The Board of El Paso County Commissioners honored nine County employees with “Innovation Awards” at the regular meeting on Thursday, March 9.
“It’s unbelievable how much innovation we have within our community and our county,” said Board President Darryl Glenn. “We are a customer service organization. And these are teams and individuals that have really taken to heart the ability to give back and make all our lives easier.”
The program began in 2014 to encourage and reward a spirit of innovation among County employees. Award nominees are required to meet one of the following criteria:
• Innovative change in a current process or service that resulted in a distinct and quantifiable improvement
• New project that has improved customer service or addressed an unmet need
• Innovative idea that resulted in a significant cost savings
A dozen nominations were made by County employees and submitted to a committee for evaluation to determine the winners. The chosen winners are:
Sgt. Doug Lundstedt with Scotty Johnson
Scotty Johnson, an HVAC Technician for the County Facilities Division, was honored for solving a building design issue at the Criminal Justice Center. Johnson designed and built hinged access panels in the building’s HVAC system, so that air ducts can be accessed away from inmates, cleaned and hidden contraband can be removed. The benefits of the new access panels include:
1) Safer conditions for inmates and staff as contraband items can easily be discovered and removed from the vents.
2) Nearly 30 years of dust, trash and debris has been removed from the ductwork, providing better air quality at the CJC.
“This is a unique one because he was actually nominated by another department,” said County Engineer Jennifer Irvine, who presented the award to Johnson. Sergeant Doug Lundstedt of the Sheriff’s Office had nominated Johnson. “That is a testament to the work that Scotty does,” Irvine said.
The Public Health Vital Records Team – Melissa Gordon, Debbie Rivera, Maria Gomez, and Lesia Gabel.
The Public Health Vital Records Team – Lesia Gabel, Melissa Gordon, Debbie Rivera, Maria Gomez – won for developing an electronic death record system to help streamline the process for clients to obtain official death certificates. The benefits of the new system include:
1) A higher level of accuracy, as the system uses smart technology to cross reference data. It also allows families a more efficient process to use during an emotionally difficult time.
2) The ability to issue death certificates in just a couple business days instead of muddling through the former hard copy system that could take two weeks or longer.
“The impact of this reform reaches beyond the Public Health Department or the Office of Vital Records,” said Ryan Parsell, who presented the award to the team.
Nature Center staff, Todd Marts with the winners, Nancy Bernard, Ian Wilson, Mary Joe Lewis, and Maria Petkash.
Nancy Bernard, Mary Joe Lewis, Maria Petkash, and Ian Wilson – all members of the Innovative Programming Team – won for putting together “innovative and unique” recreational and cultural programs and events during 2016 at the County’s parks and nature centers. Benefits these programs include:
1) Increased use of the county’s park facilities with more than 3,000 people attending various events.
2) More than $36,000 in revenue to support the County Parks programs.
3) Expanded opportunities to network as dozens of public, private and nonprofit organizations joined to support the programs and events.
“Coming up with those unique, innovative ideas is a challenge and this group has really done a wonderful job,” said Recreation and Cultural Services Division Manager Todd Marts, who nominated the four award recipients.
Contact: Dave Rose
Public Information Officer
Phone: 520-6540 Cell: 337-9239