Released on May 11, 2018 - 9:28pm

On Thursday, May 10, 2018, the City of Laurel held its 23rd Annual Employee Awards Ceremony and Luncheon at the Partnership Activity Center.

At the ceremony, the City recognized the following employees for their years of service to the City: Trevor Drummond, Christy Fang, Joseph Hayden, Ana Navarro, Adam Novak, Kevin O’Neil, Donald Rohsner and Michael Thomas for completing 5 Years of Service; Imtiaz Alli, Lisa Anson, Charles Boswell, Scott Craiger, Rodrigo Crisostomo, Andrew Derouin, Catherine Fletcher, Kezzi Henderson, Steven Jones II, George Kirk, Bryan Lau, Denise Ross and Erik Salenieks for completing 10 Years of Service; Gena Wade for completing 15 Years of Service, Patrick Bray for completing 20 Years of Service; Donald Parker and Melanie Wieringa for completing 25 Years of Service and Michael Greene for completing 40 Years of Service.

The City’s Team Achievement Award was established to recognize those employee teams who have made significant contributions to their Department or to the City. This year two teams were recognized. As a result of their efforts, each received a certificate and a check for $100:

  • The first team consists of Bill Bailey, Izell Bullock, Courtney Clardy, Bruce Cole, Mike Eichorn, Glenn Ellis, Christy Fang, Thomas Helms, Shaun Lewis, Adam Miller, Kevin Moegel, Charlie Nickell, Adam Novak, Kristen Phipps, Frank Ramirez, Anthony Robinson, Darryl Rutherford, Jimmy Smith, Tony Snowden, Alex Viera, Josh Walker and Garry Weese, and they were recognized for their talents, expertise and skill to transform open space into the Memorial Garden Park at the Municipal Center, a place of reflection, education and reverence that is inviting to all. This team had to complete several of these tasks under tight time constraints and in adverse weather conditions.
  • The second team is Mary Blankenship, Johanna Carrillo, Christine Johnson and Carreen Koubek, and they were recognized for their individual and collective efforts over the year in response to significantly increased demands for Passport services at the Municipal Center.

The Meritorious Service Award is intended to go to those employees who have distinguished themselves by making a significant contribution to their Department, to the City or to co-workers during the year. This year four employees were recognized and each received a plaque and a check for $250:

  • Robert Bassani is the Animal Warden/Parking Enforcement in the Police Department. He was honored for his response to capture a vicious dog after it had attacked and inflicted multiple, serious bites to a woman and preventing additional attacks.
  • Ana Navarro is the Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Clerk to the City Council. She was recognized for her critical efforts in the City’s 2017 General Election, including  preparation of the Voter Information flyers by providing a translation for a Spanish version, contributing to the preparation of the Candidate Packages and fielding numerous calls and requests from citizens and candidates.
  • Michael Thomas is the Electrical Inspector in the Office of the Fire Marshal and Permit Services. He was recognized for his efforts to obtain training and certifications outside his area of expertise, including Commercial Mechanical Inspector, Fire Marshal training and numerous fire alarm classes. He also volunteered to help wire the punchboard for the Fourth of July Fireworks.
  • Leigha Steele is the Economic Development Coordinator in the Department of Economic and Community Development. She was recognized for her innovative ideas to help spur revitalization for commercial areas, such as Discover Laurel Day, her role in establishing the monthly “Second Saturday” events, as well as her excellent service to citizens, potential merchants and existing business owners.

The Employee of the Year Award is established to promote excellence in public service and recognize those employees who, throughout the year, have displayed the highest standards of performance and conduct. This year five employees were recognized and each received a plaque and a check for $500:

  • Henry Florian is an Automotive Mechanic in the Department of Public Works and was honored for his detailed work to prepare the City’s new emergency vehicles for service resulting in professional looking vehicles at a savings of thousands of dollars per vehicle compared to sending the work to an outside shop.
  • Katherine Wright is the Administrative Assistant in the Department of Public Works. She was selected for her efforts to update the residential special collections list, improve the billing procedures, maintain and update the Public Works website, and for compiling the recycling competition data and publishing the winners.
  • Ashley Swidarski is with the Laurel Police Department and was honored for her special efforts in investigating human trafficking cases and has been able to close multiple prostitution and human trafficking cases in the area. Through this work, she made multiple contacts with the Department of Homeland Security and has obtained local and federal arrest warrants for individuals suspected of committing these crimes.
  • Edward Thomas is the Technical Director in the Department of Communications and was selected for taking it upon himself to learn about the latest high definition equipment and using that expertise to build a first-class studio and production operation for Laurel TV. He also excelled in live productions, including the live broadcast of the Main Street Festival and the live unveiling of the City’s Memorial Garden.
  • Dave Maczis is the Systems Engineer in the Department of Information Technology. He was honored for his efforts to significantly expand the City’s Wi-Fi and security cameras. He worked several days before our Fourth of July celebration in order to deploy additional Wi-Fi spots at Granville Gude Park. He also engineered and installed public Wi-Fi and surveillance cameras at McCullough Field and Cypress Field.

The Kristie M. Mills Leadership Award was awarded to Joanne Barr, the Director of Parks and Recreation. As Director, her responsibilities are widespread and extensive. Most significantly, last year Mayor Moe asked her to develop the Youth Services Bureau as a new division to the Department to address the need for support of youth and teens that are struggling and to promote and strengthen families. As a result, the City now has its first Youth Services Bureau that is family- focused and has a community-based counseling program. For these efforts, Ms. Barr received a plaque and a check for $300.

The City’s highest honor, the Mayor’s Award, went to Michael Greene for his dedication and accomplishments over a career of 40 years, including 23 years managing Human Resources for the City. For these efforts, Mr. Greene received a plaque and a check for $1,000.

Congratulations to all the winners and each and every City of Laurel employee for all they do to enrich the lives of Laurel’s residents, businesses and visitors.


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