Parks Salutes Its Employees Of The Month
Sandra Villegas is the Operations Employee of the Month for June.
Sandra is a Senior Forester in Central Forestry and Horticulture. S he began her career at Parks in 2007 as a Forester for the Trees and Sidewalks Repair Program and was promoted to her current position on December 18, 2011.
Sandra now oversees and manages the citywide Trees and Sidewalks Repair Program, which has been an extremely popular venture with over 41,000 service requests since 2005. In the field, the program has inspected and rated over 37,000 properties and repaired nearly 10,000 locations.
Sandra has contributed to the program’s success through hard work, strategic planning, practical problem solving, and dynamic management. She has maximized the benefits it generates to the nearby homeowners, the trees, and the local neighborhood.
The importance of the program has not gone unnoticed, as it has been allocated millions of dollars in additional funding from the State Assembly and City Council.
Sandra has exemplary professional standards and work ethic, even under the most challenging circumstances. She is always willing to support others, even when she has her own heavy workload to navigate. Under the highest levels of stress, she remains upbeat, positive, and professional.
For her hard work and dedication, Sandra was nominated by Director of Tree Preservation Matthew Wells and First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh.
The McCarren Park Architecture and Construction team are the Capital Projects Employees of the Month for June.
Lorenzo Calabrese is the Assistant Director of Brooklyn Construction and has been with Parks since 1996; Rob Iaropoli is a Construction Project Manager and has been with Parks since 2009; and Jeffrey Scharpf is an Architect and has been with Parks since 2007. Together, they played a pivotal role in the recent renovation of the McCarren Pool and its adjoining facilities.
McCarren Pool was one of eleven giant pools built by Robert Moses and the Works Progress Administration back in the 1930s. The pool served as the summertime social hub for the surrounding Greenpoint and Williamsburg communities until it closed in 1984. This pool and recreation center reopened on June 28 after being closed for more than a quarter of a century.
Lorenzo Calabrese was one of the steadfast Capital Projects personnel assigned to oversee the construction management of the project. He was also responsible for the management and supervision of outside consultants and a host of construction contractors. Despite his busy schedule, Lorenzo has also found time to take numerous courses offered by DCAS and OSHA and is certified by the Red Cross in Adult CPR, Standard First Aid, and Automatic External Defibrillators.
Rob Iaropoli was a Construction Project Manager for McCarren Pool. His daily responsibilities consist of the oversight of construction activities, contract interpretation, dispute resolution between the contractors and consultants, cost projections, change order review, weekly site meetings and the processing of payments for contractors and consultants. Rob is the former owner of his own consultant firm based out of New Rochelle, NY. He was involved in the design and preparation of residential, commercial, municipal site and construction plans throughout New Rochelle and its surrounding communities.
Jeffrey Scharpf’s work on the project was instrumental to its success. He worked tirelessly to meet deadlines and makes suggestions for improvement at every stage. His pro-active approach to project management, his diligent work ethic and his strong attention to detail all contribute to his excellent performance. Jeffrey has over 20 years of experience as an architect and designer, and has worked extensively for design firms in New York City, Long Island and Colorado.
Lorenzo, Rob, and Jeffrey did whatever necessary to keep this project moving forward, no matter what obstacles they faced. Thanks to their unrelenting energy, dedication, commitment and persistence, the job was finished on time and within budget.
For their efforts, The McCarren Park Pool Architecture and Construction Team was nominated by Brooklyn Team Leader David Martin, Deputy Director of Architecture Julie Nymann, and Deputy Commissioner Therese Braddick.
The GAPP Program (Green Applied Programs at Parks) Administrators are Management’s Employees of the Month for June.
Nancy Corbett is the Assistant to the Chief of POP and has been with Parks since 2007. Jason Deo is POP’s Supervisor of Budget and Inventory and has been with Parks since 2001 and Davida Rowley is POP’s Supervisor of Client Services and has been with Parks since 2008. Together, they created, developed, and managed the program under extremely tight deadlines. The mission of the program was to beautify our parks for this summer while providing valuable work experience and employment counseling to youth participants.
After being offered funding from the Center for Economic Opportunity to develop programming for young adults ages 18-24, the GAPP administrators were charged with enrolling a goal of 250 participants in two weeks. After finding 337 interested people at high schools, community colleges, and CBOs, the Center for Economic Opportunity agreed to commit an extra $100,000 of funding to help enroll the extra trainees recruited.
An additional challenge was the short timeframe that they had to implement the program: 5 weeks. This meant performing all aspects of the program themselves, from processing new enrollees to leading employment skills counseling sessions, to delivering uniforms and distributing paychecks.
For many of the program’s participants, this offered them an opportunity to take ownership and pride in their experience at Parks. After 5 weeks, 4 counseling sessions and 15 dedication ceremonies, feedback from GAPP corps members, Parks supervisors, and CEO all indicated that the program was a success. In meeting its desired impact, GAPP was able to provide paid work experience, a connection to their environment, and the ability to express their project experience in an interview setting. In addition, several GAPP Corps members obtained full time jobs as a result of the employment counseling during the program.
For their hard work and dedication, the GAPP Administrators were nominated by Chief of POP Liza Ehrlich, Deputy Commissioner Robert Garafola and First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh.