July Employee of The Month – Donna Freeman

I would like to nominate Donna Freeman for the distinction of Employee of the Month for July 2022. Donna is the Executive Assistant for Town Hall, but does the job of many titles. Donna, on many occasions, has gone above and beyond for not only the General Department, but the Town. On a routine basis, Donna handles information for the Board of Mayor and Alderman, Planning Commission, Health Assessments, helping with the Budget, Town event flyers, JRT playbills and much more! No matter what Donna is facing she is sure to finish it in a timely manner and with excellent quality! When anyone has a question, their first stop is almost always her. On top of her routine roles, she has added trainer, mentor, friend, and the affectionate name of Nana as Glenn refers to her when trouble comes and you need wise advice. She has been a wonderful mentor and someone I greatly look up to! When things become stressful, she makes them seem simple. She is who you would want on your team.

Speaking of “team”, Town Hall is what I would like to think of as a family unit. We all work hard together, look out for one another and share a lot of laughter with one another. Donna is a very large part of that family unit and what makes it work. She is the glue, if you will. She holds us all together and helps us all with any issues we may face and is there when we need her the most as well as when we just need to smile. When things get hard, you will never receive a complaint from Donna, but you will receive an impeccable job well done!

For these reasons, and many–many more, I feel that Donna deserves the honor of receiving Employee of the Month for July 2022.

 

Thank you, Donna Freeman! You are appreciated!

June Employee of The Month – John Saylor

John Saylor joined the senior center staff in 2021, as our Program Coordinator. John brings a wealth of knowledge and great ideas with him. John has a background in IT and he has been able to utilize our sound equipment to its full potential and is providing the growth in audio visual capabilities that the senior center has desperately needed. We look forward to offering our senior center plays again and dance performance groups and his expertise will definitely be utilized. I continue to be impressed with John’s calm nature, no matter what is asked of him he jumps in and calmly manages whatever is thrown his way. Recently, I asked for staff volunteers to complete some outdoor maintenance and John jumped right in and assisted with mulching some of the flower beds over several different days. His willingness to tackle any project or job is what makes him the perfect Employee of the Month. I am very impressed with his great team attitude. He gets along so well with everyone and is very patient with our senior center members. John drives many of the senior center trips and I have received many compliments on his driving and how friendly he is with members. He also teaches a weekly computer help class, that well attended. John, like all of our staff, feel a calling to working with seniors. I would like to recommend John Saylor for Employee of the Month.

Submitted by:  Mary Regen, Senior Center Director

 

Thank you, John Saylor! You are appreciated!

April Employee of The Month – Nora Davis

I would like to recommend Nora Davis, Marketing and Promotions Coordinator, for the employee of the month.  There are a number of reasons I believe Nora is deserving of being our employee of the month.  The first reason I would like to highlight is her social media work regarding our St. Paddy’s Celebration that took place on Saturday, March 19th.  We have over 1 million people reached solely from posts regarding this event.  This outstanding data shows Nora knew which aspects of the event to capitalize on through her posts, she was strategic on when to post as well as her intentional copy and photo choices.  Many may not realize the amount of time, attention to detail, and analytical skills it takes to have a piece of marketing that reaches this level of success.  Nora also came to me with a last-minute creative video idea to push the event.  In a matter of hours, she filmed, edited, created copy and posted three videos for the event.  But Nora’ efforts did not stop here.  Nora attended the event capturing content for next year’s promotions.  However, when the sound equipment van broke down, Nora drove her personal care and made numerous trips carrying equipment downtown.  We were able to get everything setup and did not have to delay any portion of the event thanks to her help, along with other staff.  As you can see, Nora is always willing to jump in and assist with any task that is thrown her way.  She also displayed this during our Halloween and Christmas events when we were short staffed.  She is an asset to the Town of Jonesborough and is more than deserving of this Employee of the Month Nomination.

 

Thank you, Nora Davis! You are appreciated!

March Employee of The Month – Amber Crumley

I would like to nominate the Town of Jonesborough Visitors Center & Facility Rentals Manager, Amber Crumley, for employee of the month. Amber has worked for the Town for 14 years and is truly a dedicated employee. Her drive to excel at whatever task is at hand is inspiring to everyone around her. She is always more than willing to jump in and this is what makes her an outstanding employee.

