The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Galveston District held a Town Hall Dec. 17, 2020, to update employees on what occurred in 2020 and where the District is heading in 2021. The event was also used to announce the lengthy list of annual award recipients, say farewell to retiring employees, and recognize District personnel who graduated from the USACE Leadership Development Program.
District Commander Col. Tim Vail hosted the event, which was held virtually due to social distancing requirements. During his opening remarks, Vail said building a team cannot occur without superior performance, and in 2020 -- despite all the challenges caused by COVID-19 – the Southwestern Galveston District delivered a $560M program. “And we couldn’t have done that without the people we recognized today,” he said. “I’m constantly amazed by the selflessness that is carried by the shoulders of all of you.”
The following employees were recognized during the awards portion of the Town Hall event:
Armed Forces Civilian Service Medal:
- Jason Jordan and Ricardo Vera were recognized for their outstanding service and dedication during the COVID-19 supporting operations from March to July 2020, when they created numerous tracking systems that reflected live data on COVID-19 infection rates. These databases were shared with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Headquarters and utilized during headquarters COVID-19 briefings.
- Alicia Rea earned her medal in recognition of her deployment to support FEMA Region 9 in Arizona as an Emergency Support Function 3, Assistant Team Leader from April through May 2020. Rea was supporting the Tribal Nations and the State of Arizona with COVID-19 assessments and construction of alternate care facilities. This request came as many states and FEMA regions were requesting support from USACE. Rea saw the critical need and volunteered to support anywhere necessary. With air travel restricted or discouraged at the time she spent two days driving each way to meet the critical need.
Civilian Service Commendation Medal
- Earnestine Brown was recognized with the Civilian Service Commendation Medal for outstanding achievement in providing great value to the Nation during her 35-year career with USACE from September 1985 to December 2020. Brown was instrumental in providing critical and timely construction management support to multiple area and resident offices. Her efforts directly contributed to the outstanding execution of many highly visible construction projects throughout the Galveston District.
Civilian Service Achievement Medal
- Armido Filidei earned the Civilian Service Achievement Medal for demonstrating exceptional performance as a Civil Engineering Technician from December 1978 to January 2021. Filidei’s work ethic and dependability ensured that the Survey Team’s transportation vehicles were always in top working condition. By shouldering the commuting and maintenance responsibilities during his 42-years of service, he safeguarded the success of his team and their mission. His vast knowledge and competent nature will be missed.
- The following group was presented the Civilian Service Achievement Medal for outstanding service at the Addicks and Barker Dams, New Outlet Structures and Cutoff Walls Construction Project from July 2018 to August 2020: Oscar Calle, Edmund Ching, Brent Granier, Lorenzo Ramos, Dawn Ramsey, Zachary Rigby, and Paul Vigil. This team’s combined commitment to quality and safety ensured the New Outlet Structures and Cutoff Walls were constructed in accordance with all contract requirements. Their efforts support the Galveston District’s continuous commitment to reduce the risks associated with life-safety and the economic impacts caused by flooding in the region.
- The following group received the Civilian Service Achievement Medal for demonstrating outstanding performance as members of the Southwestern Division, Galveston District’s Navigation Restoration Team during hurricane season from June to November 2020: Karl Brown, Tricia Campbell, Linda Carberry, Nicole Castleton, Paul Cox, Erin Diurba, Steve Elder, Aron Edwards, Armido Filidei, Raymond Flores, Marcus Gruver, Darrell Johnson, Seth Jones, Daniel Key, Belynda Kinman, Robert Koch, Rodney Lumampao, Thurston Mosley, Marybeth Parker, Katie Parks, Alicia Rea, Christopher Rossi, Malcolm Sedtal, Brittany Tiemann, Joe Vernier, Timmy Walls, and Brian Wilson. During this period, their efforts were instrumental in responding to the impacts of the Federal navigation channels, caused by Hurricane Hanna, Hurricane Laura, Tropical Storm Beta, and Hurricane Delta.
