Friday, March 5, 2021

Annual Employee Appreciation Week

The City of Southlake is hosting the annual employee appreciation celebration the week of February 13-17 to show their gratitude to employees. It’s going to be a week filled with food, fun and special recognition.

On Monday, February 13, employees will receive City of Southlake logo t-shirts and a special gift. On Tuesday, employees will be treated to a hearty breakfast from Chick-fil-A and Torchys Tacos. Wednesday, all Director’s Award recipients will be recognized for their dedication to the core values and mission of the City of Southlake during a special luncheon. On Thursday, all employees will feast on a catered lunch from Cristina’s Fajitas. To round out the week, each director will host a fun, spirit day to celebrate employees in their department.

The leadership team would like to thank Southlake employees for their commitment to excellence and also give enthusiastic congratulations to all of this year’s award winners. Here are the stories of this year’s award winners. They are stories of dedication, and service to the City of Southlake residents, business and visitors.

Kyle Flanagan A Kristin White A Jeremy Blackwell A Delaney Green A Mike White ADaniel Ford A


Kyle McAdams A Rennie Burt ADavid Aguayo ADarlene Rubio A Humberto Arriaga A Tim Hackrott A

Frank Molinets A Joshua Bors A Nate Anderson A

The Director’s Award recipients include:

Kyle Flanagan Director’s Award for Public Works.

Kyle was presented with the Director’s Award for his superior performance as the Public Works Department’s Water Division Supervisor for 2016. Kyle was instrumental in leading the Water Smart, Southlake cellular endpoint project. This project rolled out modern cellular water meter technology citywide, and transformed the way that the City of Southlake serves its water customers and monitors water meter equipment in the field. Through his leadership, Kyle ensured the success of the project while working under a compressed time schedule. His tenacity and commitment to excellence ensured that each and every piece of hardware for 10,000+ customers was installed properly and then audited to ensure accurate billing for each and every Southlake customer. Kyle’s exceptional teamwork skills allowed him to bring together employees from Public Works, Customer Service, and IT to work collaboratively with our vendors. Kyle upheld the City’s Values while accomplishing the most difficult tasks and projects in the most arduous environments to provide exceptional customer service. Congratulations Kyle.

Kristin White – Director’s Award for Finance

“Excellence is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities.” This quote truly reflects the efforts of Kristin White. Her work ethic is first-rate and the final product is always outstanding.

During the summer of 2016, Kristin experienced a high level of absenteeism in her department due to about 43% of her staff out on leaves of absence. She rallied the remaining staff and continued to handle issues even working several late nights. In addition, she was handed the Teen Court division with no staff, and at a moment’s notice, in just thirty minutes, she had to be in attendance at the Grapevine Court docket to provide instructions for Teen Court defendants. Again, she rallied her staff to assist with Teen Court, organized the defendant files, conducted weekly Teen Court sessions, scheduled volunteers and held teen attorney training that had the highest attendance in the history of Teen Court. The two divisions were reorganized placing her in charge of both while serving as a liaison to the Advisory Board. There were some tense moments during this time, but she handled it with ease, professionalism, and the amazing positivity that is Kristin. She is a star and more than deserving of the 2016 Director’s Award for Finance! Congratulations Kristin.

Jeremy Blackwell Director’s Award for the Fire Department

Lieutenant Jeremy Blackwell has been with the City of Southlake since 2004. During this time he has rarely shied away from an opportunity to aid the Fire Department or the City in improving the service provided to our citizens and employees. In 2016, Jeremy saw an opportunity to upgrade the extrication equipment. Knowing that several of the expensive units were scheduled for replacement, he took the initiative to research extrication equipment to see if improved designs were available. Jeremy found equipment that was less expensive, stronger and more versatile than existing units. He arranged for a demonstration and training for all employees and then developed a survey to receive feedback from all employees. He reported his findings to Deputy Chief Carroll and Chief Starr in a professional presentation and worked to obtain the necessary bids. For Jeremy’s willingness to improve the services provided to our customers and for working diligently to see the project to its conclusion, Jeremy Blackwell is deserving of the 2016 Director’s Award.

