Army civilians earn top honors in public works field

by Dijon Rolle
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern Public Affairs

A pair of Kaiserslautern-based Army civilians were recently honored for their professionalism in the public works field.

Juan Diaz was named the Directorate of Public Works Headquarters Support Executive of the Year and Jesus Toyens the DPW Business Management Executive of the Year for the 2012 Army-level Directorate of Public Works Awards Program.

Installation Management Command-Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter presented Toyens and Diaz with coins during his June visit to U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern. They have yet to receive the actual awards.

Diaz has worked as a project manager in support of DPW for 18 years and currently serves as lead chief of the realignments section for IMCOM-E region, based at Sembach Kaserne.

“I am very honored and proud to be the recipient of this award. However, the credit goes to the team —  all of the folks that I work with and have worked with during the past 18 years,” Diaz said. “I don’t do what I do without a good team. Senior leaders mentor me and give me the latitude to do well, and my peers and co-workers come together to pull off timely and successful projects.”

Toyens currently serves as the chief of business operations and integration for the Kaiserslautern garrison. He is responsible for all resource management, work orders processing and execution, and the information technology systems at the DPW. He also supervises all DPW work coordination, scheduling and resource management.

“(I was) happy and surprised. What this means to me is that this award shows you that we (have) a good team of professionals dedicated to this community,” Toyens said. “Despite the budget issues, furlough, hiring freeze and other concerns, we’re able to accomplish our mission, and this is due to our dedicated employees and their positive attitude.”

Bill Holz, U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern’s director of public works, praised both Diaz and Toyens for their ongoing efforts to support the DPW mission. The garrison’s DPW oversees community construction, maintenance, repair programs, billeting and barracks.

“Juan, from Day One, has been working the transformation actions with us. I don’t even remember how many major headquarters have been relocated to our footprint with the closure of Mannheim and Heidelberg. He has served as the primary action officer here working transformation from the region for the strategic initiative group,” Holz said. “Without him I don’t think that transformation would have happened as well and as smooth as it did … he went above and beyond to take care of everything from A to Z.”

Diaz worked closely with master planners, the Air Force Housing office and other agencies to personally assist relocating units and organizations. Holz said he is DPW’s “Swiss Army Knife,” a real “jack of all trades.”