Fall | 2020
US NAVY Turns 245

In case you missed it, the United States Navy turned 245 years old on Tuesday, October 13. May we all continue to service with Honor, Courage & Commitment and uphold the long US Navy tradition of “Victory at Sea.”

Skookum is honored to provide janitorial, grounds, transportation and total facilities maintenance and serve the US Navy at the following installations: 

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Bremerton Washington 
Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton and Bangor, Washington
Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Keyport, Washington
Naval Magazine Indian Island, Washington
Naval Station Everett, Washington
Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island, Washington
US Naval Surface Warfare Center, Bayview Idaho
Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC 
Various Naval Operations Support Centers in the Pacific Northwest
Skookum Supports the Coast Guard Mission in Maryland
The Skookum team in Curtis Bay in Maryland was tapped for a USCG mission-critical task to help prepare for transport a large replacement motor for a ship that was being repair across the country in Seattle. The team sprang into action, coordinating efforts with several USCG engineering teams in multiple disciplines to facilitate a seamless operation under an extremely tight deadline. The team successfully accomplished the mission, ahead of schedule and safely routed to its destination.

Just days after assisting the Coast Guard with accomplishing that massive task, the Skookum team sprang into action once again. The Coast Guard had a pipe burst in one of the barracks after hours, displacing a dozen or so junior Coast Guard service members. The Skookum team rallied in support of remedy and recovery and Skookum’s Assistant Manager, Michael Stasiuk, was complimented directly by the Coast Guard Commander acknowledging the efforts he led. The Coast Guard Commander commented, “While it doesn’t replace their stuff, seeing a small army of people there responding shows [the junior service members] we care and that means a heck of a lot more to me than moving a heavy motor. (Which you guys did great at). I just wanted to say thanks to the team.” 
Skookum Supports Department of State

Skookum was featured in an article from State Magazine, highlighting our amazing team at FASTC in Virginia. This a very unique place to work and we are proud of the Skookum employees who play a key role in the DS Training.

To read the article, Click Here.
Skookum Remembers Tommy Givens and Mitch Holt
Tommy Givens has worked at Motor Transport Div., MCB Camp Lejeune, NC from April 2006 to June 2020. Tommy was a key asset here on the base and has held many positions to include, Tractor Trailer driver in which he transported over a 100 M1A1 Tanks for the Marines throughout Camp Lejeune area. Tommy was all about providing excellent service to the Camp LeJeune personnel. In addition to his driving duties Tommy would also Dispatch, License and supervise all oversize loads. He also oversaw all Forklift and NTV 4X4 classes for the Camp Lejeune area. No matter what the day brought Tommy would go over and above to meet the mission and always do it with a smile on his face and a great attitude. He will be greatly missed. 
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Mitchell Holt. Mitch passed away on October 5, 2020. He was a valued member of the Skookum team in Oak Ridge, TN since April 1, 2019 as a Laborer. Mitch was a jack of all trades in the maintenance field with a passion for home remodeling. He was a genuine people person with a quick smile and an easy laugh.  Mitch was always willing to help others out. He enjoyed computers and gaming in his free time. Mitch had a bright future with Skookum and he will be greatly missed.
Skookum is awarded the 2020 Hire-A-Vet Employer of the Year Award
We are proud to announce Skookum has been recognized and awarded the 2020 Washington State’s Hire A Vet End of the Year Award in the large business sector!

Skookum is proud to lead the way in employing veterans. To date, over 1/3 of our workforce are veterans!

This recognition comes with many thanks and appreciation for the hard work put in by our Skookum Site & Project Managers, Recruiters, Human Resources, and Admin support staff!
Pest Control at NSBOSC

Pest control on a military base is serious business!  Roger Lambrou (Lead) and Douglas Lockner are pest control technicians for NAS Whidbey, Ault field, Smokey Point, Jim Creek, Boardman, Everett and Coupeville. Pest control is not limited to picking up dead rodents, birds, or mice. It is an active year responsibility, including renewing their licensing, normally during the winter months, through the Department of Agriculture. Each year they need to update all their licensing, 15 credits of online training must occur. Animal control is included in the contract which takes three years to obtain. 

Pest related problems can befall bases, airfields and barracks, including café’s and commissaries. It sounds simple, just follow them around for a day! Along with putting out pest control problems their job also includes weed control. Roger oversee’ s pest and weed control vendors at NAS, Boardman and pest control vendors at Pacific Beach, requiring routine inspections of both. Sites can vary greatly. They utilize a variety of different means to help mitigate pest problems, including traps, some chemicals, and other types of equipment. They educate their clients in key pest entryways and how to prevent re-infestations from occurring in the future. 
 
