NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 24, 2020) Lockmaster Cory Richardson at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District assigned to the Chickamauga Lock near Chattanooga Tenn., is the employee of the month for March 2020.
Richardson is being recognized for his work as the Supervisory Lockmaster at Chickamauga Lock, where he is responsible for the implementation of all site operations and maintenance activities involving lock and dam operations and associated buildings, grounds and equipment.
According to Richardson, working at the project is challenging because, “It’s very old equipment, and the lock was constructed in 1936. We have concrete growth caused by what is known as alkali aggregate reaction or AAR, a chemical reaction where the chemistry of the water causes the concrete to grow, causing shifting in the parts of the structure.”
Richardson has a reputation of being proactive. Adam Walker, project manager for the Chickamauga Lock Replacement, said “stand-by costs of approximately $70,000 per day for the lock chamber contract were avoided” due to Richardson’s support in early March when the dam was scheduled to be without power for two weeks of testing.
Matt Emmons, Eastern Tennessee Area Navigation Facilities Manager and Richardson’s supervisor praised him for his leadership: “He has led his team effectively resulting in consistently high performance.” Emmons continued, “He has analyzed and made critical adjustments that have enhanced safety and performance.”
Richardson recounted how Butch Witcher, one of his early supervisors in his career with the Corps, gave him solid advice for success, “Just do a good job and don’t worry about what people say.” A smiling Richardson appreciated being recognized with the award, “I am very proud to have been selected. In 17 years, this was the first time!”
Richardson grew up in Jasper Tenn. He attended Chattanooga State Technical Community College and was hired right out of college into the Corps in June of 2003, at the age of 19. His first position was as an electrician at the Nickajack project, and was promoted to Lockmaster at Chickamauga in 2016. Before joining the Corps, Richardson led adventures for scouting, church and student groups as tour guide at Raccoon Mountain Caverns, as well as worked as a radio personality for the “Swap and Shop” show on weekends at AM WEPG 910 in South Pittsburg, Tenn.
Richardson enjoys multiple hobbies in his off time “I am an experience junkie, so I changes hobbies a lot and do them until I get bored. Currently I’m racing sailboats, and doing landscape and still life acrylic paintings.”
He is married to the love of his life, Amanda and they have a 12 year old son, Eric. Richardson said, “I met my wife in Elementary School. Her favorite hobby is sewing, and she even knows how to make yarn from alpacas and my son, of course, he loves video games.”
Lt. Col. Sonny Avichal, Nashville District Commander said, “Cory consistently leads his team to high performance by solving complex problems and never hesitating to roll up his sleeves to help get the job done. He leads by example, not waiting to be told what to do, but instead is proactive.”
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