No Shortage of City Employees to Honor - Meet our Newest #TeamCity Award Winners
I am always happy to share information on our #TeamCity Award winners. We honored a number of employees and employee teams recently. Recognizing our staff for their dedication and efforts is one of the best parts of my job. Here are my remarks from our celebration:
Good morning and welcome to the July 2021 #TeamCity Ceremony. I truly enjoy reading the submitted nominations. It is inspiring seeing how much all of you do to help our community. We all know last year was a difficult one. Yet, through all the challenges at work and beyond, you have been a light for your coworkers and residents you serve.
Today we celebrate six outstanding employees and five excellent teams that stand out among all the nominees. Without further ado, let’s meet this month’s #TeamCity employee winners!
This month’s #TeamCity Administration award goes to Debbie Fields. Debbie is a Program Assistant at Common Council. Her main responsibilities include constituent services, scheduling neighborhood meetings, consent agenda exclusion lists, and entering resolutions and sponsors into Legistar. She recently took on more responsibilities due to the Common Council Office losing half of their staff last spring. Thanks to Debbie, the office ran smoothly through this transition and helped 9 new Council members adjust to their new roles while providing administrative support to all members of the Council. She has also worked for the City for 20 years. Thank you for keeping the Common Council Office running through these difficult times. Debbie was nominated by Common Council Legislative Analyst, Karen Kapusta-Pofahl, and District 11 Alder, Arvina Martin.
July 2021’s #TeamCity Community Service & Support award goes to Jim Sullivan. Jim is a Transit Account Clerk at Metro. His main duties include accounts payable/p-card reconciliation, accounts receivable, and administrative office support. Additionally, he is always willing to help others. An example is his expertise with office equipment. He will often help with printer jams and ensuring there are enough office supplies. These small efforts have been key to maintaining high efficiency and teamwork. Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he attended the office every workday and even delivered materials to co-workers at home. He is truly a team player. Congratulations Jim. Jim was nominated by Assistant to the General Manager, Ann Schroeder.
This month’s #TeamCity Public Health & Safety award goes to Denise DeSerio. Denise is an Administrative Assistant at the Fire Department. Some of her responsibilities include leading all clerical workers in the MFD, as well as supporting the daily needs of 10 Chief Administrators. She handles scheduling, hiring, and promotions. Additionally, she has worked for Fire since 1999. Her work behind the scenes is crucial to ensuring that the department meets their daily and weekly goals. Denise was instrumental during the transition to the Work Share Program, in which she also participated. She is constantly training team members to increase productivity of the clerical staff she leads. Thank you for your constant support for such a critical department, Denise. Denise was nominated by Fire Chief, Steve Davis.
This month’s #TeamCity Public Works & Land Use award goes to Blake Scoville. Blake is a Technician at Fleet. He is responsible for repairing Madison’s heavier equipment like plow trucks, garbage and recycling trucks, and bucket trucks. Additionally, he has always been flexible and willing to assist in order to ensure high quality of service and availability of this critical equipment for Fleet’s customer agencies. He has stayed late, come in on his days off, and even changed shifts and locations when asked, all while maintaining a positive attitude. One example is the time that one of Fleet’s garages did not have a technician available for the 2:00 pm to 2:30 am shift. Blake took the shift even though his next shift was at 7:30 am the same day. Lastly, some of the equipment that Blake works on is expensive. His attention to detail and hard work allow the City to make use of these vehicles for many years while keeping the maintenance costs low. Thank you for your hard work and for being a team player, Blake. Blake was nominated by Fleet Foreperson, Mark Vander Waal.
Next we have #TeamCity Mayor’s Choice award. This month one award goes to Caitlin Stokes. Caitlin is an Operations Clerk for Streets. She is responsible for recordkeeping and dispatch concerns to operators. She is the primary contact for the public when they reach out to Streets on the east side. Caitlin takes complaints in by phone so Streets can address the issues. Regardless of how the person on the other side of the phone acts, Caitlin will always show professionalism and an understanding voice. Currently, Streets has changed services for our residents, like brush and yard waste collection. Caitlin has played a critical role in making sure that the voice of the customer is heard so concerns can be accounted for during discussions. We’re also told that she has an11 month old adorable baby. Thank you for making sure our residents’ concerns are addressed and keeping a strong communication line between Streets and residents. Caitlin was nominated by Recycling Coordinator and Public Information Officer, Bryan Johnson.
This time around, I decided to give out two #TeamCity’s Mayor’s Choice awards. The second winner of this award is Michael Mueller. Michael is a Parking Equipment Electric Technician at Parking Utility. He is responsible for maintenance and support of the Parking Utility parking access and revenue control equipment, surveillance cameras, and data network. Mike does whatever is necessary to get the job done, even if that means working extra hours. Michael had to be heavily involved with the installation of the work at the Wilson Street Garage due to the experience level of the staff he was overseeing at the vendor. He positively affects everyone who parks at one of our downtown garages. Thank you for keeping our garages running smoothly. Michael was nominated by Parking Maintenance Supervisor, Daniel Valenza.
