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NEWS | March 8, 2023

Reyes, Shields recognized as latest Employees of the Quarter

By Mr. Nicolo Manzo and Ms. Danielle E. Weinschenk

Choosing just two members of Team Tobyhanna’s exemplary workforce to be recognized as Tobyhanna’s Employees of the Quarter is no small feat. The individuals selected go above and beyond to advance the Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) mission. This quarter, TYAD has recognized Ms. Shannon Reyes and Mr. Eugene Shields as the Employees of the Quarter, senior and junior category respectively.

Ms. Shannon Reyes is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Specialist. Reyes’ efforts help to improve workplace culture for all depot employees in several ways, but her work with one community is particularly noteworthy. Reyes’ work in support of Team Tobyhanna’s deaf/hard of hearing (DHH) community helps to create a workplace of inclusivity.

According to EEO Manager John Sutkowsky, Reyes’ expertise, work ethic and welcoming presence are key factors in helping to ensure a workplace where DHH employees feel supported.

“Ms. Reyes is considered the Subject Matter Expert for all topics related to our deaf community. Ms. Reyes continuously goes above and beyond what is expected of an EEO Specialist by volunteering to administer the NTID Co-Op Program, covering for special sign language interpretation events, providing EEO related briefings for new employees, and coordinating efforts to improve communications and the working environment for our DHH community. Her calming demeanor throughout all initiatives ensures everyone she comes in contact with feels valued and at ease, creating a safe and inclusive working environment,” says Sutkowsky.

Sutkowsky believes creating a safe and inclusive workplace in which all employees can thrive positions Team Tobyhanna to best support our mission.

“Ms. Reyes’ efforts to improve communications between our deaf employees and their supervisors/co-workers has a direct effect on productivity. She spearheaded awareness training for supervisors and work leaders to ensure they understand communication barriers faced by deaf employees. Allowing supervisors and work leaders to see communication barriers from a different perspective increases their ability to better relay work instructions/feedback, helping productivity,” says Sutkowsky.

To summarize it in a sentence, Sutkowsky says Reyes “always puts her own needs aside to meet the needs of our deaf community.”

Reyes says she is “honored and humbled” to be named an Employee of the Quarter. She considers it a privilege to be able to challenge herself and help members of Team Tobyhanna daily.

“I like that my job is different every day. I have the privilege of working on various projects with a wide variety of people and, at the same time, I enjoy helping people out. I also like taking on challenges and seeing the end result come to fruition,” says Reyes.

Reyes says she prides herself on her dedication and work ethic.

“My secret of success is being a dedicated team member and always striving to do the best I can at my job every single day.”

Eugene Shields is a Tool and Parts Attendant in the Production Management directorate. While Shields’ title at Tobyhanna will tell someone what job he performs at TYAD, the sentiments offered by his peers more aptly describe the values which make him an invaluable asset to Tobyhanna – consummate professional, proven leader, selfless, subject matter expert (SME) and the list goes on.

Shields’ tireless dedication to his role has earned him respect amongst his colleagues and has helped Tobyhanna surpass delinquency metrics.

According to his supervisor Tracy Thompson, Shields “FAR exceeds the expectations of his position. His disposition and work ethic establish him throughout the Depot as the go-to subject matter expert for Main Tool Crib Operations and Test Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment (TMDE).”

Described by his colleagues as "a benchmark for understanding and following Army and DOD rules and regulations” and “the quiet backbone of the success of the TMDE program,” Shields’ dedication to the TYAD mission has manifested itself in several ways.

One concrete way is through a sterling delinquency rate. TYAD’s 0.7% rate is well below the Army goal of 2.0%.

Shields’ drive and dedication not only ensure that depot operations remain on track but also serve as an example for other members of Team Tobyhanna to follow.

“He works tirelessly to maintain continuity of operations in the Main Tool Crib, to review and improve processes and to brief and discuss ideals with leadership. He exhibits superb professionalism and customer support. He exercises extreme ownership and integrity. His knowledge, skills and ability make him highly sought after by teammates, leadership and depot stakeholders. His leadership motivates teammates and leadership to push through reduced resource challenges and ensure mission readiness. Colleagues describe him as a mentor, leader, expert and especially praise his work ethic and knowledge,” says Thompson.

Shields’ technical proficiency is heralded by Thompson, who says “Gene's drive toward stellar inventory accuracy and accountability ensures a focus on fiscal stewardship. Processing on average of 150 transactions per day for ingoing and outgoing equipment, preparing calibration documentation and validating assets on both sides ensures the effectiveness of the program.”

But what sets Shields apart is his tireless dedication to his work and the TYAD mission.

“His love of what he does, pride of ownership in the Tool Crib and desire to serve the depot in his current capacity is the epitome of selfless service. He goes above and beyond to train teammates, to support operations during increased operational tempo and to fill in when teammates need time off. He is always willing to help anyone out with the correct process or procedure. He is a recognized and valued mentor,” says Thompson.

Shields is humbled to be named an Employee of the Quarter and says it is a rewarding feeling to know his dedication is recognized by his fellow members of Team Tobyhanna.

“I am very proud and happy to receive this award. This shows that people do see what I do for the depot mission and customer service,” says Shields.

But he says his favorite part of his work comes when a customer is satisfied.

“My favorite part of my work at Tobyhanna is when the customer I support is pleased with my service. Mission always.”

This dedication, along with the dedication of Reyes, truly embodies the spirit of the Employee of the Quarter award.

Recognition of outstanding employee performance across the enterprise through the Employee of the Quarter program directly aligns with Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2035, and specifically the Invest in Our People line of effort. All four focus areas of the plan are: Invest in Our People, C5ISR Readiness, Shape the Future and Strategic Communications. TOBY2035 aims to posture the depot for success in the coming years as the Department of Defense's premier worldwide C5ISR readiness provider.

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 3,100 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is 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.