Helping to apprehend a suspect in an assault case. Retrofitting heavy street fixtures to make them safer. Coordinating the presence of a therapy dog on school campuses.
Those are just some of the ways employees made Scottsdale even better in 2021. The city honored a couple dozen employees at the Employee Awards Program. The winners were among 550 nominated in several categories.
Here’s a summary of those honored and their contributions:
HERBERT R. DRINKWATER AWARD
Mayor David D. Ortega selects this recipient: Cynthia Logan, senior administrative assistant.
Herb Drinkwater combined an infectious smile and easy manner with foresight and a dedication to carrying out big ideas for the benefit of the community. The Drinkwater Award recognizes an employee who also makes a big impact in service to the community.
Cynthia’s strong community-oriented nature always has her thinking about others and trying to find ways to assist those in need. Her service reaches beyond just her work as a public employee. Here at the office, Cynthia does double duty as the senior administrative secretary in the Attorney’s Office, and she volunteers for the employee Diversity Advisory Committee and annual Martin Luther King Jr. events.
Outside of the office … well, this list is extensive. She donates much needed hygiene products to a women’s prison, serves food and provides support to the homeless. She has served as the Pop Warner Football business manager for more than 20 years – in fact she’s the longest serving member of that organization. She’s taken on multiple roles for a low-income high school football Booster Club – she serves as the president, vice president, treasurer and head coach secretary. She also makes sure the team is sufficiently fed and has after-game snacks, runs their concession stand three times a week, applies for scholarships and purchases uniforms.
Cynthia’s life-long commitment and passion for community service and her selfless dedication to helping those in need shines through in everything she does. Her quiet commitment to making a difference in other people’s lives is something to be admired.
BILL DONALDSON AWARD
City Manager Jim Thompson selects this recipient: Cindi Eberhardt, strategic initiatives program manager.
This award is named for the city manager who served from 1965-1971. In less than a decade, Donaldson was credited with transforming the culture of city government and fostering a spirit of innovation that still holds true today.
Prior to her new role as a permanent member of the Planning and Development Department, Cindi improved and streamlined the city’s Volunteer Program. She worked to get underutilized departments connected to the right volunteers. She created procedures and trained volunteer liaisons. Thanks to Cindi’s efforts, nearly 6,000 volunteers provide services at an annual savings of $4 million to the city. She also makes sure volunteers get recognized through awards programs and spotlighting them in the media. While managing this program, Cindi worked on the COVID Recovery Team helping departments with CARES funding for pandemic-related expenses.
Cindi also has been active in Scottsdale’s participation in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works-Cities initiative. Her work has resulted in process improvements throughout the organization. She is the leader for the city’s Behavioral Insights Teams, vice president of the Scottsdale Historical Society, volunteers on the city’s Diversity Advisory Committee and has mentored those with special needs. We couldn’t possibly list the many more ways Cindi contributes to the organization – and the Scottsdale community at-large.
Hank Carmean, volunteer.
Hank is a driving force behind the city’s process improvement culture. He has the uncanny ability of “unsticking” stalled work processes, and he provides a diplomatic viewpoint aimed at increasing efficiency and effectiveness. Put simply, Hank provides simply better service to help grow and strengthen Scottsdale’s processes, services and workflow.
THANKS TO YOU
Scottsdale City Council members select this recipient: Manuel Castillo, solid waste services manager.
Manuel is known for going above and beyond when responding to citizen concerns. He promptly returns every call, and, when necessary, he visits residents’ homes and addresses their concerns in-person. His colleagues have this to say, “Manny works so hard to do what he can to assist in the toughest of times. He is responsive, polite and pleasant and always follows up with a resolution and information.”
Peers select this recipient: Princess Sewer Metering Station team - Annette Grove, Richard Sacks and June Gann. Staff discovered the city had been wrongly paying wastewater fees to the city of Tempe for the Tom Hontz Training Facility. Tempe confirmed the findings and as a result, it is paying back the city about $86,000.
The following awards reflect Scottsdale's six Employee Values:
DEDICATED SERVICE (two winners)
Holly Beard, system integration supervisor – We have all experienced the urgency and frustration when technology fails or doesn’t provide the functionality we need. Business can grind to a halt. Technology constantly changes, applications become outdated, and we have to find a way to keep up -- all within a tight budget. Holly to the rescue! She started with the city 25 years ago as a secretary and sought out the skills and training needed to fulfill her passion for technology. Her unique skillset, a blend of legal know-how and technological expertise, makes her the ideal person for this role. Holly goes far beyond what is expected and does more than just her “job.” Holly innovates by volunteering to help develop system improvements, train personnel, and even makes time to help other departments by serving on interview panels. She helped develop and build a unique system, the PIN system, to replace one that became obsolete. Without her knowledge of the Prosecution Department and their processes, this would not have come to fruition. This innovation will save the city thousands of dollars because we no longer will have to purchase a produce and pay annual fees. She plays a vital role in the continuous development of improvements for the public records request database; and she regularly manages the database and provides trainings to individuals and departments. Holly is outstanding in her job and goes above and beyond demonstrating her dedication to the city every day.
