Employees earn accolades for pioneering ideas, actions
June 21, 2013
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. -- A maintenance mechanic and an environmental protection specialist have been named depot Employees of the Quarter.
James Kaschak secured the junior category while Tom Wildoner took the top spot in the senior category as Tobyhanna's first Employees of the Quarter for 2013.
Kaschak has worked at the depot for eight years the last seven as a maintenance mechanic. His role in the Production Improvement and Innovation Directorate's Industrial Modernization Division helps minimize unnecessary expenses and lengthy delays that can occur during mission modernization projects. Division Chief Steven O'Malley says Kaschak's work reconfiguring work spaces, clearing project areas, and relocating equipment and assets sets a high mark for others to follow.
"He shows exceptional initiative, goes above and beyond his specific assignments to be helpful and if he sees something that needs to be done, he makes sure it gets done," said O'Malley.
Kaschak's efforts allow jobs to start on schedule and reduce the costs related to delays.
"A lot of the work he does is behind-the-scenes," said O'Malley. "Employees transition into new work areas easier and in a timely fashion thanks to the behind-the-scenes work James does to clean up and prepare areas for renovation or construction."
According to O'Malley, Kaschak is part of an initiative that has saved the depot nearly $300,000 in the last year.
In addition to his regular duties, Kaschak also serves as a volunteer firefighter to assist the depot force as necessary in case of an emergency.
"He has been called upon regularly to help respond to emergency incidents," said O'Malley. He added that his involvement outside the depot has been recognized by his community several times for his actions in aiding others.
Kaschak is honored to have been named an employee of the quarter.
"Being selected for this award is an indication that my peers and supervisors appreciate what I do every day," he said. "This award makes me realize my efforts are paying off and are exceeding the expectations of those around me."
Wildoner, who works as an environmental protection specialist in the Industrial Risk Management Directorate, is directly involved in the depot's Net Zero initiative for water conservation. He has been a depot employee for 22 years.
Wildoner spearheaded a project to implement acoustic leak detectors throughout Tobyhanna's water supply, leading to a 38 percent reduction in water consumption since 2007. The project was awarded a Federal Energy Management Program award and was highlighted across the Department of Defense. Nathan Edwards, chief of the Environmental Management Division, said Wildoner's work ethic is what sets him apart.
"Tom has set an example by going above the call of duty," said Edwards. "He is always willing to lend a helping hand to others in support of the mission."
Wildoner says he is driven to meet the challenges of an ever-changing environmental field.
"As environmental regulations evolve and change, you have to constantly think about novel ways to meet new regulatory requirements in a cost-effective manner," he said. "This has allowed me to learn and practice new techniques and skills to meet the changing laws."
Edwards noted the depot is positioned well to handle future environmental challenges thanks to Wildoner's work.
"The Net Zero program has provided a significant spotlight on Tobyhanna's environmental initiatives and our goals in meeting water consumption targets," said Edwards. "Tom has been fundamental in ensuring the depot can support mission growth while remaining in regulatory compliance."
Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department's largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna's missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.
About 4,500 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.