Claude Nelji is Chugach’s newest service order supervisor. In an office hugging the lagoon near the Small Boat Marina, he tracks an array of departmental activities, from materials purchases and deliveries to HAZMAT and safety record keeping for the Public Works Department’s Construction Shop. He’s the point man for assigning labor crews to tackle work orders across the island, and he coordinates with facility managers to ensure those work orders are completed to those managers’ requirements. With his hands at the helm of the second-largest government property account on the island, Nelji carries a considerable amount of responsibility.

He didn’t reach his current position by accident, said Construction Shop Superintendent Don Ryan.

A Public Works employee for the past five years, Nelji was recently promoted to his new position after department managers noticed the integrity, hard work and dependability he injected into the team, especially when his supervisors were off island. Successfully filling that leadership vacuum was crucial to enabling his department to move forward with its mission, Ryan said.

“Nelji has dedicated himself to becoming the next supervisor and has proven to me and my boss that he has the knowledge of the duties, the moxie to lead the workforce without fear of repercussions and the computer skills to keep up with the work,” Ryan stated.” Each time one of our supervisors would go on leave, the amount of service orders dropped dramatically, and the crews’ moral increased. The crews worked harder and produced more work, all of which is the sign of Nelji being a great leader.”

Nelji’s promotion is also special in that he’s only one of a handful of RMI supervisors on the garrison, Ryan said: “It’s a big deal. Promotions like this can happen.”