I wanted to share my remarks to City staff at our most recent #TeamCity Awards. I really look forward to these events, as we get a chance to meet our staff and truly appreciate the great work they do. Some of the nominations are the result of our local residents letting us know when they have had great service or interactions, so feel free to email me with your suggestions at Mayor@cityofmadison.com. I look forward to when these are again in person, but for now, we use Zoom and it’s working well. Note the group shot!

TeamCity Award Winners

The #TeamCity Awards were designed to recognize the great public servants of the City of Madison on a bimonthly basis. These employees go above and beyond the call of duty and embody the City’s mission, vision, and values. Not only do today’s award recipients fit the mold, their peers and even City residents have recognized them with thoughtful nominations.

The #TeamCity Administration winner for November 2020 is Emily Anderson. Emily is an Accountant in the Treasurer’s Office where she is part of the team that collects property taxes and processes various payments while assisting the City in various projects like payroll processing and capital borrowing. Although her role is mostly behind the scenes, she has worked with different departments over the years, making her one of the first people staff turn to for problem resolution. For example, she has helped MPD with troubleshooting critical reports, while looking for ways to make processing them more efficient. Most recently, a critical SQL employee overtime report malfunctioned. As a result, staff workflow was disrupted and reporting to the different entities that need the information was delayed. Emily immediately jumped in and troubleshot all issues. She figured out a way to run this report in a more streamlined fashion. When she heard about another report not functioning correctly, it was rebuilt to improve its functionality for finance and payroll staff. This is just a small glimpse of the great work that Emily does. Her responsiveness, respectfulness, and kind demeanor led her to be this month’s #TeamCity Administration Award recipient. Police Finance Manager Teague Mawer nominated Emily.

The #TeamCity Community Service winner for November 2020 is Sarah Lim. Sarah is a Community Development Specialist in the Department of Planning and Community & Economic Development. She works with community-based non-profit organizations to assist Madison’s families in need. This includes gathering resources and organizing outreach programs when, and where, needed. During the pandemic, a new partnership evolved between Sarah’s team and the Park Rangers. Due to COVID, many homeless people lost their shelter and resided in City Parks. Park Rangers have to walk the thin line between enforcing rules for those in dire circumstances, and protecting the community. Faced with this dilemma, Sarah and her team have been a main point of contact for Park Rangers. When Rangers need to enforce the rules, they contact Sarah, who in turn coordinates a quick response with outreach workers from various organization to furnish the affected parties the services needed. The homeless population has gone through a lot of trauma, and thanks to people like Sarah, we can help them while simultaneously addressing other public concerns. Thank you Sarah for your consistent and thoughtful responses in the midst of the pandemic. Lead Park Ranger, Ashley Bowman, nominated Sarah.

This time around, we had a tie for #TeamCity Health and Safety winner for 2020: Joel Stelter and Michael Franklin. Both Joel and Michael are Patrol Officers and you can find them in the Central District enforcing the law and keeping our residents safe. Earlier in the summer, Captain Kelly Donahue received a “desperate call for help” from the First United Methodist Food Pantry asking for volunteers. Captain Donahue knew that replies might be unlikely given that patrol officers had been working long hours under very stressful conditions and had not been able to take much time off this year. However, she knew the need was important and shared the request to all patrol officers. Understandably, she did not get a response. Later that evening, Captain Donahue received an email from the Director of Hope’s Home Ministries with a big thank you and a couple of pictures. Turns out that both Joel and Michael showed up to help with a very large delivery from the food bank. Neither of the two wanted recognition for their volunteer work, but they truly deserve to be recognized. It is inspiring to see how their commitment to the community goes beyond the line of duty. Captain Kelly Donahue nominated Joel and Michael.

The #TeamCity Public Works winner for November 2020 is James Valenza. Jim is a Communications Worker at Traffic Engineering. His journey with the City started 33 years ago. Now, his duties include the installation of electronic communications equipment in various vehicles for multiple agencies, including boats. One of Jim’s most recent project includes up-fitting the Dane County Sheriff’s fleet. During this project, he found ways to save money and was there to hold all vendors accountable to provide the best solutions. His work ethic and camaraderie has led to continuous positive feedback from customers. Another interesting fact about Jim is that pre-COVID, he enjoyed working shows as a Sound Professional for many area bands and special events outside of work. We can’t wait to attend one of his events once it is safe again to do so. Communications Operations Supervisor, Austin Scheib, nominated Jim.

Last but not least, the #TeamCity Mayor’s Choice winner for November 2020 is Kimyanna (Nay) Veng. Nay is an appraiser at the Assessor’s Office. As an appraiser, he is responsible for estimating the market value of properties on a yearly basis. However, this year he did something outstanding outside of his normal duties. A couple of months ago, a resident lost his wallet while putting his boat away at the end of the summer. Nay found the wallet and immediately made multiple attempts to track down the owner. After finally being able to connect, he went out of his way to drop the wallet off. Additionally, he was adamant about not accepting any reward whatsoever. He only did it because it was the right thing to do. Nay’s character is worth acknowledging and celebrating. Nay may or may not know this, but that wallet was a gift to the owner from their deceased grandmother. The wallet’s owner described Nay’s act of kindness as a “light when the world seems upside-down and lost.” The appreciation email was used as a nomination for Nay.

Congratulations to all of our #TeamCity winners, and thank you for all your hard work, positive attitude, and for living the City’s mission, vision and values. Let’s keep up the great work that you all do. Thank you all for attending and if you know of someone who you think should receive the award don’t forget to nominate them. Finally, I would like to thank David Coy and the Fleet team for administering the #TeamCity awards, launched just this year for the first time ever.

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