Defence Team “Virtual Shout-Out” Bulletin Board – Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month edition

November 2, 2020 – Defence Stories

Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month edition

October is Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month (CHWM) - a perfect time to recognize the achievement of colleagues across the Defence Team. This special, CHWM edition of the Virtual Shout-Out Bulletin Board celebrates individuals and teams who have gone the extra mile in creating a healthy work environment at National Defence.

An extra big shout-out to everyone who took the time to nominate a colleague!

How to submit a “Shout-Out”

What better way to acknowledge a colleague’s contribution than by leaving them a “Virtual Shout-Out”? Your Virtual Shout-out will be featured in the Bulletin Board below, along with Defence Team members who have received acknowledgement from their colleagues. Please e-mail all requests to the Corporate Awards and Recognition Secretariat at

Looking for more ways to recognize your colleagues? If so, head to the HR-GO app and check out the Virtual Recognition Toolkit, located in the Awards and Recognition section.

October 30

I would like to submit a virtual shout out for Darren Baker, Director, Technical and Information Services (DTIS).  Thank you Darren for your leadership and guidance of the DTIS team since its inception in November 2019.  Your support and commitment to your team members, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, helps encourage us all to reach further to achieve our dreams, and shows what we can achieve when we step in and support each other.  Thanks again! - Victoria Totten

As a result of the extended absence of three co-workers in the Publications Depot warehouse, Robert Vaughan has had to take on a significant amount of additional responsibility to ensure that the Depot’s warehouse operations could continue. Robert has stepped into the warehouse materiel reception and accounting role since early April and since mid-July as the alternate Information Security System Officer and has shared the responsibility for facility health and safety with another staff member over this period of time. Robert has managed this additional work with little supervision and all his new tasks have been completed along with his regular work assignment.  Robert has demonstrated a high level of teamwork and dedication to supporting our DSCO 4 team and our DND clients and is deserving of recognition for his efforts. - Richard Quinn

Shout-out to Mitch Melanson, Dan Spaleta, and Sunny Xi from D Corp Svcs Mod IM/IT Team for the continued and effective technical support to the Evaluation and Validation Team. During the last two years, they have always been available to assist whenever contacted and provided timely responses and creative solutions to issues encountered. A huge thank you for your efficiency and dedication.- Etzer France

Pamela Kelly deserves recognition for her hard work as an HRA supporting numerous staffing advisors while providing out-of-office coverage for colleagues. Pamela was responsive, friendly and highly professional in the face of what must have been an elevated workload. A big thank you Pamela for all your help!- Raquel Vinhais

Thank you Jennifer Perry, Kayla Do, Matthew Brennan, Doug Eldershaw, Tanya Kavanagh and Erin Dickinson for your hard work and dedication to ensure our employees get paid correctly and on time.- Lisa MacDonald

Sgt Porter has effectively adapted to the changes caused by COVID-19 to ensure that the PLF Battalion Orderly Room (BOR) can continue to provide unit level administrative support.  During this summer’s Op LASER, she effectively adjusted how pay and claims were to be processed in order to ensure that physical attendance and person to person interaction was minimized.  She also supervised to conduct of a virtual DAG along with a unit ARV which respected the COVID-19 safety guidelines throughout.  Her efforts have directly contributed to the PLF achieving a higher level of operational readiness while concurrently ensuring the safety of her staff along with all unit members - Captain Mark Theriault

2Lt Ryan Fox is currently in the process of completing his baseline infantry officer training.  This past summer he was utilized as our full time COVID-19 Safety Rep due to him being placed on a Class C contract in support of Op LASER 20-01.  2Lt Fox liaised his our bde HQ and outside organizations in order to ensure that our garrison, the North Park Armouries, is as safe as possible due to the COVID 19 concerns.  This was no simple task due to the age of the building (opened in 1899) and its sheer size.  2Lt Fox’s attention to detail has resulted in a safe environment for all who access the building.  His efforts have been greatly appreciated. - Captain Mark Theriault

Bravo Zulu goes out to Sgt Zachery Glazer of The Cape Breton Highlanders for his outstanding and endless dedication to the safety of the soldiers in his unit. Recently designated as the Unit General Safety Officer, Sgt Glazer has worked tirelessly to ensure training and courses could be conducted safely in an ever-changing environment brought on by COVID-19. His work ethic, ingenuity and dedication are testaments to his devotion to duty and to his fellow soldiers. His efforts have not gone unnoticed. - Cape Breton Highlander’s (CBH)

