Nothing is more universal than going above and beyond for our customers, which is why the City of Southlake is honored to celebrate its employees during Employee Appreciation Week 2022.
This year’s theme, “Team Southlake is Out of This World.”
The City honored individual employees and teams across several award categories as part of the week. Recipients are as follows:
Administration – Catherine Eix
Catherine Eix serves as the Executive Assistant to the City Manager. She is known for her world-class customer service and dedication to her role in the City.
“She really follows the Southlake Way and exemplifies the values and everything that she does every single day that she comes to work,” Assistant to the City Manager, Lauren LaNeave, said, “My favorite thing about Catherine is that she makes the office feel like a family.”
Community Services – Janie Ocampo
Janie Ocampo sets the standard when it comes to having a positive attitude and demeanor. She currently serves as the office assistant for community services and has been with the City of Southlake since 2012. She is said to be the “go-to” person in her department.
“She just has a wealth of knowledge,” Director of Community Services Chris Tribble said, “She understands all aspects of our operations as well as all the policies and procedures that need to follow.”
Finance & IT – Tammie Suski
Tammie Suski works in the finance department and has been serving the residents of Southlake since 2007. During her tenure, she has become quite an asset to the City of Southlake.
“Tammie exemplifies world-class service just through her spirit of just being a true team player in everything does,” Chief Financial Officer Sharen Jackson said.
Fire Department – Chase Roop
Not only does Firefighter/Paramedic Chase Roop have the ability to come to the rescue and save the day, but he is also known as an all-around team player.
“He’s willing to step up and set a good example for our new employees and lead their training to ensure that they’re successful,” Southlake Fire Chief Mike Starr said.
Planning & Development – Charles Wright
Charles Wright has served the City as a Building Inspector for about two years and is already making a significant impact on his customers. He is known for providing feedback to his customers and offering solutions.
“Instead of just simply going in and providing an inspection and saying this doesn’t meet code, Charlie tries to educate the contractor, the builder, show him what they’re doing wrong….offer possible solutions, and always trying to educate the customer concerning the code,” Senior Director of Planning and Development Services Ken Baker said.
Police Department – Craig D’Amico
Since 2014, Officer Craig D’Amico has protected and served others, especially his teammates. He is known to quickly volunteer and lend a helping hand wherever needed.
“He is one of, if not, the top officer in the department in terms of his proactive work and his productivity,” said Police Chief James Brandon, “He’s also one of our field training officers so he’s training our youngest police officers that are coming on the force, which is an incredibly valuable role.”
Public Works – Jeff Ginn
With over 18 years of industry experience, combined with the City’s delivery, service, and customer service models, Civil Engineer Jeff Ginn is your go-to expert.
He delivers exceptional customer service to customers internally and externally. He has a holistic approach when working with others, and he studies.
“I see Jeff as having a long future with the City of Southlake,” Public Works Director Robert Cohen said.
The Southlake Values Award recognizes employees who exemplify the City’s values of accountability, integrity, innovation, excellence, and teamwork.
The Champions Club Membership Experience Team brings home the gold for customers. They foster a sense of family at the Champions Club Facility, and they genuinely believe in providing world-class service.
“They take personal responsibility and interest in the customer first, and it just really just personifies them as a team,” Director of Community Services Chris Tribble said.
Champions Club Membership Experience Team
Guest Services Supervisor, Erika Bashaw, The Marq Southlake
Community Relations, Dana Blankenship, The Marq Southlake
Membership Coordinator, Marianne Burton, The Marq Southlake
Nothing says innovation like process improvement. This team came together to improve processes not only for their department but also for the entire City.
“This team exemplified world-class service by providing out-of-the-box thinking for all of the items that they were working on, and they focused on growth and how they can work together to provide a good service for our citizens,” City Secretary Amy Shelley said. “I think it’s important to know that your things in your department not only help the City, but they also help to bring the organization together as a whole.”
