Monday, September 27, 2021

City of Southlake Earns Marketing Awards for Stars & Stripes 20th Anniversary

Kaliff Marketing Gold AwardThe City of Southlake’s annual Stars and Stripes 20th Anniversary recently received recognition, winning multiple awards from the Texas Festivals & Events Association (TFEA) for the 2019 event.

TFEA hosted the annual Kaliff Marketing Awards for events held throughout the state before the pandemic and virtually after the pandemic began from June 1, 2019, through May 31, 2020. Southlake earned the top honor, first place, in the Best Miscellaneous On-Site Décor for the City’s photo booth display, in its respective budget category. The City also was chosen for two bronze awards in the Best Event Video Promotion and Best Giveaway categories.

Stars and Stripes Photobooth

Kaliff Gold Award – Best Onsite Decor – 20th Anniversary Photo Frame

“It is our goal to create memorable experiences for our City, its residents, and visitors alike,” said Daniel Cortez, Southlake’s director of economic development and tourism. “We can bring forth these exemplary events like our signature Stars and Stripes because of our community support. We can’t thank our sponsors enough for seeing and believing in our vision for events and joining us in our efforts to help create those memories.”

The award competition, which recognizes marketing and promotion campaign excellence, highlights the TFEA’s annual summer conference. Although the meeting was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, the awards competition still took place with 395 submitted entries.

“The goal for festivals and events is to create memorable experiences and signature destination events that are unrivaled in their entertainment value, as well as all the other elements associated with such programs,” said TFEA Executive Director Kay Wolf.

Mayor in Giveaway Chair

Kaliff Bronze Award – Best Giveaway – 20th Anniversary Chair

TFEA is a professional trade association for festival and event planners, volunteers, and suppliers from across Texas. It is an official affiliate of the International Festivals & Events Association, the premier professional association supporting festival and event leaders worldwide.

City Receives Three TAMIO Awards For Communication Excellence

The City of Southlake took home three awards from the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) for government communication excellence.

The Mayor’s Alliance for Unity and Culture video was announced as the winner in the Public Service Announcement Marketing video category. The City worked with Mayor Laura Hill to create the video after two racially charged incidents. The video served as an invitation for people to join the Alliance, which now has more than 30 members and is working toward the creation of a community plan. The video can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here. To learn more about the Mayor’s Alliance, visit

Mayor's Alliance for Unity and CultureAn Award of Excellence was given to Southlake DPS for Best Use of Social Media (Planned). The Humanizing the Badge social media posts on three main areas: sound police management practices and protocols, the officers’ professional training, and their relationship-building activities. The campaign was also the recipient of the Public Relations of America’s (PRSA) Silver Anvil Award for Best Campaign $5,000 or less, Government. If you haven’t already, check out the Southlake DPS Facebook and Twitter pages by clicking here and here.

Southlake DPS was also recognized with a TAMIO Award of Honor for its educational Public Service Announcement – Southlake Police Speeding Infomercial. The video was produced in a funny infomercial style to detail the process of what happens when drivers get a speeding ticket and how they can avoid this hassle in the future. To view the infomercial, click here.

“We are always striving to find new ways to inform and to get our residents involved and engaged in City government,” said Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski. “We are honored that the judges made special note of these communication and marketing efforts.”

TAMIO recognizes municipalities for communication excellence in more than 20 categories. The City of Southlake received two awards in 2018 for including one for its Bench the Grinch video reminding people to Hide, Lock, Take.

Metroport Teen Court Honors Volunteers

The City of Southlake hosted a presentation and awards ceremony on Monday, April 29 in Town Hall to recognize teens and adults for their service and commitment to the Metroport Teen Court program. Metroport Teen Court is a voluntary program and is funded by the cities of Colleyville, Grapevine, Keller and Southlake.

This year, eight individuals received awards for giving their time and expertise to run Teen Court. Two teens who served as teen attorneys for about three years received $1,500 each in scholarships.

Metroport Teen Court allows juvenile, Class C misdemeanor offenders an alternative way to serve community service hours and participate in the judicial process.

The teens will go through a trial before their own peers and will be sentenced with community service hours and jury service to complete.

Metroport Teen Court is not just about judge and jury trials, it is also about learning how the judicial system works and giving back to your community. Other roles teen volunteers serve in Metroport Teen Court are jurors, bailiffs and teen attorneys.  The adult volunteers assist with check-in and check-out of volunteers. Adults also serve as courtroom monitors; and with very special training, run master jury rooms or jury deliberation rooms.

“Teen Court is important for a multitude of reasons,” said Teen Court Clerk Dana Falk, “We offer teens an alternative to the regular juvenile court process, where they risk formal prosecution and possible adjudication; it allows teens to make restitution to the community for their violation by way of performing community service.  It enables teens to take responsibility for their citation instead of parents paying the fine, and it allows juvenile offenders to better understand our judicial process.”

Upon completion of the program, a teen’s citation is dismissed and they avoid what might have been a stain on their legal record.

“It’s like a second chance for first offenders, and it also teaches kids responsibility,” said Falk.  According to Falk, some defendants enjoy the process so much that they come back to volunteer on their own time as jurors or to train as teen attorneys and volunteer that way.

