Congrats, 2017 second quarter STAR Award winners
Congratulations to the 15 City employees whose hard work and dedication to public service earned them Special Thanks And Recognition from their colleagues through the STAR Awards program this quarter.
STAR Award winners receive special certificates and recognition coins from their departments. They are all also eligible for an annual Super STAR award that includes a crystal trophy and recognition at a Committee of the Whole meeting with the City Council in the spring.
Here are the City’s latest STAR Award winners.
City STAR Awards
City STARs are awarded to employees who made a significant impact on the City the previous year. The City STAR winner is:
Janna Beard, health inspector II in the Health Department’s Food, Lodging and Pools Division
Environmental Health Community Liaison Leslie Foreman nominated Beard for successfully coordinating a project to improve the application process for events in Minneapolis where food will be served and for vendors working at those events.
“Every year, Minneapolis has many, many festivals, community celebrations, and other public events where food is served. The result is that hundreds of applications are received by the Health Department Food, Lodging and Pools health inspectors every year. Health inspectors review and approve every application. The application is needed to ensure food served at every event is properly prepared, transported, and served to control risk factors for food borne illness.
“Janna examined the process required for event food sponsors and food vendors to complete and submit their application. She saw the applications were cumbersome and confusing, especially for non-native English speakers. She saw the process could be improved to make it more customer-friendly and efficient.
“Janna’s work simplifying and streamlining the applications (the Event Food Sponsor permit, Short Term Food Vendor permit and Seasonal Food Vendor permit) resulted in significant time savings for both applicants and city staff.
“Janna embodies the City goal of, “A City that works” by improving a process to be more efficient and customer focused. In addition, she lives our division’s guiding principles of Protect health, safety and the environment and Support our businesses and our community.”
Co-STARS are awarded to outstanding teams of employees. The Co-STAR winners are the Maximo implementation team:
Robert Schmitt, Rodney Olson, Geri Richart, Brian Millberg and Rob Verke (pictured above from left to right) and Diane Nohner, John McLain, Lynn Gustafson, Melody Hansen and Moose Ivens (pictured below from left to right).
Finance and Property Services and Information Technology
Program Assistant Nora Gallagher nominated the Maximo implementation team for taking an enterprise approach to upgrading the existing Maximo work order system while staying “energetic and relentless” throughout the lengthy process, which has taken years.
“Upgrading the existing Maximo Work Order system was a huge undertaking. This team took an Enterprise approach to the problem, which made it more complicated and time consuming, but far more valuable as an end result.
“Public Works end users were consulted, and their needs incorporated into the product. IT kept the project moving forward and on track. Finance & Property Services collaborated on integrating the Maximo system with COMET.
“The departments had to coordinate to agree upon a common nomenclature for assets. They had to think outside the box, and realize that although the types of assets may be wildly different, the concept of inventory and asset management can be the same. This made the new system able to be used by a much wider range of departments. A common system allows for sharing of information, cross training of staff, and cost savings to the City. It also allowed the cost to be distributed across multiple departments, making this a more affordable and cost effective solution to a Citywide need.
“In order for this project to be a success enterprise wide, it involved collaboration and coordination between IT, Public Works, and Property Services. It also required that the team think of other City users, and be willing to compromise on specific items when the cost became prohibitive, or the needs of others were greater. This project is a great example of what can be achieved when the right people are given the resources, and are open minded about working together to accomplish something for the greater good!”
North Star Awards
North STARs are awarded to outstanding leaders. The North STAR winner is:
Todd Hoekstra, lead building inspector in Construction Code Services, Community Planning and Economic Development
Building Inspector Joseph Schumann nominated Hoekstra for being a strong team leader.
“Todd met with a disgruntled Code Compliant permit applicant who did not want to follow the orders on the property. Todd laid out the program goals clearly and precisely so the applicant could understand why the orders needed to be followed. Even though the permit applicant continued to go up the chain of command to try and get the answer he wanted, Todd held his ground on the issue and eloquently explained to others who were contacted by the applicant the reason for not approving the building permit.
“Todd leads his monthly Building Inspector meetings efficiently and effectively. He engages his fellow inspectors in pertinent discussions, and welcomes everyone's opinion. It is very easy to approach Todd with any question or concern, making him a great team leader. Todd welcomes new inspectors and helps make sure they have what they need to succeed.
“Todd sends out upcoming seminars that are beneficial to his fellow inspectors. He also sent out information on an upcoming online seminar that would earn employees points toward their wellness plan. Not part of his job, just being a good leader.
