News | Jan. 28, 2021

DLA individuals, teams honored in virtual award ceremony

By Beth Reece

Defense Logistics Agency employees rose during America’s time of need to support the pandemic response in spectacular fashion, DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic said at the 53rd Annual Employee Awards Ceremony. The event was prerecorded at DLA Headquarters and includes footage from dozens of Zoom meetings with award recipients since the pandemic made the traditional ceremony held at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, impossible.

“The COVID pandemic has forced us to think differently about so many things, which has led to creative solutions like this virtual format. There has never been a DLA Employee Awards Ceremony quite like this one,” she said.

The program recognizes leadership and hard work in support of the agency’s mission with 54 awards in categories such as leaders of the year and acquisition excellence. Nominations were plenty, Skubic said, and employees’ efforts have been noticed by military and federal government leaders around the world.

“They know that DLA provides effective and efficient solutions to the logistics challenges they face. That’s a powerful testament to you, to us, the DLA team. Your dedication, work ethic, knowledge and talent make our mutual success possible,” she added.

DLA Distribution took the most awards with 19 individuals and teams being recognized followed by DLA Headquarters with 11 awards; DLA Land and Maritime, 9; DLA Aviation, 8; and DLA Energy and DLA Troop Support, 3 each.

Recipients included Lloyd Cromwell, a material handler for DLA Aviation Warner Robins Commodities Group, who helped fulfill 1,146 orders for F-15 parts with an average delivery time of roughly half the 90-minute goal in support of the Air Force’s 572nd Commodities Maintenance Squadron.

Jabari Giles of DLA Distribution received the New Civilian Supervisor Leader of the Year award for refining programs to reduce delivery times. He also orchestrated on-time delivery of over 575,000 high-priority orders and reduced bills of lading by 60%.

In the small team category, DLA Troop Support’s Construction and Equipment COVID-19 Strike Team was lauded for providing $1.2 billion in support for the pandemic. The team’s efforts include decontamination systems for personal protective equipment, protective equipment for nationwide nursing homes and support to the Strategic National Stockpile.

DLA Energy’s Installation Energy Team received the Acquisition Support Professional of the Year Team Award for helping to procure natural gas for over 200 installations with an overall cost savings of $40 million.

Awards were also presented to the top safety officials, information technology team, firefighters, police officers, and individuals and teams with achievements in equal employment opportunity.

Skubic said employees’ collective accomplishments epitomize excellence and the true spirit of DLA.

“I want you to know that I appreciate the positive impact you make on the [defense] department and on our agency,” she said. “The success of any organization comes down to its people, and at DLA, we have the very best.”

The agency’s first employee awards ceremony was held in 1967 when the Defense Supply Agency’s third director, Air Force Lt. Gen. Earl Hedlund, said he wanted to recognize employees who were “willing to do more than their job descriptions called for and who were doing their jobs in a superlative fashion.”

A complete list of awards follows.

10 Outstanding Employees of the Year:

  • Air Force Tech Sgt. Griselda Hewett, DLA Logistics Operations
  • Paolo Pappalardo, DLA Distribution
  • Air Force Tech Sgt. Zachary Beggin, DLA Energy
  • Lloyd Cromwell, DLA Aviation
  • Jennifer Bertone, DLA Energy
  • Ronda Mensch, DLA Office of Inspector General
  • Cassandra Glos, DLA Distribution
  • Ryan Collier, DLA Land and Maritime
  • Sharon Croll, DLA  Acquisition
  • Navy Lt. Cmdr. Hugh Wilson

Leaders of the Year:

  • Richard Alexander Jr., DLA Aviation
  • Jose Gonzalez, DLA Installation Management
  • Jabari Giles, DLA Distribution
  • Ester Wade, DLA Logistics Operations

Annual Employees of the Quarter:

  • Jed Ballesteros, DLA Distribution
  • Timothy Nelson, DLA Aviation
  • Peter Boone, DLA Logistics Operations

