Honors & AwardsAPRIL 2013
Grand Traverse County’s Parks and Recreation Director Jason Jones was awarded the 2013 Commitment to Excellence Award by the Michigan Recreation and Park Association (MRPA).
Grand Traverse County has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 2011 Fiscal Year. This is the seventh consecutive year this award has been received from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).
Dean Bott, Finance Director/Deputy Administrator oversees the department designated by the government as primarily responsible for preparing the award-winning CAFR.
The Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan, Inc, presents the Humanitarian Award annually to an individual who makes the welfare of children their number one priority, whose dedication extends beyond the expectations of their position, and whose style and approach help facilitate the work of C&F professional staff. The recipient of this award is determined by nominations and a vote by C&F staff members.
The 2012 Humanitarian Award was deservedly presented to our very own Chief Juvenile Probation Officer, Ms. Barb Donaldson. Barb’s love for teens, her compassion and willingness to serve and guide, and her expertise of working with families, staff and community make her a shining star as the award recipient.
Barb joins past recipients including probate court judges, educators, health care professionals and child advocates from the public sector, including our very own Probate and Family Court Volunteer Coordinator Linda Fawcett in 2010 and Honorable David L. Stowe in 2005.
Ms. Donaldson has an incredible talent and passion for poetry and someone is always ‘receiving’ the blessings she
creates. In reverse, this award ceremony was a series of poems written especially for Barb by the Wrap Around Committee members. The presentation included the yellow brick road, complete with tiara, magic wand and little red slippers.
Thank you Barb for all you do; you are a special lady, a joy to work with, and a shining star and mentor to us -- your coworkers and friends. Your years of service to Juvenile Court and our community are deeply appreciated!
A big thank you to Al Crocker who has served several years on the Michigan Family Support Council (MFSC) on our behalf. Al has been faithful and committed to attending and providing input, coordinating the Michigan Spring Conference in Traverse City and serving at the October State Fall Training Conference at Boyne. His efforts on our behalf are greatly appreciated!
MFSC Mission: “Supporting, protecting, and promoting the rights of minor children by providing information and services to those officials responsible for the investigation and recommendation of custody, parenting time, and the establishment and collection of child support.”
Each year the MFSC gives an award to recognize experienced individuals in the Michigan Child Support Program who have made significant contributions to Michigan’s children and families. This year Al had the very special opportunity to present the MFSC Supervisor Award to our very own Friend of the Court, Dawn Rogers.
Al shared: “The following award recipient would probably be described by some as a thorn in their side, but for the rest of us, this individual would be better described as a bulldog, fighting tirelessly for the efficient application of the MiCSES System (our state computer system) and other state data bases, while striving to provide support for the children and services for their parents as effectively as possible.
As a result, this individual has been quite vocal in this regard, asking questions and offering suggestions, whether solicited or not. She is also actively involved with FOCA (Michigan Friend of the Court Association) and is thought of highly by colleagues that share the same passion. This recipient has a ‘no-nonsense’ approach to managing the FOC office, earning the respect of others.
This recipient can be described simply as knowledgeable, thorough and dedicated.
On behalf of the Michigan Family Support Council, it is my privilege and honor to present the 2012 Friend of the Court Supervisor Award to 13th Circuit Court FOC DAWN ROGERS.”
Thank you Dawn for your leadership and passion!
Thank you Al for representing FOC on the Michigan Family Support Council!
Congratulations to Jason Jones, Parks & Recreation Director, and Jen Seman, Human Resources Director, who were named among the region’s 40 most influential people under age 40 for 2012.
Congratulations to Jeff Vitton, Planning and Development, who passed the AICP exam! AICP is the American Planning Association's professional institute. AICP certified planners carry a high mark of distinction because they are required to meet rigorous standards including education and experience, abide by a code of ethics, maintain their expertise through continuing education, and serve community interests.
The 13th Circuit Court-Juvenile Division is proud to announce the appointment of Barbara Donaldson, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer, to Governor Rick Snyder’s Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice for a three year term. Barbara joins an esteemed membership on the committee including judges, active community members, and law enforcement personnel. The 15-member committee will provide the governor with advice on juvenile justice issues and guide effective implementation of juvenile justice policies and programs. Prevention of juvenile delinquency will play a significant role in the committee’s advisory function. Congratulations, Barb!
Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office 2011 Corrections Division Employee of the Year - The Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office recently announced the 2011 employee of the year award for the Corrections Division. Deputy Luke Lansbach was recognized by his supervisors as an officer who brings a positive attitude to work and consistently offers assistance to others on his shift. He is willing to handle tasks if others are busy, even though they are outside of his main scope of responsibility. Deputy Lansbach is always willing and can be counted upon to work overtime and in many cases working when a fellow officer has been ordered to do it. When the chips are down and you need someone, he is there.
Deputy Lansbach continues to set an example of fitness by excelling at the annual physical fitness test and nearly every day can be found working out after his shift is done.
Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office 2011 Law Enforcement Division Employee of the Year - The Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office recently announced the 2011 employee of the year award for the Law Enforcement Division. Deputy Michael Shea received nominations from three different supervisors. Deputy Shea received five (5) positive performance letters in 2011 showing that he is consistently making a positive impact on the people he deals with while representing the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office. He works very well with the other employees at our office and is highly respected by setting an excellent example for others to follow.
Deputy Shea is willing to work that extra minute even if it’s on his own time and gives 100% each day. He has a solid work ethic and asks questions when appropriate to make sure that the job gets done correctly showing that he genuinely cares.
Deputy Shea is a Field Training Officer, a member of the Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, and currently is a Community Police Officer in East Bay Township.
Grand Traverse County Planning and Development – Congratulations to Jean Derenzy, Deputy Director of Planning and Development for being selected by MDEQ Director Dan Wyant, Governor Rick Snyder and Director of MSU Extension, Tom Coon, to be a leader in the Collaborative Stakeholders Initiative (CSI), Michigan’s Environmental Clean-up and Redevelopment program. CSI’s mission is to develop focused recommendations to issues facing Michigan’s Brownfield programs and foster an improved climate of trust, cultural understanding and cooperation among stakeholders and state agency staff.
Grand Traverse County Planning and Development – Congratulations to Jeff Vitton, Planner for being chosen to serve on the 21st Century State Government Advisory Council formed to follow and understand the continual technical innovations and provide feedback to the State of Michigan Chief Information Officer on how changes in technology impact Michiganders’ perceptions and expectations of government.
The Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners wishes to acknowledge the Fife Lake Township Library for celebrating its 125th Anniversary in 2012. Fife Lake Township has enjoyed the benefits of having a library since 1887, when it was established with $17.00 received from Grand Traverse County for its local library. The Library was housed in a historical schoolhouse since 1945 and moved to its current location in 2005. The new facility was built entirely with grants, individual and in-kind donations and is a huge accomplishment for which the relatively small community of Fife Lake should be very proud. The facility has quadrupled in circulation in just the past 10 years, growing its lending collection, adding videos, audio and e-books and is providing public computers with internet access, an indication of its future relevance in the community. Grand Traverse County congratulates the Fife Lake Township Library in this its 125th year of operation and furthermore, congratulate the people of Fife Lake Township for their part in helping to make the area in which we work, play and raise our families, a better place.
For the sixth consecutive year, Grand Traverse County has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award for the 2010 fiscal year. The award is given by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and is awarded based on the County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The GFOA considers the Certificate of Achievement the highest form of recognition in government accounting and financial reporting.
The Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners wishes to acknowledge Lew Coulter, Executive Director of the Grand Traverse Conservation District, for his service and leadership since 1988. Coulter led his staff and others through some monumental changes in order to create what is now the largest and most dynamic Conservation District in the State of Michigan. He was also instrumental in the building of the Boardman River Nature Center, which serves as the headquarters for the district’s staff of educators and natural resource managers. Coulter was this year’s recipient of the Frank Purvis Stewardship Award for showing a high degree of dedication to community planning and volunteerism. The Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners is proud to acknowledge Lew Coulter’s involvement in making Grand Traverse County a better place for us to live and enjoy. Lew, for your time of service and valuable contribution, we thank you.
George Champlin, Department of Public Works Field Manager, is this year’s Community Volunteer of the Year. George was nominated by several fellow employees for his work as Chairman of the Grand Traverse Area Veterans Coalition Park Committee and his work putting together the Veterans Park on Elmwood. His coworkers say that he was instrumental in bringing together the labor force needed and went the extra mile putting in hours to bring the community together. George is a long-standing volunteer of the local VFW 2780 and is a member of the Forgotten Eagles (a POW/MIA Awareness Organization that helps disabled Veterans, Veterans, and Active duty service personnel in harms way). Through these organizations, he has been involved with the Toys for Tots program, getting donations of toys, bicycles, and helmets. He provided hours of labor putting bikes together and put in a lot of time getting donations to send provisions to our soldiers over seas and help pack them up and send them out. George is also involved in the community through the Sons of the American Legion Post 35 and the Sons of the American Vets Elk Rapids Post 114. The Employee Recognition/Suggestion Award Team is proud to announce George as the first recipient of the Annual Community Volunteer of the Year Award.On May 4, 2011, Grand Traverse County, the City of Traverse City, Garfield Township and the Minervini Group were one of six state-wide recipients of the 2011 Governor's Awards for Historic Preservation for the combined efforts on the redevelopment of The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.
Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office - 2010 Corrections Division Employee of the Year The Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office recently announced the employee of the year award for the Corrections Division. Deputy Mary Ocko was recognized by her supervisors as an employee who constantly brings a positive and cheerful attitude to work. She is always helpful when asked and gets along very well with her coworkers. Mary sets a great example by being heavily involved with the division and takes on many roles. She is currently a classification officer, training officer and one of the trainers for the new New World software booking system. She is a role model to her coworkers for physical fitness and trained for and ran in a marathon this past year.
Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office - 2010 Law Enforcement Division Employee of the Year The Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office selected Detective Dawn Wagoner as the Law Enforcement Division employee of the year. Detective Wagoner is a 15 year employee who is a hard working and thorough seeker of the truth in every case. She maintains a positive relationship with people who have interaction with our office and other professionals in the community. During the past four years she has been able to perform her job at a high professional level despite emotional strains which are created when investigating very difficult cases involving child abuse and sexual assault. Detective Wagoner held a pivotal role in the creation of the Traverse Bay Children's Advocacy Center in Traverse City. She was instrumental in overseeing the research, planning and development of the Center. Countless hours of her own time has gone into this project to see a children's advocacy center in our community become a reality. The development of the Traverse Bay Children's Advocacy Center has touched many lives in our community and has helped our agency gain respect and trust from the public.
For the fifth consecutive year, Grand Traverse County has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award for the 2009 fiscal year. The award is given by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and is awarded based on the County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The GFOA considers the Certificate of Achievement the highest form of recognition in government accounting and financial reporting.
Congratulations to Jennifer Ritter, Safe Kids North Shore & Injury Prevention Coalition, MSU Extension! The Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission (GTSAC) is honoring Jennifer with a 2010 Traffic Safety Achievement Award. This award is in recognition of her efforts to motivate, maintain, and diversify the child passenger safety infrastructure in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, and Benzie counties. The GTSAC was created by a Governor’s Executive Order in 2002 to address traffic safety in Michigan. The GTSAC includes representatives from various state departments and offices, local and state law enforcement, and county road commissions. Each year individuals and groups are honored by the GTSAC for their special involvement and dedication to traffic safety. Congratulations, Jennifer! In addition, her winter program ‘Chill Out’ was picked up by the National SafeKids organization and put on their website at www.safekids.org. She is doing wonderful work this winter with several elementary schools and is highlighted on 7 & 4 News. You can follow the link from www.safekids.org or direct at upnorthlive.com.
Deputy Charlie Jetter of the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office was recognized as Secondary Road Patrol Deputy of the Year by the Office of Highway Safety Planning for the state of Michigan. The award was presented at the fall conference of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association held in Grand Rapids on October 10-12, 2010. The award was created to honor Secondary Road Patrol Officers who go above and beyond their normal responsibilities by engaging with the community, effectively communicating with the public, and presenting themselves and their department by excelling in the four service areas of the program by patrolling and monitoring traffic violations, enforcing the law, investigating motor vehicle crashes, and providing emergency assistance on county secondary roads. Deputy Jetter, in addition to this recent award, was named a 2007 Officer of the Year by the Police Officers Association of Michigan and was the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office Employee of the Year in 2008.AUGUST 2010
Upon the recommendation of the Council on Certification, the Government Finance Officers Association was pleased to award the designation of Certified Public Finance Officer to Dean Bott, Finance Director, and Heidi Scheppe, Deputy Finance Director. The designation of Certified Public Finance Officer is awarded to public finance officers who have successfully completed a series of examinations covering the major disciplines of public finance and who have committed themselves to maintaining the highest professional standards in accordance with the Government Finance Officers Association's Code of Professional Ethics.
The U.S. Census Bureau recognized Grand Traverse County as a valued partner and offered appreciation for support in raising awareness of and inspiring participation in the 2010 Census.
Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office - 2009 Corrections Division Employee of the Year The Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office recently announced the employee of the year award for the Corrections Division. Deputy Alain Clifford was recognized by his supervisors as an officer who is hard working, increases his effort when the workload increases, offers assistance to other officers and is quick to step in and assist in any activity or assignment requiring attention to detail. Often, other corrections officers will seek his guidance or assistance regarding a jail issue. Deputy Clifford exhibits professionalism, calmness and maturity in his dealings with the inmates, the public and his coworkers. He recently volunteered himself and enlisted the help of four additional corrections officers to obtain sponsors to raise money for the annual Polar Plunge at the Grand Traverse Resort to benefit Special Olympics.
Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office - 2009 Law Enforcement Division Employee of the Year The Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office recently selected Deputy Derek Morton as the Law Enforcement Division employee of the year. Deputy Morton strives to educate himself, not relying on others, and continues to do as much as possible to improve so that all will benefit. He has an excellent knowledge of his job and its responsibilities and realizes police work can be tough and demanding with little reward except for what he gains for himself. He is a K-9 officer and is responsible for the Sheriff’s Office K-9 program coordination and operation and is committed to making the program successful so that citizens, fellow employees, and the sheriff’s office can benefit. Deputy Morton is a 10 year veteran with the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office and has been a K-9 handler for 8 years.
Congratulations to Jason Jones, Parks & Recreation Director, received the Michigan Recreation and Park Association (MRPA) New Professional Award.