cg9 banner

Coast Guard recognized for acquisition excellence at annual DHS awards


Five individuals from the Coast Guard’s workforce received Fiscal Year 2021 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Honorary Acquisition Program Management Awards. The continued dedication of the Coast Guard acquisition workforce is instrumental in achieving the vision of DHS being a model of acquisition excellence in government. All DHS winners were recognized by Acting Under Secretary for Management R.D. Alles during a virtual ceremony May 25 hosted by the DHS Office of Program Accountability and Risk Management.

Honored at the ceremony for their dedication to their programs and their innovative techniques for handling challenges and improving processes were: Paul Andron, Systems Engineer of the Year; Elysse Heyman, Test and Evaluation Professional of the Year; Cmdr. Kathryn Moretti, Requirements Manager of the Year; Tracy Tenwalde, Program Financial Manager of the Year; and Lt. Cmdr. Victor Yaguchi, Cost Estimator of the Year.

Andron is the lead systems engineer for the Coast Guard’s Boat Acquisition Program and was recognized for his outstanding efforts in utilizing technology and increasing transparency to create common practices across all seven boat acquisition programs. His efforts helped ensure the timely delivery of essential capabilities for the program. Andron led six separate boat programs through rigorous review processes and developed programs to train newly hired members of the workforce in these processes. His model will be used as the template for future onboarding activities.

Heyman is the test and evaluation manager for the Electronic Health Records Acquisition (eHRa) Program. She was recognized for developing solutions to adhere to the strict deployment schedules required within the eHRa Program, including developing virtual test options during COVID-19 restrictions. Heyman also showed initiative by volunteering to plan the deployment of a new module within the MHS GENESIS solution, which has the potential to accelerate the procedure for Coast Guard recruit processing performed in the system by over 500 percent.

Moretti serves as the requirements division chief within the Office of Requirements and Analysis. In her position, she managed over 35 development projects spanning several acquisition programs, where she prioritized critical timelines and needs to meet DHS and Coast Guard requirements. She also focused on finding commonalities with other components whenever possible. Foreseeing a potential 70 percent turnover in personnel, Moretti made requirements manager training and certification a priority, monitoring progress and ensuring resources were available to the candidates.

Tenwalde now heads the Business Management, Cost Estimating and Metrics Division of the Office of Resource Management; in the past, she has worked as a program financial manager (PFM). Using her PFM subject matter expertise, Tenwalde assisted the Acquisition Directorate with its transition to the Financial Systems Modernization Solution. She used coding to facilitate automation of capitalization and proposed a framework that will enable, for the first time, the tracking of obligations, expenditures and actuals by each major acquisition system asset. She also created additional solutions to enable travel during the system cutover and under the new system, among other accomplishments.

Yaguchi is the assistant team lead for the Cost Estimation and Evaluation Branch in the Office of Resource Management. Over fiscal year 2021, Yaguchi facilitated several efforts, including creating a standard operating procedures guide for Coast Guard cost estimation, establishing the Coast Analysis Working Group, launching a course on Automated Cost Estimating Integrated Tools and facilitating an initiative to standardize data collection and storage. Yaguchi helped to develop an awareness of the importance of the Coast Guard’s cost estimator capability, mentoring an expanded staff, and increasing training and options for gaining experience.