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NEWS | July 1, 2022

Tobyhanna employee named Leadership Lackawanna “Class Leader of the Year”

By Ms. Danielle E. Weinschenk

An employee at Tobyhanna Army Depot took top honors during the Leadership Lackawanna Core Program graduation last week.

Established in 1982, Leadership Lackawanna is an affiliate of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and has graduated more than 2,400 community leaders. The organization’s flagship effort is the Core Program, which consists of ten monthly training sessions focused on leadership development in a variety of areas. In addition to the monthly meetings, Core Program participants must complete a service project benefitting a non-profit organization in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Depot employee Michael Fedorisin was named Leadership Lackawanna’s “Class Leader of the Year” – an honor bestowed to the student who most exemplifies the desired outcomes of the Core Program through their actions during the course. Fedorisin’s achievement marks the third time a depot employee earned the award.

According to Leadership Lackawanna’s Executive Director Nicole Morristell, Fedorisin was recognized for going above and beyond during his Core Program tenure.

“Michael served as an inspiration and role model for others, consistently acting with integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness. He generously shared his own resources, knowledge, and skills to improve the collective experience of the current class – and of our organization. He is a true advocate for Leadership Lackawanna, his service project, his employer, and the well-being of our community,” she said.

Fedorisin spearheaded his team’s project to revitalize Mercatili-Segilia Park, a much-used community space in Moosic. The team updated signage, built 21 new picnic tables, replaced dilapidated benches, designed and fabricated new buffet tables and also refurbished the park’s gazebo.

One of Fedorisin’ s classmates says he deserves the accolade.

“Mike was a vital part of our team and was equally comfortable taking the reins as well as delegating to others. I am overjoyed he was recognized with this well-deserved award and look forward to seeing what leadership endeavors are undoubtedly in his future,” said Jessica Meoni, a Core Program participant from the Honesdale National Bank.

In addition to Fedorisin, four other depot employees graduated from the 2022 Core Program: Mariam Garcia, Ricardo Horn, Robert McLaughlin, and Lauren Tomaino.

As a Logistics Management Specialist in the Production Management Directorate, Tomaino is responsible for building relationships with depot customers and resolving production issues. She says the program has helped her improve skills critical for her position.

“During the Core Program, I learned better communication skills and teamwork through both class activities and our group project.”

Tomaino and fellow Tobyhanna employee Robert McLaughlin’s community service project benefited Camp Freedom in Carbondale, a wilderness preserve that provides outdoor activities and healing programs for military veterans, first responders, and Gold Star families. The team cleared hiking trails, installed nearly 100 signs across the campus, and created marketing materials to expand knowledge of the organization’s mission. According to McLaughlin, Camp Freedom’s importance cannot be understated.

“Many veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and, after visiting the preserve, several patrons reported to staff that their experiences at Camp Freedom literally kept them from harming themselves, thus saving their lives. That kind of impact made me want to get – and stay – involved.” McLaughlin leads the C4ISR Directorate’s Transponders Branch.

Tobyhanna Employee Services Center Chief Ricardo Horn is no stranger to service after a long career in community behavioral and mental health. He enrolled in the Core Program to enhance his existing skill set.

“My goal was to expand my scope and contribute to new areas of my community,” he said. “The program emphasized service leadership, which encouraged me to reflect on how I practice service to others and where I can improve.”

Horn’s community service project, entitled, “Cutting with Care,” assisted the NeighborWorks Aging in Place effort by developing a program to link volunteers with older adults who need assistance with basic landscaping and grass cutting needs. Horn emphasized the importance of the class project to the overall Core Program experience.

“Working on this specific project, with an organization I was not familiar with, reinforced the selflessness of our community members and how invested people are in the well-being of their neighbors.”

Thanks to the efforts of Mariam Garcia and her team, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library has finally arrived in Lackawanna County. The program, an international book gifting program, mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five, no matter their family’s income. Garcia and her team stood the program up locally and enrolled more than 1,300 children in the educational initiative.

More than sixty employees at Tobyhanna participated in community leadership programs last year, part of Tobyhanna’s efforts to better connect with the surrounding community. Fedorisin says the efforts are well worth it.

“I applied to Leadership Lackawanna to get out of my personal and professional comfort zone. I achieved those goals and left the program as a different type of leader. I can connect with and empower my team members more effectively. Everyone can benefit from participation in a program like Leadership Lackawanna.”

Garcia agreed.

“Thanks to my Core Program experience, I feel more comfortable dealing with leaders across my organization.”

Connecting with the community is a foundational tenet of Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2028. The plan aligns with the depot's four strategic focus areas: Investing in Our People, C5ISR Readiness, Shape the Future and Strategic Communications and aims to posture the organization for future success.

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.

About 3,500 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the command’s mission is to empower the Soldier with winning C5ISR capabilities.