Saturday, August 20, 2022

City Manager’s Office Intern Named Outstanding MPA Student at UNT

Just weeks before graduation, City Manager’s Office (CMO) Intern Bora Sulollari was named this year’s Outstanding Master of Public Administration (MPA) Student for the University of North Texas (UNT).

The Student of the Year award is given annually by the Department of Public Administration to the outstanding MPA student. The Outstanding Student Award includes a plaque recognizing the student’s achievements. In addition, the recipient of the Outstanding Master of Public Administration Student award receives the E. Ray Griffin Scholarship including a $1,500 award.
“Bora was an excellent student in the MPA program,” said Dr. Hee Soun Jang, associate professor and MPA program Coordinator of UNT adding that Sulollari had an “exceptional academic performance.”

“She managed exceptionally high grade-point average (GPA) during the course work in the rigorous MPA program and her performance was a direct result of her hard work and strong focus,” said Dr. Jang. “She has consistently demonstrated an ability to rise to any challenge that she must face. Her leadership and outstanding performance were evidence by the Outstanding MPA Student Award of 2021.”

Serving as an intern for the City since September 2020, Sulollari has played an integral part in the success of many projects during her time with Southlake.

“We are especially proud of Bora for receiving this award,” said Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski, who is a former recipient of UNT’s Outstanding MPA Student Award. “She exemplifies excellence in all she does here for the City of Southlake, and there is no doubt that she displayed that same excellence during her academic career.”

The City of Southlake has a long-standing relationship with UNT’s MPA program, often selecting student interns from the school.

“We are fortunate to have student interns like Bora join our staff. It’s a great opportunity for them to get some experience working in a City Manager’s Office and we also benefit from their knowledge and skills to assist our team in accomplishing our City’s goals,” Ortowski said. “With her determination and tenacity, Bora has shown her ample abilities as part of our team. There is no doubt that she has a bright future ahead in public administration.”

Sulollari completed her MPA degree earlier this month with a 3.94 GPA. During her time at UNT, she served as president of the Public Administration Students Association.
Dr. Jang said Sulollari was “such a dedicated leader in Public Administration Student Association (PASA) during the testing time of the pandemic. She had shown a strong commitment to public service and outstanding organizational skills in leading student organization activities.”

In addition, Sulollari served as chair of Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA), the national honor society for public affairs and administration, in 2020-2021; and as a member of PAA, UMANT, ICMA and TCMA. Sulollari earned her bachelor’s degree from UNT in 2019.

Southlake Wins TRAPS Promotions and Marketing Award for Champions Club

The Southlake Community Services Department is a Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) 2020 Promotions and Marketing Award winner.

The team won for their efforts in promoting the 2019 opening and membership drive for Champions Club at The Marq Southlake.

Community Services Director Chris Tribble is excited The Marq Southlake team is being recognized for its efforts.

“Opening the doors to a new building is always a big job, and I am so proud to be a part of a team that was able to welcome all of our new Champions Club members with open arms,” Tribble stated. “We love seeing people learn about and enjoy the new facility.”

Jennifer Oaks, with the TRAPS awards committee, noted that “Your nomination stood out above the rest to exemplify commitment and dedication in the field of recreation. We are honored to present this award to you.”

Are you interested in learning more about Champions Club at The Marq?  Visit us at for more information.


City Earns Distinguished Budget Presentation Award

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded the City of Southlake the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its annual budget beginning October 1, 2018.

“We work with the City Council every year to create a strategic budget that advances the City’s comprehensive plan and supports Southlake’s services,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “We are pleased that GFOA has recognized the City’s budget documents for more than 20 years.”

The GFOA distinguished budget guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as a policy document, as an operations guide, as a financial plan, and as a communications device.

“Each department is accountable for yearly work plans and their corresponding budgets that meet the City’s strategic goals,” said Chief Financial Officer Sharen Jackson. “Those plans are then published in the budget document so taxpayers can review it for themselves.”

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving more than 20,000 government finance professionals throughout North America. Its stated mission is to advance excellence in public finance.

The Southlake City Council will consider the proposed FY 2020 budget at their regularly scheduled meetings in September. Learn more about the City’s budget process here.

Tim Slifka receives the Purchasing Presidential Award of Merit

City of Southlake’s Purchasing Manager, Tim Slifka, was recently presented with the Presidential Award of Merit by the Texas Public Purchasing Association (TxPPA).

