2017 Awards

2017 USD(AT&L) Defense Acquisition Workforce Achievement and Development Innovation Award Winners

The Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement and Workforce Development Awards highlight premiere examples of individual excellence and outstanding organizational workforce quality initiatives. Photos and accomplishments of the winners will be on display for one year in the Pentagon Defense Acquisition Workforce Wall of Recognition display.

2017 Photo Gallery

Achievement Awards

AAE Tamalia Adams Portrait

Gunnery Sergeant
Tamalia C. Adams

U.S. Marine Corps

As a member of 1st Marine Logistics Group, Gunnery Sergeant Adams was responsible for developing, training, and sustaining a contingency contracting force to provide responsive expeditionary contracting support for Task Force Koa Moana. Her leadership guaranteed the task force had the support necessary to accomplish its objectives in theater. Her management of deployed Marines enabled the successful award of over $6 million of contracted logistic support. She established the deployment reach-back program that identified contracting Marines unfamiliar with the contingency environment, allowing garrison-level review of the contracting auditing process. Gunnery Sergeant Adams' dedication, leadership and professionalism contributed to the successful mission accomplishment of the Expeditionary Contracting Platoon.

Melissa Panarelli Portrait

Ms. Melissa Panarelli
Defense Contract
Audit Agency

Ms. Panarelli was the lead auditor on a top-ten defense contractor’s FY 2011 – 2013 incurred cost audit. She reviewed approximately $1.2 billion in claimed costs and identified accounts that posed financial risks. She also developed multi-year transaction testing plans, resulting in audit coverage across several direct and indirect cost elements. She performed a comprehensive profit analysis where she identified high-risk, time and material contracts, noting several categories that were not billed in accordance with the contract. She demonstrated superb leadership and is a role model for her peers and junior personnel. Her process improvements have increased audit efficiency and quality, enhanced the skill set of the audit team, resulting in cost avoidance for the government.

Gary Trimble Portrait

Mr. Gary V. Trimble
U.S. Navy

As a member of the Navy Fleet Logistics Center at Sigonella, Italy, Mr. Trimble was responsible for award of multiple contracts for port services in support of the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command. Mr. Trimble crafted an acquisition strategy that addressed identified issues, radically changing the port services paradigm.He identified the team; developed and conducted post-award conferences; engaged fleet commanders to ensure support; and conducted exercises to simulate port visit requests. Through his leadership, he improved teamwork across all stakeholders, port visit planning, and implementation of standardized processes. Mr. Trimble’s model has become the standard for port services solutions for the Naval Supply Systems Command.

Dr. Wilson Rosa Portrait

Dr. Wilson Rosa
U.S. Navy

As the chairman for the first software and information cost analysis solutions team, Dr. Wilson Rosa provided the Department of the Navy with innovative cost estimating methodologies, enabling software programs to accurately analyze cost and schedules. As a result of his tireless efforts, the Department and other federal agencies have gained access to best practices on cost and pricing analysis from industry, government, and academia. He developed a training module on automated information systems cost estimating methods and metrics that is now used in the cost analyst certification program. His extensive knowledge and sound leadership, resulted in significant contributions to the cost community for the Department of the Navy and other federal agencies.

Andrew R.Vrabec Portrait

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew R. Vrabec
U.S. Air Force

Lieutenant Colonel Vrabec serves as the Program Manager for Strategic Combat Systems in the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, responsible for a $13.5 billion, classified, strategic combat system development, production, and operations program. He led numerous scheduling efforts, including: addressing a potential nine month delay with the development of a new software approach; mitigating an additional 22 month schedule slip while incurring no additional costs; brokering an investment of $3 million to drive rapid hardware procurement; and crafting a $500 million design architecture. His involvement and expertise enabled a complete program acceleration effort and overhaul that allowed for a $320 million capability acceleration to meet operational deployment needs.

Daniel M. Carroll Portrait

Mr. Daniel M. Carroll

As the Director for Systems Engineering and Integration at the U.S. Special Operations Command, Program Executive Office for Fixed Wing Aircraft, Mr. Carroll led the management of a $1.5 billion portfolio. He developed, and implemented, a cutting-edge approach to cybersecurity testing for aircraft weapon systems; initiated a cross-cutting technical integration effort merging capabilities from several ACAT II programs; and accelerated the integration and testing for defensive systems on AC-130J aircraft by two years. He was responsible for crafting the systems engineering and integration strategy used to address end-to-end cybersecurity testing for weapon systems. Mr. Carroll exemplified the professionalism and leadership that inspires collaboration and the development of innovative approaches to technical challenges.

