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10/13/2017 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/13/2017 06:53

Taxpayers and warfighters reaping benefits from a unique mother - son rivalry at DLA Aviation

By Leon Moore | DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office | October 13, 2017

Richmond, Va --

At some point in your life, you've heard the catch phrases sibling rivalry, cross-town rivalry or in-state rivalry. All meaning some fierce competition between two entities, whether it be individuals, sports teams or brother and sister. But at Defense Logistics Agency Aviation on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, there is a heartwarming and bittersweet rivalry going on. One that involves literally hundreds of purchase requests and a whole lot of love.

First, in this corner, the mother, Konni Small. She's a contracting officer within DLA Aviation's Supplier Operations Commodities Directorate's Aviation Engines and Airframes Division. She got her start at DLA Aviation in 2011 through the then Student Career Experience Program.

And in the other corner, we have the son, Andrew Alverson. He got his start at DLA Aviation in 2015 through the Pathways to Career Excellence Program. He's now an acquisition specialist in the same directorate as his mother, but works next door in the Electrical Components and Cables Division.

This mother-son duo are now engaged in a competition to see who can award the most purchase requisitions. During the month of August alone, they were responsible for more than 200 PRs. Small awarded 103 for helicopter and airplane engine and airframe components, Alverson 100 for electrical components.

'I've told him, you know son, the world is your oyster. You can go get anything. He listens, he pays attention and he executes. That's what I want to see,' said Small.

Jeff Shields, division chief, Aviation Engines and Airframes Division says having this mother-son rivalry is a win-win situation and embodies DLA core values of warfighter first, process excellence and financial stewardship.

'Konni is a great buyer who is always trying to exceed the high standards she sets for herself. But for Konni, she is also trying to exceed the standards her son is setting as well! Together, they are a wonderful package deal for DLA Aviation,' said Shields.

While Small is appreciative of these kind words, she gives her son all the credit. 'He's paid attention. He has a good head on his shoulders. He's a great husband, a great father and an amazing son.'

Here's something you should also know. Andrew is not Konni's biological son. She adopted him and his brother Alex after her best friend and Andrew's mother, Tiffany, lost her battle with breast cancer close to 12 years ago.

'He doesn't know a world without me and I can't remember my world without him,' said Small.

Small says while she had two children of her own, it was a natural instinct for her to take the brothers into her home after their mom's death.

'I made a solemn vow to Tiffany on her death bed that I would always, always look out for her children and I have kept my end of that bargain,' said Small.

Alverson was 16 when his mother died. 'It took me a number of years to complete the grieving process. I will always love her. She will always be in my memory,' he said.

'The great thing is that not only does a part of her live on in me and my brother, but a part of her lives on in Konni as well.'

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. It's the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, and the second leading cause of cancer death among women.

To learn more, go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation website.