2014 Employee Recognition Awards - Land Use & Regulatory

GOLD - Barbara Mason, Planning Department

In her work as the County's Economic Development Coordinator, Barbara is an effective and dedicated spokesperson for the County's Economic Development Program and is creative, innovative, and resourceful in working with local Chambers of Commerce, other business groups, County advisory bodies, and staff. Barbara recently collaborated with staff in the County Administrative Office and the Planning Department to review and complete the Economic Vitality Strategy to guide long-term economic growth and development. During her work on the document's Background Trends Report, Barbara was intrigued by a statistic showing that over 8,000 people were working from home throughout the county. With this information in mind, and given the large number of artists in our community, she reached out to Etsy.com, a marketplace where people around the world connect both online and offline to make, sell, and buy unique goods. Barbara sent an email to the CEO of Etsy describing the large number of local artists and the potential for Etsy to provide training programs to help these artists offer their products to a nationwide audience. This effort resulted in Santa Cruz County being selected as a pilot program for the Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship Program. The first class graduated in October of 2014, resulting in 32 new businesses. Barbara's excellent work on this project has created positive press for the Planning Department and the County as a whole. Barbara is to be commended for her tireless efforts to support economic development in our community.

SILVER - Shared by members of the Rountree Demolition Team from the Public Works Department

Left to Right:
Michael Bennett
Genaro Zepeda
Albert Eslit
Donald Smawley
Victor Aguirre

Not Pictured:
Robert Leporini, Jr.

The Sheriff's Office submitted a successful grant application to redesign the Rountree facility to better meet the needs of the inmate population and the requirements of AB 109 realignment. The redesign required that a number of unused buildings previously utilized for inmate training programs or storage had to be deconstructed to provide a staging area for new construction. Members of the Rountree Demolition Team devised a plan to demolish the buildings with heavy equipment from the neighboring Buena Vista Landfill fleet and then recycle the materials at the landfill. This process saved the Sheriff's Office the costs of contracting with a demolition firm and diverted materials from disposal in the landfill to recycling and reuse opportunities. This project was so successful that the Sheriff's Office requested that members of the team assist with the deconstruction of old carports on the property, which will take place in the spring. As a result of the team's efforts, the Sheriff's Office was able to solve this problem efficiently, cost effectively, and in an environmentally friendly manner. Each member of the team personifies the spirit of excellent customer service, and their ingenuity, resourcefulness, and expertise merit recognition.

BRONZE - Dr. Dana Gleason from the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter

As the first full-time veterinarian ever hired by Santa Cruz County, Dr. Gleason is solely responsible for successfully changing the culture of the veterinary department at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. She has brought a new level of knowledge and expertise to help improve policies and procedures at the shelter, streamlining operations and demonstrating a tremendous commitment to the mission of the organization. Dr. Gleason has opened the doors of the shelter's medical department by providing mentorship and training to pre-veterinary and veterinary technician students, volunteers, and others who might benefit from this education. She also provided leadership, expertise, and manpower to support the operation of a new satellite spay and neuter clinic in one of the most underserved areas of the county. Dr. Gleason has created a welcoming atmosphere at the shelter, providing effective communication with staff, volunteers, and the public, and consistently performs her duties in an extremely professional and responsible manner. Dr. Gleason is to be commended for her extraordinary compassion for animals, for the many ways in which she has improved shelter operations, and for her efforts to enhance the relationship between clinic staff and the rest of the shelter staff and volunteers.