Studevant inducted into DLA Aviation Hall of Fame

By Bonnie Koenig DLA Aviation Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Aviation inducted its 34th Hall of Fame recipient, Mary Studevant, during the 2016 awards ceremony June 16 in the Frank B. Lotts Conference Center on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia.

Studevant, former deputy director, Defense Supply Center Richmond’s Support Services Directorate, now known as DLA Installation Support at Richmond, was honored for her long-lasting impact on DLA, the Aviation workforce, their military customers and in the surrounding communities.
 
Studevant, a Glen Allen resident, served DLA for over 30 years where she held various civilian supervisory and non-supervisory positions within DSCR, beginning in 1966 as a secretary, and continued on for more than 17 years in the acquisition field.

DLA Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Allan Day hosted the event and welcomed family members, distinguished guests, former Hall of Fame recipients, friends and co-workers.

Day recognized the champions who nominated Studevant: Angela Curtis, human resource specialist, DLA Headquarters Human Capital Development Program Office; Steve Mason, director, Supplier Operations – Original Equipment Manufacturers; and Tanya Hill, director, Procurement Process Support.

He also shared some comments made by her champions. Curtis worked with Studevant and said she told her many times to ‘never let them see you sweat.’ Curtis said she demonstrated this motto time and again when she worked with her on commander’s conferences. Studevant had a reputation of being the best at protocol and when hosting events of that magnitude, her calm leadership style attributed to her many successes.

Day told attendees Mason said Studevant was one of the first people he met when he began working on center in 1985 and there were two pieces of career advice she gave him: always dress appropriately, so that, if you have to represent your supervisor at a DLA Headquarters meeting, you would not have to change your attire. Secondly, she told him to “earn his paycheck … ‘don’t back-up to the door to get your paycheck,’ meaning give an honest day of work for honest pay. Mason told Day about her work ethic, saying he witnessed that Studevant always arrived early and stayed late as necessary to get the job done.

Day said  Hill shared that Studevant cared and looked after people and she recalled once when Studevant called her and her division chief into her office to let them know one of the new interns was sleeping in his car and taking a shower at the gym because the intern didn’t have an apartment yet.  She proceeded to arrange it so he could temporarily stay in the visitor’s quarters until he could find an apartment. Hill said to this day she doesn’t know how Studevant found out this employee’s situation.

Day said Studevant left a legacy of leadership practices, goals, and values: people and culture; valuing team members; and resiliency in helping employees to recover and respond to changes in their professional and personal lives.

He said Studevant served as executive staff officer for seven years (what is now the DLA Aviation chief of staff) and worked with four flag officers and many senior leaders in strategic decision-making, all while supervising the command staff.  Day said she also worked with employees on the importance of getting the details right. She was an innovator, a leader, a trainer and developer of the intern program implemented at DSCR and made an impact agency-wide. He said during her tenure as the executive staff officer, she pioneered the development of the Strategic Management System which included developing the agency’s first Balanced Scorecard.

“Studevant’s transformative leadership style led to improvements throughout DSCR and DLA Headquarters recognizing DLA Aviation as the Center of Excellence for Executive Level Conferences,” said Day. “Under her oversight, the activity won a U.S. Senate Productivity and Quality Award for Virginia and the Continuing Excellence Award.”

Day said Studevant had a strong commitment to the warfighter as a leader in education and growing the DLA workforce and for caring for others while serving the local community. He said she formed partnerships and represented the organization in the local community through training programs with community colleges and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Studevant also helped develop programs that allowed employees to complete degrees through college courses related to contracting through a tuition reimbursement program.

While serving as DSCR Support Services deputy director, Studevant again demonstrated the importance she placed on people by her efforts to locate descendants of six sets of unidentified African-American human remains found during the excavation for the Child Development Center and subsequent reinterment efforts.  

After her retirement, Day said Studevant continued to serve the community by managing the Virginia Executive Institute at VCU for 11 years and delivering leadership and management training to Commonwealth of Virginia state executives. She served in the local community at Thomas Jefferson High School’s guidance department and was an active member of the Richmond/Henrico community where she served as a Henrico School Board lay advisor and a University of Richmond student mentor. She holds a number of professional memberships including: The Richmond Rotary; Chesterfield Business Council; Richmond Chamber of Commerce; Federal Executive Association; and Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.

Day added Studevant currently serves as a mentor and works in Henrico County Schools’ Lunch Buddy Program, serves as a substitute teacher, is a volunteer interviewer for perspective students at Harvard College, and is a regular WWBT NBC-12-On-Your-Side volunteer.

“You exemplify what a person in the community can do and you are a shining light for all of us,” said Day. “It is an honor to induct you into the DLA Aviation Hall of Fame and to thank you for what you have done for DLA Aviation and the community at large.”

Day presented Studevant with the 2016 Hall of Fame medal and trophy.

Studevant said she felt humbled standing before everyone accepting this award and was grateful for all the people that had crossed her path during her time at DSCR and who she attributed her successes to. She thanked God for allowing her to stay focused on His word in doing her best for the agency and the warfighters. She also thanked her family members especially her husband, Roger, for being at the ceremony and being her safety net. She also thanked and recognized her spiritual director Dr. Kirkland Walton, pastor of St. Peter Baptist Church, Glen Allen, Virginia.

She recognized and thanked her champions, sharing a brief history of their relationships and  concluded by sharing a note Betty Ackermann-Cobb, a former DSCR employee,  had sent her years ago, in 1992, which contained eight things she attributed to her own personal success: be technically competent, be an expert at what you do; treat people as if they are winners; depersonalize issues, statements and thoughts, you can only stay objective and in control when you do this; guard a man’s dignity, and save a man’s pride, meaning even in events of counsel, treat everyone with dignity; be an actor not a reactor, meaning don’t let someone else’s behavior dictate yours; make all encounters win-win situations; make your boss and others feel comfortable with you, let them know you are loyal; and work toward making your boss and the organization look good, if you do this you will look good as well.

Studevant concluded saying, “Thank you, God bless the Defense Logistics Agency, and God bless America.”