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Diversity Champions of 2011

26 December 2011

DCO Diversity Council

USCG

  Congratulations to the DCO Diversity Council, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  The Deputy Commandant for Operations Diversity Council was created in 2009 to assist in executing diversity efforts including measuring, monitoring, conducting fact finding, analyses and problem solving to report DCO progress towards diversity goals and objectives, provide quarterly update reports on DCO diversity progress to CG-1 as required, and provide counsel to DCO and DCO leadership on all areas involving workforce diversity opportunities and challenges within their purview. 

  The DCO Diversity Council is comprised of nine military and civilian volunteers.  As a result of their hard work they held a brown bag lunch and presented the movie "Paper Clips" a film which explored how middle school children studying the Holocaust learned about intolerance and diversity, facilitated the completion of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Organization Climate Survey achieving an 80% participation rate, and encouraged Flag and SES partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions, which resulted in DCO executing six agreements from which one internship at Sector Houston-Galveston was created, this past summer awarded to a  highly qualified Texas Southern University student.

  The DCO Diversity Council's leadership, and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community.  As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

19 December 2011

USCGC STRATTON

USCGC STRATTON

  Congratulations to USCGC STRATTON, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  USCGC STRATTON visited Baltimore, Maryland during the pre-commissioning voyage from the shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi to homeport in Alameda, California.  In Baltimore STRATTON served as a host for multiple events and significant milestones in diversity and community outreach for the Coast Guard. 
   
  STRATTON was proud to serve as the venue for the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Coast Guard and Morgan State University, the latest from the Coast Guard initiative to work together with the National Association for Equal Opportunity to provide students with leadership and management skills and training. RADM Karl Schultz and Morgan State University President, Dr. David Wilson, were the signees of the agreement while Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings presided over the ceremony and served as keynote speaker. As a result of this Agreement, Morgan State University students will be eligible to receive full tuition up to two years as well as active-duty benefits and internships with the Coast Guard. In addition, the STRATTON crew was honored to provide private tours for thirty students from the Maritime Industries Academy, a technical institution that provides Baltimore's minority population with a "military-style" education. The crew enjoyed spending much of the day with the Maritime Industries students, primarily informing them of the Coast Guard's role in law enforcement, navigation and marine science skills and training. Furthermore, as the newest Coast Guard National Security Cutter named for Capt. Dorothy Stratton, the director of the Coast Guard Women's Reserve from 1942-1946, STRATTON hosted an evening reception for the Caucus for Women in the Military. The STRATTON crew provided tours to display the cutter's improvements in habitability. Highlights were the female berthing accommodations as well as and state of the art technology for mission deployments. Thirteen World War II veteran SPARS were in attendance, along with Secretary Napolitano, Admiral Papp and Vice Admiral Brice-O'Hara to commemorate a momentous occasion for women and their service in the Coast Guard.
 

  USCGC STRATTON's leadership, and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community.  As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

12 December 2011

Ms. Marianne LaChance - PSSU Washington

Ms. Marianne LaChance

  Congratulations to Ms. Marianne LaChance, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  Ms. LaChance currently serves as the Fitness and Morale Well-Being and Recreation Program Manager at USCG Headquarter where she works with all members of the workforce to help develop their physical well being and overall morale. 

  Ms. LaChance volunteered to serve as the physical fitness activities coordinator for the Coast Guard's involvement in the 2011 World Children's Festival.  She developed a comprehensive curriculum which was overwhelmingly received by the participants who had the opportunity to work with her.  The festival hosted children from 71 states, countries, and territories and attracted over 10,000 spectators.  In addition to her service there, she continues to serve participating in events such as the Day of Remembrance, Make a Difference Day, the Marine Corps Marathon UCSG support team, National Family Volunteer Day, Pre-Thanksgiving Day Patriot Cruise, and the Mayor's Holiday Celebration.  

  Ms. LaChance's leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community.  As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

5 December 2011

Ms. Irma Fuentes - CEU Miami

Ms. Irma Fuentes

  Congratulations to Ms. Irma Fuentes, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  Ms. Fuentes grew up in El Salvador where she gained a teaching certificate at the age of 16.  During that time civil war broke out in the country and she was forced to flee to the United States.  While working full time Ms. Fuentes attended first Hudson Community College, then the New Jersey Institute of Technology where she completed a BS in architecture in 1988.  After working for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation she transitioned to a private architectural firm where she contracted with the Coast Guard.  After one year there she transitioned again to join the Coast Guard as a civilian at Civil Engineering Unit Miami, FL. 

