USACE Galveston District Employee Spotlight on Kenneth Pablo

Published May 1, 2013
GALVESTON, Texas (May 1, 2013) – When Kenneth Pablo decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain and Logistics Technology to learn how to manage the flow of materials, oversee the transformation into finished goods and coordinate the delivery to the final buyer, he never dreamt he would be able to apply these skills to projects of national significance and play a part in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ mission of providing vital public engineering services in peace and war to strengthen the nation’s security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters.

Hired as a career intern through the Galveston District’s Student Career Experience Program, Pablo routinely applies his private sector experience in his position as a realty specialist for the USACE Galveston District to include issuing real estate instruments such as licenses, leases, permits, easements, and rights-of-entry to other government agencies, private individuals and companies, for the right to use lands in which the government holds an interest.

“One of my top priorities involves updating our Outgrants Policy to implement cost-cutting measures that support the district’s missions while conserving taxpayers’ dollars,” said Pablo.

The district’s Outgrants Program, which is predominantly known for issuing cattle grazing leases, authorizes the right to use real property managed by the district and establishes the timeframe, consideration, conditions and restrictions of its use.

“We’re focusing on developing a new funding model that addresses the prioritization of outgrants, establishes fair-market value of property managed by the district and categorizes/ standardizes permit application fees and are scheduled to roll out these changes in late May,” Pablo said.

With such a diverse range of responsibilities, Pablo says it’s easy to overlook that his job’s responsibilities predominantly support the district’s navigation mission.

“The Real Estate Division provides an array of services to include planning, programming, appraisals, acquisition, and management and disposal,” said Pablo. “Right now we’re updating the setback policy along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. These changes will protect the channel to ensure safe navigation by continuing to regulate the distance that marine structures can be constructed in vicinity of the authorized channel and to analyze known hazardous locations for navigation along the GIWW and assess whether changes to the setback distances are needed in order to maintain navigation safety."

The district’s GIS technology will be used to add visibility of the setback by creating a downloadable overlay on the district's website that will show where the setbacks are located with respect to the authorized channel along the GIWW and is expected to be available by summer 2013. 

Since joining the district in 2010, Pablo has worked on projects ranging from approving operation and maintenance contracts, assisting with the Cedar Bayou Dredge Material Management Plan to providing services to organizations including the Maritime Administration - serving as a real estate agent for aquistions to include access to a road to the Beaumont Layberth Facility.

“My most memorable moment with the Corps was closing my first acquisition for the Maritime Administration Project. It was a small acquisition, but it was nice to get this first one under my belt,” said Pablo. “It showed me that all the hard work I put into researching, building relationships with land owners and administration personnel and sticking to the acquisition plan my supervisors and I agreed on really paid off.”

Through the Real Estate Division’s Work for Others Program, Pablo supports the USACE Fort Worth District with the Defense Logistics Agency Project, serving as a real estate lead for on-site real property inventories on military installations throughout the U.S. in support of a real property accountability project. 

“I enjoy making a difference through my work in the Real Estate Division as I’m able to support the district’s many missions and contribute to helping the organization build strong in support of our nation and Armed Forces,” said Pablo.

Another facet of the job he enjoys includes planning studies that address the future of projects within the USACE Galveston District – whether a study deals with the deepening of a channel or the building of a mitigation feature.

“My job is to assure that property interests in land and water are defined through my work with project delivery teams and documented in the real estate plan,” said Pablo. “During construction, I work with non-federal sponsors on acquisition compliance, making sure they acquire the right land, title and meet applicable legal requirements such as Public Law 91-646, which requires specific compensation to individuals and entities displaced as a result of a federal project.”

Whether performing technical reviews of financial, appraisal and title records or assiting with policy updates on a federal waterway, Pablo says he learned early on in his career that in order to be successful in this business, you must be as proficient at managing the process as you are in building relationships.

Pablo earned a Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain and Logistics Technology from the University of Houston in 2009. In his spare time, he enjoys watching and playing sports, coaching his daughter’s soccer team and setting an example for his family by remaining physically active and healthy.

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