Donna Willis Honored With The John Bachman Award
John Bachman, who was with NYC Parks for 27 years and was a true friend of Parks, passed away in 2008. The John Bachman Award is given to the Parkie who best demonstrates excellence and distinction in parks operations.
Donna started her career with NYC Parks in 1977 as a City Seasonal Aide working initially as a cashier at Claremont Pool (when they still charged admission for pools). After being a CSA for seven years, she became a full-time Park Service Worker in 1984.
Her first assignment as a PSW was at Orchard Beach in the Bronx where she remained for twelve years. During her time at the beach, Donna received Associate Park Service Worker (APSW) step ups from 1986 through 1989 and in 1990 received her first Park Supervisor step-up. Due to her stellar work performance supervising over 150 City Seasonal Aides at Orchard Beach, Donna continued to receive Park Supervisor promotions for the next five years. Finally on January 10, 1996 she became a year round Park Supervisor in the Riverdale section of the Bronx where she remained for another 11 years.
In 2007, Donna moved to the Bronx where she met the challenge of maintaining and improving the cleanliness and overall conditions of the many and diverse properties in District 3. Donna passed the Civil Service Park Supervisor test and became a PS II of the Bronx POP program in 2011. In her current role she trains groups of 15 to 65 JTP’s per week.
During last winter's snowstorms, Donna's crew was tasked with clearing off snow from the many staircases in Bronx parks, a very challenging assignment. When Hurricane Sandy hit, 45 FEMA hires were assigned to Donna as she supervised the cleaning of the shore line of Pelham Bay Park. These FEMA employees required detailed tracking and Donna accounted for each employee on a daily basis in both the FEMA work log as well as in the Asset Management Parks System (AMPS).
Since Donna is organized, well prepared, and a jack of all trades, she has developed an excellent reputation in the Bronx. Donna is instrumental in running POP Orientations and a Borough-wide special Blitz Crew. She is well respected by her peers and the staff she supervises and is sought out frequently for guidance and advice.
For the above reasons, Donna Willis was selected to receive the John Bachman Award.
“The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up
in something that you forget to be afraid.”
Lady Bird Johnson
(1912 - 2007)