The Presidential Award of Merit recognizes a member whose level of contribution to the organization has been significant and noteworthy. In the 12 years that Tim has served as our City’s purchasing manager, this would be his second time to receive this award. The Texas Public Purchasing Association (TxPPA) is a professional association that represents over 500 purchasing professionals from across the state of Texas, including State, County, Municipal, Special Districts, and Independent School District employees tasked with purchasing duties for their represented organization.

TxPPA representatives noted that Tim’s support of the association as Treasurer and as a volunteer, his integrity and his professionalism were all standout qualities.

Southlake’s Chief Financial Officer, Sharen Jackson concurred, stating, “As the City of Southlake’s purchasing manager Tim has prioritized competency and efficiency.”

Additionally, the City of Southlake was recognized by the National Procurement Institute for seven consecutive years of excellence in public procurement, an accomplishment championed by Tim. The annual award recognizes organizations that have obtained a high score based on criteria designed to measure innovation, professionalism, productivity, e-procurement and leadership attributes of the procurement organization. The awards are illustrative of Southlake’s financial success.

Southlake Police K9 Officer and Partner Duco Receive Top Honors

Congratulations to Southlake Police K9 Officer Nate Anderson and his partner Duco for receiving the Top Patrol Dog award at the annual K9 conference held in Dallas.

Officer Anderson and Duco recently attended a conference hosted by the North American Police Working Dog Association (NAPWDA) to obtain their annual re-certification. There were approximately 26 teams in attendance. Following the conference and certification process, awards were given out for three categories: Top Dog, for overall performance, Top Narcotics Dog and Top Patrol Dog. Duco and Officer Anderson were awarded Top Patrol Dog. The Top Patrol Dog award is based on performance for obedience, apprehension, tracking, and building and area search.

“It’s a great feeling to know that individuals with years of training and experience recognize your passion and hard work. It’s definitely a compliment to Duco and me as well as our training group,” said Officer Anderson.  Officer Anderson and Duco are credited with assisting the Southlake Police Department, and other police agencies, with numerous drug and suspect searches, as well as other crime-fighting cases. They have been partners since February 2015.

Officer Anderson and Duco are dual certified. In addition to their patrol certification, they carry a narcotics certification through the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association (NNDDA) program.

It is an honor to have this incredible team working for the Southlake Police Department and helping to keep our citizens safe. Congratulations again Officer Anderson and K9 partner Duco.

City Earns Distinguished Budget Award

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded the City of Southlake the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the annual budget beginning October 1, 2016.

The award represents a significant achievement and reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, the City had to satisfy nationally-recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as a policy document, as an operations guide, as a financial plan, and as a communications device.

In addition to receiving the award, the budget received special recognition for the way the City utilizes and showcases departmental performance metrics through strategically aligned scorecards. All three reviewers rated the document as “outstanding” in this category, with one rater noting, “The document includes good performance information for the city which are related to operational goals.”

The City has received this distinction consecutively for the past 19 years.

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving nearly 18,000 government finance professionals throughout North America. The GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.

Learn more about the City budget process here.

CSHS Student Receives Junkins Memorial National Merit Scholarship

Twenty-three distinguished students from across the U.S. were recognized as recipients of the 2016 Jerry R. Junkins Memorial National Merit Scholarships® at Texas Instruments headquarters recently.

Carroll Senior High School’s Alice Liu was one of the scholarship winners.

The scholarships, named in honor of TI’s late chairman, president and CEO Jerry Junkins, are awarded to sons or daughters of active, retired or deceased TI employees who are National Merit Scholarship Program finalists. Since its inception in 1996, TI has awarded 367 Junkins Merit Scholarships, amounting to more than $1.3 million.

“These students have demonstrated a passion for excellence and a remarkable work ethic,” said Brian Crutcher, TI executive vice president. “Their academic accomplishments and other talents set them apart, and their engagement in the community is a real testament to their interest in making a difference in the world. We are proud to support them as they move to the next phase of their education, and we look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future.”

