Thoughts and memories of colleagues and friends
Tim was family to me. I claimed him as one of my GSA dads and he accepted. He
encouraged me to get things done without worrying about it being perfect. He
checked in with me to see if I needed anything. He teased me every chance he got.
Even after he retired, he called me to say that he saw the Hoffman Courthouse on the
news and that I needed to get the facade cleaned. He would chat me and tell me to
get to work. He was always there for me. I will miss him dearly.
Tim was my mentor and my friend. My most fond memory was
introducing him to Tudor’s Biscuit World (Tim liked to eat!). I will miss
you dearly Tim, but I carry some of the best memories. I also have a lot
of fun stories I can tell! I learned a lot from you, boss, and I am forever
grateful for knowing you. Here’s a RON for you, Tim!
— David France
Tim’s retirement email on June 18, 2018…
After 46 years with the federal government I have decided it is time to move on and start
the next phase of my life. During my career at the GSA I have been given many
wonderful opportunities, teamed with some of the most dedicated people and created
some lifelong relationships.
I have been given the opportunity to lead every field office in R3 except Philadelphia FO
( Billy wouldn’t let me), Be a part of 2 presidential transitions and act as Director of the
White House Service Center. What experiences I have to share! The best memories
come from all the people (friends) that I have worked with through out the years. What a
bunch of fond memories.
Enough of this, time for y’all to get back to work.
Tim Hile, Field Office Manager, Emeritus
I knew Tim for over 25 years. Even Though lately we didn’t have a project
together but we kept in touch. Especially lately when he got sick. I visited
him in the hospital last Sunday when he was on life support. I lost a good
Tim Hile represented everything that is good about Federal Service. He was as
significant a figure in Region 3’s Property Management history as there has ever been,
a Legend. I met Tim in 2004 and have never met anyone like him before or after. I was
fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him in a variety of capacities and
teams up until his retirement, including visiting him at the White House during his time
there. Despite our age gap he became a close friend, confidant, and most significantly
for me a TRUE mentor that pushed me in my Property Management career. May God
Bless his Soul and may he Rest in Peace. Your legacy and those that you impacted will
live on forever.
— Billy Stroumbaras
Tim was a wonderful boss and a true friend. He always provided
encouragement despite the situation and a joke as well. When I was dealing
with personal issues he always provided kind words in a soft voice. I really
enjoyed working with Tim because he had confidence in me handling
whatever he sent my way. His “Get to Work” chat’s or sign off at the end of
a call always made me smile. He was a beloved person in our Richmond
office and will be truly missed by me.
I worked for Tim a number of years (while he served in several roles) and remember him
as someone who would push you hard but wanted you to succeed when doing so. I
remember his morning calls as my Field Office Manager to tell me, “William, the acorns
are bad on Clay St. Why aren’t you here?” To which I would tell him, in most cases, “it’s
6:30 in the morning; I’m en route” and he’d follow with “Well, take care of it … get to
work.” As many have shared, he was a great resource and was a big believer in his
people. I learned a lot from Tim and there are times, to this day, while walking between
buildings my brain will flash back to some of those phone calls and talks we had. He was
a good person and so sad to hear he is gone. He certainly will not be forgotten. God
bless you, Tim.
— William Blandford
Although I was away from GSA and Region 3 for a number of years, Tim and
I kept up with one another. Tim always had a big smile on his face and
loved to tease all of us. When we worked together, he taught me the
importance of building relationships and following through as promised not
only with internal and external customers, but with personal relationships as
well. I am so happy I got to spend some time with him at his retirement
party a couple years ago…this is the last time I saw him in person. We
talked about wine, food, travels as well as reminisced about the good ole
days. Tim and I were a couple of the last ones standing that night, talking
until the wee hours of the morning. For that, I will be forever grateful. Tim,
I will miss our conversations and you calling me Bernie! You were the ONLY
person who could get away with it. Rest in peace, my friend, until we meet
Cheers ~Bernadette Nocella aka “Bernie only to Hile”
I met Tim when I came on board with GSA as a
Planner/Estimator in 1987. He was a Building
Management intern. A long haired, skinny,
chain-smoking, 36-year-old intern who was just
learning the ropes of building management. I
guess he figured out a few things along the way,
as his career accomplishments and reputation
will attest. We would work together for the next
25 years until my 2012 retirement, but he was
still my friend until the end.