Laserfiche Process Improvement Team
Deputy City Secretary, Veronica Lomas, City Secretary Office
Management Analyst Finance, Cristina McMurray, Finance & IT
Human Resources Business Partner, Dylan Welch, Human Resources
Strong and dedicated are some words that Fire Chief Mike Starr uses to describe Emergency Manager Amanda Meneses. But, for Meneses, as the emergency manager, safety and security for our community come first.
“I really feel Amanda has more than most important jobs in the City, and that’s really looking after the citizens, looking after the employees, and ensuring the safety of all of us; her dedication is incredible,” Southlake Fire Chief Mike Starr said.
Commitment to Excellence
Maria Cameron has been with the City of Southlake for 19 years and works in the Southlake Public Library. She is known for resourcefulness and for making a genuine connection with customers.
“I’m most grateful for Maria’s heart because she 100% cares about how she engages with others and how she helps others, and that comes across in everything she does,” Public Library Deputy Director Cynthia Pfledderer said.
The Governance Matrix Team was formed two years ago to assist with the 2020 election process. With the anticipation of high voter turnout, the goal of the team was to meet the customers’ needs and address any concerns. The team immediately began work evaluating what Town Hall looks like from a voting location and starting with the question of where can they meet the customer?
“The work they did that year really culminated in the plan that we used in 2021, and we plan to use in elections going forward, Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski said, “World-class service is really at the heart of the reason why this team was created.”
Governance Matrix Team
Deputy Fire Chief – Fire Marshal, Kelly Clements,
Director of Economic Development and Tourism, Daniel Cortez
Deputy City Engineer, Kevin Ferrer, Public Works
Assistant to the Director, Milenka Lopez, Community Services
Hospitality and Sales Manager, Crystal Maddalena, The Marq Southlake
Municipal court Manager, Kristin McGrail
Deputy Director of Community Services, David Miller
Deputy Director of Human Resources, Chad Minter
Assistant to the Director, Madeline Oujesky
Deputy Director of Public relations, Pilar Schank, Office of Communications and Customer Experience
City Secretary, Amy Shelley
Cpt. Randy Thomas, Southlake Police Department
Youth Librarian, Stacy Wells
Spirit of Southlake
The Spirit of Southlake Award honors employees who exemplify the Southlake Way every day by being outstanding employees and team players.
Spirit of Southlake – Seantay Carpenter
Land and Zoning Inspector Seantay Carpenter is no stranger to exemplifying the City’s values. Although he works in Planning and Development Services, he is known throughout the City for his work ethic, enthusiasm, and positive attitude.
“Seantay comes to work every day to work,” Senior Director of Planning and Development Services Ken Baker said. “His demeanor, his attitude is just very positive.”
Kristin Pitzinger Customer Service Award
The Kristin Pitzinger Customer Service Award is named after late City employee Kristin Pitzinger and recognizes employees who exemplify outstanding customer service. Each year, the City honors two employees for this award, internal and external.
Internal – Andrew Merrick
Andrew Merrick has a hefty reputation for going above and beyond for his customers. He has been serving the citizens of Southlake since 2008 and is currently the facilities supervisor.
“It’s amazing to have an individual who’s well versed in so many different areas of technical expertise,” said Public Works Director Robert Cohen, “And time and again he not only leads his employees but also helps everybody that works around him to get the job done.”
External – Oscar Rodriguez
Inspiring and enthusiastic are words that the Director of Community Services, Chris Tribble, uses to describe Recreation Specialist Oscar Rodriguez. He is known to lead with passion and excellence in everything he does. He is also the face of the Adaptive Recreation Program.
“You know, when we all think about Oscar, we realize how many families in this community just truly love him,” Director of Community Services Chris Tribble said. “He’s an inspiring leader to our team.”
Southlake Unsung Heroes – is a recognition of Southlake employees who exemplify diligent work behind the scenes.
The Tenure Awards honor employees who have served the City for at least five years. They are honored in five-year increments. This year, we had 32 recipients who have contributed up to 35 years of service.
If you happen to spot one of our stars around the city, be sure to tell them congratulations.