DLA Team Performance:

  • Small – Construction and Equipment COVID-19 Strike Team, DLA Troop Support
  • Medium – Packing, Packaging, Preservation and Marking Team, DLA Distribution
  • Large – Agency Synchronization Operations Center’s COVID-19 Response Team, DLA Logistics Operations

DLA Service Members of the Year:

  • Field Grade Office of the Year – Marine Corps Lt. Col. Greg Duesterhaus, DLA Logistics Operations
  • Company Grade Officer of the Year – Air Force Capt. Lisa McCarthy, DLA Aviation
  • Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year – Army Sgt. 1st Class Ryankeith Penaflor
  • Junior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year – Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Hornton, DLA Distribution
  • Joint Reserve Force Field Grade Officer of the Year – Army Reserve Lt. Col. Dominick Versace, DLA Distribution
  • Joint Reserve Force Company Grade Officer of the Year – Navy Reserve Lt. David Skinner, DLA Land and Maritime
  • Joint Reserve Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year – Air Force Reserve Master Sgt. Elijah Loughridge, DLA Aviation
  • Joint Reserve Force Junior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year – Navy Reserve Petty Officer 1st Class Salina Miller, DLA Distribution

Equal Employment Opportunity Awards:

  • Outstanding DLA Employee with a Disability – John Slone, DLA Finance
  • Achievement in EEO by an employee – Kristen Roberts, DLA Distribution
  • Achievement in EEO by a supervisor or manager – Donald Schulze, DLA Land and Maritime
  • Achievement in EEO by an Organization, category one – DLA Aviation Jacksonville
  • Achievement in EEO by an Organization, category two – DLA Office of Inspector General

Installation Support Excellence Awards:

  • DLA Police Officer of the Year – Officer Bryan Spikes, DLA Installation Management San Joaquin
  • DLA Lead Police Officer of the Year – Lt. Mark Bowen, DLA Installation Management Richmond
  • DLA Supervisory Police Officer of the Year – Lt. Michael Geesaman, DLA Installation Management Susquehanna
  • Outstanding Police Activity of the Year – DLA Installation Management San Joaquin
  • DLA Firefighter of the Year – Firefighter/paramedic Bret Mitchell, DLA Installation Management Susquehanna
  • DLA Fire Officer of the Year – Capt. Ryan Bardar, DLA Installation Management Columbus
  • DLA Fire Service Instructor of the Year – Firefighter Kelly Lemmons, DLA Installation Management Susquehanna
  • DLA Fire Prevention Program of the Year – DLA Installation Management Susquehanna
  • DLA Emergency Communication Center Dispatcher of the Year – Mark Pennington, DLA Installation Management Columbus
  • DLA Fire Department of the Year – DLA Installation Management Columbus

Enterprise Safety Excellence Awards:

  • Safety Professional of the Year – Cecil McQuain, DLA Land and Maritime
  • Safety Champion of the Year – Enrique Garza, DLA Distribution
  • Employee Safety/Voluntary Protection Program Team Award – Aerial Delivery Glass Team, DLA Distribution Susquehanna

Security Professional Awards:

  • Junior Security Professional of the Year – Tyrell Rice, DLA Distribution
  • Senior Security Professional of the Year – Donald Bartlett, DLA Installation Management Richmond

Acquisition Excellence Awards:

  • Excellence in Acquisition – Karen Ghani, DLA Distribution
  • Acquisition Support Professional of the Year, individual – Lilli Hopson, DLA Land and Maritime
  • Acquisition Support Professional of the Year – Installation Energy Team, DLA Energy
  • Acquisition Workforce Team Achievement – COVID-19 Response Team, DLA Troop Support, DLA Aviation, DLA Acquisition, DLA Logistics Operations, DLA Land and Maritime, etc.
  • Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement – Linda Allensworth, DLA Land and Maritime

Information Technology Awards

  • Information Technology Team of the Year, large – Information Technology Audit Team, DLA Information Operations