Three cheers – and then some!

It was quite a celebration on Wednesday night at the McGavick Center!  A room full of our Pierce County colleagues and some family members gathered to recognize long-time employees with anniversary milestones and cheer the winners of this year’s Standing Ovation Awards.  Enthusiastic smiles, hugs and handshakes abounded at the first in-person banquet we’ve held in several years.

As the group settled in for dinner and dessert, the stars of the evening began to shine.

In a profile that touched the heart of every animal lover in the room, we learned about how Josh Drye in the Prosecutor’s Office is an advocate for animals – including those who have been abandoned by the very people who were supposed to protect and take care of them.  Thank you, Josh, for supporting our Animal Control team and our furry Pierce County residents!


During the pandemic, the Home Visit Protocol team from Human Services faced a dilemma: how to safely perform their crucial in-person assessments to support vulnerable clients.  Their work to establish safe procedures for returning to client home visits was the first in the state – and served as a model for other agencies.


Daeveene May from Human Services saw a critical need affecting our formerly homeless veterans now living at Orting Veterans Village.  They did not have effective ways to get to key appointments or go shopping.  So he brought several agencies together and created the Orting Transportation Pilot to serve those who served us!


How do you grow our local economy and expand economic opportunity? Our Economic Development team leveraged federal ARPA money and partnered with several trusted organizations to co-create an effective training program for new and growing small businesses.  The result?  200 newly energized Black, Indigenous and Other People of Color, veteran and women-owned businesses are expanding – providing new opportunity and jobs!


Replacing an obsolete billing system supporting the 71,000 homes served by our sewer system took the efforts of a team from several County departments!  They created a cloud-based system that gives our sewer customers more options and control at a click of their mouse.  And when final proofing is done, it should save our sewer customer service team time too!


Deputy Nathan Betts, Investigator for the Peninsula Detachment, was honored for coordinating an effective information sharing system across all the law enforcement agencies serving on the west side of the Narrows Bridge. It’s not easy wrangling multiple cities, counties, and state agencies but Deputy Betts did so with skill and enthusiasm.  The result?  More crimes are being solved and the community is safer!


We enjoyed hearing long-term employees talk about what work at the County was like without computers and cell phones. Be sure not to miss Dino Sepe’s comment about cell numbers – it brought the house down!


Finally, Keith Barnes from the Prosecutor’s Office shared the valuable perspective he’s gained over the 40 years he has been with the County.  Thank you, Keith, for your amazing four decades of service to the people of Pierce County!


It was a great way to end a day that included the third Employee Town Hall of 2022 at lunchtime. The questions you submit are always thoughtful and I appreciate your candor.  There were no punches pulled! And I’m grateful for that. It’s important to me that you have a space to speak your mind and ask for answers on the things that matter most to you.

As always, I’m not able to answer every single question verbatim but I tried to address as many as possible – and be sure to address the topics that were of the most interest. You can be assured, however, that I did read every single question that came in. For those who couldn’t join us, you can watch the entire recording here (intranet site).

Thanks for reading and be sure to batten down the hatches as it sounds like we’re in for some wild weather over the next few days.