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News | Nov. 30, 2017

DCMA Middle East team makes time for work/life balance in Saudi Arabia

By Elizabeth Szoke DCMA Public Affairs

Employees located in the Defense Contract Management Agency's Middle East office recently participated in their first Red Ribbon 5K walk and run held in Eskan Village, a compound here.

Desiree Hodges, a DCMA management analyst in the Middle East mission support office, handled the coordination and logistics of the event. Fifteen employees participated.

“This was the second 5K we had ever done,” Hodges said. “The first coordinated 5K was done earlier this year during the Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.”

The exercise consisted of walking or running around the perimeter of the compound, which is guarded by Saudi and American security forces. Hodges remained conscientious of the well-being of all participants from start to finish of the 5K, but her work didn’t stop there.

“Desiree is the kind of employee that helps make the working environment great for the whole team,” said Air Force Col. Louis Orndorff, DCMA Middle East commander. “She constantly steps up to lead events that bring us all together. This was her idea to do the 5K and it made a big difference for our team.”

That extra effort Hodges puts into DCMA Middle East is not only noticed by her supervisor, but by her coworkers and others as well.

“Anytime there is an action here such as a Villa repair, supplies, security, wellness, etcetera, the standard response is ‘go see Desiree,’” said David Wilson, DCMA business process advisor. “She has received an infinite amount of calls after hours and on weekends to help with some of the challenges we face here in the Middle East, to include coordinating such an event.”

Hodges has been with the agency for seven years, with one year in Saudi Arabia. She serves as the facilities and vehicles manager as well as the government purchase card holder. She also handles in-and-out processing and acts as the liaison between the mission partners that are on the base with the DCMA team.

“Despite already being busy with our regular mission requirements, she wanted to volunteer to become the Work Life point of contact for our team,” Orndorff said. “Desiree’s great attitude helps make DCMA Middle East a great place to work.”

Hodges hopes that her role as the Work Life point of contact in Saudi Arabia has a positive impact on her coworkers.

“I want them to be in optimal health so they can enjoy their tour here and be able to contribute to the mission and vision of our office,” Hodges said. “I have a great team here and it’s really motivating to see everyone come together and have a little fun while getting some exercise.”