Completing pest control reports is a tedious task, the pest control division works with the Washington Department of Agriculture primarily for endorsement and legal requirements as well as the USDA and the Navy’s own national monitoring system. Daily detailed records of all activities including inspections and chemical applications are submitted. They both are dedicated workers and NAS Whidbey appreciates their hard work!
We are proud to share Skookum distributed $100,000 in 2020 through our Tuition Assistance Program!
  • “Skookum is ‘customer facing’ and strives to improve continuously.” US Navy
  • “Give it to Skookum, it will be taken care of correctly.” US Army
  • “My boss is really happy with Skookum, my boss’s boss, super happy and the soldiers are very happy = Command Sargent Major, Garrison Commander and THE General.” US Army
  • “No suggestions for improving what is already a well-oiled machine, greatly appreciate the exceptional service provided. In my experience, Skookum always goes above and beyond.”  Blackstone, VA
Skookum Philadelphia Team Volunteers for Homeless Veterans
On Veteran’s Day (November 11th, 2020) many of our Skookum sites observed the holiday and celebrated in their own way. At our Philadelphia Facility Maintenance project site, the Skookum team took the opportunity to volunteer their time in support of local homeless Vets. The volunteer event included the purchase and assembling of care packages to later be distributed to the local homeless Veterans. Each of the care packages were a bag that included much needed items such as Socks, Face Masks, Soaps, Shampoos and a number of other items. The team gathered and assembled the packages at a local church (Folcroft Union Church) that is near the site. The volunteer event was also catered by a local BBQ vendor. The church volunteer organization took the collection of care packages and will be distributing later in the day. A few from the Skookum team had volunteered to help distribute; however, due to the concerns surrounding the pandemic it was decided to sit this year out. This team and Skookum in general are very proud to continue to serve those who have served our country.
Rhonda Whitaker, Fort Meade, MD
Nominated By: Maryna McNeely

Rhonda always goes above and beyond in her current position as a Material Coordinator (Travel Clerk) here at Fort Meade, Maryland. She has assisted over 110 soldier and civilian customers with Travel Arrangements to various locations throughout the world, during the current pandemic. She is professional and courteous to all co-workers and customers and has received numerous positive Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) Comments, which shows outstanding commitment to her job and the quality of her work. For these actions, I am recommending Rhonda for the Skookum Excellence Award.

Pamela Todd, Fort Hood, TX
Nominated By: Donald Mason and Kimberly Harris

I'm writing this letter to nominate Pamela Todd for the President's Excellence Award. She is a hardworking employee, an asset to our Skookum team and is deserving of this award and recognition. Pamela has been a valued member of Skookum team for 9 years; she can work every window on the Front Line. When one of our long-time co-workers retired leaving her as the Subject Matter Expert for Special Gear section creating additional responsibilities, she relished it. Despite the overwhelming amount of work that everyone has to do, Pamela consistently finds way to help her co-workers. Her willingness to assist in training new employees and her commitment provides great detail to Special Gear and the day to day operations. Pamela has been a team player helping train the new employees. Pamela is quick to respond to request for additional information by other team members and is thorough in ensuring all questions are answered. She makes herself available for questions, checking documentation, and giving assistance with customer service. Her willingness to go above and beyond to ensure that the team is successful is indicative of her commitment to Skookum and the CIF mission. Thank you, Pamela for all the hard work and your commitment to providing great customer service, not just to our customers, but to our employees as well.
-Donald

Pamela Todd has done an excellent job training myself and other new stock clerks. She is very knowledgeable and patient. She does not mind answering any questions we may have. I was able to learn the ins and outs of being a stock clerk. Pam does not mind helping her co-workers and I feel that she deserves the Excellence in one or more of our Core Values award. She is definitely committed to her job and helping her co-workers. She also goes over and beyond to take care of Soldiers. She is an exceptional employee.
-Kimberly
Robert Kennard, Bangor, WA
Nominated By: Devan Amerman

Robert shows excellence in all of our core values. He has a lot of integrity, always doing things to the best of his ability, no matter what. He is always coming up with new ways to make our jobs easier. He is very reliable and hard working. He is very good at communicating things promptly and properly. He is very accepting of every person he has been asked to work with regardless of difficulty working with some. He is an all around wonderful employee and a great example of how SKOOKUM employees embody all of our core values.
Peter Wagner, JBLM, WA
Nominated By: Andreas Massine

