DLA inducts five former employees into Hall of Fame

By Beth Reece DLA Public Affairs

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Five former Defense Logistics Agency employees who helped build the agency’s reputation as a world- class logistics provider were inducted into the agency’s Hall of Fame July 14 at the McNamara Headquarters Complex.
 
This year’s inductees are heroes who individually and collectively enhanced the nation’s military readiness, said DLA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch.
 
The inductees are:
 
-- Stephen Byus, a former DLA Land and Maritime employee and Navy reservist who was killed while deployed to Afghanistan in 2014.
 
-- Richard Connelly, who held numerous senior positions throughout DLA including director of Defense Energy Supply Center, now DLA Energy.
 
-- Retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert Dail, who served as DLA director from August 2006 to November 2008.
 
-- Mae DeVincentis, who became DLA’s first civilian vice director in 2010 after serving as director of DLA Logistics Operations and DLA Information Operations.
 
-- Ivan Hall, former director of land supplier operations at Defense Supply Center Columbus, now DLA Land and Maritime.
 
Byus began working for DLA Land and Maritime in July 2008 through the Defense Supply Center Columbus Corporate Intern Program. He helped revitalize the resolution specialist employee development team and improved the division’s audit readiness.
 
“He was very successful in learning his craft and as a six-year employee, he loved to not only make himself better, but make everybody around him better as well,” Busch said.
 
In July 2014, Byus volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan to help the Afghan military improve its maintenance and supply systems. On Sept. 16, he was heading downtown to brief the Afghan minister of defense for logistics when the two-vehicle convoy he was in was attacked. He became the first DLA employees killed in the decade-long war.
 
“Those who had the opportunity to work with Steve knew him as an open-minded team player, a mentor, a caring person and a superb supervisor who loved his country. He was a terrific father and loving husband, a compassionate son and engaging family member,” said Byus’ brother, Matt, who accepted the honor along with Byus’ father, Randy.
 
While new inductees must be separated from the agency for three years before they may be considered for the DLA Hall of Fame, Busch and DLA Vice Director Ted Case waived that rule to make an exception for Byus and other DLA employees who are killed in action while supporting the agency’s mission.
 
Like Byus, Connelly began his DLA career as an intern and quickly rose in rank to hold such titles as DLA Comptroller; Administrator of the Defense National Stockpile Center, now DLA Strategic Materials; Director of DLA Support Services, now DLA Installation Support; and Defense Energy Support Center, now DLA Energy.
 
Connelly is known for moving the agency from an appropriated funding model to the more business-oriented Defense Working Capital Fund. He also implemented unit-cost resourcing, an accurate way of reporting the true costs of products and services.
 
“There are countless people I have to thank for being here today,” he said. “To be associated with other legends in the DLA Hall of Fame has been remarkable.”
 
Dail led the agency during one of DLA’s biggest transformations as it took on logistics functions from the services as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Act. He also forged lasting relationships with industry and championed innovative methods of measuring supply-chain effectiveness that resulted in precise delivery for warfighters engaged in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
 
“Bob Dail is the reason why I am here today. He’s been a mentor of mine since he hired me to work with him in 2007,” Busch said.
 
Dail described DLA’s global workforce as the secret weapon of enduring greatness.
 
“Just as Andy Busch is finding out right now, when I would travel out and meet people at our locations and sense their spirit and observe their professionalism, they inspired me to come back and try to give them the leadership that they so rightly deserved as free Americans supporting their country,” he said.
 
DeVincentis began her 37-year DLA career as a GS-2 at what was then called the Defense Personnel Support Center Clothing Factory. She has since had a hand in major innovations including the Prime Vendor Program and Enterprise Business System.
 
Today, DLA conducts billions of dollars of business using e-commerce platforms DeVincentis helped create, Busch said.
 
“Honestly, I would have to name everybody in this agency if I was to thank everyone who had a hand in my success. The team here continues to do a lot of great things, and that’s what it’s really all about, not me, but the team,” DeVincentis said, adding that she preferred her induction to be a symbol of the collective accomplishments of employees throughout the DLA enterprise.
 
“As witnessed by Steve Byus, there’s no price people in this agency will refuse to pay to take care of the warfighter, and that is very significant and unique aspect of DLA that you don’t find in any civilian organization,” she added.
 
Hall’s government service began in 1979 with the Defense Contract Management Agency and ended at DLA Land and Maritime. His leadership as deputy director of land supplier operations increased the readiness and survivability of warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he is best known for implementing DLA’s first long-term contracts with major equipment manufacturers.
 
“When I talk about the transition or evolution of DLA going from a parts supplier to the long-term contract environment, certainly we stand on the foundation of what you did,” Busch said.
 
Like his fellow inductees, Hall credited his former employees, peers and leaders for helping him become the best he could be.
 
“I’m honored and humbled by my selection to the DLA Hall of Fame. Rarely does a single individual achieve success without help from others, and I have many people to thank,” he said.
 
The DLA Hall of Fame was created in 1998 to recognize the contributions of military and civilian employees who’ve served in a myriad of positions throughout the agency. Inductees receive a medal and a plaque denoting their induction.