The Gift shop within the Visitors Center, The Old Town Emporium, has seen much success. We commonly receive positive visitor and resident comments as well as the record-breaking days we continue to see. The emphasis on nearly all items being locally made trickles down to staff as Amber has made that an important goal. She has empowered the host team in a number of ways, curating excitement for staff and a welcoming environment for visitors. 

During the fall and winter, the Town had an Events Coordinator vacancy. Amber helped to fill that gap by jumping in on a number of events, two in particular were the Jack-O-Lantern Drive-Thru and Halloween Haunts and Happenings. We had around 18 activities taking place for our Halloween celebration. That is due to Amber taking the lead on that event, keeping in mind she still had her regular job duties to complete. 

Each year the Town makes around $300,000 in ticket sales. Amber oversees every aspect of this process from coordination with the group hosting the event to conducting the financial close out report. She is the individual who inputs each and every ticket that is sold, she trains the hosts at the Visitor Center how to utilize the system, as well as troubleshooting. She also oversees rentals at the Visitor Center, Mill Spring Park, the McKinney Center, and the Chuckey Depot Museum. 

Amber is a highly talented employee and very valuable to the Town for numerous reasons. She always does her job to the best of her abilities and has a positive attitude. Through working alongside her, I have seen and experienced her strong work ethic, her joy to do her job well, and her willingness to help others. Amber is the type of employee any organization would hope for.

 

Thank you, Amber Crumley! You are appreciated!

February Employee of The Month – Ralph “Butch” Keffer

I would like to nominate Ralph “Butch” Keffer for the distinction of Employee of the Month for February 2022.  In simplest terms, Butch is always where you need him to be, when you need him to be there.  Butch is one of those folks, who pride themselves in being a helper in every situation.  This is a daily practice for Butch, but I would like to share one recent example.  During snow removal duties, Butch stands extra tall as he goes about his mission of snow removal.  He takes the role very seriously, as all our crew does.  But Butch assumes the added role of ‘set up’ man for now removal duties.  On the snow event at the beginning of this month.  I coordinated with Butch the timing the snow would likely begin to be an issue for motorists.  We planned to come in to work an hour before that time (to get equipment prepared), approximately 3:00 a.m.  Butch said “great, I’ll be there at 2:00 a.m. and get all the plow trucks started, warmed up and loaded with salt”.  So, that means he volunteered to come in an hour early, during the middle of the night, and have everything functional and warmed up and ready when the remainder of the crew gets here, still before the snow is having serious impact.  During our most recent snow event, on the Sunday before Martin Luther King’s birthday/holiday, Butch reported in during the morning, as we had a black ice event.  That crew worked about 4.5 hours to salt streets.  After that, they all went home to rest, as the larger snow event was forecast for just before midnight that night.  Butch reported back to work at 10:00 p.m. with that shift of men, myself included, and we plowed and salted until approximately 7:00 a.m., Monday, when the crew from the early Sunday morning event returned to take over and battle the snow event through the afternoon on Dr. King’s birthday/holiday.  Again, Butch was the first in on my shift (10:00 p.m.), had all the plow trucks warmed and loaded with salt and ready for duty.  Butch is a selfless, giving and generous man, and a pleasure to work alongside.  He volunteers for duty always, never complains and does a fantastic job.  In these short paragraphs, I can only scratch the surface of what a great crew of men I am honored to serve with.  Ralph “Butch” Keffer, being one of the best of the best.  For these reasons, I feel Ralph “Butch” Keffer deserves the honor and distinction of Employee of the Month for February 2022.  

 

Thank you, Butch Keffer! You are appreciated!

January Employee of The Month – Glen Woodfin

I would like to nominate Glen Woodfin for the distinction of Employee of the Month for January 2022.  Glen is our Assistant Street Director, as well as our job Foreman over field operations.  Shortly stated, Glen makes things happen.  Glen is the highly motivated central part of our Street Department team.  I could pen many stories to illustrate Glen’s dedication to keeping our town in tip-top shape, but today I’ll choose just one.