Whatever he did, he did with an energy and a
drive that I wish I could have matched. He
seldom sat still and was always involved in
something at work or in his private life. He ran
a Chinese restaurant when his friends, the
owners, went on vacation. He ran the Norfolk Greek Festival one year even though he
wasn’t Greek. If someone or some organization needed a helping hand, Tim was there.
When I became the Richmond Field Office Manager, I knew I could always count on Tim
to hold down the fort in Norfolk. I never really had to manage him (who could?). I just
got out of his way.
Since he made such a
strong impression on the
best and brightest young
people in GSA, I’m sure
there will be Tim Hile
stories being told for a
long, long time. He is a
legend who gave his best
to GSA and his friends.
Rest easy, my friend.
I don’t even know where to start. When I made the leap in 2014
from Leasing in NCR to FOM in Charleston, WV, Tim held my hand
every step of the way. He was my first call in the morning and my
last call of the evening. Tim was a huge mentor to me, and I can
honestly say, I could not have made that transition in 2014 without
him. I had a lot to learn, and he had plenty to teach, and I know I
barely scratched the surface of his amazing wealth of knowledge,
but he gave me the confidence to make some very difficult
decisions because I trusted his word. Tim was salt of the earth.
My biggest regret is not telling him how great he was or how much
he meant to me before he passed. Tim, you will be missed!!
I loved working with Tim. As reliable,
dependable, and effective as you could want
in a building manager. And he really knew
his way around the procurement game as
well which impressed me a great deal. No
doubt about it, having guys like Tim and
Tony down there made it very easy for me.
His job was, and probably still is, the most
difficult one we had in PBS. I don’t have to
tell you that, of course. Tim made it look
easy. I always felt things were always in
control in that field office and that was a big
load off my mind.
Aside from all that he was just a very, very nice guy. He deserved many
more years of retirement as a reward for the service he gave to our agency
and this country.
Tim Hile, believed in me, mentored me, allowed me to grow, corrected me, pranked me,
made me laugh because of all of this, I will truly miss him. One of my fondest memories
with Tim is when he would come in the morning and come by my cube and tell me to
walk with him to get some coffee then we get back and he tells me you need to get to
work. The conversations during those times I will always remember.
— Lee Richmond Field Office 2011
One of my first projects after joining GSA was with Tim when he was in that big corner
office in Norfolk. We worked together throughout the years and really got to know each
other in 2008 during the Presidential Transition. Tim loved to work – he once took 2 weeks
of annual to work in a friends restaurant! His work ethic showed while in DC being the first
in and one of the last to leave. He was a great presence and made everyone around him give
just a little bit more; all while having a good time. Tim loved to joke around and when he
did I liked to remind him that he drove with two feet (he really did). Not too many people
make an impact on an organization the way Tim did. Rest in Peace my friend.
In 1999 I met Tim while I was the CM for
the Norfolk Customhouse. I was, at the
time, not in GSA but would soon be hired
into the Norfolk office where Tim became
my supervisor. He was a great boss and
became a good friend. During the
recruiting process for ARRA in 2008 I
applied for one of the SME positions. It was
announced that I had accepted but I hadn’t
been told so when Tim came to me and
asked if I had applied for a job without
telling him. I had a good laugh as in the
private sector you don’t tell your boss you
were looking for a job but in GSA it was just
something you did. He will be missed and
my heart reaches out to his family.
–Mike Sullivan CO (but former R3 team member).
Tim had one of the most diverse careers in GSA that I know of. He was always ready to
step in where needed, and distinguished himself on multiple occasions as a member of
the Presidential Transition Team. He also knew the region better than anyone else. He
fought hard for the people he managed. And he had fun. I was saddened to hear that he
did not also get to enjoy a long and satisfying retirement. – John Calhoun
Working with Tim was always a pleasure. He always stepped up when GSA was most
–Michael Gelber, R2
Tim seemed more like an uncle to me than a boss. He was down-to-earth and loved
to joke around. I enjoyed his time in the Pittsburgh Field Office. He loved the dill
pickle popcorn that we have at one of our local popcorn shops. I remember him
turning his nose to it at first, until he tried it. It was love at first bite! Every time
he visited Pittsburgh, he’d make a dill pickle popcorn run!. He truly will be missed.
