By Mr. Johnathon Orrell (SDDC)October 3, 2019
The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's Surface Warrior Spotlight returns to the headquarters to shine on Evette Holsendolph, a senior lead accountant working in the Resource Management Directorate. Holsendolph has served with SDDC since 2007 and is celebrating her 25th year of Federal service.
As a senior lead accountant on the receivables team, she bills customers for various services that SDDC provides, answers billing inquiries and requests for various documentation from customers.
Holsendolph was nominated by her supervisor Glenn Blondin, chief of the Appropriated Funds Division, who says she embodies the qualities and characteristics of a model Surface Warrior.
"Evette is a quiet professional who positively influences the success of our global distribution missions every day. She has earned the respect of her team and all other partners she works with to accomplish our common goals," he said.
"On my office wall, I have a copy of the Army Values. When I look at our workforce and ask myself who is living those values today, I see Evette," added Blondin. "She depicts loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, personal courage, and integrity."
Blondin says he nominated Holsendolph because he sees her as part of the future of SDDC.
"When you really boil this down, I chose Evette because she is what we want our next generation of young Surface Warriors to emulate. I am proud to serve with Evette and more proud to see one of our finest recognized across the command," he said.
Evette and her husband Darren have been married for 20 years and they enjoy going to the movies and going on cruises with family and friends. They have two sons, Damani (19) and Devin (17).
Now it's time to bring Evette into the Surface Warrior Spotlight - a recognition program that highlights different members of the SDDC workforce through a series of interview-style questions focused on his or her unique background, personal stories and experiences.
Working at SDDC:
Q: How has SDDC helped you in your career development?
A: I joined SDDC as a GS-7 and as a result of several training opportunities, guidance, mentorship and movements within different branches of G8, I was able to achieve promotion to GS-13.
Q: Before working at SDDC, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?
A: When I was active duty working as resource operations specialist for a fighter squadron, I got to interact with fighter pilots that had cool call signs such as Viper and Batman. It was like being in the movie Top Gun.
Q: What do you like most about SDDC?
A: I like that it has a unique mission only to SDDC as well as a worldwide presence.
Q: What is the favorite part about working at SDDC?
A: Meeting and working with some really awesome people as well as making long lasting friendships.
Q: What professional skills are you currently working on?
A: Prioritizing workload and leadership management.
Q: What energizes you at work?
A: Having the opportunity to work with and help others.
Q: What's the biggest misconception people have about your position?
A: The biggest misconception is that since we bill for port handling and ocean liner services, we have knowledge of the operational aspect of what goes on at the ports relating to handling and shipment of the cargo.
Q: What is the best vacation you've been on?
A: The cruise my husband, sons and I took to the Mediterranean on Royal Caribbean's newest ship Symphony of the Seas. We were celebrating my oldest son graduating from high school. We went to Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Marseille, France; Florence and Pisa, Rome; and Naples, Italy. We toured the site of Pompeii and climbed Mt Vesuvius. We took pictures at the leaning tower of Pisa. We had authentic gelatos from Spain that were amazing.
Q: What is your personal motto or personal mantra?
A: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto to." It was something I was always taught. Be mindful of others and treat people with respect.
Q: If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?
A: I'd be an expert in investments and making money. I'd like to become wealthy and work because I choose to and not because I have to in order to provide for my family and friends and enjoy life.
Q: What are your favorite movie genres?
A: Comedy, action and Sci-fi. Comedy because laughing is good for the soul, Action and Sci-fi because they allow you to escape from reality sometimes when things get a bit tough.
Q: What's something you've done, but will never do again?
A: I stayed with my grandmother for a short period when I was a senior in high school. She worked two jobs. One was from 3 pm to 11 pm and the other 11 pm to 7 am. I had a house party while she was at work.
Q: What's something--big or small--that you're really bad at?
A: I can't sing to save my life. I try every now and then when I'm really into a song, but sometimes I'll get looks from my family that tell me not to quit my day job. I think I'm tone deaf.
Q: What's something--big or small--that you're really good at?
A: Helping others. I've been helping others my whole life. It's what I enjoy doing.
Q: What's the best advice you were ever given?
A: Stop trying to understand crazy…it will make you crazy. One of my cousins that I vacation with taught me this. I've tried incorporating it when times are tough and I can't understand the actions of others that just make no sense.
Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)?
A: I'm a dog person. Dogs can be so attentive and loving. When you arrive, they great you like they haven't seen you in forever.
Q: If you could only have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick?
