ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Government’s 2022 Employee Awards Program honorees were named today in the first in-person county-wide event in two years. For the annual program, employees nominate the best of their co-workers in several categories and a selection committee of fellow employees representing a range of county departments selects the final award recipients.
Named the County’s 2022 Employee of the Year, Regulation Supervisor Lloyd Self was nominated for enhancing the performance of the Electrical Inspections Section in the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits. He is described as a significant leader and change-agent and is respected as a professional, a mentor and a skilled tradesman who exemplifies what it means to be a public servant. [Download a photo]
It is so meaningful that after a two-year break because of COVID, we were able to be together again to recognize and celebrate our colleagues. I am often asked how Howard County accomplishes so much. My answer is always ‘because of our tremendous staff’. I am grateful for their responsiveness, concern, professionalism and caring. I congratulate Lloyd and all those who were nominated as stellar examples of public service in our community.
The annual awards program recognizes outstanding employees in the following categories:
2022 Contingent of the Year – The Contingent of the Year is Mary Rita Campbell in the Department of Recreation & Parks. She is honored for her unwavering dedication to the award-winning Worthington Dog Park. Her employee training and fundraising efforts provide a safe and enjoyable retreat for ALL two- and four-legged visitors to the park.
2022 Great Idea Award – The 1st Place idea was led by Leah Miller in the Office of Community Sustainability. Her efforts to harness solar power through a monumental power purchase agreement is tremendous. The solar arrays coming online will save the county millions of dollars and generate approximately 75 percent of the county’s power needs – all with clean, renewable solar power.
In 2nd place, Sydonia Garrott in the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits is honored for her innovative plans to upgrade Fire Protection permit processing in an online, electronic system. Thanks to her now 75 % of these permits are filed electronically and processed in a few days rather than a couple weeks.
2022 Unsung Hero Award – The 1st Place Unsung Hero is Linda Bennett in the Office of Human Resources for her ability to adapt and support so many critical functions while making herself available for many additional duties including transitioning teams and administrator, office moves, and added team responsibilities. She is diligent in her efforts and has keen abilities to streamline processes and achieve efficiencies without fanfare.
The 2nd Place Unsung Hero for 2022 goes to Ovan Shortt in the Department of Recreation & Parks. As the Community Outreach and Teen Programs Supervisor, he has worked tirelessly to enlist creative ways and unique partners to connect with teens through programs like Reindeer Games and a host of camps and classes. He also has focused on less engaged groups such as those speaking other languages.
2022 Green Initiative Award – 1st Place is awarded to Julie Costantino in the Office of Community Sustainability. Because of her Native Plant Pollinator Garden Design Templates, the county is leading efforts to protect and support bees and other pollinators in our ecosystem. All levels of gardeners can use these plans to create habitats using native plants where pollinators can thrive.
In 2nd place, Susan Overstreet from the Department of Planning and Zoning is being acknowledged for her coordination of the environmental assessment used in the HoCo by Design General Plan Update. Her expertise and institutional knowledge are invaluable to a variety of environmental planning projects and her consultation across departments ensures that environmental stewardship is factored into everything the county does.
2022 Mentoring Award – The Mentoring Award recognizes Joan Greene-Washington from the Office of Workforce Development. She supports new beginnings for hard to serve populations in our community offering them career guidance and life skills to help get their lives back on track and lead to success. Her willingness to take on new technology and new challenges is inspiring to her colleagues.
2022 Leadership Award – The Leadership Award is being awarded to Mary Murphy, Chief of the Special Victims Unit within the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office. Mary was nominated for her ability to lead by example. She takes on as many traumatic cases as the attorney’s that report to her along with administrative responsibilities for the office and miscellaneous criminal matters to keep her staff focused on their case load. Her dedication is noted and appreciated by her colleagues.
Customer Service Awards –
- Alexandrea Shaw, Office of Procurement and Contract Administration (1st Place – Internal)
- Claudia Allen, Office of Human Rights and Equity (2nd Place – Internal)
- Frances Phipps, Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office (1st Place – Public)
- Joy Levy, Department of Planning and Zoning (2nd Place – Public)
Customer Service Team Awards –
Internal: The Office of Human Resources consisted of Linda Bennett, Jennifer DeManincor, Karen Gerald, Tami Hook, Tracey Johnson, Hope Ripkin, Stacey Simmons, Scott Southern, Flora Theis, and Nike Yahaya.
Public: Office of Community Partnerships within the Department of Community Resources and Services consisted of Cara Baumgartner, Lelena Dagne, Latonya Dulin, Megan Godfrey, Arica Smith, Erica Smith, and Catherine Wellman.
In addition to the above awards, 34 county employees were also recognized for 30 or more milestone years of service to Howard County Government.