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News | Aug. 14, 2018

DCMA Philadelphia employee retires after years of mentoring, encouraging others

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Public Affairs

Michael Patterson is looking forward to retirement soon, especially to bowling.

He has been a mentor to numerous Defense Contract Management Agency Philadelphia employees during his 36 years of service, especially those who participated in the Keystone program.

Patterson, who is legally blind, has excelled in his career. Patterson has aniridia, which is an eye condition that led to his blindness by age 17.

“Mike is the go-to-guy when it comes to internal training and mentoring in the progress payment field,” said Thomas Copestick, who is Patterson’s supervisor. “He has provided mentoring and training to numerous Keystone contract specialists and colleagues.”

Patterson, a contract price and cost analyst and the lead DCMA representative in the progress payment review process, is retiring on Aug. 31.

As a contract price and cost analyst, Patterson is responsible for conducting in-depth analytical evaluations of contractors’ progress payments. He coordinates with DCMA industrial specialists and auditors from Defense Contract Audit Agency who support DCMA Philadelphia.

Among his job duties, Patterson reviews and analyzes approximately 25 pricing cases each year.

“The reviews are performed to determine whether the contractor is in a loss position,” said Patterson. “I determine if the incurred costs are commensurate with the physical progress being made by the contractor and verify that all deliveries are made and are on schedule. I provide a final recommendation relative to any issues that are raised by DCAA and the industrial specialist to the administrative contracting officer on whether the full payment should be authorized to the contractor.”

According to Copestick, Patterson’s analysis decreased $9.5 million in unauthorized progress payments to contractors in 2017. Copestick also praised Patterson for his work in creating pricing tools to help his fellow colleagues.

“Recently, Mike was instrumental in the team’s collaboration and development of the DCMA Philadelphia pricing desk instructions,” said Copestick. “This working document is a tool in which the price analysts will use to better assist them in their daily pricing activities.

“The instructions were developed to promote consistency among the analysts in properly creating and recording pricing cases in eTools, uploading and storing pricing documents for records management, and utilizing templates created by headquarters and our team. The efforts set forth in the development of the pricing desk instruction will greatly contribute to the success of our team’s goal, which is better pricing aligned with the Department of Defense’s Better Buying Power initiative.”

Patterson said his supervisor and colleagues made sure he had the tools to be successful throughout his DCMA career.

“I used a computer software called Job Access with Speech, also called JAWS, and a Braille machine to perform my job duties,” he said. “My blindness did not impact my ability to do the same work as the other contract price and cost analysts.”

Copestick said Patterson is a model employee and will be missed.

“Mike exemplifies DCMA’s core values of integrity, service and excellence throughout his knowledge, experience, and customer support to the contracts community,” said Copestick. “His sense of commitment, effective interactions among all stakeholders, cooperation and teamwork were invaluable in providing recommendations for payment to the administrative contracting officers.

“He has demonstrated competency, attention to detail, and consistent dedication to duty. His performance reflects both pride and a high level of attention to work, which have contributed immeasurably to the overall success of the DCMA mission.”

Prior to working at DCMA Philadelphia, Patterson worked as a financial analyst with the Defense Contract Administration Service Region Philadelphia.

Although Patterson is retiring, he will stay busy by donating blood to the American Red Cross, participating in the alumni association of the Overbrook School for the Blind in Philadelphia by mentoring students 10 to 18 years old, and bowling. He is currently the treasurer for the Philadelphia Area Blind Bowlers League and the president of the Delaware Valley Blind Bowlers League.

“I like to stay busy, and I enjoy bowling,” he said. “Last December, I won the American Blind Bowlers Association’s Mail-O-Graphic tournament, and recently in May, I won the gold medal at the Las Vegas National Blind Bowlers tournament in the doubles event. Although I will miss working at DCMA, I look forward to enjoying retirement.”