FREDERICK, Md. – Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner today announced an initiative to thank County Government employees who have ensured the delivery of essential services throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Each week, new Unsung Heroes will be recognized for their hard work and dedication to the people who live and work in Frederick County.
“I am extremely grateful for the unwavering commitment of our employees,” Executive Gardner said. “In a very stressful time, these men and women rose to every challenge to meet the needs of the people they serve. The Unsung Heroes Award Program lets them know they are appreciated.”
For the next several weeks, the stories of these Unsung Heroes will be shared with the public on social media each Friday. Nominations are submitted by colleagues or supervisors. Heroes are selected in any of three categories: public service, operations, and organization. Each will receive a gift card. The inaugural Unsung Heroes include:
The UV Decontamination Unit Team from the Division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management, which designed and built a machine to decontaminate N95 masks so they can be safely reused. Employees included Superintendent Brad Nee, Assistant Superintendent Jim Smith, Electronic Instrumentation Technician III Phillip Kershner, Electrical Maintenance Technician IV Joshua Shafer, and Electrical Maintenance Technicians II Colin Allnut, and Wyatt Wilson.
Also recognized in this category were members of the Nutrition Services Team of the Senior Services Division, who have delivered groceries and almost 3,000 meals a week to seniors across Frederick County, about double the amount prior to the pandemic. The team includes Director of Home and Community Connections Kitty Devilbiss, as well as Ginny Skelley, Steve Stoyke, Deb Ayers, Gary Jagow and Terry Land.
Video Services Manager John Mongan and Assistant Manager Scott Betts made it possible for the public to stay engaged and participate in local government despite the challenges of the pandemic. They integrated new software that allows people to listen to meetings on their phone if they do not have Internet access, and allows for members of the public to call in and comment during public meetings.
A second group of operational Unsung Heroes are part of the Interagency Information Technologies division, which made it possible for a large percentage of County employees to suddenly telework. Two employees, Elan Poteat and Brendan Frey, led the rollout of new technology to enable teleconferencing. In the past few months, Frederick County Government employees had held over 7,000 meetings on the new platform.
The third group recognized as operational heroes is the Custodial Services leadership team. Supervisor Timothy Shipe and Lead Custodians Katelynn Bentz and Zachary Phillips have decontaminated areas within County buildings that may have been exposed to COVID-19. They followed CDC guidance to ensure these spaces were made clean and safe.
The Treasury staff, led by Diane Fox and Dan Lewis, have continued to operate seamlessly throughout the pandemic. Treasury’s office building has been closed, but the team adapted its day-to-day operations by providing services online and at a drive-up window. In addition to Diane and Dan, staff members include: Stormie Combs, Kathy Martin, Mandy Mansell and Jyothi Pradeep.