By Rachel Darken, Administrative Assistant

Blake Scoville replacing a brake on a garbage truck
Blake replaces a brake on a garbage truck.

Blake Scoville, Fleet’s 2020 Employee of the Year, is still proving himself to be among the best of the best. This past month, Blake earned recognition as a #TeamCity award winner. Fleet Foreperson Mark Vander Waal nominated Blake for his continuous “high quality of service to our customers.” He is always willing to help, and brings a positive attitude every day. On one particular occasion, Fleet needed to call in a technician to cover a snow shift when the plows were out on the streets. No one else was available, so Blake stepped in and worked from 2:00 pm to 2:30 am the next day, and still worked his normal shift that started only five hours later. That is amazing all on its own, but this is the kind of attitude Blake has every day.

In light of this recognition, I thought I’d check in with Blake to see how he’s been doing and ask if he would share some of his “secret sauce” to excellent work:

How do you feel about our new building?

I like it. There’s a lot more space, and everything is new. Plus, it can get hot in the summer, but with all of our bay doors, we get a nice breeze in the shop to keep cool.

Is there anything you miss about the old garage at First Street?

Not really, but it did take a bit to get used to a new set-up. There, everything was already set in place, but when we moved, we had to take time to figure out where to put everything to be most efficient.

What is your favorite feature in the new building?

The overhead crane to pick up heavy parts, like a radiator or hydraulic cylinders (each weighs a couple hundred pounds). At the old garage, we had to use a chain lift, hand cranking heavy parts up into the air. This is much nicer.

Do you have a favorite vehicle or type of repair you like working on?
I really like doing hydraulic repairs. Hydraulic issues can be complex, so you have to take time to diagnose what’s going on. After that, the repair itself can be in-depth. I like this challenging work over the monotonous tasks we sometimes see.

You started your career as a high school apprentice in a private automotive shop. What advice do you have for Fleet’s new apprentices starting this month?
Show up. In any job, there’s going to be stuff you don’t want to do, but you have to do it anyway. Find a way to make it more enjoyable in your own way. This is a unique opportunity to get your foot in the door – don’t waste it.

Clearly, you know a thing or two about being an outstanding employee. From your perspective, what are some things we could do to be more efficient at the City?
Miscommunication is one of the biggest issues, whether it’s between coworkers, work units, or departments. When things change, it will affect different groups in different ways – we have to talk about that, or else we’re going to create a disconnect.

Blake Scoville with wife Aryn and son Cain at the entrance to Henry Vilas Zoo
Blake with his wife Aryn and son Cain visiting the Henry Vilas Zoo.

Fleet is leading the way by purchasing more hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs), and increasing our use of biodiesel. What are your thoughts on these technologies?
The industry is really pushing EVs. There’s not as much on the heavy-duty side I’ve experienced yet, but I did like driving one of our new Chevy Bolts. As far as biodiesel, the original equipment manufacturers tend to say, “don’t use biodiesel above a certain blend” but fleets are going that way. I’m excited to get more trainings in these areas, because down the line, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this equipment.

The last time we featured you in a blog, you and your wife had just welcomed your son Cain to the world. How’s your family


They’re doing great. Cain is 14 months old and growing like a weed. He gets into everything, is constantly on the move, and really likes trucks right now.

Thanks for all you do to keep the City moving, Blake!

Do you know an outstanding employee or team like Blake? Submit a #TeamCity Award nomination today! The #TeamCity employee recognition program launched in 2020 to lift up the work of different City employees and give them recognition both internally and publicly. City employees may submit nominations on a rolling basis for any City employee from the organization. Employee recognition is awarded using a competitive process to celebrate outstanding performance beyond the call of duty. Excellent service and attitude can be seen every day, everywhere in our City – let’s recognize and celebrate the efforts of our colleagues!

#TeamCity Employee Nomination Form
#TeamCity Team Nomination Form

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Category: Our Team