Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: Aidalis Mills, Coast Guard 9th District

 

 

Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz, superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy, Chief Petty Officer Megan Sesma, harpist with the Coast Guard Band, Aidalis Mills, management and program analyst for the Coast Guard 9th District Planning and Force Readiness Branch, Ellen Engleman-Connors, deputy director of Coast Guard Governmental and Public Affairs, pose for a photo after Sesma and Mills received the Latina Style Meritorious Service Award at the Distinguished Military Awards Luncheon during the 10th Annual National Latina Symposium in Arlington, Va., Sept. 5, 2013.  Mills, a Cleveland, native, received the award for promoting and enhancing the role of minorities, Hispanics and Latinos in the federal workforce and community.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Donna Walker-Ross

Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz, superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy, Chief Petty Officer Megan Sesma, harpist with the Coast Guard Band, Aidalis Mills, management and program analyst for the Coast Guard 9th District Planning and Force Readiness Branch, Ellen Engleman-Connors, deputy director of Coast Guard Governmental and Public Affairs, pose for a photo after Sesma and Mills received the Latina Style Meritorious Service Award at the Distinguished Military Awards Luncheon during the 10th Annual National Latina Symposium in Arlington, Va., Sept. 5, 2013.
Mills, a Cleveland, native, received the award for promoting and enhancing the role of minorities, Hispanics and Latinos in the federal workforce and community.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Donna Walker-Ross

 

Recognized as a leader and humanitarian, this Hispanic woman is a shining example of what it means to volunteer, not just to Latina and Hispanic women, but to everyone regardless of gender or race.

Aidalis Mills, the management and program analyst for the Coast Guard 9th District Planning and Force Readiness Branch, was awarded the LATINA Style Meritorious Service Award at the Distinguished Military Awards Luncheon during the 10th Annual National Latina Symposium in Arlington, Va., Sept. 5, 2013. She was recognized for duties performed in an outstanding manner, in which she promoted and enhanced the role of minorities, Hispanics, and Latinos in the federal workforce and community.

The symposium is showcases an integral part of Hispanic heritage where the awardees are honored for their service to our country, leadership, accomplishment and commitment to building a strong community.

Aidalis Mills poses for a photo in her office in the A. J. Celebrezze Federal Building in downtown Cleveland, Sept. 3, 2013. Mills keeps her office full of photos of family and friends. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Laughlin

Aidalis Mills poses for a photo in her office in the A. J. Celebrezze Federal Building in downtown Cleveland, Sept. 3, 2013.
Mills keeps her office full of photos of family and friends.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Laughlin

From her office in the A. J. Celebrezze Federal Building in downtown Cleveland, Mills manages $1.8 million of the reserve training funds, providing procedural and regulatory guidance for reserve management, facilitating mobilization and demobilization of forces, and preparing and administering training related to reserve affairs.

Her efforts played a key role in the Coast Guard 9th District being honored as the best reserve program, winning the prestigious Adm. Russell R. Waesche Award in 2011 and 2012.

“Having had the pleasure of working with her for more than a year, I have no doubt that she has been instrumental in winning the award two years in a row,” said Lt. Cmdr. James McCown, chief of the Coast Guard 9th District Reserve Force Readiness Branch.

“Knowing the ins and outs of reserve issues can be extremely challenging, yet she has achieved and, in most cases, surpassed running that difficult gauntlet.”

Additionally, Mills provides training and guidance to more than 500 reserve men and women within the district.

Through all of her hard work and accomplishments, she has gained the respect of her supervisors and peers through collaborative efforts, enhancing educational and developmental opportunities for federal employees and minorities.

“Mills carries out her duties in a most professional and proficient manner,” said McCown.

“Her management and leadership skills make it easy for her to articulate to all she works with of varying knowledge levels and abilities the proper course of action to take.”

She was involved in managing the Cleveland Federal Employees Development Seminar in 2012 and 2013, which allowed more than 200 federal employees from 16 agencies to participate in developmental education and diversity awareness opportunities.

Mills has organized and provided training to Special Emphasis Program managers and Coast Guard employees on equal employment opportunity and laws that regulate equal rights.

