NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 12, 2021) – Kristal Jones, senior contracting specialist in Nashville, Tennessee, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Employee of the Month for February 2021. She is recognized primarily for her hard work and expertise in soliciting a contract for a needed roof project for the Electronic Service Section building located at Old Hickory Lake.
“Due to Kristal’s contracting efforts it was completed and on the market by Feb. 28,” said Lt. Col. Sonny B. Avichal, Nashville District commander. “Her speed and accuracy via defect-free documentation was critical to ensuring obligation of the project’s $353,000 budget and overhead expenditures will be completed by the end of the fiscal year.”
Avichal said Jones works to mentor teammates daily via encouragement to efficiently flex from construction to supply to services contracts, all while maintaining relentless commitment to quality research and documentation. With 26 years of experience, she has “seen it all” and offers infectious praise for her teammates as she sets the standard for positivity and cooperation, noted Avichal in announcing her selection as employee of the month.
“Kristal’s skills, abilities and attitude are a direct reflection of her desire to serve,” Avichal said.
Jones began working for the Nashville District as a co-op intern student in the Engineering Division one week after graduating from high school in 1990. She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in May 1995 and started working in Contracting in September 1995 as a purchasing agent. Four months later the Corps converted her position to a contract specialist.
Today, she uses her experience to provide sound business advice to customers and stakeholders about acquisition of goods and services, train and mentor junior contracting specialists about policies and regulations and deliver quality customer service to the public and potential contractors.
“I really enjoy working on the different construction projects that the Nashville District has going on. I’m amazed by how interconnected everything is,” Jones said. “The work being done on one project could possibly affect the work being done on another project at the same place.”
Steve Hutchens, Contracting Branch chief and Jones’ supervisor, described her as the consummate professional and a very hard worker.
“Ms. Jones has a high level of knowledge both in the process and systems of contracting. Her ability to know and or find answers is phenomenal. With her knowledge base, she’s able to help other specialists with issues that arise in real time, meaning they don’t necessarily have to go outside the district for assistance, which takes valuable time away from their duties,” Hutchens said.
Hutchens explained that the ESS roof contract that Jones helped get accomplished on a tight timeline is not only commendable because the project has to be done by the end of September, but is notable because the roof has needed repair for quite some time.
“The project delivery team was struggling with how they wanted to acquire the contract, as well as how it would get completed in the necessary timeframe,” Hutchens said. “Ms. Jones, in coordination with her contracting officer, provided valuable assistance to the team in order to solicit the project in a timely manner, and is in the process of awarding the contract.”
Jones said she is shocked and surprised by her selection as employee of the month. Nonetheless, she is thankful for her teammates in the Contracting Division that are always supportive, and especially loves her mom for her encouragement. She specifically thanked her teammate Rob Holdsworth, who nominated her for recognition.
“Without them, none of the work I do would be possible or get done,” Jones said. “An extra special thanks to my mom, Carolyn Jones; She has been my biggest cheerleader and supporter ever since I started working for the Corps of Engineers and Contracting Division.”
In her off time, Jones said she loves reading mysteries and trivia books like Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader series, listening to music, traveling, going on cruises, spending time with family and friends, and crafting like fabric wreaths and stretchy bracelets.
Hutchens said entire Contracting Division is excited that the Nashville District selected one of their teammates as employee of the month.
“I think this selection is well deserved,” Hutchens said. “Ms. Jones is an invaluable member of our team, and her knowledge and experience is beneficial to contracting and the Nashville District as a whole. Her dedication to executing Nashville District’s mission can be seen throughout her work and work ethic.”
(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)