FMWR director wins illustrious Stalwart Award
February 3, 2014
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Jan. 24, 2014) -- The ballroom at the Nehelani, here, was filled with a crowd of who?'s who among the U.S. Army Hawaii community, Jan. 15.
In attendance included Debra Zedalis, region director, U.S. Army Installation Management Command-Pacific; Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, senior commander, U.S. Army-Hawaii, and commander, 25th Infantry Division; and the entire U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii command team.
But the guest of honor that day was a man who works behind the scenes, one who often can be found on the sidelines or amid the crowds of revelers at popular community gatherings put on by USAG-HI.
Michael Amarosa, director of USAG-HI?'s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, accepted the 2012-13 IMCOM Stalwart Award -- marking the third time in the past five years a member of USAG-HI has received this high honor.
?"I?'m very humbled for even being nominated for the award, let alone actually receiving it," said Amarosa. ?"No good leader is going to win any award without the support and the drive of the folks who actually support him in the field, here, taking care of this great community."
?"This (award) is a testament to not only Michael?'s leadership ability, but also the outstanding contributions and performance by his directorate and his teammates within the directorate," added Col. Daniel Whitney, commander, USAG-HI, who had accepted the award on Amarosa?'s behalf a month earlier at the 2013 IMCOM Garrison Commanders and Command Sergeants Major Conference, held near Joint Base San Antonio, Dec. 12.
?"You don?'t win awards simply by yourself, especially on the magnitude of the Stalwart," Whitney said. ?"It?'s a team effort, and Michael has set the direction, and his leadership style has set the conditions for FMWR to perform at a much higher level compared to other programs in the region."
Formerly the chief operating officer for FMWR at Fort Bragg, Amarosa joined the USAG-HI ohana in November 2011. Within a month of his arrival, FMWR received an overall operational decrement in funding expenditures to programs servicing the well-being and recreation of Soldiers and families.
Amarosa immediately assembled a high-performing team to develop strategies to reach the budget decrements while still providing outstanding quality of life programs. Not only was this strategy beneficial for individual team members, it also proved to be extremely valuable in diversifying the workforce and creating synergy among all divisions in the directorate.
The strategies deployed proved extremely valuable and became a model for others to follow, to include support from IMCOM-Pacific Region.
Following a visit from Lt. Gen Michael Ferriter, commander, IMCOM, the methodology and strategies used to gain the efficiencies were briefed as a ?"best practice" at the 3- and 4-star conferences. One of the main strategies was to shift operational culture to focus on performance and service delivery recognizing cost, vice a purely budgetary culture.
?"The model elements, in conjunction with the input from our region staff, local staff, guests and, most importantly, commanders, are really what catapulted us to be able to do what we were able to do," Amarosa said.
According to garrison command, Amarosa?'s leadership, initiative, resourcefulness and positive attitude exhibit strength of body and mind, which have contributed significantly to both USAG-HI?'s and IMCOM?'s respective missions and visions throughout the most challenging times.
?"That?'s when we rely on our leadership, that?'s when people really rely on you, when things are most difficult," said Howard Johnston, deputy garrison commander, USAG-HI.
?"When things are difficult, people are going to want and expect leadership that is going to carry them through the tough times, and that?'s probably the qualifier that brought us this award once again," Johnston added.
?"It speaks to the quality of our workforce, the commitment of our workforce; when you have that many Stalwart Award winners in the same organization within a relatively short period of time, that speaks volumes about the world-class organization we have the privilege to be associated with," agreed Whitney.
Amarosa serves as a mentor for other FMWR professionals and was asked by the IMCOM-Pacific FMWR director to share the processes and methodology with Headquarters IMCOM G9 and other directors, highlighting the value of staffing to standards and aligning services to community needs in a fiscally constrained environment.
?"I truly believe the best part of the position in which I serve is being able to truly impact the quality of life for Soldiers and their families, retirees, as well as civilians," Amarosa said. ?"It?'s extremely rewarding for me to see the smiles on the faces, whether it?'s Soldiers saying thank you for this program or children playing in the snow at a Winter Wonderland. It?'s looking at those interactions and the happiness regarding what this great organization does."