The classroom of the newly dedicated Cliff Cichowlaz Training and Learning Center was filled with friends and family of Cichowlaz who suddenly passed away in March of this year.
The building was dedicated in his honor for the countless years of mentoring and dedication he gave to so many people who have worked and continue to work for SOC (formerly Day & Zimmerman).
Cichowlaz began his career in 1971 with Day Zimmerman Basil Corp. in the engineering department of the Hawthorne Army Ammunition Plant. Through years of hard work, when offered the position of General Manager in 1994, he took the opportunity to continue to education those under this authority.
For 21 years, Cichowlaz pushed his employees to not settle for less than what they deserved. He told them to strive for a higher education and to get out of their comfort zone. Something he did after retiring from Day Zimmerman/SOC in January of 2015 when he became a county manager.
Speaking on behalf of her family, Shannon Townsend, daughter of Cichowlaz, compared her late father to that of the building that now bears his name.
When giving a brief glance to the building, one would think that it is only mortar and brick, but underlying is the foundation that holds the hold building together and upright. Cichowlaz was that person to his family and at times, to his base family.
Clearly emotional from the loss of her father, she spoke of how Cichowlaz would worry about each of his employees at night, a side that many never saw of the late leader.
Outside the doors of the building, above the door is a bronze plaque bearing Cichowlaz’s image which reads, “Cliff Cichowlaz Training and Learning Center, Dedicated June 30, 2016 In Memory of a Hero, Mentor, Friend, and 44 Years of Leadership @ Hawthorne Army Depot Day & Zimmerman/SOC Nevada LLC 1971-2015”.
The building will continue to be used for training classes offered by the depot. The first being an Ammo Ops class where two of the participants earned a 100 percent, a feat that would have impressed even Cichowlaz himself.
The bottom of the plaque quotes the former county commissioner himself, “Be Brief Be Bright Be Gone.”