  As a Coast Guard employee, Ms. Fuentes' duties include designing and reviewing in-house projects, including writing specifications, supervising development of drawing, managing and monitoring contracted design of construction projects with varied climactic, geographical and environmental conditions.  Ms. Fuentes also volunteers as part of the emergency assistance team for hurricanes, where she helps to asses damage, and to determine the rebuilding efforts, in this capacity she has assisted in hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.

  Ms. Fuentes' leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community.  As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

28 November 2011

LTJG Abbey Lafond - USCGC KEY LARGO

LTJG Lafond

  Congratulations to LTJG Abbey Lafond, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  LTJG Lafond is recognized for her active role as leader of the Sector San Juan Women's Mentoring Group.  Not yet a year old, the group includes fifty women who meet over lunch and the occasional breakfast.  Guest speakers have included RADM Baumgartner and Master Chief Kitchin.  LTJG Lafond has also created a budget providing for more guest speakers and events.  Highlights of meetings include a book club portion in which leadership books are discussed as well as discussions on current topics, and a speed mentoring session is currently in planning.  Acknowledging the value in the majority, LTJG Lafond is actively seeking to gain male membership realizing the benefit in males awareness and understanding of women's related issues faced in the Coast Guard workplace.

  LTJG Lafond's leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community.  As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

21 November 2011

LCDR Richard Howell - Personnel Service Center

LCDR Richard Howell

  Congratulations to LCDR Richard Howell, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  LCDR Howell is recognized for his significant contributions in his participation in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Ambassador Outreach Program at Delaware State University.  His actions furthered the diversity goals of the Coast Guard by increasing awareness among African Americans for career and education opportunities in our service.  Through sharing the excellent Coast Guard career and education opportunities available, his efforts helped to increase the number of applications from qualified African American candidates for Coast Guard civilian, active duty and reserve jobs.  LCDR Howell continued to represent the Coast Guard as an attendee of the HBCU College Festival at a local high school and also with participating in the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids, an elementary school program aimed at raising the interest in science, technology, engineering and math career fields.  LCDR Howell is also a recipient of the National Naval Officers Association Captain Edward R. Williams Coast Guard Reserve Award for Excellence.

  LCDR Howell's leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community.  As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

14 November 2011

LCDR Will Watson - MSU Texas City

LCDR Will Watson

  Congratulations to LCDR Will Watson, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  LCDR Watson performed the coin toss for the Texas Southern University vs. Southern University football game on Saturday, November fifth.  As part of this prestigious role, LCDR Watson also provided a televised live interview during the second half of the game.  During the interview LCDR Watson had the opportunity to discuss the Coast Guard's College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) program as well as the Coast Guard's partnership with Texas Southern.

  A graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, LCDR Watson continues his affiliation with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) through his participation in as a Coast Guard ambassador to HBCUs, visiting schools to discuss the benefits of the Coast Guard and the CSPI program.

  LCDR Watson's leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community.  As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

7 November 2011

LCDR Adam Chamie - USCGC RESOLUTE

LCDR Adam Chamie

  Congratulations to LCDR Adam Chamie, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  LCDR Chamie is recognized for providing opportunities to crewmembers, providing the resources and time needed to attend an affinity group meeting.  Junior officers aboard the cutter noticed an ALCOAST advertising the 5th annual Women on the Water (WOW) meeting, and solicitiation for TONO requests from the field, at which point they approached their command.  All involved understood the austere budget environment under which the Coast Guard operates during a continuing resolution, but recognized the importance of attendance at affinity groups such as WOW. 

  Concerned about the professional development of his junior officers,  LCDR Chamie submitted two TONO requests, making it clear that if Headquarters was under budget constraints, CGC RESOLUTE would find a way to fund the second member, if CG-12B could fund only one.  As a result, although Headquarters funding was limited, cadets and midshipmen attending WOW had the benefit of two mentors from an afloat field unit to discuss opportunities for women afloat - a gravely underrepresented population in the Coast Guard.

  LCDR Chamie's leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community.  As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

31 October 2011

LCDR Martha Rodriguez - Office of Legal Policy and
Program Development (CG-0948)

LCDR Martha Rodriguez

  Congratulations to LCDR Martha Rodriguez, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  LCDR Martha Rodriguez was the driving force behind securing Dr. Samuel Betances as a two-time speaker at Coast Guard Headquarters.  The initial event was well attended by over 150 Coast Guard personnel from the Greater Capitol Region, as well as Department of Defense members.  In addition, the Arlington Career Center, a technical high school which features courses in veterinary sciences as well as television broadcasting were invited.  Dr. Betances, a motivational speaker on Diversity and Inclusion is a renowned expert on the subject and has been an advisor to several U.S. Presidents.  During the presentation he had the students very much motivated to do great things.  So much so in fact that they decided to start a book club, on the spot, as the presentation highly espoused the value of reading.  Dr. Betances also agreed that if the school indeed started a book club, he would return.  Two weeks later Dr. Betances returned to the school and also Coast Guard Headquarters for an encore performance that had 50 people in the audience and six different commands dialed in via Video Teleconference.  This was all due to the diligence of LCDR Rodriguez and her commitment to education, diversity and inclusion.

