December 2022 #TeamCity Awards
I wanted to share my remarks and some photos from this month’s #TeamCity Awards event. We began this tradition in 2020 and it is so nice to be back in-person for the awards. This month we recognized both individuals and teams of employees. When we honor the teams, it is great to learn more about the collaboration that our employees, employed in many different departments and agencies, work together on projects that benefit the entire City.
Another year has nearly gone by, and many of you marked this year by completing some stellar projects. We are here to celebrate five outstanding City of Madison employees, and five teams for their excellent work in a wide variety of services our City provides. Thank you also to the guests who joined us today to support our winners. #TeamCity is a core tenet of what makes this city run smoothly. If our departments and divisions work together in a collaborative fashion, it multiplies the effectiveness and efficiency of all of us. Look no further to find the exemplars of #TeamCity than today’s winners. I’m so proud to welcome you all to our first in-person #TeamCity ceremony to be held at Monona Terrace.
Thank you to Monona Terrace for hosting and setting up this beautiful venue for us. We know the team here does great work at this LEED Platinum certified city facility, but it’s nice to experience it up close for ourselves on a positive occasion.
These employees and teams were selected from a large pool of candidates that were nominated by their peers from within or outside their own division. These nominations give me confidence that the work that we do for this community is impactful. I am grateful to work alongside all of you. So let’s meet the December 2022 #TeamCity Award winners.
The #TeamCity Administration Award goes to Zach Commons. Zach is an IT Project Manager, and began his career as an AASPIRE intern working on developing and updating IT APMs and policies. After AASPIRE, Zach was hired as an Information Technology Management intern, where he led development of the first-ever City of Madison Technology Standards Directory. Once Zach graduated from UW-Whitewater, he joined full time as a Project Manager trainee. Within two and half years, he has been promoted twice, and is now a full-time IT Project Manager on enterprise projects. His notable work includes managing hybrid meeting implementation, incorporating Council meetings going hybrid in July 2022, which supports the City’s digital modernization priorities. Zach helped launch the Large Item Work order system with Streets in Accela, which eliminated the need for Streets crews to drive around looking for large items to collect, saving the City 850 to 900 gallons of diesel each week. He also led improvements in customer service as the technical lead on the new IT service and ticket system rolled out over the past few months. Zach was nominated by Collaborative Tools System Administrator Tanya Anderson for all this great work, and seconded by Director Sarah Edgerton.
The #TeamCity Community Service & Support Award goes to David Lindloff. David Lindloff is a Maintenance Coordinator with CDA Housing and has been with the City for approximately 15 years. Most recently, Dave has worked with CDA management and Human Resources to implement a “career ladder” for the maintenance staff. This career ladder will help recruit and retain high quality employees, which in turn will save the City money by reduced hiring necessities as fewer employees move to greener pastures. It will improve the quality of the services provided to the residents, as the staff will be trained to handle whatever maintenance situation they encounter. David is a very positive person who does his best to improve the services provided to the residents of CDA Housing, Madison residents and his coworkers. He is also a wealth of knowledge and for that, Code Enforcement Officer III David Wise and Housing Manager Michelle Schwartz nominated him.
The #TeamCity Public Health & Safety Award goes to Neal Crowder. Neal is a Police Officer at MPD assigned to patrol services. He is also Chair of MPD’s Black Officer Coalition, whose mission is to bridge the gap between the Black Community and MPD. The Black Officer Coalition (BOC) seeks to develop and support the recruitment, retention and promotion of black officers at MPD through inclusion, professional relationships and community partnerships. As the head of BOC, Officer Crowder works tirelessly to bring together community members and officers for positive purposes. In 2022 alone, Officer Crowder organized BOC’s involvement in “Trunk or Treat” outreach serving children, coordinated MPD involvement at a charity soccer match coined “Battle of the Badges,” supported food pantry efforts on Madison’s south side, and matched volunteer Black officers from BOC to a youth camp. Neal takes part in a tremendous amount of community-facing initiatives, in addition to the courageous service he provides daily as a patrol officer. Embodying quiet leadership and selfless public service, Neal was nominated by Sergeant Meg Hamilton.
The #TeamCity Public Works & Land Use Award goes to Stephen King. Stephen is Facilities Services Coordinator at Engineering. In this role, he deals with City-owned facility maintenance issues citywide, coordinating with forepersons to plan and create schedules for timely project completion, and ensuring coverage for all service requests and preventative maintenance. This is challenging, as the group has a large backlog of work that needs to be triaged. In the last year, he has piloted a new system to improve communication and increase transparency. One of the successful projects he has managed is the Green Power solar installation program. Beyond getting the work done, he cares about the people who work under him and strives to elevate them. Program Assistant Felix Eggl nominated Stephen.
The #TeamCity Mayor’s Choice Award goes to Steve Schultz. Steve is the Assistant Streets Superintendent. His operational oversight duties include coordinating vehicle and equipment acquisitions with Fleet, and managing the overall citywide winter response whenever the need arises. In winter, he is a “round-the-clock force” in guiding the response. Related to that, Steve has been instrumental in dramatically reducing the Streets division’s salt use over the years since assuming his current role in 2013, which is important for preserving our local natural environment including waterways. Steve is currently coordinating the switch of 17 Streets trucks to 100% biodiesel, which has helped make Madison a national leader in fleet emissions reduction. Unfortunately, for us, Steve, who began working at Streets on October 1, 1990, and steadily rose through the ranks, will be retiring in January. His expertise, sense of humor and leadership will be missed at Streets and other agencies, including mine. For his many years of dependable service, Steve was nominated by Recycling Coordinator & Public Information Officer Bryan Johnson.
