JACKSONVILLE, Fla, (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast said goodbye to long time civil service employee Michele Smith, utility analyst, June 18, during a retirement ceremony held to honor her remarkable career spanning over 48 years.
“Forty-eight years of dedicated service to our nation is a long time,” said NAVFAC Southeast Commanding Officer Capt. Mike Monreal. “On behalf of NAVFAC and the hundreds of organizations in the Department of Defense that you interacted with, thank you.”
Monreal presented Smith with a letter of appreciation, command coin, command plaque and a letter from the Secretary of the Navy that recognized her for career longevity.
“I am so impressed with your dedication and commitment to your job as early as high school,” said Monreal. “You is great role model for the younger generation.”
NAVFAC Southeast Command Senior Enlisted Advisor Senior Chief Jason Fletcher and Robert Mccauslin, resources and assessments product line director, presented Smith with an American flag that was flown over the command the morning of June 18.
Smith started her civil service career in 1972 working for the Federal Protective Office in Washington D.C. while still attending high school. She would later embark on what would become a life-long government career, mastering seven different career field positions in four duty locations.
Smith joined NAVFAC Southeast in July 2001, after accepting an accounting technician position with the Navy Public Works Center in Jacksonville, Florida.
“My biggest accomplishment while working for the command was earning my Bachelors of Science degree,” said Smith.
In October 2006, Smith became a financial technician in the newly formed NAVFAC Southeast. For four years, she ensured the proper and timely routing of taxpayer funds throughout the command, resulting in accurate financial data that enabled the timely completion of construction projects, providing vital infrastructure support to the Warfighter.
In January 2010, Smith took on the role as the billing analyst within the NAVFAC Southeast’s Utilities and Energy Management Product Line, directly providing liaison and support between multiple utility vendors and installation customers while personally ensuring that invoices were accurate and paid in a timely manner.
During this period, Smith managed annual utility bills of over $10 million at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West and NAS Kingsville through multiple hurricanes and other challenges.
“Her peers hold Michele in the highest esteem,” said Michael Chmura, utility billing and allocation supervisor. “She is a warm and loving individual who is dedicated to cultivating strong relationships among colleagues and friends, and is counted on to be the voice of calm congeniality during stressful periods.”
“I have enjoyed my time working at NAVFAC Southeast and meeting all the different personalities along the way,” said Smith.
Smith was also actively involved with the command’s Employee Morale Association, helping coordinate many activities throughout the years designed to promote healthy work relationships.
“Her positive impacts on the people she served at NAVFAC Southeast will continue to serve as part of her professional legacy,” said Chmura.
Smith had some parting guidance for her fellow employees.
“Choose to be happy, be nice to one another, stay focused on your dream and before you know it, retirement will come soon enough.”
After retirement July 3, Smith plans on traveling and spending more time with family.