Delaney Green Director’s Award for the Police Department

Officer Delaney Green has proven to be a valuable asset to the Southlake Police Department. In August 2016, Detective Green was one of two officers chosen for a position as Detective for the Criminal Investigations Division (CID). Since she has been with the division, she has continued to work at a high level and has set a high standard for others to follow. Due to Detective Green’s educational background in finance, she was chosen to investigate financial crimes and also to assist in crimes against persons cases – a tall order for a new Detective. On September 2, 2016, The Southlake Police Department received a call in reference to a sexual assault that had just occurred. Detective Green heard the call for service on the radio and responded immediately. Having only a month’s experience with CID and being the first detective to arrive on scene, she handled herself professionally and did a great job ensuring the crime scene was preserved. She also assisted the victim who was transported to the hospital for further evaluation. Overall, Detective Green did an outstanding job on this high profile call, and she demonstrated a high level of maturity and compassion in speaking with the victim. Detective Green’s concern for the victim, in conjunction with her efforts to obtain important key evidence during the investigation, was instrumental in the successful arrest of the suspect within three days of the initial offense. These are just a few of the reasons that Detective Green was chosen as the Southlake Police Department’s recipient of the 2016 Director’s Award.

Mike White Director’s Award for Planning and Development

Mike White is the recipient of the 2016 Director’s Award for his outstanding performance as the Planning and Development Services Department’s Building Operations Manager. Mike was selected for his outstanding efforts, performance, teamwork and customer service to the City of Southlake and his contribution to the Planning and Development Services Department. Mike was a major contributor to the Development and Permitting Lean/Six Sigma Process Improvement Initiative. This includes not only his participation in improving the process but also his oversight in the implementation of the recommendations generated from the initiative. It also included the implementation of several new applications, guidelines, checklist and SOPs which have resulted in improvements to key accountability indicators related to permit review times. Also under Mike’s leadership he has managed the building plan review and inspection process related to a number of major construction projects including the Cambria Hotel, Granite Office Building and TD Ameritrade Regional Headquarters. Mike’s dedication to duty and ethical service while overseeing the operations of the Building Inspections Division are greatly appreciated.

Daniel Ford Director’s Award for IT

Daniel Ford is the recipient of the Director’s Award for IT. As the leader of the Development Services team, Daniel continues to deliver value-added solutions by leveraging his relationships with departments and vendors and his growing knowledge of our application environment. In May of 2016 the IT department came to the realization that the new interface being developed by Tyler Technology that would link Munis with Badger’s Beacon water usage management system, was not going to happen in time and the implementation of new cellular endpoints for customer meters was underway. Without an interim solution these new facilities would not make it to the new Beacon system for management nor would usage make it back to Munis for billing. Customer service to our citizens was at risk as well as the extreme effort of Public Works to maintain their aggressive installation schedule. Daniel began working with Public Works, Utility Billing and Badger resources to develop the process and data mapping between the Munis, GIS and Beacon that allowed the interim interface to be developed. This interface became a crucial component in the massive team effort to implement the new Beacon system and it turned out to be a good thing as it was needed for approximately four months until the new vendor interface was delivered and implemented. Congratulations Daniel for your commitment to excellence and customer service.

