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Louisville bids adieu to the Beckhams

Published Dec. 15, 2016

A combined 78 years of experience will walk out of the Louisville District in January as project managers and power-duo Glen and Theresa Beckham depart for sunny California. Glen, who is retiring after 41 years of federal service is packing up to follow Theresa to her new job as a project manager leading a mega-project for the Corps of Engineers’ Sacramento District.

“Glen and Theresa are dedicated public servants who have represented the district and the Corps well over their careers,” said Sharon Bond, chief, Planning Branch. “They have been a vital part of our Project Management Division and the Louisville District family and will be missed. We wish them well as Theresa transitions into her new role as Project Manager on the Folsom Dam mega-project and Glen enjoys the well-deserved benefits of retirement.”

Glen who has been with the Louisville District his entire career spent his first 25 years in the district’s Planning Division. There he developed computer models and performed the economic analyses that helped to justify the construction of Olmsted and McAlpine Locks and Dams. He developed a simulation model to justify the gate lifter crane at McAlpine Locks and Dam, which earned him a number of awards for his efforts. He also led the planning team that set the Corps’ national record for the shortest amount of time to investigate and remediate an emergency streambank stabilization problem.

The most recent 16 years of his career have been spent in the environmental section of the military branch as the program manager for the Installation Restoration Program (IRP) which included management of the Ravenna Army Ammunition Plant in Ravenna, Ohio.

“I focused on building and restoring relationships between the Army customers and the Ohio EPA,” said Beckham.

Under Glen’s leadership Ravenna and the IRP program thrived and grew in the Louisville District from a less than $1 million per year program to a record high of approximately $24 million in 2010. For this, Glen won the Louisville District Project Manager of the Year award and the Distinguished Civilian Award from the Governor of Ohio at the recommendation of the Adjutant General of Ohio.

As he reflects on his career, Glen says he will truly miss all of the people he has worked with along the way. “I’ve been here so long because I always enjoy the people I work with,” said Glen. “Together we’ve experienced a lot of challenges. We always work hard and have fun together. It’s been a great team experience.”

Theresa’s dedication to the team has been no different as she has spent 37 years in the district working primarily as a senior planner and project manager in Planning, Programs, and Project Management Division overseeing civil works projects including Little Duck Creek; environmental infrastructure projects; and levee rehabilitation projects such as the Russell Allison-Ambraw, Brevoort, Wabash Levee Unit No. 5, and Paducah levees in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky.

One of her most notable achievements was receiving the Planning Excellence Award as the lead planner and project manager for the Ohio River Shoreline, Paducah, Kentucky, Flood Risk Management Reconstruction Project—one of the nation’s first reconstruction projects. Her efforts ultimately led to Congressional authorization for reconstruction of the project, which has served as a resource for subsequent agency decisions.

Currently, Theresa serves as the project manager for the Michigan FUDS Projects in the environmental support section.

“I have learned so much while working in the Louisville District. I will greatly miss the people and the relationships we’ve built,” said Theresa. “I thank the many, many people whose paths have met with mine throughout my years at the Corps. It has truly been an awesome experience.”

Now though Theresa is looking to the future as she will be jumping right in as the project manager at Sacramento District’s Mega-Project Center in the Joint Federal Project Office, coordinating the efforts of four different agencies on the Folsom Dam Raise Project. “I’m looking forward to the growth opportunity and the challenge of working with the various agencies,” said Beckham “and the sunny weather is a perk, too,” she said.

Her partner in crime will be living up his retirement and plans to soak up the sunny climate. “I hope to thoroughly enjoy the outdoors and spend time mountain biking, fly fishing, and kayaking,” said Glen. “Also I’ve been a beekeeper for a while, so I would like to continue doing that – maybe even work with a commercial bee company.”

No matter which mountain bike trails he is led down Glen has one non-negotiable item on his agenda—having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich waiting for Theresa when she gets home from work. “He’s promised he will do that for me,” said Theresa, kiddingly. Glen joked, “Can I warm your slippers, too?”

Everyone agrees the Beckhams will leave a sizeable hole in the hearts of the Louisville District upon their departure.  

“Everyone had such mixed emotions when the news spread about their departures,” said David Dierken,   chief, environmental support section. “Of course we are so happy with Theresa’s promotion and Glen’s retirement, however; we won’t have their company at work anymore.  We will miss our friends dearly.” 

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