USACE Galveston District celebrates Corps’ and Army’s 239th birthdays; names Employee, Engineer, Regulator and Supervisor of the Year

Published June 5, 2014
GALVESTON, Texas (June 5, 2014) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District celebrated the Corps’ and U.S. Army’s 239th birthday with an awards ceremony to recognize the Employee, Engineer, Regulator and Supervisor of the Year, as well as to honor staff for their contributions to the community, state and nation.

"Today we take a moment to honor the Army's and the Corps' achievements during the last 239 years and to recognize those who are making a difference in our district," said Col. Richard Pannell, commander of the USACE Galveston District. "The annual Engineer Day awards ceremony highlights our civilians and Soldiers' achievements in support of the Corps' mission and of our nation.” 

Among those recognized include Valerie Miller, Scott Leimer, David Boothby Jr. and Denise Sloan.

Miller, chief of Programs for the Programs Management Branch, was named Supervisor of the Year for her outstanding contributions to the district’s Civil Works mission, which ensures the district is modernizing its study management processes to remain a relevant provider of solutions for the nation’s current and future engineering challenges. Throughout 2013, she provided exemplary leadership during the government shutdown and the continuing resolutions and was able to achieve budget execution rates of 95 and 98 percent over the last two years. She managed a team that monitored the study, design and construction schedules, established project priorities, determined the program funding capabilities and developed alternative courses of action for execution. As a senior leader, she routinely was relied upon to advise leaders on the overall development of current and long-range civil works programs in accordance with legislative authorities and congressional mandates.

Leimer, Levee Safety Program manager for the district, was recognized as the Employee of the Year for his outstanding work ethic and dedication to the Levee Safety Program, which entails conducting yearly inspections on seven federal flood control levee systems in the Galveston District, along with the Galveston Seawall. His expertise in the Hurricane Flood Protection Levee arena and his understanding of these critical systems allowed him to be a key project development team member for the Sabine Pass to Galveston Study where his input was instrumental in shaping the framework of the project. Additionally, throughout 2013 he managed U.S. Code – Title 33, Section 408 of the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation of 1899 - for the district and reviewed modifications to federal flood control projects to ensure any changes would not impair the usefulness of the work. Leimer continues to hone the district’s Levee Safety Program and work with sponsors and key stakeholders to bring the levees into compliance with regional and national requirements.

Boothby, a civil engineer in the district's Geotechnical and Structures Section, was awarded the Engineer of the Year award for his significant contributions in the geotechnical and coastal engineering arena for several district projects and studies. An essential member of the team, Boothby provided technical assistance and guidance for key studies including the Houston Ship Channel Dredged Material Management Plan, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterways High Island to Brazos River DMMP and the Bayport Ship Channel Flare Bend Easing Discretionary Report. The studies are considered critical to continued maintenance of navigation channels. Boothby worked with staff throughout 2013 to ensure that the studies properly represented existing and predicted future maintenance dredging and material plans.

Sloan, a project manager in Regulatory Branch, was awarded the Regulator of the Year Award for her efforts in evaluating two high-profile permit applications – the Port of Houston Bayport Ship Channel and the Barbours Cut Ship Channel/Container Terminal permits – that will make a significant economic impact for Texas and the nation. She was instrumental in contributing to the peer-reviewed sediment Sampling and Analysis Plan that supported concerns in the Clean Water Act that addressed pollutants not being re-suspended into the Galveston Bay water column and highlighted the importance of maintaining the public interest in federal agencies balancing environmentally sustainable solutions while supporting economic development.

A special acknowledgement of employees who reached five through 40 years of federal service was among the highlights of the celebration. Staff was also recognized with Commander’s Awards for Civilian Service, Achievement Awards for Civilian Service, certificates of achievement and appreciation as well as commander’s coins.

Established in 1880, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District continues to play a key role in America’s well-being by keeping waterways open for navigation and commerce and serves the nation as part of the world’s largest public engineering, design and construction management agency.

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Release no. 14-026