Kyle McAdams Director’s Award for Community Services

Kyle McAdams is the recipient of the 2016 Director’s Award for Community Services. Kyle started with the City in January 2014. He is currently responsible for ensuring the Bicentennial Park Phase 1 baseball complex remains in tip top shape. Kyle has developed into an excellent field maintenance worker. He demonstrates great pride in safety, playability, and appearance of the baseball fields #1 – #4 and the facilities at the City’s signature park. According to Park Supervisor, Dave Kielich, Kyle is the person that he assigns new employees to or employees new to maintaining baseball fields to for training. He is articulate in giving instructions, always willing to answer questions and conveys outstanding pride in ensuring the fields remain in outstanding condition. Community Services has received numerous compliments from the baseball association and the general public regarding the appearance and condition of his fields. He goes out of his ways to ensure the fields are ready for games, even putting in additional time when required. Kyle is always willing to assist other members of the department, other departments within the City, as well as the public. He is very knowledgeable in equipment maintenance, and passes on that experience to his fellow crew members. He continually looks for ways to improve the entire park, not just his complex. He provides new ideas, takes the initiative to make improvements, and is able to get support from the crew to complete tasks and improvements. Kyle exemplifies the meaning of the City’s values; because of his commitment to excellence in all that he does he is awarded with the 2016 Community Services Director’s Award. 

Kristin Pitzinger Customer Service Awards

Renni Burt Kristin Pitzinger Customer Service Award – External

Renni Burt is the recipient of the External Kristin Pitzinger Customer Service Award. Renni is very deserving of this award for continually working with a sense of urgency and at a level that exceeds expectations when it comes to customer service. Each year, Renni connects with the Southlake Citizen Academy students and makes it appoint to know each of them by name. She attends the SDCA Board meeting each month and is an active participant in many of the volunteer training opportunities that occur annually. In addition to these activities, Renni helps install over 300 car passenger safety seats annually, she conducts fire extinguisher demonstration classes and also makes time to teach CPR to hundreds of individuals each year. Renni always goes above and beyond her normal duties to assist residents who live in our community. Last year alone, she helped three families who were in dire need of basic, everyday items . She reached out to our volunteers and community members to gather food, clothes, school supplies, family medications and arranged to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed in the homes. She also coordinated help from experts to perform electrical work, tree trimming, and fence repair work completed. But Renni didn’t stop there. She arranged to have the families included on the Christmas is For Children list so that they would not go without gifts for Christmas. Renni is one of the greatest ambassadors for the City of Southlake, hands down. And that’s why she is so deserving of this year Kristin Pitzinger Customer Service Award – External.

David Aguayo Kristin Pitzinger Customer Service Award – Internal

David Aguayo is the recipient for the Internal Kristin Pitzinger Customer Service Award. David is a wonderful member of the Southlake team. He treats everyone like a family member, always greeting people with a warm welcome, a kind word and a smile. David takes care of every department in Southlake, keeping our facilities safe and in top-notch condition. The Library is a dynamic facility with lots of annual visitors, so it can take quite a beating. David is always immediately responsive to light issues, water damage, and plumbing issues. His dedication to customer service and safety issues is second to none. It is not uncommon to see David in the Library working in the dark on a ladder, fixing, moving or installing something for us. David also assists the Library with so many program setups through the year. He is always gracious and laughing no matter how many times adjustments or last minute additions to the program set up are made. David can be seen working on the weekends and has saved the Library with facility issues more times than they can count. Whether it’s a sink that’s leaking or we need a wall moved in the meeting rooms, he always meets their needs. The Library can’t say enough about how great it is to have David on staff, no matter what they ask – there’s always a smile and a willing attitude. And that is why David is so deserving of this year’s Kristin Pitzinger Customer Service Award – Internal.

Core Value Awards Recipients

Accountability: Darlene Rubio

Darlene is the 2016 recipient of the Accountability Award. She was instrumental in finding a leak through her audit process for the Cellular Meter Deployment that saved a customer from having a very large water bill. Darlene noticed a leak of approximately 100 gallons per hour over the past three days. She immediately notified her supervisor of this issue and the customer was called to set up a meeting on her property to help locate the leak. Upon inspection a toilet running with a faulty flapper valve and fill valve in the reservoir of the toilet were found. Yes, a toilet running non-stop yielded approximately 7,500 gallons of unwanted usage over the three day time frame. Not having this tool and Darlene’s overview, there is no telling how long this leak would have gone on undetected. Her actions speak to her commitment to excellence and accountability. She is an asset to the City.

