Kent County Department Heads have selected KATHY J. PHINNEY from the Department of Administration as the June 2015 Employee of the Month.
Kathy, a Kent County employee since May 1994, is the Senior Secretary in the County Administrator’s Office primarily responsible for greeting visitors in person and over the telephone, managing the meeting schedules for the County Administrator and Levy Court Commissioners, managing the County Dog License Program and the County Conference Center schedule, and assisting with the assembly of weekly Levy Court meeting packets. She was previously honored as Employee of the Month in July 2002 and August 1997.
On a daily basis, Kathy consistently provides a favorable first impression when calling or visiting the County Administrator’s Office. She is a critical link between the public and the valuable services offered by the County. She often fields calls from residents seeking information not only about the County but about State agencies and City services. Her years of experience have made her a wealth of knowledge to colleagues and the citizens we all serve.
When new challenges such as the Dog Licensing Program arise, she embraces them with determination and enthusiasm. Whether it is coordinating schedules, arranging meetings, making travel arrangements or learning the latest technology, we can depend upon Kathy to get the job done with accuracy and grace. Her excellent customer service skills and caring attitude generate numerous positive comments from our Citizens.
Even after 20 years, Kathy is eager to expand her skills and grow in her service to Kent County. She recently completed 40 Hours of training with the International Institute of Municipal Clerks under the auspices of the Institute for Public Administration at the University of Delaware in pursuit of the nationally recognized Municipal Clerk Certification.
According to County Administrator Michael Petit de Mange, “Kathy is an outstanding employee who can be counted on to deliver high quality and friendly customer service to our Citizens and to her colleagues. We are fortunate to have Kathy as part of the Kent County Team and she is very deserving of this recognition.”
Congratulations Kathy on a job well done!
Kent County Department Heads have selected KATHLEEN “Kathy” SKINNER from the Office of the Kent County Sheriff as the May 2015 Employee of the Month.
Kathy, a Kent County employee since September 2003, is the Administrative Secretary in the Sheriff’s Office responsible for supervising clerical staff and coordinating monthly Sheriff and monition sales. She previously worked in the Planning Services Department before transferring in 2012. She was promoted to her current position just over a year ago.
Kathy has performed her new supervisory duties in a seamless and efficient manner. She has helped the office meet numerous operational challenges which often occurs after the retirement of a long-serving employee. One of her first ideas was to enhance security by adjusting the Sheriff’s office configuration and another involved better record keeping for pending sales.
Kathy is praised by supervisors for her attention to detail, especially in the documentation of financial transactions in the office. She has earned high regard from other County managers for her ability to tackle any task and learn new computer software quickly. Kathy often can complete what appears to be an insurmountable volume of work in days, when others have struggled for months to finish.
According to Sheriff Jason Mollohan, “Kathy has demonstrated to me since I took office in January that she can meet any challenge. She works extremely well with the other clerical staff, the deputies, and the dozens of law offices seeking procedural information or case updates.”
Congratulations Kathy on a job well done!
Kent County Department Heads have selected SUSAN K. WILLSON from the Department of Finance as the April 2015 Employee of the Month.
Sue has been a Kent County employee since February 2009 and serves as Assessment Supervisor in the Assessment Office. Her primary duty is supervising the day-to-day operations of the Assessment Office. Before assuming her current position in November 2012, Sue served as the Appraisal Systems Administrator.
Sue holds a State of Delaware license as an Assessor and has assisted new staff members with the requirements needed to obtain their professional licenses. Her adept ability to maneuver through the mass appraisal system software has proven to be extremely valuable on countless occasions. Her expertise in the property assessment process is highly regarded by the Board of Assessment Appeals.
According to Finance Director Susan Durham, “Sue’s quiet leadership in the assessment office made the transition from the previous supervisor seamless. Her extraordinary knowledge about the mechanics of the CAMA software and dedication to excellent customer service fosters a friendly work environment. She has cultivated a great working rapport with other departments and is committed to maintaining public confidence in the County’s property assessment process.”
Congratulations Sue on a job well done!
Kent County Department Heads have selected RICHARD K. WASHINGTON from the Department of Public Works as the March 2015 Employee of the Month.
Rick has been a Kent County employee since June 2001 and serves as WWF Plant Operator III in the Laboratory section of the Division of Wastewater Facilities. His primary duties include daily wastewater sample collection and evaluationof test results for optimization of plant operations. Rick had more than 15 years of experience as a laboratory technician for DNREC and in the private sector before joining Kent County.
Rick is praised by supervisors for his outstanding ability to accurately analyze sample data and maintain quality control. He has superior knowledge of sampling techniques, testing equipment, and the County’s laboratory processes. Over the years he has stepped up on several occasions to supervise the entire lab operation when the foreman was unavailable.
According to Asst. Public Works Director Keith Powell, “Rick exemplifies the high quality staff we have working at the wastewater treatment facility. His attention to detail produces accurate error-free results that are relied upon daily to ensure the plant is operating within DNREC permit limits. Rick is always willing to volunteer when staffing issues arise and to assist with meticulous project analysis. His insights and suggestions are invaluable.”
Congratulations Rick on a job well done!
Kent County Department Heads have selected JASON D. BERRY from the Department of Planning Services as the February 2015 Employee of the Month.
Jason has been a Kent County employee since July 2004 and serves as Planner II in the Division of Planning. His primary duties include review of site plans and subdivision plans for compliance with all ordinances and regulations and good planning principles; researching requests for rezonings, variances and special use permits; assisting the general public in understanding complex planning principles and practices through pre-application meetings; and preparing staff reports. Jason earned his AICP designation in 2007.
Congratulations Jason on a job well done!
Kent County Department Heads have selected RICHARD M. ALLEN from the Department of Public Safety as the January 2015 Employee of the Month.
Rich has been a Kent County employee since March 2008 and serves as Paramedic II in the Division of Emergency Medical Services. His primary duties include treating patients using advanced emergency care procedures and insuring the high quality delivery of life support techniques. In addition, he serves as the Field Training Officer for his shift responsible for orienting and evaluating new hires, precepting Delaware Tech paramedic students, and conducting continuing education training, and as a SWAT Medic.
Rich is praised by supervisors for his great attitude and critical evaluation of paramedic student performance. He is very reliable and willing to work overtime with little notice. He works closely with the Smyrna Police Department and devotes countless hours to SWAT training with officers there.
According to Public Safety Director Colin Faulkner, “Rich gets along with everybody. He is an excellent paramedic that clearly loves what he does, which in turn produces outstanding patient outcomes. He is great with work with and extremely deserving of this honor. I hope Rich remains a part of the team for a long, long time.”
Congratulations Rich on a job well done!
Kent County department heads have selected DARIN L. JONES from the Department of Community Services as the December 2014 Employee of the Month.
Darin is a Parks Worker II in the Parks & Recreation Division and has worked for Kent County since August 2005. His primary duties include cutting grass, general landscaping, maintaining equipment, inspecting and clearing trails, repairing park structures, and performing carpentry work in a safe manner.
When Darin joined the County, he brought a wealth of knowledge with more than 10 years of experience in the private sector in equipment maintenance and as a machinist. His skills also included carpentry, metal fabricating, painting, plumbing, and electrical work. He is also a certified welder.
Darin has put his farm hand experience as a youth and his advanced training as a welder to beneficial use to the County. He and his co-workers often fabricate tools to help get their jobs done. For example, mowing around fence posts can be difficult, so Darin reconfigured the mower to offset the handles resulting in a clean cut in less time. Last winter, parks staff recognized the need for a small trailer for the ATV. Rather than purchasing the apparatus, he and a co-worker reused scrap metal and broken equipment to fabricate the cart. It proved to very handy this past summer.
According to his supervisors, Darin can fix any piece of equipment. “It’s really amazing how Darin can see a potential fix to an unfixable problem, and then fabricate the fix himself”, said Director of Community Services Keith Mumford.
Congratulations Darin on a job well done!
Kent County department heads have selected DONNA L. ZERHUSEN from the Department of Finance as the November 2014 Employee of the Month.
Donna is an Account Analyst in the Accounting section and has worked for Kent County since September 2007. She is a graduate of Wilmington University with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting and earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from the university this past summer. Donna achieved her Certified Public Accountant designation in 2002.
Donna is chiefly responsible for preparing and reviewing requests for proposals, bid documents, and quotation summaries in accordance with DE Code Title 29 and County code for all Departments and funds of Kent County. In addition, she tracks general fund fixed assets and prepares general fund depreciation schedules for audit; oversees all the components of the capital projects fund including reviews of bids and contracts for compliance, cost spending, and budgeting; reconciles large complex accounts including grant funds received by the County, medical trust fund expenditures, pension fund transactions; and she manages numerous reporting functions. Her efforts are vital to a successful annual audit and bond issue. Her detailed financial analysis earns high praise from bond counsel and the auditors.
According to her supervisors, Donna is a dedicated member of the staff that diligently applies her accounting skills to ferret out savings in all areas of Kent County government. She is always willing to put in the necessary time to achieve budgeting and audit deadlines, and strives to exceed expectations. She relishes a good fiscal challenge and endeavors to help others understand how the various funds are interconnected.
Congratulations Donna on a job well done!
Kent County Department Heads have selected DEVIN S. DuPREE from the Department of Public Works as the October 2014 Employee of the Month.
Devin, a Maintenance Mechanic II in the Division of Wastewater Facilities, has worked for Kent County since October 2010. He is responsible for operating, maintaining, installing, and making repairs to pumps, valves, air release valves, all types of piping, and any other integral components in wastewater collection operations.
According to supervisors, Devin has demonstrated over and over his commitment to his job. Since being hired, he has earned perfect attendance honors each and every year - which by itself makes him stand out among his peers. He is always first to volunteer for overtime opportunities regardless of the nature of the event. In addition, it is important to point out that Devin left a promising career in the construction trades working with a great mentor to join Kent County. Since then he has used those extensive skills to greatly benefit County sewer operations.