I first met Tim when I was in the
intern program in the 90’s while
becoming a contracting officer. He
was my first real contact with the field
office. Let me tell you, he seemed so
intimidating over the phone barking
orders…LOL Boy he was not
intimidating at all. He was smart,
BOLD, caring and had a great sense
of humor. He became a mentor and a
friend to me for many years. He was
my sounding board for many career
decisions and personal decisions.
We shared many nights of dinner, wine and conversations. Every time I traveled to his
area it was unspoken, but I knew every night I was there Tim would make time to go to
dinner. He went out of his way when we traveled to make us feel welcomed. He was
a person that I loved and admired for many years. When I was pregnant in the intern
program we were working on the Custom House renovation, he threw a hat on me and
had someone take a picture. Always a joker, until I see you again….
I had the pleasure of working with Tim during the 2008 Presidential Transition. To say
he was the heart and soul of the facilities team is an understatement. He was the
first one in the office and oftentimes the last to leave (if he even did leave). We
worked long hours, 7 days a week, under challenging circumstances and short
deadlines, but I never saw it get to Tim. He was all work, nonstop energy, always
finding solutions, jumping in and getting his hands dirty, and his attitude and
temperament was always positive, he was never frazzled and that rubbed off on all of
us. In addition to that, he was a great mentor to me and many others on the team.
He listened well and offered sage advice. I learned a hell of alot working alongside
Tim and I am happy we continued our friendship for years after that whenever he
came up to DC for additional work assignments. I am terribly sad to hear that Tim has
left us. Chop chop, get ‘er done… I’m gonna miss ya you turkey!
In 1999 I had the opportunity to work with Tim in the Norfolk FO. My
rotation lasted through the end of that calendar year. I remember that on
Thanksgiving that year I did not drive home and I thought I may be having
dinner alone. Tim Hile knew this and invited me with his family for
Thanksgiving. I’ll always remember him for that kindness. Mike Riviello
As I was reading through this tribute to Tim it dawned on me that I may
have some photos from my time working in the Norfolk office. Unfortunately,
this was all I could come up with. It’s poor quality, but demonstrates the
lighthearted and comical atmosphere that Tim fostered among his staff. We
would each leave subtle jokes or pictures around the office and wait for one
another to find them. Tim was great for hiding neglected PIV cards, giving
employees new nicknames, and storming around the office interjecting
sudden bursts of senseless comedic relief. But, he also asked hard questions,
expected straight answers, and set the standard for hard work. Being part of
Tim’s field office was fun, but working for Tim was a pleasure.
He had a real presence with people; I watched him completely own the moment with
‘President-Elect’ Obama in 2008 and again in 2012 with Senator ‘candidate’
Romney’s Chief of Staff Governor Mike Levitt.
–Darren Blue, NCR
As mentioned by Joanna, Tim left his mark
on other field offices as well. In 2015, he
helped me out by agreeing to hold the fort
down in Pittsburgh and act as the field office
manager. I originally told him it would be 2
months but it ended up being 8 months. Tim
agreed to drive from VA Beach to Pittsburgh
and back (900 miles) many times throughout
these 8 months. After his first drive, Tim
called me and asked when I would be getting
him a GOH. I asked him to clarify what
“GOH” was. He said his government
operated helicopter. Tim sent me an article
that highlighted Region 9 getting involved in
Aircraft Disposal Sales and told me I should
contact my peer in R9. I sent him this photo
and told Tim that my peer offered me this real cheap. Tim said throw in some bubble
wrap that I can wear when it snows and you got a deal. Tim made work fun by
constantly joking in this manner while he always looked for serious ways to improve
things. He was extremely conscientious, hard working and he ran a tight ship. I am
very fortunate to have gotten to work closely with Tim, enjoyed many dinners and red
wine together (after hours). You will be missed my friend.
