Mississippi Valley Division Awards Day

Published Sept. 7, 2018

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- The Mississippi Valley Division (MVD), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, held its annual awards ceremony today at division headquarters where the following awards were presented:


The Ernest P. Blankenship awards are among the highest honorary awards presented to MVD employees by the division commander. The awards cover three categories: engineer/scientist, professional and technical/administrative. Established in 1987, they honor the commitment, dedication and knowledge of the long-time MVD executive assistant who died in 1973. All Blankenship award recipients also receive a Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.

Engineer/Scientist Award                        

Lee Robinson received the Ernest P. Blankenship Engineer/Scientist Award for his exceptional performance as the senior economist in Planning Division.

During the past year, Robinson served as leader of the Economic and Social Analysis Community of Practice at the MVD, supported the Planning Community of Practice and served as acting chief of Planning Division. He demonstrated exceptional management and technical oversight skill in the regional development and delivery of the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T), Lower Mississippi River Main Stem, Level III Economic Reevaluation Report. He exhibited unquestionable integrity, loyalty and commitment to the Corps’ mission.

Professional Award

Marilyn Butler received the Ernest P. Blankenship Professional Award for her outstanding performance as a budget analyst in Business Resource Division.

During the past year, Butler provided technical guidance and assistance to division headquarters staff regarding the Corps of Engineers Financial Management System activities and funding balances. She built and defended the executive direction and management budget for fiscal years 2018-2020 that was presented to the Corps headquarters Program Management Advisory Committee; regularly reprogrammed funds for both general expense and MR&T project accounts; and loaded Continuing Resolution Authority and new funding through the new Civil Works Funds Distribution Module. She coordinated with administrative assistants on fiscal year 2018 operating budget reviews, routinely monitored and updated suspense spreadsheets for centralized billing accounts and prepared all in-house purchase requests for centralized accounts. Butler also volunteered for two deployments, one in support of the disaster relief mission in Puerto Rico and one in support of California wildfires.



Administrative Award

Becky Brown received the Ernest P. Blankenship Technical/Administrative Award for her outstanding performance as executive secretary for Programs Directorate.

During the past year, Brown provided consistency and continuity of administrative and procedural processes for subordinate offices within the Programs Directorate. Brown served a vital role in providing support to the Civil Works Integration Division in 2017-2018 while the division’s administrative support assistant was deployed in support of disaster relief. She provided essential support to ensure operational continuity of assigned responsibilities involving a number of temporary and permanent position changes in the Civil Works Integration Division. Her performance exemplifies unwavering mission commitment and personal sacrifice, reflecting outstanding dedication to her duties and commitment to the Corps’ vision and values.


DeAnna Prestwood received the MVD Woman of the Year Award. Prestwood is the senior program manager for the MR&T project.

During the past year, Prestwood was responsible for managing the environmental, engineering, construction and operations and maintenance aspects of the MR&T channel improvement, mainline levees, tributaries and other assigned civil works projects. She led the implementation and review of numerous strategic initiatives and decision documents for the MR&T program. Prestwood also successfully led, and was integral in, the development of the execution plans for the Mississippi River and was able to provide timely guidance and direction for accomplishing review and approval of the plans. She provided valuable leadership in facilitating the development, review and coordination of the MR&T Flowline Technical Assessment and MR&T Economic Reevaluation Report. Her leadership helped to advance and strategically posture the MR&T program for both current and future successes.


Jim Bodron, MVD Programs director, was the recipient of the Commander’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Equal Employment Opportunity.

Bodron was recognized for his exceptional accomplishments and vision in employing and developing minority and female employees in new lines of work. Through his leadership and personal efforts, opportunities were presented for promotion, development, growth and improvement in job skills and abilities. His contributions to the MVD and the Equal Employment Opportunity program have resulted in a level of productivity that not only ensured continuation of the MVD program, but greatly enhanced mission accomplishment.


Department of the Army Achievement Medals for Civilian Service were presented to: Andy Ashley, Aaron Matthews, Wendell Norman, Brooke Southerland and Vinai Vinlander.  


Twenty-two employees, representing 495 years of federal service, received length-of-service certificates ranging from five to 40 years of service.



1400 Walnut St. Vicksburg, Miss. 39180

Release no. 18-040