#IAMIMSC award winner: Maj. John Nussbaum

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JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Meet #IAMIMSC award winner Maj. John Nussbaum. Nussbaum is the transportation working capital fund program manager for Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center’s Detachment 9, in support of Air Mobility Command, at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

The #IAMIMSC award recognizes people whose actions have promoted connectedness and service before self within their workplace or the center. In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Nussbaum helps his local team stay connected through his work as the booster club president.

“By ensuring recurring touch-points with detachment members on telework, empowering booster club members to plan ahead and tapping into traditions of the detachment, Major Nussbaum's leadership has helped maintain the connectivity of AFIMSC Detachment 9 and ensured a continued feeling of family and teamwork,” said Lt. Col. Russell Gheesling, Nussbaum’s supervisor.

The major also serves the broader AFIMSC team as the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group lead for the center’s Leadership Empowerment and Development Program’s inaugural session. In this role, he leads a team of four that is researching how private industry and government agencies have analyzed and attempted to identify and resolve issues with hiring and retaining a diverse workforce as measured by demographic, organizational/structural, behavioral/cognitive and global diversity. 

“The team will propose immediate and long-term actions to improve recruiting and retention of a healthy, diverse workforce which is becoming increasingly important due to shifting national culture and a rapidly changing workforce dynamic,” Gheesling said.

We asked the major a few questions about being part of the AFIMSC team and promoting connectedness around the organization.

Primary duty responsibilities: I support U.S. Transportation Command through AMC by aligning the major command’s prioritized projects over a five-year budget projection provided by the combatant command, seeking and relaying funding approval for programmed projects, and then supporting installation contracting officers, engineers and AMC customers through design and execution of those projects, monitoring them until contractual completion with special attention toward funds expensing to ensure budgets are maximized and protected even through difficult times.

What do you like most about being a part of the AFIMSC team?
The team members, plain and simple. I work with amazing people, and I find more of them regularly. All of us are focused on making sure the installations get what they need to execute their missions as assigned by their MAJCOMs. Every one of us seems intent on making sure our actions are proactive and effective; it’s rewarding to be surrounded by such positive and motivated people who are not afraid to dive in, arm-in-arm, to help.

Why do you think it’s important for AFIMSC teammates and their families to feel connected to the organization?
Especially in a world that has embraced telework, which I greatly appreciate as I know it’s improved my operations since my desk is much closer to my coffee pot at home, team building is much harder. One thing that’s always apparent on staff assignments is just how risky siloed operations can be, so ensuring that the accidental collaboration that happens in an office, where you can bump into each other and discuss impromptu topics, is still happening when we’re disaggregated is so important.

What types of connectedness activities or events do you most enjoy participating in and why?
Nothing trumps in-person events such as First Fridays, off-sites, etc. But even just making sure virtual meetings have a clear agenda that includes open discussion with a discussion prompt, humorous or serious, gets people talking about personal experience. For some of us, it still feels a little uncomfortable but the same could be said about the first time we did DTS (Defense Travel System) … eventually we got used to it.

What advice do you have for people who are trying to build a better sense of belonging and kinship with their team?
Be genuine and admit your own faults more proactively than you might in person. Virtual communication lacks lots of non-verbal communication opportunities so you’ve got to verbalize what you previously might assume someone would interpret or understand to overcome that barrier.

Is there anything you would like to add?
I appreciate being nominated for this greatly! I’ve got some very supportive leadership but being in a detachment makes it easy to feel “out there” so this is great!