Huntsville Center Contracting chief earns Leadership Award

U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center Huntsville Public Affairs Office
Published Aug. 22, 2013

John Mayes, chief of the Directorate of Contracting at the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, received The National Contracting Organization’s Leadership Award at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Summer Leaders Conference Aug. 5 at Fort Belvoir, Va.

“Mayes is an exceptional leader, pacesetter and change agent at the Huntsville Center, and a strong, influential voice throughout the Directorate of Contracting and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Charles Ford, Huntsville’s deputy for programs and technical management.  “He fosters a culture and environment that embraces quality and innovation as well as streamlining initiatives and solutions.”  

"I am very honored to receive this award,” said Mayes, who has been with the Huntsville Center for a little over five years. “I constantly strive to set a high standard of excellence in all that I do, and to inspire others to dream, learn and become all they can be.  As an individual, I believe that unquestionable integrity is critical because without it, success is not possible.  To be recognized for my leadership is very humbling and rewarding, both personally and professionally.” 

Mayes is often sought after by other leaders in federal contracting for ideas and advice regarding matters that are unique and require innovation. He has led several teams to streamline processes and build consistency among the USACE Contracting Organization. He spearheaded a team that looked at resources, structure and compliance for which he designed a new organization structure that implemented a business operations cell for districts and centers across the Corps. 

Under Mayes’ leadership, the Huntsville Center’s Contracting Directorate, executed more than 6,000 contract actions totaling approximately $1.6 billion in fiscal year 2012 and anticipates the same or more for FY 2013.  Mayes also oversees the business operations and oversight function which provides  comprehensive policy, business and systems support and oversight to ensure quality execution.   

During FY12, Mayes led his team in putting together one of the largest acquisition ever to be executed by USACE. This procurement is for the purchase of power from renewable energy sources valued at $7 billion over a 30-year period.  The project has extremely high visibility and is of great public interest. This project incorporates the use of a consolidated pool for both Restricted and Unrestricted sources.  It will promote the use of growing small businesses more than many USACE procurements have done in the past.  Mayes supports the small business program and works hard to ensure programs understand the need to meet small business goals.

Other accomplishments include:

· Spearheaded the creation of a COR Database/Dashboard at HNC and introduced it in some districts and centers as an interim solution.  Later, as part of deployment of the Virtual Contract Enterprise (VCE) Mayes volunteered to  implement the CORMS system which provides for a mechanism to assist contracting officers in managing COR appointments, training, etc. 

· Volunteered to be the primary pilot for the implementation of the Paperless Contract File (PCF) module and led Huntsville Center to a successful implementation.  It was later implemented across USACE.

· Established and maintains a robust intern program that includes more than 30 interns, including a “Special Projects” intern assignment that allows for shadowing of contracting leadership and visibility on special high-level projects.

· Stabilized the work force by implementing programs to train and develop personnel, telework, awards and recognition, on-boarding and rotations of employees and morale boosting.

Mayes said he believes strongly in professional development.  He encourages his team to participate in professional organizations, accept developmental assignments, and pursue college coursework and advanced degrees. Mayes also partners with local rural schools to sponsor the Future Business Leaders of America as part of Huntsville Center’s outreach program. 

“I really enjoy finding innovative ways to meet the needs of our customers who are supporting the warfighter and our nation,” Mayes said.  “In addition to that, I love mentoring and coaching the young professionals on how to be value-added business advisors as they grow in their careers as contracting professionals.”

“Mayes is a true leader,” Ford said.  “His leadership and influence continue to have a significant positive impact both within Huntsville Center and the USACE Directorate of Contracting.”