I was very saddened to hear about Tim’s passing, he’s one of those guys
you’d expect to live to 110.
When I think of Tim it reminds me of the George Carlin quote:“Life’s journey
is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to
skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “Holy Sh*t, what a ride”!!
You could never tell Tim that he couldn’t do anything. He would find any
creative way possible to please (heck, thrill) his customers even though it
would make “by the books” guys like me squirm…
May God Bless him!
While I did not have the privilege of working with Tim as long as others have, I was
lucky in that I was able to work with/for Tim in one of his many orbits around the field
office/organization. I always appreciated that he said what he meant, which sounds
simple but is rare, and was direct- yet also, kind. He had a great sense of humor and
always made me laugh. He was a wealth of knowledge and someone whose opinion
and experience that I greatly trusted. Rest in peace, Tim, you will be missed.
I met Tim early in my career when he was our acting Field Office Manager in DelVal and
I was still a fairly new building manager at Boggs. He made a point to get out and visit
all of us on site in our buildings and tour every nook and cranny to see how things were
getting done. As many others have noted, I remember most the excitement he had
about walking the buildings and greeting the people and sharing that passion for his
work with me and encouraging me to always do the same. I was fortunate to have had
the opportunity to work with him on several teams over the years, reach out to pick his
brain for advice, and just have a few laughs at what was happening around us.
Tim was my first mentor as I started my federal career with GSA in Norfolk and I am forever
grateful for the guidance and opportunities he provided me. I can say whole heartedly that I
wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Tim. He had a way of keeping work fun, even in
the most stressful times. I can still hear him walking through the office to rally the group of us
for lunch and him calling me a “turkey” to give me a hard time about something. He brought me
to DC with him as part of the Presidential Transition Team where we worked tirelessly to meet
the needs of the customers but balanced it with wine, cigars, and dinner as a team on the rooftop
of the Newseum residences overlooking the Capitol.
As you put it, Tim was the go-to guy for so many things. His dedication to others and his work
was admirable and motivating to all of us that had the pleasure to work and spend time with him.
For as loud as he could often be, he sure didn’t like the spotlight on him.
–Katie Williamson, US CIS
Tim joined the White House Service Center
at a pivotal time – shortly after a change
in Administration, and as GSA was
recognizing that with dwindling staff, the
Group Forces model that had always been
used was no longer sustainable. Tim saw
a path through the challenges, and took on
tough conversations with both our clients
and leadership in order to start the
process of change. His time at the Service
Center truly made a difference – the things
that he set in motion continue today, and
GSA is better positioned to continue to
provide services as a result. We now have
support through a Facilities Engineering,
Operations, & Maintenance contractor, and
are better able to balance the needs of the
building with the customer’s desires. He
made an impression on everyone he met,
had an eye for the details that would make
a difference to tenants, and clearly took
pride in the work that we do. Even after
his retirement, he remembered milestones
and would reach out to see how things
were going. He brought light and fun to
the office, and will be so, so missed.
On a personal note, I worked with Tim through a Presidential Transition, and during
his time at the White House Service Center. His knowledge of facilities was
unrivaled, but most importantly, he didn’t take himself too seriously. We got the
hard work done, but always had fun doing it. From starting prank wars to sharing
stories, he was always quick to connect with those around him and easily
maintained lasting relationships. He was always looking for opportunities for
individuals to succeed and to match the right person with the workload. He
encouraged me to grow by sending challenges my way, while remaining a
supportive resource. Tim changed the trajectory of my career and encouraged me
to be confident in my capabilities. I will forever be grateful for having known him.
–Erin Harmon, and the White House Service Center
I remember making my first trip to visit field offices when I was a new hire at GSA
in R&A. Good thing Norfolk was my first stop – Tim was the epitome of what it
means to work in a field office (as others have noted, one of the toughest jobs in
PBS). Tim taught me what field offices do, and how the region can best support
that. Tim was so full of life, and he brought energy to every room he entered. He
was funny and generous with what he knew, patient with those who needed to
catch up with what he knew. He brought so many people along/forward, mentored
so many. He was one of a kind.
