Sunday, December 3, 2023

A Striking Success for our Public Works Team

This week, Mayor John Huffman tells the story of how a concerned resident and employees alike banded together to prevent water loss for 2,300 water customers.

On a Sunday evening, a sharp-eyed citizen reported a water leak coming down the driveway of the Pearson Pump Station, and when investigated, it turned out to be much more than was at the surface.

Contractors were on sight within a few hours to begin excavating and finding the water line that was broken. After almost 20 years of erosion, the water from this critical line had burst through the pipe, creating a leak.

The next day, our Public Works crews rerouted the 16-inch main water line to other 12-inch water lines to continue giving water to the 2,300 water customers that would have been affected by the closure of the main line. This critical line services the western third of Southlake, so it was imperative to make necessary repairs and replacements as quickly as possible.

By Monday afternoon, the water systems were functioning at a normal level which came just in the nick of time! The following day, there was a large house fire that our teams were able to respond to without diminished water force and pressure.

“Pipes deteriorate, but this was a major win for everyone from the citizen who saw it, to our contractors who were able to mobilize and get on-site by Sunday night. Thank you so much to our Public Works team and all of our hardworking professionals and contractors who are willing to make this fix for Southlake and make sure that any disruption in service was very, very minimal and very, very short,” said Mayor Huffman.

To watch the full episode of Minute with the Mayor, click below.

Community Services Employees Recognized During Employee Appreciation Week

The City of Southlake celebrated Employee Appreciation Week during February 13- 17 and several Community Services employees were recognized with city-wide awards.

Our mission at the Community Services Department is to create world-class experiences and the following employees go above and beyond every day to live that mission. We are very proud to work with such dedicated and exemplary teammates.

Values Award: Innovation
Our Fitness Supervisor, Jake Coldren won the Innovation Award for his outstanding work coordinating the Fit City Challenge! Check out this video to learn more about his awesome efforts.

EAW FY2023_Jake Coldren 02

Values Award: Integrity
Hospitality and Sales Assistant Malia Belk embodies integrity in everything she does, especially when reconciling p-cards. Her commitment to safeguarding city resources makes her an excellent asset to the team!

EAW FY2023_Malia Belk 02

Values Award: Teamwork
The Water Meter Reading Team earned the Teamwork award for replacing over 8,000 endpoints in water meters throughout the City. While this was a multi-department effort, our Parks team jumped in to help deliver this monumental project!

EAW FY2023_Water Meter Reading Team 02

Director’s Award: Community Services
Parks Supervisor Terry Lee received this year’s Director’s Award for the Community Services Department. A hard-working Parks professional, Terry lives the Southlake Way values every day. He is a reliable team member and supervisor that takes tremendous pride in his work. You can see his commitment to excellence whenever you visit Bob Jones Park! Congratulations on this recognition, Terry!

EAW FY2023_Terry Lee 02

Congratulations to everyone for representing the excellence of our department throughout the City! Your hard work does not go unnoticed, and we are very proud to work with such outstanding individuals!

Janie Ocampo Wins the Community Services Director Award for Employee Appreciation Week

The Community Services Department consists of various world-class employees that help us create world-class experiences for our residents. This year, the employee that shone above the rest is Director Award recipient Janie Ocampo!


Janie Ocampo is one of two Office Assistants in our department and brings over ten years of knowledge and experience to her position. Super kind, resourceful, and patient, Janie keeps the department afloat as the department’s purchasing liaison, Adopt-A-Street program manager, and customer service specialist. Janie knows this department inside and out, and it’s apparent through her excellent internal and external customer service!


“Janie has a real positive attitude and demeanor that is contagious within our team,” stated Director Chris Tribble.


 “She has a genuine desire to serve our community, and she has a wealth of knowledge. Janie is the go-to person in our department for all different types of questions and bridges the gap across all the divisions in Community Services. Janie is the voice of the department. She’s the one that typically answers the phone and has all the answers for our customers. Janie understands every aspect of our operations, including all the policies and procedures that we need to follow, and she’s able to articulate that very well to all our customers.”


Janie keeps this department running with kindness and ease!


Congratulations on your well-deserved recognition, Janie!

Oscar Rodriguez Wins the Kristin Pitzinger External Customer Service Award

Everyone in the Community Services Department strives for world-class customer service and nobody does it better than Recreation Specialist Oscar Rodriguez!

Oscar Rodriguez is the servant-leader behind our premier Adaptive Recreation program. A full-time teacher during the day, Oscar leads all Club Metro evening activities and ensures participants have the time of their lives. His devotion to his fellow staff members and Club Metro participants comes through every day through his kindness, mentorship, and passion for Adaptive Recreation.

