverse, skilled, and agile workforce.

“LULAC is one of the federal government’s affinity groups that help promote the participation and advancement of minority and women managers and employees in the federal government,” said DLA Energy Equal Opportunity Director Darrel Bogan.

LULAC is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities according to its website. Its mission is to advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of the Hispanic population of the United States.

“Energy’s EEO & Diversity office sees LULAC as a strategic partner to help us increase Energy’s Hispanic demographics,” Bogan said.  “We are 2% away from agency goals.” 

An 11-year Energy employee, Tallada found the conference informative and helpful.

“I was asked if I wanted to go, and I said yes,” Tallada said. “I am making a habit of getting out of my comfort zone and attending as many activities as I can.”

The convention featured workshops offered by the Federal Training Institute and included classes on Leadership Skills, Building High Competitive Teams, Project Management, Navigating Conflict, Feedback, Performance, Inclusion and Diversity, Ethics, Senior Executive Service Competencies, Leading with Trust and many others.

“DLA Energy takes the need to support the multiple diversity workshops like LULAC seriously,” Bogan said. “Each year we aim to send as many Energy employees as possible, but often times budget restraints keeps us from sending the amount of people we’d like. It shows the agency’s firm commitment to this great organization.”

As part of the DLA People and Culture Plan, DLA Energy offers the opportunity to attend other affinity groups including Blacks in Government, Federally Employed Women, Federal Asian/Pacific Council and Society of American Indian Government Employees

“I hope the message is reinforced that they are valued as employees and their culture and heritage is appreciated and needed to help us deliver first-class service to the Warfighter,” Bogan said. “For those employees who have worked hard and done well in their jobs, it’s a great reward to attend.”