Corps’ MVD doles out honors

Published 11:45 pm Saturday, May 29, 2010

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Mississippi Valley Division has announced its annual award winners.

The honors, including Length of Service certificates for 27 employees with a total of 700 years, were handed out in a ceremony Wednesday.

• Brian Chewning, an economist and program manager for the New Orleans District Support Team, programs directorate, received the Ernest P. Blankenship Engineer/Scientist Award. Chewning was the MVD’s point of contact for the Greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System. At $14.7 billion, it is the Corps’ largest civil works project. He was also the MVD’s lead for the team that obtained the first Environmental Protection Agency approval plan for an EPA-designated wetland.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

• Alisa Russo, a program analyst within the Civil Works Integration Division, received the Ernest P. Blankenship Professional Award. Her responsibilities include regional financial management of the MVD’s $1.1 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program, as well as management of financial data on civil works programs and the Flood Control & Coastal Emergency initiative.

• Edie Whittington, an administrative officer for the Mississippi River Commission, received the Ernest P. Blankenship Technical/Administrative Award. Whittington coordinates public hearings and executive sessions for the MRC, and prepares reports and other correspondence related to the meetings.

• Barbara Kleiss, director of Louisiana Coastal Area Science and Technology, was named Woman of the Year. Kleiss, a 30-year federal employee, organized a team to develop plans for Louisiana coastal area projects and wrote a report on applying the Engineering Circular on Relative Sea Level Rise concept. She also created wetland loss maps. Kleiss has led teams in the effort to develop a Mississippi River Region Model and the Diversion Summit.

• Jim Hannon, former deputy director of regional business for the MVD, received the Commander’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Equal Employment Opportunity. Hannon has been a committee member for the Affirmative Employment Program/EEO Committee. He has helped in the recruitment of minorities, women and the disabled. He is part of the federal government’s Senior Executive Service and, as a result, was promoted to director of regional business for the Corps’ Southwestern Division, Dallas.

The MVD is responsible for the Corps’ water resources programs in a 370,000-square-mile area, extending from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and encompassing parts of 12 states. The MRC, headquartered in downtown Vicksburg at the MVD, oversees operations for the entire Mississippi River.