A: (1) Google, it's a wealth of information, (2) Spades, a game I enjoy playing pretty much every night before I go to bed, and (3) Amazon, it's the source where I purchase all my books and watch movies from time to time.
Q: What's your favorite sport to watch and which team do you root for?
A: Football is my favorite sport. I have various teams that I root for, but my top two are the Packers and Giants. I've been a fan since I was a little girl. My dad is a huge football fan and the times that I'd spend hanging out with him we'd watch football. It's because of him that like it.
Q: What's one hobby you'd love to get into? Why do you want to get into it and why haven't you yet?
A: I'd like to write paranormal and romance novels. I love reading them and think it would be cool to create stories that I love reading so much about. I would say finding the time and unfortunately, I fear I'm not as creative as I would like to be. I'm also not sure where or how to even begin.
Q: What's one song you have completely memorized?
A: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. It's a song I remember my mom teaching me and it makes me think of her and how much I miss her.
Q: What's your favorite TV show--the one you're always watching on repeat?
A: Caribbean Life or Beach Front Bargain Hunt. I have a dream of owning a vacation home in the Caribbean with ocean views, so I watch a lot of the shows to narrow down where I think I'd like to visit and ultimately live.
Q: Have you ever met anyone famous? Where? When? What was it like?
A: Queen Latifah and Naughty by Nature. I met them at a block party in East Orange, New Jersey during the early 1990's. It was cool. They were really down to earth. We danced, drank and partied.
Q: Who's someone you really admire?
A: I admire one of my very best friends. We were stationed in the military together during our first assignment at Eglin Air Force Base. She's overcome so many adversities. She's a wife, mom of three and owns her own business - a multi-million-dollar company named Bailey's Premiere Services. I admire her strength and dedication to realize and achieve her goals. She still strives to be the very best she can be and lead by example for other aspiring women.
Q: Have you been pleasantly surprised by anything lately?
A: I found out my niece joined JROTC and that I was her inspiration for joining. It surprised me because my niece has always expressed that she wanted to go into fashion and model. She is a very girly girl.
Q: What's your earliest memory?
A: My mom teaching me the nightly prayer, "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep." It's the prayer I say every night before I go to sleep. I've also taught it to my boys. It makes me feel close to my mom and reminds me that she is always with me.
Q: What's your favorite family tradition?
A: My favorite family tradition is going on family vacations. I sometimes go with various family members throughout the year. My cousin and I always try to go somewhere each year for her birthday. We went to India last year, the Mexican Riviera this year and next on the list is Thailand. My husband, sons and I always try and go somewhere while they are out of school. We've been to Dominic Republic three times, Disney at least six times, three cruises, Branson, Arizona and a few others. I love us spending time, experiencing and seeing different and new things together.
Q: Who had the most influence on you growing up?
A: My grandmother and mother had the most influence on me growing up. They had to overcome too many hardships. I saw a lot of the struggles and mistakes they made and I didn't want to repeat them. They taught me to work hard and that I needed to be strong in this tough world.
Q: What's something you want to do in the next year that you've never done before?
A: Go on a 21-day cruise to either Alaska, Transatlantic or Repositioning. We're hoping to be able to do one in four to five years. We haven't done it yet because the timing was never right with the kids, job and money.
Q: What's your favorite breakfast cereal?
A: I would say Fruity Pebbles although I don't eat cereal that much anymore. Maybe once in a blue moon. It tastes really good and my boys love it.
Q: What event do you remember most fondly from high school?
A: Graduation Day. I remember feeling an overwhelming relief to be done with high school while at the same time feeling anxious and excited to start the next chapter in my life of going off to college and becoming an adult.
Q: What's the craziest thing you've ever done?
A: I was stationed in England for about six months before returning back to the States. My mom and I were driving somewhere and I turned down a one-way street, driving on the wrong side of the road. I had a momentary lapse in judgment thinking I was still in England. Luckily, I didn't get into an accident or stopped by the cops, but it did freak my mom out. I've never done it again and don't plan to.
Q: What is your favorite local restaurant and the meal you most enjoy eating when there?
A: Red Lobster. I enjoy the Ultimate Feast, adding a side of scallops. My favorite food is seafood and this meal allows me to sample my favorite foods like lobster, shrimp, crab and scallops…it's sooo good!
Q: If money were not a consideration, how would you spend your days?
A: On a cruise ship or in the Caribbean on a beach under an umbrella, reading a book and sipping pina coladas while eating fresh fruit. The ocean is not only calming and relaxing but very therapeutic to me.
That's all for Evette's time in the Spotlight.