  LCDR Rodriguez is currently the Coast Guard's representative to the Association of Naval Service Officers (ANSO) and recently just completed her term as the Washington, D.C. chapter Vice President in September.  As a direct result of her leadership, Dr. Betances has officially formed a lasting relationship with the Arlington Career Center High School and LCDR Rodriguez with two other ANSO members are pursuing the institution of a PIE partnership between the Coast Guard and the high school. 

  LCDR Rodriguez's leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community.  As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

24 October 2011

Ms. Valeri Dedeaux - Office of Budget Execution (DCMS-833)

Ms. Valeri Dedeaux

  Congratulations to Ms. Valeri Dedeaux, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  Ms. Valeri Dedeaux is recognized for exemplary financial management support to the diversity mission.  Her hard work and dedication were instrumental in providing superior budget, accounting, and procurement services to enhance diversity operations.  During FY11, she approved over 27 national level sponsorship requests supporting the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Program, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Program, ethnic, gender and Compass programs, and multi-cultural outreach programs.  Ms. Dedeaux expeditiously approved over $570K in purchase requests and $700K in travel requests in support of OPTASK Diversity.  In addition to providing financial management services, Ms. Dedeaux assisted the Diversity Staff Budget Officer with the creation of tailored spreadsheets for budget efficiency.  These workbooks implemented a system to account for far more accurate tracking of the budget, allowing reduction in the backlog of undelivered orders, resulting in a expeditious successful fiscal year closeout.

  Ms. Dedeaux's leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community.  As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

17 October 2011

Sector San Juan - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Sector San Juan

  Congratulations to Sector San Juan, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  Sector San Juan hosted a event to celebrate Hispanic heritage month.  The observance which took place on base, was organized and sponsored by the Sector San Juan Leadership and Diversity Council.  The multifaceted event included a visit by Baseball Hall of Fame great Roberto Alomar, three different traditional music groups, traditional Puerto Rican dancing demonstrations, gourmet cuisine which reflected the Hispanic Heritages of several nations and a unique demonstration by the culturally significant Fino horses of Puerto Rico.  The event ran most of the day and was enjoyed by over 200 participants.  More information and photos can be found at the Seventh District Public Affairs website.

 
Sector San Juan's leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community. As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

10 October 2011

MST1 Brock Barton - Coast Guard Recruiting Office Mobile

MST1 Brock Barton

   Congratulations to MST1 Brock Barton, our Diversity Champions of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.  

  MST1 Barton is commended for his diligence and dedication in providing service opportunities to women.  Displaying superlative concern for the diversity needs of the service, MST1 Barton placed two women into the Coast Guard on a "buddy system" to ensure they had a strong support network on which to rely.  In addition, he is working with four more female applicants, including a pre-med student.  MST1 Barton has shown unparalleled compassion and concern for each of his female applicants, setting up a comprehensive plan to ensure that their questions are answered and their needs are met throughout the process. 

  Showing tremendous initiative, MST1 Barton recently enrolled at Bishop State University, a local Historically Black College.  MST1 Barton ensured that he represented the Coast Guard with the utmost professionalism, talking to all applicants and answering their questions about the Coast Guard, even acting as a substitute teacher for one class!  MST1 Barton's actions resulted in increased opportunities for minority applicants, an increased pool of applicants for the Coast Guard, and a positive interaction in the community.

 
MST1 Barton's leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community. As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

3 October 2011

St. Croix Outreach Team - Coast Guard Recruiting Command

PSC

  Congratulations to the CGRC St. Croix Outreach Team, our Diversity Champions of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  
The CGRC St. Croix Outreach Team participated in the first Federal and Local Law Enforcement Recruitment and Career Day in the Virgin Islands.  The event brought together over 24 law enforcement agencies to educate students and the public on employment opportunities within the law enforcement community.  CGRC Recruiting team and members from MSD St. Thomas, RIO St. Croix and CG AUX, educated students on the CSPI program, CGA, Active, Reserve, and Officer career opportunities within the Coast Guard and provided the public information on worldwide Coast Guard missions.  In April 2011, the Recruiting Team visited the University of St. Thomas.  During the two day visit the team talked to almost 90% of current students about Coast Guard opportunities, many of who were under-represented minorities. 

