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Auburn, Calif. – Ten individuals and two employee teams were honored at an employee-recognition barbecue held by Placer County recently.ย  Hundreds of county employees were on hand to honor outstanding co-workers during the 11th annual Placer County Employee Recognition Awards Program held Thursday, June 7. The barbecue lunch at the DeWitt Center in North Auburn also was a chance to salute all county employees for their hard work throughout the year.

County Executive Officer Thomas M. Miller served as master of ceremonies during the awards presentations. Board of Supervisors members Jim Holmes and Kirk Uhler also spoke during the ceremony. ‘We’re very pleased with all the hard work you do,’ Supervisor Holmes told the crowd.’We appreciate what you do day in and day out,’ Supervisor Uhler said.

⤹ Roseville: June 20- 23! ⤸

⤹ Roseville: June 20- 23! ⤸

⤹ Roseville: June 20- 23! ⤸

⤹Roseville: June 20- 23! ⤸

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

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


Renee Harvey, food services manager in the Probation Department, won an Outstanding Leadership Award. She manages Correctional Food Services, which prepares approximately 55,500 meals per month for the county jail and juvenile detention facility. She was lauded for her commitment to staff development, attention to detail and desire to provide the highest quality service through efficiency and innovation.’She has an incredible work ethic,’ Assistant Chief Probation Officer Michael E. Cholerton said.

ย•Karin Bjork, a supervising deputy district attorney, received an Outstanding Leadership Award for her work supervising the Family Protection Unit in the District Attorney’s Office. The unit handles the prosecution of cases involving such crimes as domestic violence; elder abuse; or child abuse, abductions or murder. ‘She”s someone who inspires others to do their best,’ District Attorney Brad Fenocchio said, lauding Bjork for being decisive, thoughtful and highly ethical.

ย•Sharlet Pyne, the executive assistant to CEO Miller, received a Sustained Outstanding Leadership Award. She was described as a tireless worker who is both a team player and expert problem-solver.

‘All of us in the County Executive Office depend on Sharlet, and she never lets us down,’ Miller said. ‘She’s quick to offer help whenever it’s needed, and frequently is the go-to person when problems arise. She leads by example, and remains cheerful no matter how busy she is.’

Bob Dawson, a supervising parks and grounds worker in the Facility Services Department, was recognized with a Sustained Outstanding Leadership Award. He supervises the Parks and Grounds Division’s construction crew.

The award recognizes Dawson’s contributions to several recent construction projects, including the development of Ronald L. Feist Park in Granite Bay. He coordinated community volunteers who helped complete the park much more quickly than expected.
‘As a leader, Bob really shines,’ Facility Services Director Jim Durfee said.

ย•Terri Mahoney, the Placer County Library’s circulation supervisor, earned a Public Service Excellence Award for outstanding work overseeing the library system’s complex circulation issues and serving as a liaison between library clerks and the public.
‘She treats all of our customers with courtesy and respect,’ Director of Library Services Mark Parker explained, emphasizing that Mahoney is exceptional at resolving conflicts.

Shannon Rosal, administrative supervisor in the Health and Human Services Department, won a Public Service Excellence Award for her outstanding work overseeing a community clinic in Kings Beach. ‘She contributes on a daily basis in so many ways,’ HHS Assistant Director Jim Gandley said. Rosal was described as a cheerful supervisor who expects the best of her staff, and motivates them by the example she sets.

ย•Kitty Thompson, a technology solutions analyst in the Community Development Resource Agency, was honored with a Sustained Public Service Excellence Award for providing the agency’s employees with exceptional information-technology support.
‘She has a strong work ethic,’ Agency Director John Marin said. ‘She supports our 160 employees at CDRA, and she’s very good at what she does.’

She also was lauded for helping ensure a smooth transition when the agency moved into the new Community Development Resource Center last year.

Nicole Lopez, disability management administrator for CEO’s Risk and Insurance Management Division, was recognized with a Workforce Excellence Award for doing an outstanding job managing the county’s leave-management and return-to-work program.

Division Director Maryellen Peters credited Lopez for promoting new, innovative approaches that have created a win-win situation for county departments and employees. ‘On a personal level, Nicole’s enthusiasm makes me want to come to work everyday,’ Peters said.ย 

ย•Sarah Floyd-Gemmell, a deputy probation officer in the Probation Department, earned a Workforce Excellence Award. She leads a program known as Aggression Replacement Training that teaches anger control, moral reasoning and skill streaming to children and young adults in the juvenile detention facility and Children’s System of Care. The program is one of the best in Northern California, if not the state.

‘All of this was possible because of Sarah”s dedication and hard work,’ Cholerton said.

Dolleen Toms, a senior administrative clerk in the District Attorney”s Office, won a Sustained Workforce Excellence Award for her outstanding work with the office’s Sexual Assault Response Team over many years. She was described as a self-starter and valuable team player who has outstanding organizational abilities and an exemplary work ethic.

‘When she makes a commitment, she always follows through,’ Fenocchio said. ‘We’re very, very proud of her.’


The team from the Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Office that investigated Mario Garcia for murder received an Exceptional Teamwork Award.

‘The collective job they did was nothing less than magnificent,’ Fenocchio said. The investigation is being presented to investigators throughout the state as a model of success based upon cooperation and teamwork between the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office.

Undersheriff Steve D’Arcy noted that investigating cases where the victim’s body has not been found is difficult. The investigative team overcame that problem by spending countless hours interviewing, analyzing forensics and searching hundreds of square miles. The investigation produced more than 10,000 pages of discovery, hundreds of photos and hundreds of evidentiary items.

Members of the team from the Sheriff’s Department include Capt. George Malim, Sgt. Bob McDonald, Sgt. Dennis Walsh, and Detectives Don Murchison, Don Pollack, William Summers, Christina Woo, Mike Davis and Scott Swanson.

Team members from the District Attorney’s Office include Garen Horst, Thomas Beattie, Nuno Tavares, Jenny Kozele, Jeff Potter, Scott Swanson, Dick Wilshusen and Patsie Fletcher.

The Children’s Receiving Home at Health and Human Services earned an Exceptional Teamwork Award.

‘Congratulations on a job well done,’ HHS Assistant Director Gandley told the team, noting that its members work hard to maintain a supportive, nurturing environment for children at the home.

Team members include Theresa Ares, Chris Bass, Margarita Burkholder, Lynn Cameron, Stephanie Clark, David Davis, Sean DeLong, Jennifer Kleinbach-Deuschel, Christie Dudley, Tracy Edwards, Ruby Evers, Greg Geisler, Gina Geisler, Sharlene Gunnerson, Melinda Hammans, Shanon Hatfield, Jessica Hedden, Sandy Kranzler, Jo Ann La Point, Donna McDonald, Teri Nann, Susan Palmer, Bonnie Pavusko, Debra Phipps, Bridget Riley, Cindy Shaver, Debbie Smith and Jenelle Vader.

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