A big thank you to Renée Buccino for creating a healthy work environment. She has gone above and beyond, establishing a sense of community and belonging to help her team connect across the country. Renée remembers special occasions such as birthdays and holidays with congratulatory messages and even hosts virtual celebrations. She also encourages participation in activities to develop and maintain health and wellness. From learning opportunities for mental resilience to planned events for physical exercise, Renée is there to cheer us on! Her kind and caring approach promotes a safe and supportive culture of accomplishment. Her thoughtful and considerate recognition of our efforts further inspires our teamwork. We feel welcomed, included and appreciated under her leadership. THANK YOU RENÉE for being such a wonderful manager! – Karen Romaniuk on behalf of the DSPP Policy Team

Shout –out to Lt Justin Clouthier for his tireless work ensuring safety standards are met across 36 Combat Engineer Regiment, located in Shearwater and Sydney, Nova Scotia. The improvements he made throughout the unit have been noted by his chain of command and 36 Canadian Brigade Group Safety Officer. In her last report for the units safety inspection she stated “Positive changes have been made in multiple areas of the 36 Combat Engineer Regiment’s safety program; your UGSO has made marked improvements for the squadron, and it may be the largest positive change within the Brigade this year”. Lt Clouthier’s efforts after taking over the job last year lead to an increase in our safety performance during training and exercises, better tracking and filing of administration, and has reinvigorated safety consciousness among our soldiers. His work has set the standard for future UGSOs within the unit.- Capt T. M. Hood

Shout out to Nick Rudiak, for always being the first to raise his hand to take on any task assigned to our team. He never shies away from work and is unfailingly willing to support colleagues as they do theirs. But more than just a solid worker, Nick is curious about the world, which makes him an effective researcher and a great contributor to the good ideas exchanged through our team. And finally, when it comes to camaraderie, his positive, kind personality and good humour make him a team favourite for all. Nick, thanks for being such a wonderful colleague to us all. Nominator: Elana Aptowitzer, A/Director of Outreach and Speechwriting, ADM(PA)

During the COVID Work From Home posture, as 2i/c Combat Camera, Lt(N) Marco Chouinard embraced this new environment and stepped in to keep the Combat Camera team informed and connected.  He came up with creative ways for us to maintain our regular battle rhythm and have some fun while continuing our readiness and professional development requirements.  His assistance in taking on many of the administrative aspects of the leadership team, allowed me to focus on the requirements coming from the Director and Director General.  The entire Combat Camera team appreciates Marco’s attention to detail and team-building skills; he directly affected our ability to remain safe, healthy and ready to deploy during a COVID environment. - Lieutenant-Colonel Jennifer Stadnyk

Over the past year Carrie Brown and Kaitlin Crank have been instrumental in assisting with Combat Camera’s many staffing priorities.  Their assistance and eagerness to figure out complex hiring actions resulted in 9 successful appointments on time and on target and provided much needed stability among the Combat Camera civilian specialist team.  As a Military Manager of Civilians, your help and guidance truly made my staffing experience a positive one, and we couldn’t have done it without you both. - Lieutenant-Colonel Jennifer Stadnyk

Acting in a supervisory role for the past year, Julie Vertefeuille jumped into this new responsibility way outside her comfort zone and truly excelled.  Her empathy for her team has been extremely apparent as she put their needs and concerns first and brought up issues to her Manager as soon as they’re identified.  By doing this, her team was able to maintain their momentum in producing high quality imagery, video and social media posts on behalf of Combat Camera.  Thank you for your dedication to the team, Julie! - Lieutenant-Colonel Jennifer

For over a year, Sgt Vincent Carbonneau has been working as Combat Camera’s unit Warrant Officer, and has gone above and beyond in assisting in the day-to-day operations of the unit, as well as supporting the needs and performance management of the unit’s NCMs.  Despite operating at 75% PML over the past year, thanks to Sgt Carbonneau’s efforts, we have been able to maintain our high readiness ability and continue deploying Combat Camera teams around the world at an extremely high tempo.  You have been the glue that has kept the team operationally focused over the past year, and I appreciate your hard work! - Lieutenant-Colonel Jennifer Stadnyk

The translators on the Linguistics Services team are extraordinary. They’re the quiet heroes of ADM(PA); we literally could not do our jobs without them. They translate an incredibly high volume of communications products, both from our team and from everyone else in ADM(PA). Recently, half of the team was re-tasked to the Translation Bureau to help translate approximately 4 million words for a Motion to Produce Papers. This was on top of them dealing with the challenges of working in a COVID environment. Throughout all of these challenges, they continue to shine. They are always so quick to respond, and they consistently produce extremely high quality work. They are so helpful and kind, and are truly a great group of professionals and people. We are so grateful for all that they do. – Many thanks from the Speechwriting Team.

