News | Oct. 18, 2021

Hard-work pays off: July employees of the month receive recognition for a job well done

By Dominique J. Shelton DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

Stephen Adams, sustainment specialist in the Planning and Support Division of the Customer Operations Directorate for Defense Logistics Agency Aviation at Cherry Point, North Carolina, and Latoya Whitehead, contract specialist in the Supplier Operations Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Directorate for DLA Aviation in Richmond, Virginia, were both named DLA Aviation Employee of the Month for July.

Employee of the Month is awarded to DLA Aviation non-supervisory civilian employees. Two recipients are selected based on individual general schedule pay levels – one from GS 1-9 (Category 1) and one from GS 10-13 (Category 2). Recipients receive a coin, a certificate of achievement from the DLA Aviation deputy commander and a cash award.

“I take pride in what I do, so receiving this award feels good,” said Adams. “It feels really good to be recognized for all the hard-work I put in.”

As a sustainment specialist, Adams’ actions during the rating-period yielded positive results and directly contributed to DLA meeting Fleet Readiness Center East’s material requirements. 

In support of the H-53 Sea Stallion program, Adams submitted 38 DLA1913 forms titled Adjusted Stock Form to support future forecasted retail sales, engaged supplier operations with 32 post award requests to engage vendors for possible expediting, initiated three manual stock transfers to ensure the material resided on hand, engaged supplier operations with 18 purchase requests referrals to expedite contract awards with an average lead time of 191 days and procurements valued at $22,116.

Originally named the Sikorsky S-65, the H-53 Sea Stallion commonly referred to as H-53 is a U. S. Marine Corps heavy-lift troop transport helicopter.

“Stephen is a dedicated DLA employee committed to supporting Fleet Readiness Center East’s H-53 production-line requirements,” said Garland James, a supervisory inventory management in the Planning and Support Division of the Customer Operations Directorate. “His work ethic is beyond reproach and is a continuation of his successful 22-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps.”

In addition, Adams’ efforts resulted in the overall H-53 platform unfilled orders count being down by 8-11% the past 18 months. According to the award citation, these numbers are impressive because the H-53 is an aged platform that provides the toughest issues related to diminishing manufacturing sources and unplanned material requirements. 

“Adams understands the importance of maintaining a high-piece part material availability for the H-53 aircraft,” James said. “His willingness to partner with material management personnel, customer support managers, and weapon systems managers to pursue alternate sources has been very extraordinary. From pushing to have purchase requisitions awarded, purchase orders expedited, safety levels set and adjusted, and emergency buys executed, he is a mainstay in the Planning and Support Aircraft Branch.” 

Similar to that of Adams, the category 2 recipient Whitehead’s performance for the month of July was outstanding.

“Receiving this award means the world to me, and I don’t take it for granted,” Whitehead said. “Just being nominated by my division is a great honor; but I am very humbled and appreciative to have been selected.”

During the rating-period Whitehead led a team that worked to reduce the backlog of Pratt & Whitney rapid delivery release orders which dated back to October 2020. Her and her team completed 107 pricing redetermination actions and 187 total contracting actions. It was during this time that she also took over as the lead contract specialist for the Lockheed Martin price pending effort and worked seamlessly with the prior team to transition the workload into the division.

“Latoya embodies the characteristics of someone who is organized, efficient and dependable which makes her an asset to our division as well as the DLA team,” said Daniel Sink, integrated supplier team lead in the Supplier Operations Original Equipment Manufacturer Directorate, DLA Aviation.  “She always seems to have her ‘ducks in a row’ with regards to her work which leads to very efficient work output metrics. This combined with being a dependable team player sets Latoya up for boundless success.”

In addition, Whitehead took on extra duties throughout the rating period while the current first-line supervisor was out on maternity leave. One of these duties consisted of establishing a daily call between herself and her team members in an effort to provide easily accessible assistance and training in the virtual environment. These efforts proved to be successful as the team met their adjusted award metrics for each month that Whitehead’s assistance was provided.

“Not only is Latoya always willing to help her superiors with assigned tasks she will also drop everything to help a fellow colleague usually by phone and screen sharing with whatever questions they may have,” Sink said. “Recognizing our people shows compassion to our workforce and offers gratitude for the hard work people like Latoya put forth every day to support the warfighter. It is for this reason that I feel recognizing Latoya is the least we can do as an organization.”

“Receiving this award serves as confirmation to me that hard work, perseverance and positivity will go a long way,” Whitehead said. “I truly believe that if you continue to do your best and stay positive in all things you will be rewarded in one way or another.”