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Posted 6/27/2016

Release no. 16-006

Bob Anderson

VICKSBURG, Miss.,  The Mississippi Valley Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, held its annual awards ceremony recently where the following awards were presented:


The Blankenship awards are among the highest honorary awards presented to Mississippi Valley Division employees by the local commander. The awards cover three categories: engineer/scientist, professional and technical/administrative. Established in 1987, they remember and honor the commitment, dedication and knowledge of the long-time Mississippi Valley Division Executive Assistant who died in 1973. All Blankenship awards were accompanied by a Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.

Engineer/Scientist Award

Mrs. DeAnna Prestwood received the Ernest P. Blankenship Engineer/Scientist Award for exceptional performance of her duties while serving as the senior program manager for the Mississippi River & Tributaries project in Operations Division.

During the past year, Mrs. Prestwood demonstrated her abilities as an outstanding leader and professional. She earned respect as the consummate professional from her peers, subordinates, senior staff, higher headquarters and Congressional staff for her customer focus and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done with excellence.

Faced with significant obstacles, she overcame them all and continued helping others work toward and achieve their goals.

Professional Award

Mrs. Alicia Bounds received the Ernest P. Blankenship Professional Award for the outstanding performance of her duties as a procurement analyst in Contracting.

During the past year, Mrs. Bounds’ development and implementation of several SharePoint tools improved the quality of acquisition processes, shortened acquisition lead times and reduced labor costs. 

One tool she implemented assisted offices with the development of complete and accurate procurement packages upon initial submission to the Contracting office, thereby saving time and money. 

Another tool she created collected data from acquisition reviews that assisted managers in identifying areas that need training, management emphasis or other corrective action.

Administrative Award

Mrs. Brenda Warnock received the Ernest P. Blankenship Administrative Award for the outstanding performance of her duties as secretary for the director of Regional Business.

During the past year, Mrs. Warnock’s outstanding support to the director and subordinate divisions included managing calendars, coordinating travel, maintaining records and submission for the directorate’s annual performance awards, and initiating personnel actions.

Mrs. Warnock also assisted other offices when they were without an administrative assistant and trained new administrative assistants. She was key in training three selection panel secretaries to ensure recruitments were processed expeditiously for GS-15 selections.

Her dedication, persistence and critical attention to detail made her a tremendous asset in keeping the day-to-day operations of the directorate running smoothly.


A Department of the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service was presented to Katie Shows for her leadership as budget, finance and accounting officer in the Resource Management Office. During the past year, Shows streamlined the fiscal year budget process by developing new budget templates. She also successfully conducted the regional meeting of district budget officers by organizing and consolidating regional metrics from the six districts.


13 employees, representing 230 years of federal service, received length-of-service certificates ranging from 5 to 35 years of service.