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FRCE Mentor of the Year Finds Joy in Helping Others

The command recognized Christopher Day, who serves as director of the Engines and Dynamic Components and Industrial Processes divisions, as the depot’s top mentor. Day’s special talent for educating his fellow employees and commitment to continual improvement earned him the title, leaders said.

Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Production Department Head Tina Rowe, Day’s supervisor, said he is exceptionally equipped to be a mentor as he clearly enjoys helping others.

“Chris shows real dedication to his mentees, and vice versa,” said Rowe. “He didn’t become a mentor for personal gain; he became a mentor because he truly loves helping his coworkers succeed. He is the type of supervisor everyone wants to have.

“Chris genuinely cares about his fellow employee’s growth and will do everything he can to help them along their journey here at FRC East,” Rowe continued. “He will stop whatever he is doing to help someone with a challenging situation. For that, I believe he is very deserving of this recognition.”

Day said he was honored by the recognition, which came as quite a surprise to him.

“When I learned I was selected for this recognition, I was shell shocked,” said Day. “I wouldn’t have expected someone to nominate me. I’m overwhelmed with the thought that someone took the time to do this for me.”

Day began his career at FRCE repairing AV-8 aircraft engines 24 years ago; he has been in his current position for a little under a year. While he officially became a mentor when Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) launched a formal mentoring program in 2007, Day said passing along helpful information to those coming into a new position has always come naturally to him. The mentors he had toward the beginning of his career instilled this in him and were a key factor in both why and how he became a mentor himself.

“When I first became a work leader, I had some great mentors. They spent hours helping to develop me into a leader. I think because of that, mentoring came naturally to me,” said Day. “I’ve always been interested in helping others and I’ve always extended a hand to those in need because if I can help, let me know. Come to my office and we can talk.”

According to Matthew Sinsel, head of both the Manufacturing, Machining and Welding Branch and the Clean and Paint Branch, Day is the type of mentor who is always willing to lend a helping hand, especially if it will aid in his mentee’s success. This made Sinsel’s decision to nominate Day for this award easy.

“Chris goes above and beyond. He is committed to helping others reach their full potential and be the best versions of themselves,” said Sinsel. “He is a good listener, provides constructive, non-judgmental feedback and is both passionate and enthusiastic about his role as a mentor. He demonstrates a positive outlook that inspires others to work harder.”

Sinsel said he nominated Day for Mentor of the Year because he has witnessed Day’s mentorship help many others, himself included, on countless occasions. Working with Day has provided him with numerous shadowing opportunities that have been beneficial to his job performance and improvement, he said.

“Chris’ reassurance and positive feedback kept me on the right track to make a positive impact,” said Sinsel. “His mentorship allowed me to challenge myself, work to broaden my knowledge and better understand NAVAIR’s mission.”

For Day, being recognized as Mentor of the Year is not the most fulfilling part of being a mentor; instead, he feels the real reward is simply knowing the information he provided to someone helped them along their journey.

“When someone realizes the information you gave them was of great value, and they come back and say how much it actually helped them, that is what being a mentor is all about,” said Day. “Simply knowing that one short conversation you had with that person will resonate with them for the rest of their career is rewarding. It is very gratifying.”

FRCE is North Carolina's largest maintenance, repair, overhaul and technical services provider, with more than 4,000 civilian, military and contract workers. Its annual revenue exceeds $1 billion. The depot provides service to the fleet while functioning as an integral part of the greater U.S. Navy; Naval Air Systems Command; and Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers.