NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 7, 2020) – Sondra Abanto, program analyst in the Programs Management Section, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Employee of the Month for August 2020.
Abanto is recognized for her outstanding work in support of the district’s initial Resource Allocation Discussion Meeting where upcoming project schedules and resource allocations are discussed to gain consensus on key project milestones and to identify resource constraints.
“This is important because it can help the district avoid bottlenecks during the fiscal year that can negatively affect execution when multiple projects are competing for the same resources, such as people, at the same time,” said Jonathan Jarrett, her supervisor and chief of the Programs Management Section.
As a program analyst, Abanto is responsible for developing the budget and work plan submissions for the district’s construction projects. She works closely with project managers to ensure funds are executed during the fiscal year.
Jarrett said she also plays a key role in acquiring funding for mega projects like the Kentucky Lock Addition Project and Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project.
In support of the initial RAD meeting, Abanto had to develop a data solution usable for both data input and reporting. She then reviewed, cleansed, prepped and consolidated more than 100 templates of project data in a short amount of time.
“The pivot tables, charts and graphs she developed allowed the district to facilitate the RAD meeting with useful data that generated valuable discussion between project managers and resource providers,” said Lt. Col. Sonny B. Avichal, Nashville District commander.
Avichal congratulated Abanto and lauded her demonstrated professionalism, cooperation, competence and desire to assist. “Her analytical analysis is beyond compare and the results provided support to the entire district,” he said.
Abanto said that prior to this summer’s RAD sessions, the info needed existed in 126 separate Excel files with 5,000 rows of labor data alone.
“My challenge was to take that data and consolidate it into useful tables and charts,” Abanto explained.
Jarrett said he is thrilled with Abanto’s selection for employee of the month, to receive the district-wide recognition she deserves.
“Sondra is a fantastic employee and a wonderful person. She has a ‘never stop’ work ethic and a professionalism that positively influences all who work with her,” Jarrett added. “She never takes shortcuts and will always put in the extra effort to ensure the work is completed accurately and on time.”
Abanto started working for the federal government in 2007 but has only been in the Nashville District for 16 months. She previously worked for the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Administration Financial Services Center, and the Army’s 405th Field Support Brigade Logistics Center in Bavaria, Germany.
She said she is thrilled to work for the Corps in Nashville and loves her job because she is constantly learning about projects and has phenomenal colleagues.
“I really like finding solutions for how we can do work faster and more accurately,” Abanto said. “I love to look at systems, processes or data and figure out how to make work easier and more logical.”
Abanto hails from Maryland and attended undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Maryland. Her husband is stationed at Fort Campbell and her son is a senior in high school. They are all huge Terrapins fans.
As for being selected employee of the month, she said she is thankful and humbled.
“I love what I do so this was icing on the cake,” Abanto said.
(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.)