NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 14, 2021) – Zona Ash, office administrator at the Old Hickory Resource Manager’s Office in Hendersonville, Tennessee, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Employee of the Month for March 2021. She is recognized primarily for her efforts to reduce obsolete materials and reorganize the file room.
“She systematically and thoroughly went through file cabinets, binders, bookshelves, and folders to appropriately dispose, archive and label files, brochures, phone lists, and calendars,” said Lt. Col. Sonny B. Avichal, Nashville District commander. “In particular, she reorganized the file room, making documents easier to find and be available to search for information necessary for park rangers.”
Ash is responsible for managing time and attendance, travel and training functions, updating shelter reservations at Rockland Recreation Area, and tracking the sale of recreation passes. She is the first representative many visitors encounter, and she consistently presents an exceptional level of professionalism and well-rounded knowledge of Old Hickory’s amenities and policies, Avichal noted.
“Her attention to detail, enthusiasm for her work, and motivation to make the Resource Manager’s Office efficient and orderly are to be emulated,” Avichal said.
Ash began working for the Nashville District in June 2020. She retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2008 after serving as a medical admin with special duty assignments as a protocol specialist and as a senior instructor at an NCO Academy and Airman Leadership School. She then worked as a procurement technician for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs before coming to the Corps of Engineers.
As for reorganizing the file room, Ash said there were boxes jammed into the room with regular office files, with some pieces dating as far back as 1963.
“I have painstakingly at times just taken one binder, or one folder, and gone through each and every piece of paper to ensure that it can be destroyed as per the file plan,” Ash said. “The other items that have to be kept for whatever reason have now been relocated to a file cabinet with the proper disposition on it.”
The file room has been returned to its intended purpose for storing shoreline management files for landowners, and Ash ensures files are alphabetized and labeled correctly.
Crystal Tingle, Old Hickory Lake resource manager, said Ash’s reorganization efforts allow for streamlining file management operations and makes it possible for park rangers to find files in a very orderly and systematical way.
Tingle added that Ash has reorganized digital files, reducing paper copies, and making it easier to locate topics and files of interest.
“Our new online filing system allows for an easy transfer of information and it is absolutely amazing how easy it is to find our online files now. I can’t say enough great things about Zona since she joined our team,” Tingle said.
Ash also took it upon herself to prepare workspaces with fresh supplies for new employees at the Resource Manager’s Office. She also looks out for employees with personnel actions, updating training records, and transition assistance.
“I believe new employees are vital to what we do. If they are presented with an overwhelming cube that is dirty and has the previous person’s stuff in it, I don’t think that presents a welcoming environment,” Ash said. “I get it cleaned up, and then only put back the first-day necessities. Once they arrive, I let them know where everything is and have them let me know if they need anything else or if they can’t find something.”
In her off time, Ash said she loves to mow, crochet and to spend time with her husband Jeff “Bo” and son Zachary. Her son graduated from the University of Tennessee, so she is a huge Volunteers fan.
When she first heard of being named employee of the month, Ash thought it might be a joke at first. Humbled by the recognition, she appreciates being on an awesome team and working with great teammates.
Tingle said everyone at the Resource Manager’s Office is excited that the Nashville District selected Ash as employee of the month because of her notable positive impacts to make the office a better place to work.
“Zona is willing to go the extra mile for others and takes great pride in her work,” Tingle said. “She helps create a cohesive team, making everyone feel valued and respected, and she brings a solid work ethic that makes Old Hickory Lake thrive.”
(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.)