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NEWS | Feb. 1, 2024

Dependability, respect and hard work embodied in Tobyhanna's latest Supervisor of the Quarter

By Mr. Justin Kucharski

Since joining Team Tobyhanna, Paula Mesaris has worked in multiple positions and pursued continuous learning opportunities whenever possible. Due to her effective leadership skills and strong body of work, she has been honored as Tobyhanna Army Depot’s (TYAD) latest Supervisor of the Quarter.

Mesaris came to TYAD in 2006 following a job as a postal worker. She began her depot career working in what was then a combined safety and environmental office. After 10 years in that position, she was named Chief of what is now the Environmental Branch in November of 2016.

Mesaris and her team manage all of the environmental compliance programs for TYAD while also focusing on sustainability and conservation. They strive to ensure the depot remains in compliance with federal, state, and U.S. Army regulations in regard to cultural resources, hazardous waste, natural resources, pollution prevention, energy, pest management and solid waste/recycling programs.

Under Mesaris’ leadership, the environmental team earned the 2023 Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence for water resiliency through wastewater treatment technology. This award comes in addition to the Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Award for Exceptional Achievement in Water Efficiency the depot received in February 2023. Additionally, she oversaw TYAD's participation as an Army Pilot site for a cooperative program centered on Environmental Justice which included representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force.

Mesaris has also spearheaded multiple depot clean-up events, to include the 2023 Earth Day clean up event. During this event, 110 members of Team Tobyhanna collected 142 bags of trash with other debris such as metal, wood, plastic, rubber, etc.

Mesaris said when she got the news about receiving the award, it came as a big surprise.

“It is such an honor. I was very surprised. It was very unexpected,” said Mesaris” “You kind of just go about your job and then when something like this happens it is nice that somebody notices that your team is performing well.”

Mesaris thanked her team above all, saying that no supervisor can earn such an award without a strong group of people around them.

“When you look back, you don’t remember the tasks you did over the years, you remember the people you worked with. I don’t think anybody can win this award without a really awesome team and I’m very blessed to have one,” said Mesaris. We have a lot of new team members that are very gung-ho and are very environmentally conscious. They are about their job and about serving the depot and it is just a great pleasure to have a team like that. They make it pleasant to come into work because I have people that care.”

Environmental Engineer Amalia Thomas praised Mesaris for her strong leadership skills and people-first mentality.

“Paula is a fantastic and dedicated supervisor. She always has a happy face on and is always willing to help you out,” said Thomas. “She strives for growth of her employees and has the utmost respect for her colleagues. Paula is there when you need her.”

Mesaris said she has always been a strong proponent for pursuing learning opportunities. Throughout her career, she has been involved with the Combined Federal Campaign, COVID Trace Team, TOBY2035 Line-of-Effort teams, the Peer-to-Peer program and more in addition to her typical duties in the spirit of learning as much as she can. She is actively in the process of earning her master’s degree from Marywood University to go alongside her bachelors degree from the same school.

Mesaris credited the strong leadership she has received throughout her career as her reason for trying new things.

“I have always had really great support from my leadership teams,” said Mesaris. “I’ve always received encouragement to take a leap and pursue something that was out of my comfort zone. Having mentors like that definitely helped and made an impact on me throughout my career.”

TYAD’s Chief of Public Works James Wisnewski serves as Mesaris’ supervisor. He lauded her for being incredibly reliable and willing to do what it takes to get the job done.

“Paula is an exemplary employee, mission minded, organization focused and willing to go to great efforts to ensure TYAD’s success,” said Wisnewski. She is a well-respected and dependable member of TYAD’s supervisory workforce and is always willing to assist without hesitation.”

The Supervisor of the Quarter award – and its companion Employee of the Quarter awards – are TOBY2035 initiatives aligned with the Invest in Our People line of effort. The plan, which has three additional focus areas, strives to position Tobyhanna 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, postproduction software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our joint warfighters.

About 3,100 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.