FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Jan. 22, 2018) - Budgeting finances can be tricky but budgeting sponsors for the Army's biggest event makes personal finances look like a piece of cake. Naomi Wilkins, commercial sponsorship and advertising account executive for the U.S. Army Installation Management Command G9 Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Programs, did just that and more.
Wilkins was awarded employee of the quarter at the IMCOM G9 town hall meeting on Nov. 2nd for her exceptional management of budgets, brilliant work on the Army Birthday Ball, and overall attention to detail, according to award officials.
Wilkins arranged nine crucial sponsors for the Army Birthday Ball, eight of which were coordinated out of Washington DC, according to Marketing Division Chief Abednego Vega-Valle.
Through her hard work, Wilkins doubled the monetary value of the Army Birthday Ball sponsorship compared to the 2016 fiscal year, according to award officials. Lower ticket prices for wounded warriors resulted from her efforts.
Wilkins works in the marketing department with Vega-Valle, who nominated her for the award.
"Her efforts to find ways to engage and collaborate with clients based out of Washington, and avoiding the expense of face-to-face meetings, ensured she gained their trust and confidence enough that they signed agreements totaling $150K to support the Army Birthday Ball," Vega-Valle said.
Wilkins said she was surprised and excited to receive her award. She acknowledged that her position is not something many do [in the Army] and is pleased to know her department helped make a difference.
Wilkins' success did not stop at the Army Birthday Ball. She worked all year to help the department while demonstrating IMCOM values in everything she does, according to Vega. One of the values Wilkins shows is excellence in her total gains for the year to help MWR programs.
"Ms. Wilkins provided outstanding commercial sponsorship and advertising support in FY17, orchestrating 23 commercial sponsorship agreements totaling $1.4 million in cash for the Army MWR fund," award officials said.
Wilkins was also recognized for expertly coordinating training in Chicago for 42 garrison marketers world-wide, Vega-Valle said.
She was able to fund the registration for a certain number of garrison employees to attend the one-of-a-kind training, according to Wilkins. The training focused on sponsorship and advertising. Some of the world's biggest companies like Boeing, AT&T and Nike were brought in, as well as different sports and news commentators.
The training is a great way for garrisons to network and in the long run, make a sale to bring in revenue, Wilkins said.
The most difficult task Wilkins faced was successfully negotiating the return of a crucial client, Vega-Valle said. She impeccably demonstrated the IMCOM value of communication through strategic problem-solving.
"It's about keeping that [client] relationship, and if there's something they have had a negative experience with in the past, it's about mending that and going forward," Wilkins said.
Wilkins radiates integrity, another IMCOM value, in all that she does, according to award officials.
"Ms. Wilkins is a visionary and strategic thinker," Vega-Valle said, "She is totally honest in word, deed, and signature. Ms. Wilkins is an extremely talented and effective communicator, both in writing and verbally."
IMCOM takes the time each quarter to recognize the accomplishments of key employees, as part of their Service Culture Initiative, started in 2016. The SCI creates a safe, personable and trusted work environment. In this kind of environment, employees have positive attitudes and respect others.
Wilkins said the SCI reinforces the fact that you need to provide good service to clients whether they bring in a large or small amount of revenue.
Between raising revenue for training attendees and acquiring essential sponsors for the Army Birthday Ball, Vega said Wilkins leaves no stone unturned and makes it her mission to ensure she provides timely and accurate responses to every inquiry she receives.
By gaining sponsors for the ball, boosting revenue and funding registration for training, Wilkins made what seems impossible to the average person, look like a walk in the park.