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Van Cortlandt Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, April 14, 2003


The following individuals were awarded Employee of the Month for March on Thursday, April 10, 2003.

The Commissioner’s Employees of the Month are the team at Shea Stadium: Artie G. Rollins, Matt Rocchio, Anthony J. Rizzo, and Rick Gordon. The "Shea Squad" assigned to 5-Boro Technical Services has successfully overseen a challenging and extensive $20 million renovation program at the 39-year old stadium, and had the stadium ready to go for Opening Day. The vast improvements include new security systems, improved lighting, and structural reconstruction. Fans will enjoy 3,000 new field-level seat cushions, new center field bleachers, and the re-coating of the concourse levels and seating areas. And, to the relief of all, 42 bathrooms were redone, with 6 baby-changing stations added. This high profile program required tremendous focus and skill. It’s a credit to our technical team and a service to baseball fans throughout New York City. Our "Shea Squad" was nominated by Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh.

Emmanuel Nwokelo is the Capital Projects Employee of the Month. Emmanuel is a Construction Project Manager and has been with Parks since February 1, 1993. In ten years at Capital, Emmanuel has supervised park construction projects at 16 different Bronx sites. He used this experience to program for the Bronx Team a new computer application for storing and organizing the vast array of documents that are required for construction projects. This program is now serving as a model for use throughout Capital Projects. Highly skilled and educated, Emmanuel is a graduate of City College of New York with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Monroe College. For his capable and creative service, Emmanuel was nominated by Bronx Team Leader Ray Gomez.

Ralph T. Galileo is Management’s Employee of the Month. Ralph is the Deputy Director of Telecommunications, and has been with Parks since September 5, 1989. Ralph began with Parks as a phone technician, and is now responsible for supervising 10 field technicians and a unit that manages 1,500 phone circuits and 4,000 pieces of equipment. Ralph is playing a critical role in many initiatives including the rollout of 700 Nextel phones to district supervisors agency-wide, and the networking of over 100 field locations. Recently, he introduced fiber-optics at the Arsenal, and helped the Central Park Zoo save money on phone service. He is also helping to install new security cameras at pools with night swimming problems. Ralph is keeping Parks on the cutting edge of technology and keeping Parkies in touch with each other. Wit a "can do" attitude and talented, Ralph was nominated by Chief Fiscal Officer David Stark and Director of Telecommunications Arthur Pirozzi.

Barry Stuldivant is an Operations Employee of the Month. Barry is a Maintenance Worker in Queens, and has been with Parks since July 15, 1999. Barry is responsible for making repairs, both large and small, throughout District 3 and District 7, which has more properties than any other district in the borough. He also assists with operations through Queens including beach preparations. Barry closely inspects park sites, either repairing the site himself or quickly getting help from other trades. Barry is innovative in many areas including using bottled tar to increase the longevity of cold patch repairs at playgrounds. A highly responsible and serious Parkie, Barry is making a strong contribution to Queens. He was nominated by Borough Commissioner Rich Murphy and PRM Eric Goetz.

Bennett Giannini is an Operations Employee of the Month. Ben is a Bronx Garage PPS and has been with Parks since June 13, 1977. Ben supervises the day to day operations of the Bronx Garages at Van Cortlandt Park and Ranaqua. In recent months, Ben helped complete the vehicle safety review with all Bronx staff. He also re-organized the crowded south compound at the Bronx Garage to establish a new and needed storage area for debris such as metals and wood. Ben has helped the Bronx fleet achieve the best trip ticket compliance and a very low 3.4% vehicle out of service rate. The go-to guy for snowstorms and special events, Ben is a mentor to his staff and a vital resource for the borough. He was nominated by Bronx Chief of Operations John Bachman.

Kenya R. Lewis is Public Programs’ Employee of the Month. Kenya is a Recreation Analyst and has been with Parks since March 20, 2001. Working for Central Recreation, Kenya was instrumental in organizing the Afterschool Showcase at J. Hood Wright Recreation Center on March 5. For months leading up to the showcase, Kenya visited the center every week to share her knowledge and love of dance and show the afterschool participants a variety of dance techniques. From January through March, Kenya coordinated this year’s Millennium Basketball Tournament, one of the largest of its kind on the East Coast. Nearly 2,000 male and female players, aged 8-19, competed at recreation centers throughout the city. Kenya journeyed to 17 sites, from Far Rockaway to the South Bronx, to ensure that the tournament ran smoothly. Kenya brings strong organization, financial savvy, and a "let’s-get-it-done-now" attitude to Central Recreation. She was nominated by Deputy Commissioner Jeffrey and Director of Central Recreation Emily Brennan.


"The great mystery is not that we should have been thrown down here at random between the profusion of matter and that of the stars; it is that from our very prison we should draw, from our very own selves, images powerful enough to deny our nothingness."

André Malraux


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