News: Blais hailed as a patriot upon 40-year retirement
Story by Nick D'Amario
BOSTON - For Joyce Blais, what began as a job between college semesters ended up being a 40-year career. In those 40 years, she worked her way up from a GS-03 clerk stenographer to a GS-15/director of the Business Operations Center in Boston, Mass., heading a 350-person organization.
“Joyce Blais is my hero,” said Tim Callahan, Contracts executive director. “For over 40 years she served our great nation faithfully and well. Joyce is an outstanding example of how a dedicated and determined individual can attain high rank within the government.”
Callahan refers to Blais as a patriot who focused her energies on supporting warfighters and looking out for taxpayers’ interests.
“Under her steady leadership, her Business Operations Center team skillfully and effectively managed their multi-billion dollar property, plant clearance, terminations and contractor purchasing system workload,” he said. “I am proud to have worked with Joyce and wish her the best in her well-deserved retirement.”
Blais, however, doesn’t take all the credit for her accomplishments.
“Over the years, I had the opportunity to work with so many smart, dedicated and hardworking people,” said Blais. “I was fortunate to be mentored by some of the best contracting folks in DCMA. They were always willing to share their knowledge and experience with me, which greatly helped my career development.”
The four groups Blais managed her last three years as director of the Business Operations Center included Contractor Purchasing System Review, Terminations, Plant Clearance and Property.
“They are extremely talented team members,” said Blais. “They work hard every day to support the DCMA mission. Although I am looking forward to retirement, I will truly miss them and DCMA.”
Blais received numerous awards and accolades at her recent retirement ceremony. They included a letter from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Senator Elizabeth Warren, and a picture of the USS Constitution (pictures of the ship have long been the symbol of the Eastern Region, and presented to people who retire with more than 35 years of service).
Blais’ sense of service, understanding of the challenges faced by Contract Management Offices, and appreciation for customer requirements allowed her to broadly influence DCMA policies, practices and processes.
A few of Blais’ contributions during her DCMA employment include:
Developing a task force organization to improve contract close out through hands-on assistance, training and detailed execution plans. As a result, DCMA Virginia was able to reduce overage contracts by 42 percent.
Leading resource reviews at Naval Division CMOs to ensure proper staffing in the areas of contracts, pricing and property.
Participating in the Navy Special Emphasis Program CMO Integrated Product Team, which helped design this customer-focused CMO.
Maintaining the customer focus and strong performance of the four diverse organizations that make up the Business Operations Division.
Providing critical insights to the DCMA Acquisition Workforce Growth Study Team that supported the need for DCMA’s continued growth.
Andrew Obermeyer, currently the AQ Contract Planning and Performance Assessment director, will become the Business Operations Center director effective August 12. The latter position is moving from Boston to Fort Lee as part of a return to flagpole/hub site initiative.
“I'm looking forward to the new challenge, and I am extremely grateful to Joyce for her service and for leaving behind such a great organization,” said Obermeyer.