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Conaway earns national award

  • Published
  • By Joseph R. Stahl
  • 178th Fighter Wing
     Master Sgt. Amanda Conaway, 178th Fighter Wing Retention Office Manager, was awarded the national Rookie Retention Office of the Year award March 29, at the Retention Conference in Orlando, Fla.
     Sergeant Conaway was selected from candidates from all the 54 states and territories.
Nominees for the rookie award had to have been in the job for less than two years.
     Dealing with the Reduction in Force caused by the mission change, and all the outreach programs she started, Sergeant Conaway thought that this would be a good candidate to compete for this award.
     "With everything going on, I thought that I would have a good package," said Sergeant Conaway.
     Since taking over the position of retention office manager, Sergeant Conaway has tackled a number of challenges.
     Sergeant Conaway said that addressing and processing the two-year backlog of student loans was the most high-profile accomplishment of her first two years in this job. Being in her job for only a few months, and before going to technical school, Sergeant Conaway, with the help of her counterpart from Mansfield, Master Sgt. Michael Schaefer, were able to process all of the student loans. This is highly visible program that commanders were getting many complaints about.
     Sergeant Conaway is most proud of her unit outreach programs.
     "With my outreach programs, I am going to people where they work, letting them know that I care, and getting stuff out there," said Sergeant Conaway. "When I say outreach, I mean the emails that I send out, quarterly news letters, Transition Assistance Program briefings, career fairs, job fairs; that's all part of reaching out."
     Sergeant Conaway credits much of her success to her fellow ROMs in Ohio who all work together as a team. They all depend on each other to make their individual programs successful.
     "There is no way that I would have won Rookie ROM if it weren't for the other ROMs in the state of Ohio," said Sergeant Conaway.
     1st Lt. Matthew Smith, Director of Personnel, along with Senior Master Sgt. Mark Wofenden, Recruiting and Retention Superintendent for Ohio helped Sergeant Conaway create and tweak her extensive package for this competition.
     As a bonus, Master Sgt. Kenneth Aikeman, 269th Combat Communications Squadron was selected as the Region 4 Unit Career Advisor of the Year. The unit career advisors are unit member's first resource for career advice. As a UCA for the 269 CBCS, Sergeant Aikman falls under the 178 FW's program, which enabled Sergeant Conaway to submit him for the award.
     Sergeant Conaway's office is located in the Mission Support Flight office. Stop by her office for career advice or to find out about what entitlements that you may be missing out on.