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By Thomas Perry
DCMA Public Affairs
Three Defense Contract Management Agency San Diego team members were recently recognized for their efforts to increase federal employment opportunities within the Hispanic-American community during National Image, Inc.’s 45th Annual National Training Program in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Programs Supervisor Ericka Jordan received the Chairman’s Woman of the Year Award, Quality Assurance Director Rachelle Munz received the Civilian Meritorious Service Award and Quality Assurance Specialist David Smith received the Chairman’s Mentee Award.
In an introductory letter published within the event’s program, Navy Vice Adm. David Lewis, DCMA’s director, congratulated award recipients and acknowledged the value of community outreach and mentorship in maintaining a dynamic workforce.
“Hispanic Americans have and continue to represent the United States with distinction in civil and military service,” wrote Lewis. “It is a proud and impactful history that continues to drive both private and public sector success stories … I know that in order to accomplish our mission — to be the independent eyes and ears of (Department of Defense) and its partners, delivering acquisition insight from the factory floor to the front line — we must professionally develop and constantly replenish our workforce with a diverse, innovative and skilled workforce.”
The agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity Director Linda Galimore affirmed the admiral’s assertions while highlighting potential talent identification.
“Active participation within communities advances collaborative engagement and interaction essential to maintaining partnerships that advance common goals,” said Galimore. “It can be seen as a way to advance diversity inclusiveness and may contribute to personal and professional development of employees. Activities championed by community support organizations also serve as networking venues providing access to opportunity and leadership. It also provides a vehicle to identify talent for future employment with DCMA.”
Each of the awardees has a long history of diversity support and development in their professional and personal communities.
“What a great honor to be nominated by my leadership for such a celebrated award like Woman of the Year,” said Jordan. “Being selected was beyond what I had ever dreamed. I particiated in their workshops and understood that the National Image Inc. is all about developing our future leaders and promoting our Hispanic heritage.”
For Jordan, her passion for leadership development began in the military and has continued in her service as a federal employee.
According to her nomination letter, Jordan’s “strongest trait is her ability to knit diverse organizations and individuals into a cohesive team to achieve common objectives. Her constant support of the Special Emphasis Programs clearly demonstrates an authentic appreciation for the diverse identities, backgrounds, talents and contributions of the diverse employees at DCMA San Diego … Dr. Jordan makes it her personal goal to instill her passion for education and the success of others. She has the spark that fosters commitment and determination, and she demonstrates this with her personal involvement developing future DCMA leaders.”
These attributes were on full display when in June 2016, Jordan volunteered to lead the DCMA Santa Ana Tier II Leadership Development Program. As the program manager, she developed a two-year curriculum for 16 participants supported by seven advisors. Participants have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate key leadership attributes needed to successfully transition into leadership positions.
As a quality assurance director, Munz makes leadership decisions daily. Her added value is demonstrated through her commitment to the mental and physical health of her agency team members.
According to her award nomination, Munz is “an invaluable member of DCMA San Diego.” Her commitment to outstanding fitness for not only herself, but also her office is unwavering. She leads weekly walks to promote camaraderie and good health among her staff and the office. She is an enthusiastic advocate and participant in social events that promote diversity and equal opportunity and was a member of the planning committee for the 2016 Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration. This event fostered an environment of goodwill and showcased a deep respect for Hispanic heritage.
“I was very honored to be nominated by my command — then wow — I was selected as the Meritorious Service Award recipient,” said Munz. “The IMAGE conference was very informative and eye opening with how they are mentoring not only today’s leaders but also our future leaders by bringing in local students to attend workshops and discussion sessions appropriate for their future development.”
Smith, who began his DCMA career as a Keystone in 2008, is familiar with professional development programs. He was recruited by former National Image Inc. President Sylvia Chavez as the organizations first mentee in 2009. Smith uses his personal time to attend conferences across the U.S. to assist inner-city students fill out college applications and develop resume writing skills that align with USAJOBS criteria.
The Sept. 14 award ceremonies were held throughout the day on the eve of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated annually from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. According to the Library of Congress, the observance commemorates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
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