Aug. 31, 2023 —
Mildred Escobosa (second from right), chief of the contracting office for the Coast Guard Surface Forces Logistics Center, receives an Excellence in Leadership Award June 27, 2023, at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Fiscal Year 2022 Chief Procurement Officer Excellence Awards. Joining her are (from left): Paul Courtney, DHS chief procurement officer; Keith O’Neill, Coast Guard head of the contracting activity; and Nina Ferraro, DHS deputy chief procurement officer. Courtesy photo.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) Excellence Awards were established to recognize DHS employees, teams, acquisition programs and contracting activities that further the DHS mission through a procurement or procurement-related achievement in both individual and team categories. Six members of the Coast Guard contracting and procurement community were among those recognized at the fifth annual event held June 27, 2023.
Naing Tint, a systems engineer, received the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) of the Year award. This award honors a DHS COR who demonstrates outstanding achievements in support of their program office and in carrying out the activities delegated by the contracting officer to achieve mission delivery. As technical lead and COR, Tint managed the acquisition of the Coast Guard’s first new long range command and control aircraft in more than 20 years, which was also the service’s first aircraft to integrate the DHS airborne network and Crisis Management System. Managing this highly technical contract required coordination of stakeholders to ensure that Coast Guard and DHS leadership can receive classified communications to enable continuity of operations during travel. Tint’s ability to expertly manage this engagement while addressing numerous contract discrepancies was cited in the awards presentation.
Mildred Escobosa, chief of the contracting office at the Surface Forces Logistics Center (SFLC), was recognized with an Excellence in Leadership Award, which is given to managers/supervisors for exceptional ability to inspire and motivate people to achieve superior mission results and/or organizational outcomes for the DHS procurement line of business. Escobosa was cited for her leadership during the Coast Guard’s migration to its new financial system, the Financial Systems Modernization Solution. After determining that the SFLC faced a significant increase in workload volume and complexity at the same time it was addressing a staffing shortage, Escobosa took a proactive and collaborative approach to effect change. She provided equitable solutions to budgeting issues and instituted use of assisted acquisitions to help offset the increase in workload. Her openness with mission partners about the difficult situation and ability to offer solutions was highlighted in her nomination.
“It is my hope that during and after stakeholder engagement with SFLC Contracting and Procurement, our division’s dedication to a successful outcome for our customers is evident,” said Escobosa. “Our goal is to support our mission set to ensure Coast Guard cutters are 100% operational; it’s a hefty undertaking only made possible due to the quality of staff onboard!”
The Coast Guard Industry Engagement Program Team was recognized with an Excellence in Industry Engagement Award during the DHS Fiscal Year 2022 Chief Procurement Officer Excellence Awards. Celebrating the accomplishment are (from left): Paul Courtney, DHS chief procurement officer; Stephanie France, Coast Guard business operations specialist and Industry Engagement Program Team member; Keith O’Neill, Coast Guard head of the contracting activity; Michelene Rangel, procurement analyst and Industry Engagement Program Team member; and Nina Ferraro, DHS deputy chief procurement officer. Courtesy photo.
The Coast Guard Industry Engagement Program Team was recognized for their excellence in corporate engagement through meaningful industry outreach either through mission/program-focused activities or outreach focused on a particular acquisition or procurement. Maria Kersey-Robinson, supervisory procurement analyst; Stephanie France, business operations specialist; Michelene Rangel and Nettie Straub, procurement analysts make up the industry engagement team.
The team’s proactive approach to working with the acquisition community to identify market capabilities and sources and their assiduous dedication to the small business program ensured equitable consideration of small business vendor participation in the procurement process and was noted during the awards presentation. The efforts directly contributed to the Coast Guard awarding contracts totaling more than $1.4 billion to American small businesses in fiscal year 2022 and exceeding goals for all five small business socioeconomic categories, the third consecutive year the service has exceeded those goals.
The team’s contributions greatly amplified transparent communication efforts and were effective in expanding the service’s industry partnerships while also ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion in the procurement process. Team members attribute the success of their outreach to their expansion beyond the basics – hosting monthly webinars and training for industry and internal acquisition teams, leading remote sessions and virtual networking events, and attending external conferences and industry events as well as one-on-one matchmaking sessions.