The 5281 Award recognizes individuals and teams that exemplified the STARS (Service, Teamwork, Accountability, Respect and Safety) values, supported sustainability practices, and in 2012 helped to deliver a world class city by achieving one or more of the City's Five Goals:
To spur new economic opportunities.
- To increase opportunities for Denver’s Kids.
- To foster a strong relationship between our residents and Denver’s safety departments and strengthen the safety net to protect our most vulnerable residents.
- To transform city government to provide the highest quality services at the lowest possible costs.
- To re-energize the city’s commitment to environmental, economic and social sustainability to make Denver the most livable city in America.
Revekka Balancier – Denver Human Services
Revekka kept the needs of Denver Human Services clients at the forefront when she led the agency in developing their new strategic plan in 2012. She saw the strategic plan as an opportunity to change how Human Services operates internally and externally. Ultimately, creating a valuable roadmap for DHS to operate more effectively, efficiently, and better serve their clients and the Denver community. She collaborated with the DHS leadership team and key staff members to make goals clear and purposeful, as well as to ensure their ideas and vision were represented. Revekka was truly a STAR in her approach to this project – Service to customers, teamwork, accountability, respect for self and others.
Amelia Dias Da Silva – General Services
Amelia took the Records Management Program that was skeletal and created a new vision that outlined what a successful program would look like for City and County of Denver and its agencies. She reinvigorated the Records Management Committee and succeeded in creating a new version of the General Records Retention Schedule. She updated the Records Program Policies and Procedures Manual, and trained coordinators at all City agencies on the details of what a records management program entails. Amelia built an online database and a Centralized Records Inventory Tool to keep track of agency actions regarding their records retention procedures and registered their inventory. This tool has saved the City $50,000 in a 3-year time frame. As a result of Amelia’s efforts, and her continuous encouragement of City agencies, a 32.5% reduction in off-site storage costs were captured, an estimated savings of $28,000 in destruction fees is projected as a result, and $15,600 in storage costs will be saved annually.
Hannah Engle – Denver Police Department
In addition to her day-to-day job responsibilities, Hannah volunteered to assist with the development of a Policy and Procedures manual for the Denver Police Department’s Records Bureau. Her outstanding work and tireless dedication to the success of this project, for the first time in the history of the Police Department, the Records Bureau now has an approved 600-page Policy and Procedures Manual. The manual will be crucial in saving the bureau time, creating efficiencies and in assisting with the training of new employees.
David Ford – Office of Economic Development
David is the face of OED to the many business people and agency representatives who are part of the Workforce Investment Board. The Workforce Investment Board is a regulatory requirement of the Workforce Investment Act, and through his work he ensures that the agency meets all regulations related to the board. In his role, he recruits and ensures that there is diversity and representation on the board from all sectors. Since becoming the Board Coordinator, he has transformed the board operations in which they have now received praise for the high quality of work. Anyone who meets David, sees him as competent, friendly and a person who cares about the work. He is noted to be a great team player who takes on new assignments as needed without complaints – a person who goes over and above the call of duty.
Ronald Hackett – Denver International Airport
As a Journeyman Electrician at Denver International Airport, Ron Hackett is no stranger to going “above and beyond.” There are many examples of this from his high level precision and craftsmanship to effectively responding to emergencies. Ron showed true dedication, resolve and a high degree of professionalism on December 5th to protect the safety of employees and visitors at DIA by identifying and reporting the location of a potential catastrophic gas leak that had previously gone undetected twice. Yet, Ron persisted to find the location of the gas leak, following the smell that came from behind a locked door. Because of the location of the high pressure gas line leak, if gone undetected could have resulted in major damage to the Airport Operations Building and part of the terminal Building.
Keith Mays – Denver International Airport
Mr. Mays designed and improved the training program for Ramp Tower employees at DIA who coordinate aircraft movement on the airfield. Improvements allowed training to be consistent with those provided to their FAA counterparts. He led the development of comprehensive training manuals utilized, increasing the knowledge and skills of Ramp Tower Supervisors and Controllers. In addition, Mr. Mays researched and implemented the "Aerobahn" Surface Management System that improved the Ramp Tower employees' ability to perform their duties when faced with limited visibility. It's estimated that Aerobahn will reduce aircraft movement time by approximately two minutes per aircraft, and reduce airline operating expenses approximately $27.2 million per year. Finally, Mr. Mays developed an analytical tool that illustrates effective management of aircraft deicing operations. He instituted and leads a committee that plans deicing assignments and airline schedule adjustments prior to a snow event. The result is a reduction in aircraft fuel consumption, aircraft taxiing times, and overall departure delays.