According to Public Works Director Hans Medlarz, “Devin is an exceptional employee. He spent numerous hours helping repair the force main break located in the middle of U.S. 13 this past July and was first-in-line when hands-on action was needed. He is the wingman you want when the job gets difficult. You can certainly tell one’s work ethic when his assistance is requested over and over again by coworkers.”
Congratulations Devin on a job well done!
Kent County Department Heads have selected JOSHUA C. NORRIS from the Department of Public Safety as the September 2014 Employee of the Month.
Josh has been a Kent County employee since July 2007 and serves as a Dispatcher II in the Emergency Communications Division. His primary duties include responding to numerous emergency and non-emergency calls, assessing the critical response required, and then dispatching the proper emergency service.
Supervisors regularly praise him for his positive attitude and willingness to take on new tasks. For instance, when Josh saw the need he created a comprehensive database listing all available fire apparatus in Kent County along with nearby mutual aid Counties which identifies all tools and equipment by apparatus type.
More recently in anticipation of a new employee being hired, Josh offered his assistance for the orientation process. He assumed the lead training role and served as facilitator for the new employee during the 6 month training program. During that period of time, Josh made several improvements and updates to the training regimen including a debriefing report. The report is shared with the new employee immediately after each shift and identifies areas that need improvement along with positive comments. This new process won high praise from both the new employee and supervisors.
Josh is a volunteer at Hartly Fire Company and currently serves as First Assistant Chief responsible for overseeing the training program for Junior and Probationary Members.
Congratulations Josh on a job well done!
Kent County Department Heads have selected HOLLY L. MALONE from the Recorder of Deeds Office as the August 2014 Employee of the Month.
Holly has been a Kent County employee since January 2009 and holds the position of Deputy Recorder of Deeds. She is responsible for administering the office and performing the official duties of the position in the absence of the Recorder of Deeds.
Her primary duties include supervising staff, reconciling cash receipts, preparation of month end reports for realty transfer taxes due the State of Delaware and municipalities, approving invoices for the office, and working through routine software errors with the vendor.
As Deputy, Holly has championed a streamlined and user friendly document recording process. She was instrumental in helping make Kent County the first county in Delaware to offer e-recording. The process has reduced the amount of paper physically handled by staff and significantly improved the document error rate. During her tenure, the number of Deeds office employees has been reduced by one half and she has endeavored to maintain that number by implementing operational efficiencies, technology solutions, and cross training. Holly has helped achieve these work goals while remaining focused on providing excellent customer service.
According to Kent County Recorder of Deeds Betty Lou McKenna, “Holly has been on the forefront of technology in this office. She deserves the credit for making e-recording a reality in Kent County. She has helped transform the staff into a cohesive work unit with a personal commitment to provide excellent customer service with each and every transaction. She is greatly deserving of this honor.”
Congratulations Holly on a job well done!
Kent County Department Heads have selected JOHN A. SCHULTIES from the Department of Planning Services as the July 2014 Employee of the Month.
John is a Buildings Codes Inspector III in the Inspections & Enforcement Division and has worked for Kent County since April 2005. His duties include supervising the building inspectors and code enforcement officers for the County and making day-to-day task assignments. His prior background as a contractor makes him imminently qualified to understand construction techniques and overcome unique challenges.
John’s expertise and positive demeanor goes a long way in resolving complex building code interpretations with contractors or property maintenance issues with homeowners. His reputation in the field makes him the “go to” person when an inspector and contractor encounter an unusual situation.
John was previously honored in December 2009, but more recently has proven invaluable by filling a temporary leadership void in the Division. He has taken on additional administrative responsibilities and committed himself to stay on top of various management issues all while performing his normal duties.
“John is the Division’s problem solver,” observed Planning Services Director SARAH KEIFER. “His dedication to the concept of excellent customer service has helped shift the culture of the staff toward collective problem solving and cooperation. He is a role model for the inspectors and the rest of the staff. John’s professionalism and compassion serves the citizens of Kent County well and represents what is best about public service.”
Congratulations John on a job well done!
Kent County Department Heads have selected BARBARA L. MILLER from the Department of Public Works as the June 2014 Employee of the Month.
Barbara has been a Kent County employee since June 2005 and serves as Administrative Secretary for the Department. Her primary duties include supervision of clerical staff, preparation of general correspondence as well payroll, administration of the Dover Air Force Base sewer contract, and reconciliation of garbage collection vendor invoices. She was promoted to her current position in August 2013 after serving as Senior Secretary in the Engineering Division for more than 8 years.
Since assuming her new role, Barbara has worked tirelessly to address citizen concerns about garbage collection services. The snowy weather this past winter and wet spring caused numerous service delays and generated hundreds of telephone calls, but Barbara politely responded to the customer issues. She also helped manage the recent garbage contract bidding process and fielded dozens of inquiries. She has deftly handled the competing interests of vendors from the public works arena all the while training a new staff person in her former responsibilities.
According to Public Works Director Hans Medlarz, “Barbara has navigated the transition process with great skill and a lot of patience. She meets Levy Court’s expectation of a model employee in every aspect of the word and serves their constituents and the Public Works team well.”
Congratulations Barbara on a job well done!