If Tonya Kreps didn’t hear the news from her supervisor, she probably would’ve kept on grinding away in her cubicle. Too many calls to make, too much work to be done. Instead, for the longtime supervisory contract specialist and most recent U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) Employee of the Quarter award winner, now is the time to pause and reflect on a job well done.
“It was completely a surprise to me,” says Kreps of the award, which was announced in late March and covers the first quarter of the year. “It’s amazing.”
In her position at the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA), she serves as one of eight branch chiefs servicing a variety of medical research contracts supporting, chiefly, the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL), the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System.
“She always has her hands full,” says Cheryl Miles, Kreps’ supervisor at USAMRAA and the person who nominated her for the award. “She’s just always been very responsive and very supportive.”
Indeed, as Miles tells it, the sheer numbers behind Kreps’ daily workload would make your head spin. As a supervisor of her own ten-person team, she manages more than 80 total contracts that support the daily operations and research efforts within USAMRIID alone. In addition, she recently – and notably – helped execute more than 50 bilateral contract modifications in just ten calendar days. Further, she helped execute six urgent de-obligation modifications within a single day to continue critical support on another set of contracts.
A job well done, indeed.
The Employee of the Quarter award itself provides a high visibility avenue for supervisors to shine a spotlight on staffers who routinely seek to set the bar higher. To begin that process, supervisors must first submit a nomination to their respective respect section leader, after which it is submitted to the personnel shop (G-1). The respective personnel shop then submits the packets to the Employee of the Quarter Board for consideration. All USAMRDC units are encouraged to participate and only one winner is selected per quarter. Nomination deadlines are at the end of each quarter (and are further provided in a tasker sent out at the beginning of the last month of the respective quarter).
That’s a lot of work and preparation, to be sure, but for Miles it’s simply paying a prized employee’s good works forward.
“Managing all of those people and making sure that they’re kept informed of any changes and keeping everybody on track – that’s a challenge in itself,” she says.
That challenge comes with a hefty reward, too. Kreps – and all Employee of the Quarter award winners – will receive the Civilian Service Achievement Medal, a USAMRDC Commander's Coin, a Time Off Award of 20 hours, and a photo on the wall at USAMRDC headquarters.
“It was an incredible honor to get this award,” says Kreps. “Just to be nominated was a great honor.”
Army Futures Command
U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command