Mim Mirsky – Denver Environmental Health
Mim successfully migrated the Engines Off! Denver Program, a community wide campaign to reduce idling vehicle emissions and its website to a new platform, Engines Off Colorado. After four months of intense work, Mim’s team successfully completed the project and now CDOT is the proud owner of this program that was born in Denver. In addition, Mim mentored four teens with troubled past in the Clean air at Schools (CASEO) program that pays students a stipend for their help in conducting field observations, educating drivers who idle their vehicles outside schools, and learning how to perform data analysis – she was a great mentor. In 2012, the CASEO program won a Model Practice award from the National association of City and County Health Officials. Lastly, Mim led the planning for the highly successful 2012 Earth Day Fair.
Jessica Scott – Mayor’s Office
Jessica created an employee engagement program called Solar Benefits Colorado, to assist employees lower their utility costs by using solar energy. She met with the Greening Government Program Manager with the State of Colorado, as well as with the executive Director of the Colorado Federal Executive Board, and was able to build an employee pool of 157, 000 including all City and County of Denver employees, and all state and federal employees in Colorado. Solar Benefits Colorado exceeded expectations – 1100 employees participated in the program resulting in 123 new solar installations. These projects will produce 16.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity over the next 20 years, reducing 28 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, the program helps achieve local, regional and statewide clean energy goals while spurring economic development. REC Solar added five additional crews to help with the added volume and support staff (a total of 23 new jobs).
Pam Smith – Denver Parks & Recreation
Pam was instrumental in helping Denver Parks and Recreating reduce electricity waste. She led the efforts to bring all of the golf facilities up-to-date with new more efficient lighting, to create substantial savings and to reduce energy usage. She was also instrumental in examining ways to reduce water usage and to bring all five golf courses one step closer to Audubon Certification and Compliance. Through these efforts, Denver Parks & Recreation was more environmentally sound and became greater stewards of the environment, having met the needs of Green Print Denver. Pam was able to achieve many of these efforts through her collaborative efforts internally and externally, specifically in her community outreach and education initiatives involving youth and the community to be stewards of the environment.
Michael Than – Denver Sheriff Department
Michael was nominated because of his motivation, work ethic and commitment to fostering a strong relationship between Denver residents and Denver’s Sheriff’s Department. The line of his work is a remarkable service as he manages a large detention center that includes a health care unit serving the underserved and indigent patient population. He is invested in strengthening the safety net to protect the jail’s most vulnerable residents and supports the City’s initiative to always provide the highest quality services at the lowest possible costs. To ensure, he helped improve communications internally by holding monthly meetings and open forums in a safe venue for staff to express concerns and find solutions. In additions, Michael supported a healthy team work environment that is engaged in activities to create an environment of success for staff. He is highly motivated as demonstrated in his desire and willingness to bridge the gap between civilians and officers in the correctional care setting.
Gary Wilson – Denver Sheriff Department
National data shows that nearly 40% of transgender inmates have experienced harassment while incarcerated. As a result they often experience being locked down for 23 hours a day to ensure their safety. This resulted in higher costs to house transgender inmates than the general population. Recognizing this, and the importance of strengthening the safety net to protect our most vulnerable residents, Director Wilson adopted a Transgender Policy for the Denver Sheriff Department. After identifying a need for the policy, Director Wilson brought members of the LGBT Community Center of Colorado, and other community members interested in assisting to the table. Through this collaborative approach, DSD developed a comprehensive policy to meet the needs of transgender inmates. The new policy supports human rights, equality and the safe housing of all inmates.
Deb Woods – Denver Human Services
Deb has made a huge contribution to Denver Human Services, the Customer Contact Center and in providing greater customer service to internal and external clients. She reduced the turnover of the call center staff, increased the percentage of First Call Resolution to deliver the best customer service and saved budget dollars in 2012. Her ability to organize and leverage her case management knowledge to be proactive, responsive to needs and deliver strong customer service has been valuable to the team. As a result of her leadership, the team has increased their stats, reduced budget dollars, worked with less staff and produced better results. She brought her team’s service to a higher level.
