TUCSON, Ariz. – Col. Mark Toy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District commander, attended the Society of American Military Engineers, Tucson Post’s, monthly meeting Dec. 19 to present information on the District and to let the assembled business leaders know how they can participate in Corps projects across the District’s area of responsibility.
Toy began his discussion with his experience and insight into the Corps’ relief efforts and his time as part of the Hurricane Sandy Relief on the East Coast. He then segued into an informational talk about the District’s capabilities and main business lines. He stressed the interconnected nature of the Corps among its commanders and its members.
“The Corps is all one family,” Toy said. “If you ever want to meet up with any of our District Engineers, let me know and I can help.”
Toy continued talking with the assembled SAME members about developments across the Corps. The watershed-based budgeting program, for which the LA District is conducting the pilot program, was one of the newest ideas under review. The program changes the way budgets are allocated. Instead of being project-based, budgets instead move to an entire watershed. This allows for greater flexibility in how money is spent across a wider area and can encompass an array of projects within a watershed.
“This is one of the most exciting things to come out in the Corps this year,” Toy said.
He also discussed his commitment to his motto of “Building Strong and Taking Care of People!” Within the District, Toy said he is committed to ensuring his team members have what they need to accomplish their tasks. He reiterated his “triangle” of People, Training and Facilities to highlight that point. Toy said people need to remain the focus of each of the businesses represented by the SAME members.
“People are the foundation of everything we do,” he said. “If your folks feel like you are there for them, you won’t have to tell them to do their job because they will do everything they can to make sure they don’t disappoint you.”
Toy also let the members know about the upcoming Business Opportunities Open House which will be held in Phoenix Jan. 29, 2013. The open house is for any business interested in doing work with the Corps of Engineers. Any business representatives who would like more information can contact either Jennie Ayala, the District’s outreach coordinator, at 213-452-4018 or Mary Spencer, the District’s small business representative, at 213-452-3938.
Toy then traveled to the Tucson Resident Office at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to meet with District members there. He presented a Commander's Award for Civilian Service to Brian Childers for work done on an array of projects.
“Brian, just from looking at the write up, we – as an organization – have to thank you for the value you have brought in and managed,” Toy said. “I can see real growth in what you have been doing.”
Childers received recognition for the work he has done to improve relationships among local sponsors and among businesses who work for the Corps. Toy also praised Jessica Work for passing her Professional Engineer’s test. He then presented Larry Flatau, the Interagency and International Support chief, with a Superior Civilian Service Award in recognition for Flatau’s more than 25 years of service with the LA District.
“We’re here to recognize someone who has given a majority of his adult life to the Corps of Engineers,” Toy said during the award presentation. “When you look at the time Larry has given and the things he has accomplished, it’s nothing short of amazing.”
Toy talked about Flatau’s accomplishments with several divisions within the District and highlighted his most recent accomplishment as the District’s first I&IS chief. Toy also spoke with the team in Tucson about what is coming up for the District. Flatau was humble when he accepted the award and said all he did was do what he really liked doing for all those years.
“We’re really lucky here in the Corps,” he said. “We get to do some great things for this country, for our service people and for communities everywhere. As an organization, were all very blessed we’re able to come in every day and do this great work.”