“On any given Tuesday night, we have around five adult volunteers and between 10-30 teen volunteers helping us to run the program,” said Falk,

“Four of the ladies who received recognition come without fail every Tuesday night and either run our master jury rooms or help with check-in at the desk,” She continues. “The Teen Court judge who was recognized has led all of our teen attorney training sessions this year, as well as serving as mentor to one of our competition teams.”

Senior teen attorneys Parker Churns and Cameron Waltz were recognized for their consistency.  “We will be sad to lose their expertise after the summer when they go off to school,” said Falk.

The North Richland Hills Animal Adoption and Rescue Center was also recognized for giving teen defendants more hours of community service than any other organization this year.

“We could not provide the current level of service we maintain without these volunteers,” said Falk.

If interested in being a part of the Metroport Teen Court program, please email

Award Recipients
Adult Volunteers
Kara Carreras – Judge of the Year, led all training sessions for teen attorneys, mentored a competition team and served as our Advisory Board Chair
Linda Lucart – Logged the Most Hours
Teen Volunteers
Paityn Main – Logged the Most Hours
Scholarship Recipients, Considered to be lead teen attorney and represented Metroport Teen Court on the State Competition Team
Parker Churns –$1500
Cameron Waltz – $1500
Superior Service Award
Patty Bradshaw
Exceptional Service Award
Heather Main
Outstanding Service Award
Rebecca Waltz
Work Site of the Year
NRH Animal Adoption & Rescue Center, gave most hours to defendants

City of Southlake CFO Named Finalist for CFO of the Year

The Dallas Business Journal (DBJ) has released the list of finalists for the 2018 CFO of the Year awards, including Southlake’s very own Chief Financial Officer, Sharen Jackson.

The CFO of the Year Awards recognizes North Texas financial professionals for their superb performance as financial stewards. The nominees were evaluated for their effect on their respective organizations and were selected across eight categories, including, Large Companies, Upper Middle Market, Core Middle Market, Closely held, Non-profit/501( c )(3), Not-for-profit/501( c )(6) and Government.

“Sharen’s superior financial management and leadership have helped to ensure the long-term health and wellness of Southlake, benefitting citizens, businesses and visitors in the community,” said City Manager, Shana Yelverton.

Yelverton also noted how Jackson worked with the City Council to reduce property tax-supported debt from over $100 million in 2002 to $50.5 million in 2018 and decrease property tax obligations for residential property owners. She has also implemented the open OpenGov portal in order to improve financial transparency.

The DBJ’s CFO of the Year criteria include:
• Demonstrated financial growth during the year
• Success in overcoming significant business challenges or barriers
• Examples of team leadership and superior management
• Other factors may include a chief financial officer’s contributions to the community (such as social, nonprofit or charitable giving)
• Demonstrated commitment to the company’s financial best practices and accounting standards, or success as a strategic visionary for the enterprise

The winners will be announced at the CFO of the Year Awards luncheon on Tuesday, November 13.

Visit the Dallas Business Journal for more information about the award and the luncheon.


Excellent Work Recognized at TAMIO Conference

June 2018 – Two City projects were recently recognized at the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) annual conference.

The Library’s “Camp Big Read” program received the Award of Honor for Best Recurring Special Event Under 100K, and “Bench the Grinch!” was honored in the 2018 Video – PSA – Marketing Under 60K category.

Camp Big Read is the Library’s biggest special event, a summer reading program designed to offer a retro-style experience.  Participants received camp t-shirts, cultural education, badges and more. The program was designed to draw attention to the Library as a summer destination.  The campy atmosphere was appealing to children and parents alike, a creative approach to elevating the summer reading program experience. Kudos to the library team for making it happen and for being recognized for your creativity and great work.

“Bench the Grinch” was a humorous video reminding holiday shoppers to Hide, Lock, and Take.  Unfortunately, thieves have no Christmas spirit or charity, preferring to take advantage of shoppers who let their guard down. The video’s purpose was to increase awareness of the problem of motor vehicle burglaries.

City Recognizes Employees During Annual Awards Ceremony

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.


City Employees Receive Special Awards

Several Southlake employees received special awards this past week for their work in the City and we couldn’t be more proud of them.

Employees with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department were recognized during the Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) awards luncheon for outstanding contributions to the Parks and Recreation field. Parks Manager Mike Reasoner received the “Parks Professional of the Year” award.

Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher wrote the nomination for Mr. Reasoner. Thatcher said, “When you’re in Southlake you know it! Thanks to Mike’s attention to detail, and his commitment to excellence. Mike has distinguished himself as a true professional in the parks field.”

The nomination for Reasoner continues, “As a Division Manager, Mike spends a significant amount of his time engaging with the community. He truly understands the expectations of our citizens and goes above and beyond on a daily basis to ensure their needs are being met. Mike will always make accommodations to meet with a resident, athletic association member or a City employee at their request to discuss an issue or solve a problem. I know that he accepts phone calls and responds to email on his personal time just to ensure a customer knows their request has been received and is important to him.  He always handles citizen complaints and compliments with a high degree of professionalism and courtesy. It is his dedication to the customer and their concerns that have made Mike so successful in his position as Parks Manager. Congratulations Mike!”

