Walla Walla District’s Contracting Division earns top Corps awards

Published Dec. 22, 2011

WALLA WALLA, Wash.  – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District Contracting Division set records during fiscal year (FY) 2011 in the number and value of contracting actions executed, leading to two national-level awards for contracting excellence.

Tracy Wickham, the district’s construction and architectural-engineering contracting branch chief and Walla Walla resident, earned the Corps’ 2011 Excellence in Contracting, Mission Execution Award. He obligated more than $60 million of the district’s overall total of about $114.5 million in contracts awarded during FY 2011, a budget cycle common to many federal agencies which spans October 2010 through September 2011.

In addition, the Walla Walla District earned the Corps of Engineers “Head of Contracting Activity’s (HCA’s) Award for Excellence in Contracting – Best Small Business Office” during FY 2011.

The awards were presented during the annual Society of American Military Engineers Small Business Conference on Nov. 30 by the Corps’ Deputy Commanding General for Military and International Operations Major General Jeffrey J. Dorko and Brig. Gen. Theodore “Ted” C. Harrison, deputy director of the Corps’ National Contracting Organization,

“These awards are a reflection of our great Contracting Division, administrative contracting officers, contracting officer representatives, small business deputy and so many others across the district that work tirelessly in support of the district mission,” Walla Walla District Commander Lt. Col. David A. Caldwell wrote in an email sent to district employees shortly after he attended the awards ceremony in National Harbor, Md. “This is wonderful recognition for the whole contracting team, and I'm so proud of everyone.” 

Caldwell re-presented the awards to Wickham and Walla Walla District Contracting Chief Ruthann Haider during an employee town hall event Dec. 16 at the district headquarters in Walla Walla. 

Walla Walla District’s Contracting Division achieved a personal-best record during FY 2011 for contract execution with 1,372 overall actions valued at about $114.5 million – almost 400 actions more than last year’s approximately 1,000 actions, including an 106-percent increase in contract awards to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. Contracting Division’s team also delivered significant improvement in oversight, efficiency and customer service.

“We identified district priorities in a collaborative way with other departments,” said Haider. “Our focus on customer service resulted in a 33-percent increase in Customer Satisfaction Recognition Survey participation and a 90-percent reduction in dissatisfied-customer ratings.”

Haider noted her team’s support to mission execution crossed district boundaries during late-spring and early-summer storm and flooding activity along the Missouri River.

“Not only did we do our own work,” she explained, “we executed 15 task orders for Kansas City District worth more than $6 million because their contracting folks were busy with the Joplin tornado recovery mission. As chief, I couldn’t be prouder of my staff.”



Public Affairs

Release no. 11-164