 
During the recruiting events that transpired on St. Thomas and St. Croix there was great interest in the USCG, CGA and the CSPI program. University officials were very excited about the Coast Guard participation in the.  As a direct result of the two visits approximately 55 students have currently been engaging with the Coast Guard.  One such success story is from Mr. Dale Carty, and Auxiliarist in St. Thomas whose son is currently attending CGA as a direct result of the Coast Guard’s presence on the island two years ago at a recruiting event. 

  The CGRC St. Croix Outreach Team is composed of LT Nicole Burgess, OSC Kenneth Thomas, LT Nestor Lazu-Rivas, LTJG Cecilia Robinson, MST1 William Johnson, BM3 Donald Draper, MK3 Miguel Souffront, MST3 Steven Knight, and Mr. John Maluchi, Mr. Lee Elvins, and Mr. Dale Carty from the Auxiliary.

  The CGRC St. Croix Outreach Team's leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community. As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

26  September 2011

Ms. Iris Garcia & Ms. Melanie Hanna - Office of Diversity, CG-12B

  Congratulations to Ms. Iris Garcia and Ms. Melanie Hanna, our Diversity Champions of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  Ms. Iris Garcia and Ms. Melanie Hanna proudly serve as Interns in the Office of Diversity.  During their tenure, they have inspired others to improve the quantity and quality of work while enhancing team spirit through their positive attitudes to accomplish any task.
 
 
Ms. Garcia and Ms. Hanna provided outstanding administrative support to a staff of over one dozen.  Their assistance allowed managers additional time to complete priorities while they completed administrative projects and requirements.  During their tenure they have been responsible for the preparation and distribution of over 300 certificates or awards promoting Diversity Outreach to recognize our volunteers, administered the Executive Outreach Management System (EOMS), tracking outreach Coast Guard wide, as well as the Office of Diversity website increasing information flow and improved accessibility.  They have created and edited verbiage for ALCOAST messages as well as Flag Letters, and ventured into the finance world creating budget spreadsheets and spend plan proposals.  In addition to their office duties, they staffed three Diversity Outreach events: the World Children’s Festival, Latina Style 2011 and the 2011 Latino Public Administration Executives Conference in Washington, DC.

  Ms. Garcia and Ms. Hanna’s devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community. As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

19  September 2011

CDR Daniel Pickles - USCGC ALERT

CDR Pickles

  Congratulations to CDR Daniel Pickles, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  CDR Pickles is recognized for his hard work and dedication in providing and supporting opportunities to women afloat.   As Commanding Officer of USCGC ALERT, CDR Pickles recognized the deficiency of enlisted females WMEC 210 wide.  Exploring the possibility of integrating the Reliance Class cutters, CDR pickles authored a memo which was routed to headquarters explaining a formal review of the issues relating to integrating female enlisted on board WMEC 210 platforms. 

  As part of his review, USCGC ALERT would be used as a test platform to integrate a group of female enlisted during Assignment Year 2012, to identify benefits and drawbacks to implementing class-wide integration.  Creating a comprehensive plan providing multiple options addressing berthing concerns, and billet structure from SN to XO, as well as Command Concerns, CDR Pickles put fourth a very convincing case for integration.  As a result a "Unique Women Afloat Assignment Solicitation" was released to implement CDR Pickles play for AY12.

  CDR Pickles’ leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact one individual can have on a community. As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

12  September 2011

DCDR Ernest D. Stevens - Division 25, the Potomac Guardians from the Fifth District southern Region, USCG

DCDR Ernest Stevens

  Congratulations to DCDR Ernest Stevens, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  DCDR Stevens is recognized for his hard work and passion for providing and supporting Outreach programs in the metropolitan Washington DC area.  U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliarist Stevens is Division Commander of 12 flotillas located in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC.  Through public affairs events and presentations deploying the USCG Auxiliary's Sammy the Sea Otter and Coastie the robotic safety boat, DCDR Stevens increases community understanding and awareness of the Coast Guard.  

  This summer DCDR Stevens brought the message of recreational boating safety to the National Boating Safety Week Kick-Off for the Joint Service open house at Andrews AFB from 20-22 May 2011.  During the Nation's River Bass Tournament at Washington National Harbor from 2-3 June 2011, DCDR Stevens worked with "Living Classrooms" providing a hands-on fishing and boating experience to 300 underserved youth and an appreciation for our natural resources.  From 16-19 June 2011, DCDR Stevens helped lead the way to multiculturalism and supported OPTASK Diversity as part of the "Coastie the Tugboat" team for the World Children's Festival 2011 at the National Mall.  DCDR Steven's most current effort was a five day tour supporting Abby Sunderland throughout Southern Maryland.  Abby Sunderland is the 17 year old who tried to become the youngest female to sail solo, non-stop, and unassisted around the world.  His team visited fifteen different community centers, schools and summer camps for children from 25-29 July 2011.

