WIESBADEN, Germany – Prior to launching his career as a federal employee in February 2000, Bill Hemberger had tried his hand at every aspect of the hometown restaurant where he worked, from waiter and cook to dishwasher and manager. There was only one task he never mastered.
“The only thing I couldn’t do was make pizzas. I could do anything else, just for the life of me, I couldn’t make pizzas,” Hemberger said. It was an Italian restaurant.
Still, Hemberger draws a straight line from some of the lessons he learned in the restaurant business to his current job as the manpower chief for Installation Management Command-Europe, where he coordinates staffing requests, requirements, and authorizations at the region and all of its garrisons.
“You learn how to work with people. It’s a people’s business, like life. You deal with good customers, you deal with bad customers, but you manage. And at the end of the day, you’re trying to get from Point A to Point B. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s not,” said Hemberger, who was the IMCOM-Europe Hero of the Month in November.
“Bill is very conscientious and really cares about his work and providing a good product to everyone,” said Chris Beermann, IMCOM-Europe Assistant Chief of Staff for Resource Management, who nominated Hemberger for the honor. “He is just great to work with because of his dedication and his personality.”
Growing up in New Jersey, he followed in the footsteps of his father, who was an auditor for the Army, including duty at Fort Monmouth. That was the same installation where the younger Hemberger began as an intern in the manpower shop at Communications Electronics Command.
While working for the Installation Management Agency in Virginia in 2006, Hemberger and his brother-in-law, who is a big soccer fan, came to Germany for the World Cup.
“We explored all around Germany for about three weeks, got to a couple of games,” he said. “I saw Ronaldo in his first tournament.”
After feeling a connection to the “great atmosphere” in Germany, Hemberger took a job in Heidelberg, first at the region headquarters and then the garrison. It was there that he met his wife, Nastya, and remained until heading to a job in Washington, D.C., in 2015.
They welcomed a son, Sasha, in 2016 and returned to Germany in March 2021. While in his spare time enjoying Sasha’s soccer exploits, at work, Hemberger relishes the opportunity to help and work with the garrisons and region staff.
“I like being able to help people at any opportunity. Sometimes, there are questions that are easy, right off the top of my head. And some are not so easy, where I have to dig and dive. I don’t mind that. I’m into numbers, I like data,” he said.