TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. - A sheet metal mechanic earned a depot-level award for his ability to meet or exceed production schedules, embrace continuous improvement and apply 25 years of experience to meet customer requirements.

Daniel Stevens claimed the Tobyhanna Employee of the Quarter Award for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009. He works in the Systems Integration and Support Directorate's Sheet Metal Fabrication Branch.

Stevens had no idea he would be getting an award when he accepted an invitation to attend the commander's bi-weekly staff meeting. "I thought I was just there to observe and audit the meeting." Afterward, he remembers thinking that "out of more than 5,000 people how could I be selected," he said.

Stevens considers himself a hands-on type of leader. As a third shift sheet metal mechanic leader, he works with 12 employees, making sure they have the materials, tools and proper safety equipment necessary to complete assigned tasks.

"I couldn't ask for a better crew -- they make me look good," he said. "We all get along and everyone's always eager to get to work."

Job satisfaction is doing what it takes to get parts out on time to keep the warfighters supplied, he explained.

"He always puts the needs of the customer ahead of his own," said Robert Aten, branch chief. "Many times, Stevens has gone out of his way to make sure the part, project or program was on track and running smoothly. I've received many positive comments from people outside the department who have worked with him."

Branch employees follow his example by maintaining high standards for safety, leave usage, worksite conduct, work ethic, courtesy and shop housekeeping, according to Aten, who also points out that products produced during Steven's shift are of the "highest quality and quantity with few exceptions."

"Stevens is always looking for change and improvement," Aten said, adding that the sheet metal mechanic earned Tobyhanna's highest Army Suggestion Program award payout last year. The suggestion will save the Army more than $20,000 per month on the cost of materials used in the branch. "Many of his ideas have become used as 'best practices' in the shop and have become standard work methods."

All civilian employees are eligible for the Employee of the Quarter Award. Winners can also receive a optional special parking space for the quarter in addition to the $500 cash award and plaque. Workers selected as an employee of the quarter are eligible to compete at the U.S. Army CECOM Life Cycle Management Command-level.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department's largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna's missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.

About 5,600 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army CECOM Life Cycle Management Command. Headquartered at Fort Monmouth, N.J., the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.