Transatlantic Division Commander Maj. Gen. Michael Eyre and Middle East District Commander Col. Jon Christensen presented annual awards to district employees recently to recognize exceptional service.
“We recognize these individuals,” said Christensen, “but we all know that these individuals wouldn’t be getting these awards without the support of the whole team.” He congratulated the award recipients for their dedicated support to the district mission.
“It is important that we recognize an organization and the people who make up that organization,” said Eyre. “You all do (your work) extremely well at this district. Thank you for what you do.”
The awards covered fiscal year 2012 and were presented at the Middle East District’s town-hall meeting on Dec. 13, 2012. Each year district employees nominate fellow coworkers to express their gratitude for each other’s actions and work ethic.
Jeremy Becker-Welts, attorney, was named the Employee of the Year for his positive impact on the district and its mission. He was described as an exemplary emissary to external and internal customers alike.
Shibu Joseph was named Field Employee of the Year. A civil engineer with the Bahrain Resident Office, Joseph was recognized for his customer service, mentoring of young project engineers, and positive impact on the mission.
Jeffrey Raney was presented Supervisor of the Year. Raney was recognized for his leadership skills, ability to foster a multi-discipline team, and efforts to hire veterans and individuals with disabilities.
Doug Bement was named Project/Program Manager of the Year. Bement, a civil engineer, was cited for his ability to meet customer needs and promote team dynamics, his leadership abilities, and his work leading contract closeout in the district.
Ted Upson was selected as Construction Manager of the Year for his work throughout the district’s area of responsibility and for his efforts supporting the 2015 Afghanistan Engineer District transition.
Dave Rackmales, structural engineer, was the recipient of the Engineer of the Year award. He was nominated for his outstanding support to the mission and his co-workers and for his leadership in professional associations and community work outside the command.
Counsel of the Year was awarded to Daniel McConnell for his positive demeanor and direct impact on the mission through litigation.
Two employees were recognized for their work supporting Resource Management:
• Yvonne Hopper, a recently retired program analyst, was selected as the Financial Analyst of the Year. She was recognized for her support of the monthly Program Budget Advisory Committee requirements and for assisting the Resource Management budget team with budget preparation duties when key personnel retired.
• The Financial Manager of the Year is Bob Schaible, chief of Programs and Project Management Division’s Military Construction Branch. His accurate financial analysis assisted in the production of the 2013 budget, a financial product that guides expenditures throughout the organization.
The Staff Support Member of the Year was presented to Lorie Polk, administrative support technician, in the Administrative Personnel Processing Office. She is consistently praised by deployees for her professionalism and outstanding customer support.
The Project Delivery Team of the Year was presented to the team that awarded a detention facility in Afghanistan. Team members included project manager Kimberly Sanders, Mary Bailey, Jo-Ann Bray, Nancy Chapman, Mark Curry, Cynthia Darlington, Joseph Gonglik, Chip Hopkins, Glenn Hordusky, Ingrid Howard, Derek Monn, Morteza Mostaghim, Nancy Orndorff, Michelle Pearman, Matthew Polley, Sue Stamey, Thomas Stephenson, and Shelly Taylor.
The Safety Team of the Year award went for the second year to the Bahrain Resident Office. During the past 11 years, this team has accumulated over 10 million man-hours of construction work. The resident office also sponsored a 30-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration training course that included the Navy Public Works Department and local contractors to improve the safety on all projects within their area.
A new award was presented this year, and Andrea Green was named the Contracting Team Member of the Year.
District Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Rusty Sears was awarded the Bronze Order of the deFleury Medal for his inspirational leadership with USACE and for his more than 21 years of superior service to the Engineer Regiment. The deFleury Medal is presented by the U.S. Army Engineer Regiment. The Bronze Order is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to an element of the Engineer Regiment, such as USACE.
“I was one of your customers. I knew you before I came here, and I fought hard to get to come here,” said Sears of his assignment with the district. “I hope everyone understands that this is a great organization. I can’t think of a better place to work.”