And, the winner is…
Pittsburgh District’s Josh Kaufman, chief of contracting, was recognized as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Responder of the Year, Aug. 1.
The award is a national recognition of the accomplishments and successes throughout a 500-day emergency activation period and for executing more than 20 missions with a total value in the hundreds of millions.
When asked about the award, Kaufman was quick to credit his team’s hard work and dedication.
“I'm certain there must have been many others who deserved this award. For my part I just showed up and gave the missions my best effort,” he said. “I was only able to be as effective as I was because of the incredible contracting staff in my office who stepped up and did some heavy lifting to make sure the normal Pittsburgh mission didn’t fall through the cracks.”
It comes as no surprise, teamwork is the bedrock of what drives Kaufman and his team, the contracting office is charged with a no fail mission to support Federal Emergency Management Agency and worldwide emergency responses.
A ready and trained workforce is critical to their mission as situations can be rigorous right from the outset.
After more than 16 months spent in support of emergency missions, Kaufman understands the components critical to a successful FEMA mission.
“Look at the debris mission in the U.S. Virgin Islands, temporary power in Puerto Rico, flood fighting in Mississippi Valley Division and during Stafford Act missions for FEMA it is important to have a trained volunteer cadre.” Kaufman continued, “The first couple days require stamina, focus, and skillful oversight of all of the mission’s resources.”
Kaufman and his team’s results are a product of hard work, dedication to the mission and a steady hand during rapid responses. This award highlights the level of excellence he achieves.
To Kaufman, however, his greatest takeaway is not what he did individually, but instead, what his team accomplished.
“What the Pittsburgh contracting team, not me, did in 2018 is nothing short of incredible,” he said.
From the perspective of the District Commander, Col. Andrew Short, “The district has a knack, and a history, of making the impossible possible through innovation, effort and teamwork. Something you need go no further than LRP’s stack of awards to verify.”
Kaufman’s recognition shows that Pittsburgh District is fortunate to have some of the best and the brightest employees and leaders.
Pittsburgh District’s 26,000 square miles include portions of western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, eastern Ohio, western Maryland and southwestern New York. Our jurisdiction includes more than 328 miles of navigable waterways, 23 navigation locks and dams, 16 multi-purpose flood-control reservoirs, 42 local flood-protection projects and other projects to protect and enhance the nation’s water resources, infrastructure and environment.