  DCDR Steven’s leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact one individual can have on a community. As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

5  September 2011

LCDR Julie Kuck - Sector Puget Sound

  Congratulations to LCDR Julie Kuck, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  LCDR Kuck is recognized for her ardent support pregnancy policies within the aviation community. Drawing upon her own experience as a mother as well as her aviation experience and involved mentorship of junior females, LCDR Kuck identified an ongoing personnel challenge within the aviation community. The dynamic nature of Coast Guard aviation posed several complications with regard to breast milk expression, particularly without specific guidance set out to lay out policy.

  LCDR Kuck gathered together an Integrated Process Team (IPT) to research the issue. This team included both male and female pilots and aircrew, past and present nursing members C-130 and H-60 Flight Standardization Board members as well as a HSWL flight surgeon. In addition to their primary duties, the team spent six months identifying three specific areas of concentration and policy for each.

  Based around the three areas of concentration; breast milk storage, ground operations, and flight operations created by the IPT, LCDR Kuck produced the Air Station Clearwater Breast Milk Expression Guidelines Instruction. This instruction clearly examined the challenges and delivered solutions for nursing women in the aviation field.

  LCDR Kuck’s leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact one individual can have on a community. As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

29 August 2011

CAPT Jason Lyuke - Office of Performance Management (CG-0954)

CAPT Jason Lyuke

  Congratulations to CAPT Jason Lyuke, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  CAPT Lyuke is recognized for his hard work and passion for uniting the Asian community of the Coast Guard through developing and enhancing an Asian mentoring group.  What first began as an email exchange has grown into a strong mentorship program.  Through strong initiative CAPT Lyuke secured funding for eight, and inspired several more Asian and Pacific Islander members to attend the National Naval Officers Association conference.  At the conference CAPT Lyuke coordinated and led a break out session in which Asian Pacific Islander issues and topics were discussed, providing great feedback and enthusiasm among the community for more mentorship and leadership dialogue opportunities.  After the positive feedback at the conference, CAPT Lyuke maintained his efforts with follow on email correspondence and brown bag lunches to continue to build relationships and enhance mentoring opportunities.  As part of CAPT Lyuke's hard work this small minority now has a more solidified mentor network in which to seek guidance and develop leadership skills.  

  CAPT Lyuke’s leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact one individual can have on a community. As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

22 August 2011

LCDR Simone Montgomery - Office of Enterprise Infrastructure Management (CG-642)

CG-6

  Congratulations to LCDR Simone Montgomery, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  LCDR Montgomery is recognized for her exemplary work while serving as the primary Coast Guard point of contact for the recent National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) Conference held 1-5 August in San Diego. Aimed at increasing retention, affinity groups such as this provide invaluable career guidance opportunities through open discussions which optimally position our members to reach their full potential. As part of her extensive duties, LCDR Montgomery coordinated the attendance of 170 Coast Guardsman and the participation of 2 members of the Senior Executive Service and seven flag officers to include ADM Papp (COMDT) and VADM Brown (PACAREA). Additionally, LCDR Montgomery organized and ensured the success of each of the Coast Guard-specific professional development sessions and mentoring/networking opportunities that occurred throughout the week.

  LCDR Montgomery’s leadership and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact one individual can have on providing positive mentoring and professional development opportunities for our workforce. As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

15 August 2011

LT Timothy Braun - USCG Sector North Carolina

Sector North Carolina

  Congratulations to LT Timothy Braun, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  LT Braun is recognized for his exemplary advocacy and organization of multiple diversity-themed events while serving at Sector North Carolina. During the Holocaust Day Remembrance of 2010 and 2011, LT Braun spearheaded activities led by junior members to discuss discrimination and genocide. LT Braun also coordinated an Asian Pacific American Heritage Month observance all-hands that included interactive games and discussions that raised awareness of other cultures and their histories. Additionally, in support of African American/Black History Month, LT Braun coordinated a visit from the Narrator of the North Carolina Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen which provided Sector personnel a moving and inspiring presentation on African American military service. LT Braun’s extensive efforts were highly praised and were covered by regional print and television media.

  Displaying a passion for mentoring, LT Braun was selected as a mentor for the Sector North Carolina Women’s Leadership Conference. Throughout the event, LT Braun mentored and encouraged numerous female members on work-life issues, promotions/advancements and professional development. Assisting with the planning of the conference, LT Braun paid careful attention to develop an itinerary that was meaningful to women throughout the organization and specific to current issues facing women in the service. As a result of his comprehensive and detail-oriented planning and coordination, the conference was viewed as a tremendous success by the staff and 80 attendees.

