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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District News

Employee Spotlight- Joe Custer

Public Affairs Intern
Published Aug. 7, 2013
Joe Custer

Joe Custer

Current title: Operations Lake Manager – Lake Texoma

Lake Manager Joe Custer recently returned from a six-month stay in Washington D.C. as part of the Natural Resources Management Career Assignment Program. As part of the employee spotlight for this month, we caught up with Joe to gain some insight into his involvement in the program and his work for the people and communities around Lake Texoma.

Q: How long have you held your current position as Lake Manager?

A: I’ve been the lake manager of Lake Texoma since 2008.

Q: What has been the most rewarding aspect of your job?

A: Being able to work on a large project, being able to make a difference to the public and our customers and doing the things that I think enhance the recreation aspect and enhance the Texoma project for all of our users. So, it’s hard to pick out any one item that’s been the most rewarding, but I would say just being able to work on a large project and make a difference in the facilities and make a difference in the things that people enjoy using on Lake Texoma.

Q: What was your experience in Washington D.C. like? What work did you do?

A: It was very interesting work. The experience was great. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to go and work in our headquarters division and work on the national policies and initiatives within multiple business lines, recreational, environmental and sustainability. So it was a great experience. I was able to take my family with me so they were able to enjoy Washington D.C. and all of the history that comes with it. It definitely brought about a lot of new perspectives on the Corps at the headquarters level and the MSC (Major Subordinate Command) level that I don’t always get to see sitting in this particular chair where I’m at now.

Q: How do you feel you can use your time in D.C. to serve the people of Lake Texoma?

A: One of the big things that you gain from these trips like this is that you build relationships and you build camaraderie with people at different levels, at headquarters and MSC levels, and all of those things you bring back home... So it’s very interesting to be able to see and get that insight from that headquarters level and then bring that back home because you know where they are trying to get to with these different programs. So being able to bring back all that knowledge back home and apply that knowledge here is tremendous and I think it will serve Lake Texoma and will serve our customers tremendously in the long run.

Q: What are some of your interests outside of work?

A: Outside of work, my family is by far my biggest hobby. I have two young boys that are eight and ten years old, and they have both gotten very, very active in trap and skeet shooting and 4-H. Obviously I love the outdoors, to hunt and fish, and most of that time now is spent with those two young boys and bringing them up in that atmosphere. So I would say that’s probably my largest hobby right now.

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to add?

A: I would like to thank our leadership that I have in operations division and our commander for giving me the opportunity to be able to go to headquarters and do a career assignment like that. It’s tremendous knowledge that I gained, and I think it will definitely benefit and serve the Corps well.