2021 TOC Distinguished Service Award Winners

The TOC Distinguished Service Awards Program was launched by the Training Officers Consortium in 1955 to stimulate improved government-sponsored training programs through recognition of individuals making significant contributions to the Federal training community in the field of human resource development (training, education, and career development).


Leadership Development Award


Program: Leadership Coaching for a Thriving Culture at Federal Prison Industries in partnership with the George Washington University Center for Excellence in Public Leadership e-Co Leadership Coaching Certification Program


The Federal Bureau of Prisons (FPI) believes in developing a flourishing workforce able to restore lives through a thriving corrections program. To build on this vision FPI partnered with the George Washington Center for Excellence in Public Leadership e-Co Leadership Coaching Program. Participants across the enterprise received leadership coaching training, worked 1-1 with GWU coaches-in-training for eight hours, and gathered in small peer coaching groups within an 8 months-framework, to develop themselves as leaders. Through this program 28 cohort members practiced leadership coaching skills and building their community. The program envisions the cultivation of principles of coaching that supports deep listening and care helping FPI staff to grow healthier and resilient.

The pilot program scope helped participants with applying fundamental leadership coaching skills and equipping them with tools for creative decision-making and deep inquiry. GW’s Impact Evaluation captured participants’ reporting of personal growth such as significant improvement in how they approached conflict, stress, multiple work demands, etc. Further, a greater sense of inner-awareness and work to gain greater self-control, and positive changes were noted both at work and at home. Participants also reported professional growth, such as awareness of the importance of better listening; demonstrating more patience with peers and team members, asking vs telling, learning from peers, willingness to take risks, thinking “outside the box”, etc.

Here is a testimonial from one of the participants: “We have started back working in the factory, and with that, I felt the need to pass some wisdom on to my workers. We have all started using relaxation breathing techniques. I have used my digital signboards to display peaceful and relaxing images. Now there are kittens, puppies, and waterfalls playing on the TV throughout the day. I instructed them all to take time in their day to stop and breathe. Everyone has embraced it. So many people said they really appreciated the care for their mental status and stress management. Sometimes we just have to stop and realize that everyone else gets as stressed as we do, including the inmates”. The program developed a sense of care in leadership.

Career Development Award

College of Information and Cyberspace, National Defense University

Program: CFO Academy Program Update


Focused on the federal financial management community’s educational needs, the CFO Academy updated its requirements for its accredited graduate certificate program in Chief Financial Officer Leadership for Academic Year 2021. This involved targeting the curriculum to best develop the business acumen of future financial management leaders. Further, program admission requirements were reassessed to make the program more accessible to mid-career professionals to help support their career progression. This effort was led by David A. Harvey and Dorothy O. Potter, Professors of Practice in Government Financial Management and Leadership at the College of Information and Cyberspace within National Defense University.

The following learning outcomes have been identified for those that complete the requirements of the CFO Leadership graduate certificate:

  • Lead within and across organizational boundaries by leveraging knowledge of federal budgeting, financial accounting and reporting, data management and analytics, risk, internal controls, and audit for strategic advantage;
  • Synthesize ethics, theory, practices, and technologies to promote effective decision-making and accountability across the enterprise, improve operations, and support financial management excellence;
  • Communicate at the strategic level demonstrating command of the topic, logical organization, compelling argument, and excellence in English grammar and syntax.

The required courses for the CFO Leadership graduate certificate align with DoD Financial Management Competencies established by the OUSD/Comptrollers’ Workforce Development program. Past student evaluations have demonstrated with high levels of satisfaction with knowledge gained from CFO Academy courses and the expertise of CFO Academy professors. Positive feedback has been received from past graduates regarding the applicability of course work to job requirements and support of career progression. The program provides students with access to a variety of networking opportunities and supplemental learning opportunities such as viewing of lectures presented by senior leaders as part of the NDU’s Presidential Lecture Series.

Training Design and Development Award

355th Training Squadron

Program: A-10C VR Flight Training Innovation


C2 Technologies, in collaboration with the 355th TRS and teaming partners provided an extensive review of the current training program covering Initial Qualification pilot training for the A-10C aircraft with specific aim of targeting improvements with new Virtual Reality Commercial Off The Self (COTS) platforms. This analysis included trending of student performance through Electronic Gradebook, Critiques, and flight delays associated with cognitive retention of spatial awareness tasking within current limitations of training assets (Presentation, Computer Based Training, Simulator, and Part Task Training). The analysis found VR inclusion would provide greater retention of material and lower delays associated with cognitive loss.

