Hello Administrator…… Can You Hear Me Now?
Vol.5 Issue 8
(L-R) FAA Administrator, Steve Dickson with National Wireless Program employees, Debra Zink and Lance Brown.

The last week in October was a typical busy week for the employees in the Enterprise Services Center’s (ESC) National Wireless Program (AMK-222B), but taking a phone call on a Sunday afternoon from the FAA Administrator’s Office Administrator was not a common occurrence. FAA Administrator, Steve Dickson was on international travel and had arrived in-country when his cellular device stopped working. Administrator Dickson reached out to Jennifer Lagana, Office of the Administrator, Administrative Functions and Executive Secretariat for Assistance, who in turn contacted the ESC’s Customer Service Center Level I Service Desk. Jennifer spoke with Robert Felix, a computer operator who followed after-hour protocol in contacting Debra Zink, Manager of the National Wireless Program. Debra then contacted Jennifer directly to help determine the exact issue with the cell phone. Debra then contacted one of her team members, Troy Gingerich to help troubleshoot the device through the carrier portal. They quickly learned that the Administrator’s phone needed an international plan in order to have service. They worked quickly to get Administrator Dickson on a plan, and it wasn’t long until he had service and was telephonically connected for international calls.

Members of the National Wireless Program team provide cellular services for each of the FAA lines of business on a continuous basis. Additionally, they schedule face-to-face meetings in Washington D.C. throughout the year with their points of contact to discuss inventories, provide cost usage information, and to address any concerns they may have regarding their cellular devices and services. These face-to-face meetings have proven to be invaluable in creating relationships that benefit the FAA as a whole.

A couple of months passed, and one day while Debra was conversing with Jennifer, it was made known that she and her colleague (Lance Brown, Program Analyst) would be in Washington D.C. for some customer visits. Jennifer inquired if they could come by the Administrator’s Office so that he could personally thank them for their prompt assistance in getting his phone to work. They agreed, and on December 4, 2019 Debi and Lance met with Jennifer in her office. Jennifer was enthusiastic about the National Wireless Program and wanted to know more about it.

"She was very personable and talked about some of her experiences as a long time federal employee, and wanted to know how Lance and I had been working for the agency as well," explains Debra.

Administrator Dickson’s schedule was full - as expected, but Jennifer worked closely with some people so that they could meet him between engagements. Debra notes, "He was very gracious and thankful when we met him, and when Jennifer inquired about taking a photo, he said, ’sure!’" This was the first time in both Debra’s and Lance’s federal careers that they have ever met the FAA Administrator.

The National Wireless Program has an amazing team. It is a small group of six federal employees and one contractor who provide the best in government life-cycle management of cellular and satellite devices since 2006, while serving and simplifying the ever-growing mobile connected workforce. The National Wireless Program provides incredible cost savings while dramatically reducing the total cost of ownership for approximately 21,000 cellular devices.

Federal Aviation Aministration (FAA) seal