I would like to recommend Mr. Peter Wagner for the President's Excellence Award for his outstanding performance at the Aviation Support Facility. Peter cleans our facility (ASF-Lewis, Building 3273) on Gray Army Airfield, JBLM. I've worked here for over 30 years and have never seen a person work as hard and efficient as Mr. Wagner. Peter is very pleasant and professional as he carries out his duties. I always look forward to a quick chat with him as comes through our area. Please consider him for the President's Excellence Award and also future advancement in your organization. I wish we had a position for him at our facility because we would lure him to us and hire him!
Julius Jackson, Fort Lee, VA
Nominated By: Paul Howard

Julius is highly respected amongst his peers and professionals outside of the Skookum Contract Services. Co-workers, along with contractors and government personnel, would say he is courteous, professional and performs his duties in an outstanding manner; is dependable with exceptional abilities and attitude.

Julius continues to play a key role as Project Manager for two large multi-million-dollar HVAC projects: HVAC Retro Commissioning Project and EMCS Controls Project. Both of these projects include extremely difficult and labor-intensive reporting which are reviewed and then completed after each phase. He has extraordinary HVAC knowledge and his 35+ years of field experience has been an invaluable asset throughout these ongoing projects. Julius travels close to 100 miles each way to work each day and has the mind and work ethic of someone much younger. works closely with government personnel assigned to this project by reviewing all recommendations submitted and ensuring all issues are resolved.

In addition to the multiple buildings assigned to the Retro Commissioning and EMCS Projects, Julius has also researched and submitted estimates for over 50 Individual Job Orders (IJO’s), managed over 45 funded IJO’s to date with a value of over 4 million. He has performed the work with minimal to no supervision or issues. His knowledge and expertise make him the “go to guy” with his peers when there are unanswered questions. As his supervisor, I depend on Julius as my back up and I leave with great confidence knowing he has capability to handle any citation that may arise. Julius is dedicated to providing Skookum with the best overall end product, and to date, jobs completed have never been flagged for any remedial repairs. His paperwork is timely submitted in a neat and organized manner. He is conscious of correcting any safety violations that he may discover and when appropriate, provides the necessary training to prevent any recurrence. Julius is one of Skookum’s senior personnel and his vast knowledge continues to make him a valuable asset to our team. He has no problem sharing his knowledge with the other Project Coordinators and his other Skookum and HMG teammates.

Julius remains in autopilot. When given assignments, he is eager, enthusiastic and will submit his paperwork before the designated deadline. If he determines that one of us is struggling with a bid or project, he will always step in to offer his assistance. I highly recommend Julius to be the person that represents Skookum Contract Services as this year’s Employee of the Year or be presented the President Award for his continued Outstanding efforts and contributions.

We love recognizing our employees! So much so that every week an employee wins the Skookum President’s Excellence Award! Each Excellence Award recipient is selected by our President/CEO and awarded a Skookum Excellence pin along with $100 check prize. Anyone can nominate someone!
Employee Wellness Spotlight
Everyone has a unique wellness journey they are navigating their way through. Despite having health challenges, Tara Tegtmeyer from NSBOSC hasn’t let that stop her from achieving her wellness goals and living a healthier lifestyle. Here is her story:

"I’m someone with a lot of health challenges and I have made an effort to do something for my body daily. One of my favorite things I recently discovered is a therapy method called “tapping”. Tapping is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT),it is an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional distress. It's also referred to as tapping or psychological acupressure. People who use this technique believe tapping the body can create a balance in your energy system and treat pain. Now it doesn’t only treat pain, tapping can also help with anger, anxiety, stress, weight etc. There are so many different videos on YouTube that you can watch that teach you the techniques. Studies have shown that people that practice tapping reduce their stress 2-5 points from where they started. Example; if you are a stress level of 10 and you practice the tapping exercise, statistics show you are likely to drop to a point level of 8-5 from the original point level 10. Pretty amazing and it has truly changed my life.
Another way I have kept my body healthy and happy is by walking and running. Now, keep in mind I am a mom of two and not in the best shape of my life. So, often I am walking and more often I am running only 2 days a week. In high school I ran cross country and my coach would always tell me “if you want to run 5 miles you just have to get out there and do it.”
So that’s what I do, I set a goal for myself and I complete it whether I am crawling to the finish line or running.
If you aren’t a runner THATS OKAY. Go for a quick walk, if you don’t feel like you can walk that far, that’s also OKAY. Take it day by day. Remember you will never do it unless you do it!"
Douglas Lockner is from the NSBOSC team at Whidbey Island, who is a 20-year veteran of the Navy. He is an avid walker; 5 days a week he takes his two-year-old German Shepard on routes at a park near his neighborhood. Each route is mapped out and sometimes they go on long hikes. A normal walk is 3-5 miles long. Doug said, “Getting Tanner was one of the best things that happened to me”. A buddy of mine gave me Tanner, when he could not keep him because he was moving. Doug added that the walks help him to stay limber, keep his weight in check and there are so many health benefits from this type of exercise. Doug got his dog a little friend to play with during the day so he would not be bored. Tanner loves Gato, they play chase during the day and sometimes just curl up together to take a nap. Doug said, “Dogs thrive on routine, taking him for a walk at the same time each day gives him something to look forward to and gives me a chance to stay healthy too!”
Breast Cancer Awareness
October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States. About 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer during her life.

