Parks Salutes Its Employees Of The Month (Part I)
Bonnie Williams is an Operations Employee of the Month for July.
Bonnie began her career at Parks in 1994 as a Recreation Specialist with Manhattan, and later went on to become both a Recreation Director and Recreation Supervisor. After a brief hiatus to work at the “Y,” Bonnie could not stay away and returned to Parks in 2006 where she has been a PRM and the Director of Conference House Park on Staten Island.
In her role as Director of Conference House Park, Bonnie has worked with the Historic House Trust on developing an Interpretive and Business Plan for the park. She also continues to build the Board of Directors of a newly formed “friends of” group called the Conference House Park Conservancy. Working closely with Parks’ Natural Resources Group, MillionTreesNYC, and Forestry, Bonnie strives to preserve and restore the unique and sensitive maritime habitat and shoreline of the beautiful 226-acre park.
One of Bonnie’s areas of expertise is special events. She conceived of and almost single-handedly coordinates the Raritan Bay Festival, now in its third season, and for years managed a Clam Bake fundraiser to rave reviews .
However, Bonnie’s reach does not end at Conference House Park. She serves as the borough’s Historic House liaison, overseeing the various caretakers at some of our historic properties and has taken charge of administering the borough’s FEMA applications for disaster recovery funding for four storms in 2010 and 2011. If that is not enough, she serves as the borough’s Pool Manager during the summer and is a certified CPR and AED instructor.
For her diverse skills, boundless energy, and dedication to Parks, Bonnie was nominated by Staten Island Borough Commissioner Adena Long and First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh.
Mark Ford is an Operations Employee of the Month for July.
Mark is a Park Supervisor Level II and began his career in November 1985. He started as a Parks Service Worker and was promoted to permanent APSW in 1992. He was promoted to provisional Park Supervisor in 1998. After being picked up from the Park Supervisor civil service list, he is now a Park Supervisor Level II.
In his current role, Mark oversees Queens’ horticulture crews who maintain the borough’s 862 GreenStreets and flower beds. In addition, he oversees the renaissance of the recently restored, refurbished, and renovated greenhouse.
Mark was transferred to Queens from Brooklyn in 2010 and immediately demonstrated his horticultural skills to the borough. This past January, Mark was transferred to the Greenhouse and took on the job with zeal. He oversees a staff of 21 full-time workers, 15 seasonal workers and 10-15 JTPs. He has worked to master the technology associated with maintaining the new greenhouse as watering, temperature control, moisture levels, and light/shade are all controlled by computer. Mark worked diligently with the contractor to learn the system and although he does not consider himself an expert yet, he is well on his way.
Among his accomplishments, Mark is able to call himself a Master Gardener as he recently graduated with honors from the class at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. He is a hard-working, courteous employee who will apply himself to accomplishing the task at hand. As a supervisor, he is fair and respectful and is never hesitant to share his knowledge and experience with others. Mark is quick to find his staff’s greatest skills and utilizes those strengths to the benefit of all New Yorkers. Mark’s skills are both directly and indirectly responsible for making NYC’s neighborhoods a more beautiful place to live.
For his service to Parks and commitment to horticultural excellence, Mark was nominated by Queens Deputy Chief of Operations Paul D’Amore and First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh.
Alex Hart is the Capital Projects Employee of the Month for July.
Alex is the Assistant Deputy Chief for Design and has been with Parks since July 2004.
In his role in the Design division, Alex tracks the progress of all designs for Capital, prepares PowerPoint presentations for in-house training and special projects, and reviews designs for interagency projects. In addition, he assists the design teams by prioritizing work, assigning appropriate staff, and strategizing to keep projects on schedule.
Alex began his Parks career in the Manhattan design team where managers quickly recognized his special skills and assigned many important citywide projects in addition to his borough design work. In October of 2010, Alex was promoted to Borough Landscape Design Director for the Manhattan Team where he honed his skills in managing multiple projects and staff. In December 2011, Alex was chosen from a pool of applicants in a nation-wide search to fill the Assistant Deputy Chief of Design position.
Some of Alex’s key projects include work at the award-winning Dr. Ronald McNair Park and the lead design for the well-regarded new playground at historic Morningside Park. His innovative work on the DeLury Park landscape transformed a forlorn sliver of park space into a robust, well-loved sitting area. Alex also worked on the challenging Heliport dog run and the new Andrew Haswell Green Park.
Simultaneously, Alex has pitched in to prepare clear and thoughtful presentations for high level projects at a moment’s notice including multiple presentations on Washington Square Park. His presentations boil down complicated issues through clear, well illustrated, and thoughtful analysis.
For Capital’s new customized consultant management software, Alex worked diligently to develop a transparent spreadsheet system to track the movement of projects through the design process.
Alex goes the extra mile to accomplish every seemingly impossible task he is assigned and for his contributions to Capital, he has been nominated by Deputy Chief for Design Nancy Prince, and Deputy Commissioner Therese Braddick.
Lucy Aponte is Management’s Employee of the Month for July.
Lucy is the Visitor Center Coordinator at Poe Park in the Bronx and has been with Parks since May of this year.
Lucy manages all aspects of the operation of the visitor center. She maintains the facility, develops a variety of programming, manages the calendar of events, and evaluates the programs that the center holds.
In addition, Lucy serves as a liaison with community groups, local organizations, and schools. She also works closely with borough management, Recreation, Partnerships for Parks, and Arts and Antiquities to generate public interest in the use of the visitor center.
Although she only started a few months ago, Lucy is quickly proving to be a hardworking, dedicated Parkie who goes the extra mile to produce quality, engaging programs for the visitor center and the community alike. Her determination has allowed for a building that was once a shell with bare walls to become a hub of activity for arts, cultural and environmental programs including artist talks and seminars, knitting classes, dance programs, yoga classes, and poetry workshops.
Lucy is also the President of the Friends of Soundview Park and has helped change the culture and atmosphere there by bringing exciting programming and activity to the park. She has devoted countless hours to Soundview and is a previous recipient of the Alma Award for Community Service from Parks’ Latino Society for her outstanding work.
Lucy is also an artist and has had her work displayed in professional settings. For her enthusiasm, commitment, and dedication to her community, Lucy was nominated by Deputy Commissioner for Community Outreach Larry Scott Blackmon.
“A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought.
There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.”
(1802 - 1885)