The Rome Defense Finance and Accounting Service, whose recent explosive growth has been a boon for the area, is getting a new director for the first time in nine years.
DFAS, a Virginia-based accounting arm of the federal Defense Department, announced that Aaron P. Gillison has been appointed site director for the Rome facility, effective Aug. 3.
He succeeds Roy Higgins, who has headed Rome DFAS for over nine years and was one of the original staffers when it was established at Griffiss park in 1995. Higgins will be assuming responsibilities in support of DFAS corporate initiatives.
Since early 2006, Rome DFAS employment at its Brooks Road site has nearly tripled from about 340 to about 980; Higgins said “we hope to crest 1,000 employees next month,” and could reach about 1,020 to complete the expansion. The massive growth resulted from the August 2005 decision by a federal commission for Rome to be one of just five remaining DFAS operating sites under a nationwide consolidation. The decision, a stunning reversal of a May 2005 Pentagon recommendation to close Rome DFAS, was a triumph for local officials who had lobbied to save the facility.
The change in local directors will serve to “broaden my experience…help more corporately,” Higgins commented of his new responsibilities. For DFAS staffers, such moves “help them personally to grow…to help the organization,” he added. A Floyd resident, he said it has not yet been determined whether he will remain at the Rome facility or be stationed elsewhere.
His successor, Gillison, currently is acting director for the DFAS site in Limestone, Maine, according to the DFAS web site. Gillison’s prior positions have included being director of the Finance Mission Area for Standards and Compliance, and director of Military Pay. He joined DFAS after a U.S. Army career that included various financial management positions. He has a Master of Business Administration degree from Indiana University, and a Master’s of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.
Higgins said he personally knows Gillison, describing him as a “people person” who will “do a marvelous job as the next Rome DFAS director.”
Higgins looked back warmly on his years in charge of the local site. His work at Rome DFAS has been “the most rewarding job I’ve ever had in my 27 years with the Department of Defense,” he commented. He praised the workforce, citing its “dedication to customers” and its interaction with him as “just outstanding.”
Overall, “I feel great about what I accomplished at Rome DFAS…building it up to 1,000 people,” Higgins noted.
Salary information for Gillison and Higgins was not immediately available.
Rome DFAS primarily offers specialized accounting functions in support of various Army segments. It has been designated as a “Center of Excellence” for Army field operations.
By DAVE GYMBURCH Staff writer (Rome Sentinel)
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