USACE Vicksburg District honors employees for Engineers Day

Published 11:59 am Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District recognized employee excellence with its annual Engineers Day awards ceremony at district headquarters Thursday.

Employees received a variety of honorary individual and team awards. The ceremony allowed field office personnel across the district’s area of responsibility to participate.

Recent retiree Kent Parrish received the Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal for his inspirational leadership to USACE. The award recognized Parrish’s service to the United States Engineer Regiment. Parrish’s career with USACE spanned 38 years until his retirement in December 2021.

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The following employees received special recognition for their achievements:

• Capt. Jacob Kramer received an Army Commendation Medal for his service as an operations officer for the USACE Mississippi Valley Division.

• Vanessa Barnes, Visual Information, received a Civilian Service Commendation Medal for her work and dedication to the district’s mission through her photography and videography skills.

• Nicholas Pritchett, Office of Counsel, received a Commander’s Coin for his support to the region as an attorney.

The following employees were recognized with individual awards:

• Heather Clark, Engineering and Construction Division, was named Employee of the Year for her leadership and excellence in executing the district’s mission.

• Brian Oliver, Geotechnical Branch, was named STEM Employee of the Year for his pattern of high achievement, excellence and leadership in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

• Deputy Chief of Engineering and Construction Division Will Bradley and Resource Management Chief Cynthia Lee each received Commendation Awards for serving successively as acting deputy commander from May 2021 to January 2022.

• Office of Counsel Chief David Dyer received the 2022 Lester Edelman Award for Legal Manager of the Year.

• Vincent Farrell, Office of Counsel, received the 2022 USACE Chief Counsel’s Keystone Award for his legal and administrative support.

• Lanny Barfield, Engineering and Construction Division, received the Commander’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Equal Employment Opportunity for his contributions to the EEO Program.

• Willie Thomas, Engineering and Construction Division, received the Volunteer Leadership Award, which recognizes employees who accept the challenge to lead various efforts that benefit the community, fellow employees, and the district.

• Kenny Mills, Operations Division, received the Wage Grade Leadership Award, which recognizes a wage system supervisor who has led their crew to accomplish quality, productive and safe work.

• John Hogue, Engineering and Construction Division, and Jerry Slaughter, Sardis Lake Field Office, each received the Paddle Wheel Award, which is presented to outstanding Federal Wage System and General Schedule employees for performance excellence.

• John Stouffer, Engineering and Construction Division, received the Engineer Award for his contributions to his discipline.

• Elijah Hunt, Engineering and Construction Division, received the Scientist Award for his contributions to his field.

• Catherine Lott, Resource Management, and Vincent Farrell, Office of Counsel, both received the Professional Award for their contributions to the district.

• Tonya Gregory-Lyons, Executive Office, received the Administrator of the Year Award for her excellent support of district operations.

• Jeff Lockwood, DeGray Lake Field Office, received the Park Ranger Award for his performance in visitor assistance, water safety and natural resource management duties.

• Water Management Section Chief Justin Giles received the Gregory C. Raimondo Public Affairs Award for his outstanding support of community and media relations and command information.

• Connor Watson, Engineering and Construction, and Jesse Holifield, Operations Division, received the headquarters and field Student of the Year Award, respectively, for their commitment and leadership skills.

The following teams were recognized for their outstanding performance:

• The Thatcher Lock and Dam Team, which consisted of Engineering and Construction Division and Public Affairs Office team members, were recognized for their collaboration and cooperation involving a leak in a hinged crest gate which required quick action by all team members to repair the issue and keep stakeholders and the public informed.

• The Arkabutla Lake Team received the Wage Grade Team Award for their efforts to provide recreational opportunities.

• The Ropes Access Team received the Team Safety Award for their service to the district and dedication to safety while on numerous assignments throughout the pandemic.