Lt. Donald Tremble, Aidalis Mills, Capt. Erice Vogelbacher, and Lt. Cmdr. James McCown, members of the Coast Guard 9th District Planning and Force Readiness Branch, pose for a photo in Cleveland, Sept. 3, 2013. Mills was awarded the LATINA Style Meritorious Service Award for her in promoting and enhancing the roles of minorities, Hispanics and Latinos in the federal workforce and community. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Laughin

Lt. Donald Tremble, Aidalis Mills, Capt. Erice Vogelbacher, and Lt. Cmdr. James McCown, members of the Coast Guard 9th District Planning and Force Readiness Branch, pose for a photo in Cleveland, Sept. 3, 2013.
Mills was awarded the LATINA Style Meritorious Service Award for her in promoting and enhancing the roles of minorities, Hispanics and Latinos in the federal workforce and community.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Laughin

Mills is a co-chair of the Coast Guard 9th District’s Leadership and Inclusion Council, championing diversity, listening to field concerns, encouraging active leadership and mentoring, in order to support a workplace environment where all feel they are part of the team.

“Mills helped develop and standup an innovative leadership and inclusion management program that established leadership and inclusion councils throughout the Great Lakes, setting up a framework that fosters an environment of inclusion and professional development, and promotes diversity,” said Cmdr. Jorge Martinez, co-chair of the Leadership and Inclusion Council.

“The endeavor was grounded in the belief that an inclusive working environment can and will attract, retain and support a diverse workforce.”

Mills has aided numerous organizations, including the Association of Naval Services Officers, where she has served on the national board for four years as the central regional vice president and is currently an active member of the local Cleveland area ANSO chapter. She has been instrumental in establishing two scholarships offered by the local chapter to deserving youth in the area.

“Mills is the foundation of the ANSO chapter here in Cleveland,” said Chief Petty Officer Juan Perez, another member of the chapter.

“I can’t even begin to describe the countless hours and hard work she puts into making ANSO events and projects a success. If I had to choose one word to describe her, it would be tough, but I would use words such as dedicated, loyal and dependable to name a few.”

Mills has also raised funds for the local Chief Petty Officers Association, organized Hispanic Heritage Awareness Month events, voluntarily helped others prepare their tax returns, worked at the Salvation Army food bank, collected food in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Harvest for Hunger campaign, and annual pajamas, coats and scarves drives for children and senior citizens of the Cleveland area.

She is heavily involved with youth outreach efforts in the Cleveland area, such as the Esperanza Latina Leadership Alliance Career Day, where she told the Coast Guard’s story to female participants and promoted awareness of various military and civilian career opportunities.

Mills managed several youth outreach events in 2011, 2012 and 2013 that included recruiters from the Coast Guard, Navy and Marines.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Juan Perez, safety and environmental health specialist in Coast Guard Base Cleveland, Rear Adm. Joseph Castillo, deputy commander Coast Guard Pacific Area,  Aidalis Mills, management and program analyst for the Coast Guard 9th District Planning and Force Readiness Branch, and Chief Warrant Officer Edward Cavazos, chief of the Logistics Branch at Coast Guard Base Cleveland, pose for a photo at the Association of Naval Services Cleveland chapter renaming ceremony in Cleveland, April 10, 2013. The ANSO Cleveland chapter was renamed after Castillo, in honor of his dedication to service. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of ANSO

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Juan Perez, safety and environmental health specialist in Coast Guard Base Cleveland, Rear Adm. Joseph Castillo, deputy commander Coast Guard Pacific Area, Aidalis Mills, management and program analyst for the Coast Guard 9th District Planning and Force Readiness Branch, and Chief Warrant Officer Edward Cavazos, chief of the Logistics Branch at Coast Guard Base Cleveland, pose for a photo at the Association of Naval Services Cleveland chapter renaming ceremony in Cleveland, April 10, 2013.
The ANSO Cleveland chapter was renamed after Castillo, in honor of his dedication to service.
U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of ANSO

In 2011 and 2013, she orchestrated Coast Guard participation in government career fairs, providing hundreds of students from several local schools with career information.She is involved in local social service agencies and organizations which help increase opportunities for Hispanics and minorities to advance within the civilian and federal workforce, which include the position of co-chair for the Multi-Federal Agency Hispanic Heritage Committee, an acting member of the Coalition of Hispanic/Latino Issues and Progress of Lorain, Ohio, Esperanza Inc., El Centro de Servicios Sociales, Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center, Blacks in Government, Federal Employed Women, Asian Pacific Heritage Committee, and the Disability Awareness Program

Mills, an Ohio-native, has been with the Coast Guard for 16 of her 26 years of federal service, coming to the 9th District Planning and Force Readiness Branch in 2005.

She is a role model to her family as well. Mills has five children, two stepchildren and 15 grandchildren.

Links:

More information about the LATINA Style can be found on their webiste at www.latinastyle.com

More information about ANSO can be found on their website at http://ansocleveland.webs.com/

More information about Esperanza Inc. can be found on their website at http://www.esperanzainc.org/

More information about El Centro can be found on their website at http://lorainelcentro.com/

More information about the Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center can be found on their website at http://www.juliadeburgos.org/

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