Parks Salutes Its Employees Of The Month
Jonna Carmona-Graf is the Commissioner’s Employee of the Month for January.
Jonna is a Senior Team Leader with Capital Projects and has been with Parks since June 3, 1985. Jonna started her tenure at Parks as a Project Manager and has held the posts of Assistant Director of Architecture and Director of Consultant Project Management. At her current position, Jonna works closely with the Capital Chiefs and helps plan, develop and track critical projects. Recently, Jonna helped oversee the completion of the new, state of the art Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool and Rink. Over the course of this $65 million project, she worked closely with various city agencies, architectural and construction management consultants, and parks divisions. The world class facility, which was the site of this year’s State of the City address, will open its doors to the public on February 29. Jonna was instrumental in its development and we honor her for her efforts on this major achievement. She was nominated by Deputy Commissioner Amy Freitag.
Leonora Retsas is the Capital Projects Employee of the Month for January.
Leonora is an Assistant Architect and has been with Parks since May 23, 2005. In just a short time, Leonora has worked on many interesting projects and shown a strong work ethic and effective negotiating skills. Here at the Arsenal, Leonora played an important role in the revamping of offices on the 4th floor, as well as portions of the 3rd floor and basement. These efforts have helped improve workspaces, allowing us all to be more efficient and to accommodate staffing increases. Other projects Leonora helped coordinate include the Lakeside Center at Prospect Park, the Mullaly Skate Building and the recently completed Greenpoint Comfort Station. Organized and dedicated, Leonora was nominated by Director of Architecture Bruce Eisenberg.
Brett Meaney is the Management Employee of the Month for January.
Brett is the Deputy Director of Contracts at Purchasing and Accounting and has been with Parks since January 24, 2000. In this position, Brett oversees formal expense service contracts totaling over $36 million and covering a wide variety of complex technical areas. Brett has helped prepare, bid and monitor contracts for forestry emergencies, Asian Long Horned Beatle wood removal, automotive repair, marina dock and pile work, plumbing, electrical and other technical services, and stadiums. Most recently, Brett added recreation to his list of contract achievements, helping to successfully spearhead our new contract for operations of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Aquatic Center, Parks' exciting new recreational facility. Before coming to Parks, Brett earned a Masters in Political Science from St. John’s and also worked for then State Senator Marty Markowitz. Intelligent and creative, Brett was nominated by Deputy Commissioner Robert Garafola and Chief of Management Services Parmod Tripathi.
Pat Kendly is an Operations Employee of the Month for January.
Pat is the Director of Manhattan Operations and has been with Parks since April 27, 1981. Pat actually started her career with us as a seasonal pool aide back in 1977, before being hired fulltime as an Office Aide. Through the years, she has tackled a myriad of assignments that have made her knowledgeable in the day to day operations of the borough. Pat’s current responsibilities are many and she works hard to keep Manhattan’s Operations office going. Each week, Pat collects data that is used to prepare reports for the Commissioner and Chief’s meetings. This includes the latest PIP ratings, the status of drinking fountains and waste collection information. Pat also processes 311 requests and follows up to make sure that they are answered promptly. In addition, she serves as a liaison to DOT, helping make sure that the borough’s extensive lighting system is always up and working. Pat recently demonstrated very strong organizational skills when three of her fulltime employees took ill for extended periods. She kept the office running and never missed a beat. Pat was nominated by Manhattan Chief of Operations Namshik Yoon.
John Turner is an Operations Employee of the Month for January.
John is a City Park Worker and has been with Parks since July 9, 1995. John is stationed at Underhill Playground, in Brooklyn’s District 8, where he provides the site with general maintenance. Each day, he opens the playground and the rest rooms and he provides the patrons with any assistance that they may need. He maintains all the play equipment and he makes sure that everything is in good condition and safe for the many children and their adult guardians who attend the park daily. His dedication was on display last month, when shots rang out across the street from the park. As park patrons panicked, John, a Vietnam War veteran, maintained his cool. He quickly gathered park patrons and directed them to the park house. John told them to lock the door and that he’d be back as he took off to make sure that he didn’t miss anyone. As the police arrived, John helped secure the scene as they conducted an investigation. For his quick thinking and alert actions, John was nominated by PRM Neil Harmon.
Howard Kreft is Public Programs’ Employee of the Month for January.
Howard is an Assistant Urban Park Ranger and has been with Parks since May 2, 2005. Howard is assigned to the borough of Queens. He works out of the visitor's center at Forest Park where he is involved in a wide variety of Ranger programs and daily services. This past Thanksgiving, Howard conceived and produced the Queens History Weekend. This event highlighted the history of colonial Queens, with five different programs throughout the borough. The program included Parks staff attractively dress in costumes from the Colonial period. Howard worked hard to establish partnerships with a number of cultural institutions including Bowne House, the Queens Historical Society, and the Queens Borough Commissioner’s office. He also worked with the Press Office to have the event listed in several city and local newspapers. For his hard work and effort, Howard was nominated by Deputy Director of the Urban Park Rangers Matt Symons.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic.”
(1931 - )