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NEWS | Oct. 14, 2020

AG recognizes financial management, acquisition and internal review workforce

By Cotton Puryear JFHQ Public Affairs

RICHMOND, Va. — Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, recognized members of the Virginia National Guard’s financial management, acquisition and internal review workforce during an “All Hands” remote meeting Oct. 8, 2020.

“What a job well done,” Williams told the team members at the meeting. “This past year was probably the most active this organization has ever had. We couldn’t do it without the extraordinary effort of the men and women of the United States Property and Fiscal Office. Not just the determination, but the ingenuity to make this all work. It is an incredible team, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about how much I appreciate the great work you are doing.”

USPFO personnel obligated approximately $325 million across both the Virginia Army and Air National Guard, and that was 10 percent higher than last year and 39 percent higher than average between 2014 and 2018, Cree said. The VaARNG team pulled in and executed an additional $3.7 million in the last few hours of the fiscal year, and the whole team was on standby until nearly midnight on Sept. 30 in case any additional funds became available.

“It was an extremely busy year executed in an extremely challenging environment,” explained Col. Jeffrey R. Cree, the United States Property and Fiscal Officer for Virginia. “I believe some of the best employees in the Virginia National Guard reside in this portion of the organization. Their work is often not visible only because they do it so well.”

Cree detailed the significant accomplishments by teams throughout the entire workforce.

The Federal Acquisitions Section executed nearly 2,500 Government Purchase Card requests totaling $2.5 million and executed 175 contract actions totaling $5.2 million, $2.5 million for the VaANG and $3.7 for the VaARNG.

The Cooperative Agreements Section executed more than $83 million , the highest total in history. They opened three new Military Construction Cooperative Agreements while continuing to work three that are already open, and Cree said opening six is a very large number to manage.

The Pay and Exam Section completed more than 10,000 pay transactions for the VaARNG in Fiscal Year 2020 and processed orders for pay and travel for personnel supporting COVID-19 response while remaining agile and adaptive to do so as the situation constantly changed.

In particular, Cree identified the following individuals for their outstanding duty performance:

Steve Lashway, VaARNG Pay and Exam Section, was the highest volume pay processor with the fewest errors and from May 1 to Sep. 30, 2020, he processed over 300 payments with zero errors.

Mechelle McKay, VaARNG Accounting Section. was nationally recognized for her work and developed multiple accounting SOPs that have been adopted and shared at the NGB level. Cree describes her as “An unsung hero of the organization” and “one of the most valuable and hard-working employees working behind the scenes to keep the VaARNG running.”

Lauren Martin, VaARNG G3 Budget Section, managed a $73 million budget and finished the fiscal year with an execution rate of 99.93%. Cree said she worked around the clock with the comptroller staff through year end to minimize the impact of year end close activities to the field while simultaneously supporting mobilizations, COVID response, and last minute changes to training.

Larry Seamans, VaARNG G4 Budget Section, worked diligently throughout the year and was especially crucial during end of year activities to ensure requisitions through G-Army were funded.

David Pickard, VaARNG Acquisition Support Office, processed orders in excess of $650 thousand during Fiscal Year 2020 while also completing his Level II Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act certification despite only being in position for two years. He also mentored several junior acquisition specialists.

Kristine Jocelyn, Grants Officer Representative, shoulders a massive amount of risk burden for both the federal and state government as the GOR and continuously performs at an extremely high level in an incredibly demanding job, and Cree describe her as “one of the best in the nation – probably the best.”

The 192nd Comptroller Budget and Accounting Team lead by Capt. Amanda Olwig with team members Christopher Sloan, Tech. Sgt. Anita Smith and Sondra Natta managed and executed the VaANG Operation and Maintenance and Military Personnel Appropriation Budget and obligated an outstanding 99.7% at end of year. They worked around the clock in the last weeks of year end to reimburse the state through the Master Cooperative Agreement for Fiscal Years 2018, 2019 and 2020 which included the 185th Cyber Operations Squadron and 21 enterprise payments totaling more than $28 million.

The 192nd Comptroller Military Pay Team lead by Tech. Sgt. Talia Ramsey with team members Master Sgt. Kristy Price, Master Sgt. Carla Quarles, Staff Sgt. Cheri Douglas and Staff Sgt Lori Vanhorn executed perfectly over a no-notice deployment, AGR re-alignment and the recent 203rd RED HORSE deployment of more than 100 personnel. They ensured pay briefings, document collections and manual pay inputting took place seamlessly resulting in zero pay delays or errors and timely Tricare benefits for members and their families.

The United States Property and Fiscal Officer for Virginia performs duties as an agent of the Chief of National Guard Bureau to receive and account for all federal funds and property in the possession of the Virginia Army and Air National Guard. The USPFO ensures federal funds are obligated and expended in conformance with applicable statutes and regulations and acts as the Installation director of logistics, resource management and contracting officer for the Virginia National Guard managing logistics, support and financial management.

The USPFO maintains a dual responsibility to CNGB and the Adjutant General of Virginia and is responsible to ensure that all applicable laws, regulations and policies established by Congress, Department of Defense, and Departments of the Army and Air Force are complied with in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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