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Federally Employed Women award luncheon focuses on ‘Keys to Success’

From left to right, W. Ann Jones, the Federal Women's Program manager, 1st Lt. Gillian Levy, Ms. Pat Humphries, Master Sgt. Patricia Gaspard and keynote speaker Col. Barbara J. Gilchrist, director of the Defense Financial Management and Comptroller School at Maxwell. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roger Curry)

From left to right, W. Ann Jones, the Federal Women's Program manager, 1st Lt. Gillian Levy, Ms. Pat Humphries, Master Sgt. Patricia Gaspard and keynote speaker Col. Barbara J. Gilchrist, director of the Defense Financial Management and Comptroller School at Maxwell. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roger Curry)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Award nominees and their supporters embraced the "Keys to Success" at an Aug. 27 awards luncheon sponsored by the Federal Women's Program Committee and Federally Employed Women. The event, which helped mark August as Federal Woman's Month at Maxwell, honored the 22 nominees and five winners of Distinguished Service Awards in four categories, as well as the Federal Supervisor of the Year. Both men and women, civilian and military, were eligible to be nominated.

Awards winners distinguished themselves through their exceptional service in a variety of ways. The Federal Supervisor of the Year, Capt. Joytesha A. Morgan, serves as the scheduling flight commander of the Officer Training School, organized under the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development. She coordinated more than 9,800 curriculum hours to prepare Air Force officers for active, Reserve, and National Guard duty, scheduling classes for more than 5,000 trainees annually.

Among the Distinguished Service Award winners, Pat Humphries of the Spaatz Center's Air Command and Staff College's Distance Learning Directorate was applauded for supporting more than 10,000 distance-learning students in various locations worldwide, receiving praise from students, supervisors and senior officers in her command for her customer support.

A platform instructor and course director, Desiree Murray of the Eaker Center for Professional Development earned a Distinguished Service Award in part for garnering an additional $187,000 in operational funds for faculty improvements as well as conducting 30 lectures, reaching more than 410 students and directly mentoring 108.

Master Sgt. Patricia A. Gaspard of 42nd Medical Group earned praise for her technical expertise and leadership that was instrumental in the group earning an excellent rating in the latest Operational Readiness Inspection. Her duties includes managing the 42nd Medical Group diagnostic imaging, radiology quality assurance and all education and training programs including officer and enlisted training.
Earning a Distinguished Service Award, 1st Lt. Gillian Levy of 42nd Force Support Squadron leads a 10-member section servicing a great many personnel and services, including more than 50 commanders. Her duties include direct support for more than 22,000 transitory students and 600 Air Command and Staff College, Air War College and School of Advanced Air and Space Studies permanent party members annually.

Keynote speaker Col. Barbara J. Gilchrist, director of the Defense Financial Management and Comptroller School at Maxwell, encouraged everyone to be bold in their pursuit of success. "Success is all about rolling with the punches and having a bring-it-on attitude," she said.

Colonel Gilchrist gave examples of leaders like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King Jr., people who overcame poverty, disease, discrimination and other seemingly insurmountable obstacles to reach the heights of greatness.

"These were cases when obstacles transformed into opportunities," she said. "Success is all about having the desire to take it to the next level. It's a journey, not a destination." She also emphasized the importance of vision. "Having vision means staying out of the box. ... Don't get in the box in the first place," she said.

Colonel Gilchrist challenged the audience to use their passion and attitude to overcome obstacles and reach for success. "Your success may not meet your expectations," she said. "Sometimes you have to look at things differently to see the real blessing. Enthusiasm makes everything different. Be passionate about what you do."

She applauded those being honored. "Continue to kick butt, take names and be enthusiastic."

In his closing remarks, 42nd Air Wing Commander Col. Kris D. Beasley saluted those participating in programs like the Federally Employed Women and Federal Women's Program for helping promoting a diverse workforce. "It is important we recognize the diversity of our force," said Colonel Beasley. "We need to understand that what makes us great as a nation and as an Air Force is that diversity."

The event emcee, Kevin "Sinclair" Nero, saluted those who made the event possible. "The members of the FWP and the FEW committee ... have really worked tremendously hard to put this event together. ... Let's learn from each other each and every day in our lives."

Federally Employed Women is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1968 after the issuance of Executive Order 11375 that added sex to the prohibited discriminations within the federal government, according to the organization's Web site. FEW works toward the advancement of women in federal service, encouraging diversity, equity and career opportunities. FEW's membership is made up of people employed by or retired from the federal government, active or retired federal government contractors. Anyone who subscribes to the purposes of the organization is also eligible to become a member.

The Federal Women's Program is a special emphasis program established in 1963 to enhance employment and remove employment barriers for women, who generally make up the largest percentages of employees in the lower grades, as well as a large portion of underfunded retirees.

Locally, these programs promote the professional development of Maxwell's workforce with training, workshops and seminars held throughout the year to help employees tackle the advanced responsibilities that come with higher pay-grade positions. Topics include interviewing skills, stress management, assertiveness, team building, conflict management, dressing for success, résumé preparation, investing, customer service skills, organizational skills and Equal Employment Opportunity responsibilities and issues.

"Though aimed at helping women, men gain much from our training efforts, said Ms. Mary J. Moore, one of the committee members. "We want to encourage and assist every employee to realize his or her potential/achievement and job satisfaction, which will provide a win-win situation for employees and employers."