NAWCWD leadership program adds 62 new grads
Sixty-two Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division employees graduated from the Professional at all Levels leadership program during ceremonies at China Lake and Point Mugu on Nov. 18 and 19.
PaaL is a command-developed, three-step program that is open to employees at all levels of the organization. Each of the three steps includes professional development classes and a series of sessions with personal and group coaches. The first step of the program focuses on leading self and others. Steps two and three focus on leading teams and organizations.
“I’ve been a Navy/NAVAIR career professional for a long time,” said Dr. Ron Smiley, member of the senior executive service and keynote speaker for the Point Mugu graduation ceremony. “More importantly, I’ve been a growing leader-in-progress for all those years. I continue to learn and grow today in terms of trying to project myself as an effect leader.”
“Graduating PaaL step one is not a destination,” he added. “It’s a beginning.”
Since its inception in 2012, more than 600 employees have graduated from the program. This year, three separate cohorts completed step one.
One of those graduates, Charles Harper, spoke about his experience in the program, which included classes at Point Mugu and China Lake. Harper noted that he’d expected PaaL to be a refresher for the leadership courses he’d taken elsewhere during his career.
He quickly learned PaaL was going to be more than that – and he would need to step up and get out of his comfort zone.
“Every class was a heavy-hitter,” Harper said. “The information presented and materials provided are probably more than I can digest in an entire career. Every time I open that PaaL binder, I find so many great concepts and things I need to work on.”
Harper also noted that how well aligned the training is to the NAWCWD Commander’s Intent, which highlights empathy as a defining characteristic.
“The more you understand your roots yourself and those of other people, the more empathetic, patient and caring you can be as a leader,” he said, adding a quote he pulled from the Leader as Coach portion of PaaL. “At the end of the day, the questions we ask ourselves determine the type of people – or leaders – we will become. At the end of the day, the why in everything we do is supporting the warfighter. Everything else is just small rocks.”
Cohort 18, Point Mugu, graduates are: Lindsay Barker, Patrick Chang, Shyd Coloma, Douglas Davis, Kimberly Hall, Charles Harper, Andrew Lawless, Jenny Loppnow, Juliana Luna, Kim Lunsford, Dawn Messi, Linda Nguyen, Parth Patel, Purnendu Sarkar, Inez Spates, and Christina Ward.
Cohort 19, China Lake, graduates are: Lawrence Baldwin, Stephanie Berry, Casee Bryan, Gordon Chambers, Mitchell Chiaravalle, Barry Ells, Christina Evans, Christopher Evans, Mary Feldman, Sarah Ferrucci, Kristin Hall, Bruce Hornberger, Kevin Le, John Markano, Katie Nazeck, April Nelson, Michael Palmer, Krunal Patel, Jill Patterson, Gabrielle Rael, Patricia Seward, Shelly Shermer, Michelle Short, Donna Smiley, Emily Stoneham, David Tippetts, and Emily Yonker.
Cohort 20, China Lake, graduates are: Jeffrey Andrus, Abigail Atkinson, Wayne Bechtel, Billie Bruno, Alberto Castro-Leon, Rodney Chatman, Julie Cojulun-Kabra, Brian Dutton, Desiree Godfrey, Frank Graham, Sergio Hernandez, Scott Howes, Eric Miller, Katie Mills, Jeanie Moore, Michael Murphree, Milagros Noy, Ariana Shermer, Krysta Simons, and Judi Stone.