May 2024 #TEAMCITY Award Remarks


I want to share my remarks for our recent #TeamCity Awards.

Continuing our tradition launched in 2020, we are gathered here to celebrate 7 outstanding City of Madison employees and 5 outstanding City Teams of various backgrounds for their excellent work in a wide variety of services our City provides. Thank you to the guests who joined us today to support our winners. I’d also like to thank the woman behind the scenes helping to collect all the nominations and organize each of these #TeamCity ceremonies: Ilknur Uludag, Fleet’s Data Analyst.

Today is a very special #TeamCity Awards ceremony, held in the middle of Public Service Recognition Week, where we honor the work of our public servants and show appreciation for their invaluable contributions to our communities. It's important to take the time to recognize and extend our gratitude to them for their dedication and service. Thank you to Human Resources, who have organized the refreshments and other entertainment that I hope you’re enjoying today.

The success of Madison is built on the tireless efforts of those who work behind the scenes. The #TeamCity awards recognize these individuals and teams for their outstanding contributions, and today's winners are true role models for all of us. I’m so proud to welcome you all to this special #TeamCity ceremony.

The employees and teams we are here to celebrate today were selected from a large pool of candidates that were nominated by their peers from within or outside their own division. These nominations were interesting to read and continue to give me confidence that the work that we do for this community is in good hands. I am grateful to work alongside all of you. So, let’s meet the May 2024 #TeamCity Award winners. When you are called, please come on up! If you would like, you are encouraged to share a few words.

The #TeamCity Community Service & Support Award goes to Mai Thao.

Mai is a Multisite Library Assistant. Her job responsibilities include routine customer service, reference duties, and circulation duties at all eight of the City’s neighborhood libraries. Multisite Library Assistants may be called on to fill in anywhere and for anyone on a given day. Mai is a kind and helpful resource for the public and for all her colleagues. She is an excellent listener, and she handles difficult situations calmly and reliably. She is also very knowledgeable about the community and very familiar with concerns that library patrons may have. She shares what she has learned to improve procedures at all locations. Mai was nominated by Librarian Rachel Davidson.

The #TeamCity Public Works & Land Use Award goes to Jeff Greger.

Jeff is a City planner in the Comprehensive Planning & Regional Cooperation unit in the Planning Division. His job responsibilities include establishing long range plans for areas of the City. He helps to coordinate planning and development activities with neighborhood municipalities, area school districts, and regional entities. He recognizes the significance of collaborative work and is always available to help other colleagues when needed. Jeff’s coworkers appreciate that he is an active listener, respectful, and always willing to find a compromise. He is also a valued team player, meeting deadlines and consistently fulfilling his commitments. He’s modest and sincere in his interactions with staff and the public. Jeff is a graduate of UW-Madison’s Landscape Architecture program and has held positions in both the private and public sectors before joining the City more than 10 years ago. Jeff was nominated by City Planner Angela Puerta.

The #TeamCity Public Health & Safety Award goes to Jason Otis & Tyler Otis.

Tyler Otis and Jason Otis receive their #TeamCity award from Mayor Rhodes-Conway

Jason and Tyler are Sign Production Technicians in the Traffic Engineering Department. Together, they make all the signs for the City, from street signs to various smaller projects, including creating signage for two different Vision Zero Projects. They were an integral part in turning the projects from ideas to realities in a short amount of time. No matter the urgency, they respond in a very positive way. One of the projects they supported was a memorial for World Day of Remembrance, honoring those killed in traffic crashes. Jason and Tyler quickly printed a couple of posters to hang with the display. When they realized that the information on the posters was incorrect, they fixed it quickly without complaint. You can imagine that this type of creative work requires a keen attention to detail, and that’s exactly how Jason and Tyler approach their work each day. They always keep their positive attitude and are willing to answer questions whenever needed. Jason and Tyler were nominated by Pedestrian/Bicycle Outreach Specialist Colleen Hayes, and the Vision Zero co-leads: Renee Callaway and Ali Heinritz.

The #TeamCity Public Administration Award goes to Ryan Pennington.

