By Adriana Salas
Note: Kate McNeely was recently chosen as the White Sands Missile Range Deputy to the Garrison Commander (DGC).
“The process to hire the DGC was extremely competitive.” said Garrison Commander Col. Brian Michelson.
CPAC assisted the garrison team in narrowing more than 100 candidates to a referral list of 30. A board of leaders composed of two garrison commanders and two GS-15s from other installations, scored candidates based on IMCOM standard criteria and produced a pool of eight semi-finalists. After conducting reference checks, five finalists were invited to come to WSMR for face to face interviews. Another board, consisting of the Garrison Command Sergeant Major, an SES, a deputy DGC from another post, and the Garrison Commander interviewed and ranked each applicant. The Garrison Commander conducted a final one-on-one interview with the top two candidates.
“I decided Ms. McNeely was the best combination of character, competence and commitment, and is the right match for our installation. It was a lot of work to get to this point but it was worth it,” Michelson said.
Education: I received my undergraduate degree in accounting at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. I received my graduate degree from Boston University. I received a Masters in Business.
What does your organization do? The Garrison as a whole is actually like operating a big city. With the expanded mission and supporting the test mission I’ve also provided support to the needs of the mission.
Why is what you do important? It’s important because the installation is in fact a small city. People who work here, family members, and Soldiers, we’re here to support the mission at hand. It’s important to the Army because they want team members to know if the Army sends you to a location that you will receive the same benefits as a community would outside of the installation.
What has this field taught you? It teaches you that people in the mission have to come first and it’s finding ways to balance the needs of the people and the mission. You have to take into account the needs of the people. People come first.
What is the best business practice for your field? In the business of running the city you need to work within the system to be good at it. You need to be in the business and take opportunities to learn in every capacity so that you can become really good at the trade of managing installations.
What led you to WSMR? Actually, I came out to White sands on a detail for three months and it extended out to almost a year. I really came to love the installation, mission, and the people.
What are your professional and life goals? My goals are to continue to improve and get better at what we do, to find a balance between professional and personal life, and to stay healthy and wealthy in life.
What are your hobbies? I love to garden, love to travel, and I love to cook. I would love to take a walking tour of Scotland and eat my way through Italy.
Who inspires you? Dr. Covey, a professor from Bringham Young University and a consultant, his approach on successful living and finding the balance between what you do.
What is your favorite leisure activity? Gardening.
What is the best business advice you’ve received? To take care of your people because you can’t succeed if you don’t.