FORT LEE, Va., 2014-9-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kristen D. Ogden, director of strategic planning for the Defense Commissary Agency, retired after nearly 36 years of federal service effective Sept. 3.
“Ms. Ogden has dedicated nearly 36 years of her life to federal service – the vast majority of those years to shaping the workforce, enabling DeCA to put in place employees who are the backbone of the commissary business,” said DeCA Deputy Director Michael J. Dowling during Ogden’s Aug. 26 retirement ceremony, where she received the DeCA Civilian Career Service Award. “You are sure to be proud of all that you have done – proud in knowing that you made a difference for so many.
“I cannot begin to imagine everything that you have touched and been involved with since your time here at DeCA, dating back to the transition team [in 1991] and even before,” Dowling added. “Your fingerprints rest on documents that were crafted before some of you present here today were even born. I think you get the picture – Kris has done it all, and well.”
In her role as director of DeCA’s strategic planning, Ogden was responsible for anticipating and planning for the challenges DeCA faces in operating its commissaries worldwide. In this position, she ensured that DeCA’s strategic vision, concepts and plans are linked to its operational reality and aligned with resource allocations. Ogden also led the agency’s governance process, providing data-driven performance reviews to enable transparency and accountability.
With Ogden’s retirement, strategic planning will restructure from a directorate to a division and realign under Chris Burns, chief performance officer, joining the corporate communications and executive services divisions.
Ogden’s government career began in 1976, on July 4 to be exact, as a personnel staffing specialist with the U.S. Civil Service Commission in Norfolk, Va. By 1983, she had become a personnel management specialist with the U.S. Army Troop Support Agency at Fort Lee, Va., where within six years she advanced to supervisor.
In 1991, Ogden was a member of the DeCA Transition Team that helped engineer the consolidation of the four military services’ commissary systems into DeCA. During her initial years with DeCA, she served as division chief in DeCA’s human resources directorate where she supervised staffing, career management, position classification, employee development and training functions.
In 2007, she became a member of DeCA’s planning staff, where she led the strategic planning team and managed the agency’s Balanced Scorecard and Quarterly Performance Reviews. From May 2008 through August 2011, Ogden also led the DeCA Working Group as it completed the DeCA Headquarters Addition and Rehabilitation Project.
Ogden is a self-proclaimed “military brat,” having been born on Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and raised in a military family that lived in England, Georgia, Virginia, France and New Mexico. She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology (1975) from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va. Ogden is also a certified change management professional and a Lean Six Sigma green belt.
“After working a while in the commissary system, I came to notice that there was something different about people who worked around me,” Ogden said during her ceremony. “… I came to realize, to a much greater extent, that we were working to provide a benefit that makes a real and meaningful contribution to military families each and every day. The commissaries truly make a difference in the lives of military families, and I salute all of you who work every day to make it happen.”
As she moves into retirement, Ogden said she and her husband of nearly 42 years, Louis, will partner to be a voice for those who have to endure illnesses with chronic, severe pain. It’s a cause that’s personal for them as Louis himself suffers from a severe, chronic illness that requires medication to avoid constant pain.
“We hope to inform and influence the general public, legislators, policymakers and regulators,” she said, “in order to bring about better understanding and more effective care for people who suffer from constant, severe pain.”
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773