Assisting a disabled resident in need. Developing an advanced, computerized system for customers to easily report and request services. Restoring neighborhood calm and peace-of-mind to residents living near Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Those are just some of the actions over the past year by Scottsdale employees honored for outstanding performance and commitment to the Scottsdale community.
In all, 160 employees and one volunteer were honored Dec. 5 at Scottsdale’s annual Employee Awards Program at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. The winners were among more than 550 employees nominated in several categories.
Here’s a summary of those honored and their contributions:
Drinkwater Award: Kelly Corsette, Communications & Public Affairs Director
The Herb Drinkwater Award recognizes an employee’s selfless dedication to serving others. Communications & Public Affairs Director Kelly Corsette is a talented professional, a leader, a mentor, and the kind of person who is always willing to get involved and assist where needed. Those who work with him appreciate his assistance, attention to detail and adept handling of any task presented to him. He is a Navy Veteran who served his country with distinction and now serves Scottsdale, as well as the entire state. Kelly spent many years coaching youth hockey and dedicating himself to the success of children. He also serves on the board of the Central Arizona Chapter of the Arizona Historical Society since 2012 and is the current Board President. According to his Historical Society cohort, “We are grateful for his many years of service. We appreciate his leadership and his dedication to helping the Arizona Historical Society in our quest to connect people to Arizona’s history.”
Donaldson Award: Gary Mascaro, Aviation Director
In the nearly 10 years that Gary Mascaro has been Scottsdale Airport's Aviation Director, the improvements he has overseen almost defy description. It would be difficult for some to recognize the airport today versus a decade ago – under Gary’s leadership, it has been transformed. He is adept at strategically planning, reducing regulatory red tape and doing what needs to be done to keep Scottsdale Airport a leader among its peers. The airport remains the hub of the Scottsdale Airpark, one of our most important economic engines. Two new city facilities built under Gary’s watch provide an appropriately modern city presence, replacing the old and generally un-used airport terminal building. Gary also leads his team in day-to-day activity – including more than 1.5 million airport operations in the last decade – and through operations and issue management with the myriad of companies at and around the airport, and with the airport’s neighbors. You may be surprised, but people who live around airports sometimes complain about the noise! And to give a final piece of insight into what kind of guy Gary is, when his brother needed a kidney – of course he donated one.
The People’s Choice Award: Anthony Pagliuca, Police Crisis Intervention Specialist
An elderly, frail resident with life-threatening injuries refused to go for medical treatment. When Fire and Police department personnel and her neighbors couldn't persuade her, the city sought Anthony's help. Anthony is a creative problem solver who comes up with genius solutions to complex issues. Anthony worked quickly with a mental health provider and facility, articulating the dire need for medical treatment. He shared a picture, which demonstrated the seriousness of her injury and the physician signed off on the petition. Anthony met the woman at her home and she agreed to treatment. Anthony's quick thinking likely saved the woman's life. Anthony solves difficult cases with a caring kind heart, an amazing sense of humor and professionalism.
Show Caring and Compassion for Others: Manuel Gonzalez and Dustin Vrska, Water Distribution
Manuel and Dustin observed an SUV driving erratically just ahead of them. They pulled alongside and saw that the driver appeared to be having a seizure. The car continued to travel, albeit slowly, toward a busy intersection. They knew they needed to help. Dustin activated the strobes and four-way lights on the city truck. Manuel jumped out and ran alongside the out of control car, attempting to open the driver's side, to no avail. They maneuvered the city truck, so the SUV made contact with the truck and came to a stop. Emergency personnel arrived at the scene and were able to assist the driver. Manuel and Dustin did not hesitate to take decisive, intelligent and heroic actions to protect this disabled citizen and protect others from potential harm.
Listen, Communicate, Take Action: Tom's Thumb Area Deer Hunting Abatement Team
Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve allows archery hunting of deer, javelina and other species during proper seasons of the year. However, hunters were trespassing onto private property and parking illegally, much to the dismay of the homeowners. The abatement team worked with neighbors and came up with solutions to remedy their concerns immediately – calling 911 if a hunter is in violation and keeping community gates closed as much as possible. The city provided a class on hunters' and residents' rights, in addition to updating the Arizona Game & Fish and Preserve websites to include more detailed information about the rules. New signage also better directs hunters where they can park and hunt.
Winning team members are Billy Avelar, Aaron Bolin, Robert Graves, Scott Hamilton, Sherri Hawkinson, Kelly Hayes, John Loleit, Yvonne Massman, Ed Murrell, Bryan Rauch, Timothy Wesloski and Michael Whitcomb.
