JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
The American Society of Military Comptrollers, or ASMC, has selected two Naval Medical Research Unit San Antonio members for awards recognizing their work within the command.
Tonja Campbell, NAMRU-SA resource management and acquisitions director, and Amanda Haas, NAMRU-SA budget analyst, received awards from the Alamo City Chapter of the ASMC for distinguished achievement in 2019. COVID-19 had delayed the presentation of the awards.
Campbell won the award in the comptroller/deputy comptroller category, while Haas won for contractor support. The awards are based on three criteria: impact, complexity, leadership, and resource savings demonstrated by the award recipients.
In nominating Campbell for the ASMC award, NAMRU-SA leadership cited her as an exceptional leader who has fostered a team-oriented environment amongst her staff, making them highly productive members of the command.
Campbell said she wouldn’t have received the award without the efforts of her hard-working staff.
“It validates what I am doing is right, the way I have chosen to work with my staff and my team is working,” Campbell said.
In her role at NAMRU-SA, Campbell oversees a staff of 20 employees, from financial managers to biomedical repair technicians, including military, Department of Defense civilians and contractors. She is responsible for making sure the command’s expenditures are spent legally and properly, as appropriated.
According to the award nomination form, Campbell and her staff executed 99 percent of NAMRU-SA’s expenditures in fiscal year 2019, above the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, or BUMED, a benchmark of 98 percent. BUMED manages NAMRU-SA.
As a team leader, Campbell said she encourages her employees to come up with their own ideas on how to get things done.
“You are forever looking for innovations, any way to do something more efficient with fewer people, with less money, and you have to be willing to be creative and innovative,” she said. “Also, accept that in your team; allow them to be creative with it as well.”
Campbell, a Navy veteran who served for four years, has 20 years of experience in military finance. She started her DOD civilian career working in the military administrative field before becoming a financial analyst and a then financial manager.
Campbell said during her career several of her supervisors were mentors to her, as they encouraged her to get more training and professional development, which led to her becoming a financial manager. She said the leadership at NAMRU-SA has supported her since the first day she started at the command.
Haas has worked at NAMRU-SA for five years. She is a contractor for Leidos, a company specializing in research and development which places specialists and physicians with doctorates within BUMED facilities.
As a budget analyst, Haas works on establishing and executing the command’s budget, tracking spending, establishing new projects when funding is appropriated and is the command’s auditor, keeping NAMRU-SA in compliance with its financial appropriations.
Haas said she feels honored to be recognized for her work by the ASMC, and she hopes the award will inspire other military contractors within NAMRU-SA to strive to excel in what they do.
“It’s wonderful to be recognized and I hope this motivates others to continue to strive to be the best they can be,” Haas said. “In finance, your kind of in the background, the research tends to be at the forefront, but what we do makes a difference, and what we do supports the mission and it’s important, and just to keep doing your best.”
Campbell, who nominated Haas for the award, said Haas is like a right-hand man to her within the command.
“She does absolutely anything and everything she can do as a contractor,” Campbell said. “She has the most knowledge base of my team; she’s been there the longest. She’s very good at what she does.”
In turn, Haas said Campbell has been supportive of her in her career development.
“Tonja (Campbell) as a director is absolutely amazing,” Haas said. “She absolutely ensures that her team has anything and everything they need, whether it would be resources, supplies, training. She truly encourages her staff to build up their portfolio.”
Campbell said being selected for the ASMC awards, she and Haas are getting recognition for NAMRU-SA, a small command that is sometimes overlooked in a city with a larger Army and Air Force presence.
“I like to see the Navy get recognized here just because our footprint is so small,” Campbell said. “For me, it speaks out that the Navy is here, and we have a presence; even a small command can win an award like this.”