[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               February 25, 2011    

Family & MWR director receives DA award

By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

A Fort McCoy employee is the Department of the Army (DA) Recreation Employee of the Year.

Daryl Budda, the director of the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Directorate, was honored during the fiscal year (FY) 2010 competition for his innovations and contributions to the recreation program and his efforts to enhance community life. Budda, who has more than 29 years of service in the recreational field, has been at Fort McCoy since 1998.

The award is presented to an employee who best exemplifies superior achievement as an Army community recreation professional.

PHOTO: Daryl Budda assists Sheila Peterson, Community Activities Center manager. Budda added the Department of the Army Recreation Employee of the Year award to a long list of other Army awards he has received during his career. Photo by Jobi Spolum
Daryl Budda assists Sheila Peterson, Community Activities Center manager. Budda added the Department of the Army Recreation Employee of the Year award to a long list of other Army awards he has received during his career. (Photo by Jobi Spolum)

“This award reflects an entire team effort,” Budda said. “The Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation team at Fort McCoy has a very positive attitude and is committed to serving Soldiers and Families.”

“Even though it’s an individual recognition, I feel that it couldn’t have happened without the entire staff’s dedication — to the fullest extent — to follow the standards and guidelines that are set,” he added.

Community Recreation Division staff members nominated Budda for the award, because whenever the organization needs something accomplished he serves as the point man.

“His expertise in planning and executing ensures each event is as successful as possible,” said Sheila Peterson, Community Activities manager. “Under his direction, the Recreation Delivery System Team initiates creative and innovative programs that integrate all of the recreational facilities on the installation.”

Budda has been key to the installation’s efforts to move forward on a public/private venture to enhance the Family and MWR program’s recreational lodging services, said Jobi Spolum, Fort McCoy Family and MWR Marketing director.

The proposed facility includes an arcade, self-storage units, indoor swimming, a go-cart-track, batting cages, miniature golf, an ice-skating rink, and indoor paint ball, laser tag and a ropes course.

When $100 million in reductions in the Family and MWR Command budget threatened to delay Fort McCoy’s cabin and general store project for Pine View Campground from fiscal FY 2010 to future years, Budda found an interim solution to secure $1.5 million in funding for the cabins and Sportsman’s Lodge in FY 2010, allowing the programs to move forward. His efforts also resulted in the inclusion of a $1.2 million RV Park in the FY 2011 Capital Investment Review Board process.

Budda serves as a driving force behind Family and MWR annual events, Spolum said. Examples are the Family and MWR golf events, the Army Birthday celebration, and the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.

“The Army Birthday celebration has grown each year to become an extremely well-attended event,” Spolum said. “The Tree Lighting ceremony was created as a kickoff to the holiday season for the Soldiers, Families and the Fort McCoy community.”

Budda oversees these events, as well as the installation’s efforts to obtain the Army Concert Tour and the U.S. Army Soldier show on an annual basis.

Budda shows great leadership to support the needs of special events or training that comes to Fort McCoy, which often becomes a win-win proposition for both the event and the installation, Spolum said.

Budda supported the Army Reserve’s Best Warrior competition by standing up four non-lodging buildings for 91 Soldiers, while providing full lodging benefits. This generated $10,000 in revenue for the Army Lodging program while helping the Army Reserve avoid more than $49,000 in contracted lodging charges.

Spolum said Budda’s leadership and support inspire the organization’s employees. He was instrumental in helping the organization earn one of six Armywide awards in the 2009 Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command Award for Exemplary Employee Development. His efforts in supporting training, coaching, mentoring and employment opportunities also has led to the Fort McCoy Family and MWR overall recreation program, sections and individual employees receiving multiple awards in the Armed Forces Recreation Society competition at the Armywide and regional levels.

Budda’s work ethic sets a good example for other employees to always do their best work, Spolum said.

He has received numerous high-level awards throughout his career, including the Superior Civilian Service Award, three Commander’s Awards for Civilian Service, an Excellence in Management Award, and the DA Recreation Career Employee Award.

He moderated a portion of the Family and MWR Customer and Employee Covenant signing in the fall of 2010, and provided a briefing on activities, plans and future vision to peers, supervisors and the chain of command, Spolum said.

Budda said the Family and MWR staff is very dedicated to serving its customers. Top priorities are adapting new programs, providing better customer service and keeping the facilities safe.

“Management realizes that to do this we need to take care of our staff and have good employee and management relations,” he said.

“The MWR program is well-known throughout the community area for sponsoring first-class community events and celebrations,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Uhlig, MWR Community Recreation Chief. “He has provided the adhesive needed to make the community work as a team. It was his personal involvement, drive and leadership ability that made all of these important community events so successful. He has a reputation as a professional who truly cares about the well-being of all community members.”

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