News | Jan. 13, 2022

DLA award winners announced, seven from Columbus workforce named

By Stefanie Hauck DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

Seven Defense Supply Center Columbus employees and one workforce team have been recognized as top performers at the Defense Logistics Agency’s 54th Annual Employee Recognition Awards for the calendar year 2021.

Three award recipients are assigned to DLA Land and Maritime’s Land Supplier Operations Directorate, one from the Business Process Directorate, one from Procurement Process Support Directorate and the remaining two award recipients work for the DLA Installation Management – Columbus Morale, Welfare and Recreation Office and Joint Reserve Force, respectively.

Carrie Readnour, administrative assistant for Land Supplier Operations, and Elijah Loughridge supply systems analyst for Procurement Process Support Directorate’s Order Fulfillment, earned top 10 honors in DLA for their efforts in supporting DLA’s mission in supporting the Warfighter. Readnour supported the director of Land Supplier Operations, the deputy director and four division chiefs after other administrative assistants left the organization and served as the dedicated administrative assistant for the Batteries, Tires, Engines, Armament, Industrial Product-Support Vendor, Kitting and Shared Services Division as well as the Military Vehicles Division. Loughridge generated $30,500,080.93 in capital for the agency over the past 12 months in his efforts to support the ongoing War Room Project, where he directly facilitated the expedited approval to manually release and fulfill 1,747 requisitions.

Mindy Cook, contract specialist in Land Supplier Operations was awarded the Achievement in Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)  for her continued advocacy for inclusion through her experience as a member of the Silver Medal-winning USA Woman’s National Goalball Team at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in August of 2021, and her ongoing efforts to recruit more people with disabilities into the DLA workforce. Cook’s recent entrance to the public spotlight has allowed DLA to showcase its EEO program and open doors to address barriers to recruitment.  Cook actively informs people with disabilities of opportunities as jobs are posted and helps them with the application process. Her efforts have allowed DLA to continue to hire and retain highly qualified disabled individuals over the last several years. Cook mentored a new employee with a visual impairment, allowing the employee to have someone to relate to, receive advice on what additional requests could be made, and understand how to navigate the organization.

Marine Corps Maj. Gregory Zerr was awarded the Joint Reserve Force Company Grade Officer of the Year for serving as the Marine Corps liaison and Operations Officer for the DLA Land and Maritime Joint Reserve Team.  Zerr provided essential contributory support to the Naval Nuclear Enterprise by conducting statistical analysis and modeling to improve operational readiness across the force.

Elizabeth Cisek, administrative assistant for DLA Installation Management – Columbus MWR earned the FMWR Program Management Award for her work in positioning the DSCC MWR operations and facilities for success in an ongoing COVID-19 environment. Cisek served as the point-person for development and continual revisions of phased reopening plans for DSCC MWR, which set the DLA standard. Cisek coordinated the purchase and distribution of personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and safety equipment required for the safe reopening of all DSCC MWR facilities. She also developed extensive COVID-19 resource binders for each program, which included augmented operations checklists, PPE inventories, safety inspection checklists, training records and other resources employees could reference during the ever-changing reopening process. Her focus on working with her team to meet the mission equated to the safe and successful reopening of DSCC MWR.

Shivane Patel earned the Excellence in Acquisition award for her cybersecurity expertise in acquisition. Patel worked as a procurement policy analyst in the procurement policy division for DLA Land and Maritime’s Business Process Support Directorate during the nomination timeframe. She’s since been promoted to DLA Acquisition’s Procurement Policy office. Patel is recognized as one of the very few agency cybersecurity procurement policy experts. Patel’s contributions to DLA related to the implementation of both Section 889 (Prohibition on Contracting for Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment), and Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident reporting have have better positioned the agency to protect the nation and warfighter from our adversaries. She also assisted DLA HQ Acquisition Procurement Policy Division (J72) in drafting contract modification language for about 1,600 active Land and Maritime long-term contracts, amendment of about 170 open manual Long Terms Contract (LTC) solicitations, and resolicitation of about 650 open manual small purchase solicitations. 

John Lidonnice, integrated supplier team chief for Batteries and Tires in Land Supplier Operations is the DLA Acquisition Support Professional of the Year for his significant contributions in small business, incentivizing competition and innovative acquisition. Lidonnice employed “hot shot transportation,” which is a tandem driver system that allows continuous driving without interruption, allowing shipments to arrive in 3-5 days for much needed batteries for the U.S. Forest Service in its battle against multiple wildfires in the western United States. Lidonnice is also the campion for Small Business HUBZone and AbilityOne Programs, as well as Land Supplier Operations Aged Purchase Request (PR) Program champion, where he manages the effort to reduce aged PRs.

The Military GPS User Equipment Increment 1 End of Life Procurement Team earned the Acquisition Workforce Team Achievement Award for putting in place two End of Life procurements for Application Specific Integrated Circuits critical to the secure and safe operation of GPS equipment across a multitude of weapon system platforms. This was a first-of-its-kind EOL/First-Time procurement executed by DLA. The Land and Maritime ASIC team members are Caroline Watson, Edward Wingo, Hoa Ta, Eric Forson, Joseph Werstak, Meghan Whaley, Karen Day, Shaun Pennington, Travis Robertson, Steven Loper, Cedric Vessell, Gary Woodell, Charles Underwood, Lindsay Schuman and Brandy Warner.

Due to ongoing COVID-19 protocols, the ceremony will once again be virtual and pre-recorded.  It will be released to the workforce on DLA’s YouTube Channel and DVIDS in late February or early March.

DLA’s employee recognition ceremony was established in 1967 and featured awards for its 10 Outstanding Employees of the Year, a category DLA still recognizes. The program has since expanded and currently features 11 categories and 47 awards.

The Columbus award recipients span five categories and are as follows:

TOP 10 EMPLOYEE

Category A: Carrie Readnour, Administrative Assistant, Land Supplier Operations

Category B: Elijah Loughridge, Supply Systems Analyst, Procurement Process Support Directorate’s Order Fulfillment

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY AWARDS

Achievement in EEO by an employee: Mindy Cook, Contract Specialist, Land Supplier Operations

MILITARY PERSONNEL AWARDS

Joint Reserve Force Company Grade Officer of the Year: Maj. Gregory Zerr, USMC

INSTALLATION SUPPORT EXCELLENCE AWARDS

FMWR Program Management Award: Elizabeth Cisek, Administrative Assistant, DLA Installation Management – Columbus MWR

ACQUISITION EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Excellence in Acquisition: Shivane Patel, Procurement Policy Analyst, Business Process Directorate during nomination timeframe, now works in the DLA HQ Acquisition Policy, Compliance and Pricing Division, J72

Acquisition Support Professional of the Year – John Lidonnice, Integrated Supplier Team Chief, Batteries and Tires, Land Supplier Operations

Acquisition Workforce Team Achievement: Military GPS User Equipment End of Life ASIC Team