The City of Madison is lucky to have a talented and dedicated workforce, and we want to recognize that with the Team City Awards. Since early 2020, 132 outstanding individuals and 11 teams representing every City division have received #TeamCity awards. I’m proud every day to work with such an amazing group of people.

This month we celebrated another 10 outstanding employees nominated by their coworkers and residents. Additionally, for the first time ever, we officially recognized a number of City employees who went above and beyond with their customer service in 2021. Here are the awardees:

The #TeamCity Administration Awards go to Shelby Hanewold and Zayda Ayala. Shelby is a Municipal Clerk at the Clerk’s Office and Zayda is an Election Official at the Clerk’s Office. In the middle of 2021, both Zayda and Shelby encountered a very difficult situation. A young woman walked into the City County Building in distress. She was fleeing a controlling marriage and suffered several traumas. Additionally, she was from Minnesota and had no shelter in Madison. Shelby and Zayda devoted over half a day helping her find shelter, legal resources, and a safe space. Although it was not part of their regular duties, they identified the need for help and stood up to the challenge. For their civil service, commitment, and compassion, they are this month’s #TeamCity Administration Award recipients.

The first #TeamCity Community Service & Support Award goes to Steve Winnicki. Steve is a Library Assistant at the Public Library. Throughout his 12-plus years of service, Steve has helped with different programs, including the film festival in Madison. He always makes sure both members of the community and fellow staff members feel safe and supported in the library spaces. Steve was fundamental in the process of reopening the libraries safely and effectively after they were closed when the pandemic hit. He helped develop the adapted approach to library service during the pandemic. Because of his tireless work to serve the community and support for his coworkers, Steve is one of this month’s #TeamCity Community Service & Support Award winners.

The second #TeamCity Community Service & Support Award goes to Mary Modjeski. Mary is a Program Assistant at the Public Library. She is responsible of getting new books, reconciling orders, and adding important resources to all the City systems. With all the different parties involved with getting supplies for a library, there are many opportunities for error. However, Mary maintains a smooth workflow. She has even helped find missing shipments from vendors all across North America. Additionally, she helped reorganize workflows in the department to allow for social distance and account for all staff’s varying schedules.

The first #TeamCity Public Health & Safety Award goes to Lori Karst. Lori is an Apparatus Engineer at the Fire Department. However, this is not everything she does. Lori has spearheaded the annual Madison Fire Department September 11th blood drive for almost 10 years. Every year, thanks to Lori’s efforts, the drive has seen increased success to the point that last event maxed out the capacity of MFD’s largest firehouse. Additionally, she is a founding member of CampHERO; a camp were girls experience what it’s like to be a real first responder.

The second #TeamCity Public Health & Safety Award goes to Dawn Turner. Dawn is an Administrative EMS Clerk at the Fire Department. During a regular day, you may find Dawn working on EMS and Fire reports, requesting supplies for 14 Fire Stations, providing EMS information to various Chiefs, helping patients find lost items from ambulance transports, or doing day-to-day administrative work. In addition, she is always providing guidance to her coworkers and helping streamline everyone’s workloads. With her vast knowledge in almost every program her fellow admins use, she can help find solutions when someone hits a roadblock. Furthermore, during the pandemic, she set up and maintained a system to track as people submitted their Vaccination Attestation Forms, vaccination cards, booster information, and test results. This is not a small task for a department with 400+ employees.

The first #TeamCity Public Works & Land Use Award goes to Chad Norquist. Chad is a Facility Maintenance Worker for the Parks Department. Chad is primarily responsible for facility maintenance and customer support functions of the Warner Park Community Recreation Center. Furthermore, Chad was key in leading Warner Park’s conversion into a temporary men’s shelter in response to COVID-19. Chad provided daily support and served as a point of contact between Engineering, Parks, Dane County, and Public Health to ensure smooth operations and coordinate shelter needs. While using a racial equity, sustainability, and environmental justice lenses, Chad led to significant savings for the Parks Division and the City of Madison.

Our second #TeamCity Public Works & Land Use Award goes to Randy Wiesner. Randy is an Architect at the Engineering Department. One big project that he recently managed was the Olbrich Botanical Gardens Expansion project. Through the process, he always treated everyone with respect, took time to know the staff, and educate everyone. He has acted as a mediator between staff and contractors, even through some of the issues that arose like project delays. Since he understood Olbrich’s staff needs, he was meticulous and ensured that even the smallest jobs were done correctly by the contractor.

The first #TeamCity Mayor’s Choice Award goes to Lisa Laschinger. Lisa is an Assistant Parks Superintendent at the Parks Department. Lisa oversees park operations, community services and facilities. During the pandemic, there was an increase in conflicts between park users and people experiencing homelessness. With diligent leadership and compassion, Lisa helped find options for those at the Reindahl Park encampment. After campers moved to the Dairy Drive campground, Lisa lead her team through park cleanup, where items were located, tagged, and stored for campers to pick up. Lisa and her team support the community to the best of their abilities; always being a strong advocate for both her staff and our community.

The second #TeamCity Mayor’s Choice Award goes to Katie Cutler. Katie is a Technician at Fleet Service. Katie mainly works on Fire Department’s assets and helps maintain everything from lawn equipment up to medium sized trucks from various agencies. When the person responsible to maintain Fire Department’s assets at Fleet retired, Katie stepped up to the plate. Since then, she has built rapport with the Fire Department staff to assist them best. Furthermore, she is an advocate for advancing the hires of more women and people of color at Fleet, and has worked with Fleet’s first two female high school apprentices. Always offering new ideas, she has helped make Fleet a better place.

As we look back at 2021, it is worth recognizing the great customer service that our City employees provide. These employees have displayed great attitude, knowledge, and willingness to assist. In most scenarios, these employees are the first contact residents have with their corresponding department and thus become the face of the department. Because of their great qualities, residents have a positive experience when interacting with the City. The 2021 #TeamCity Customer Service Award recipients are:

Rachel Darken


Christina Powell


Nikki Perez

Clerk’s Office

Karin Daane

Water Utility

Sarah Scroggins

Water Utility

Renee Jackson

Monona Terrace

Tanya Anderson


Paul O’Leary


Marci Paulsen

Attorney’s Office

Michael Benzschawel

Traffic Engineering

Sean Malloy

Traffic Engineering

Congratulations to all the winners!

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Mayor's Office and a link back to the original post.