- The following individuals also were presented the Civilian Service Achievement Medal as a group award for their performance in providing significant support to the Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay, Architect-Engineer Task Orders during Fiscal Year 2020: Toniette Addison, Jaqueline Adekanbi, Jeremy Babb, Clark Bartee, Gregory Bertoglio, Brad Burrows, Ronalda Burton, Carlos Cepero, Yasser De Jesus, Ismael De La Paz-Bonilla, Antionette Fonseca, Rachel Guthmueller, Kara Hickey, Eduardo Irigoyen, Jun Jin, Elizabeth Kerr, Jessica Loc, Joshua Mahon, James Meng, Christopher Michalsky, Shubra Misra, Robert Msre, Kenneth Pablo, Orlando Ramos-Gines, Martin Regner, Cynthia Rodriguez Rodriguez, Maria Rodriguez, Garth Shull, Cecily Salomon, Haley Tucker, Jacob Walsdorf, Debora Wells, Caroline Weston and Charles Wheeler. Their responsiveness led to delivering commitment in developing the scope, reviewing proposals, negotiating, and awarding over $47.6 million within these projects. The team efforts were significant so that the appropriate level of design could be performed to meet commitments that were imperative for continued execution.
Certificate of Achievement:
- Earnestine Brown served as a Civil Engineer with USACE. In her years of dedicated public service, Brown established herself as an unsung hero within the District. She directly and indirectly supported Navigation, Flood Risk Management, Ecosystem Restoration and IIS Business Lines. Her work and efforts behind the scenes enabled the Galveston District Construction staff to provide high-quality construction management of projects that provide high value to the nation. Brown served as a federal employee from September 1985 to December 2020, a total of 35 years.
- Gregg Clubb served as the District’s Logistics Manager. Clubb established an unprecedented standard of excellence for the Southwestern Division. He attained a legendary reverence for his experience, knowledge, and leadership in the disciplines of supply, property accountability, fleet and agency own facility management support. His federal service period covers from January 1976 to December 2020, a total of 44 years.
- Armido Filidei: Filidei served as a Civil Engineering with the District. Through his dedication, Filidei helped ensure that all assigned duties were accomplished in an exceptional manner. His service period covers from December 1978 to January 2021, a total of 42 years.
- Marianne Fullen served with Galveston District in the Logistics Management Office for most of her career. Fullen wore many hats while co-workers were deployed and was always reliable to all of her peers. Her service period covers from September 1978 to December 2020, a total of 42 years.
- Kenneth Jaynes began his federal career as temporary employee with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration in October 1988. He started serving with USACE in November 1990. Jaynes is retiring as a Supervisory Regulatory Project Manager for USACE with a total of 32 years.
- Keith Halla served as a Federal employee for the Galveston District under various engineering positions throughout his career. Halla also severed on two deployments overseas with USACE; one at Camp Ramadi, Iraq, in 2009 and second at Camp Bagram, Afghanistan, in 2016. His service period covers from December 1980 to December 2020, a total of 40 years.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM GRADUATES
- Elizabeth Shelton and Diana Stevens received the Leadership Development Program Level 3 (LDP 3) completion recognition. The regional LDP 3 is designed for high-performing, mid-level employees and leaders who have the potential and motivation to progress into more senior leadership roles at the major subordinate command level across the enterprise. The program’s participants gain an increased ability to recognize and respond to issues and challenges within the division. Participants have an opportunity to broaden their perspective and gain an understanding of senior leader competencies, and the impact of change on people and the organization.
- The following individuals received the LDP Level 2 completion recognition: Eric Angle; Katherine Bidot; Erin Diurba; Amanda Hafemeister; Katharine Mott; Erika Pemerton; Jennifer Ramos Ortiz; Cecily Salomon, and Debora Wells. LDP 2 is a dynamic program designed to assist the leader in looking beyond daily activities to assessing and interpreting, in an ever-enlarging way, the external environment; the organization; the leadership process; the need for subordinate development at all levels; and the need for continuing self-development. This program provides participants the opportunity to study both leadership and management with a focus on their principles, issues, and application within USACE. In short, the goal is to develop competent, confident leaders who can exploit the full potential of present and future doctrine.
Watch the entire awards ceremony on our YouTube page at https://youtu.be/USuic9VoqU4.