At our recent Christmas parade, we all found ourselves thinking back on how to conduct the night time parade, since we had no parade last year and the night version of the parade is a bit more difficult logistically than a ‘day time’ parade.  Major Rice and the JPD had also implemented a more robust traffic control plan, complete with heavy water filled barricades to safeguard the folks viewing the parade.  Since we had the new traffic control devices to deal with, Glen met with Major Rice and they coordinated the placement of the new water filled barricades, complete with a ‘fill and empty’ schedule on how to deploy and remove the barricades.  Their plan worked flawlessly.   Police and Fire Department Forces were also exemplary in the overall success of this year’s night parade.  Our Street crew was tasked not only with placing traffic control, including closing a lane of Jackson Boulevard in the rain, but we all were assigned posts to work during the parade.  JPD concentrated their officers nearer downtown Main Street this year, which left Street and other Forces with a larger role near the perimeters of the parade.  Glen, as usual, worked tirelessly behind the scenes guaranteeing all our Forces knew their role in traffic control placement, what post to ‘man’ during the parade, and how to quickly remove traffic control following the parade so traffic could be returned to the normal traffic pattern.  Street Forces played a big role in channelizing traffic, pedestrians and parade participants.  Glen is instrumental in making all the pieces fit into place.  Ahead of most of our events, Glen draws out a traffic control plan well in advance of the event, so we can make adjustments or fine tune the design as the date nears.  As I have made mention before, even if you do not see Glen during the event (or on our construction projects), chances are he was on the scene well before anyone else, facilitating the day’s work.  The type of dedication Glen exhibits is beginning to be extremely rare.  When you realize your daily task has the potential to positively impact the lives of others, the motivation to do a great job should be easy to find.  I feel Glen has this motivation on each project or event he participates in.  A team player and leader with a big heart for people.  For these reasons, I feel Glen Woodfin deserves the honor and distinction of Employee of the Month for January 2022.

 

Thank you, Glen Woodfin! You are appreciated!

December Employee of The Month – James Walden

I would like to nominate James Walden for the distinction of Employee of the Month for December 2021.  James is our lead Equipment Operator and brings a wealth of skills and experience to the Street Department’s ranks.  James exhibits a strong work ethic that could serve as an example for many of us.  James is dependable, honest, trustworthy, very knowledgeable of the construction trade, a Class – A CDL license holder, and James is a team player.  James brings a depth of skills to each and every project he is involved in, provides helpful solutions for issues/problems, and is a solid producer of quality results on each task he is asked to perform.  

  James is one half of our two-man asphalt paver operator crew.  Placing asphalt is certainly not just about two people, but the men who ride on the back of the paver adjusting depths and widths, are very important to the finished product.  Another of James’ key roles in equipment operation, is with the operation of the Town’s truck mounted crane.  James operates the crane in many different applications.  Recently James operated the crane to lift heating/air units to the roof of the Jackson/JRT theaters.  James takes the crane quarterly to the Water Treatment plant to lower a tractor into holding vats for clean out.  James also recently operated the crane while assisting the water department in setting a large concrete vault/lid in the alley way between the Jackson and the Main Street Café.  Setting the vault/lid on the busiest section of W. Main Street was a theatre of logistics, but everything went well.  The vault is now placed and secured, and contractors can continue their work.  James is a very capable and necessary equipment operator for the Town, not just for the Street Department. It is a comfort and pleasure to have James Walden working on your construction project, drainage project or special event.  I feel James Walden is very much worthy of EOM honors for December 2021. 

 

Thank you, James Walden! You are appreciated!

November Employee of The Month – Roger Gentry

Roger has integrity, a solid work ethic, he’s flexible, caring, on time, easy going, detail oriented, and always thinking ahead, these are all words and phrases that describe this nominee.  

Roger demonstrates commitment to his work every day through a range of actions and activities.  First and foremost, he is always punctual and arrives before the rest of staff daily, consistently ensuring that Jonesborough Town Hall and the McKinney Center are ready to serve the public each and every day. 

There are days Roger is pulled from his regular routine to fill in at the Garage Service Center or somewhere else downtown.  He stays positive and always without hesitation chips in and assists with anything necessary for the day to day operations.  He always says ‘yes’, regardless of the complexity or frequency of tasks.   He’s been unflappable with the increased demands created by COVID and the growing use of the McKinney Center.

Roger takes pride in the appearance and safety of the McKinney Center.  His upbeat spirit and attention to detail maintains a positive presentation for the McKinney Center.  He is proactive with space management and ensures that rooms are always set-up for classes, special events and rentals.  He continually thinks ahead regarding the set up and how the room should look and function.    

Roger goes above and beyond by also attending to the grounds at the McKinney Center. He blows leaves in the fall, and shovels snow in the winter months. During spring and summer, he weeds the flower beds, cleans out dead flowers and blooms and disposes of the debris in the appropriate way.  