Enzo Bonnette, senior recreation leader. In October, the Scottsdale Police Department responded to an assault call at the Gateway Trailhead in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. A male had assaulted a female with a bat; she was rushed to the hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, the perpetrator was long gone. Enzo reported to the Gateway for his regular shift the next morning. He noticed a man in the parking lot who fit the missing man’s description. Remaining calm as not to alarm the suspect, Enzo contacted the police and provided critical information that led to the apprehension. Enzo’s quick, calm actions exemplify his dedication to the safety of staff and hikers.
School Resource Officers – Devon Lines, Christopher Watson, Joshua Haines, Larry Marmie, Jr., Ryan McKinnon and K9 Rocket.
Scottsdale Police Department’s school resource officers are committed to serving and protecting students, staff and faculty at Scottsdale Unified School District schools. They strive to identify new ways to better support the school community. To say these last couple years have been tough is an understatement. Students are experiencing traumatic effects from a global pandemic, school crises and mental health issues. Devon noticed the startling increase in students experiencing depression, anxiety and related issues. He consulted with the school counseling to confirm his findings. Devon witnessed the benefits that dogs bring to people and wondered if putting one on campus would help. He spent 19 months researching the feasibility and developing a proposal. Devon worked with the school district and booster clubs to gauge their support – both mentally and financially. They were all in. In just over two months, they raised $34,000 to get a dog through the Crisis Response Canine program. Scottsdale became the nation’s first city with a full-time program. K9 Rocket has the uncanny ability to make most situations better. One can’t help but smile when they see Rocket coming down the hall with his jaunty walk and unbreakable optimism.
Solid Waste Truck Fire Recovery – Dave Bennett, Gabriel Fragoso, Melvin Galbraith, Rick Lagno, Monica Staats, Sean Bailey, Edgard Oliva, Jay Poole, Brian Ricken, Kevincosmo Robbins, Matthew Sanderson, Michael Bibbins, Doug Walker, Steven Hisey, Tuyen Huynh, Joseph Notorio and James Nicholes.
In the early morning of Sunday, Jan. 3, a Solid Waste collection vehicle parked in the North Corporation Yard caught fire, likely the result of a shorted wire. The fire quickly grew, spreading to at least 11 other vehicles. Scottsdale Fire Department quickly responded and put the fire out, but the result was a loss of nine vehicles and damage to three others – a 20 percent loss of collection vehicles. Several employees swung into action that very day and began assessing damage, cleaning, repairing vehicles and putting together a plan on how to seamlessly provide service to customers. Several other cities came to the rescue by loaning vehicles to the city so we could be up and ready by Monday morning. The incident could have been much more catastrophic. Instead, the quick response, ingenuity and cross-departmental teamwork allowed the Solid Waste Department to provide uninterrupted, continuous service to its customers without missing a beat.
Melissa Orr, library manager.
Melissa does double duty serving the library and takes on the role of its diversity liaison. Melissa arranged to have the “Loan Ranger” book bike stop at homeless shelters so people there could have access to reading materials and register for a library card. She passionately organizes a team of library employees to walk in the Pride Parade. Melissa is constantly thinking of ways to be inclusive and serve our community—no matter their circumstance – with respect, dignity and compassion.
ACCOUNTABLE INTEGRITY (two winners)
Roy Herrington, Capital Project Management civil engineer. Roy is receiving this award in recognition of his professionalism and integrity. He makes sure decisions are based upon ethical standards and approaches his job with the public’s best interest in mind. He has an unwavering respect and dedication to all team members and carries out his responsibilities with a positive attitude. His respect of others leads to successful work teams, successful projects and satisfied customers. Nominators say this of Roy: “Roy Herrington is the gold standard for accountable integrity. He is as honest as the day is long, and his excellent service to the citizens and employees of Scottsdale is always built upon doing things the right way, not the easy way.”
Streetlight Modification Team – Ruben Salse, Michael Quigley, Kyle Emmons, Andrew Stefanik and Carlos Hernandez.
In early July one of the large custom streetlight fixtures in historic Old Town broke away from its mount and fell. Luckily the 200-pound device did not hit a person or car! Staff realized that these heavy, decades-old fixtures could cause enormous harm and liability issues if another fell. In response, Ruben proposed a modification that would add steel straps to the fixtures and provide additional safeguards against a failure like the one the city had just experienced. Once the design modification was approved, Ruben devised an expedited plan to upgrade the remaining 93 fixtures that spread throughout Old Town. Not long after the team completed the job, Scottsdale experienced one of the worst windstorms in recent history. It knocked down several hundred trees throughout the city. But the fixtures stood the test of time – none fell. The team’s commitment to accountability mitigated a serious risk and provided an extra level of protection to Scottsdale residents and visitors.
Daylynn Little, library assistant.
The city temporarily reassigned Daylynn to the Emergency Management office when her regular library job was suspended due to COVID-19 and library closures. Help was much needed and appreciated as this office is staffed by only one person. Daylynn hit the ground running. She was a quick study and educated herself on the many ins and outs of this industry. Navigating the various emergency systems typically requires a two- or four-year degree specifically in emergency management and extensive experience. She completed the mandatory five-year rewrite of the FEMA Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan in less than five months. Daylynn represented the city on behalf of the director while he was busy with many other commitments. Daylynn's performance went well above what was expected and always with grace and a smile.