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News | Jan. 15, 2020

Ravens host CMO, discuss contracting parallels

By DCMA Baltimore

First-line supervisors and senior leaders from the Defense Contract Management Agency’s office here recently visited the Baltimore Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium for a unique leadership training opportunity. During the visit, the multifunctional acquisition team was allowed an all-access look into the complex machine responsible for making sure the Ravens' NFL games go off without a hitch.

“The experience was truly amazing and the leadership objectives were very apparent,” said Todd Outten, a supervisory quality assurance specialist. During the visit, Outten and the team drew parallels between the stadium and DCMA operations. “Most importantly, we were reminded of the importance of engaging as a team on the field, off the field, or in the field, in a multifunctional environment,” he said.

The group got a behind-the-scenes look at the building maintenance, catering, sanitation services, hospitality, and grounds keeping contracted efforts, among the other  events that comprise the game-day experience.

“Most immediately apparent was the staggering amount of contracted work that is executed at the stadium,” said Outten. “While it may fall short of the scope and value of the contracts DCMA administers, our guides illustrated how the crew synchronizes a huge contract load with varying complexity and performance periods. Moreover, like DCMA, it takes a dedicated group of contracts and functional specialists to help bring it all together.”

Whether it is a Sunday football game or products delivered to American warfighters, most customers only see the end result. “We saw the behind-the-scenes of the stadium, which reminded me of our behind-the-scenes support of our warfighters,” said Harry Tucker, a supervisory contract specialist.

The DCMA group was able to draw comparisons throughout the tour. The engineering, infrastructure and other systems that make the stadium run reminded employees of the work DCMA engineering and property management experts perform. The coaching, media and officials’ booths reflected industrial specialists and quality assurance teams who oversee contractor performance and compliance. Stadium coordinators and tour guides, similar to DCMA integration teams, brought individual programs together efficiently.

“Our guides even filled us in on the amazing combined ops center where emergency medical, police, surveillance, and active response personnel work their own style of multifunctional talents,” added Outten. “One fact that caught my attention was that the stadium’s grass field is equipped with nighttime grow lights and that the lines are routinely repainted. This essentially means the field is in a state of perpetual growth and attention, just like DCMA’s perpetual time and dedication to our warfighters and each other.”

The employees said that it was inspiring to see the time and dedication that it takes to make sure a game goes off without any problems. “Being on the field together was a great motivator,” said Chantelle Couser, a supervisory contract specialist.  

Maurice Ponder, DCMA Baltimore deputy commander, agreed, calling the tour “an excellent team-building exercise.” Like the rest of the DCMA team, Ponder was particularly moved when leaving the Ravens’ locker room and heading through the tunnel leading to the playing field. The group passed the players' values and personal conduct boards, inspiring Ponder to think of DCMA’s own mission and vision statements.

“Executing our critical acquisition roles and engaging as a team to improve contractor effectiveness and deliver products to the warfighter is our own version of hard work, focus, accountability, and taking care of one another as a team,” said Ponder. “This constant reminder of dedication to something bigger than one’s self echoes our DCMA values. It is these values that bind us together and strengthen the resolve we have for the warfighter in everything we do.”