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Daily Plant Masthead

Volume XXVIII, Number 5890
Monday, Jul 01, 2013

Parks Salutes Its Employees Of The Month (Part I)

Abby Jameson is an Operations Employee of the Month for April.
Abby started with Parks in January 2008 as a Forester and became Contracts Manager in October 2011. In this role, she is responsible for coordinating contract administration for the Forestry, Horticulture, and Natural Resources division. She assists in the preparation of various contracts and tracks them through the painstaking registration process. She also tracks due dates for milestones and monitors contractor productivity to make sure deadlines are met – no easy task.
Abby is dedicated, organized, and extremely efficient. Her supervisor suspects that Abby may even be clairvoyant at times. She is able to work on multiple projects efficiently and effectively, completing all work on time or even ahead of schedule.
This year, Abby even took on the responsibilities of a co-worker who was out on an extended sick leave. She was able to keep up with the additional work, meet all deadlines, and provide direction to the team she was managing.
Abby is always volunteering for special projects. She has been color captain for Million Tree planting events and is a vital member of our storm team, producing maps and performing data entry. She is incredibly reliable and generous with her time.
Abby sets an example of excellence for our team. She is detail oriented and maintains the highest standards of work. She leads by example and is always willing to mentor her junior colleagues. Parks is incredibly fortunate to have Abby work for the agency. For her hard work and dedication, Abby was nominated by Barbara Nickels and First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh.

Refaat Haroun is an Operations Employee of the Month for April.
Refaat began his career at Parks in 2005 as a Job Training Participant with the Parks Opportunity Program. Since then, he has stepped up through the ranks due to his strong work ethic and “can-do” attitude. He worked as a seasonal CPW from 2006 until 2008, when he was hired as a full-time CPW.
Refaat continued to seek out promotional opportunities and take on additional responsibilities. Never shying away from work, he was stepped up as an APSW during the spring and summer seasons at Highland and Forest Park in Queens. Proving himself to be well-equipped and skilled enough to take on this role, he was recently appointed as a civil service APSW. In this role, Refaat is responsible for Operating CDL class B vehicles, removing graffiti, and supervising staff as a Crew Chief, among many other responsibilities.
Refaat demonstrates professionalism in all aspects of his job. What distinguishes him most is his positive attitude and his willingness to go above and beyond to assist his fellow co-workers. On many occasions, he has even agreed to change his regular schedule to meet the needs of the daily operations in his borough.
Like many Parkies, Refaat went above and beyond during and after Hurricane Sandy. He worked 12 hour shifts to clear roadways and access ways. This important work allowed for the easy passage of emergency vehicles and general traffic. He also cleared debris from bus stops, sidewalks, and parks after the storm. Refaat was willing to work under dangerous and difficult conditions and his commitment will not be forgotten.
Refaat is an ideal employee and one who embodies professionalism for all to aspire. For his dependability and diligence, Refaat was nominated by Park Supervisor 2, Francis Caputo, Park Supervisor 1, John Locascio, and First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh.

Colleen Alderson is the Capital Projects Employee of the Month for April.
Colleen has been at Parks for 15 years, starting in 1998 in the Planning office. In 2007 she was promoted to her current position as Director of Parklands. She manages the Parklands Unit, which essentially serves as Parks’ real estate office (following in the footsteps of the esteemed former Director of Parklands Jane Cleaver). In this role, some of her major responsibilities include managing property acquisitions and maintaining agency property records.
Colleen is an exemplary member of her division. Her commitment to fulfilling the mission of Parklands does not go unnoticed. Under Colleen’s leadership, Parklands reviews environmental land use documents and manages the preparations of Parks’ CEQR documents. She also defends the Agency’s interest by working with our Legal division to protect our parks against encroachment by other city agencies or private property owners.
Colleen also sets herself apart with the many other projects she takes on. She has been managing and coordinating the National Tennis Center Strategic Vision Project, which involves a major expansion of the tennis center in Queens. She has also overseen many major acquisitions of park properties including the first phase of Goodhue Property on Staten Island and the Travers Park Garden School Site in Queens.
Colleen has proven to be a vital asset to the Agency because of her strong leadership, organization, and management skills.
In her spare time, Colleen enjoys swimming and biking. She also enjoys visiting our parks with her daughter Madeline.
For being a model Parkie, Colleen was nominated by Deputy Commissioner Therese Braddick.


“Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product. Paradoxically, the one sure way not to be happy is deliberately to map out a way of life in which one would please oneself completely and exclusively.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
(1884 – 1962)
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