Former Soldier, contracting newcomer wins accolades
May 4, 2013
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Maybe Tim Gevedon is a natural, or maybe he puts the same steadfast effort he applied to his 20-year career as a logistician in the Army to his new, civilian job in contracting. Whatever the case, he is excelling. In the span of just three years in contracting for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Gevedon has earned accolades and awards that some contracting professionals do not receive in a lifetime of service.
"I don't consider myself a high performer, Gevedon said. "I just try to do my very best every day."
Gevedon currently serves at the Afghanistan Engineer District-South in Kandahar. He deployed from the Corps' Huntington District in West Virginia. As a contracting officer, he is responsible for, or shares joint responsibility for, about 25 contracts. That's much higher than what the average contracting professional would manage at a district back home, said Gevedon.
The projects involve construction of facilities at which Afghan National Security Forces live, work, and train.
"In the contracting world, one year on deployment is like five years back home at a district," explained Gevedon, 47, who began working with USACE through the Department of the Army Intern Program for contracting professionals in 2010. Working in Afghanistan presents many more challenges than in the United States including a different legal system, he added.
"I'm a late bloomer, so I want to get as much experience as possible, even if that experience is hard-earned," he said.
In late April, Col. Vincent Quarles, commander of the South District, awarded Gevedon a coin on behalf of Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, commanding general of USACE, for his work on a perplexing Afghan National Police construction project wherein the contract had to be terminated due to the original contractor's failure to perform under the terms of the contract. Gevedon helped re-award the contract to a suitable, new contractor in one month, an unusually short period of time.
"As the post-award contracting officer, Tim could have stepped aside and let the Pre-Award Contracting Branch take the burden of working the re-procurement, but he didn't," explained Ed Boddie, Post-Award Contracting Branch chief at the South District. "Tim knew that Pre-Award was short staffed and that the project was critical to the command and the customer. He immediately volunteered his time and unmatched knowledge of the project to assist with the re-procurement of the replacement contract despite his own heavy work load."
In 2012, Gevedon won a prestigious USACE Excellence in Contracting Award too. Each year, hundreds of contracting professionals from USACE offices across the globe are nominated for one of the eight awards. Winners of the competition are high-performing employees who go the extra mile to deliver remarkable results. Gevedon won for Excellence in Customer Service.
"It is great to be rewarded for your commitment and results, but contracting is a team sport and I am part of a great team," said Gevedon.
Teamwork is a value Gevedon has admired since his earliest days as a Soldier, he said. Gevedon enlisted in the Army in 1984 and served primarily as a logistician at posts around the world including several in Germany. He also deployed to Kuwait and Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2009, Gevedon became a contingency contracting noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and decided to make contracting his new, civilian career. He subsequently earned a Bachelor of Arts in business administration, contracting and purchasing from Strayer University and has hopes to pursue a graduate degree, he said.
"It's important to me that I be a good role model for my kids and that I continue to earn the support and admiration of my wife, Teresa," he said. "She is my biggest fan and I want to make her proud."
Gevedon has four sons.
He credits his peers and mentors, including Boddie and Mary Newman, supervisory contracting officer at Huntington District, for helping guide his career.
"There is so much to learn in contracting, so much research required and enormous attention to detail too," Gevedon said. "It's very helpful to have seasoned experts to reach out to for guidance."
He points out that like many other careers, there are certification requirements in contracting and urges those interested in the field to check out the Defense Acquisition University.
Gevedon sees his job with USACE as an extension of his military service.
"I do see myself as a steward of the taxpayers' money," he said, "and apply the Army Values to my work as a contracting officer."
The Army Values include Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. To those values Gevedon adds what he calls, the human element.
"I always remember that there are people behind our decisions, people depending on us, and so I work hard for those people."