News | Oct. 21, 2020

Leadership Award recipient empowers confidence in team

By Natalie Skelton, DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Travis Dunn is nothing short of inspiring, according to the people who nominated him for the August Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Leadership Award.

According to the nomination submitted by Michele Thomas, Deputy Division Chief, and Sherri White, Integrated Supplier Team Lead, both within DLA Aviation’s Supplier Operations Original Equipment Manufacturer Directorate, “Travis is a natural coach. He effortlessly motivates and inspires his employees to go above and beyond.”

Dunn, DLA Aviation’s chief of Supplier Operations Original Equipment Manufacturer Directorate’s, Aviation Engines and Auxiliary Components Division, supervises more than 70 employees who range in experience from just a few weeks to several decades. Within this varied team, Dunn has relied on training and mentoring to identify the driving forces behind each individual and empower them with confidence to share their strengths and special abilities.

Thomas and White added that Dunn shows his appreciation to team members by highlighting accomplishments in a monthly message.

“He goes a step further by outlining the impact these accomplishments have on our mission,” they said.

Dunn says that with such a highly dedicated and motivated workforce, the recognition piece comes easily.
“Everyone understands and takes great pride in their work. We have monthly and quarterly recognition ceremonies, weekly shout-outs, and regular submittals for command level recognitions,” Dunn said. “Although the presentation piece has shifted to a virtual one, the recurrence and frequency has not changed.”

White receives March Leadership Award: nurtures success through relationships
This DLA Aviation Leadership Award was created to recognize Aviation leaders who espouse and exemplifies the four Dimensions of Transformative Leadership (Courtesy Graphic)
White receives March Leadership Award: nurtures success through relationships
Leadership Award recipient empowers confidence in team
This DLA Aviation Leadership Award was created to recognize Aviation leaders who espouse and exemplifies the four Dimensions of Transformative Leadership (Courtesy Graphic)
Photo By: Natalie Skelton
VIRIN: 200826-D-D0441-1001

Dunn was also recognized for his willingness to share resources, lessons learned, and process improvements across Integrated Supply Teams and directorates.

Dunn says the team has put a pretty robust training program in place with job aides, standard operating procedures, virtual classes, and dedicated trainers.

“This was critical as we had a massive influx of new employees that coincided with the start of the pandemic,” Dunn said. “Virtually onboarding and setting up one-on-one and group training was a challenge but the infrastructure in place helped a great deal with the transition. We have some of the best first line supervisors, training leads, and contracting officers on center and their efforts were instrumental on that front.”

“His high expectation of us is matched by his willingness to … build strong professional relationships with counterparts, suppliers and customers,” Thomas and White said.

Dunn’s competitive spirit drives his ability to find creative and innovative ways to motivate the division, then he celebrates the successes as a team while also recognizing individual contributions, they add.

“Through his leadership, the division has been able to meet and exceed the challenges required to support the Warfighter through award throughout, aged purchase request reduction, and while maintaining a 90 percent material availability. His dedication, patience, resiliency, and support mean the difference between a good leader and a great leader.” Said Thomas and White.

As the recipient of the August award, Dunn will be recognized at an upcoming DLA Aviation Leadership Forum. He also receives a DLA Aviation Commander’s Coin, a certificate and a designated parking space. Recipients may also receive either a cash award or a time-off award.