It’s that time of year again to give a big shout out to all City of Southlake employees and employees who stood out in 2017.
The City of Southlake is hosting its annual employee appreciation celebration the week of February 12 -16 to show gratitude for the hard work that employees do each day. True to the Southlake Way motto, “We are world class professionals serving a world-class community,” the City is excited to host this annual event to recognize employee performance.
A dozen or so employees are being recognized for outstanding performance including; departmental Director’s Awards, the Kristin Pitzinger Customer Service Award and Value Superhero Awards.
All employees will be treated to special events and each department will host their own fun, spirit day to celebrate their employees. The City also presents each employee with a small City of Southlake logo gift as a token of their appreciation.
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. Take a look at the stories of this year’s award winners. They are stories of dedication, and service to the City of Southlake residents.
Director’s Award recipients include:
Ashley Newhart for the Community Services Department, who is being recognized for her flexibility and dependability. She is described as a go-to team member who always accepts a challenge, most recently as a key team member preparing for the opening of Champions Club at The Marq Southlake, and as a key leader for the LiveFit program. Known for being detail-oriented and someone who is always looking for ways to improve programs and services, Ashley’s Department Director Chris Tribble says simply, “I can always count on her.”
Chris Brown for the Fire Department, chosen for substantially impacting the efficiency and safety of the organization. Chris is known for his strong work ethic and positive attitude, and above average work quality. Responsible for the department’s firefighting protective gear, and meeting regulatory requirements, he manages this important project in addition to his regular duties. “I appreciate his hard work and dedication,” said Fire Chief Michael Starr. “The safety of our personnel is largely dependent on his work, and he quietly manages it extremely well.”
Preston Logan for the Police Department, whose knowledge of Police Department operations, passion for the job, great interpersonal skills, and sincere care for those he serves make him a stand out. He has a positive attitude and an infinite desire to learn, as well as a keen understanding of the complexity of his role as a law enforcement officer. “Corporal Logan is an outstanding police officer who will tackle tough assignments, but he is also a caring person. His compassionate service to the community makes him a stand out in our department,” said Police Chief James Brandon.
Misty Knaust for the Finance Department, an energetic and positive force who creatively and proactively implements processes and projects to better serve utility customers. CFO Sharen Jackson considers Misty an invaluable member of the team and has noted that “Misty truly cares about her work, and it shows. She routinely finds new and better ways of doing things and works cooperatively with her coworkers to make important improvements. She is a hard worker, and a positive leader, someone who will make real and lasting impacts on the way we do business.”
Susie Hernandez for Planning & Development Services, an employee who performs her assigned duties very well because she possesses considerable knowledge of building codes and the department software used for this operation. “She is a great resource for our department, and other city colleagues, a data guru who helps prepare reports and successfully implements projects,” said Ken Baker, senior director of planning & development services. “The list of accomplishments attributable to her is long and meaningful. She is a true professional and key component to the department’s success.”
Tarl Plank for the Public Works Department, considered by his peers and department leaders to be a man of “unwavering integrity.” Tarl is a safety champion who takes care of important projects – such as installing valley gutters, placing asphalt, and modifying handicap ramps – with an eye for meeting customer expectations, managing his team with skill, and works with positivity. “I appreciate Tarl so much,” Public Works Director Rob Cohen said. “He has a strong moral compass and works hard. He’s an outstanding employee.”
Jintana Jones for the Administration Department, recognized as a strong performer with an even temperament, who gets the job done all the while smiling and encouraging her co-workers. Overseeing the front office of the City Manager’s Office, including the switchboard operations, requires skills and patience, which Jintana has in abundance. And she recently took on additional responsibilities supporting economic development efforts. “Jintana is, in a word, wonderful,” said Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski. “She works incredibly well with the public because she is a good listener, and so intelligent. Her willingness to work on anything that needs to be done makes her a real asset to us, and to the community.”
Recipients of The Kristin Pitzinger Customer Service Award Include:
Internal: Jacob Goodsell from the Public Works Department (Facilities Management), who cheerfully goes about his day doing anything that is needed to keep Town Hall looking good and functioning well. “If you need help with anything at all, Jacob is there with a smile and helpful hands,” said Stacey Black, human resources director. “He graciously serves the employees who work in Town Hall, as well as visitors. It’s not uncommon to see him holding doors open, giving directions, or laughing with someone. We really value him.”
External: Seantay Carpenter from Planning & Development Services (Code Enforcement) whose ready smile and even-temperament make him ideal for the job responsibilities he handles. “There aren’t enough good words to describe Seantay’s attitude,” said Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher. “He has a tough job, but you’d never know it. He handles his duties with class and grace and supports his co-workers unconditionally. We’re proud of him, and appreciate his strong customer service.”
Superhero Value Awards recipients include:
Integrity: Jason Arrellano from the Public Works Department, who regularly goes above and beyond the call of duty to make needed sewer system repairs and maintain the system. He does whatever it takes to get the job done, whenever needed. He is known for “doing the right thing.”
Innovation: Stacy Wells from the Library who energetically brings new ideas to serve the youth department and Southlake’s young children. With strong demand for these services, more than 65% of the Library’s overall demand is attributable to youth services, Stacy is going constantly. But she creatively implements new programs and services to keep things fresh and new, regularly thinking outside the box.
Accountability: Daniel Ford from the IT Department is widely recognized as a go-to guy, bringing his know-how, strong work ethic, and kindness to each and every project or problem. He is widely respected for his ability to get the job done with professionalism and competence, as well as for his sincere care and concern for those he serves. Daniel is known for taking ownership of his assignments, relentlessly pursuing solutions.
Commitment to Excellence: Andy Alvarado from the Community Services Department, is an employee known for working hard and making City parks beautiful and ensuring they are clean. Citizen survey data regularly shows an appreciation for the appearance of parks and open spaces. Andy and his crew anticipate the needs of park patrons and go above and beyond to ensure that expectations are exceeded.
Teamwork: Thomas Roberson from the Police Department, a detective who has a strong desire to assist others. He has patience and investigative thoroughness, a good fit for working crimes against persons cases. He will do whatever is needed to help his co-workers but is also known for working closely with neighboring police departments to develop leads and coordinate investigative efforts. He recognizes the importance of working together to successfully prosecute cases
Be sure to take a moment to congratulate the award winners when you see them and again congratulations to everyone for their hard work this past year.