As the National Manager of Strengthening the Forces (Surgeon General’s Health Promotion Program), we have the distinct honour of being a participating member of the CHWM WG chaired by ADM (HR-Civ).  Each WG member received web links to share with our respective audiences.  I had requested of the CFHS webmaster for STF’s webpages, to put the CHWM links somewhere on our webpage.  I had fully expected and would have been ok with a basic copy/paste but instead of that, our webmaster took the initiative to create a dedicated title page to CHWM. The extra effort Ms. Cheryl Ward put into this request went above and beyond in my mind and it will extend CHWM’s reach to those we serve in the provision of information, tools, and events meant to champion health and wellness choices/behaviours for the entire Defence Team. – Trevor Bradshaw

A huge BRAVO to Lina Bellony for her unfailing support these past few months. She was undeterred despite the many challenges. We all got through the past few months in the time of COVID, and since March 2020 Lina has, with great professionalism, stayed strong and demonstrated confidence for the good of her team and her clients. – Christina Tannier

Bravo to Capt Marie-Christine De Tilly. She had just returned from maternity leave when she had to become the acting manager of our mini-team in the middle of the pandemic. Many of us, both in the CAF and at DND, were already familiar with this young woman’s abilities and professional expertise, but fewer had had the chance to work closely with her and discover her generosity, humanity and charisma. In these difficult times, her unwavering support and her hearty laugh helped maintain many people’s morale, notably mine. – Micheline-Marie Filion

We often talk about people’s strength in terms of their resilience, their indomitable spirit and their fortitude. Yet strength really means maintaining steady courage even when emotions are running high – courage that, in spite of everything, pushes us to redouble our efforts to get through a difficult situation. I want to congratulate Natasha Pankhurst for her courage in recent weeks in maintaining a balance between her professional life and her personal life as the wife of a CAF member currently on mission. – Christina Tannier

The 5 CDSB Gagetown Food Services Rations Section has sustained feeding support to over 1500 soldiers who have proceeded through training here in the Home of the Army. Paying bills, processing food services requests with unit representatives, and planning human and financial resources in a constantly evolving pandemic situation are difficult and often thankless tasks. However, there is a direct impact upon national individual training success due to the tireless effort put forward on a day to day basis by this small team of devoted professionals within the Defence Team. For their continued support and commitment to national training objectives, we thank you, Chrissy Glover, Kristan Legge, Marc Alain, Brenda Noble, Janet Barton, Desiree Strickland, Nicole Chiasson, and Pte Orman.- LCdr Dan Curtis

A virtual shout out and a sincere thank you to the ADM(PA) web team – specifically Keshar Thappa and Alain Dagenais. Every year, the National Veterans’ Week Speakers Program’s Request a CAF Speaker website receives thousands of registration forms that need to be captured manually in an Excel report. When SSC denied the program’s request for auto-fill capabilities for a second year, Keshar and Alain worked to find an alternative solution. They wrote some wonderful code that generated a hyperlink from the submitted information, which could easily be clicked on and the information downloaded to Excel. Their solution was to place a hyperlink within the confirmation email, making transferring the data of thousands of requests easy. This was the first time they tested this capability and were quick to respond to questions and fix issues when they arose. Without their innovative thinking and quick responses the program would be copying/pasting data for weeks, as opposed to clicking and downloading the data in minutes! - Mélodie Gratton

I would like to highlight the tremendous work of the Integrated Conflict and Complaint Management (ICCM) team leading the implementation of Bill C-65- An Act to Amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence) and the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations. This is a huge feat and the team continues to persevere demonstrating tremendous dedication to ensuring this is done well, in consultation with all of the partners and stakeholders, with the aim of developing a trusted process and program. Thank you for the very critical work you are doing to set the proper foundation to initiate the implementation of C65: Micheline Hickeson, Amy Hamilton, Gordon Nelson, Stephanie Vigier and Chanelle Yaacoub. Furthermore, a shout-out to the Defence Team- Harassment and Violence Prevention-Sub-Committee on their active participation and contributions to the co-development of this program. – Nadia Lecuyer

We would like to express our appreciation and thanks for all of Mackenzie McLean’s hard work, efforts and commitment on providing architectural support to the Jr Ranks NCM Accommodations project. Since joining DND back in January 2020 as an FSWEP student then continuing on after graduating with a Masters of Architecture, Mackenzie has surpassed expectations. Mackenzie was quick to learn about DND culture, familiarising herself with technical policies and executing design work of a high caliber all while facing the challenges of working from home during this pandemic. Her fresh perspective to design was always welcome; her positive attitude and initiative always unwavering. Though we will be sad to see her go, we all wish her much success in her endeavors to pursue a professional license in architecture! - On behalf of the DAES architecture team and the Jr Ranks NCM Accommodations project team

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