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NEWS | Jan. 27, 2022

Employees' shared sense of mission drives culture of high performance

By Ms. Jacqueline Boucher

Employees' shared sense of mission drives culture of high performance | Article | The United States Army

A successful organization needs both creative and agile leaders, common traits among award winners setting the standard for others to follow.

Michelle Reese and Jennifer Condrad were selected Tobyhanna Army Depot’s Employees of the Quarter, for the second and third quarters of fiscal year 2021, senior and supervisor categories, respectively. Reese is a logistics management specialist recognized for work accomplished while assigned to the Production Management Directorate’s Sustainment Planning Division. The division was recently realigned under the Strategic Initiatives Office. Condrad, who earned the award for actions taken while chief of the directorates’ C4 Program Management Division, has since assumed the role of deputy director in production management. The award ceremonies were postponed for months due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Condrad always puts her team and mission first, according to co-workers who submitted the nomination form.

“She is an active mentor and goes out of her way to help others become more knowledgeable about the business,” said Maria Portonova, division operations manager. “Every day, she demonstrates that leading is not about being in charge, but about setting the tone for the culture you want to see in the organization.”

Condrad received rave reviews from depot employees familiar with her work ethic and track record. While division chief she was responsible for overseeing the largest division in volume of work while also having the best performing division in terms of cost and schedule performance, according to information included in the nomination package.

“This award means a lot to me,” said Condrad. “It’s validation that what you do on a daily basis does matter. My goal as a leader has always been to help others and this award is a testament that I am heading in the right direction.”

The leadership position encompasses many responsibilities to include leading a team of logistics professionals who manage a portfolio of C5 equipment, according to Condrad. Other duties consist of assisting the team with customer coordination, monitoring the execution of U.S. Army Forces Command top 20 programs and helping develop future leaders, she added.

Condrad is calm under pressure, holds herself and team accountable, and cares deeply for her employees, according to Gary Roberts, C4ISR Directorate’s Tactical Radio/COMSEC Division chief. “In short, she is everything you could hope to get in a leader.”

“I have been very fortunate to spend time in multiple directorates and have learned a lot about Army processes. Most importantly, I’ve been able to grow into my leadership role through the various experiences I’ve had while working with a diverse team,” Condrad said. “Developing relationships with others to help drive improvements is crucial to getting needed systems back into the hands of the warfighters,” she said, crediting her success to her team.

Reese’s last supervisor praised her aggressive yet tactful approach to customer relations. Remarking that relationships cultivated over time continue to deliver new opportunities for the depot.

“It is clear that the mission of Tobyhanna Army Depot is her passion and she will always put the customer [warfighter] first,” said Kristyn Smith, former planning division chief. “Michelle sets the bar high in everything she does. In particular, the successful management of the public-to-private partnerships (P3) for the depot.” Smith recently assumed the role of depot chief of staff.

The opportunity to deliver new business to Tobyhanna Army Depot is what drives Reese in her quest to provide the best value and support to the warfighter. The P3 team is responsible for dozens of partnerships, some comprised of direct sales or workshares. Reese led the way for the P3 team to orchestrate one of the largest partnerships in depot history, worth more than $40 million.

People who have worked with Reese agree she is a true leader and team player with a reputation for supporting the training and development of coworkers.

“I’m very proud and enjoy opportunities to speak about Tobyhanna’s C5ISR capabilities,” Reese said. “I’m a leader and take pride in educating my coworkers, industry partners and government program offices on public-to-private partnerships.”

Daily mentorship, coaching and training ensures Reese’s team members are postured for success, according to the information written in the nomination package. She also trains other key internal stakeholders to ensure commitments with industry partners are met on time and within budget.

“Michelle believes in full transparency and communication,” Smith said. “If the customer needs it, she makes sure it is done, and most importantly, it is done right with quality service at the forefront.”

Years spent working in business development have taught Reese how to be patient, yet persistent. Life lessons have shown her people need to foster relationships to build trust, plus how to align work and life ethics by the Army leadership values for success.

“I am honored to receive this award,” Reese said. “It is my goal, each day of my career, to showcase the depot’s Command Control, Communication, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) capabilities through visits, events and symposiums as the best value to the warfighter.”

Recognizing employees for a job well done links to a TOBY2028 objective -- Invest in our People. The objective centers on developing an agile and innovative workforce dedicated to providing the best value to the warfighter. The quarterly awards program identifies and rewards junior-, senior- and supervisor-level employees who, in the performance of their assigned duties, have established a pattern of excellence. Nominations may be submitted by co-workers, who work with the nominee, directly or indirectly, with a minimum of at least four nominators or by an employee’s supervisor.

Winners receive a special parking space for the quarter, a $500 On-The-Spot Award and a plaque. Winning packages are automatically forwarded to the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) to compete in their respective categories. The C4ISR quarterly award winners receive the Department of the Army (DA) Achievement Medal for Civilian Service and CECOM quarterly award winners receive a DA Certificate of Achievement as well as their name on a Perpetual Plaque.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna’s Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C5ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.

Tobyhanna’s unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our joint warfighters.