HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – For the first time ever, business directors from across the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers convened at the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville this week for the annual Business Management Chiefs Face-to-Face Meeting.
The meeting brings together USACE business leaders to maximize their collective talents to support enterprise efforts, advance best practices and enhance district execution, said Phillip Johnson, BMD chief, USACE Great Lakes and Ohio River Division.
“We want to make sharing our work a habit because there’s no point in coming up with seven, eight, nine solutions to the same problem,” said Johnson.
“We keep thinking we’re special or unique, but we all do the same things, we’re in the same business, and we have the same problems. It just makes sense to share our solutions.”
Prior to this year, the annual meeting has been held at USACE Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Moving the meeting to new locations allows Business Management Division chiefs from each district to grow their understanding of other USACE agencies, and Huntsville Center was the perfect place to start, said Russ Dunford, the Center’s BMD chief.
“This is the first time in the nine-plus years of my tenure here and working with BMD that many of these senior leaders have ever visited Huntsville Center, but we do work in all of their backyards,” said Dunford. “They were astounded by the magnitude of what we do here.”
Unlike most USACE organizations that are defined by geographic boundaries, Huntsville Center supports the rest of USACE and other Department of Defense agencies by providing innovative engineering solutions to complex missions around the globe. The Center’s more than 1,000 employees manage nearly 3,000 ongoing projects at any given time.
The business leaders’ three-day visit to Huntsville also provided an opportunity for them to tour the U.S. Army’s state-of-the-art Software, Simulation, Systems Engineering and Integration (S3I) lab and the Prototype Integration Facility at Redstone Arsenal, where they learned about innovative tools that could help them in the areas of recruitment, training and modernization.
Thanks to the success of this meeting, the BMD team is already planning to hold next year’s in a new location -- the North Atlantic Division’s headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, said Dunford.