Shining a spotlight

As promised in last week’s blog, I want to give you a glimpse into some amazing people who serve our residents.

Last weekend we held a virtual celebration for the people who graciously volunteer their time and talent to support County programs. In pre-pandemic times this was one of my favorite celebrations and allowed me to personally thank folks who give many hours of service to our community out of the goodness of their hearts.

This year, because we couldn’t gather in person, we created a compilation video that highlights a few of the groups and individuals who were recognized for their outstanding volunteer work.  Check out the video below:

My thanks to Chair Young for taking the time to lend his support and congratulations to our volunteers.

While I’m shining a spotlight, I want to take a moment to acknowledge some other amazing people – our teams that have been recent recipients of awards on a local and national level.

While the pandemic has been exhausting and demanding, it has also required us to up our game and rise to the occasion.  And, we’re not the only ones that realize that we work among some talented, innovative people.

Just last week we received word that our Department of Emergency Management (DEM) was recognized with two awards.  DEM is a recipient of the Silver Spoon Award from Emergency Food Network for the support they provided (and still provide) for COVID response.

Our Emergency Management team was also recognized with the Regional WASA Community Leadership Award. WASA, the Washington Association of School Administrators, is an organization for professional administrators that annually recognizes community members or groups for their outstanding contributions to education.  Way to go, Jody Ferguson and team!

Betty Capestany, director of the Economic Development Department, accepted the 2020 CARES Act Economic Stabilization and Recovery Programs Award from the Washington Economic Development Association. The team was recognized for their “innovative efforts to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its national report on CARES Act implementation, the National Association of Counties (NACo) also highlighted the department’s work. Pierce County’s Economic Development department was one of only five counties in the nation that received that kind of praise.

And, if you can keep a secret, we are going to get another award in May. Our Finance Department will receive the 2021 Tyler Public Sector Excellence Award winner in the category for “Using Data to Drive Better Outcomes with CARES Act Funding.” Tyler Technologies is the parent of the Socrata platform we use for Open Pierce County.  Julie Demuth has also been presenting our CARES Act public-facing reporting at national-level trainings for NACo.  I’m grateful to Gary Robinson and his team in Finance for keeping transparency and accountability at the core of their work.

My congratulations and thanks to everyone on those teams. Their collaboration, creativity and commitment to our residents resulted in this well-deserved recognition. You make all of us proud!

Thanks for reading,