Fast Facts About Breast Cancer:
-Each year in the United States, more than 250,000 women get breast cancer and 42,000 women die from the disease.
-Men also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. About 1 out of every 100 breast cancer diagnoses in the United States is found in a man.
-Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women.

While there are some breast cancer risk factors that you can’t control, here are a few prevention strategies that can help you reduce your risk:
-      Maintain a healthy weight
-      Exercise regularly
-      Abstain from drinking alcohol or limit intake to one drink per day

There are various ways you can show your support whether it’s a donation, volunteering your time, helping spread awareness via social media, and of course wearing a pink ribbon!
Delicious Guacamole
Source: Taste of Home

Looking for a fun recipe? Give this recipe a try!

Ingredients:
  • 3 medium ripe avocados, peeled and cubed
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Blue corn tortilla chips
  • Plain Greek yogurt, refried black beans and ripe olives (optional)

Directions: In a small bowl, mash avocado with a fork. Stir in the onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Enjoy!

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Depression and Mental Health Screening
It's important to bring awareness to the need for depression awareness and the need for accessible and affordable mental health screenings. A number of different factors can often come into play with depression that can include mix of environment, genetic, psychological, and biological/biochemical components. Not everyone experiences depression in the same way, but it can affect anyone at any time. So, it is important to take that next step and seek out professional help and be screened if you or someone you care about feels they may be depressed. Depression is a highly treatable condition with many different options available, but a professional should be sought out to help determine the best course of action for every individual that is suffering from it. For more information, Click Here.
Interested in Becoming a Wellness Champion?

If your site doesn’t have a Wellness Champion and you’re interested in helping promote Skookum’s Wellness Program in fun and creative ways, reach out to the Benefits Department for more information on how to get involved!
Current Sites with Wellness Champions:
-      Fort Hood
-      Bremerton (additional opening is available!)
-      Oak Ridge
-      NSBOSC
-      WSMR
-      Aerospace
-      Naval Hospital
Webinar on Supporting Teens

This month’s free EAP Webinar is “Top Social Issues for Teens in Today’s World”. To access the webinar, go to www.FirstChoiceEAP.com, enter “skookum” for the username, and click “Webinar”.
Diabetes Awareness

Whether you’ve been newly diagnosed, have been fighting against type 1 or type 2 diabetes for awhile or are helping a loved one, here is important information to know about type 1 and type 2 diabetes:

Type 1 – Occurs at every age and in people of every race, shape, and size. In type 1, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down carbohydrates you eat into blood sugar that it uses for energy – and insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, everyone can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives. Additionally, by living a healthy lifestyle filled with exercise and proper diet, you can live a normal life and do everything you set out to do.
Type 2 – This is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 means that your body doesn’t use insulin properly. While some people can control their blood sugar levels with healthy eating and exercise, others may need medication or insulin to help manage it. A key part of managing type 2 diabetes is maintaining a heathy diet. Fitness is another key to managing type 2. Find activities you love and do them as often as you can. No matter how fit you are, a little activity every day can help you put yourself in charge of your life. All you have to do is get moving!

For more information and resources about diabetes, check out the American Diabetes Association’s website at www.diabetes.org
EAP Newsletter

This month’s EAP newsletter discusses: Managing Political Stress. Check it out here.
Interested in Sharing your Wellness Story?

“Skookum loves to recognize employees who are incorporating wellness into their lifestyles. If you’d like to recognize an employee (with their permission) or even yourself, please email benefits@skookum.org to share your story. We want to hear how you are improving your wellness!”
Skookum proudly operates in twelve states across the nation plus Washington D.C.