By Lindsay Emery
For Program Manager Katryn Lohlein, 2021 is the year of award-winning successes, having been named the first winner of PAE’s 6S Kaizen competition award and now recognized as a PAE Values Champion in the “Be Your Best” category for her support of PAE’s Contract Field Team at North Island Naval Air Station in California. Lohlein is responsible for all aspects of the program—from contractual compliance to maintaining good working relationships with customers and employees.
Lohlein said she learns something new every day from her colleagues on-site and in PAE’s corporate offices, explaining her North Island management team is one of the best she’s ever worked with.
“I like that we’re all aligned in our desires to see this site be successful, so it really makes it easy to collaborate,” Lohlein said. “From the corporate side of the house I get exposure to new business concepts and learning best practices from other program managers when we come together for weekly or monthly meetings and I learn how I can apply them at my site.”
As a program manager, Lohlein knows the importance of striving to be honest and open. She said she regularly asks employees what resources they need and works to ensure employees feel supported. Employees should understand that they are not there to do the work and go home without being recognized or acknowledged for their efforts, Lohlein said. She recognizes her management team’s responsibility, as well as her own, is to provide that feeling of appreciation.
While PAE uses its Values Champion program to illustrate its corporate values companywide, Lohlein has implemented her own smaller version of the program for the site so that every single employee can apply to each of PAE’s values categories on a monthly basis.
“I really like the concept and idea of this and I’m looking for a way to apply it on a local level in the same way,” Lohlein said.
Lohlein demonstrated being her best in all aspects of her duties as program manager, Program Projects Manager Carl Anthony Hohenberg said in his nomination. Lohlein implemented and completed 15 continuous improvement projects that saved the program tens of thousands of dollars through streamlined processes.
Through her contributions, CFT North Island has provided safe aircraft services to the customer that resulted in a record number of consecutive flight hours in the past fiscal year supporting Chief of Naval Operation special projects. Hohenberg said Lohlein’s leadership has guided the CFT North Island team to achieve remarkable results in safe, quality service.
“Your commitment and dedication to PAE core values has brought great credit upon yourself and recognition as a Be Your Best Values Champion,” he said.
Lohlein said she appreciates the recognition of her work because it means her effort is making a difference.
“It’s an amazing feeling if even one person recognizes that I’m making efforts to be the best program manager I can be to make our site a place where everyone wants to come and to be successful,” Lohlein said. “That is really the ultimate goal.”
Lohlein said that in her role it is important to say yes to opportunities as they are presented because it gives her the opportunity to learn as much as she can and to be a vital asset to the company.
“I truly feel invested in by PAE and all my superiors, so I always want to return that investment with 110 percent of my efforts,” Lohlein said.