By Sarah Glinski, Office of Corporate Communications, NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support
Barbara Johnson, deputy director of contracts at NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS), received the Acquisition Professional of the Year award at the Pentagon’s Acquisition Excellence Awards ceremony, October 16.
Out of 89 nominations from across the Department of Navy (DoN) acquisition community of more than 63,000 people, Johnson rose to the top for her efforts in promoting innovation, excellence and mentoring within her department, all of which have significantly progressed NAVSUP WSS workforce capabilities in direct support of the warfighter.
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Barbara Johnson, deputy director of contracts at NAVSUP WSS receives the Acquisition Professional of the Year Award from James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition (right) alongside Rear Adm. Duke Heinz, commander, NAVSUP WSS (left). –Photo by MC1 Jonathan Correa
“I’m extremely proud of Barbara’s accomplishments,” said Rear Adm. Duke Heinz, commander, NAVSUP WSS. “Her work is not just appreciated by me and those at my command, but by all of the Sailors and Marines that she works tirelessly to keep mission ready.”
Johnson’s newly established Strategic Acquisition and Performance Based Logistics (PBL) Center of Excellence (CoE) has quickly become the gold standard for performance-based contracting as the team manages 26 active PBLs and 25 percent of NAVSUP WSS’s $5.7 billion of obligations.
With the primary goal of developing and implementing acquisition strategies that best fit fleet requirements, the CoE leverages industry partnerships to improve warfighter readiness as contracts transition from one-off buys to strategic contracting vehicles including PBLs, basic ordering agreements and longterm contracts.
Under Johnson’s leadership, the NAVSUP WSS contracting department increased their use of strategic contracting vehicles by 22 percent, keeping the U.S. naval fleet ready, resourceful and responsive through quicker delivery of crucial parts to the warfighter.
In addition to process innovations, Johnson implemented out-of-the-box training and development methods for the 120 acquisition professionals that she oversees. By instituting daily interactive open session training forums between working-level subject matter experts and new employees, she shortened the learning curve for new acquisition personnel and provided them with real time over-the-shoulder training and mentorship.
Johnson also advocated for the design and release of a department-specific website hosted on NAVSUP WSS’s employee intranet, utilizing a tool that better resonated with new hires. The website now serves as a “one-stop shop” for all of the command’s acquisition policy and training information, proving itself an extremely valuable asset to staff members across the organization.
Her innovative approach to continuous process improvement and introduction of new and progressive contracting initiatives culminated in her earning the Acquisition Professional of the Year title.
“I’m humbled to have received this award,” Johnson said, “But this award isn’t just a win for me. It represents a win for the warfighter.”