Seventeen of the students honored for their academic achievements this year are from North Texas: Varad Agarwala of Plano, Greenhill School; Jiaming Chen of Dallas, Plano West Senior High School; Robert Crawford of Allen, Allen High School; Carolyn Guan of Plano, Texas Academy of Math & Science; Caroline Hao of Plano, Plano West Senior High School; Milan “Lyndie” Ho of Highland Village, Edward S. Marcus High School; Casey Hu of Plano, Plano West Senior High School; Tiasha Joardar of Plano, Plano West Senior High School; Alice Liu of Southlake, Carroll Senior High School; Allen Mathew of Lewisville, Hebron High School; Hailey Modi of Plano, Texas Academy of Math & Science; Patrick Ondrusek of Richardson, Plano East Senior High School; Paige Rigsby of Garland, Garland High School; Abel Sen of Frisco, Liberty High School; Si Qi Tong of Plano, Plano West Senior High School; Kevin Wu of Plano, St. Mark’s School of Texas; and Heather Xiao of Dallas, Hockaday School.

The honorees from other states include Rachel Chae of Alpharetta, GA, Johns Creek High School; Matthew Chan of Freemont, CA, Irvington High School; Vineet Kosaraju of Saratoga, CA, Harker High School; Jocelyn Liu of Palo Alto, CA; Henry M. Gunn High School; Gordon McCulloh of Kennebunk ME, Maine School of Science and Math; and Andrew Xi of Chandler, AZ, Corona Del Sol High School.

Each year, less than 1 percent of high school seniors nationwide achieve the status of National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist. Students are selected for the awards based on their scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, academic record, leadership abilities, writing skills and extracurricular activities. To become a finalist, each semifinalist must complete a detailed scholarship application, which includes writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists must also have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earn SAT® scores that confirm their qualifying test performance.

TI funds these scholarships in partnership with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a private, not-for-profit organization.

The awards are named for Jerry Junkins, who became TI’s chairman in 1988 and served until his death in 1996. His passion for education helped create model Head Start programs in the Dallas area. He was also chairman of the Citizens Council Education Committee and fought for education reform in Texas schools by promoting measurement and accountability in the classroom.

Pictured above: Brian Crutcher, TI executive vice president; Jiaming Chen of Dallas; Paige Rigsby of Garland; Abel Sen of Frisco; Tiasha Joardar of Plano; Lyndie Ho of Highland Village; Carolyn Guan of Plano; Hailey Modi of Plano; Si Qi Tong of Plano; Heather Xiao of Dallas; Robert Crawford of Allen; Caroline Hao of Plano; Patrick Ondrusek of Richardson; Allen Mathew of Lewisville; Matthew Chan of Fremont, CA, and Sally Junkins, wife of the late Jerry R. Junkins, former chairman, president and CEO of Texas Instruments.


City of Southlake Now Accepting Nominations for the 2016 Youth of the Year Award

Annually, the City of Southlake sponsors the Youth of the Year Award presented at the Southlake Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet. This award recognizes outstanding teens who have made a difference in our community.  The City traditionally receives exceptional nominations for young residents of Southlake demonstrating their commitment to our community. If you know a teen (ages 12-18) who deserves recognition for their outstanding role in the community, please nominate them by Friday May 13 for this prestigious honor. Nomination forms can be found online here.

Last year’s Youth of the Year Award recipients was an extraordinary young lady Sarah Friske. Ms. Friske is a member of numerous community groups including the Southlake Youth Action Commission (SYAC). This young lady has inspired the community with her hard work, determination and dedication to a cause – we are looking forward to hearing how other youth residents of Southlake have made an impact on the community this year. If you have additional questions please do not hesitate to contact the City at 817-748-8019 or

United States Tennis Association serves up major award to Southlake Tennis Center

At the Texas Section United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) Annual Meeting and Conference this coming February, the Southlake Tennis Center will be recognized as the Texas section’s Organization of the Year!

This award, which is the most prestigious award that can be won by a USTA member organization, is based on an organization’s contributions to the community, to non-profit work, and to the growth of tennis through programs, leagues and tournaments.

The Southlake Tennis Center, which is a public tennis facility owned by the City of Southlake and operated by Roxy Tennis, has been a member organization of the USTA since 2002. With this award, STC becomes the Texas Section nominee for National Organization of the Year.

This is not the first time the center has been nationally recognized; the Southlake Tennis Center was named the Public Facility of the Year by the Tennis Industry Association in 2012 and remains the only facility in Texas to receive this honor. STC was named a National Outstanding Facility of the Year in 2011 and Texas Section Quick Start Facility of the Year in 2010.

For more information about the award-winning Southlake Tennis Center, go to or call 817-421-5605.