As part of the C2 Technologies coordination with Detachment 3 and the 355th TRS, potential improvements were found from trending analysis aimed at incorporation of 360 Videos and Virtual Reality inclusion into the training and curriculum for A-10C student pilots. This analysis defined video production workflow and set the groundwork for the VR Laboratory at the 355th TRS. This effort was focused on capitalizing on VR integration with the attainable goal of eclipsing current deficiencies and reducing the high utilization rate on the current strained training assets (Full Mission Trainer Simulator and A-10 C Jet Engine Run Training).

VR equipment was purchased with squadron provided Innovation funds. This included video integration using VR headsets and incorporation of the Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) gaming equipment. Both 360 video and the A-10 DCS gaming platform were provided through commercial gaming PCs running HP Reverb G2 headsets (for DCS) with additional take home Oculus Rift VR headset providing student access to tailored 360-video focusing on spatial cueing of in-flight tasking.

The impact of this effort provided increased cognitive retention and cost savings. A purchase of VR training assets compared to less than 5 hours of single ship flight time. Subsequent savings associated with fewer training delays were shared with members of the 924th Maintenance Squadron and briefed to the 23rd Fight Group at Moody AFB.

Innovation Award

Human Capital Office (HCO)

Program: Self-Help Online Tutorials (SHOTs)


The Self-Help Online Tutorials (SHOTs) program was started by Kelly Barrett at the IRS nearly eight years ago. He wanted to find a more effective way to help employees find the information and answers they need by viewing short Microlearning Videos internally. Similar to how many people access videos online, outside of work, in order to learn something new or even how to fix something. So Kelly began recording and producing short 3-min or less narrated videos that demonstrate step-by-step actions or topic specific overviews. He then built an internal SHOTs video library that now offers over 600 videos for the over 84,000 employees at the IRS. This allows them to find answers they need or refresh their training, just-in-time and on demand.

The SHOTs program has become a service wide initiative at the IRS. Kelly designed SHOTs so each video was targeted to one topic, process, or action per video. This format allows employees to find solutions quickly and based on their immediate question or need. One employee’s feedback stated, ““When all training travel was cancelled due to the pandemic, we had to convert all our training for virtual delivery, specifically Skype. I used the SHOTs videos to learn how to manage content, like uploading and sharing PowerPoints. The SHOTs videos provide exactly the information I need, without excess filler information that I don’t.”

As a result of the SHOTs program, employees are able to save time, allowing them to be more productive. For instance, instead of an employee asking questions of their coworkers, coaches, or on-the-job instructors (OJIs) for help, months after attending training, they can search for and view a quick SHOT video. This helps employees get immediate help or answers and it saves the other employees time from having to answer their questions. One employee recently provided the following SHOTs feedback, “Having the SHOTs videos available, on-demand, saves a lot of time for OJIs where they don’t have to answer the same questions again and again. SHOTs are an invaluable resource.”

Last fiscal year, SHOTs had over 203,000 views internally and our current FY to date, we’ve had over 140,000 views.

Learning Measurement and Analytics Award

Training Academy

Program: White House Communications Agency Institutional Advisory Process


The purpose of establishing the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) Institutional Advisory Process was to assure desirable, relevant, and current practices for each Agency occupational discipline are being taught. Through regularly scheduled, and documented actions, the WHCA Training Academy (WTA) ensured an aligned strategic plan with the overall WHCA strategic plan and made a deliberate effort to meet the occupational needs of our 14 mission stakeholders within WHCA. Externally, these efforts earned WTA reaffirmation, with one commendation, of the Council of Occupational Excellence accreditation which signifies educational quality and student achievement.

Ninety-five percent of our students state our courses were extremely or very effective in preparing them to do their job and accomplish the WHCA mission. We believe our overall effectiveness is high because we created this process. This process started with a training needs assessment, 10-question survey, given to our 14 stakeholders. We followed-up with one-on-one meetings with each to go over results. The assessment identified gaps that led to the rapid design of three new courses as well as personnel augmentation to help us do more. Additionally, our permanent staff grew by two personnel. The assessment is now an annual requirement.

The second step in the process is our Institutional Advisory Committee (IAC) which we retooled to include more of our WHCA leadership and decision makers from across WHCA’s diverse occupational landscape. We shared what we gathered from our assessment with the IAC and they provided strategic directions and priorities. This yielded greater strategic alignment. It also allowed WTA to purchase a $400K Learning Management System and a $29K mission assessment software, which allows better measure of training effectiveness after the student leaves our classroom. We also received funding for an over due $500K WTA Facility/Technology Refresh project. The IAC meeting, held every 6 months, and our annual assessment are the cornerstone of our process. They help us maintain a high level of effectiveness across our 168 course offerings per year.

Spencer Logan Leadership Award

Leonard H. Powell

Special Recognition Awards

Tonya Stanback, Smith Bucklin & Associates
Trina Petty, TOC Chair 2020-2021
Dr. Claire O. Gudewich, Chair 2021 Annual Institute
LaMarsha Williams, Vice Chair 2021 Annual Institute