  LT Braun’s leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact one individual can have on a community. As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

8 August 2011

LCDR Hector Maldonado - USCGC GALLATIN

  Congratulations to LCDR Hector Maldonado, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  LCDR Maldonado is recognized for his unswerving commitment to diversity outreach initiatives spanning the last three years. Previously assigned to the Coast Guard Yard, LCDR Maldonado was the driving force in the establishment of the Yard’s first-ever Hispanic-American heritage celebration. Filled with cultural dances, songs and ethnic food samplings, the event was also attended by students from a local elementary school thus strengthening community relationships.

  An exceptional mentor of minorities, LCDR Maldonado provides support to his home-town high school in Culebra, Puerto Rico for a scholarship to encourage and assist students to attend college. Additionally, LCDR Maldonado established and was the principal organizer for the First Coastie’s Kids Camp, a youth summer camp for military and civilian children for the summers of 2008-2010. Over 60 children, ages 7-15, participated in the camp every year.

  Lastly, as an outstanding role model and representative for diversity in the Coast Guard, LCDR Maldonado was recognized in 2010 as the Coast Guard’s military hero by the Hispanic Engineer National Achievements Awards Conference (HENAAC) Great Minds in STEM (GMIS) organization. As part of the recognition, he was prominently profiled in the GMIS magazine and website to highlight the positive impact of Hispanics and other minorities in the Armed Forces.

  LCDR Maldonado’s leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact one individual can have on a community. As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

1 August 2011

CDR Frances Messalle – USCG AIRSTA Elizabeth City

USCG AIRSTA Elizabeth City Logo

  Congratulations to CDR Frances Messalle, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  CDR Messalle is recognized for her ardent support of the recruitment and retention of women in the aviation field.  Having discovered the benefits of the Women in Aviation International (WAI) annual conference as the sole Coast Guard participant earlier in her career, CDR Messalle has continued to promote the attendance at subsequent conferences as she envisioned this as a venue to bring female Coast Guard aviators and aircrew together once a year to network, support each other, and increase awareness of carious women’s policy issues.  She also saw it as an opportunity to share the Coast Guard aviation experience and recruit some of the Nation’s top aviation talent.  As the sole coordinator during the service’s first few years of participation, CDR Messalle spearheaded and encouraged all female Coast Guard aviators and aircrew to attend.  In 2008, the first year of organized Coast Guard participation, 45 women attended.  Each year after, under CDR Messalle’s leadership and guidance, the event continued to grow in popularity and garner increased positive feedback from all participants.  For the 2010 conference, CDR Messalle coordinated  the attendance of over 120 Coast Guard attendees – an increase of 144% over 2008.  CDR Messalle’s vision and legacy continued at the 2011 conference with over 140 members in attendance. 

  CDR Messalle has also embraced diversity at the local level having partnered with Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) (a Historically Black College and University) to establish a local WAI Chapter.  This group unites students interested in aviation with local Coast Guard aviation personnel to share and mentor the Nation’s future aviation workforce.  Additionally, CDR Messalle served as a mentor and role model for a young female ECSU student that was selected for the Coast Guard’s Blue 21 aviation accession program. 

  CDR Messalle’s leadership, mentorship and devotion to duty are exemplary and will have long lasting and profound impacts on the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Aviation for years to come.  As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

18 July 2011

LT John Garland - Sector Honolulu

Sector Honolulu Logo

  Congratulations to LT John Garland, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  LT Garland is recognized for his ardent support of the Academy Admissions Partner program and other professional organizations promoting diversity outreach in Hawaii. Displaying strong enthusiasm to promote opportunities at the Coast Guard Academy, LT Garland coordinated various multi-day Academy Admissions Staff visits that effectively promoted the Academy and Coast Guard missions throughout Hawaii. Through his leadership, LT Garland coordinated helicopter flights and small boat rides for Academy Appointees and participated in nearly 50 different recruiting events providing outreach to over 2,000 high school aged students. LT Garland’s efforts directly contributed to nine students getting appointments to the Academy, all of which were women or minorities. He also participated with the Military Academy Liaison Officer group that organized Service Academy recruiting events at area high schools. In addition to his recruiting efforts, LT Garland helped form the Association of Naval Services Officers chapter in Hawaii where he served as the chapter president.

