News | May 24, 2021

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Spotlight: Katherine Krefft

By DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

The Federal Asian Pacific American Council national 2021 theme is “Advancing Leaders Through Purpose-Driven Service.” This year’s theme is the start of the new theme series for 2021-2024, highlighting leaders who believe in leading with values, offering encouragement and feedback, and putting employees first.

DLA Aviation spotlights Katherine Krefft, a customer support technician in the Customer Operations Directorate in San Diego, California. She has worked for DLA Aviation for a little over three years.

What does the 2021 Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you? The 2021 Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month means celebrating those who identify from these backgrounds and ethnicities. It means learning more about them and what their culture and values mean to them, and how it adds value to others and the world.

Tell us something unique about your heritage, country or origin or family traditions. Something unique about my family is just how diverse we are from the multiethnic background, where most of my mom’s family was born (the Philippines) and how silly and special we have been over the years especially when we had more frequent gatherings. Being Filipina has been a really cool experience for me: our family is close-knit, very welcoming, we love to gather, have a good time, eat good food, sing, dance and play games. Throughout my life most people are so surprised to learn that I am part Filipina because my skin is fair (I have many other ethnicities and background from my dad’s side as well). Many are very thrown off if I say something in Tagalog (the Filipino language). Almost every holiday gathering includes lots of Lumpia, because it is so yummy! If you have not tried Lumpia, we highly recommend it! [Lumpia are various types of spring rolls commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines. They are made of thin paper-like or crepe-like pastry skin called “lumpia wrapper” that are filled with savory or sweet fillings, often served as an appetizer or snack, and might be served deep fried or fresh] Tip: mix some vinegar with soy sauce or coconut aminos if you are trying to be healthier and add in some fresh cut garlic to dip your lumpia in!

What misconception about your heritage or country of origin would you like to correct? I think there are misconceptions about every heritage and background; in general, I think I would just invite us all to get to know each other better by dropping our egos and coming from a kind place. We all have more in common than we think, and life is so much better when we can intentionally and sincerely come from a more loving place. My grandma always said, “Be good to each other!”

What do you consider one of your most important accomplishment that you would like to share? This accomplishment can cover any topic: health, academia, professional, etc. One of my most important accomplishments is helping children and military veterans when I was a pre-licensed therapist. Although it was an unpaid position, it was one of my most rewarding, to be able to help people on that level who were homeless and dealing with mental health and substance abuse. It was a challenge when you are someone who cares deeply for others and always want to take the pain away, but when you have a heart for service it can really help change the world for the better.  I truly believe in community, culture and connection, and being good to ourselves and each other. It is the only way to get through life.

What do you want the DLA Aviation workforce to take away from celebrating this particular month? I would love for our DLA workforce to continue to work towards being more kind and accepting of each other. We spend so much time at work and work-life can be so much better when we all try to build up morale by just simply being more kind.