Be Accountable and Act with Integrity: Marc Fredrics, Property Claims and Casualty Adjuster
The city owns a lot of property including buildings, traffic lights, stop signs and loads of vehicles. Sometimes people do things that damage our property and the city must bear the cost of repairing or replacing whatever is damaged. The city has the right to seek to recover for the damages. Until recently, the city recovered only a small portion of what was due. Enter Marc, who took it upon himself to ensure the city recovered its due by combing police records and analyzing damage claims. Through Marc's efforts, property damage recovery rose from $64,401 in FY 2012/13 to $365,944 in FY 2017/18. Marc's efforts demonstrate responsibility for the stewardship of public funds and organizational resources.
Collaborate as a Team: Jones Homicide Case
In June 2018, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Fountain Hills were devastated by the murders of six people over the course of four days. The Scottsdale Police Department tirelessly and meticulously processed the crime scenes. Collaborating with other agencies, it was soon discovered that the crimes were connected, and a suspect was soon identified and located. The suspect was hiding out at a Phoenix hotel where a tactical operation to apprehend him commenced. The suspect detected their presence and began firing. Shortly after, the suspect killed himself.
More than 100 police employees worked around-the-clock on the Jones Homicide Case – an incredible example of multiple teams working together toward a common goal.
Focus on Quality Customer Service: ScottsdaleEZ Team
Scottsdale needed a better way for customers to report problems and request services. Whether it is a broken streetlight, a fresh pothole or a missing trash can, this team developed a new online service that makes this process easier than ever before. ScottsdaleEZ is a single, mobile-optimized system that lets citizens and staff quickly report issues and provides the city with a consolidated tracking and reporting system. Rather than buying an "off the shelf" application, the city built its own. Since its April 2018 launch, more than 20,000 requests for service have been submitted and addressed via the ScottsdaleEZ system.
Winning team members are Kelly Corsette, Amy Davison, Michelle Dudzic, Brad Hartig, Darcy Nichols, Joy Racine, Dean Schmidt, Brent Stockwell, Holly Walter and Kit Weiss.
Plan and Innovate for the Future: Thomas Bishop, Arnold Escalante, Robert Lorenson, David Rabago and Tim West
The Scottsdale Water Campus is one of the largest and most sophisticated water recycling facilities in the world. Among the factors that make it unique is the use of large diameter 16-inch Reverse Osmosis membrane pressure vessels. The challenge for staff was to safely, efficiently and effectively replace the membranes, which each weigh about 250 pounds. The campus is the only wastewater reclamation plant with 16” membrane pressure vessels in North America, so reaching out to other local municipalities for guidance or advice was not an option. A world-class facility with cutting-edge equipment and technology comes with various challenges. This team took the initiative to develop an innovative concept for membrane replacement -- a large adjustable working platform that can be used for future asset repairs and modifications.
Learn and Grow Continuously: Scottsdale Insider
How could employees get a better understanding of what other city departments do, the challenges they face, and how things all fit together? We offer "Scottsdale 101" for residents - what about something similar for employees? An employee team – Kelly Corsette, Mike Phillips and Holly Walter -- sketched out a program to provide an experiential learning opportunity to provide employees better understanding and appreciation of the diverse and dynamic nature of the services and programs delivered by the city. The team conducted more than a dozen planning sessions with city departments who provide the substance of the program. The logistical challenges of hosting a group of 40 employees in different locations around Scottsdale during a 10-week session were not small. The team planned and coordinated every detail and launched recruitment shortly after the final concept was determined. The first Scottsdale Insider program was born, and employees flocked!
Respect the Individual: Kristy Hahn-McDonald, Human Services Coordinator
House Choice Vouchers are a lifeline for more than 700 residents. The program provides safe housing for those struggling with financial, physical or emotional issues. The most critical part of administering the program is to maintain the highest level of respect for the individual. Program Coordinator Kristy Hahn-McDonald takes this in stride! She puts aside biases, professional and personal judgments, and reactions to the myriad of ways that a client may behave. Kristy's professional training, strong moral convictions and belief that every individual deserves to be treated with respect and dignity drives her to find solutions for her clients regardless of the circumstances.
William P. Schrader Volunteer Impact Award: Pat Ansell
The great irony of the Scottsdale Public Library is that the revenue it generates comes almost exclusively from work done by people who aren’t paid. And no one works harder or accomplishes more to this end than Civic Center Library Donations Volunteer Pat Ansell.
It’s not unheard of for Pat to arrive at the library to find thirty cardboard boxes spilling their contents of yellowed paperbacks, cookbooks, old textbooks, trashy romance novels and hidden gems all over the floor of the donations room. Pat digs in and goes through each one to decide its fate. It’s a job that moves quickly and requires a great deal of knowledge.
Pat is always there to fill in when another volunteer isn’t available for a shift, and she has even convinced her grandson to start volunteering with the library.
The Library Shop at the Civic Center Library brought in close to $65,000 last fiscal year and during that same time, Pat volunteered for a whopping 998 hours.