  As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

18 July 2011

LT Taylor Carlisle - AIRSTA San Francisco

LT Taylor Carlisle

  Congratulations to LT Taylor Carlisle, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  Displaying strong support women’s issues with the Coast Guard aviation community, LT Carlisle spearheaded a Coast Guard-wide pregnancy survey to gather data, filtered by specific communities, on women’s experiences with serving while pregnant.  The findings of the survey served as the catalyst for significant changes to both the Personnel Manual and the Aviation Medical Manual to help alleviate safety concerns, inconsistencies in policy application and sometimes unintended negative consequences to women’s careers.  Additionally, LT Carlisle volunteered to lead an eight-month effort to coordinate Coast Guard participation in the 2011 Women in Aviation International conference.  LT Carlisle’s efforts were instrumental in obtaining funding and support to send over 160 attendees which included over 60% of all women serving in Coast Guard aviation and enabled participation from every Coast Guard air station.  The initiative and dedicated work ethic displayed by LT Carlisle has led to some of the most significant policy changes in years and will have positive service-wide impact, especially for recruiting and retaining women in the Coast Guard.   

  As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

11 July 2011

USCGC BLOCK ISLAND

USCGC Block Island Logo

  Congratulations to USCGC BLOCK ISLAND, our Diversity Champion of the Week! The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  Displaying strong support of the Partnership in Education (PIE) Program, the crew of the BLOCK ISLAND adopted two fifth grade classes at Morehead City Elementary School, serving as exceptional mentors and tutors to the students. While many PIE volunteers are committed to helping students in the classroom, BLOCK ISLAND extended their support outside the classroom by hosting students at the unit in order to learn more about life in the Coast Guard. Students joined the crew in morning exercises, saw videos of a variety of Coast Guard rescues, toured the BLOCK ISLAND and other surrounding assets and watched a rescue swimmer demonstration. Hailed by a 28-year veteran teacher as one of the best experiences for students in her career, the crew of BLOCK ISLAND has epitomized the purpose of the PIE Program to promote excellence in education, create opportunities to enhance students’ academic abilities and expose students to career opportunities within the Coast Guard.

  As a direct result of your efforts and outreach, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan. Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

1 July 2011

Mr. Mike Robinson - SILC DET WASH

Mr. Mike Robinson

  Mr. Mike Robinson is a Diversity Champion and he is recognized for outstanding support. He was instrumental in providing exceptional procurement and contracting services to the Diversity Staff. He expeditiously approved over 27 national-level sponsorship contracts for diversity events: Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) program; Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) program; Hispanic events; Ethnic, Gender events; Compass events; and multi-cultural Outreach programs. He processed sponsorships for over $350K in support of the Commandant’s Strategic Plan. Mr. Robinson went the extra mile by assisting the Diversity Staff Budget Officer with reviewing all sole sources and statements of works prior to submission for approval resulting in reducing procurement lead time so contracts could be processed, approved and paid in a timely manner. Additionally, Mr. Robinson coordinated with the USCG Finance Center to have pre-payment arrangements for The International Child Art Foundation Inc. to ensure the grand opening occurred without incident. The World Children’s Festival on the national mall was well attended with over 15,000 guests and children from all over the world that had the opportunity to showcase their art and talent. Mr. Robinson’s professionalism, dedication, and superior customer service have made him an outstanding role model for others to emulate. He is the epitome of a Diversity Champion in words and deeds.

10 June 2011

LT Jay Kircher - AIRSTA Atlantic City, NJ

Members of the Trenton, NJ BRIDGE Program 

  Congratulations to the LT Jay Kircher, our Diversity Champion of the Week!  The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  In support of the U.S. Lacrosse Building Relationships to Initiate Diversity, Growth and Enrichment (BRIDGE) Program, LT Kircher (a 2-time All-American lacrosse player) arranged a visit to AIRSTA Atlantic City for members of the Trenton, NJ BRIDGE program.  Through the visit, the children learned the broad array of Coast Guard missions and opportunities as well as formed a lasting bond with the unit.  Outreach activities such as this advance Goal 3 of the Coast Guard’s Diversity Strategic Plan (Expand Outreach to Achieve Access Opportunity for Underrepresented Populations) and reinforce the positive impact our members and units have in our communities.    

  BRIDGE member programs vary in location, size, development and focus. Existing programs follow a model of using lacrosse to work with young people to bring positive influence, an appreciation of personal values and life-skill lessons to youth in communities not previously exposed to the sport.  

  As a direct result of your efforts, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

3 June 2011

USCG Community Services Command

USCG Community Services Command Logo

  Congratulations to the Community Services Command, our Diversity Champion of the Week!  The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  The Community Services Command (CSC) manages a MWR Internship Program to allow young students the opportunity to intern in MWR-related programs.  Recognizing the potential and opportunity to attract underrepresented minorities (URMs) to the Coast Guard, the CSC began reaching out to HBCUs to establish affiliation agreements.

