Peoria City Manager, Carl Swenson, recognized city employees who have demonstrated outstanding performance and contributions to the city with the City Manager’s Excellence Awards at the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 7.
Award recipients were nominated by their city peers in the categories of Community Involvement, Diversity, Efficiency and Sustainability.
“These awards recognize not only outstanding performance, but a level of ingenuity which goes beyond the job description,” said Carl Swenson, Peoria city manager. “The City is fortunate to have employees who are committed to making Peoria a great place to live.”
The Leadership in Community Involvement award was presented to Officer James Cousins of the Peoria Police Department for his creation of SWAG, or Students With Aspiring Goals. Cousins developed SWAG to bring together high school students as mentors to middle school students to help them set and achieve high academic and interscholastic goals.
The Leadership in Diversity Award, which highlights an individual or group which positions Peoria as a leader in workplace diversity and inclusion, was presented to Amanda Jacinto, public information officer for the Fire and Police departments. Jacinto created a diversity recruitment and awareness video highlighting Peoria Fire Department’s female firefighters, bringing recognition to females in a male dominated career field. To watch the video, “Sworn to Safety Female Firefighters,” go to www.youtube.com/user/PeoriaChannel11AZ.
Claudia Christo, a civil engineer in the Public Works/Utilities Department was recognized with the Leadership in Efficiency Award. Christo, beyond her normal work duties, spent countless hours exploring ways to better move water through the city’s distribution system. Christo’s efforts have helped identify
weaknesses that the city has since overcome, allowing the city to move water more efficiently, resulting in reduced costs and higher quality.
Peoria is one of three cities in the state to have formerly adopted a comprehensive sustainability action plan. The Leadership in Environmental Sustainability was presented to Lisa Estrada, intergovernmental affairs coordinator and Shawn Kreuzweisner, engineering planning manager for their leadership in the City’s sustainability activities. The action plan provides a framework in how the city uses its resources, as well as guides future growth within the city. You can read the plan at www.peoriaaz.gov/sustainability.
Storm water is generally not talked about unless it is the Monsoon season. Peoria is always ready when it rains, in part thanks to Leisha Williams, environmental quality assurance supervisor in the Public Works/Utilities Department. Williams pursued and obtained the designation of Certified Storm water Manager (CSM), which is above her job description. She is the only CSM in the city, because the certification establishes her as an expert, Williams has brought positive recognition to the City.
2012 was a milestone year for the Peoria Sports Complex. An Exemplary Leadership Award was given to a group of city leaders who successfully negotiated a long term agreement that will keep the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres in Peoria for 20 more years. The city’s negotiating team receiving this honor was Jef Tyne, deputy city manager; Steve Burg, chief assistant city attorney; Chris Calcaterra, sports facilities manager; Chris Easom, sports complex manager; Andy Granger, engineering director; Brent Mattingly, chief financial manager and Ed Striffler, design and construction division manager.
The City Manager’s Excellence Awards was established in 2009. The nomination process was opened to all city of Peoria employees in November 2012 through March, 2013. An awards selection committee was established to review the nominations and select the awardees.