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Milestones: Office of Management and Information (OMI)

Jay Kennedy Retires with 23 Years of Federal Service

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  jay kennedy
  Jay Kennedy.

Jay Kennedy served as the AFSC’s Safety and Environmental Compliance Officer for nearly 15 years until his retirement on 31 December 2012, leaving a legacy transformational to AFSC processes, people, and culture.  

Jay served as the Center’s first Safety and Environmental Compliance Officer (SECO) beginning in 1998.  As such, he was instrumental in developing a program which increased employee safety training and awareness and policies and procedures for hazardous materials storage, handling, and disposal.   As a certified aviation safety instructor, Jay served as the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) representative on the NOAA Aviation Safety Council for many years, making substantial contributions to the development of NOAA aviation safety policies and standards. Jay helped develop safety procedures for small boat handling and  diving operations. In collaboration with AFSC safety committees, he worked on projects and initiatives to address safety issues and concerns including a major revision to the At-Sea Safety Manual.  He was a key member of an AFSC team that evaluated the ergonomics of deck work aboard vessels which led to a decrease in injuries.  Jay has been a leader representing the AFSC on the NMFS Safety Council and NMFS Facilities Council for many years.  In fact, he was asked to serve as the Acting NMFS SECO, spending almost a year at NMFS Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, and served as the NMFS lead for development of an agency Operational Risk Management Program. 

Facilities projects have also been a major part of Jay’s career with the Center.  He was a certified Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR) for many years, serving as project manager for numerous facility projects. His knowledge and expertise has contributed to the successful award of contracts and completion of projects critical to the AFSC’s infrastructure and operations.  One of these, the specimen storage facility in Juneau, was a complex and specialized facility with sophisticated electrical and mechanical systems. His successful management of that construction testified to the breadth of Jay’s competence and his ability to bring excellence to whatever he did.  In 2009 when the Center  assumed responsibility for management of the NMFS Pribilof Island facilities, Jay's duties increased significantly.  He has been involved with several major projects at that location including a serious hazardous material removal and remediation. 

Prior to his employment with the Center,  Jay served  a United States Air Force (USAF) Officer serving for eight years as a Flight Examiner and Instructor Pilot.  After an honorable discharge from the USAF, Jay worked in the mortgage and banking industries for several years before pursuing training in occupational health and safety.  He became a successful entrepreneur, managing his own safety and environmental compliance consulting company, where he provided investigative services, performed safety surveys and audits, provided training, managed projects and developed policies for a wide variety of industrial and government clients. 

Jay’s legacy is his investment in each of us, by developing a safer environment at the AFSC, serving with excellence in all things safety, environmental compliance, and facilities, and by always being available to individual needs and finding solutions to everyday problems. His door was always open. He has helped to improve the AFSC work environment and operations in countless ways – from working with individuals on a specific need to writing national level policies with far reaching impacts. Moreover, we have a fabulous library of Monthly Safety Briefs filled with important safety reminders and tips and unique photos presented with Jay’s wit and wisdom. 

We know there will be some golfing, art, travel and family time in Jay’s future, and we wish him every happiness in retirement!

By Lori Budbill and Steve Ignell.




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