Public Works’ Chris Ford named city’s 2021 employee of the year

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Solid Waste Supervisor Chris Ford was named the City of College Station’s 2021 Employee of the Year in a ceremony before Thursday night’s city council meeting. The Executive Leadership Team selected Ford from 15 employees nominated by their peers. 

Chris was unfailingly cheerful and optimistic this year despite working an incredible 930 overtime hours from January to September. He usually supervises the bulk and brush crew, but he has also managed commercial/automated collections because of a vacancy. Chris seamlessly stepped into both roles at a crucial time, providing steadfast and unfailing leadership to both crews. 

“He’s endured the challenging workload with tremendous poise and no complaints, always wearing a smile on even the most difficult days,” Interim Public Works Director Pete Caler said.

Ford also serves as assistant volunteer fire chief for Brazos County Precinct 4. 

Other nominees for the award were Lt. Sean Beatty (Police Department), Eric Chapman (Community Services), Karen Fryman (Human Resources), Daniel Graalum (College Station Utilities), Brooke Littlefield (Parks & Recreation), Capt. Stuart Marrs (Fire Department), Rachel Mayor (Public Communications), Cody Mays (Information Technology), Teryn McGinness (Fiscal Services), Paul Schoenfeld (Water Services), Jason Schubert (Planning & Development Services), Rita Stivers (City Attorney’s Office), Jo Beth Wolfe (Economic Development & Tourism), and Alysia Ybarra (Municipal Court).

The City Manager’s Office presented two new awards this year.  

Long Range Planning Administrator Alyssa Halle-Schramm received City Impact Award from the City Manager’s Office for her meaningful and long-lasting impact on the community.

Alyssa established the newly created long-range planning division while leading the Comprehensive Plan update process to a successful completion. She also reimagined and enhanced public input and engagement opportunities during the pandemic to accommodate virtual and in-person dialog. Her leadership resulted in a strategic and comprehensive direction for the future of College Station. 

At the same time, Alyssa also led the development of the Restricted Occupancy Overlay and the city’s U.S. Census 2020 efforts. Alyssa has been flexible, adaptable, motivated, bold, and innovative. 

The inaugural City Leadership Award recipient is Fire Chief Richard Mann, who has served the community since May 2020. His leadership skills and guidance produced a direct and immediate impact in his department and throughout the community in a relatively short time. 

Chief Mann initiated steps to help balance the department’s budget by finding operational and training efficiencies. He continues to develop a command team built for succession planning.

In his short tenure, he’s become a well-respected member of the Executive Leadership Team and is often sought for advice. Chief Mann has a knack for project leadership and facilitates effective community partnerships. He’s also a personable and excellent communicator. 

The city also recognized employees with 20, 25, 30, and 35 years of service. Employees who reached the milestones of 5, 10, and 15 years of service are recognized at departmental events.

20-Year Employees            

Clint Anderson, Fire
Jimmy Brown, Police
Andrew Byorth, Fire
Rebekah Charanza, Fire
Ronald Copeland, Fire
Jaime Enriquez, Parks & Recreation
Miguel Gaytan, Electric
Kelly Kelbly, Parks & Recreation
John Kimbrough, Fire
Stephen Maldonado, Water Services
Patrick McCarthy, Police
Kevin Simmons, Fire
Gary Southerland, Jr., Police

25-Year Employees   

Thomas Brown, Jr., Police
Rocio Cortez, Fiscal Services
Bryan Fails, Parks & Recreation
Joseph Gibson, Fire
Ricardo Guzman, Parks & Recreation
Martha Hennessy, Police
Michael Pavelka, Police
Carol Rodriquez, Utility Customer Service

30-Year Employees     

Deborah Hamff, Fire
Jeff Kersten, City Manager’s Office
Troy Pemberton, Fleet Services
Dan Schill, Electric
Darryl Smith, Fire
Marvin Wagener, Fire
Patsy Wiley, Community Services
Robert Wilson, Police

35-Year Employee

James Schroeder, Parks & Recreation

Congratulations to the 2021 award winners for your exemplary service to our organization and the residents of College Station.

Public Communications Office

<strong><em><span class="has-inline-color has-medium-gray-color">About the Blogger</span></em></strong>
About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.

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