ACC-NJ employees recognized by the Secretary of the Army for excellence in contracting

By Kristen RounsavilleJanuary 4, 2022

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PICATINNY ARSENAL, NEW JERSEY – Two civilian employees from Army Contracting Command – New Jersey contracting center were recognized at a December 14 virtual awards ceremony for the FY21 Secretary of the Army Awards for Excellence in Contracting.

Stephanie Kless, a branch chief within the Soldier Lethality Division, was honored with the FY21 Outstanding Contracting Officer, Systems, R&D, Logistics Support (Sustainment) Contracting Award. During the award period, Kless led extensive efforts in support of the Remote Weapon Systems (RWS) acquisition, a $1.49 billion dollar effort. This effort is critical as it maintains consistency of fielded RWS systems for the soldiers operating in contingency environments. This requirement is for the procurement of a new system and associated spare-part efforts, which will support current and future Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station (CROWS), a variant of RWS. She is committed to both the growth and development of her employees and also that of the organization. She seeks additional challenging assignments while also committing to her professional development to enhance her skills and abilities.

Peter Gerhard, a contracting officer assigned to the Emerging Technologies Division, was honored with the FY21 Outstanding Grants/Cooperative Agreements/Other Transaction Agreements (OTA) Management Professional Award. During the award period, Gerhard provided outstanding leadership and contracting excellence in support of the award and administration of several COVID-19 contract actions for diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines to support of the nation’s pandemic response. His knowledge, expertise, and professionalism were pivotal in developing and implementing novel acquisition strategies and contracting approaches to meet time-critical execution and delivery schedules. His skill was demonstrated by the expeditious award of the first therapeutic specifically for COVID-19 in just twenty-one days. Peter exhibited dedication and commitment to excellence in awarding these critical acquisitions, which delivered vital vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. His efforts saved countless lives, strengthened the economy, and helped bring normalcy back to the citizens of the United States and the world.

Thomas Dougherty, Executive Director of ACC-NJ, expressed his congratulations to the awardees.

“Stephanie and Peter embody the ultimate in outstanding professionalism and dedication within Army Contracting and represent standards of excellence to which we all should aspire.”

Karen Saunders, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Army Acquisition Executive, Megan Dake, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Procurement), Brigadier General Christine Beeler, Army Contracting Command’s commanding general, and other senior leaders from the Army Contracting Enterprise were in attendance at the annual ceremony, recognizing sixteen individuals and groups out of more than 100 nominees.

ACC-New Jersey, headquartered at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, with an additional location at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, plans, directs, controls, manages and executes the full spectrum of contracting, acquisition support and business advisory services in support of major weapons, armaments, ammunition systems and information technology for the Army and other DoD customers. The contracting center also supports all phases of research and development through initial and follow-on production.