Pasco native Armijo to lead Hanford's prime contractor

Pasco native Frank Armijo has been named the new president of Mission Support Alliance, the Department of Energy prime contractor in charge of support services at the Hanford nuclear reservation.

He replaces Frank Figueroa, who announced Monday that he plans to retire. Figueroa will step down as president and general manager of Mission Support Alliance June 1. He will transition to retirement from Lockheed Martin about Aug. 1.

DOE still has to approve the change, but Armijo knows the community, knows the work force and is familiar with Mission Support Alliance's contract obligations and bid, said Dave Brockman, manager of the Hanford DOE Richland Operations Office.

"And he has unbelievable pullback into (Lockheed) corporate," which will be a benefit, Brockman said.

Mission Support Alliance, a team led by Lockheed Martin, took over work on the 10-year, $3 billion DOE contract at Hanford in August. It employs about 2,000 workers to provide services to DOE and other Hanford contractors.

The contract covers Hanford site services such as safety, security and environment, site infrastruction and utilities, site business management, information resources and content management and portfolio management.

"I am excited about this," Armijo said. He'll be continuing to champion services that enhance environmental cleanup at Hanford, he said.

He'll also focus on implementing Mission Support Alliances's Integrated Safety Management System by the end of the year. All new Hanford contractors are required to have an approved safety management system.

Armijo has served in leadership roles with Lockheed Martin for 15 years, most recently maintaining a Tri-City home and commuting to Maryland since December to serve as vice president of the Energy and Environment Group in Lockheed Martin's Information Systems and Global Services business area. Previously he was the Lockheed Martin program director for the Richland organization, leading a team that provided information resource management for DOE and other federal and commercial clients.

Armijo is known for his civic leadership, and was named the 2006 Tri-Citian of the Year. The son of migrant farm workers, he was the first in his family to attend college, and has been a strong supporter of Tri-City education programs.

He helped found the Hispanic Academic Achievers Program in 1990 and also helped found the Reading Foundation. He also was a founding member of Leadership Tri-Cities.

He has served on the board of trustees for Columbia Basin College, which he attended. He also was instrumental in obtaining the Washington Legislature's approval for a plan to expand Washington State University Tri-Cities.

He has a bachelor's degree in management information systems from Eastern Washington University and also has completed executive courses at MIT Sloan School of Management, Stanford University, Emory University and Carnegie Mellon.

Figueroa had planned to retire two years after the Hanford site services contract was awarded, which originally was October 2007. That puts him almost a year past his original plan, and he is "ready to move on to the next phase of my life's journey," he said in a message to employees Monday.

"This assignment has been the highlight of my career, especially when I consider the importance of our Hanford mission and the incredibly talented people I have had the honor to lead," he said.

As Mission Support Alliance won the contract, Hanford received $1.96 billion in federal stimulus money, dramatically increasing cleanup work at the nuclear reservation. Mission Support Alliance didn't receive money directly but had to gear up to provide increased site services, including training and information technology.

Figueroa took on that extra work and did a good job, Brockman said. "We really appreciate all the work he did."

-- Annette Cary: 582-1533;