TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — If a program at Travis Air Force Base, California, is helping people, Emily Haley probably has a hand in it or knows about it.
Haley, 60th Air Mobility Wing community support coordinator, works with so many intertwining base agencies that it’s difficult to know where one ends and another begins.
If that sounds like a lot to manage, it is. But Haley is equal to the task.
“My job is stressful, but most of the time, it’s good stress. Every program that I have is a positive program,” she said.
Her desk is packed with neatly stacked piles of papers and three-ring binders, each representing a different program. Her office also is warm and friendly, with fish swimming in tanks, a bowl of candy on a conference table for visitors and a couch in the corner.
The welcoming atmosphere is an extension of her personality, as Lt. Col. Michael Tiemann, 60th AMW director of staff, can attest. Tiemann said a recent half-hour training session turned into a 90-minute seminar because of Haley’s friendliness.
“She has pillows on her couch when you walk in,” said Tiemann. “It just feels like home. It’s one of the most welcoming places to be.”
Don’t be deceived by the comfy confines, though. Haley’s work aims to better the lives of Airmen, civilians, dependents, retirees and more.
Her work calls on her to be the executive director of the Community Action Information Board, which brings wing leadership together to discuss issues facing Airmen and the Travis community. She’s the installation chairwoman of the Integrated Delivery System, which brings base organizations together to solve problems.
She has an instrumental role in the Leadership Pathways program, which provides classes for Airmen; the Installation Resilience Program, which helps boost resilience and teach people coping skills; the base’s diversity program, which looks across the work force at people’s skill sets, education levels and more; leadership coaching and more.
Her giving spirit doesn’t end when she clocks out, either. When she’s not at work, she’s helping in the local community, serving as a court appointed Special Advocate of Solano County to a Solano County teen, serving as a member of the Airlift Tanker Association and raising money for youth scholarships and other philanthropical ventures.
“I love helping people,” she said. “It’s nice because I pretty much know what each helping agency is doing, what they have. When people ask me, ‘Who would be the best person to talk to for that?’ I can connect people.”
A self-described “Air Force brat,” Haley earned her Bachelor of Science in criminal justice in 2009 and Master of Arts in human services and marriage and family counseling in 2010, both from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Both times, she graduated magna cum laude.
Haley came to Travis in 2013 after a stint at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, where she managed more than 300 cases for the Exceptional Family Member Program. As a Feds Feed Families campaign volunteer, she helped raise more than 1,000 pounds of food for military families.
At Travis, she became the base’s first full-time sexual assault victim advocate, helping more than 40 individuals. During her time, reporting increased 86 percent. She also mentored 26 new volunteer victim advocates.
Haley is finding new horizons and new ways to improve the lives of Airmen, civilians, retirees, dependents and others in the Travis community, too. She recently elevated a discussion about the lack of child care on base to the major command level. She’s worked with Operation Combat PTSD and a local nonprofit named the 10-33 Foundation to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and help for family members of those diagnosed with it, as well.
Haley was nominated last year by the acting vice wing commander and hand-selected by Air Force Personnel Center to attend the Air Force Civilian Acculturation Leadership Program to hone her skills – less than 1 percent of the Air Force civilian population is selected for the course.
She represented Travis at a discussion with Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody.
For these reasons and others, she earned 2015 Category II Civilian of the Quarter honors for April to June in each of the past two years. Additionally, she is Air Mobility Command’s nominee for the 2017 National Public Service Award.
What may be most telling is this is just scratching the surface. Through all of her work, including studies about her own personality and emotional intelligence, Haley has learned a lot about others, but about herself, as well.
“Apparently, I really, really love people,” she said with a laugh. “My passion is people and let’s just say that showed up in all of my course work. … I’d be one of those people who would stand on the corner with a ‘free hugs’ sign. That’s how I am.”
Tiemann said that spirit is unmistakable.
“She’s exactly what the wing needs,” said Tiemann. “She is going to bring awareness in a positive way that Airmen at all levels can relate to regarding all the different helping organizations from personal to professional to family issues. … She’s so easy to talk to. She’s so knowledgeable, so committed and just so well-equipped to put together all the different aspects of what this wing does.”