911/EXL False Alarm Team – Denver Safety
A high percentage of false burglar alarms unnecessarily use police office time. As a result, Denver 911 and Excise and License worked together to resolve this issue and increase service levels while also lowering costs. The agencies conducted a collaborative Rapid Improvement Event and used the Lean methodology to eliminate wasteful process steps and improve accuracy. The result of the RIE event was that the team was able to eliminate 1,000 annual hours of redundant data entry and saved over $150,000 of lost revenue due to system errors.
Aviation Field-Paint Team – Denver International Airport
At Denver International Airport, the Field-Paint team is held to strict standards in regards to the pavement marking system. Airfield and Roadway markings have a great impact on the safety for the traveling public, which is why markings are inspected daily, weekly, and monthly by supervisors, and airport operations personnel. The Paint team is always implementing new procedures and products that provide greater safety, while reducing long term costs. The team handles the removal of paint on 500 miles of roadway and 48,000 parking stalls, a job previously handled by outside contractors. By keeping the work in-house and using the same equipment for rubber removal the team saves the City $325,000. The team also added a more durable paint that decreases labor costs over the life of the markings. In 2012, due to the team’s overall commitment to their work, the FAA ranked DIA #2 in the nation for airfield markings.
Decatur-Federal Station Area Planning Team – Community Planning & Development
Recently, Denver experienced a renaissance centered along the Platte River. For Sun Valley, Denver’s poorest neighborhood, this transformation couldn’t be more welcomed. In April the West Light Rail line connecting downtown Denver, Lakewood and Golden will open, which will include the Decatur-Federal Station. The Decatur-Federal Station Area Planning Team has been instrumental in the creation of this innovative, inclusive plan for the future of Sun Valley. The plan guides growth and change near the light rail station and in Sun Valley over the next 20 years; transforming it into a neighborhood that’s celebrated, connected, innovative and healthy. The Planning Team created a year-long process that engaged the Sun Valley community. Listening sessions were held, and a Public Engagement Strategy was written from the Steering Committee and members of the public. The result of this team effort is a plan that focuses on creating a mixed –use affordable community, while spurring economic opportunities for neighborhood residents and the Denver region.
Denver Elections Division – Clerk and Recorder
For the 2012 November Election, the Denver Elections Division developed new methods of allowing voters to vote, continuing its commitment as a technological pioneer in developing new, efficient and cost effective ways to improve voter accessibility. By working with other municipal partners, the Elections Division was able to improve voter accessibility by allowing voters to return their voted ballots in an effective and secure manner. The placement of additional unmanned ballot boxes increased voter accessibility to 24/7 availability, and didn’t require personnel to man locations during the time leading up to Election Day, saving $10,000. The iAPP Project, a federally funded project, increased voter participation at no cost to the City. The result was elderly voters and those with disabilities were able to vote privately and independently. All of these efforts helped the City reach its goal of re-energizing the citizen’s commitment to voting!
Denver Police Homeless Outreach Unit – Denver Police Department
The Homeless Outreach Unit of Denver Police brought their expertise to one of the highest profile issues that faced the City of Denver in 2012, the implementation of the Unauthorized Camping Ordinance. The Homeless Outreach Unit had the responsibility of clearly communicating the ordinance and enforcement procedures and strategies to audiences ranging from the homeless to Denver’s Service Providers. The Unit participated in information forums with citizens and provided internal department training for the rollout of its enforcement. After implementation, the Unit remained accessible to understand how the law was affecting the community. The Homeless Outreach Unit’s continued work is a model for peers within the Denver Police. Officers are finding the Unit’s leadership and expertise to be a practical, more compassionate solution to police engagement at street level. Many inefficiencies and inconsistencies in enforcement were avoided by this team’s front-end work on the ordinance and their follow through within the community.
DMV Strategic Plan Team/Steering Committee – Denver Motor Vehicle
In 2012, the Department of Motor Vehicles improved their customer experience, reduced costs and increased safety. In the first quarter average wait time at the DMV was 78 minutes, by the end of the fourth quarter it was just over 20 minutes. That’s a 72% improvement in service! In August the DMV created dedicated Dealer desks and drop-off areas, which helped strengthen relationships with the dealer community, freeing existing staff to focus on individuals. Also, by staggering schedules, optimizing counter staffing, and lobby management techniques the organization realized over 200 hours in overtime savings per year, or equivalent to $7,000. The team promoted on-line renewals to drive down costs, reducing the number of office visits. Lastly, they tackled Safety. DMV offices are now equipped with Automated External Defibrillators. Many employees are a part of the “Save a Life” program, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of employees and customers in our community.