Employees receive honors at annual organization day

U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville
Published June 9, 2017
Col. John Hurley, U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville commander, addresses the audience prior to the Center's annual organization day awards ceremony June 9.

Col. John Hurley, U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville commander, addresses the audience prior to the Center's annual organization day awards ceremony June 9.

Each year during its annual organization day picnic, the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville recognizes individuals for their efforts for the past year with Engineer Day awards.

Twenty-one Huntsville Center employees received honors during Friday’s Engineer Day awards ceremony and organization day picnic at Monte Sano State Park.

Twelve individuals received trophies; nine members of a project delivery team received medallions and certificates.  The annual awards are solicited from the workforce as part of the Incentive Awards Program.  Nominations are reviewed against established criteria.


Administrative Support Employee of the Year:  Maureen Slater, Installation Support and Programs Management.  As the lead division admin support person, Slater exceeds all expectations for timeliness, quality and accuracy of deliverables; initiating and implementing new processes that streamline administrative tasks for the Electronic Technology Division.

Engineer of the Year:  Ryan Bowers, Engineering Directorate.  Bowers, a structural engineer and registered professional engineer in Alabama, is the subject matter expert and the Structural Branch’s primary point of contact with the Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board. His technical expertise was instrumental in the development of a design concept for an Army National Guard missile maintenance facility. This concept will become the DOD standard, saving thousands of dollars by avoiding repetitive custom design.

Contracting Professional of the Year:  Susan Parsons, Contracting Directorate.  Parsons is the contracting branch supervisor for the Electronic Technology Branch. Last fiscal year she personally oversaw the award of $217.5 million through 616 contract actions and has significantly aided in reducing the number of overdue contract closeouts.

Volunteer of the Year:  Matt Urbanic, Contracting Directorate.  Urbanic embodies the volunteer spirit within the Center and his home community. He was the first contracting officer on the ground to support flood recovery operations in Louisiana. He volunteers to train the workforce on a full range of contracting-related topics and he lends his talents to Huntsville Center’s Activities Association functions by creating balloon animals on organization day and wearing the Sgt. Woof costume for outreach events such as Redstone in the Park.

Commander’s Leadership Award:  Laura Lokey-Flippo, ISPM.  As the former Base Operations program manager, Lokey-Flippo provided service primarily to the Army Reserve’s 88th Regional Support Command which encompasses 272 facilities covering more than 13 million square feet over a 19-state region. She managed a PDT of 20 fulltime equivalent personnel.

Employee of the Year:  Daniel Shepard, ED.  Shepard has been very active in the cybersecurity and information technology communities. He shares his expertise on the Unified Facility Code governing cybersecurity and has led several webinars on the subject. Through his personal efforts, he has taken on the mission to get the Center’s Cyber Technical Center of Expertise designation upgraded to a Mandatory Center of Excellence.

Commander’s Diversity Award:  Daniel Unsen, CT.  As a member of the Commander’s Special Emphasis Program Council, Unsen serves as past chair of the Asian American/Pacific Islander Program and present chair for the Individuals with Disabilities program. His contributions to these programs serve to promote diversity and inclusion, address barriers and fulfill federal guidelines of the DOD and the Army. His dedication and service extends beyond the workplace as well, and he often devotes his time and talent to the Wounded Warrior Project as well as at the Manna House, providing food assistance to those in need.

Commander’s Leadership Diversity Award:  Colleen O'Keefe, CT.  O’Keefe is the ambassador for the Individuals with Disabilities Program and a staunch supporter of the Commander’s Special Emphasis Program.  She manages a diverse organization of over 200 contracting, acquisition and administrative professionals.  She works to provide opportunities for women and minorities in the workforce, with more than 58 percent women in her organization.  Her directorate has the highest representation of minorities in the Center with 40 percent, and is leading all directorates in representation of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans.

Innovator of the Year:  Brian Woodroof, ED.  In response to a finding that Huntsville Center was not in compliance with Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 23 that requires 95 percent of new contracts use green products and services, Woodruff developed a sustainability clauses workbook that saves the Center time when looking at all base contracts over the years. This workbook is being reviewed by Headquarters U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for use throughout the enterprise.

Project Manager of the Year:  Lisa Ramirez, ISPM.  A project manager for the Base Operations Program, Ramirez is creating an operations and maintenance program for the Army Reserve’s 88th Regional Support Command.  She and the project development team look to reduce the contracts from 341 to 57 task order contracts.  By consolidating task orders, the program has the potential to reduce the overall effort to maintain acquisitions by 598 percent. 

Program Manager of the Year:  Nathan Durham, ISPM.  Under Durham’s leadership with the Electronic Security Systems Project Delivery Team, the ESS program is executing 119 active projects valued at over $150 million with projects throughout CONUS and in 10 countries including South Korea, Japan, Germany, Italy and Israel.

Safety Champion of the Year:  David Shockley, ISPM.  Shockley initiated and championed three major safety initiatives in the maintenance and services to cover areas unique to this business line: 1. Proactive review of contractor incident reporting.  2. Implementation of tailgate reviews and 3. Initiated new M&S safety policy. These initiatives are critical to ensuring each member of the Center’s team (industry or government) returns home safely without injury.

Resource Manager of the Year:  Donzia King-Clark, Resource Management.  As the program analyst for some of the Center’s largest, fastest paced, most complex programs, she constantly provides sound financial guidance and advice on the proper use of funding and adherence to fiscal law.  She single-handedly revamped the way the Center handles contingency funding at fiscal year-end.  Through her foresight, the Center was able to use over $17 million in contingency funding for within-scope modifications.

Teamwork Award:  Hardware Catalog Management System Project Delivery Team.  Faced with running out of capacity on the IT services contract, the PDT explored options and developed courses of action.  The Hardware Catalog Management System PDT’s successful acquisition is directly responsible for sparing USACE an almost five-month gap in OrderTrak services until a follow-on contract can be awarded in August.  This effort ensures the USACE enterprise has ongoing access to IT equipment and its staff needs to execute USACE missions.  PDT members:  Tracy Lynch, ISPM; Patrick Stone, ISPM; Tracy Phillips, ISPM; Angela Andrews, CT; Jennifer Kelley, CT; Lillian Fox, CT; Clay Weisenberger, Office of Counsel; Karl Kuhn, OC; and Ronald Fletcher, ACE-IT.