Unconventional virtual ceremony honors DLA Energy acquisition workforce

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

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Acquisition professionals are the indispensable ingredient to providing resilient energy solutions to the warfighter and whole of government.

To recognize the more than 150 employees who had significant career milestones and achievements over the past year, Defense Logistics Agency Energy for the first time held a virtual Acquisition Workforce Honors Ceremony, Nov. 4.

“Not every warfighter wears a uniform,” said DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Jimmy Canlas. “Everyone in this role is vital to the defense of this nation. We show up every day to support those who fight on the front lines.”

Master of Ceremonies Ditu Kasuyi, chief of DLA Energy Acquisition Workforce Development & Intern Center, welcomed the honorees and guests from his home office in Richmond, Virginia. He promoted a lively discussion by engaging employees in fun banter and encouraging feedback in the Defense Collaboration Service chat room. In an innovative twist, employees used a selfie app to post images of themselves watching the virtual event. More than 200 chat room comments were shared throughout the program congratulating honorees. 

“Putting on a virtual event is not easy, especially with the different types of technology platforms that we used,” Kasuyi said. “Thanks to everyone,  we were able to have a special event that had over 155 people in attendance.”

Gabriella Earhardt, director of DLA Energy Supplier Operations and the Head of the Contracting Activity, provided opening remarks acknowledging the long list of employees being recognized. Members from all across the agency acquisition team including contracting; purchasing; product, quality and manufacturing; and life cycle logistics fields and those who earned their Defense Acquisition Corps membership and contracting officer warrants.

“Thank you for not giving up or giving in,” she said. “Thank you for showing us what leaders look like and for giving hope to the new folks in the organization who might be wondering if all of the hard work is really worth it.”

DLA Energy historically holds the acquisition recognition program twice annually in an in-person formal event, Kasuyi explained. This is the first time the ceremony was held virtually. Throughout the past year, employees have had to stay flexible, adaptive and overcome many hurdles and obstacles to continue their education.

“Your resilience doesn’t surprise me,” Earhardt said. “No matter what life throws at you, you do not let the mission fail; it is just that simple.” 

“You continue building relationships with vendors and customers, awarding contracts, making phone calls, attending virtual meetings, completing data calls, handling ‘other duties as assigned’ and taking classes that hone your acquisition skills and lead to certification,” she noted. 

As guest of honor and keynote speaker, Canlas thanked the employees for persevering despite the unexpected challenges. 

“I personally commend each of you for completing the extensive training requirements necessary for your respective level of certification while still meeting DLA Energy mission goals,” Canlas said. “All of you have put in great time and effort to achieving this challenging and time-consuming goal despite challenges that couldn’t have been imagined a year ago.” 

Canlas reminded the employees that continuing education never ends, in a career or in life. 

“I challenge all of you to keep going; to not get complacent and take for granted your government acquisition career,” he said. “Seize every opportunity to sharpen the skillset you bring to the table. Invest in yourself – and perfect your craft.”

The honorees are as follows: 

Aviancia B. Applewhite
David E. Gerrie, Jr.
Myrtha Glaude
Nicole J. Johnson
Ross B. Paxton
Kierra L. Pineda
Joy E. Pitts
Timothy R. Stark
Rondaski S. Burley
Matthew J. Carroll
Christine George
Adam J. Gugelman
Jacqueline T. Imholte
Paul K. Johnson
Johnny E. McDonald, Jr.
Alisa B. Mitchell
Ashley R. Northam
Matthew R. Padfield
Ross B. Paxton
Ashley V. Reyes
Mary K. Richardson
Christopher T. Sampson
Jermaine M. Smith
Timothy R. R. Stark
Darren R. Taylor
Dustin J. Zeno
Gladys M. Abreu
Michelle N. Brown
Rondaski S. Burley
Zachary C. Cuca
Brandon E. Daniels
Mark A. Davis
Jamika C. Forde
Bryon L. Garner
Jerome A. Heath
Rosa B. Holbrook
Ashleigh N. Johnson
Ernest M. Mbandi
Agnieszka S. Mickins
Imani D. Mitchell
Tasha M. Piris
Crystal D. Randolph
Heather M. Thomas
Dominique L. Vest
Kirk M. Gamblin
Adam J. Gugelman
Jacqueline T. Imholte
Natasha S. Robinson
Darren R. Taylor
Adam J. Gugelman
Jacqueline T. Imholte
Natasha S. Robinson
Darren R. Taylor
Dominique L. Vest
Robert J. Bradley
Larry D. Robbins
Thomas C. Roelle
Jason T. Searls
Jacqueline Trevino
Richard J. Vicenty
Nicholas L. Braddock
Robert J. Bradley 
Tony E. Clemons
Michael E. Domen 
George Goff
Ronald J. Harris 
Mark Mizrahi
Jason T. Searls 
Jacqueline Trevino
Elena Van Meter 
Daniel J. Baniszewski
Kenneth R. Battle
Michael E. Domen
Robert A. Fox
Jacqueline Trevino
MacArthur J. Alexandre II
Stephen M. Borin
Janie G. Gallegos
Jessie Hamilton
Shara M. Hinkel
Benjamin E. Hubbard
Larry M. Mattson
Todd A. McDowell
Douglas H. Moehle
Daniel A. Ray
Samuel L. Rhodes 
Christopher M. Ricketson
Kevin L. Sessions
Levon Brown
Robert G. Carter
Nicholas D. Christensen
Richard W. Dickson
Rachel A. Dunlop
James A. Gilbert
Jessie Hamilton
Benjamin E. Hubbard
William T. Kennedy
Lawrence B. Pagtama
Shonda M. Rizo
Ruth G. Rodriguez
Ricardo L. Selby
Doris M. Viney
William E. Allen, Jr.
Benjamin A. Beadles
William J. Brennan
Clifton D. Broughton
Kristine G. Davidson
Patrick L. Draper
Rachel A. Dunlap
Jessica R. Evans
McCoy Geer III
Ezio J. Giallorenzo
Harlana L. Hazlett
Marlin R. Ingram 
Laniece A. Johnson
Sean W. Lucas
Anastasia L. Prado
Konrad D. Stutzmann
Levi W. Wells
Jack L. Whitaker
Steven J. Williams
Zachary C. Cuca
Carly A. Dubernas
David F. Grieco
Ashleigh N. Johnson
Armenthia F. Massey
Imani d. Mitchell
Avril A. Penn
Tanesha T. Price
Jamese N. Promise
Nina S. Taliferro
Heather M. Thomas
David B. Thompson
Jeremy E. Vatter
Dominique L. Vest
Jennifer M. Arthur
Roger T. Brown
Tammie D. Campbell
Shanice A. Gardner
Weston E. Goodman
Heather Kerns
James R. Knudson
Cynthia Lopez
Armenthia F. Massey
Augustus Patterson, Jr.
Clare E. Sanchez
Bonnie Sheehan
Careka C. Squire
Willard M. Ramseur
Heather M. Thomas
Ursula D. Waibel
Arlene Warren
Mark A. West
Joseph A. Yacovone
David F. Grieco
Imani D. Mitchell
Marcus J. Nolan
Jose Camacho
Rafael Gomez