When Tim hired me in 2006 in Norfolk, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know
anything about GSA or managing buildings, or if that was even something I would be
good at doing. With Tim, it didn’t take long to realize I made a good choice. Tim was
the kind of supervisor who cared about his employees and enjoyed his work. Tim and
his team taught me GSA policies, how to properly manage buildings, and when to just
use common sense. Most importantly, Tim was always able to keep work fun. Looking
back, my time in Norfolk was the most fun I’ve had in GSA, and a lot of that has to do
with Tim. I’ve had a lot of great opportunities in GSA since Norfolk, but without Tim
training and believing in me, I would have never achieved these goals. Even after
leaving Norfolk, Tim would give me guidance on some tough situations that still
resonate with me today. And of course, he was able to lighten the mood while doing it.
Tim made his mark on so many people whose lives he touched, and I still tell people to
“get back to work!” today.
The US Army used to say that they did more before 9:00 am than most people did all
day – Tim took that to a whole new level. As a non-morning person when I watched
Tim wake up at 4:30 and take care of every detail and nuance of his job, I might as
well have been watching Michael Jordan play basketball – no way I could keep up. I
never met anyone with more energy than Tim Hile. When you combine that with his
ability to make friends, solve problems and keep it light you have a one of a kind person
who was born to face the crazy challenges that come up in a GSA field office.
Not many people get to say that they personally solved problems for both Barrack
Obama and Donald Trump. Tim displayed his ability to win friends at the highest level.
What’s even cooler is that he treated the staff at his favorite Chinese restaurant with
the same level of attention and respect. On more than one occasion he inspired me to
let his friends at Chinatown Express feed us lunch that was way outside my comfort
zone – especially since the menu was written in Chinese. “Come on Horne, let’s have a
little adventure – no way my friends would steer us wrong” he said to me on more than
Tim was a great friend and colleague. No challenge was too great for him – he is one
of the few people that I have ever known who could truly accomplish anything or solve
any problem and I am going to miss him greatly. Chop-chop!
Twenty six years of friendship is hard to chronicle. Tim and I worked together, traveled together, ate together, drank wine together, laughed, argued, and did a lot of good work together. When news of his passing got around the halls of GSA, people were sending me condolences. Someone said, “your best friend.” And that stuck with me. Yes, I lost my dear friend.
Tim was a huge part of my work life. He was one half of the Tony and Tim duo who made me a success in Richmond- my first real leadership role. There wasn’t much he couldn’t fix, buy or
build. Tim was the guy that anyone would want in their foxhole. So when I got asked to work on the Presidential Transition Team in 2008, I took Tim with me. Although I led the Space and
Facilities Team, it was Tim that everybody knew- from the President elect’s staff on down to the mechanics in the Transition space -Tim was the go-to-guy!
When I went to R2 as Regional Commissioner and needed help in the Caribbean Service
Center, Tim was there – IN A HURRICANE! No matter what assignment I took, Tim was there to
lend his expertise to make me and GSA better.
When the White House Service Center was in need of some TLC, Tim Horne, then Acting GSA
Administrator, called me and said, “I need Tim,”I could not hold him back. Running the White
House Service Center was Tim’s dream. Tim was able to leave his mark on the most visible
GSA operation in the world. I was never more proud of him!
When Tim finally retired in 2018, I
was so hopeful. Finally, he’d get to
putter around those houses, play
with those dogs, and drive Ruthann
“Miss Daisy” in peace without GSA
getting in the way. But it wasn’t
meant to be for long.
All those years he could have
retired, and he chose to stay and do
one more thing. One more acting
role in Pittsburgh, or Charleston or a
national team. Now that I’m the
old-timer, people are starting to say
things to me that they said to him,
“when are you going to go? There’s
a great world beyond GSA!”
The lesson in Tim’s career goes beyond his accomplishments. Doing what you love, doing it
expertly, excellently, can be the greatest joy of all. I can appreciate that lesson now, and take
comfort knowing that Tim did exactly what he wanted.