By Ashley Sherman
Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Public Affairs
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Laura Todd has worn many hats within Fleet Readiness Center Southeast’s Human Resources (HR) department. In fact, since donning her first hat for the command in 2018, she’s been a trailblazer in HR, quickly ascending the ladder within her areas of expertise.
That’s why it came as no surprise when Laura snagged the 2022 Department of the Navy (DON) Rising Star – Human Resources Specialist Award for FRCSE.
The Rising Star Award is given by the DON’s HR and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) community during the year, and only one HR specialist is selected annually. The award recognizes contributions from junior members with five or fewer years in their position.
“The Rising Star award is a prestigious award within the DON HR community, and Laura’s impressive list of accomplishments, exemplary work performance, strong work ethic and proven ability to overcome significant challenges made her an ideal candidate,” said Kelsey Mundy, FRCSE’s Labor and Employee Relations Branch Manager. “She has continuously demonstrated agility and perseverance and constantly proves she possesses the drive to overcome any challenge.”
To qualify, applicants are nominated and subsequently evaluated on criteria like the ability to quickly adjust to various roles and responsibilities, commitment to service and collaboration, quickly addressing and rectifying customer needs and the ability to handle assignments of great complexity or the potential to take on leadership roles.
The Rising Star award holds tons of prestige, but it’s far from the only accolade Laura’s received. In 2022, she also won both the FRCSE HR Employee of the Quarter and Employee of the Year.
“I was taken by surprise when I received the notification for winning the Rising Star award,” said Todd. “I am proud to have leadership that encourages growth and actively promotes professional development. My selection as a rising star from a Navy-wide community of dedicated Human Resource professionals validates that the Fleet Readiness Center Southeast team is providing world-class support for the warfighter, making my days more fulfilling and rewarding.”
In 2018, Laura began as an HR assistant, performing a broad range of customer service tasks, and quickly progressed – keeping the same title but serving as the administrator of the command’s light duty and benefits programs.
By 2022, Laura was promoted, accepting an HR Specialist position and serving as FRCSE’s Workers’ Compensation Program Manager, but this promotion was unexpected after the previous specialist suddenly retired. The retirement forced Laura to pivot, taking on the new role without much direction.
Like a true leader and team player, Laura took the challenge in stride, becoming the full-time Workers’ Compensation Manager for both FRCSE and Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic (FRCMA). She rose to every challenge, and excelled in all day-to-day aspects of the job, including responsibilities like daily advisories for claimants, the input of all claim paperwork, advising managers, communicating with medical providers and Department of Labor claims examiners, processing challenging claims and much more. At any given time the programs under her purview manage approximately 400 active claims for both commands.
“Ms. Todd is the third FRCSE recipient of the Rising Star Award,” said Brenda Mick-McMahan, FRCSE’s HR Director. “We’ve been very fortunate to have such wonderful and high-achieving employees that we’ve participated every year since this award program expanded to include individual achievements. Laura’s exceptional customer service, technical competence, kindness, empathy and commitment to finding resolutions positively impacted command HR programs and strengthened the workforce’s trust and confidence in the team’s ability to resolve their HR needs, enabling them to focus on mission-critical aeronautical maintenance work in support of the warfighter.”
Laura accepted her award during a small ceremony at FRCSE in December 2023.
About Fleet Readiness Center Southeast
Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) is Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia’s largest maintenance, repair, overhaul and technical services provider, employing approximately 5,000 civilian, military and contract workers. With annual revenue exceeding $1 billion, the organization serves as an integral part of the greater US Navy, Naval Air Systems Command, and Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers by maintaining the combat airpower for America’s military forces.
|JACKSONVILLE, FL, US
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