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The Daily Plant : Monday, January 8, 2001

Nine Outstanding Parkies Named Employee of the Month

Louvenia "Miss Lou" Jackson is the Bronx's Employee of the Month for December. Louvenia started with Parks on April 1, 1981 and works currently as a Recreation Specialist in Zimmerman Playground. She helped develop and now runs the playschool program there, which teaches 3 to 5 year olds the alphabet, songs, and social skills. This summer, Louvenia also organized Bronx's most successful Summer Fun site which was a model for the borough's other 16 sites. Louvenia also seasonally decorates the interior of Ranaqua. For her many years of capable and creative service to Bronx recreation, Louvenia was nominated by Almond Joy.

Todd S. "Blue Bayou" Leavitt is Brooklyn's Employee of the Month for December. Blue Bayou started with Parks on June 7, 1999 and works as a Project Manager for Fort Greene Park. Blue Bayou works with both Partnerships for Parks and Brooklyn Operations to coordinate special events and maintenance of the park. Blue Bayou works with M&O staff to supervise cleaning and repair of the park and has organized many volunteer cleanups, including a leaf removal project held in December. Blue Bayou also organizes special events such as the recent children's Halloween party and this year's Christmas Tree Lighting. A rising star in Brooklyn, Blue Bayou was nominated by Liberty.

Arthur F. "Silver Linden" Sarrantonio is Capital Projects' Employee of the Month for December. Arthur began with Parks on January 17, 1989 and is an assistant landscape architect and a supervisor of Street Trees for Central Forestry. Arthur oversees the contract planting of trees in Queens and responds to constituent questions about trees. Now in his 24th tree planting season, Arthur has overseen the planting of 18,000 street trees, more than anyone else in Central Forestry. Currently, he is surveying sites for the scheduled planting of 625 street trees and 20 Greenstreets in March, 2001. An expert on trees and friend to them, Arthur was nominated for his many years of service by Treetop.

Arthur G. "Stallion" Rollins is Citywide Services' Employee of the Month for December. Stallion began with Parks on March 20, 1995 and is currently Deputy Chief of Technical Service at 5-Boro. As such, Stallion helps coordinate general technical services for the five boroughs, including painting, carpentry, and electrical work. In 1996, Stallion helped develop the roofs requirements contracts initiative. In FY99, Parks was able to complete $1.8 million in quick and vital roof repairs through this program. Stallion also oversees capital work for the pools and stadia, and plays an important role in the general management of the 5-Boro shops. Currently, he is working on maintenance of the Fort Totten buildings and the boilers at Douglaston Manor. A major contributor to 5-Boro, Stallion was nominated by Tigress.

Chris "Merlin" Zambelis is Management's Employee of the Month for December. Merlin began with Parks on February 15, 1999 after graduating from New York University with a degree in Political Science and History. Merlin began as a job developer and is now Supervisor of Citywide Job Development for Parks' Job Assistance Centers (JAC). As such, Merlin finds private sector jobs for WEP participants and supervises three other job developers. Together, they have placed in 2000 over 210 JAC participants, with Merlin leading the way with over 100 placements. Merlin also designed the JAC brochure and runs workshops for participants. Hardworking and talented, Merlin was nominated by Falcon's Eye.

Scott "Guero" Farrington is Manhattan's Employee of the Month for December. Scott began with Parks on April 25, 1999 and is a Gardener working in such high profile sites as Washington Square Park and City Hall Park. Scott plants flowers and shrubs, and maintains lawns and beds. He played a critical role in the success of the City Hall Park opening and has helped keep the park clean, beautiful and green. He has recently been assigned to St. Nicholas Park. Talented and creative, Scott was nominated by SPMO Phil Lombardi.

Tammy "Halloween" Mitchell is Queens' Employee of the Month for December. Tammy began with Parks as a seasonal in July, 1990 and became full time on April 24, 1995. Tammy is currently a Playground Associate in Liberty Park where she runs a variety of after-school, sports, and senior programs. This summer, she was promoted to PA supervisor for the first time and successfully oversaw PA activities and events at 14 sites, which were attended by over 400 children. She was also instrumental in this Fall's Halloween Haunted House in Queens. Dedicated, creative and enthusiastic, Tammy was nominated by Devil Dog.

Joseph G. "Slam Dunk" Dunker is Staten Island's Employee of the Month for December. Joseph started with Parks on March 9, 1987 and works as a City Park Worker for District 1, which includes Clove Lakes and Silver Lake parks. For the 2000 inspection year, District 1 received ratings of 86% Overall and 89.5% for Cleanliness. Joseph's responsibilities include graffiti removal, trash removal, and minor repairs. Joseph has been very helpful with borough 5 x 5's including last month's clearing of Northerleigh Park, a ball field surrounded by three acres of overgrown trees and shrubs. Joseph lead a crew which performed weed whacking and removed overgrown shrubs and vines, and put down wood chips to create trails. For his positive attitude and hard work, Joseph was nominated by Squirrel.

Terry D. "Calla Lily" Jackson is the Commissioner's Employee of the Month for December. Calla Lily started with Parks on June 30, 1998 and is the Director of Citywide Special Events. As such, she oversees the operations of the many large special events held in city parks, including last year's Sting Concert and the annual New York Marathon, Easter Eggstravaganza, and Halloween events. Calla Lily works with other City, State, and Federal agencies in addition to Parks' Marketing, M&O, Urban Park Service and 5 Boro divisions to produce these complicated and spectacular events. Calla Lily works long and varied hours to pull off safe and fun events including at First Night 2001 and the upcoming Winterfest. For her behind the scenes efforts in these high profile events, Calla Lily was nominated by BC. By Kermit and Lollipop

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Monday, January 11, 2988)

EMPLOYEE AWARDS PROGRAM OFF TO A SUPER START

Did you know that last year over 30 of your fellow Parkies were honored as "Employee of the Month" among five boroughs and five units? While some boroughs and units have had recognition for excellent programs for employees since April 1, 1987 or before, the agency-wide program officially began on July 1, 1987.

"The efforts of the borough and unit coordinators have been terrific this far, and have played a large part in the success of this program," said Chief of Administration Philip Crowe. "One of the best features about the Employee of the Month Program is that it's decentralized, allowing employees in all districts and boroughs to have their good work recognized."

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"Total loyalty is possible only when fidelity is emptied of all concrete content,
from which changes of mind might naturally arise"

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975)

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