Commitment to Excellence: Humberto Arriaga

Humberto Arriga is the recipient of the 2016 Commitment to Excellence Award. In late 2015, the Employee Fund was suffering from a lack of interest in participation, as well as management of the fund. Humberto Arriaga saw the need and single-handedly assumed full responsibility for managing the fund and developing a program of activities and recognition for fund members. From sporting events to birthday bundtinis to the most recent Jamba Juice cups and free smoothie, 2016 has been a great year for the employee fund members. Thanks to Humberto’s innovative ideas to bring the fund back to life, employees are enjoying their membership again. The Finance Department has benefited greatly from Humberto’s creativity, willingness to take ownership of new tasks and go the extra mile for excellence. Now the Employee Fund members are reaping the same benefits.

Innovation Award: Tim Hackrott

Tim Hackrott is the recipient of the 2016 Innovation Award for his outstanding work on building a portable Water Conservation display for public education. The portable unit is Tim’s own unique design and includes a fully functioning sink, and functioning water meter. The unit was the center of attention at this year’s Town Hall Water Forum. It will be used to teach residents how to read their water meter, and will be used to teach children the importance of conserving water and how much water is wasted when a sink is left on. A video of the functioning display was taken at the Water Forum and posted to the City’s social media. Mayor Laura Hill was very pleased with the display. Thank you Tim for your Innovation and Commitment to Excellence.

Integrity Award: Joshua Bors & Frank Molinets

Joshua Bors and Frank Molinets are the recipients of the 2016 Integrity Award. While on the way to the Southlake Carroll football game on Friday evening, Josh ran over something in the road. Josh and Frank thought it looked like a ladies purse, so they went back to retrieve it. It belonged to an individual named Sara from California. Frank and Josh searched the wallet trying to get information on how to return the wallet to its owner. They were unable to get any contact information, but they found a dry cleaning receipt in the wallet with the phone number of Sara’s husband. They called Sara’s husband (in California). He then called Sara and let her know that her wallet was found and the Southlake Fire Department had it. She was at the football game and asked one of the guys how she could get her wallet and she was very surprised when they had it right there and handed it to her. She wanted to say thank you again, since both Frank and Josh went out of their way to pick it up from the middle of the road. They went above and beyond trying to find the owner.

Teamwork Award: K9 Officer Nate Anderson

K9 Officer Nate Anderson is the recipient of the 2016 Teamwork Award. In the very early morning hours of August 18, 2016 K-9 Officer Nate Anderson was returning to his home after an evening of training outside of the City. In his driveway he heard a radio broadcast of a priority 1 call, the highest priority, on the west end of town. Officer Anderson was out of service and already home but knew the shift on duty was working short-handed that night so he stayed in his vehicle and listened to the radio. As more details began to come in, Officer Anderson came over the radio asking if the officers needed any assistance. He was informed that they were ok at the moment and then the second priority 1 call came in. The second call involved a mother going through a crisis with her three children in the car. The details of the incident indicated that the circumstances were potentially life threatening, so the duty Sgt. called Officer Anderson on the radio with the intention of asking him for assistance. Before he could even ask, the Sergeant heard the sound of Officer Anderson’s siren coming through the speaker and Officer Anderson saying, “I’m already on my way”. He never hesitated or waited to be asked for assistance. Moments later Officer Anderson and others arrived at the scene and immediately began treating the mother. Inside the vehicle were three very young children who appeared to be malnourished. In the same quiet and low key manner he is known for, Officer Anderson and Officer Micah Davis took the children to 7-Eleven to get some food. He purchased food and drinks for the children out of his own pocket. Officers were informed that the was homeless and living out of a small 4-door car. After the officers were able to get extended care for the children Officer Anderson stayed in service until the other on duty officers were able to clear their calls. Officer Anderson has always been known to have a caring and generous heart. He does whatever it takes to help others, even when he doesn’t have to. Officer Anderson exemplifies the meaning of teamwork and that’s why he is this year’s 2016 Teamwork Award winner.

Congratulations to all of our award winners and please be sure to congratulate them when you see them.