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CAREing Comes Easy for Region 8

Lynn Arceneaux

This year has had its share of adversity and challenges in the Rocky Mountain Region but when the Salt Lake City Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) office needed support, Region 8 was right there to assist.

The VA Employee Education System (EES) already occupied space within a Veteran Health Administration-owned facility but was being moved out to accommodate a need to expand the medical center. A move of the EES equipment to St. Louis was planned but the VA needed an option to maintain the equipment locally and asked the GSA Region 8 team to find new space and redirect the equipment using their move contract services. 

The GSA team found space for their equipment as well as four EES employees in the nearby Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building instead of having them move across the country.

“Due to unforeseen circumstances, we found ourselves in need of space and limited in time,” Elizabeth James, Deputy Chief Learning Officer for the Employee Education System wrote in a memo. “The task of providing space to the EES team in Salt Lake City, Utah within a seemingly improbable timeline is a TED talk type of moment.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs ICARE Award logo

The Salt Lake City VA, in a show of appreciation, presented the team with their ICARE Award. This award is normally presented internally as a way to identify those who provide the best care and service but in this instance it showed how much they valued the care that GSA provided to EES.

The Region 8 team members awarded for their part of the project included:

  • Lynn Arceneaux - Planning Manager, PBS  Customer Engagement Division
  • Suzanne Davis - Federal Space Management Specialist, PBS Portfolio Management Division
  • Andrew Lenz - Building Management Specialist, PBS Utah Field Office

The award justification stated that the team's actions went “far and above any of our expectations” and the way they conducted themselves “truly earns them a Department of Veteran Affairs, ICARE award for Excellence.”

The entire relocation process took about three to four weeks to allow for the GSA team to collaborate with other customers in the Bennett Federal Building to secure the needed space as well as the move in and out of swing space during this. Overall, the mission was accomplished relatively quickly allowing for EES to continue their mission in Salt Lake City.

While it may seem like standard business for GSA, Arceneaux said there is “nothing better than serving our customers, saving taxpayer dollars and collaborating with your coworkers.”