Scranton Area Community Foundation Announces Nonprofit Excellence Awards Recipients

The Scranton Area Community Foundation, through its Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence, announces the recipients of its first-ever Nonprofit Excellence Awards. The Nonprofit Excellence Awards recognizes nonprofit organizations, individuals, and local community projects that embody themes of collaboration, innovation, advocacy, and inclusion. The awards were given during the Foundation’s NEPA Learning Conference, held at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center, on September 22.

During the Conference, the Scranton Area Community Foundation awarded the Nonprofit of the Year, the Collaborative Project of the Year, the Rising Star Award, and the NEPA Gives Superstar Award.

The Nonprofit of the Year Award recognizes a nonprofit organization in Northeast Pennsylvania that demonstrates excellence in leadership, management, innovation, collaboration, and impact. The 2023 Nonprofit of the Year Award recipient is United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA. United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA works together with neighbors to provide services and create opportunities that empower individuals and build strong, interdependent communities.

The Collaborative Project of the Year Award celebrates successes and acknowledges the collaborative efforts of Northeastern Pennsylvania organizations that achieve extraordinary results due to their partnerships. The 2023 Collaborative Project of the Year Award recipient is Readiness in Skilled Employment (RISE). The RISE program was developed by a collaborative including Johnson College, United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania, The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development, and the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund. The program tackles the mismatch between available jobs and the people who need them and has been cited as a model for potential expansion into other locations.

The Rising Star Award recognizes an individual who is an up-and-comer in the NEPA nonprofit sector. The 2023 Rising Star Award recipient is Ryanne Jennings, President and CEO of the Wayne County Community Foundation.

The NEPA Gives Superstar Award recognizes a NEPA Gives participant who went above and beyond for the 2023 NEPA Gives event by attending events, holding peer-to-peer fundraisers, and successfully reaching new donors who helped them raise money beyond their goal. The 2023 NEPA Gives Superstar Award recipient is NEPA Youth Shelter.

Tobyhanna Celebrates Newest Employees of the Quarter

Every quarter, Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) recognizes one junior and one senior member of its world-class workforce with an Employee of the Quarter (EoQ) award. With many great candidates supporting TYAD’s vast and varied mission, selection is never easy. For the third quarter of FY23, the honorees are Jaret Edwards and Brian Hampton in the junior and senior categories respectively.

Edwards began his career on the depot in May 2004 as a contractor for Lockheed Martin. Edwards has always prided himself on hard work and that dedication yielded immediate success. Edwards held several positions providing outstanding support as a contractor before officially joining Team Tobyhanna in 2007.

The various positions prepared Edwards well for his transition to a TYAD employee in September 2007. Currently an electronics worker, Edwards has worn several hats as a member of Team Tobyhanna. No matter what role he is in, Edwards said the ability to support the warfighter serves as his chief motivation.

Edwards said being named an EoQ was an unexpected honor that he shares with his fellow team members.

“I am extremely honored to be an EoQ. I never would have expected to receive this recognition for doing something I really enjoy,” said Edwards.

“It is absolutely a team effort, and there has to be communication from the supervision, work leaders, engineering, production management, quality and many others who play a vital role in supporting the warfighter.”

Edwards’ supervisor and Chief of the Infared and Optics Branch Dennis Redding nominated Edwards for the honor because of his dedication to mission, willingness to be a team player, excellent work ethic and meticulousness in providing only the best to our nation’s warfighters.

“Jaret’s work is always completed on time and, in most cases, early. His work is impeccable; there is never a reject or re-work on his assets, and his work area is well-organized to be as efficient and practical as possible following the Lean/6S principles. Jaret can always be counted on to meet and deliver any task that may be assigned to him,” said Redding.

When the team is in need, Edwards steps up to lead by example and represent his branch in several ways including volunteering as the shop’s quality auditor, acting as a subject matter expert (SME) for visitor tours, attending customer meetings, maximizing the efficiency of work areas and identifying areas of improvement.

Redding said Edwards is “the SME for almost every product and system within the branch”. This expert knowledge and his willingness to “help wherever, whenever and whomever may need a hand” make Edwards a model member of Team Tobyhanna and a fitting choice as one of the newest TYAD EoQs.

Hampton joined Team Tobyhanna in August of 2006 as a member of the Paint Branch. After taking advantage of the many training opportunities at TYAD, he worked his way onto the Night Vision System. Currently, he serves as a subject matter expert working on the Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station (CROWS) system within the Sensors/Thermal Targeting Branch of the C4ISR directorate.

Hampton embodies the “team” aspect of “Team Tobyhanna.” He is a strong advocate for passing along the knowledge he has obtained from his experience working on the system and ensures the people he works with have the training and knowledge they need to ensure work is accomplished effectively and efficiently. He’s also embracing leadership qualities and paying attention to his co-worker’s questions and capabilities to make sure all technicians are producing top-quality systems for the warfighter.

Sensors/Thermal Targeting Branch Chief Aaron Kimble emphasized Hampton’s willingness to go the extra mile to ensure the team’s success.

“Brian is always willing to help anyone out with the correct process or procedure. He goes above and beyond to train teammates, support operations during increased workload, and willingly picks up the workload when teammates are required to perform other training duties,” said Kimble.

Upon learning he had received the EoQ award, Hampton said it felt nice but emphasized that he couldn’t be successful with the strong team around him.

“It is definitely nice getting that pat on the back showing that your hard work is being noticed,” said Hampton. “As much as this is an individual award, I would never receive this without the support around me. Whether it’s the logistics management specialists having my back to get me the parts I need and ensuring the assets are here or others around me, it is not one person accomplishing anything here, it is a team.”

When it comes to supporting our Nation’s warfighters, Hampton is truly passionate about the system he works on and the capability it provides on the battlefield. The CROWS is a remotely controlled weapon station for light and medium caliber weapons that can be mounted on any type of platform. He notably took the lead in re-establishing the CROWS workplace in a new location at TYAD. He designed and tested a new layout and process flow, ensured all support equipment was tested, and helped the Production Engineering directorate adjust the route to the new process.

When asking what motivates him to go above and beyond, Hampton said it comes down to having passion for what he does.

“I love the system I work on. I truly believe it works, it saves lives and that it provides value to the safety of soldiers,” said Hampton. “If you have passion for what you do, it makes you enjoy your job and I really do feel that way about where I’m at.”

The Employee of the Quarter awards and other employee recognition programs align with Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2035 – specifically the Investing In Our People line of effort. The plan aims to posture the depot for success in the coming years as the Department of Defense’s premier worldwide C5ISR readiness provider.