Distribution town hall honors employees, focuses on VPP

By Emily Tsambiras DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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Recognizing employees and rededicating the organization’s commitment to safety was the theme of DLA Distribution’s town hall June 25, hosted by commander Army Brig. Gen. Richard Dix.

The town hall kicked off with the presentation of employee awards. The first award presented was the DLA Distribution Global Distribution Excellence: Large Team Performance of the Year award.

The award recognizes the DLA Distribution/Disposition, or D2, Integration Team’s contributions in improving customer service and improving process and productivity by combining and optimizing the storage and distribution, or S&D, functions of DLA Disposition and DLA Distribution at collocated sites around the world. Through the team’s efforts, 183 personnel transferred and the S&D functions at 16 sites were seamlessly transferred from DLA Disposition to DLA Distribution.

The following employees were honored for their contributions to the team: Edward Visker, John Heikkinen, Doug Lantzy, Frankie O’Brien, Jason Kyle, Letitia Thompson, Greg Pigg, Reginal Sayles, Reid Wilson, Navy Cmdr. Steven MacDonald, Stacy Umstead, Susan MacInnes, Andrea Beck, Brandon Carpenter, Vitaliy Zayats, Jennifer Rainford, John Destalo, Brian Laird, and Scott Rosbaugh.

“We had a disparate network, with two organizations doing the same function. The discussion was made to combine, streamline, gain efficiencies, reduce costs and get the materiel in the hands of the warfighter. This is exactly what we need to continue doing. In a fiscally-constrained environment, we need to look for better ways of doing things,” said Dix.

Next, Robert Boehnlein was presented the DLA Humanitarian Service Medal and DLA Distribution command excellence coin in recognition of his support to Operation United Assistance.

Charles Barner received the DLA Distribution Supervisory Acquisition Civilian of the Year award for his performance in facilitating responsive acquisition management. Barner assisted in the implementation of quality assurance program policies, procedures and standards to the remaining 11 DLA Distribution government-operated distribution centers in an unprecedented six months.

The DLA Distribution Acquisition Civilian of the Year award was presented to Diane Skinnell for facilitating responsive acquisition management. As team lead for the Acquisition Operations acquisition planning and assistance team, she led her team to complete 52 acquisition assistance projects with a combined estimated value of $213 million.

Charles Hughley received the DLA Distribution Mission Impact award for his work as the DLA Distribution reserve program manager. At the beginning of the quarter, realizing additional support was needed at several distribution locations, Hughley began requesting additional funds from “big service,” which allowed the distribution centers to receive additional reserve support. Managing multiple contingency plans, he was able to immediately execute missions upon receipt of the funding. As a result of his efforts, Distribution obtained an additional $170,000 in active duty training funds, a cost avoidance of over $2 million to the agency.

Melissa Wright was awarded the DLA Distribution Administrative Support Performance of the Year award for providing administrative guidance and assistance to DLA Distribution headquarters staff, commanders, deputies and administrative personnel throughout DLA Distribution’s network of 24 distribution centers and detachments. She has processed over 900 correspondence packages for DLA Distribution command signature.

“The work done by all of you has been exceptional. I am so proud to be the commanding general of this organization because you give unselfishly on a day to day basis without seeking recognition. It’s that support that gives our warfighters the opportunity to come back home safely,” said Dix.

After a brief update on the new DLA Distribution headquarters building, on track for completion in March 2016, Dix educated the audience on DLA Distribution’s progress in attaining Voluntary Protection Programs “Star” status at its various locations.

“As you all know, safety is my number one priority. We’re taking the lead for DLA because we are operating the industrial sites and we have the propensity for incurring on the job injuries.”

Dix provided background on the three levels of VPP status. He explained that “Star” is the highest level of recognition from Occupational Safety and Health Administration; “Merit” is a conditional level of recognition with goals to achieve Star; and “Challenge” is a three-stage program for incremental improvement.

Currently, DLA Distribution has two sites designated as “Star” sites (San Joaquin and Norfolk); five sites pursuing “Star” status as a site lead (Red River, Susquehanna, Hill, Oklahoma, and Warner Robins); and two sites 2 sites pursuing VPP recognition as part of establishment (Pearl Harbor and Richmond.) Dix said the ultimate goal is for expansion of the program to all remaining sites.

“This is just another way that we can make sure that when you leave your home and go to work, you will return home safely. The requirements of this program force us to mitigate risks and get us back to the fundamentals of what we should be doing anyway.”

Dix closed the town hall by reminding employees of their obligation to ensure DLA Distribution remains “effective and efficient at best value,” and sharing his motto, “It’s hard but it’s fair; it’s sad but it’s true. Not everyone can do what DLA Distribution can do.”