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Honored at the Best of the Bunch Barbecue

Auburn, Calif. – Hundreds of county employees were on hand to honor outstanding co-workers during the 12th annual Placer County Employee Recognition Awards Program. The barbecue at the Placer County Government Center in North Auburn also was a chance to salute all county employees for their efforts throughout the year.

‘Thank you all for the hard work you do that makes Placer County the best it can be and one of the best in the nation,’ Board of Supervisors Chairman Jim Holmes told hundreds of employees in the audience.

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Vice Chairman F.C. ‘Rocky’ Rockholm also emphasized the board appreciates the hard work of all employees. ‘The award winners, we congratulate you,’ he added.

Awards go to outstanding employees in four main categories: outstanding leadership, public service excellence, workforce excellence, and exceptional teamwork.

Employees receive special sustained-achievement awards when their outstanding work covers at least five years. Award winners are nominated by co-workers.

County Executive Officer Thomas M. Miller noted that more than 500 out of the county’s nearly 2,700 employees were nominated for awards this year.

An ERAP luncheon is scheduled to be held for county employees who work in the Lake Tahoe area June 19.


ยท Eva Ghioni, a program supervisor in the Health and Human Services Department, received an Outstanding Leadership Award. She was nominated by the Mental Health Services Act team she supervises, which emphasized that her leadership brings passion, commitment and energy to the team.

‘Certainly her legacy of outstanding leadership will endure as a model for all of us to emulate,’ said Dr. Richard Burton, the county’s health officer and director of the Health and Human Services Department.

ยท Larry Risser, an information systems supervisor in the Management Information Systems Group at Health and Human Services, walked away with a Sustained Outstanding Leadership Award. He was praised for being a skilled, productive manager with a positive attitude toward his work.

‘Everyone who works with him recognizes he is deserving of this award,’ Dr. Burton told the crowd.

ยท Rosie Dreher, an accountant-auditor II in the Sheriff’s Fiscal Management Division, earned a Public Service Excellence Award. Administrative Services Manager Barbara Besana nominated Dreher, saying she goes beyond the call of duty in serving the public, her department and the county.

‘Rosie, it’s really a pleasure to acknowledge you,’ Besana said during Wednesday’s ceremony.

ยท Greg Currier, an information technology analyst II in the Administrative Services Department, was honored with a Sustained Public Service Excellence Award.

‘Greg is the critical behind-the-scenes person at many very high-level county events, including this employee-recognition event,’ Director of Administrative Services Clark Moots told the crowd. ‘He can be depended upon to make sure that everything within his area of responsibility is working smoothly and correctly while at the same time ensuring that he provides excellent customer service to everyone that he comes in contact with.’

ยท Angela Ford, an investigator in the District Attorney’s Office, was recognized with a Workforce Excellence Award for her outstanding work investigating sexual assaults against children. She was saluted for being an exceptional, compassionate leader who works tirelessly on behalf of victims and their families.

‘Her commitment is unparalleled,’ District Attorney Brad Fenocchio said, calling Ford the epitome of workplace excellence.

ยท Laurie Vandiver, a program supervisor in the Adult System of Care at Health and Human Services, was honored with a Workforce Excellence Award. She was described as a leader with a professional, but warm manner in dealing with staff and clients and a cool head who is expert at defusing difficult situations.

‘She has always achieved the best outcomes possible,’ Dr. Burton said, emphasizing that Vandiver has helped many clients change their lives for the better.

ยท Gloria Rickard of the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office was honored with a Sustained Workforce Excellence Award. Rickard, a treasurer-tax manager, was saluted for exemplary leadership, proficiency and excellence during more than 30 years with the department.

‘Gloria is a model employee,’ Treasurer-Tax Collector Jenine Windeshausen said, emphasizing that Rickard is an expert in many areas and recognized statewide in some. ‘She is a team player, always willing to share her knowledge and assist others.’


ยท The Building Maintenance Crew in the Facility Services Department received an Exceptional Teamwork Award for the excellent service it provides the county and public.

Facility Services Director Jim Durfee presented the award, noting that the team does outstanding work on a day-to-day basis.

‘During a storm or emergency, I’m just in awe of what they do,’ he said, recalling some of the challenges the team faced during the storms that swept through Placer County during the first week of January.

The building maintenance team includes Casey Barrett, Casey Lyons, Chester Linton, Carl Shovelton, Dan Slifer, Scott Mulic, Gil Coambs, Jim Turney, Jim Lenzini, John Phipps and Wes Clark.

Other team members are Kevin O’Brien, Lance Bertilson, Mike Mathe, Mark Mezzanares, Mike Smith, Neil Powell, Randy Van Bebber, Steve Clerici, Steve Heckert, Tim Carnes and Bill Hintzman.

ยท The Community Clinics nursing staff in Health and Human Services won an Exceptional Teamwork Award. Its members were saluted for providing excellent patient care, going beyond the call of duty in helping clients and even reaching out into the community to provide care. The team was praised for its dedicated and compassionate approach to serving the public.

‘Placer County is a healthier community, and lives have been saved because of your efforts,’ Dr. Burton told team members.

The team is composed of Melinda Carroll, Patricia Delsman, Linda Jones, Shirley Tuggle, Carol Reed, Dennis Cain, Nathan Bailey, Margaret Rossi, Johnnie Billings and Christie Krogman.

ยท The Placer Vineyards Development Team, a working group with members from several county departments, received a Sustained Exceptional Teamwork Award. Placer Vineyards is a development project proposed for 5,230 acres at the southwest corner of Placer County.

The team was honored for the cooperative, can-do spirit it displayed as its members came together to process the project, which is believed to be the largest in the Sacramento region. At build-out, the project will have a population projected to exceed 30,000 people.

‘This is a great example of how various departments can come together as a cohesive group,’ said Planning Director Michael Johnson.

Team members include Paul Thompson and Jennifer Dzakowic from the Planning Department; Scott Finley from the County Counsel’s Office; Allison Carlos, Wendy White, and James Importante from the County Executive Office; Vance Kimbrell from Facility Services; Rick Dondro, Andrew Gaber and Ed Wydra from the Public Works Department; Phil Frantz from the Engineering and Surveying Department; and Agricultural Commissioner Christine Turner.

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