Club Metro is one of our most popular programs, and Oscar’s involvement is a major factor behind its success.

“When we all think about Oscar, we realize how many families in our community love him. He’s been the face of our Adaptive Recreation program for many years. We wouldn’t be the same without him. He’s an enthusiastic, inspiring leader to our team, and he leads with passion and excellence in everything that he does,” stated Director Chris Tribble.

“Oscar is the heart and soul of our Adaptive Recreation program. His passion for recreation enriches the lives of many kids in our community. The people who come to his programs adore him and think the world of him. Oscar is invaluable, passionate, and devoted. I hope that Oscar continues to find great satisfaction in the work he does, not only in the City but as a teacher. Our programs wouldn’t be the same without him.”

Congratulations, Oscar! Thank you for teaching us what world-class customer service really is!

Three Champions Club Employees Honored During Employee Appreciation Week

The City of Southlake officially celebrated Employee Appreciation Week last week, and several Community Services employees received awards.

Every year the City honors several outstanding employees that go above and beyond to provide world-class customer service to our residents. These employees are chosen based on their commitment to the City’s values. The Champions Club Membership Experience Team received the Accountability Values Award this year!

Champions Club members know that the Membership Experience Team is there for them every step of the way. This team embodies accountability and excellence in their field, from setting up facility tours, starting memberships, communicating efficiently, and planning engaging member appreciation events. Guest Services Supervisor Erika Bashaw, Membership Services Coordinator Marianne Burton, and Community Relations Coordinator Dana Blankenship make up this dream team. Together, they work hard to ensure Champions Club members have a world-class experience every time they visit.

Erika, Marianne, and Dana “take personal responsibility and interest in the customer-first,” stated Community Services Director Chris Tribble. “This team respectfully challenges each other to do better, to work hard. They push all the different angles of communication to make magic happen. They have fun and truly enjoy all their work, and our members feel it, and not only that, but our team sees it. This team is dedicated, fun, and inspired. What they do permeates throughout our department. They all have a very bright future here in this organization, and I wish them nothing but continuous success.”

Congratulations to Erika, Marianne, and Dana for being recognized for your hard work! We are so glad to have you on the team!

Meet Rebecca Priddy: Banquet Specialist at Legends Hall

Those who have attended an event at Legends Hall know that every single detail is world-class.

If you’ve ever wondered how the Legends Hall staff manages to pull off such perfect events, time after time, then look no further than Rebecca Priddy! Rebecca Priddy is the new Banquet Specialist at Legends Hall and is in charge of coordinating and executing flawless events such as weddings, conferences, executive parties, and more.

We recently sat down with Rebecca to get to know her a little better. Here’s what she had to say:

What is your professional background?
My professional background has varied over my career path as I took an extended time to stay home with my children. I have experience as an administrative assistant, executive secretary, office manager, educator, recreation leader, recreation and educational programs coordinator, and events coordinator. I have realized during my career journey how much I enjoy community services and events! It has become a passion of mine.

What are you most excited about for your new position?
I am most excited about assisting in coordinating world-class and memorable experiences for our clients and community. It is a joy and honor to be a part of these special celebrations in people’s lives. I am also excited to work for the City of Southlake, be a part of this beautiful facility, and work alongside a fabulous team!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
My family is very important to me. I spend my spare time with my husband, four kids (young adults), and grandson. My daughter is a competitive dancer on her high school drill team, so the fall season is full of Friday night lights! Spring is competition season which keeps us busy as we cheer on our girl and her team. I also enjoy being outdoors at our community trails and parks and cheering for my grandson at his soccer games. I love to host family and friends in our home and spend time with our church community.

What are you most looking forward to in 2022?
I am excited about growing in my new position at Legends Hall and look forward to all the beautiful events we will help create. I am also looking forward to celebrating my 50th birthday, KHS drill team Nationals at Disney, and my son’s wedding in August!

Welcome to the team, Rebecca! We look forward to seeing the beautiful events you help bring to life. Book a tour today if you are interested in celebrating your next life milestone at Legends Hall. Reserve your date by February 28, 2022, and receive 10% off our event packages!

Meet World Class Employee Barbara Walsh

The Southlake Public Library is full of tall tales, fantastic books and special treasures. One of the library’s precious jewels is longtime employee Barbara Walsh.

Walsh has served at the library for 15 years.

She works behind the scenes with the team organizing the library’s daily activities before the facility opens to the public.

“As a team, we process holds, collect the book drop, merchandise the stacks and display areas, prepare coffee for customers and get ready for different interactive programs,” Walsh said.

When she is not working with her teammates, you will find Walsh primarily working at the circulation desk assisting customers.

