From the Desk of Rob Hewell
It is with mixed emotions that I share news of my retirement from federal service on November 2. My 40 year stint with the GSA Public Buildings Service has been a truly remarkable experience. Along the way, I have had the honor of meeting and collaborating with so many dedicated public servants, both within GSA and across our partner federal agencies. Together we navigated the changing landscapes and associated challenges, shared some disappointments, and celebrated many successes. I have been inspired, every day, by your unwavering commitment to your missions and the public you serve. I have also developed many lifelong friendships for which I am most thankful.
As I look forward to this next chapter in my life, I do so with the utmost confidence in and respect for my successor. I hope you will join me in welcoming Joanna Rosato back to the GSA Mid-Atlantic Region. Joanna grew up in our organization and once served as Director of our Service Centers. She is returning as the new PBS Regional Commissioner as of November 4. You can read more about Joanna, and her recent work in GSA’s Northeast and Caribbean Region, in this edition of Focus.
One of the most rewarding parts of my career has been experiencing the successful delivery of facilities that I know will help the federal government best serve the American people. In this edition of Focus, you’ll read about the opening of the new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ District Office in West Philadelphia. The sustainable building, which features solar panels, shading systems, rainwater recycling, and a rooftop park, will serve as a gateway to America for thousands of immigrants. You’ll also learn about the completion of a new Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Norfolk Field Office in Chesapeake, VA, that is helping FBI deliver its mission through a dedicated command center for emergency response.
As I reflect on my tenure with GSA, I realize that it was the most challenging times that presented the greatest opportunities for collaboration across federal government. This edition of Focus includes examples of such collaboration, transcending government organizational lines to achieve common goals. You’ll read about GSA’s Sustainable Facilities Tool (SFTool), an online resource that supports decision-making regarding sustainable building principles, materials, and systems. SFTool empowers users across the federal government to identify and prioritize cost-effective design and procurement options to make office buildings and workplaces more sustainable. You’ll also learn about GSA’s new Total Workplace initiative, designed to help federal executive branch agencies save money and increase productivity by providing resources and expertise to help agencies reduce office space, improve space utilization, foster collaboration, cut spending on information technology, and increase energy efficiency. We also highlight GSA’s Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative for Print Management, which enables your agency to purchase discounted printing equipment, manage imaging fleets under a single contract, and reduce your environmental footprint through sustainable device features.
I am preparing this final column during a very important season—the annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). This edition includes a feature on CFC and the generosity of federal employees who unite to help those in need and improve our communities both locally and around the world. After all, this is really what civil service is all about.
As I close this chapter of my life, please know that you will not find a stronger advocate for the devoted, innovative civil servants who continue to carry on the important work of our federal community. I treasure the camaraderie we’ve shared and I wish you a happy, healthy future.
Mid-Atlantic Region, Public Buildings Service