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Excellence in Practice Awards 2014

THE CHAMPION: Ms. H. Sanchez

The Champion Award recognizes a Lead Defense Travel Administrator (LDTA) whose wisdom, guidance, and commitment to subordinate Organization DTAs (ODTAs) has made a fundamental and long-term positive impact on their travel program.

This year’s recipient is Ms. H. Sanchez for her support to the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC).  The USASOC has frequent travelers with complex itineraries, making travel training a necessity for its ODTAs, Authorizing Officials (AOs), and travelers.  In FY 2013, Ms. Sanchez’s training strategy rose to the challenge and made USASOC a model for efficiency.  She regularly performed inspections of USASOC’s travel processes, and then provided targeted ODTA training and messages based on her inspection findings.  She frequently leveraged video teleconferencing and USASOC’s Web Portal to train and to recommend travel best practices to her ODTAs.  Ms. Sanchez’s colleagues praised her for fostering an environment in which ODTAs could brainstorm and implement techniques that best support their travel processes.  USASOC’s ODTA Hands-On Program Management Course stands as an example of how Ms. Sanchez’s collaborative approach improved USASOC’s travel program in FY 2013.  The two-day course covered key findings from Ms. Sanchez’s inspections, coached ODTAs on how to perform their own audits, and provided training on USASOC’s local processes.  Ms. Sanchez improved oversight of USASOC’s travel by requiring each ODTA to audit 10% of their organization’s vouchers.  Ms. Sanchez reviewed the findings and discussed them with her ODTAs during mentoring sessions.  The audit findings also allowed Ms. Sanchez develop targeted, timely training to address the audit findings.  Ms. Sanchez’s efforts to improve the performance of USASOC’s ODTAs and travel program demonstrate what it means to be a champion.

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