Williamson County recognized its Employees of the Year and Project Team of the Year for 2022 during the Commissioners Court meeting today. The award recipients were selected by a committee from 34 nominations in five categories.
For the category of Exceptional Customer Service, Tanya Kunz, pre-trial services specialist with Pre-Trial Services, was the recipient. As a pre-trial services specialist she is usually the most accessible contact to a defendant released on bond. She provides exceptional customer service daily. She goes above and beyond to ensure everyone she encounters feels heard and their questions answered, or they are provided information that will get them the answers they are looking for. Management has received several compliments from attorneys and court staff on her professionalism and customer service skills.
Julie Kiley, first assistant county auditor with the County Auditor’s Office, received the award for Professional Leadership. Overseeing a staff of 22 employees, Julie spends countless hours advising and teaching her subordinates, especially important with all of the additional workload due to COVID and various weather-related emergencies. She provides wise counsel to not only the county auditor but to the Williamson County Commissioners Court, elected officials, appointed officials and department heads. The county leadership relies on Julie's expertise daily, but especially during unusual and emergency situations. Her normal pace is "above and beyond," and she is very deserving of the Professional Leadership Award.
Johnny Grimaldo, senior purchasing coordinator for the Purchasing Department, received the Wilco Way award for managers. While being short staffed and facing the significant workload during the County's immense growth where building projects increased, he also managed to be the lead advisor/trainer on the implementation of the new bidding software. Johnny also serves as one of the members of the Purchasing Emergency Response Team. He has been on call during COVID 19 pandemic events as well as storms and natural disasters our county has faced within the past two years. Johnny Grimaldo is a great example of a leader; never complains and no project is too hard for him to figure out. He comes to work with a great attitude and is well liked amongst his peers and outside departments.
Kimberly Farris, a paramedic and senior medical officer with Emergency Medical Services, received the Wilco Way award for non-managers. Kim takes on a myriad of additional tasks outside her job description, spending endless hours updating, editing, formatting the protocols and creating a study document to aid the paramedics’ preparation. She leads the Strategic Planning Team, which sets goals/priorities for the future. This executive function is performed not by someone sitting in an office writing policy, but a field paramedic who cares deeply about her vocation. Kim is a mentor to the members of this team.
The Project Team of the Year award went to the Parks Department Software Conversion Project Team that included: Minnie Beteille, Inky Chandler-Mertz and Tammy McCulley with Information Technology Services; Kerstin Hancock and Johnny Grimaldo with Purchasing; Melanie Denny and Cortney Husband with Office of County Auditor; and Benita Bonner and Robert Moss with the Parks Department. This project lasted approximately ten months, concluding in October 2021. The project team was instrumental in assisting with the purchase, upgrade and implementation of the Parks Department's reservation/registration/reporting software system. The Parks Department requires a software system capable of transacting these daily business functions. The previous software platform would no longer be supported, so a transition was imminent and critical to ongoing functionality and security of the department's daily business and county resources. The upgraded platform offers more functionality as well as improved financial reporting and auditing features. The upgraded functionality has increased efficiencies for the Parks Department and county, while enhancing the public's experience through 24-hour on-line access.
Award recipients were recognized at the Commissioners Court meeting on August 9. The Employee of the Year award recipients also received an engraved plaque and a check for $500. The Project Team of the Year award recipients received an engraved insulated cup and lunch with Judge Gravell. Funding for the program comes from proceeds from county vending machines.
View a video of the Employee of the Award recipients below.