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Capt. Eric J. Hawn, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington commanding officer, announced the selection of Nathan Johnson, design project manager at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis, as the Project Manager of the Year, Nov 28. Johnson is the inaugural selection of this new annual award and was chosen from a competitive field of NAVFAC Washington project managers.
“Nathan is currently managing over 20 active pre-award projects valued over $220 million, including multiple waterfront/recapitalization program projects at the U.S. Naval Academy,” said Capt. Hawn. “He is a key member coordinating anticipated sea level rise requirements in each of these waterfront projects and is an exceptional project manager. He has my strongest personal endorsement as the 2023 NAVFAC Washington Project Manager of the Year.”
Johnson has served with NAVFAC Washington for 12 years at Naval Support Activity Bethesda, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling and now Naval Support Activity Annapolis.
“I’m somebody who prefers to keep my head down and get the job du jour done and being recognized with this award is an unexpected honor,” said Johnson. “I’m well aware that there are many talented project managers in this organization, so the pressure to live up to this title is on.”
Over the past three years, Johnson has successfully executed and completed over 20 projects valued at over $45 million at multiple installations with multiple customers. These projects included shoreline restoration, multiple sports field lighting projects at the U.S. Naval Academy, and upgrades to wastewater treatment plant at NSA Annapolis.
“The wastewater treatment plant denitrification project was particularly interesting due to the fact that retrofitting an existing wastewater treatment facility with a new and relatively high-tech treatment process required us to become conversationally fluent with some chemistry that I hadn’t encountered since college,” said Johnson. “That project succeeded due to collaborative support of a quality A&E, highly engaged Utilities and Energy Management staff and field operators who were able to quickly learn and help troubleshoot the system.”
Johnson notes that success in the project management arena is the result of team effort. Consistently showing up prepared and willing to support your teammates is how one demonstrates value to the team. Throughout his career, he has found that reputations are built by demonstrating consistency. Strong and consistent efforts and abilities show up in the results of the work and are clearly recognizable over time.
“I feel strongly that any of the successes with which I am associated here at Public Works Department Annapolis are due to the team efforts of a group of dedicated individuals,” said Johnson. “Design Chief Joe Zurzolo’s encyclopedic knowledge of the history of the U.S. Naval Academy is only rivaled by his extraordinary understanding of NAVFAC design and construction processes. Bert Taylor’s recent promotion to our A&E supervisory general engineer position from the seat I currently occupy has meant that he remains within shouting distance whenever I have a question he can answer. The major waterfront projects I manage are tenaciously design-managed by John Jones, a fellow civil engineer and fellow Hokie. Finally, my counterpart design-side project manager Aaron Kramer carries the other half of this office’s workload with ease.”
Johnson grew up in Grand Rapids, Mi., and Northern Virginia. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in civil and environmental engineering in 2009 and is a proud dog-dad to a handsome boxer-pit mix named Chili.