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Daily Plant Masthead

Volume XXVIII, Number 5829
Tuesday, Apr 02, 2013

Parks Salutes Its Employees Of The Month (Part IV)

Yekaterina Gulkarova is an Operations Employee of the Month for January.

Katrina started her career at Parks in 2005 as a seasonal worker and was hired full-time a year later. She is now a Community Associate with Queens Forestry.
Katrina manages correspondence inquiries related to Queens Forestry and efficiently processes work orders using ForMS and TreeManager software. In addition, she researches and gathers information for pending law claims and FOIL requests. During storm emergencies, Katrina transmits valuable information to Forestry crews, which allows them to address issues in real time.
Katrina provides high-quality customer service to everyone she encounters, including elected officials and their staff. The Queens Forestry office receives letters of appreciation for Katrina every year. The most recent was from a citizen who remarked, “This was my lucky day. I called and spoke to Yekaterina Gulkarova at the Department of Parks and Recreation. She listened diligently to my dilemma, made note of all information provided by me and gave me a case number.” The writer went on to say that the trees in question were addressed with speedy results. Last year, Katrina responded to a total of 2,750 correspondences.
Katrina is a scrupulous person who sets an example for others. Although she's been at Forestry for seven years, she still takes every single customer service call and correspondence seriously, exemplifying the consummate professional.
For her hard work and dedication, she was nominated by Queens Director of Landscape Management Joseph Bonkowski and First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh.

Christopher Martin is an Operations Employee of the Month for February.

Christopher is a long-time Parks employee who has been with the Agency for over 25 years. He started in the Bronx in Horticulture and after spending five years there, he moved to Manhattan Forestry where he is currently a Climber and Pruner.
A vital part of Chris’ job is being a master of the Cherry Picker, a formidable task that requires a clear focus and concentration on his mission. He works tirelessly to maintain street and parks trees as well as performing emergency work that comes in daily. Forestry was inundated with emergency requests after Hurricane Sandy and Chris was one of the first responders. His supervisor will tell you, when nobody else is available, you can always count on Chris.
Chris is known for giving 100% effort 100% of the time. He takes great pride in the difficult and strenuous work he performs on a daily basis. Most of all, he is not afraid to confront any assignment regardless of the outdoor elements he has to brave. Not even Hurricanes Irene and Sandy could stop Chris from responding to emergency calls. He has a proven track record of being dependable and responsive in crisis situations.
Chris is known as a customer service-driven person who sets an example for others. He is a life-long NYC resident and takes pride in keeping his fellow New Yorkers safe from hazardous conditions.
For his continued dedication over the years, Christopher Martin was nominated by Director of Manhattan Forestry William Steyer and First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh.

Nave Strauss is an Operations Employee of the Month for February.

Nave is a Forester with Central Forestry and Horticulture, where he has worked since 2009.
Nave schedules and supervises field surveys, leaving no stone unturned, to assess the conditions of trees and the extent of damage from insects, injury and disease. He also assesses work to be done by contractors for tree removal, tree pruning, and tree planting. He has worked at a level far beyond what could be reasonably expected of him because of his passion and enthusiasm for trees. He has worked long days and on weekends so that he can perform at the highest of standards.
Nave has played a major role in developing and launching the Young Tree Pruning Program. This program is now an integral element in MillionTreesNYC that aims to maximize the long-term quality and health of the newly planted young trees. This is achieved through a "structural prune,” which leads to trees that will require far less maintenance over their lifespan, be more resilient to severe weather incidents, cause fewer nuisances, and be more aesthetically pleasing.
Nave has helped train over a hundred members of the horticultural staff to structurally prune young trees. Nave has also worked on multiple Saturdays with Citizen Pruners from Trees NY. Together our horticultural staff and Trees NY volunteers pruned over 10,000 young trees this winter, which is a huge achievement. This success has solidified the Young Tree Pruning Program as a valuable tool for maximizing the environmental benefits that NYC will receive from the MillionTreesNYC program.
Nate branched out and presented at the recent "Grow Our Grassroots" summit on the program and encouraged more volunteers to become involved in improving NYC's community urban forest. It should be noted that Nave has achieved all this while managing two tree planting contracts and one tree procurement contract!
If that isn’t enough, Nave is an exceptional guitar player and collects guitars with his father. Nate has tree genes in his roots – he comes from an arboricultural family as his father runs a successful tree company on Long Island.
For his passion for trees and his commitment to the urban forest of NYC, Nave was nominated by Chief of Forestry, Horticulture, and NRG Bram Gunther and First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh.


“My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people's.”

Oscar Wilde
(1854 - 1900)
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