Parks Salutes Its Employees Of The Month (Part II)
Graham began at Parks in 2008 as a Marketing Associate. In 2010, he received a promotion to Marketing Manager.
As Marketing Manager, Graham spearheads six-figure sponsorship efforts for Parks-produced events. He is involved in all aspects of these agreements, including the fostering of relationships, the execution of contracts, and the management of budgets. In addition, Graham has developed and executed marketing campaigns for citywide initiatives including ShapeUp NYC and Water Safety.
The proof of his success, as they say, is in the pudding. Graham has leveraged Parks' relationships with corporate sponsors to raise a substantial amount of funds and in-kind contributions for Parks-produced events. Furthermore, over the last year, close to 100,000 New Yorkers attended Parks events that Graham helped organize.
Graham's leadership at our annual Pumpkin Fest has made that event a fall holiday staple for new Yorkers of all ages. However, his commitment to well-run special events was perhaps best illustrated at this year's Winter Jam. He was heavily involved in the marketing blitz and sponsor outreach leading up to the event. In addition to this official assignment, Graham and his band Apollo Run took the Bandshell stage and played throughout the event. No one could take umbrage with the frigid temperatures as long as Graham's Ringo-esque drumbeats filled the air.
Graham is always positive and thoughtful. He takes the time to connect with people and always works hard to arrive at solutions to problems. He is able to handle difficult situations with tact and sensitivity.
For his thoughtfulness and hard work, Graham was nominated by Director of Marketing Christine Dabrow, Chief Kate Spellman, and Deputy Commissioner Robert Garafola.
Roberto Barreto is the Commissioner's Employee of the Month for January.
Roberto became a Parkie in November, 2000. Roberto joined the Manhattan Borough Office as Program & Outreach Coordinator in 2003.
In this role, Roberto is the driving force behind Manhattan Recreation's borough-wide youth sports programming. He has become a lead advocate for Recreation's mission to help all New Yorkers lead physically active lives through sports, fitness, outdoor adventure, arts, culture, education, and technology. To that end, Roberto strives to ensure that children of all ages are able to take part in our free sports programs. This is no easy feat considering he oversees 12 recreation facilities, coaches and volunteers.
He ensures that the popular youth Millennium Basketball Tournament, which has seen a 50% increase in participation this year, runs without a hitch. In the past, he has managed four sites, each with three divisions of boys, girls, and co-ed. Not limited to just one sport, Roberto has also led Manhattan's Softball League and Borough Flag Football.
To compliment his commitment to ensuring that all New Yorkers lead healthier lives, Roberto has worked diligently to ensure that the borough's fitness equipment is maintained properly and are replaced with newer models on a timely basis. Roberto was part of the team that created the AMPS Fitness process and oversaw its implementation. His expertise in the design and placement of equipment has helped improve the overall appeal of other borough's fitness rooms and his work with AMPS has made it easier for all borough recreation staff to track and order repairs for their equipment. In fact, his out-of-service rate for Staten Island is less than 1%.
This week the Center for Disease Control announced that childhood obesity in the United States plummeted by 43 percent in the last decade. We have people like Roberto to thank for that dramatic improvement.
For his commitment to Public Programs, Recreation, and the Agency, Roberto was nominated by Chief Paul Fontana, Deputy Chief Chris Davis, Deputy Commissioner Robert Garafola, and First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh.
Michael Feller is the Commissioner's Employee of the Month for December 2013.
Michael started with Parks on May 16, 1983 as an Urban Park Ranger and was an initial member of the Natural Resources Group.
In both of these roles, he provided countless tours to visitors and fellow Parkies. Michael was also responsible for major restorations at the Paerdegat Basin, Gerritsen Bay, and White Island. He also led the establishment of the Forever Wild Program, and contributed to the restoration of NYC Parks' natural areas.
Michael has become a Senior Naturalist within the Central Forestry, Horticulture, and Natural Resources Unit. In this role, he is responsible for providing in-house consulting services for projects with Parks Capital Division, the Army Corps of Engineers, NYS DEC and other institutions. He can also be seen responding to oil spills at all hours of the day or night, leading surveys regarding the breeding of birds and harbor herons, and utilizing his exceptional photography skills to document and raise awareness of New York City's precious natural resources.
Having grown up in Brooklyn, Michael is heavily invested in the well-being of his community. From its expansive parklands to its artisanal foods, Brooklyn has always held a special place in Michael's heart. His contribution to the borough and the city is a lifetime dedicated to the protection, restoration, and stewardship of our parkland.
For his devotion to New York City's trees and natural areas and his 30-years of exceptional service to the Parks Department, Michael was nominated by Deputy Chief Jennifer Greenfeld, Chief Bram Gunther, and First Deputy Commissioner Kavanagh.
"Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night."