Valerie Clinkenbeard Portrait

Ms. Valerie Clinkenbeard
U.S. Army

As the acquisition liaison manager, engineering directorate, U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Ms. Clinkenbeard managed resources and schedules to award billions of dollars in new contracts. Her expertise was instrumental in the successful $400 million environmental contingencies acquisition. Her tenacity led to the execution of more than 1,300 contract actions and $2.5 billion in obligations. While supervising the cost engineering branch, she implemented a disciplined approach to improve accuracy of government estimates. Her leadership efforts resulted in the Corps of Engineers successfully awarding high quality contracts over the past year.

Jeff Martin Portrait

Mr. Jeffrey M. Martin
U.S. Air Force

As the Chief of Investment Budget for the Program Executive Office for Space Staff, Mr. Martin managed over $34 billion in all phases of U.S. Air Force investments. He developed budget justifications, effectively planned and programmed all portfolio investment funds, prioritized all unfunded requirements, and crafted strategies for the disposition of $441 million in must-pay and watch items. He creatively used all investment dollars during the fiscal year to direct multiple, below threshold, reprogramming actions. He orchestrated executable funding options to resolve multiple acquisition center financial issues. His leadership resulted in the successful strategic planning and management of all investments to cover the Program Executive Office’s highest priorities.

Michael R. Cirillo Portrait

Mr. Michael R. Cirillo
U.S. Marine Corps

As the Director for the Cyber Advisory Team, U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command, Mr. Cirillo formed a cyber-leadership approach to comprehensively respond to the demands of the cyber domain. He developed standardized, cyberspace acquisition briefs to ensure continuity across the command. He was instrumental in improving the prevention of future, gray market, IT incidents; led responses and actions for the National Defense Authorization Act to successfully fund the testing and evaluation of major weapons systems for cyber vulnerabilities; and led cyber acquisition workforce efforts to identify, develop, and retain a professional cadre of cyber-space experts. Mr. Cirillo’s leadership brought innovative improvements to the cyber domain and IT acquisition paradigm.

George N. Graham Jr.Portrait

Mr. George N. Graham Jr.

As Program Support Manager for Individual and Medical Equipment, United States Special Operations Command, Mr. Graham provided superior leadership and expertise for Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) and Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC). The SPEAR program protects the Special Forces operator from head to toe on the battlefield, maximizing combat effectiveness. The TCCC program provides equipment to medics and operators to stabilize, treat, and transport wounded personnel. Mr. Graham led logisticians from four Component Headquarters to ensure the effective fielding and sustainment of over 281,000 SPEAR equipment items and 3,000 TCCC unit or group level kits. Mr. Graham’s outstanding efforts greatly improved the overall, joint logistics support to the Special Forces operators on the battlefield.

Capt Charles M. Stuart Portrait

Capt Charles M. Stuart
U.S. Navy

As the Commanding Officer for the Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, Captain Stuart’s leadership was instrumental in overcoming unpredictable production, engineering, and leadership challenges. He led more than 4,500 military and civilian personnel, executing a $850 million budget in one of the largest maintenance, repair, and overhaul activities. Captain Stuart’s leadership ensured the success of the Fleet Readiness Center Southeast in $10 million in cost savings and the accelerated return of serviced aircraft, engines, and components to aviation units worldwide, achieving $10 million in repair cost savings.

Atkinson Portrait

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas A. Atkinson

As Program Manager for the Special Operations family of Vehicles in the Program Executive Office for Special Operations Forces Warrior Systems, Lieutenant Colonel Atkinson was responsible for developing, testing, and sustaining a full range of tactical ground mobility vehicles spanning four vehicle classifications. He executed a $234.5 million budget and led planning for $1.1 billion in requirements across the five-year defense plan. His tireless efforts led to the successful acquisition and accelerated fielding of over 400 combat vehicles and logistical support of over 3,000 total vehicles. His leadership resulted in outstanding support to special operators conducting decisive activities and global operations against terrorist networks.

Mr. Skip Hinman Portrait

Mr. Skip Hinman
U.S. Air Force

As the Lead Requirements Manager for the U.S. Air Force Air Education and Training Command, Mr. Hinman led a $16.3 billion acquisition effort to replace 430, T-38 training aircraft with an advanced training platform including 350 new aircraft, and a maintenance training system. He championed 102 requirements during the development, coordination, and approval of the system specifications document. He built a groundbreaking price model that increased capability and saved money. He led the development of maintenance training requirements that placed an equal emphasis on the maintenance training system. Mr. Hinman’s impact as Lead Requirements Manager protected the Taxpayer and supported the War fighter, ensuring a system that will train an estimated 47,600 pilots and more than 7,200 maintenance personnel, over the next 50 years.