 

  In 2010, CSC established their first agreement with Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and selected two interns from the school for the internship program.  CSC has since expanded their HBCU affiliation agreements to six schools (Hampton University, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Fayetteville State University, Shaw University, North Carolina State University and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University).  Of the 34 interns being placed this year, 10 are URMs, or about 30%.   Efforts continue with additional HBCUs with recent meetings held with Virginia State University.  CSC's goal for 2012 is to place at least 20 total interns with 50% being URMs.   

  As a direct result of your efforts, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

30 May 2011

LTJG John Vasilarakis - Sector Long Island Sound

IT1 Larry McCammon - ESD New Haven

LTJG John Vasilarakis & IT1 Larry McCammon

  Congratulations to LTJG John Vasilarakis and IT1 Larry McCammon, our Diversity Champions of the Week!  The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  As leaders of Sector Long Island Sound’s Human Relations Council (HRC), LTJG John Vasilarakis and IT1 Larry McCammon have gone above and beyond the responsibilities of the average HRC.  In this capacity, they have directly implemented the Commandant’s Diversity Strategic Plan by conducting focus groups to discuss the results of the Sector’s Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) Survey.  The focus groups were separated by peer group so that every member could feel comfortable discussing the results of the survey and raising solutions.  This is the second consecutive year that they have led the focus group sessions, showing their commitment to improving the workplace climate for all members.

  As best said by Sector Commander, Captain Joe Vojvodich, "The number one job for all of us is to ensure that we develop and maintain a workplace climate that allows everyone, regardless of similarities or differences, to contribute to the mission, as well as to grow personally and professionally.  Leaders are afforded a number of mechanisms to assess the workplace climate and take actions to improve the workforce cultural climate.  The efforts of LTjg Vasilarakis and IT1 McCammon, through tremendous initiative and innovation, greatly support these goals and objectives, and I can't thank them enough."

  As a direct result of your efforts, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

23 May 2011

AMT1 Jeffrey Robertson - Recruiting Office Mobile, AL

AMT1 Jeffrey Robertson (right) 

  Congratulations to AMT1 Jeffrey Robertson, our Diversity Champion of the Week!  The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  AMT1 Robertson is commended for his leadership and commitment to diversity through his consistent actions on and off duty.  Through his service at Recruiting Office Mobile, AL, AMT1 Robertson has shown considerable dedication through the outreach and recruitment of numerous diverse members which assisted the unit in reaching over 150% of its recruiting goals for FY 2010. 

  To that end, AMT1 Robertson has backed up his words through action taking classes at Bishop State Community College, a local HBCU.  Not only does his uniformed presence in class spread the word about the Coast Guard and its members' desire for knowledge, it encourages the unique and proud career path of the Coast Guard to many minority personnel.  AMT1 Robertson has also communicated with staff members of Bishop State in sponsorship efforts, strengthening the link between the Coast Guard and minority centers of influence.

  As a direct result of your efforts, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

16 May 2011

ATC Mobile

3 Officers & 3 Enlisted members of ATC Mobile 

  Congratulations to ATC Mobile, our Diversity Champions of the Week!  The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  ATC Mobile is commended for their leadership and commitment to diversity through their robust representation at the 2011 Association of Naval Services Officers (ANSO) Symposium in San Antonio, TX.  Displaying a strong commitment to diversity and retention through professional development, ATC Mobile funded 3 officers and 3 enlisted members to attend the event, representing the largest delegation from a Coast Guard unit.  Additionally, recognizing the scheduling conflict between the Symposium and the Service-Wide Examination, the command displayed further dedication to the professional development of its members by making appropriate arrangements to proctor the exam for a member while at the event.   

  As a direct result of your efforts, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!

9 May 2011

LCDR Lesane & LT Hannah - Coast Guard Recruiting Command

LT Eddie LesaneLT Lushan Hannah

 Congratulations to LCDR Eddie Lesane and LT Lushan Hannah, our Diversity Champions of the Week!  The Diversity Champion distinction is bestowed upon individuals or units who have made significant contributions in support of the Commandant's Diversity Strategic Plan and OPTASK Diversity.

  LCDR Lesane and LT Hannah are commended for their leadership and extensive outreach during the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Career Expo in Charlotte, NC.  During the event, LCDR Lesane and LT Hannah talked to students and parents from thirteen Historically Black Colleges and Universities about considering a career of service beginning with the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) program.  Both former CSPI graduates, LCDR Lesane and LT Hannah were able to share their personal stories and speak firsthand on the benefits and opportunities afforded by both the CSPI program and the Coast Guard.  Their presence and interactions truly made a lasting impact on those in attendance.  Put simply by LCDR Lesane, “If we can educate students on the opportunities and what the Coast Guard can do for them, then that is a victory.”

  As a direct result of their efforts, the Coast Guard is making strides toward achieving the vision set out in the Diversity Strategic Plan.  Thank you for your work in championing diversity!


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