“In a recent inquiry on shaft wall assemblies, Todd got right back to me with information from two industry leaders that I could use to make confident decisions in the field. This type of support from your Lead Inspector is a great department asset and makes others more productive and valuable.”
Shining STAR Awards
Shining STARs are awarded to employees for their positive influence in the workplace. The Shining STAR winners are:
Jennifer Baird, customer service representative I
Business Licenses, Community Planning & Economic Development
License Inspector Kristina Stichter nominated Baird for high quality customer service:
“Jen goes out of her way to make sure she helps everyone that comes to her window. If the information they are looking for isn't within our office, she doesn't just turn them away. She will look up the address, phone number or person they need whether it's inside City departments or not. She represents our office very well and gives a great first impression for the City.
“Jen has been one of the biggest positive influences in our office when it comes to changing our system from KIVA to ELMS. When Jen takes on a project she makes it her responsibility to see it completely through until it is done. She has been the 'go to' person with billing for all license types and works on a project until everything is as it should be.
“Jen is always kind and polite to customers. She has a smile on her face and you can hear the smile in her voice. She believes one of the most important aspects of being a Customer Service Representative is giving the customer a positive experience with the City of Minneapolis.”
Georganne Rogde, solid waste aide
Solid Waste and Recycling, Public Works
Solid Waste and Recycling Customer Service Representative Dierdrea Workcuff nominated Rogde for doing an exceptional job processing orders for repair, replacement and delivery of garbage, recycling and organics carts.
“Georganne has been in her current position for about nine months. The Solid Waste & Recycling Department receives hundreds of requests per week for cart issues. Georganne has worked tirelessly to keep up with requests from the customer service representatives to process cart work orders. She always has been very positive and worked quickly to get emergency requests done. For being so new to this job she has been a Shining Star to those who work with her and for the city residents who have City of Minneapolis garbage service.
“Productivity of the processing cart work orders has significantly improved because she diligently keeps on top of things and makes cart issues in this department run smoothly.
“Phase 2 of the city’s organics roll out ended in July/August of 2016. The organics program is a very important part of the city’s target of zero waste. Because the organics program is a relatively new citywide program its success depends on customer satisfaction with the carts being delivered and maintained successfully. Georganne has continued to make thousands of cart size adjustments and to make sure delivery of organics carts is easy and efficient process for the residents of the city.
“Her work has helped the Solid Waste & Recycling department achieve its mission of providing solid waste management services that result in a clean and livable city that is environmentally protective and cost efficient. Her job is one of the major factors that make the entire collection of garbage for the city, go as smoothly as possible because without the carts waste cannot be successfully picked up. She is responsible for making sure the repairs, delivery and exchange of carts is efficient and timely.”
Amy Sizer, 911 dispatcher
911 Dispatcher Carri Sampson nominated Sizer for her positive attitude and care she brings to her job:
“Amy has been with the City for 13 years. Throughout her time as a dispatcher, she has consistently been eager to learn, take on projects, greet coworkers with a smile, exude professionalism, and help others. She imbues everything with care, organization, and talent.
“Amy often brings in treats to share with her coworkers to celebrate accomplishments or special occasions. She is quick to praise others and notice their talents and skills. She brings in a smile that is infectious and lightens the mood in an overwhelmingly stressful environment.
“Amy goes the extra step for those who call 911 for help. She has many Atta Boys posted on the bulletin board, documenting her Above and Beyond attitude in assisting those who call Minneapolis 911. Her calm demeanor on the phone also translates to exceptional abilities while dispatching fire fighters and police officers. She is consistently able to manage high stress car chases, officers who need help, building fires, and persons threatening to jump into the river with professionalism and compassion.
“As a Certified Training Officer, Amy is often in the position to mentor others. She is an excellent trainer because she expects the best from others and knows how to push her recruit at the right time and how to support them emotionally as they traverse the tricky career as a 911 dispatcher. Often this means understanding the unique needs of the individual and tailoring the training to that individual.
“Over the last year Amy has answered 100% of her calls within the 7 second, industry standard, time frames. She has spent 300+ hours training new employees. She has assisted on the following committees: Culture Team, Caution Notes, Union Representative, Labor Management, Health and Safety Team, and was elected to the power user sessions for a new software system that will be implemented center wide. She is a Certified Training Officer and guided dozens of new recruits through the MECC phases, to include training our 911 operators and police dispatchers.
“Amy has represented 911 ably outside of the department as well. She runs the Mounted Patrol charity, where she plans and raises funds to help supplement the hard work of MPD’s Mounted Patrol Unit. And, she assists the MPD K9 Unit with their fundraising. Amy is quick to volunteer her off time to help host during Police Week, by attending open houses.”
Published Aug 10, 2017