Multnomah County celebrated its 8th Annual Multnomah County Employee Recognition Awards, in which we honor teams and individuals for the extraordinary work they have accomplished over the last year. County employees submitted 80 nominations, encompassing nearly 400 employees, in six categories.
Committee’s Choice Award: Joint Office of Homeless Services
The Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS) was nominated in the categories of Outstanding Team Achievement and Public Service to an External Customer. They were commended for jumping into action as Portland was faced with more than 14 nights of “severe weather” including numerous snow and ice events and freezing nights. JOHS staff pulled together volunteers, repeatedly staffed shelters (in addition to their daytime work), arranged for buses to move people to shelters and creatively worked to keep our community safe and warm.
Diversity & Cultural Competency Award: Bienestar de la Familia - Department of County Human Services
Bienestar de la Familia was nominated in the categories of Diversity & Cultural Competency and Public Service to an External Customer, most of which came from community partners. They are celebrated for ongoing success in providing safe and inclusive services to the community, especially the Latino and Somali communities. They held community forums with the Portland Police Bureau to address fears of immigration reform and impacts on their communities.
Employee Innovation Award Cartegraph Implementation Team - Department of Community Services
Implementing the new Cartegraph system for Road Services and asset management staff is saving the county money, time and resources. Service requests are created, managed, assigned, tracked and closed, all electronically. Citizens can submit requests for road repairs in person, via the web, or even by stopping and chatting with a person on a road crew, who is equipped with a tablet. Work tickets and road crew assignments are handled more efficiently, and notices can automatically be sent to citizens when work is completed. This was a multi-disciplinary effort involving GIS Analysts and Road Maintenance Supervisors and Crew Members, requiring a lot of coordination and teamwork to achieve a customer centric system in innovative ways.
Employee Innovation Award Elizabeth O’Neill - Department of County Human Services, Aging & Disability Services
The Aging, Disability and Veterans Services Division’s new Performance Management System was Elizabeth’s brainchild; tapping into cutting edge performance management theory and her experience as an evaluator. Elizabeth collaboratively worked with department leadership from idea to implementation, incorporated the Equity and Empowerment Lens, and created a system that measures and evaluates the performance of programs and ties the outcomes to strategic efforts to focus resources toward services and activities that result in positive outcomes.
Outstanding Team Achievement Award Sellwood Bridge Project Team
Department of Community Services, Department of County Management, County Attorney’s Office, Chair’s Office, Communications Office largest county-managed capital project in dollar value in Multnomah County history. Starting when cracks were discovered in 2003, this multi-departmental project combined diverse talents in our workforce: from engineers to finance managers; attorneys to inspectors; surveyors to administrative assistants; purchasing to public affairs; and elected leaders to planners. All worked toward the successful opening of the bridge in fall 2016, which culminated in a celebration involving 10,000 residents.
Superior Public Service to External Customers Luis Hernandez - Office of Emergency Management
Luis played a central role for Multnomah County in the concept development, design and execution of Exercise CASCADIA RISING. The exercise trained and tested governments at all levels – cities, counties, state agencies, federal officials, the military, tribal nations – as well as non-government organizations and the private sector – to approach to complex disaster operations together as a joint team. He takes his knowledge of Emergency Preparedness outside of his day to day work via interviews with TV Azteca, LISTOS, KBOO, and participating in Spanish language workshops at events such as the City of Portland’s Annual Fix-It-Fair.
Superior Public Service to Internal Customers Brian Kaminski - Department of County Management, Central Payroll
Brian was tasked with leading a new payroll status change function to the entire payroll team. This ensures that as current employees move positions they are paid the right rate, have the right benefits and holiday and vacation accruals. This work is essential for an accurate payroll. What’s different is that Brian took it further, like he does with most everything he touches in Central Payroll, and developed tips, tricks, manuals, memos and crosswalks. He shared them with everyone; people on his team and timekeepers. In addition, he happily trained people, answering questions, and sharing the wealth of his knowledge and tools with patience and enthusiasm. In general, he goes above and beyond his daily work to make everyone’s workload easier.
Sustainability Award Department of Community Justice Bike Team - Department of Community Justice
By conducting their community outreach on bicycles, the DCJ Bike Team has accessed homeless communities not easily accessible to officers in cage-cars. Their presence is more trauma-informed and their appearance less threatening than officers in cars. This has allowed the DCJ Bike Team to engage in meaningful ways with some of the most resistant and difficult to serve members of our community. By riding bicycles instead of cars, the DCJ Bike Team lessens its impact on traffic congestion, carbon emissions and serves as role models for living a healthy active lifestyle. As an added benefit, officers on the DCJ Bike Team report higher rates of praise and positive encounters with community members, increased physical health and lower rates of stress.
Chair’s Excellence Award Raymond De Silva - Health Department and Employees of Color Employee Resource Group
Raymond received three individual nominations, and one nomination as part of a group. These nominations all focused on a similar theme; the various ways he champions diversity and equity through leadership of the Employees of Color ERG. Raymond has organized more than 25 meetings and events designed to promote equity and inclusion within the county and the community, and has created safe spaces for healing and dialogue around issues in the community and workplace, both in group and individual settings. His demeanor and passion for teamwork help bring out the unique cultural perspectives and rich heritage that each individual brings to their team.