Ellsworth's secretaries: keeping the machine moving

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Anania Tekurio
  • 28 Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Behind every Ellsworth commander stands a great secretary who makes it possible for them to lead their Airmen efficiently.

From organizing the calendars of group and wing commanders to keeping leadership on track with no-notice appointments and schedule changes this vital cadre work hard daily to keep their commanders and Airmen mission ready.

Nelda Barrientes, secretary for the 28th Medical Group, has been working with the group for two years. Her daily tasks consist of assisting the group commander, clinic administrator and group superintendent with their administrative duties. In addition to this a myriad of other tasks, Barrientes reviews, edits and coordinates incoming and outgoing documents including enlisted and officer performance reports.

"I also schedule appointments for the commander and arrange TDY (temporary duty) travel," said Barrientes. "With the commanders having so much to do and concentrate on, it is fulfilling to know that I am able to help organize commanders tasks and get them to where they need to be when they need to be there."

Col. Susan Pietrykowski, 28th MDG commander, has worked alongside Barrientes for almost a year. She said she can't imagine the MDG without her.

"Nelda is truly a force multiplier," said Pietrykowski. "She efficiently makes sure I'm at the right place at the right time, and facilitates taskers to ensure the MDG meets wing and Air Combat Command suspenses."

Marian Tolley, secretary for the 28th Bomb Wing commander since November 1999, not only plays a vital role in managing the calendars for the wing's top two leaders, but is without question the person people turn to for all the ins and outs of how Ellsworth operates.

Tolley said one of the most important things she has learned over time is that coordinating a multitude of projects isn't a one-man job, rather it's a group effort that's accomplished with the help of all the group and squadron secretaries. She added that one of the best things she has garnered from her job is the opportunity to meet and learn about a vast array of Airmen from all walks of life.

"The Airmen and wide range of people are what motivate me to come to work," said Tolley, who has also worked as a flight, squadron and group secretary. "The office staff I work with on a daily basis are amazing individuals and make it so easy to come to work and feel good about what I do."