ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Jamie Howard, chief, Lakes and Assets Branch, was honored as the District’s Supervisor of the Year during the District’s 2017 Annual Award Presentations, Dec. 8, 2017.
Howard manages the operations and maintenance of the District’s nine dams for flood risk management, environmental stewardship, recreation, and water supply. She oversees 88 staff positions, most of which are located at field sites in New Mexico and southern Colorado.
“This year has been a time of significant challenges including retirements, a hiring freeze, and a clear need for strategic assessment of our staffing and mission. To begin the calendar year, we experienced the retirement of one Operating Project Manager (OPM) and the departure of another to a promotion in an external agency at our most distant project just prior to a hiring freeze,” said Mark Yuska, chief, Operations Division, in his nomination for her recognition.
Howard spent weeks at each project location, getting to the staff and covering the transition. She took the time to take care of her employees and to learn their work environments, spending many hours working and traveling afterhours and on weekends to make sure needs were covered.
Yuska listed several of Howard’s many accomplishments in his nomination. She gained approval to upgrade two OPM positions from GS-11 to GS-12 to ensure competitiveness in pay commensurate with responsibilities. She utilized recruitment incentives to bring strong candidates to OPM and lead ranger positions in a tough-to-recruit locality in southeast Colorado. She took on the supervision of budget staff, leading and motivating strategic initiatives, particularly in moving program and budget responsibilities to the field. She led the Asset Management team to increase usage and visibility of methods and tools at a higher level, and she helped her team gain accountability in property management and safety.
Additionally, Howard has “unwavering dedication, the courage to push for change, and a vision for our organization in taking a direction that prepares us for a competitive Operations and Management (O&M) 2020 level-of-service funding environment,” Yuska wrote.
“She embodies leadership in taking on the tough challenges, and invests in others in her contributions to our Leadership Development Programs and leading girls in church camps,” said Yuska.
Yuska wasn’t the only district employee to nominate Howard for Supervisor of the Year. District employee Jordan Harroun also nominated her. “My experience with Jamie Howard has always been positive. She has displayed exceptional work ethic both at the District office and at the project level.”
Harroun also said that “the Albuquerque District has greatly benefited from Howard’s experience and work ethic in how she has improved communication between the District office and the projects, as well as improved the projects by providing more training opportunities to a greater number of lower level staff.”
Howard was also recognized as the District’s Employee of the Quarter for the third quarter of fiscal year 2017.
Other district employees nominated for Supervisor of the Year include
Carlos Salazar, chief, Construction Branch; Marcy Leavitt, chief, New Mexico and Texas Regulatory Branch; Scott Hamilton, maintenance mechanic supervisor, Cochiti Lake; and Tom Bueno, chief, Program Integration and Controls Branch.