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Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Maintenance Center Albany's top Marine bids farewell

By Sgt. Joshua Bozeman | | May 29, 2003

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From the front office to the craneway floor, Col. Stephen Foreman has made a lasting impression on Maintenance Center personnel and the quality of the work done there.

According to Johnny Bartlien, who has worked for Foreman for several years, Foreman's departure does not mean he will soon be forgotten, a sentiment echoed by others throughout the Maintenance Center.

According to Mack Prater, head quality inspector, Foreman was the kind of leader who "took the bull by the horns" and led by example.

"He is very enjoyable to work with," Prater said, citing the weekly cleanup as an example of Foreman's unique leadership style. "He is the best leader we?ve had here in 32 years.

"We all get on line to do a police call of the area each week. He is always out
front picking up the trash with everyone else," Prater said.

Bartlein agreed, Foreman's attention to detail and willingness to work outside his written job description is one reason for Foreman's, and the Maintenance Center's success.

"We have about 715 workers in the Maintenance Center, and he knows almost all of them by name," Bartlein said.

According to Bartlein, Foreman walks out among the workers and asks them how they are doing, making sure that morale is high, and that the workers have what they need to accomplish whatever mission they are working on. And on more than one occasion he has called a sick worker at the hospital to check on his health or to ask about a family member.

"I don't know how he remembers everything," Bartlein remarked, "but he does."

Since arriving, Foreman has worked to transform the Maintenance Center, helping to make the facility a cleaner place to work and to oversee the implementation of the Theory of Constraints and the Lean Thinking business practices.

"It was an antiquated dungeon-type environment around here," Prater said, "but now we are more efficient in time, money and efforts."
Foreman has personally overseen the painting and cleaning of several areas, gotten new tools and implemented new business practices. Now the center receives compliments from visitors from all over the United States - from other government entities and private businesses alike.

"People want to work for him," Bartlein said. "He talks to , not down to or at someone. He really believes that it is one team, one fight, and he instills pride, boosts morale, and has worked to set things in a way so that they [workers] will stay on track when he leaves. He's a truly caring person."

According to George Potter, a Maintenance Center section supervisor, the Maintenance Center definitely had a communication before Foreman started working there. Coming to work each morning because morale was at rock bottom, Potter reported. But after the new business practices were implemented and the Maintenance Center started turning heads in the logistical world, things started looking up.

Mike McCarty, heavy mobile equipment mechanic here, agreed.

"He's a great man who really turned this place around," McCarty remarked. "He doesn't forget a name or a face. He'll just come up and start talking with you, making sure everything is going alright."

According to Bartlein, Foreman looks for the good in all people and knows how to bring it out.

"He is a true Marine in every sense of the word," Bartlein concluded.

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