The #TeamCity Award Administration Team is the Ballot Box Team. 2022 featured another very important election year in Madison, around the state and across the country. However, the Wisconsin Supreme Court decided that voter suppression was more important than making it easier for residents to vote more easily using the 14 drop boxes around the City that worked well in the past and are actively used without incident in voting jurisdictions across America and around the world—and this in the time of a major pandemic where avoiding crowds is more important if possible. So although we weren’t allowed to use the ballot boxes for voting as intended, we shrouded them in fantastic art by Jenny Holzer, who has a history of lifting the voices of many in hopeful messages about enduring democracy. Congratulations to the Ballot Box Team who helped make lemonade out of an extremely frustrating situation on behalf of Madison!
The #TeamCity Award Community Service & Support Team is Aquatics, nominated by Shane Martin. Aquatics team members consist of Aquatic Supervisors, Head Guards, Lifeguards and a Concessions Worker. As a team, all members of the Aquatics department are determined to provide the safest and most enjoyable experience at the Goodman Pool. They strive to provide the safest environment with weekly in-service training such as CPR/AED, First Aid, Rescue Breathing, Spinals, Active and Passive saves, full-scale scenarios, etc. This level of training ensures that our staff are ready to respond to any number of emergencies at a moment's notice. In any aquatics setting, safety is the number one priority. The team also strive to provide a clean, safe and welcoming environment for all our staff and guests visiting the facility. The front desk and concessions attendants are the first points of contact that patrons interact with and set the stage for their whole experience. Once in the facility, the lifeguards keep them safe while enforcing the pool rules, policies, and procedures. In July, the team performed a dramatic rescue of a child who was at the bottom of Goodman Pool, was no longer breathing and required CPR and an AED before EMS even arrived. This team of lifesavers deserves our thanks.
The #TeamCity Award Health & Safety Team is CampHERO Leadership Team, nominated by Captain Jen Roman. Gender employment gaps still plague the protective services professions and others. Nationwide, 33.7% of EMTs, 17.1% of police and only 4.4% of firefighters are female. While the City of Madison numbers exceed the nation’s, we recognize the need for active intervention in order to help girls and women see themselves as smart, savvy and strong enough to pursue a career in the protective services. In 2011, we gathered for the first time to decide how to address the gender inequity we face and CampHERO was founded. CampHERO is an experience for girls in K-12 and CampHERO 4 Women is for women 18 and over to explore, and be supported in pursuing a career in protective services. The Leadership Team developed (and continues to analyze and revise) the curriculum to help girls and women develop courage, confidence and character, while teaching them about the protective services and providing mentorship. The CampHERO Leadership Team collaborates with many agencies and individuals and is responsible for every single aspect of the program, ranging from deciding menus to conducting research. They meet through the entire year and are truly dedicated individuals. Over 1,200 girls have been served in the ten years that CampHERO’s summer experience has been offered. The experience gives everyone a way to connect, support and mentor each other. As a result, campers have successfully navigated school and application processes to achieve their goal of serving in the role of firefighter, EMT or police officer. In addition, numerous CampHERO volunteers have also landed their dream jobs and have been promoted, thanks to the connections and support they realized through CampHERO. What a great program to recognize here today.
The #TeamCity Award Public Works & Land Use Team is Metro Service Lane Crew nominated by Nicole Sampson. Members of the public, even those who ride the bus multiple times a day every day, are not going to be aware of the work that goes into making the bus routes available for riders to get to school, work, medical care, shopping or anything else the transport might be needed for. That is, if the work is done well. One of the teams quietly and persistently working behind the scenes every day at Metro to make the rides comfortable and possible is the service lane crew. They quickly enter every bus coming back to base for a cleaning and extra sanitizing since the start of the pandemic. The crew is made up of hardworking frontline workers, and though the public will never see them, they will certainly be able to enjoy the benefit of riding a clean bus. We are here to applaud the crew.
The #TeamCity Award Mayor’s Choice Team is Parks Alive! Nominated by Yolanda Shelton-Morris. This summer, the City of Madison hosted a great new series of events called Parks Alive! Held in parks across the city, the events were a chance for Madisonians to come to their local park, listen to music, participate in fun activities, have a snack or maybe dinner, and get to know their neighbors. Parks Alive 2022 was a collaborative effort across multiple City departments and a wide variety of community-based stakeholders and mobile resources, included 30 events in 8 parks (in or adjacent to NRT neighborhoods) and provided opportunities for more than 3000 residents to enjoy their neighborhood parks, build community, strengthen relationships, and have fun! Events were held at the following parks: Aldo Leopold, Allied, Warner (by Brentwood), Elver, Meadowood, Owl Creek, Penn and Worthington. Parks Alive events were a great way to emerge from pandemic isolation, using our amazing City parks, resident leaders, Neighborhood Resource Teams and City resources to engage residents and reenergize park programming. They helped build relationships between young people and adults, and build trust between residents, a variety of City Departments, and other neighborhood stakeholders. We hired young people to help plan and implement activities at the Parks Alive events in their neighborhoods. City staff worked directly with established neighborhood-based youth service providers to involve young people in developing activities. This team is deserving of a TeamCity award as all the planning, organizing, coordinating and implementation of the Parks Alive events was a huge lift led by this dynamic group.