O’Connor chosen as JMC’s second People First Award winner

By Matthew Wheaton, Joint Munitions Command, Public and Congressional AffairsMarch 19, 2024

O’Connor chosen as JMC’s second People First Award winner
Lisa O’Connor has risen the ranks at the Joint Munitions Command, and she is the command’s second People First Award winner. (Photo Credit: Shawn Eldridge) VIEW ORIGINAL

Lisa O’Connor embodies what the Joint Munitions Command’s People First Award represents.

JMC, headquartered at the Rock Island Arsenal, established the award to recognize supervisors that go above and beyond to take care of their employees.

“Lisa is a hands-on supervisor, and for many of us, an irreplaceable mentor as well. Lisa walks alongside her team members, so that we can all learn together,” said Lauren Sikes, a commodity lead for JMC. “Lisa’s background as a former production manager allows for many hands-on learning moments for our team. Lisa has maintained her access in many programs and has stayed up-to-date on processes, which allows her the ability to help team members mitigate issues as they arise.

“Lisa is the first to check on her people when they are going through a tough time or illness. She also is eager to acknowledge and celebrate accomplishments and milestones in our professional and personal lives,” Sikes added. “Lisa’s passion for both her work and her people demonstrates the type of leadership style that there should be more of.”

Seth Dismore, who is the chief of Logistics Planning for JMC, was the first to garner the People First Award, and O’Connor is grateful to be named JMC’s second winner.

“I feel really good because you don't know how you're doing with your folks until something like this reassures you that you're doing something right,” O’Connor said. “Supervision isn't an easy job, and this just helps motivate me to keep putting people first and doing what's right for everyone.”

O’Connor’s Civilian career with JMC began 21 years ago. She started as a GS-3 student aide working as an administrative admin in the Sustainment Production Directorate for the Chief of Medium and Large Caliber while finishing up her bachelor’s degree in 2003.

O’Connor has risen the ranks at JMC, and she has been a SP Division Chief for five years - three overall for Combat Munitions.

“Since Lisa’s arrival, team members have grown both professionally and personally under her leadership,” said Steve Wanda, a logistics management specialist for JMC. “There is a cohesiveness amongst us that is inexplicable, and this allows our team to truly work towards accomplishing goals efficiently and effectively. This team’s cohesion is explicitly due to Lisa’s leadership style.

“Lisa has taken great interest in ensuring her team has the right resources allocated to it,” Wanda added. “She has gone above and beyond to interview and select team members that mesh incredibly well with different personalities and a vast variety of talents.”

O’Connor’s advice to new employees is discovering where they fit within the Army as a whole.

“The sooner you can do that and not just learning your specific position at JMC is something that should be prioritized,” she said. “Get out there and see the other organizations and find out what they’re doing.”

O’Connor recalls what life was like before she was a supervisor and relates to those who work alongside her.

O’Connor is forever indebted for her mentors, who over the years have given her two pieces of advice that have stuck with her.

“The two most important lessons I have learned along the way are: Listen and seek out what motivates each teammate,” O’Connor said. “These are just two small ways to put people first and enable a happy and successful team. After all, this is my work family, and I want my work family to be happy.”