Ryan Pennington receives his #TeamCity award from Mayor Rhodes-Conway

Ryan is an Administrative Analyst 3 in the Finance Department. His job responsibilities include budget development, budget monitoring, legislative fiscal analysis, and other financial projects. Ryan has been an invaluable resource during the Employee Assistance Program Office’s staff turnover due to retirements. He has exceeded expectations by not only providing comprehensive education on the budget process, but also assisting in resolving budget-related concerns as they arise. His exceptional communication skills are truly remarkable; he consistently responds to emails and is always eager to lend a hand. Ryan has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a master’s in Public Administration, with a certificate in Public Financial Management. Ryan was nominated by EAP Manager Arlyn Gonzalez.

The #TeamCity Mayor’s Choice Award goes to Madeline Dumas.

Maddie is a Native Vegetation Supervisor in the Engineering Department. Her current responsibilities include vegetative management for Stormwater Utility Lands. Her work focuses on reducing invasive species, increasing native plant cover, improving ecosystem functionality, enhancing pollinator and other wildlife habitats, all while maintaining stormwater functionality. Maddie has built partnerships with local community groups dedicated to enhancing the long-neglected greenways in District 11. Her commitment and positive advocacy have made her invaluable, contributing not only her time and expertise but also supplies and resources for combating invasive plants. She actively educates residents on the importance of replacing them with native plants and seeds. A resident stated, “I cannot think of a better representative for the City of Madison than hardworking, knowledgeable, and friendly Maddie Dumas.” She has effectively coordinated City services to bolster neighborhood volunteer initiatives, enhancing both the ecology and aesthetics of our cherished greenspace. Maddie joined the City as the Greenway Vegetation Coordinator in 2018. She built the division’s native vegetation program from the ground up and was promoted to Native Vegetation Supervisor in 2023. Maddie has a master’s degree in landscape architecture from UW-Madison. Maddie was nominated by District 11 Alder, Bill Tishler.

Finally, we are lucky to recognize another awardee, who was unable to attend the previous ceremony. The #TeamCity Community Service & Support Award goes to Jill Maidenberg.

Jill Maidenberg receives her #TeamCity award from Mayor Rhodes-Conway

Jill is a Library Assistant at Monroe Street Library. Her job responsibilities include managing daily library operations, collaborating with fellow staff on special projects, and providing customer service to members of the public. Jill plans and facilitates library activities, ensures that library collections are well-curated and accessible, and provides excellent customer service for people from all walks of life. She even implemented a community puzzle project where anyone in the library could help complete a puzzle that was always out and available for the public to participate in. Jill is well-known at the library with her familiar and friendly face, and everyone who visits depends on her book recommendations, resource explanations, updates on upcoming library programs, and assistance in connecting to other City services. Jill’s kindness and commitment to innovative community service that supports social equity is an integral part of what makes Monroe Street Library such a warm, welcoming place for library patrons and her coworkers. Jill has worked for the City for over 15 years and has been at Monroe Street Library since 2012. Jill was nominated by Library Assistant Tyler Furo.

And now, the amazing teams!

The #TeamCity Award for Public Works & Land Use Team goes to the Hawthorne-Truax Neighborhood Plan Staff Team, nominated by Former District 3 Alder, Erik Paulson.

Hawthorne-Truax Neighborhood Plan Staff Team receives their #TeamCity award from Mayor Rhodes-Conway

Team members are Linda Horvath, Dan McAuliffe, Breana Collins, Meri Rose Ekberg, and Eyad Afifi.

The Hawthorne-Traux Neighborhood Plan Staff Team was tasked with creating the neighborhood plan and was dedicated to connecting with the entire community to hear everyone’s ideas and answer questions. They attended many events including meetings at community centers, splash pads, and family night events. The team talked to many Madisonians who may have never talked to anyone from the City before, let alone contributed to a neighborhood plan. The team implemented innovative methods to collect feedback with maps and commenting boards, online options, and community partners. This team did an amazing job reaching the whole neighborhood, resulting in a strong plan that reflects the hopes and goals of everyone in the community.

