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Schmidt named to head DeCA Washington Office

FORT LEE, Va. (October 4, 2016) – Robin Schmidt, the Defense Commissary Agency's Zone 24 manager, has been assigned as director of DeCA's Washington Office, effective Oct. 16, agency officials announced.

Schmidt succeeds Thomas C. Owens, who has been reassigned as special assistant to the DeCA director, but will also serve as communications lead for the agency's Transformation Office headed by Chris Burns. Owens' assignment is effective Oct. 30.

Troy Collins, store director at Fort Belvoir Commissary, Virginia, will be acting manager of Zone 24 until a permanent manager is selected.

As director of the Washington Office, Schmidt serves as DeCA's liaison to a wide variety of organizations, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the chiefs of the uniformed services, Congress, trade associations and other governmental activities.

She will also advise the DeCA director and staff on all congressional and Department of Defense issues related to commissary resale policies and operations, and articulates DeCA's positions on issues during DOD meetings, study groups and special task forces held in the Washington, D.C., area.

"I have every confidence that Robin will handle the tremendous responsibilities of being chief of our Washington Office with the foresight and professionalism that have marked her DeCA career," said DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu. "Her extensive knowledge of what it takes to deliver the commissary benefit, accompanied by her Washington experience gained through a previous developmental assignment with the Department of Defense Resale Office will be of immeasurable value to the agency as we navigate through our transformation."

Schmidt has served as Zone 24 manager since 2011, with responsibility for seven stores located in Virginia, Maryland and Puerto Rico, which produced more than $300 million in sales. Prior to that, she was DeCA's liaison as a senior fellow at the Department of Defense Resale Office from 2009 to 2011.

Schmidt has previously served in a variety of agency store management positions with over 24 years of service as a zone manager and store director.

Owens had been director of the Washington Office since January 2013. In his new assignment as special assistant to the DeCA director, he will work areas ranging from transformation communication to executive briefings for Congress and DOD.

"Tom has proven experience as a high-level facilitator, and the agency will require his particular talents and knowledge to respond effectively to DOD and congressional-level queries that transcend the normal workflow of the Washington Office," Jeu said. "He will also continue to support Chris Burns as his chief communications lead on transformation issues."

Before being selected to head the Washington Office, Owens served as chief of the agency's business requirements division. His assignment to that position was part of a series of revisions to DeCA headquarters' organization that became official in October 2012. The activation of the requirements division helped match the business end of the commissary benefit with the information technology systems needed to support it.

Owens' commissary career began with the Army Troop Support Agency as a merchandising clerk at TSA's Northeast Commissary Region in 1984. Over the breadth of his 32-year commissary career, he has served in a variety of store- and management-level positions.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. By shopping regularly in the commissary, patrons save thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America's military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

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