Fleet Recognizes 2023 Employee of the Year Katie Cutler and MORE!


By Salma Florencio, Fleet Operations Clerk, and Rachel Darken, Fleet Chief of Staff 

The entire Fleet Division recently gathered for our annual all-fleet potluck on February 19th. From venison sausage to tamales, the team’s culinary skills were on display! The gathering was not only a celebration of good food, but it was also an opportunity to recognize and honor the hard work and dedication of our exceptional employees. To start off employee recognition, we announced Katie Cutler as 2023’s Employee of the Year.

Katie is the first-ever female Fleet Technician hired at the City, and it’s fitting that we share her recognition in the middle of Women’s History Month. She joined our team in 2018 after 16 years in the private sector. Katie has experience in all sides of the auto industry, having worked for a Chrysler dealership, an independent repair shop, and even a parts store.

On our team, Katie is responsible for maintaining and repairing the City’s fleet of ambulances. She is known for meticulously inspecting each ambulance and repairing all issues – even the ones that were never flagged by the drivers. Katie takes great pride in being able to assist the efforts of first responders and make their jobs a little easier, and this attitude is partly why she earned this recognition. In addition to the ambulances, she helps maintain other equipment used by the Fire Department, and installs the custom mounts and panels required for police cars used by K9 officers. Katie also serves on the division’s Equity Team, working to address inequities and contribute to an inclusive workplace.

Outside of work, Katie enjoys spending time in nature. You’ll often find her exploring the natural beauty of Wisconsin from a kayak or working on gardening projects at home. Don’t be fooled – Katie is made of tough stuff, and that part of her thrives in the world of roller derby. Recently, she transitioned to refereeing and overseeing competition and rules enforcement.

The grit and determination Katie gives in all aspects of her work are why we are proud to name her Fleet’s Employee of the Year. 

From left to right: Mahanth Joishy, Randy Koch, Katie Cutler, and Rachel Darken
L to R: Superintendent Mahanth Joishy, Operations Manager Randy Koch, Fleet Tech Katie Cutler, Chief of Staff Rachel Darken

Clearly employee recognition is important to us, and that’s why we have also implemented an “Employees of the Month” program. This program recognizes two employees a month, for their hard work and dedication that is contributed to the team daily. Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis by other members of the Fleet team. All acts of outstanding work are accepted, no matter the size. To start, we have also included every Fleet employee’s name in the pool, since we all contribute to keep the City’s vehicles up and running. At the end of every month, we will be drawing the Employees of the Month for the following month. The winners receive a certificate marking their achievement, as well as an assigned parking spot at our Nakoosa location! Those who are unable to use the parking space, such as our satellite employees, will receive an alternative prize to commemorate the award. The Employees of the Month for March are Parts Technician, Jeremiah Haas and Fleet Technician, Roger Benda! Jeremiah was nominated for his efforts to source less expensive parts, and Roger was nominated for his exemplary work ethic.  

Lastly, our final act of gratitude for the afternoon was a small raffle held for the attendees of the potluck. General Foreperson Mark Vander Waal and Fleet Technician Jay Hyatt were the winners – both very deserving of a prize for their exceptional work in the shop office and satellite garage, respectively. Mark took home an exclusive City of Madison travel mug, whereas Jay received a gift card to Kwik Trip! We believe these acts of employee recognition are critical in boosting morale and creating a positive work environment. It is important to us that our employees are valued and feel as if their day-to-day contributions to the department are noticed. Each of our employees plays a different role in the success of our department, and we hope these efforts are appreciated by them too.  

You can read about past Employee of the Year winners here and learn how each one has contributed to our goals: 

This content is free for use with credit to City of Madison Fleet.

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