The #TeamCity Award for Administration Team goes to the Data Team, nominated by Budget and Program Evaluation Manager, Christine Koh.

The Data Team receives their #TeamCity award from Mayor Rhodes-Conway

Team members are Ellie Anderson, Jessica Jones, and Bethany Von Houten.

The Data Team works on citywide data governance and policy issues, completes complex analytical projects, and supports agencies in advancing data priorities. One of the major projects they have been working on is the Results Madison data engagement. Results Madison is a strategic framework to align city resources to outcomes that matter to residents. The Data Team has been doing intensive data engagements with 10 agencies to update datasets and systems inventories for the available data, identify service measures, and match the numbers to indicators. They take the time to build relationships with staff and facilitate meetings on complex topics to meet the project objectives. The Results Madison project started many years ago, but without their work and effort, there would not be as much progress in the last two years. On top of this amazing work, they also updated a citywide data guide and an APM and have started a citywide data stewardship program to build a community of practice around data.

The #TeamCity Award for Community Service & Support Team goes to the City IT Web Team, nominated by Public Health Communications Team.

The City IT Web Team receives their #TeamCity award from Mayor Rhodes-Conway

Team members are Eric Olson, Dani Fossum, Deborah Thompson, Nathan Danielson, Ning Ningrum, Nic Ross, and Tim Whitney.

The City IT Web Team is responsible for updating and improving the City website by ensuring the content and design is accessible, accurate, professional, and easy to navigate. The team updated the City’s website platform to a new version that took many months to complete. They gathered feedback from website content creators to make sure the updates improved both the departments and the audience’s experience. The Public Health Communications website has become more visual with their recommendations and improvements. They also play a key role in making the Public Health Communications website accessible for people who speak languages other than English and for people using screen readers. They are a great resource whenever someone isn’t sure how to approach a problem. They show great customer service skills through their friendly and quick responses to questions.

The #TeamCity Award for Public Health and Safety Team goes to the Beacon Day Shift Team, nominated by MPD Central District Captain, Mike Hanson.

Team members are Lieutenant Dave Meinert, Sergeant Jen Kane, Officers: Mike Franklin, Tray Turner, Chris Van Hove, Justin Creech, Joel Stelter, Jose Martinez, Jim Dower, and Ryan Jeffery.

The team is responsible for Central District Patrol Operations. These day-shift Officers and their supervisor have been steadfast and consistent in their work at Beacon. The Officers realize that not every citizen contact has to be negative and that they cannot arrest our way out of various conditions. The Beacon Director recently praised this team for their professionalism and patience in coming to the Beacon every day. Lieutenant Meinert has attended numerous meetings to help build bridges and create efficient measures that help the Beacon and Police Relationship. The officers exceed expectations to ensure safe conditions and ensure clients are treated with the human dignity and respect they deserve.

The #TeamCity Award for Mayor’s Choice Team goes to the Streets West Snow Team, nominated by Crossing Guard Supervisor, Alex Stewart.

This team has more than 70 employees who are West side Streets Operators and Laborers. The Streets West Team is responsible for the removal of snow and ice from all City streets and bicycle paths. Their goal is to maintain the desired response times for salting, sanding, and snow plowing. The team worked round-the-clock clean up over the course of several weeks of severe weather conditions in January. A once in a decade snowstorm one week led to subzero temperatures the next, which finally ended in a week of freeze cycles that left the schools’ crosswalks in need of care. Although Streets worked hard on these winter operations, there were areas to be cleaned in the school crossings to allow crossing guards and students to pass safely. When the crossing guard supervisor reached out to Streets with the special request to clear some areas to make access to crosswalks possible, the Streets West Team was very responsive. Several areas were cleaned by the team around the City, keeping our cross walks safe for students to travel to and from school during this challenging weather event.


It’s always such a pleasure to participate in these awards and to see first-hand the comradery and support our employees provide each other. What an outstanding group of public servants. Thank you again for joining the celebration today and helping me recognize this group of #TeamCity winners. There are so many stories like these within our organization that deserve to be recognized.

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