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NEWS | June 6, 2024

Leading By Example: Gatto Honored as Latest TYAD Supervisor of the Quarter

By Mr. Justin Kucharski

When it comes to leadership, Brandon Gatto, Chief of the Tobyhanna Legal Office, believes that good leaders will not instruct their teams to do something they wouldn’t do themselves. For his hard work, dedication to service, and strong leadership, he has been named Tobyhanna Army Depot’s (TYAD) Supervisor of the Quarter for the 1st Quarter of FY24.

Gatto joined Team Tobyhanna following years of experience working in law. Having earned degrees from Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and Temple University School of Law, he served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable James A. Gibbons in Lackawanna County and then a judicial law clerk to the Honorable James M. Munley in the United States (U.S.) District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. From there, he worked as a litigation associate at a large law firm headquartered in Philadelphia.

Gatto joined the U.S. Army Reserve as a judge advocate right around the same time he entered private practice. He said he found the work to be inspiring and that he enjoyed the idea of being part of something bigger than himself and using the law to help servicemembers. It was the work he performed with the U.S. Army Reserve that inspired him to seek out full-time opportunities with the Army, which led to his eventual joining of Team Tobyhanna.

Gatto said he appreciated the leadership component of the Army. During his initial year as a judge advocate, he said he received some of his best leadership training and had opportunities to work directly with extraordinary leaders. Lauren Leary, who serves as a Paralegal Specialist at TYAD, said that his leadership skills are second to none.

“You often hear leaders describe themselves with words such as selfless, humble, and altruistic, but it is rare to find a leader that truly embodies all of these traits. Brandon is the embodiment of those qualities. He is incredibly caring and kind and is never too busy for any of us in the office,” said Leary. “He also consistently sets clear expectations and goals for his employees, so we never have to wonder what is expected of us. I can probably speak for everyone in the office when I say that we are not only better employees under his leadership, but also better people.”

Legal Assistant Wendy Deprimo echoed Leary’s sentiment, saying she has learned and grown much under his guidance.

“Words can't possibly convey my admiration, respect, and appreciation for Brandon. He leads by example, inspiring trust, and empowering those around him. His natural ability to lead, inspire, mentor, and motivate others is truly impressive,” said Deprimo. “I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to work under his leadership and continue this growth journey.”

Gatto’s leadership style embodies the old saying “there is no ‘I’ in ‘Team,’” metaphorically saying that the legal office rolls the ball up the hill collectively.

“This is not a legal office where we sit back and wait for bad things to happen. We’re incredibly proactive. We work hard to understand new issues quickly and to empower those we serve to do what’s best for our client – the Army. ‘Leading by example’ is part of our overall culture and the servant leadership ethos that we try to practice,” said Gatto. “The ‘servant leadership’ mentality directly aligns with ‘leading by example.’ We prioritize client service, put the needs of others before our own, take ownership of the problems we face, and equip leaders to act with confidence. Doing so has helped us build trust across the organization quicker and demonstrate that we are all part of the same team.”

Associate Counsel Shanna Williamson feels Gatto’s leadership style resonates with her, saying it is the epitome of reliable, honest leadership.

“Brandon exemplifies what it is to be a true leader. He is decisive, compassionate, and fair,” said Williamson. “I am privileged to learn from his example daily.”

Associate Counsel Jamie Schelling said Gatto not only inspires the team to reach their max potential but also makes coming to work a pleasure.

“Brandon challenges us to think outside the box to find new, more efficient ways of doing things and he listens without judgment when we do. He makes it a priority to recognize our team’s wins big or small,” said Schelling. “He provides constant support but also trusts us to tackle projects without his oversight. He makes coming to work every day enjoyable and inspires us all to reach our full potential.”

One recent initiative that Gatto supported, with help from TYAD’s Business Intelligence Team, was the development of a work tracker aimed at tracking responsiveness to client questions, among other things. The idea nests with the depot’s overall desire to implement metrics-based dashboards for each cost center with the goal of making data-driven decisions.

Gatto said that although the team previously tracked each matter that they handled, they felt it didn’t really equate to a tracking service that their clients could see. He said the team decided to begin tracking responsiveness formally because they recognized it is important to their people. They quickly found that they were turning around client requests within 1-2 days, which is a high mark considering the complexities of some issues that arise.

“Most of our leaders need answers yesterday. Showing them that we have the ability to rapidly analyze complicated legal questions builds trust immediately,” said Gatto. “It also dispels the myth that questions get ‘stuck in the legal office.’”

Gatto credited the entire legal team, which boasts many years of experience, for his receiving the honor. He said that without them and their hard work and dedication, success wouldn’t be possible.

“We have an exceptional team in both the professional and personal sense. I think our diversity and our experiences have led to that,” said Gatto. “My Supervisor of the Quarter plaque has a sticky note over it that says ‘Teamwork Award.’ That’s how I really consider it. Any individual recognition is a result of the team’s success overall. When one of us is celebrated, we’re all celebrated, and I believe that’s the mentality throughout the office.”

Associate Counsel David Tomaszewski also works closely along Gatto in TYAD’s Legal Office. He said Gatto is the most talented and caring leader he’s had to privilege to work with.

“Brandon consistently demonstrates the utmost character, competence in his guidance, and commitment to serving the best interests of Army, TYAD, and his Legal Office teammates. He fosters a collaborative team-oriented environment where everyone’s opinions and ideas are respected and valued. While Brandon has high expectations, the atmosphere in which we achieve them is relaxed and even fun,” said Tomaszewski. “Brandon truly cares about our professional and personal development and well-being. We are all inspired to do our best for him, as he always does his best for us. In my 38 years of legal practice both in military and civilian settings, I have not enjoyed a job more, nor experienced a more talented and caring leader, teammate, or coworker. I am proud to have the good fortune, honor and privilege to serve under Brandon’s leadership.”

At the end of the day, Gatto said it is the individuals surrounding him that brings him the most joy in his work.

“I have exceptional people throughout my chain of command. It’s the same thing I love about working for the Army. It’s the people,” said Gatto.

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 3,280 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.