District Digest News Stories

McConkey named Nashville District Employee of the Month for January 2020

Nashville District Public Affairs
Published Feb. 26, 2020
USACE photo by Chrystal McConkey

Chrystal McConkey, a maintenance control technician, assigned to the Operations Division, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District employee of the month of January 2020.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 20, 2020) – Chrystal McConkey, a maintenance control technician, assigned to the Operations Division, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District employee of the month of January 2020. 

McConkey is being recognized for her significant contributions to maintain, control and administer comprehensive computerized maintenance management systems at the Melton Hill and Fort Loudoun Locks.

“She is an invaluable asset to our offices and we are glad that she is a member of our team,” said Matt Emmons, East Tennessee Area, Navigation Facilities Manager.

Emmons said she has done a tremendous job overseeing the purchasing of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) equipment, closely working with the ACEIT contractors and Corps management ensuring the upgrades were accomplished.

He said she’s her job directly help keep the locks and dams properly working. She uses computer programs to track the maintenance.

According to Emmons, McConkey began working at Nashville District in 1987 as a Co-op student aide in High School, she left in 1991 and came back in 2000.  She most recently transferred to the Operations Division from the Regulatory Division two years ago and hit the road running. 

He said she has gained an incredible amount of knowledge about the locks, regulations, policies and procedures. He said she has shouldered much of the significant workload from her timely work, attention to detail and overall quality assurance efforts have been critical to guaranteeing that the employees at these projects have the systems in place to complete their missions. 

“She brings positive energy, motivation, drive and encourages the team by her work ethic that she exercises on a daily basis to continually improve our processes area offices,” said Emmons. She always makes everyone around her better by displaying her positive "can do" attitude,” said Emmons.

Chrystal is just a class act and a great person,” said Brad Bishop, a civil engineer in the Navigation Section. “We are really very fortunate to have her working in the Operations Division.

“She is most deserving for this award because of the extra effort she puts forth to her job, most frequently exceeding the requirements of her position,” Bishop said.

Emmons said she is a joy to work with and is very well organized.  Her patience and willingness to be of assistance to anyone at any time shows her dedication to her profession and the personnel at the Nashville District.

 McConkey said she was happy, surprised and totally caught off guard by the award, and she feels blessed to know someone appreciates the work she does.  She credits her maintenance team coworkers for support and motivation.

 “I am thrilled about working with all the maintenance teams at the projects,” said McConkey. “It's not just a job sitting behind the desk inputting data, it's getting to go to the projects, learn about the equipment and I have learned so much from our crews on what it takes to keep our locks maintained and running on a daily basis.”

Emmons said her organizational skills, positive attitude and work ethic were instrumental in effectively resolving this task. 

McConkey said Megan Kentner Simpson, chief, Navigation and Shelby McNutt, her co-worker and counterpart at the Middle Tennessee River area are her mentors.  She loves to bounce ideas off each other one of them when the opportunity arises.   

 McConkey said her husband Travis of 29 years, son, Blake, 27 and daughter, Cassie, 23, keep her grounded and motivated.

“Family is priority number one and we are very close,” said McConkey.  “We have had a wonderful year in 2019.  Our daughter graduated college at Texas A&M University in May and moved back home to East Tennessee in August, and our son got married in October. 

McConkey’s hobbies include working on the family Angus small cattle farm, being actively involved in local and state livestock associations and traveling to stock shows.

“She’s a great person and everyone loves working with her, because of her positive attitude and personality, said Emmons. “Some of her best qualities are that she is kind, caring, well organized and a team player that directly contributes to our success in the district,” he added.

McConkey said she knows there are many people that work hard, care about their project, take pride in their job and equally deserve to be honored and recognized. Nonetheless, she said that she is happy to be recognized.

Lt. Col. Sonny Avichal, Nashville District Commander said McConkey’s work ethic, initiative, team player mentality and a constant desire to learn and be challenged at work makes her a valuable asset to the Operations Division and the Nashville District.
“Her outstanding performance along with her great attitude for service significantly contributes to another successful job by the Nashville District Operations team and contributes to the mission of USACE,” said Avichal.

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