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Daily Plant Masthead

Volume XXVIII, Number 5785
Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013

Parks Salutes Its Employees Of The Month (Part I)

Nate Grove is Management’s Employee of the Month for December.

Nate is the Marina Manager for Parks and has been with the agency since June 2003. He arrived at Citywide Operations after stints at J.P. Morgan, Sony Music, and a startup company. Nate used his secret experience as a sculler, combined with his business background, to take the lead in our citywide Marina program.

Nate is an extraordinarily dedicated employee who works hard at various waterfront facilities. Our marinas pose a set of unique challenges not faced by other Parkies. This includes overseeing a large live-in community at the 79th Street Boat Basin, which is a major revenue and income-focused business. In addition to being on call 24-7, Nate keeps active communication with the Coast Guard, Harbor Patrol, and Customs and Immigrations.

Nate is incredibly knowledgeable and detail-oriented. He is also very interested in recreational boating and has expanded his role beyond marinas. He has worked to develop waterfront access to the public and has pushed for the opening of rivers for kayaking and other recreational opportunities. Since coming under the concessions division, he has helped many of our concessioned businesses by reviewing their operations and making valuable recommendations.

During Hurricane Sandy, Nate went above and beyond. Before the storm, he worked with boat owners to make sure their vessels were secure or pulled out of the water if necessary. During the storm, he made sure that our marinas had 24 hour coverage. In the aftermath of the storm, he worked closely with both Parks marinas and our concessioned marinas. He has performed damage inspections and assisted with FEMA applications. In general, he has done a lot to get the marinas operating and assisting boat owners. He even helped in getting the S. S. Minnow removed from the middle of Cross Bay Boulevard.

Nate is the proud father of two young children and lives in Forest Hills, Queens.
For his persistent excellent service and dedication, Nate was nominated by Sandra Huber, Chief of Citywide Special Events; Assistant Commissioner Betsy Smith; and Deputy Commissioner Robert Garafola.

Debra Edwards is the Public Programs Employee of the Month for December.

Debra began her career at Parks in 1996 as a Playground Associate at Hansborough Recreation Center. She is now a Recreation Specialist serving the Bronx Afterschool & Summer Camp programs.

Debra is extremely creative in designing and implementing innovative programs for Bronx Recreation. This includes the annual “Lights on Afterschool” event, which was held at the St. James Recreation Center this past October. The students’ artwork was on display, showcasing their hard work and creativity. Debra was able to incorporate relay races, outdoor activities, and games into the event in order to integrate Recreation’s core services of sports, fitness, and outdoor adventure.

Debra was responsible for the creation of the annual Bronx Spelling Bee, which has brought cooperation and some healthy competition between the Bronx sites. This past year’s event in November allowed 10 children from each site to show off their spelling prowess in front of a friendly crowd at St. Mary’s Recreation Center.

Debra engaged all of the Bronx staff in organizing a formal dinner and dance for the members and parents of the Bronx Afterschool programs. This event gave staff the chance to work together and the children and parents the chance to dress up, celebrate, and see each other in a different light. Debra’s excellent planning was crucial to the success of this event, which ultimately resulted in a renewed sense of self worth for each child and served to remind the parents how special their children are.

Debra is a very articulate and soft spoken individual who is able to communicate her ideas in a clear manner as she leads by example. This translates in her work with our partners including City Parks Foundation, the Turn 2 Foundation, and the NY Redbulls. Her calm and cooperative demeanor allows her to effectively coordinate schedules and address issues as they arise.

For her diligence and creativity, Debra was nominated for Employee of the Month by Neil Harmon, Deputy Chief of Recreation; Emily Chase, Chief of Programming and Strategic Management; and Assistant Commissioner for Public Programs Annika Holder.


“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil
to one who is striking at the root.”

Henry David Thoreau

(1817 - 1862)
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