NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Portsmouth, Va. —
Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) gained new leaders recently when three employees graduated from the Executive Development Program (EDP) on Sept. 20.
The graduates included Martrail Parker from Process Improvement Department (Code 900P), Jason Rossman from Project Management (Code 244A), and Michael Williams from Radiological Control Technician Qualification School (Code 105.7). After 68 days away from home within the last six months, each provided one last speech:
“I’ve learned that it’s important as leaders to lean on one another because no one has all the answers,” said Parker. “I’ve also learned that we have to develop everyone because the people we influence could become leaders for NNSY.” He explained that when he makes a decision, he now understands that he not only has to think about who it will affect individually, but also how it will affect the corporation. “Lastly,” he added, “the EDP was a great experience that I was able to share with my newfound brothers from Cadre #8. I will continue to lean on them when needed and I hope they will do the same.”
“For me, the EDP is the ultimate culmination of workforce development, high velocity learning, and the culture of affordability,” said Rossman. “Not only did we tour around and picked up a ton of leadership insight, but we also learned a lot about the ins-and-outs of NAVSEA. I believe that it is those three aspects that make up the foundations of strategic framework.
“The perspective we gained in all the places we visited has truly been a valuable experience, and one I’ll never forget. We built a lot of great relationships during our travels, such as the ones we built with our cadres at Pearl Harbor, and I appreciate that.”
“The EDP taught me that sometimes it is just about being in the room,” Williams added. “When I sat down with these senior managers and they wanted to hear what I had to say, it blew my mind. Going to the waterfront with Shipyard Commander Capt. Kai Torkelson and seeing how he knew the mechanics by name really empowered me with the desire to come to work, and do my best every single day. I think more people need to know that the senior managers care in the way that they do.
“This is not just a job, but a mission. Our mission is to deliver ships back to the fleet early, if not just on time. We work in order to provide global security because our enemies never take a day off. We have to do all that we can individually so that our brothers and sisters can go all the way with us with excellence.”
Each year, participants are given free reign over a final class project they have to develop that will help the shipyard. This year’s class took a push towards the future and created a Sharepoint drive that makes information about leadership development opportunities accessible to the workforce. Employees can access this drive at https://webcentral.nnsy.navy.mil/departments/c900/C900CU/default.aspx.
Following graduation, Parker will be taking over the New Employee Orientation Program with Alise Skinner and the Code 1102 Awards Division. Rossman will be transferring from Project Support (Code 530) to the Deputy for Job Readiness Cells, and Williams will be transferring to Nuclear Operations (Code 300N) as Zone Manager.
The Man, the Myth, The Legend: Fred Salanitro
The Executive Development Program (EDP) has been pushing employees to be better every year, but it would not have been possible without Fred Salanitro, the man who started the EDP at NNSY. In honor of his retirement, the EDP presented him with a framed group picture of the members that they all signed. “We really wanted to thank Fred,” his successor Danielle Larrew said, “for all his vision, guidance, persistence, and not taking no for an answer at any time during the program. We have had great growth in the program and it is because of him.”
Salanitro spoke about how excited he was for his successor. “I wanted to make sure that the person who would follow me would take hold of this program and improve it. I talked to Danielle about five years ago about taking over the program when I first said I was going to retire. She was all for it then and she is even more ready now. I am proud of her.”
Now, Larrew is raring to go for her new position. “There are two parts to why I wanted to be the program manager for the EDP: the first is that what I got out of the program when I went in was great. The second, is that I want to serve. This is my way of giving back to the shipyard for what they gave me.”