He has taken initiative to repaint baseboards, chair rails, doors, windows and banisters in the McKinney Center as soon as he notices signs of wear.  He always pays attention to the safety of not only the employees, but also visitors who come into the McKinney Center by replacing blown light bulbs and broken equipment, and usually has things repaired before anyone asks for the replacements to be done.  His extensive skill set means the McKinney Center does not need to call on outside help for service and repairs.

Over the past few years, Roger has become a vital part in helping with our art exhibits, not only does he keep our exhibit panels and pedestals clean, painted and looking good, he installs the lighting and helps arrange panels and helps hang heavy pieces when necessary.  Roger always helps carry in art work for artists exhibiting their work.  

COVID has increased the number of tasks required of Roger (which include daily sanitizing of common surfaces and disinfecting of shared air spaces).  The new efforts needed for COVID are in even greater demand as classes, students are surging.   Roger expends a tremendous amount of energy every day as he makes sure the Center is safe and functional.  Visitors are impressed and often comment on the overall look of the McKinney Center, and staff are confident when addressing questions from potential renters and participants.

The best characteristic about Roger is that he displays a jolly demeanor each day.  He is personable and speaks to visitors and helps ensure that everyone who walks through our door has a pleasant experience.

I would like to recommend Roger Gentry as Employee of the Month because he deserves this recognition and this would be an honor for him.  

Respectfully submitted,

Theresa Hammons

Director, McKinney Center

 

Thank you, Roger Gentry! You are appreciated!

October Employee of The Month – Susan Katko

Susan Katko, joined the senior center staff in 2018, to launch our My Ride TN Jonesborough program. After three years, the program is a huge success and has provided 2,800 rides since starting in December of 2018. The program has provided 33,000 miles of transportation and has served 95 seniors, with that number growing weekly.  Susan, is a huge part of the program success. Her true passion for serving others is evident in the way she treats everyone she works with. With each new rider she sees as opportunity not only to help them with transportation, but to connect with them and offer them a kind ear, a thoughtful card and someone who genuinely cares. Susan sends each of the riders a birthday card and checks on them regularly through phone calls and notes in the mail. Susan not only stays in contact with the homebound seniors, who use MyRide; she also does the same thing for MyRide drivers. That is why the MyRide TN Jonesborough, has more volunteers than any other MyRide program in Northeast Tennessee. Her cards, phone calls and recognition events for their volunteering makes this opportunity enjoyable for the riders and drivers. Susan spends time with the drivers when they come in to check in, provides ongoing training opportunities and is in tune to what is going on in their lives.  Susan, is truly a God send to this program, we had worked with her previously when she had been a volunteer at the senior center and she was the absolute best pick for the position.  The MyRide program continues to serve homebound seniors every day in our local community, the wonderful volunteers are making an impact for the good in our community.  Having Susan Katko, on our senior center staff is truly a blessing to all those who work with her. Not only does she manage the MyRide program she also takes the rides, in the event a driver has a conflict last minute. Her goal is to never turn anyone away that we can provide service to. That commitment to service was so very important throughout the pandemic, as the program had even more requests for transportation, reaching record number of 120 in the month of July. I would like to recommend Susan Katko, MyRide Transportation Coordinator for Employee of the month.

Thank you, Susan Katko! You are appreciated!

September Employee of The Month – Jimmy Green

I would like to nominate Jimmy Green for Employee of the Month for his outstanding effort in acquiring more water, pressure and flow to our valued customers in the Jonesborough water system.  Jimmy’s diligence and knowledge of our water system has helped supply customers on John Matthews Road, Corby Bridge Road, Smith Bridge Road and Keebler Road; approximately 40 customers with more water and psi on an antiquated 2-inch water line.  This area has been problematic for years with low water and pressure complaints.  Jimmy’s proposal was to tie in the 6-inch at Matthew Mills Road with the 2-inch that fed Corby Bridge Road and Smith Bridge Road thus supplying customers with more water.  The implementation of his plan worked and the customers have around 10 more psi and gained 10 gallons per minute at their meter.  Jimmy Green is a valuable asset to Water Distribution and is dedicated to the needs of the Town of Jonesborough.  Jimmy has been employed with the Town of Jonesborough for 16 years and has the respect of his coworkers for his leadership skills and willingness to teach and pass his plethora of knowledge to the new and inexperienced associates.

Thank you, Jimmy Green! You are appreciated!