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Howard County Government Employee Recognition winners named

Howard County Government Employee Recognition winners named
Howard County Government’s 2017 Employee Awards Program winners were honored on October 6 at a ceremony at the Howard County Fairgrounds. The highest distinction of “Employee of the Year,” went to Deputy Sheriff Ella Greene from the Sheriff’s Office.  In her day to day efforts to protect and serve our county, Sheriff Greene is responsible for servicing summons and other court papers, as well as addressing courtroom security and prisoner transports.  She is a Field Training Deputy who helps new deputies learn their roles.  Additionally, she is known to bring forward valuable suggestions to improve the safety and operations of the agency and to volunteer for extra patrols to ensure the safety of court personnel and citizens when needed.
Most importantly, she is an example to her co-workers.  This deputy takes the high road in any situation and keeps herself and those around her focused on the job at hand with pride and accountability.  She provides excellent customer service and ensures that she uses professionalism, competence and caring with fellow deputies and the public.
Other employee awards and recipients included:
Great Idea Award – 
1st Place:  A stainless steel conveyor at the county salt barn in Dayton, pre-treating roads with salt brine and a more effective Asphalt Zipper for patching roads - all of these ideas came from a veteran county employee, Carl Fugate with the Department of Public Works, Bureau of Highways.  A salt barn can be a dangerous place so the conveyor protects both staff and equipment.  The salt brine makes county roads safer during weather events in a more eco-friendly manner and the potential for an Asphalt Zipper to help complete a day’s road work in less than an hour without as much waste in the landfill is efficient thinking.  All of this serves fellow employees, county commuters and the environment. 
2nd Place: Thanks to the efforts of Anna Anuszewski with the Office of Purchasing to implement PlanetBids for much of the county’s non-construction bids, the new e-procurement system is saving significant time and money communicating with vendors, helping to streamline the process for all involved, and reducing missed opportunities because of late or incomplete submissions.  This employee learned the system, tested it to meet county needs and remains a trainer for internal and external clients.  It is because of her that the County will be expanding the bid system to more complex projects in the near future. 
Unsung Hero Award – 
1st Place: By definition, unsung heroes are largely unrecognized for their efforts.  Brenda Saucedo of the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits manages a team that appreciates her for treating them fairly, encouraging them, supporting them and motivating them to work as hard as she does.  Whether it is for her inspectors evaluating 35,000 rental properties in the county, landlords seeking or maintaining rental licenses, or other county staff, she smoothly addresses multiple issues at the same time, day in and day out, with calm professionalism.  She is a problem-solver and an expert example of customer service, including resolving sign code compliance concerns and maintaining taxi cab inspections. 
2nd Place: Kate Bolinger with the Department of Planning and Zoning has made significant contributions to rebuilding and revitalizing key areas of our community.  Because of her collaborative efforts, Oakland Mills and Long Reach Village Centers have comprehensive redevelopment plans, which incorporate extensive community and stakeholder input from hundreds of residents, businesses and local officials.  As a leader of the Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan, she also contributed to the effort to rebuild the historic town from the flooding last year and searched for ways to protect it and the environment in the future. She has worked tirelessly to ensure the strength of our communities. 
Green Initiative Award – 
1st Place:  Marisa Olszewski from the Department of Recreation & Parks demonstrates a real passion for decreasing our impact on the environment.  Thanks to her, the Robinson Nature Center is participating in “Terracycle” to turn snack bags and candy wrappers into reusable bags and trashcans.  The Center is also hosting the first Eco-art residency to create more visual and interpretive displays about sustainability based on a $1,000 fellowship grant she earned. 
2nd Place: Since 2015, a rain garden installed on the grounds of the Howard County Detention Center has been helping to grow native plants to treat run off and prevent soil erosion for various county landscape projects.  Alaina Elam and Stacy Graham within the Department of Corrections really make this project a success by screening inmates to be able to work in the garden under the guidance of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.  Those selected are provided a real opportunity to learn job and gardening skills, as well as give back to their community while serving their time.  
Mentoring Award – A promising officer wanted to enhance her promotional opportunities, but knew she needed someone to guide her.  She partnered with Renea Somerville from the Department of Corrections, a co-worker with 30-years experience, to improve her chances.  As a result of the constructive feedback, reading assignments, exercises and team work with this veteran officer, the employee made noticeable improvements, was given additional challenges by supervisors, earned her promotion, and has even gone back to school for a degree.  This mentor gave significantly of her own time and dedicated spirit just to help someone else succeed.  
Leadership Award – The “leader” for 2017 received four nominations and all of them described him as supportive and motivational.  In his three years with the Department of Public Works, Daryl Paunil, Chief of the Bureau of Facilities has stepped up the maintenance and conditions of county facilities.  Through personnel, training and effective management, he has lead a team to clear a backlog of 200 routine projects, kept projects like the Elkridge Fire Station and Elkridge Library on track and on budget, and provided guidance to the design and construction process for a new Circuit Courthouse.  The staff that work for him feel good about coming to work everyday knowing they are supported, encouraged and appreciated.  
Customer Service Awards:
  • Annette Jernigan, Department of Corrections (1st Place – Internal)
  • Brenda Saucedo, Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits (2nd Place – Internal)
  • Alexandra Bresani, Office of Public Information (1st Place – Public)
  • Samantha Holmes, Department of Planning and Zoning (2nd Place – Public)
Customer Service Team Awards – 
  • Department of Corrections Ellicott City Flood Recovery Team - Emma Anthony, Michael Barnes, Ashley Gibson, Agnes Greene, Anthony Hall, Phillip Harrod, James Hinneh, Veronica Johnson, Jacob Ketner, Tina Linton, Louise Martin, and Rosa Savage. (Internal)
  • Police Department Communications Team (shift responding to the June 30 Ellicott City Flood): Dispatcher First Class Amber Beck, Dispatcher First Class Meghan Blizard, Dispatcher Joi Clark, Dispatcher Charles Costolo, Dispatcher First Class Charles Cox, Dispatcher First Class Amber Debow, Dispatcher First Class Patricia Geiman, Dispatcher First Class Leslie Jenkins, Dispatcher First Class Sheila Kramer, Fire Fighter Patrick Livesay, Dispatcher First Class Nicole McCormick, Senior Dispatcher Larry Mindel, Dispatcher Sarah Neal, Dispatcher First Class Brian Scherer, Dispatcher First Class Shawn Simmonds, Dispatcher First Class Kristi Staley, Dispatcher First Class Jessie Vollmerhausen. (Public)
In addition, one county employee, Adolphe Huriaux, Jr., an Engineering Specialist with the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits, was recognized for his 45 years of service with Howard County Government.