Four employees, with a combined total of 79 years of experience working for the City of Gastonia, have been selected as winners of the City’s 2018 Employee Awards. They were recognized at last night’s City Council meeting.
“We have many employees who daily go above and beyond their required duties to deliver outstanding customer service in a cost-effective and professional manner,” said Deputy City Manager Todd Carpenter. “More than 30 of our employees were nominated by their colleagues this year for a City award. Each nominee and winner exemplifies the City of Gastonia’s ongoing commitment to quality, safety and excellence.”
The Extraordinary Service Award was presented to Ed Stroud, a field supervisor in Public Works. Stroud oversees asphalt and right-of-way crews. Colleagues praised Stroud for his emphasis on personalized customer service, being a good listener to both customers and his crew members, always being willing to step up when a job needs to be done and leading by example. Stroud says his approach to his work is simple: perform each job as if it was in front of his house.
Debby Cloninger won the Customer Service Award. Cloninger, an administrative assistant in Public Utilities, says she likes being part of the solution and knowing that she has helped people. She was recognized for consistently treating customers with respect, answering questions and resolving problems in a positive and supportive way, and for her knowledge of the complex issues involved with utilities maintenance.
The Leadership Award was awarded to Jimmy Lineman, an assistant division manager with Public Works. Each day, he assigns crews to work on projects such as grading, concrete, asphalt, right of way, plowing/brining roads during the winter, and stormwater. Hurricanes, snowstorms or similar weather events often require the City to quickly shift priorities and work assignments. Lineman was praised for his ability to rapidly pool resources and make high-stakes decisions to serve the residents’ most-pressing needs first. Lineman says adjusting priorities is the most difficult part of his job but he focuses on being prepared and finding solutions.
Public Utilities Crew Chief Wayne Bay won the City’s Safety Award. He and his crew install, maintain and repair water and sewer lines, and Bay has completed 21 years with the City with no preventable accidents. He says the biggest safety challenge is working in trenches with the risk of soil cave-ins. Bay conducts daily meetings with his Two Rivers Utilities maintenance crew to emphasize safety procedures and mentors new employees on the importance of safety. His colleagues commended Bay for leading by example.