Bass Portrait

Dr. Charles A. Bass Jr.
Defense Threat Reduction Agency

As the Science and Technology Manager supporting the Joint Project Manager – Protection program in the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Dr. Bass made significant contributions to the success of the Uniform Integrated Protective Ensemble Family of Systems program, Contamination Indicator and Decontamination Assurance Spray Program, and the Joint Biological Agent Decontamination System. His expertise and outstanding efforts were instrumental in developing a family of protective systems against the threat of weapons of mass destruction, including a spray that reduces decontamination time by 50% and a method of decontamination that can return sensitive equipment back to the fight. Dr. Bass’ leadership has provided cutting edge tools that keeps War fighters safe.

Mr. Ulises Cartaya Portrait

Mr. Ulises Cartaya

As the Acquisition Program Manager for the Program Executive Office for Services in the United States Special Operations Command, Mr. Cartaya led multiple, complex services acquisitions valued at $417 million. He led planning and execution of the Command’s successful 2017 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference and Round tables which identify strategy and solutions for how to improve support for special operators in today’s environment. He led teams on major, highly successful SOCOM acquisitions, to include acquisitions for training, education and exercise support. Mr. Cartaya’s outstanding leadership resulted in significant contributions to the Special Operations community.

Lee Rosenberg Portrait

Mr. Lee Rosenberg
Missile Defense Agency

As the Director of the Missile Defense Agency Small Business Office, Mr. Rosenberg ensured consideration and increased use of Small Businesses for MDA acquisitions. For the first time in agency history, monetary incentives were tied to small business utilization in three major contracts. Mr. Rosenberg’s outstanding efforts increased competition and industrial base quality, reduced costs and the number of sole source suppliers in the supply chain, and supported accelerating the inclusion of small business innovation research funded technologies into the Ballistic Missile Defense System to support the Warfighter.

Mr. Thomas Sachse Portrait

Mr. Thomas Sachse
U.S. Navy

As Chief Developmental Tester and Test and Evaluation Lead, for the Columbia Class Submarine Program, Mr. Sachse provided outstanding leadership and expertise to create the program’s comprehensive Test and Evaluation Master Plan and a Live Fire Test and Evaluation Management Plan. In addition, Mr. Sachse identified over $35 million of future test and evaluation cost savings between Milestone A and Milestone B. Under his leadership, the team developed cost-effective testing strategies to verify Columbia Class’ requirements and assess operational effectiveness, suitability, and survivability of the nation's next generation of strategic, sea-based deterrent.


DCMA seal

Defense Contract Management Agency, Ft. Lee, VA

The Defense Contract Management Agency redesigned its longstanding Keystone intern program to enhance the career development of the next generation of the agency’s acquisition workforce. Over the past 15 months, senior leadership revised the requirements of the Keystone program based on projected succession needs, workforce shaping goals, and forecasted evolution of technological workload requirements. A headquarters-based training and indoctrination program, also known as Boot Camp, has been established. Its curriculum provides an introduction to the agency mission and worldwide operations as well as opportunities for meeting with senior level agency management, providing lessons for enhanced career development, and building a sense of esprit de corps. Workforce requirements, especially in the contracting and engineering acquisition job series, have been renewed to use contemporary recruiting authorities that better match agency goals and changes in demographics. These revisions include much greater use of recent graduate hiring authorities and a centralized process for hiring student interns. To more fully support the on¬ boarding, mentoring and on-the-job training of new interns, six regional training hubs are being established that will eventually replace 50 hiring centers. Better workforce shaping, training, improved morale, and reduced attrition are all expected from the agency's renewed intern program.


U.S. Army Contracting Command, Orlando, FL

The U.S. Army Contracting Command – Orlando (ACC-Orlando) Workforce Support Branch and Leadership Development Integrated Project Team envisioned, developed and implemented a comprehensive workforce development program that consisted of technical training, leadership training, and an employee recognition program. Promoting workforce acquisition excellence through the education, training and career development, the team leveraged the Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund to improve leadership development, successfully implement structured quarterly workforce Coaching Sessions, create a Career Roadmap and Leadership Guide, organize “Notable Thinkers” Guest Speaker Engagements, develop a Leadership Reference Library and set in motion the Executive Director’s Shadow program. In the relatively short time in which ACC-Orlando has been in existence, the innovative training and career resource opportunities put in place by the team have enabled the Acquisition Workforce to better achieve current and future requirements not only within ACC-Orlando, but in external organizations as well. The combined efforts of the team reflect outstanding commitment to the workforce, the Army mission and the Department of Defense.