With a program valued at billions of dollars and a diverse range of projects providing direct support to the U.S. military and its allied nation partners throughout the United States Central Command area of operations, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Middle East District (TAM) has a program scope that seems tailor-made to win awards.
But while its portfolio makes it competitive, it’s the district’s team members who bring those awards home.
Ken Logan and Joseph Zaraszczak are the two most recent examples of this kind of individual excellence when they were honored as USACE’s Project and Program Manager of the Year, respectively, for their work on District programs in Kuwait and Lebanon.
Logan managed several projects in Kuwait for both the U.S. and Kuwaiti Air Forces. These included a renovation and expansion of a dining facility that drastically improved the quality of life for U.S. military personnel at Ali Al Salem Air Base, multiple runway repair and improvement projects, and all facilities for the Kuwait Air Force’s F-18 Super Hornet Program.
Zaraszczak’s career spans 28.5 years in multiple USACE positions in seven different geographic locations involving 16 countries. As Program Manager of the Year, he was recognized for all work in Kuwait, Lebanon, and Iraq that TAM executes which totaled $1.7B in active design and construction projects and $4B in development.
Logan and Zaraszczak’s work support U.S. defense interests, and both attributed their success to the strong relationships they’ve fostered with the district’s mission partners.
“The strength of the USACE Kuwait Program Management Office, coupled with frequent collaboration and transparency with the 386 AEW, AFCENT, and AFCEC teams helped us achieve our shared goal – safe delivery of quality projects, on schedule and within budget,” said Logan.
Zaraszczak said that the ability to work with people from other countries towards a common goal is one of his favorite parts of the job.
In addition to the district’s mission partners, both Logan and Zaraszczak attributed their awards to the strength of the teams they work with.
“I have been fortunate to have a strong core management team that has allowed consistent management practices within the branch that then permeates to leading the various country portfolios and project delivery teams responsible for work in Kuwait, Lebanon, and Iraq. My success is attributed to my management team and this recognition is just as much for them as it is for me,” said Zaraszczak.
Logan, who has only been with USACE for two years expressed surprise that he’d won the award.
“Being named USACE Project Manager of the Year is both humbling and a testament to the strength of the teams I work with. I am not afraid to admit that I’m rarely the “smartest guy in the room,” but one thing I do well is recognize and rely on the collective strength and experience of my team. I continue to be encouraged by the work our team is doing to improve our mission partners’ readiness and capabilities. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” I’ve tried to embody this throughout my career in and outside of USACE, and I feel thankful and blessed for the honor of being named USACE PM of the Year.”
One person not surprised by Logan and Zaraszczak’ s achievements is TAM’s commander, Col. Philip Secrist.
“Even though we are a relatively small USACE district with less than 400 DACs (Department of Army Civilians),” said Secrist, “we punch way, way, way above our weight class. The scope and complexity of our projects and our partners attracts and keeps high caliber engineers, program managers, construction managers, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals. Ken and Joseph are both the kind of people you want working for you and the kind of people you want to work for so it’s great to see them recognized for their and their team’s excellence!”