NAVSUP WSS Counsel Wins Prestigious Legal Award

Integrity … Vision … Dedication … Civility.

      These are the qualities of public service and leadership that have characterized the legal career of William “Bill” Molzahn, a member of the Department of Navy Office of the General Counsel (OGC) for more than 33 years, serving as Deputy General Counsel of the DON from July 2000 until his retirement from federal government service in January 2008.

NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS) Counsel Lori Chofnas receives the prestigious William K. Molzahn Leadership Award during a Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Recognition Ceremony in July 2013.  Pictured from left to right are Rear Adm. Mark Heinrich; Ms. Chofnas; and Sandra Jumper.  (Photo by Jim Morrow, NAVSUP WSS Command Photographer)

NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS) Counsel Lori Chofnas receives the prestigious William K. Molzahn Leadership Award during a Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Recognition Ceremony in July 2013. Pictured from left to right are Rear Adm. Mark Heinrich; Ms. Chofnas; and Sandra Jumper. (Photo by Jim Morrow, NAVSUP WSS Command Photographer)

     Lori Chofas, Counsel, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Weapon Systems Support (WSS), received the 2013 William R. Molzahn Leadership Award from the Department of the Navy (DON), Office of the General Counsel (OGC) in Washington, D.C., in mid-July in recognition of her contributions to the OGC that reflect the aforementioned qualities of public service and leadership.

     “I was completely flabbergasted, honored and humbled when I found out that I won this award,” commented Chofnas, who also wanted to thank Ms. Sandra D. Jumper, Counsel, NAVSUP for submitting her nomination.

     “I am so incredibly excited for Lori!” Jumper said upon hearing the announcement.  “She is a brilliant attorney, a delightful colleague, a mentor to many, and one with whom I am proud to be associated.”

     “But this wasn’t just a personal achievement … It was an achievement for all the attorneys in the (NAVSUP) Enterprise. I feel that I was just representing all of us,” Chofnas added, emphasizing that it was a “huge honor to be included in that group of previous recipients, such a fine group of attorneys.”

     Chofnas began her legal career journey when she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Temple University, Philadelphia, followed by graduating from the then-Delaware Law School of Widener University, receiving her juris doctor degree.

     Her first professional legal job was working at a small private practice firm in Trenton, N.J. for a year before starting her federal government career with the U.S. Navy at the Navy Regional Contracting Center in Philadelphia that later became the part of the then-Fleet Industrial Supply Center (FISC) Norfolk where she served as Assistant Counsel for ten years.

     From there, Chofnas moved on to the then-Naval Inventory  Control Point (NAVICP) Philadelphia, where she was Assistant Counsel for six years, and next to the then-FISC Norfolk detachment Philadelphia, just across the street, for seven years as Counsel.

     Finally, she landed in her current position at NAVSUP WSS in November 2011 as the organization’s Counsel.  As Counsel, Chofnas provides legal advice and guidance in support of the NAVSUP and N/AVSUP WSS mission. In addition, she currently oversees one support staff and eight attorneys at the Philadelphia site and four attorneys in Mechanicsburg.

     In addition, according to the nomination package submitted by Jumper, “Regarding support to NAVSUP, under Chofnas’ leadership, the Office of Counsel meaningfully contributed to NAVSUP WSS meeting its goals by providing advice and counsel which fully developed facts, concisely identified issues, discussed relevant law and was clearly articulated. When challenged, the office provided timely and effective advocacy of DON’s positions in litigation and non-litigation contexts. During the past year, Chofnas and her team provided advice on a significant number of complicated service contracts valued up to approximately $800M, including twenty Performance Based Logistics procurements.”

By Margaret Kenyon-Ely, NAVSUP WSS Office of Corporate Communications