Barrios Recognizes Employees with Quarterly Performance Awards

JOHNSON SPACE CENTER (Houston, TX): Barrios Technology recently presented employees with the Silver BEAR (Barrios Employee Award and Recognition) awards. Each recipient was commended for their high level of expertise and outstanding performance supporting Barrios corporate office, and contracts with NASA’s International Space Station (ISS) Program, and the Boeing Company. Employees recognized included Cheryl Black, Sharon Ellinger, Rolando Garza, Elaine Hepburn, Watita Holt, Claudia Martelli, and Devin Vyain.

Cheryl Black was recently presented the Silver BEAR Award for her dedication and outstanding meeting support to the Joint American/Russian Safety Working Group (JARSWG) Technical Interchange Meeting (TIM) and Multilateral JARSWG (CCP) TIM. Black’s quality, timeliness, diligence, and willingness to go beyond expectations ensured the meetings progressed successfully.

Black’s nomination cited the NASA customer’s comments on her support during the meetings.

“Cheryl masterfully managed multiple schedules and agenda request conflicts for both TIMs and worked diligently to prevent any logistics hiccups to ensure successful meetings and detail protocol submission.”

The two TIMs had participants representing multiple disciplines including International Partners; Black used her organization and logistical planning skills to ensure that all individual needs were met while ensuring the success of the TIMs and appropriate content flow for the meetings.

Her knowledge of meeting services, proper processing of the export paperwork, and her professionalism helped overcome many logistical challenges that were invaluable in ensuring the TIM’s success. NASA OE Management noted, “Cheryl is always willing to help way beyond expectations during our Multilateral meetings going above the call of duty to ensure protocols are ready on time and helping with extra logistics for the meeting. She is such a value added employee and team member that often for our multilateral meetings she is the one requested because of her attention to detail and her quality of work as well as her professionalism and cheerful attitude during the meetings.”

Rolando Garza was recently presented with a Silver BEAR award for his outstanding leadership with the International Space Station's Integrated Communications Unit (ICU) Release 4 Formal Qualification Test (FQT) effort. Garza’s dedication and hard work contributed to a successful and ahead of schedule completion of the project.

As the lead of ICU FQT, Garza’s attention to detail created an environment for the team to focus on finding software issues. Because of this focus, problems were found early, and fixed before the final release of the software was delivered. Despite many challenges and technical obstacles, this highly complex software change verification was successfully completed, identifying several software discrepancies which only increased the quality of the software and helped to avoid the increased cost of finding problems later.

Garza’s knowledge and good judgment played were vital to the project. His technical input to the development of the software requirements helped to ensure testability for FQT. In addition, his communication skills, attention to detail, and thorough knowledge of processes and procedures helped to ensure both high quality and productivity for the ICU FQT team.

Through his leadership, he was required to find ways to increase the team’s productivity in order to meet schedule while still dealing with multiple software builds for verification. He worked tirelessly to set technical directions and priorities for the team. Boeing Management, Boeing Project Management, and the NASA customer have commended Garza and the team on a job well done.

Devin Vyain was recently presented a Silver BEAR Award for his role as a member of MAPI’s Manipulator Analysis, Graphics, and Interactive Kinematics (MAGIK) Team. Vyain has identified numerous ways to make the team more efficient via automation. His innovations and efficiencies have been instrumental in the team being able to take on an increased work load with the same number of people while keeping the team’s many customers happy with timely analysis.

Vyain was instrumental in coordinating and implementing the MAGIK Toolbox, a cross-platform application designed in the Python / PyQt development environment which allows MAGIK team users to interact via a GUI (Graphical User Interface) with a number of frequently used scripts and applications. In addition to making these frequently used items more easily accessible, the MAGIK Toolbox also provides users with the capability to be guided, step-by-step, through the essential tasks necessary to start a new analysis via the MAGIK Action Wizard.

Vyain assists both the MAGIK and stowage teams with their innovation endeavors while maintaining a high level of productivity working MAGIK action items. He has demonstrated an aptitude for coding that has allowed him to successfully develop tools that can increase both the quality and efficiency of the team’s he supports. He also takes the time to understand the team processes and is able to identify the areas that could benefit from efficiency tools then coordinates with the team for implementation.

The Barrios Human Resources (HR) Team was recently presented with a Silver BEAR award for their exceptional contribution to the transition of the Orion program workforce to the MAPI contract. Elaine Hepburn, Sharon Ellinger, Claudia Martelli, and Watita Holt secured the acceptance of 100 percent of the current workforce within 3 weeks of initiation of transition activities. The 4 person team successfully accelerated schedule for the transition of 31 Barrios employees while also working transition for the newly acquired JOIST (Joint Operations and Integrated System Technology) contract, working year end benefits as well as other routine daily HR tasks.

Their tireless efforts provided the NASA customer with a workforce ready to perform with no interruption in contract services. Barrios management received numerous comments from the customer regarding the efficiency of the transition. The Orion Program Manager, Mark Kirasich, stated that the transition was one of the most transparent and seamless transitions he has been involved in.

The team was flexible and helpful in developing a streamlined onboarding process and engaged with individual employees to extend offers, answer questions regarding our corporate culture, and solved issues for individuals using their expert advice resulting in a transition that met the accelerated schedule.

The entire HR team worked closely with the Orion project manager to communicate status, solve transition challenges, and to successfully execute and complete the successful transition.

The Barrios Employee Awards and Recognition or BEAR Award recognizes quality performance and outstanding support of customer and company goals. Up to one percent of the current number of employees can receive the Silver Award each quarter. Silver award winners automatically qualify for the annual Gold award which is presented at an annual awards and recognition reception.

Cheryl Black was presented with a Silver BEAR Award. Pictured from left: Robbie McAfoos, President, Barrios Technology; Black, Casetta Bailey, MAPI Meeting and Technical Writing Services Supervisor (nominator), Mark Polansky, MAPI Program Manager; and Keith Carley, MAPI ISS Program Services Manager.

Rolando Garza was recently presented with a Silver BEAR Award. Pictured from left: Frank Standa, Boeing Manager; Monique Smith, Barrios Manager; Garza; and Robbie McAfoos, President, Barrios Technology.

Devin Vyain was recently presented with a Silver BEAR Award. Pictured from left: Robbie McAfoos, President, Barrios Technology; Tony Garza,MAPI Supervisor; Vyain; Kelly Page, Manager MAPI; and Mark Polansky, MAPI Program Manager.

The Barrios corporate Human Resources team was recently presented with a Silver BEAR Award. Pictured from left: Watita Holt; Claudia Martelli; Robbie McAfoos, President, Barrios Technology; Sharon Ellinger; Elaine Hepburn, Director Human Resources, Barrios Technology; Mark Polansky, MAPI Program Manager; and Joe Aldape, Orion Project Manager.

About Us:

Headquartered in Houston, Barrios Technology is a woman-owned AS9100 certified engineering services company specializing in aerospace engineering & science, program planning & control, mission integration & operations, and software engineering & integration. Since 1980, Barrios has demonstrated their corporate mission to be the foremost small aerospace engineering services company providing extraordinary value to our customers, employees and communities. For more information on Barrios Technology, please call 281-280-1900 or visit

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