Miracle Eggstravaganza received the Lone Star Programming Award, recognizing an innovative, first-time recreation program spearheaded by Parks and Rec Program Supervisor Ashley Newhart and Special Events Coordinator Corinne Klitzke.

The City of Southlake saw a need for a special event like this that is completely handicap accessible and designed for children who have disabilities and their families. The Community Services Department presented the idea to the Miracle League of Southlake and partnered with them in the development of this new special event.  Eggstravaganza was held in the completely wheelchair accessible Texas Rangers Miracle League Field in Bicentennial Park. This first-time event was a huge success with more than 400 guests in attendance. Congratulations to Ashley and Corinne for their outstanding work!

Southlake’s Purchasing Manager Tim Slifka, was honored with the Presidential Award from the Texas Public Purchasing Association (TxPPA). TxPPA strives to make public purchasing in Texas the most efficient and effective in the nation. The organization represents the highest ethical standards of conduct in the performance of public and non-profit purchasing.

The TxPPA president selects the award recipient each year based on performance. “We look for someone who goes above their regular responsibilities and provides outstanding leadership. Tim is deserving of this prestigious award. He exemplifies the standards of the TxPPA organization. He is always standing by ready to step up and help whenever and wherever needed,” Kim Gould, 2017 President of TxPPA. Congratulations Tim!

These employees epitomize the Southlake Way. At the City of Southlake, our professionals are the most important resource in our service commitment to our customers. We nurture a progressive environment where challenging, empowered and purposeful work is celebrated. Today we celebrate the accomplishments of these four employees. Congratulations to you all.


Mike Reasoner

Ashley Newhart and Corinne Klitzke

Tim Slifka

Carroll Celebrates Employees, Retirees

End of Year 2015On Wednesday, May 27 Carroll ISD Administration hosted the district’s annual End of Year Celebration. The event was held at Carroll Senior High School.

Emceed by CISD Superintendent Dr. David Faltys and Board President Chris Archer, the administration announced this year’s district teachers of the year, service award winners and honored all retirees.

All campus teachers of the year were recognized as were all 25, 30, 35 and 40 year employees.

End of Year 2015 (2)The K-6 district teacher of the year is Melody Anderson, a special education teacher from Rockenbaugh Elementary.

Carroll’s secondary district teacher of the year is Denise McCrummen, also a special education teacher, from Dawson Middle School.

The district teachers of the year also won use of a Lexus courtesy of our Dragon Marketing partner, Park Place Lexus. For more information about this year’s individual campus teachers of the year, click here.

We honored 34 retirees with nearly 800 years of combined education experience. Many of those retirees spent their entire careers in Carroll ISD. Susan Anders and Chauncey Willingham retired after 40 years in Carroll, Susanne Williams retired after 30 years in Carroll, Ellen Channel, Ofelia Garza and Linda Rose also retired after over 20 years in Carroll ISD.End of Year 2015 (1)

Additional awards from last Wednesday’s event include: The Auxiliary Service Award that went to Beverly Newsome of Child Nutrition Services Department and Jose Sanchez of the Maintenance and Custodial Department.

The Paraprofessional Service Award went to Susan Drescher from the Special Programs Department and Michelle Sark from Old Union Elementary School.

The Community Service Award went to Debra Albertini, the librarian at Walnut Grove Elementary; and the Distinguished Service Award went to both Mary Brunig of the Child Nutrition Services Department and Chauncey Willingham of the Maintenance and Custodial Department.

The annual event was made possible through Carroll ISD’s We Care program and donations from district sponsors, Central Market, Frost Bank and Park Place.

Southlake Community Services Department receives state Texas Recreation & Park Society Awards

Southlake City Council and Community Services staff with TRAPS Awards.

Southlake City Council and Community Services staff with TRAPS Awards.

This past February, The City of Southlake’s Community Services Department was awarded two state TRAPS (Texas Recreation & Society) Awards for their work in 2014.  The first award went to Recreation Coordinator, Amy Bennet – she received the Class IV Lone Star Recreation Programming Award for her Hunger Games Southlake program that took place on Saturday, November 15, 2014.

This event was held in honor of the release of the Hunger Games movie Mockingjay, at the Bob Jones Nature Center and introduced young tributes, ages 9-13, to the skills and knowledge necessary to survive in the wilderness. It included a Hunger Games Southlake competition where the tributes put their skills to the test to determine a victory district! Although the day’s activities were themed around the Hunger Games, the focus was on encouraging youth to experience and enjoy nature. The program was an opportunity for the tributes to build teamwork and leadership skills and gain confidence in their own skills!

The second award received was the Class IV Park Design Excellence Award, for Southlake’s North Park. This award recognizes the Parks and Recreation Department as well as the Design Professionals from Schrickel,Rollins & Associates for their team work on the park design. North Park is Southlake’s newest community park that opened September 20, 2012 and features multi-purpose sports fields, a concession/restroom building, playground and lots of open play space.

For more information on TRAPS please visit