Now it’s time to celebrate our teams. The City relies on collaboration, and these teams directly impact several departments and residents. These teams embody the meaning of #TeamCity.
The first team will celebrate is the #TeamCity Administration winner: City Clerk Office. The Clerk’s Office is in charge of elections, meeting and contract records, licenses and permits. As we all know, last year was an unusual year, and many departments had to adapt. During the pandemic the Clerk’s Office responded to the many new needs of residents in order to vote safely. They are a creative and collaborative group. They worked with several other City departments to allow registration, voting and ballot drop off opportunities for residents, and scheduled drop off locations in all City parks. This required tremendous effort and coordination. It is no wonder why their motto is, “We exist to assist”. The City Clerk’s Office was nominated by Assistant to the General Manager, Ann Schroeder.
Next we have the #TeamCity Community Service & Support winner: Second Harvest Food Drive. Every year, the Second Harvest Food Bank City staff organizers host a fundraiser in conjunction with the Bowl-A-Vard owners. This event is very popular and some of you have probably participated in previous years. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, this year’s event had to be canceled. However, the City staff organizers came up with different ways to reach our staff and collect funds for this great organization anyway. This year, they were able to collect a total of $4,500 in cash for Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin. What’s more amazing is the fact that the donation amount they have been able to collect has increased in each of the seven years since starting the fundraiser in conjunction with the fun social event for staff. Your organization and commitment is to be celebrated. Thank you for your effort! The Second Harvest Food Drive team was nominated by me.
This month’s #TeamCity Public Health & Safety Team award goes to the EMS Training Officers. This team is responsible for sourcing, acquisition, accountability, distribution, and maintenance of all of the emergency medical services medications and equipment within the Fire Department. Additionally, they are involved with the delivery of training to Fire’s EMTs and paramedics regarding time-sensitive performance improvement and patient care updates. During the pandemic, there was a shortage in personal protective equipment and medical supplies. This team worked tirelessly to source products from new vendors all over the world. Due to their efforts, the Fire Department had all the needed equipment to serve our residents safely. This was not an easy feat, especially considering how all emergency response teams across the continent were facing the very same issue. Thank you for finding all the tools necessary to protect our residents. The EMS Training Officers were nominated by Division Chief, Chris Carbon.
The July 2021 #TeamCity Public Works & Land Use Team award goes to the Traffic Operations Team. Traffic Operations is responsible for maintaining and installing a wide variety of City infrastructure, including traffic signals, street lighting, signing, pavement markings and fiber and radio communications. In addition to its normal duties, the team has gone extra miles to support other city teams and respond to many emergencies during all times of the day and often under harsh weather conditions, such as providing emergency traffic control during flooding, power outages, or repairing fiber and radio communication when severe weather events disrupt critical services. Over the past year and a half, the team has been involved in a large number of initiatives supporting the safety and well-being of Madison residents and visitors, including Vision Zero safety improvement measures, Shared Streets, conversion of street lights to LED, temporary lane reductions on East Washington to help curb erratic driving behaviors and the roll-out of the “20 is Plenty” speed reduction on neighborhood streets. This team takes great pride in their role of making the City a great and safer place to visit and live. Thank you for your hard work. The Traffic Operations team was nominated by City Traffic Engineer, Yang Tao.
Finally, the #TeamCity Mayor’s Choice team award goes to MAC & WIC. The Multicultural Affairs Committee (MAC) and the Women’s Initiatives Committee (WIC) are two of our volunteer-run City Committees that support the City’s values and work to create a culture of inclusion related to racial and gender justice. They have worked on several important projects towards this goal. One of the biggest ones is the joint MAC/WIC survey. Currently both groups are working to ensure recommendations related to the survey are implemented. The survey and its recommendations are widely discussed through the City and has encouraged both citywide and departmental conversation around improving the culture with a focus on equity and inclusion. Additionally, they launched a Peer Advisor program to advise and support City employees on a wide spectrum of issues in the workplace like disrespectful behaviors, harassment, discrimination, and more. Your efforts are making the City a better place to work in many ways. Thank you! MAC & WIC teams were nominated by WIC Chair, Victoria Larson, and MAC’s previous chair, Carla Garces-Redd.
Thank you all employees and teams for all that you do on a day to day basis. Your hard work is definitely being noticed. Through all the ups and downs we have faced as a society during this unprecedented times, you are part of the light that reminds us that everything will be okay. Congratulations!
I know all of you know more people that do an outstanding job. They could be working as a team, or just as individuals. I strongly encourage you to nominate them so that they get recognized. Remember to take the time to appreciate your coworkers and, if you notice someone going above and beyond, submit a nomination. A word of encouragement or recognition can go a long way.
Thank you all participants for joining this ceremony. Have a great rest of your week, and continue your great work!