Depot employee claims award with determination, hard work
January 28, 2009
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. (Jan. 28, 2009) - A tenant employee earned a Defense Logistics Agency-level award for her role in processing over 45,000 lines of unserviceable and battle-damaged combat equipment valued at $4.6 million.
Penny Graff, general supply specialist and customer service representative in the Defense Distribution Depot-Tobyhanna, claimed the 2008 DLA Employee of the Quarter Award after spearheading several projects that helped put critical equipment into the hands of military members serving around the world.
Recognized as someone who rises to the challenge at work and as a member of the organization's Family Support Group, Graff's "selflessness and sense of urgency for the warfighter are unmatched," said Lt. Col. Michael Talley, DDTP commander.
"I like working with the customers and helping the warfighters in Iraq," Graff said. "There's a lot of job satisfaction knowing that what you do makes a difference."
Graff is the person coworkers turn to when tough, short-notice jobs occur. She also handles all customer-service duties, attends Tobyhanna's weekly production management meetings and monitors the work being accomplished in DDTP facilities.
"Penny's ability to motivate others through her enthusiasm and competitive spirit is contagious," Talley said. "On several occasions, she challenged other distribution processors and managers to accelerate their efforts to exceed established goals."
To her credit, a Receiving Get Well Plan cleared an 8,000-asset backlog in 14 weeks and a multi-depot generator redistribution operation resulted in strategically relocating thousands of mobile electric power generators.
Graff, along with a team of 27 employees, was responsible for checking the kind, count and condition of the backlogged assets stored in DDTP warehouses. Once posted to an accountable record, Army officials were then able to pull the assets for repair and subsequent distribution. Records indicate she worked 200 hours overtime including 10 weekends to train several distribution process workers to help complete the project.
"Everyone worked together to get the job done in 14 weeks," Graff said. "Our success can be attributed to the support of the entire organization."
Talley also said that Graff was "singularly responsible" for planning, coordinating and executing a multi-depot generator redistribution operation. She orchestrated planning conferences with several agencies, accurately calculated transportation requirements, and monitored the preparation and loading of bi-weekly shipments of 2,000 generators to Defense Distribution Albany, Ga., he added.
"Penny is a thoroughly dedicated and consummate professional who can be counted on to accomplish any task or mission," Talley said, adding that Graff was recently commended by the Aerostat Radar Program Manager and Tobyhanna directors for coordinating and executing two time-sensitive, high-priority weekend shipments to a forward operating base in Iraq.
Graff started her career here as a clerk typist 27 years ago. During that time she's worked in transportation for 18 years and was an acting site manager for two years. She's been on staff at DDTP since 1992.
In addition to being committed to her job, Graff admits she's equally committed to the employees in the DDTP family. Joining forces with other employees and family members, she helped set up the organization's first Family Support Group. The group helps raise funds, provide family outings and host forums.
"The group significantly improved the organization's morale during the quarter," Talley said, explaining that on more than one occasion, Graff took personal time to help employees. "I remember one time she gave a coworker a ride out of state due to a family illness." He noted that she often sponsors birthday parties and other events for single employees and visiting personnel.
"Penny Graff is truly a role model and leader of the highest caliber," Talley said. "She is an asset to the Defense Distribution Center and epitomizes the DLA values: stewardship, professional growth and development, leadership, and support to the warfighter."
Graff resides in Olyphant and is engaged to Wayne Monroe. She is the mother of Ashley, 19 and David, 13. Ashley is a student at Wilkes College and David is a student at LaSalle Academy.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is the largest full-service Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, or C4ISR, maintenance and logistics support facility in the Department of Defense. Employees repair, overhaul and fabricate 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. The depot is the Army Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for Communications-Electronics, Avionics, and Missile Guidance and Control Systems and the Air Force Technology Repair Center for ground communications and electronics.
About 5,700 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 CECOM Life Cycle Management Command. Headquartered at Fort Monmouth, N.J., 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.