72nd ABW holds civilian professional development event

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  • By Daisy Grant, Staff Writer

Civilian employees of the 72nd Air Base Wing recently attended an annual two-day training to learn about leadership, communication and more.

The third annual Professional Development Seminar, held June 12 and 13 in the General James E. Hill Conference Center, was organized by the 72nd Air Base Wing Civilian Mentoring Council.

About 35 people attended the first day and about 44 attended the second day.

The seminar began with Bob Sandlin, 72nd ABW director of staff, presenting a breakdown of the groups and leadership in the wing.

Later, Keith Hardiman, director of the 72nd ABW Communications Directorate, discussed striking a balance between work and personal life.

Hardiman emphasized the importance of setting and writing down goals, reading a few he set several years ago and the feeling of reflecting on the ones he has accomplished.

“A dream, to me, is a goal without a date. If anything, always try to have a date behind what you’re aspiring to do. Just having it out there without any type of actionable plan, it does you no good,” Hardiman said.

Hardiman also discussed the importance of taking time to unplug and take time to yourself, and ways to balance mental, physical, spiritual and social exercise.

The second day of the seminar, Col. Kenyon Bell, 72nd ABW commander, discussed important qualities of leaders.

He emphasized the importance of owning your work. He said that in aircraft maintenance, crew chiefs “own the plane” while it is on the ground, but there was a lack of ownership when they handed the keys to pilots.

“Have you ever heard of anyone washing a rental car? The reason why you don’t wash a rental car is because there’s no ownership,” Bell said.

“You don’t treat the rental car the same way as if you actually own it.”

Starting in the 1970s, Bell said, crew chiefs’ names were put on the planes under the philosophy that deficiencies would go down if they took that ownership of their work.

Chrissy Cook and Chuck Clemmons, both training specialists in the 72nd ABW Force Support Squadron, made presentations throughout the seminar, including topics about navigating generational diversity in the workplace, resumé writing and communication.

Dawn Little, 72nd ABW executive assistant presented on staff work with topics such as calendars, events, Soccers, correspondence and ESSS; while Laura Crowder, Health Promotion manager had a presentation about strategic napping.

Allison Smith, protocol officer in 72nd ABW Protocol and president of the Civilian Mentoring Council, said this year’s seminar has had the highest turnout.

The council pairs mentors with mentees in the ABW and holds about six events a year, including a leadership panel and tours of the ABW.

Events like the seminar serve civilian employees by giving them more information about programs and providing professional development, Smith said.