NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 23, 2023) – Cierra Vega, contract specialist in the Contracting Division, is named U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Employee of the Month for October 2022. She is recognized primarily for executing a short-notice contract in support of Ft. Campbell in a record-setting 12 days.
Lt. Col. Joseph Sahl, Nashville District commander, announced Vega’s selection and said, “Cierra is a great example of all our Contracting professionals – always working towards tight, near impossible deadlines and consistently pulling rabbits out of hats!”
As a senior contract specialist, Vega is primarily responsible for a full range of contract functions from pre-award phase to contract closeout for complex and technical services, construction, supplies, and architect-engineer initiatives in support of the district mission.
Another district was initially going to use its environmental remediation Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract for hazardous waste cleanup in the aftermath of a warehouse fire on Ft. Campbell. Due to circumstances, they were unable to meet the need and notified the customer just 15 days before the funds were set to expire. The Ft. Campbell liaison turned to the Nashville District for support.
The typical award cycle for a relatively simple contract is approximately 90 days. The market research phase generally takes 15 days. The contract for Ft. Campbell needed to be complete in 15 days.
J. W. Purcell, contracting officer for the Nashville District, said, “We needed a contract specialist who knew what documents were needed, could organize and prioritize, ask the right questions, and work through obstacles with clear goals in mind.” He continued, “Cierra was that person, as well as being tenacious and mission-oriented.”
Purcell explained, “To get [the contract] done in twelve and a half days was truly incredible, I’m sure we set a new record in the Nashville District.”
Stacy Wiggins, Vega’s supervisor and contracting branch chief, described Vega’s commitment, “[She] worked overtime for the project, which demonstrated her commitment to the mission and the ability to deliver when called upon.”
The Ft. Campbell Environmental Division was pleased with Vega’s efforts and provided feedback. This was an unexpected and urgent project which the Nashville Corps of Engineers, including the contracting office, substantially supported us. Quality and speed were both outstanding. They praised the contracting office for providing “‘excellent service, communication, and quality’.
She has since gone on to monitor the post-award requirements and milestones to ensure contract performance stays on schedule.
Vega has worked for the Nashville District for four years. She began her career at the Nashville District as recent grad direct hire in the contracting office, under the supervision of Isaac Taylor, Steve Hutchens, Stacy Wiggins and significant mentors like JW Purcell. Vega is an example of someone who has diligently and successfully worked their way through the ranks of the organization. She credits that work ethic to her career in the Army where she served as an unmanned aircraft systems repairer. “The military mindset has been instrumental in my USACE career progression,” she said.
Wiggins and Purcell both describe Vega as a leader who is mission oriented with a strong work ethic. Purcell attributed the contracting team’s success and efficiency to Vega’s development as a seasoned contracting professional. Wiggins reinforced Purcell’s comments by stating she routinely mentors junior contract specialists and is willing to educate our partners on contracting processes.
Vega is honored to be held in such high regard and receive this award. However, in a true display of humility, she recognized the award is really “a reflection of all the hard work contracting pushes out.”
(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.