FORT LEE, Va. –
Two employees with Defense Contract Management Agency’s Portfolio Management and Business Integration Directorate were recently recognized for their contributions to the Reserve forces.
Agency team members Donna Holden, PM&BI Earned Value Management System center director, and Patricia Gonzalez, PM&BI EVMS center group lead, were honored during a Navy Employer Recognition Event held last September in Norfolk, Virginia.
“My favorite part of the awards recognition was talking to the sailors who represent a community that is unique to their particular domains,” said Gonzalez. “Every tour I participated in was a difference experience, and I was very impressed with the sense of pride, self-assurance, and competence exhibited by each sailor. I remember asking questions during one of the boat tours and commenting that I couldn’t do what these men and women do every day and know so much about the assets they were demonstrating. The sailor simply said, ‘Ma’am, it’s my job!’”
NERE recognizes employers of Navy Reserve sailors who go above and beyond throughout the year providing exceptional support. Selectees are invited annually to an all-day event hosted by the Navy Reserve. This year’s activities included tours of Navy ships, aircraft and facilities. The day concluded with a dinner reception.
“I really liked the physical tour of each of the boats and systems,” said Holden. “I enjoyed speaking with the SEALs on new systems, especially the [Unmanned Aerial Vehicles]. It was unbelievable how large and how small some of those were. The smallest one they demonstrated and showed us was the size of a matchbox car.”
In addition to the activities, NERE’s goal is to provide an opportunity for employers to get better acquainted with the military commitments of their Reserve employees, providing a deeper understanding of the importance of employer support to Navy warfighting readiness.
“Walking around the same halls and rooms and settings our sailors use to work, play, sleep, relax is exciting, and motivates me to do a better job,” said Holden. “We were given an opportunity in a simulator to attack targets at sea as well as to shoot small arms to standing targets in a range. We also enjoyed listening to the senior leaders speak at many sessions, which inspired us to return to our home offices and be better at what we do every day.”
In addition to NERE, Holden was selected by the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve committee for the Patriot Award. ESGR states the award reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed.
“What makes these recognitions possible is the top down support, but what makes it special is that each were submitted by employees of mine,” said Holden. “I’m honored to think they believe what I do as their leader, their supervisor, motivates them to submit such an entry. As leaders, we take several training sessions on how to be good leaders and how to inspire our employees to feel contributory and empowered. I hope I help them each day to contribute their best work to the agency, and live their best life at home.”
Holden believes in servant leadership and strives to ensure her team members feel valued and respected.
“We believe in enabling and empowering our workforce to become the best version of themselves they can, while achieving what is necessary to complete the job,” Holden said. “Gratitude to all my employees who work so hard every day who do not receive formal recognition. They do it because they believe in making this a better environment for our department. They are the real winners.”