“I’ve always enjoyed my job as a library service clerk and meeting with the public daily,” Walsh said.

Although a typical day may be anything but typical, Walsh is fulfilled when it comes to her job.

“It is a happy place that has given me personal gratification, and the library staff has been like family to me over the last 15 years,” she said.

Walsh also discussed making special connections with customers and watching their children grow throughout the years.

“I am privileged to work at an uncommonly friendly and exciting environment and proud to serve our community,” she said. “We all take pride in creating a welcoming atmosphere before “showtime” when the doors open at 10 a.m. As these daily tasks are performed, we share a warm camaraderie and sense of community pride.” For more information about the services offered at the Southlake Public Library, please visit us online or follow us on Facebook.

Demonstrating World Class Performance: A Look Inside Southlake Fire

They are the first responders to arrive on a scene. They assist with the injured, visit our schools and are a beloved staple in the community. Kids look up to them and grownups want to be them. Some would even refer to them as our first real-life heroes. They are our local firefighters.

When it comes to implementing the City’s values of integrity, accountability, innovation, excellence and teamwork, the Southlake Fire Department sets the standard.

The staff is comprised of highly-trained individuals who specialize in fire prevention services emergency response, emergency management, public outreach and education and community risk.

Since firefighters are more than likely to be the first responders who arrive on the scene, training is essential.

In 2020, our firefighters accrued 14,000 hours in fire training, 4,000 hours in EMS training and 6,000 hours in professional development.

“We are required to do a certain amount of training by regulatory agencies once you become certified in both fire and EMS,” Deputy Chief of Operations Kurt Hall said.

Not only does Southlake Fire’s commitment to serving the community speak volumes, but their commitment to excellence is displayed through accolades and award-winning achievements.

“We are internationally accredited through the commission of fire accreditation international. We’ve also been awarded a grade of one through the insurance services office, so we are an ISO Class 1,” Hall said.

Southlake Fire also received the 2020 CPSE/CFAI Accreditation based on internal performance metrics and best practice measures. They were one of 10 agencies in the world to complete this accreditation.

Apart from earning some of the highest credentials in the industry, keeping citizens safe is a top priority.

According to the 2020 Southlake Fire Department Annual Report, Southlake Fire:

  • Responded to fires in under 6.35 minutes 90% of the time, which is above industry standards.
  • Responded to 3,210 calls for service.
  • Saved $5 million in property.
  • Dispatched EMS in 45 seconds, 90% of the time.
  • Battled six structure fires in the City of Southlake.
  • Fought 21 structure fires in other jurisdictions.

Southlake Fire is also a member of the Northeast Fire Department Association (NEFDA), which allows citizens of Southlake to have access to the resources of 14 other jurisdictions.

“We are a member of that association to create and to provide specialized rescue training to the community. Most fire departments require individual teams and these 14 cities have come together to cost share. It gives us access to specialty team rescue type training like high angle rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, technical rescue, which is structural collapse,” said Hall. “The additional training allows the employees themselves to focus on what they enjoy. When you do something you enjoy, you always provide a higher quality, a greater focus and you do a better job.”

Our firefighters also offer training and free resources through public education and outreach programs such as CPR training, fire extinguisher training, child safety seat installations and household hazardous waste disposal through a partnership with Fort Worth Environmental.

They also offer station tours for small groups and organizations.

“I think what separates the Southlake Fire Department from any other fire department is the fact that we hire employees that truly care about what they do. They want to provide a high-quality world class service to the community, and they do it in a professional manner,” Hall said.

For more information about Southlake’s Fire Department, please visit


Meet World Class Employee Kevin Ferrer

When it comes to City plans and project management Kevin Ferrer is your go to person.

He serves as the deputy city engineer for the Public Works Department where he leads and guides the engineering team on Capital Improvement Projects (CIPs).

The CIP is a five-year plan that the City has in place for construction of new or investing in the replacement of the City’s physical assets or infrastructure.

These projects ensure that the City will meet the demands for sewer, drainage, water, roadways and parks as Southlake continues to build-out.

To help the City accomplish this goal, Ferrer works with various departments, team members and consultants to address plans and concerns for projects and as well as other engineering related items.

He also analyzes, reviews and discuss studies, reports and plans with the team.

Although implementation and execution play a big part in his day-to-day activities, Ferrer understands that customer service is a high priority.

He is hands on when it comes to communicating and addressing concerns from citizens, contractors and external parties.

His role and dedication to Southlake Mobility Projects earned him the Southlake Values Award for Integrity during Employee Appreciation Week 2021.

When asked what makes Southlake a world class organization to work for, Ferrer said, “Collaboration with the Southlake team and seeing a project completed from the planning/design stage to completion of construction.”