News: Class of 2012 distinguished civilian employees recognized
Story by Leon Roberts
GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. – The commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District recognized the 2012 class of distinguished civilian employees today during the Engineering Day Picnic at Smiley Hollow.
In passing out the Distinguished Civilian Employee Recognition Awards, Lt. Col. James A. DeLapp praised the four corps retirees honored, who between them had more than 130 years of service that significantly impacted operations within the district during their lengthy careers.
The Distinguished Civilian Employees Award is presented to retired employees from the Nashville District with at least 20 years of service. Nominees must have developed or improved methods and procedures or supervised or managed the development of improved methods and procedures that produced extraordinary benefits for the Corps of Engineers.
Joanne Mann, executive assistant to the commander, noted as the ceremony began that the benefits of service by William T. Hill, Marva Strong Morris, Carl W. Crews Jr., and William “Bill” Barron Jr., constitute a real and lasting memorial to their achievements and dedication to public service. “You have met the challenges of unswerving determination and technical ability, and have set examples of devotion to duty for your successors to follow,” Mann said.
DeLapp handed out certificates of appreciation to each honoree and noted how much the district valued their service and leadership. “Thanks to these great employees for all of their years of service,” he said. “This is a small token of our appreciation.”
After accepting her award, Morris said she already had her reward from working at the Nashville District over the span of her career, which was so family friendly. “And I learned so much and had developmental opportunities, and I worked with such wonderful and competent, highly-professional employees,” she said. “And so I thank God for that and for this [recognition].”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the commander and award recipients posed with a replica of a plaque that will hang in the district headquarters. DeLapp noted that they were outstanding performers as corps employees.
The following are career highlights of each award recipient during their tenure with the Nashville District.
William “Bill” T. Hill
Hill retired as district counsel in 2009 after 31 years of service. He served early in his career as the district’s labor counselor because of his passion in the area of equal employment law and personnel issues.
He was promoted to supervisory attorney and district counsel in March 2005 where he served until his retirement. As district counsel, he oversaw the integration of real estate attorneys into the Office of Counsel, transforming them from attorneys practicing only real estate law to attorneys with a more well-rounded practice in several different areas of law.
Hill worked in all phases of legal activities necessary to execute major operating programs of the Corps of Engineers, but his main focus and strength involved personnel issues. In this arena he continued to address a variety of complex legal issues of regional and nationwide significance. He was charged with reviewing extremely sensitive issues and always handled the tasks with a professional and considerate demeanor.
He was also recognized as a national expert in labor law for at least 25 years, acting as a mediator and agency counsel for numerous districts and divisions with difficult personnel and employment cases. Respected by associates and coworkers, he is well known for his extensive knowledge and for being approachable. With his professional, direct personality, and keen sense of humor, he inspired confidence in the legal community and with customers.
Marva Strong Morris
Morris retired as chief of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office in 2009 after 32 years of service. She made a lasting impact in her career, influencing the hiring, promotion, and advancement of a diverse workforce. The district, division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Army were beneficiaries of her devotion to the human resources and equal employment opportunity missions.
Her professional demeanor earned her the respect of managers and employees, and enhanced a positive image for the EEO program during unprecedented workloads. Under her leadership, the Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering Partnerships flourished. She was also a strong proponent of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program, becoming one of the first Corps-trained mediators in the program.
Morris remained committed to her service motto of doing things right and doing the right things, which earned her respect for her impeccable ethical and moral standards. She is well known for taking care of people, enabling the district to receive the Chief of Engineers EEO Trophy Award, and proving her commitment to making the district’s EEO Program one of the best in the corps.
Throughout her career, Morris demonstrated the utmost loyalty and dedication to serving the district, while consistently performing in an outstanding manner.
Carl W. Crews Jr.
Crews retired as resource manager of Old Hickory Lake in May 2009 after 37 years of service. He was instrumental in developing and implementing the Shoreline Management, Natural Resource Management, and Outdoor Recreation Programs for the district.
He made it his mission to manage and conserve natural resources, consistent with ecosystem management principles, while providing quality public outdoor recreation experiences ensuring the needs of present and future generations. He knew it was extremely important to balance private exclusive use of the shoreline by adjacent property owners while providing natural environmental conditions for the use and enjoyment of the general public.
Crews balanced competing demands on the lake and proved very effective at identifying ways of improving the Shoreline Management Program. From the very beginning in 1980, he led the charge in revising six shoreline management plan updates. Over the years, he also maintained a strong focus on recreation development and natural resource management and protection that shaped the program.
He promoted policy and procedural changes that fostered long-term natural resource protection, while ensuring safe, high quality outdoor recreation opportunities were available for the public.
William R. “Bill” Barron Jr.
Barron retired as chief of the Hydrology and Hydraulics Branch in 2009 after 30 years of service. He demonstrated exceptional technical expertise and a keen understanding of people. He was a mentor, motivator, team builder, and did it with a humor and wit that naturally put people at ease.
During his career, he tackled tough issues, including many related to dam safety. Under his supervision, complex hydraulic models of the Cumberland River below Wolf Creek and Center Hill dams were developed. Inundation maps were created from these models and used to convey the risks posed to downstream communities.
The mapping represented a significant innovation in risk communication for the corps and served as the basis for development of inundation mapping requirements for dam safety across the corps.
Barron also worked with stakeholders on issues surrounding water storage agreements and accompanying fees required by law. His efforts resulted in virtually full compliance and signed storage agreements for all reservoirs where studies were conducted.
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