Nine civilian employees from SPAWAR Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic were recognized with Employee of the Year honors and two Sailors as Service Members of the Year during a Dec. 14 ceremony at the center’s Charleston campus.
Led by SSC Atlantic Commanding Officer Capt. Wesley Sanders and Executive Director Chris Miller, the awards ceremony included participation from SSC Atlantic’s New Orleans, Louisiana; Hampton Roads, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and Tampa, Florida locations via video teleconference.
“What a great way to close out the year by recognizing people for the wonderful contributions given to our command and to our nation. This is just a small sampling of what we do on a daily basis, but it’s a good way to culminate and finish out the year,” said Sanders.
The following employees were recognized for their achievements in 2018:
Brian Diedrick of Charleston was honored as Manager of the Year. Diedrick is an SSC Atlantic budget officer and is responsible for the command’s budget and funds control. His focus on cross-competency communication resulted in increased understanding and collaboration between technical and support competencies within the organization.
Ryan Price of Charleston was named Supervisor of the Year. Price is a supervisor in the 5.0 competency and was honored for his honest communication and selfless commitment to employee growth. In addition to his role at SSC Atlantic, Price is a brigade commander for the 228th Tactical Theater Signal Brigade, South Carolina Army National Guard (SCARNG) and has been instrumental in emergency response situations.
Wes Wills of Charleston was named Civilian of the Year. Wills is the integrated product team (IPT) lead for the Fixed Submarine Broadcast System (FSBS). He led efforts to restore the FSBS in Aguada, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, identifying and procuring $250,000 of replacement parts and returning the site to full mission capable status 134 days ahead of schedule.
Matthew Csernica of Charleston was named New Professional (NP) of the Year. Csernica supported engineering initiatives including the requirements body of knowledge and model-based systems engineering pilot projects. Additionally, Csernica is a member of the Surface Mine Warfare Development Center and Maritime Operations Center and Video Distribution System programs and serves as the Community Engagement Champion and Mentorship Coordinator on the NP Council.
George Hans of Charleston was honored with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Outreach of the Year award. Hans is the IPT Business Financial Manager for Shore Air Traffic Control (ATC) and now ATC Special Programs. This year, Hans coordinated support for various local high school robotics events and participates in building competition robots as an electrical mentor at Fort Dorchester High School.
Justin Firestone of Hampton Roads was named Contracting Officer Representative of the Year. Firestone supports the Fleet C4I Readiness Division strategy, and led and coordinated the initiation of two large Seaport-E contracts totaling more than $90 million. His contributions to this contracting strategy will allow for rapid response to emergent fleet support needs.
Randy Freeman of Hampton Roads was honored as IPT Lead of the Year. Freeman, IPT lead for Interior Communication, oversees a combined government and contractor workforce of more than 135 employees, enabling his team to achieve significant fleet modernization programmatic milestones. His responsibilities include delivery and sustainability voice communication systems to the Navy.
Reed Phillips of Charleston was honored as IPT Technical Lead of the Year. Phillips is the IPT technical lead for Industrial Control Systems Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. Phillips is a certified system engineer professional with ICS Level 3 Certification and was lauded for writing the Defense Logistics Agency Enterprise Control Systems Capability Requirements document for Automated Fuel Handling Equipment.
Tiffany Ackerman was presented the IPT Support Person of the Year award. Ackerman is a business financial manager for Afloat Submarine C4I. In her position, Ackerman pushed for maximum consolidation of task orders used for procurement and integration of Common Submarine Radio Room installation kits, and the consolidation saved the program office $1.5 million.
Electronics Technician First Class Joshua McLellan, assigned to Charleston, was honored as Senior Military Service Member of the Year, and Yeoman Second Class William Pompey, assigned to Hampton Roads, was named Junior Military Service Member of the Year during the ceremony.
Nine SSC Atlantic employees were also honored with Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Awards during the ceremony: David Bednarczyk, Jeffrey Brisendine, Kelly Cannady, John Mark Hall, Shanda Johnson, Greg Lancaster, Michael McBeth, Linda Reynolds and Joan Sharp.
This award is presented to civilian employees in the Department of the Navy for service or contributions resulting in high value or benefits for the Navy or Marine Corps. It is the third highest Navy civilian award.
Additionally, as part of the ceremony the You Made a Difference Award was presented to a team of SSC Atlantic members instrumental in the success of the Information Warfare Research Project. This resource allows the use of an alternative acquisition method which works to streamline acquisition processes, develop prototypes and rapidly provide advanced technologies to the fleet.
Finally, more than 30 employees from across the command were recognized for academic achievements earned during 2018.
SSC Atlantic develops, acquires and provides life cycle support for command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems, information technology and space capabilities. A leading-edge Navy engineering center, SSC Atlantic designs, builds, tests, fields and supports many of the finest frontline C4ISR systems in use today, and those being planned for the future.
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