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City of Porterville
Employee of the Month

Currently Updating Page. 

2023

Phil_000City of Porterville
December 2016 Employee of the Month
Phil Henry
 Public Works Department

Philip Henry has been employed with the City  Of Porterville Public Works Department since May 2014. Philip is the Chief Building Inspector for the Building Division. He is responsible for managing building, permit issuance and building inspections within the City’s jurisdiction.

Philip currently serves as Board member/Treasurer for the San Joaquin Valley Chapter of the International Code Council. He also is an adjunct professor at College of the Sequoias where he teaches building code classes.

Philip has been happily married to Irene for twenty-three years, and has three children, Mikey, 14; Morgan, 5; and Madeline who will be three on Christmas Day.
Philip enjoys spending time with his family and working on his 1953 GMC Pick-up. He enjoys serving the citizens of Porterville with a dedicated staff and being a part of this great community.

It is with great pleasure that we announce Philip has passed his final exam for CASp certification. This is a difficult feat. On average, only 20% of those individuals taking the 2-part test, pass.

We are lucky to have Philip on our team.
christinacarrillo2016City of Porterville
March 2016 Employee of the Month
Christina Carrillo
Parks & Leisure Services

Christina Carrillo was employed by the City of Porterville Parks and Leisure Services Department January 2005, as a Recreation Leader I for the Recreation Afterschool Program.  She was promoted to Assistant Site Director in August 2005 and then Site Director in October 2005.  In September of 2007, she was promoted to her current position of Clerical Assistant II. 

Christina works out of the Heritage Center and her co-workers call her the backbone of the office.  Christina’s major undertaking of late has been transitioning Leisure Services from its old recreation management software to its new one.  From the public’s eye it was a seamless transition but there were many, many hours spent on the back end implementation side.  Some of her other duties include facility reservation, program registration, doing the daily deposit, and sports leagues and special event coordination.

She is always willing to help her co-workers and usually has things done prior to being asked.  Another great quality of Christina is that she is able to keep her composure while working in what can be at times a frenetic environment.

Christina is married to Eric and has a daughter, Mikayla (18), and a son Anthony (12).  Her hobbies include reading and spending time with her family.  She also has quite the M&Ms souvenir collection.  When asked what she likes most about her job, Christina states, “Working with my very fun co-workers.”  She added that she likes feeling involved and feeling like she is a part of something.

2000

City of Porterville
January 2020 Employee of the Month
Araceli Cerda
Finance Department Araceli Cerda - Copy

For the month of January, we are pleased to honor Araceli Cerda as the City of Porterville’s employee of the month.  Araceli joined the Finance Team as an Account Clerk I in June of 2013. She is being recognized for her consistent dedication, positive attitude and outstanding work ethic.

Araceli started at the front counter with cash collections helping our customers in processing their utility billing transactions and setting up new utility service accounts.  She displayed excellent customer service, always professional and her energy and enthusiasm for learning was quickly apparent.   In June 2014, Araceli was promoted to an Account Clerk II. She was assigned to the Accounts Receivable division and quickly learned and mastered the Accounts Receivable module and billing process. In this position she was responsible for setting up new accounts, monthly billing, and the collection of several thousand dollars in past-due accounts.

Araceli obtained her California Notary License in June 2016 which has been an asset to the City.  She is a team player and always willing to help out wherever we have a need. During the East Porterville ESA sign up events, Araceli, helped after regular work hours to notarize documents and assist the public with translation services and on occasion translates City documents for other departments.

In April 2018, Araceli was promoted to Utility Billing Supervisor and has shown excellent management skills.  She is effective at responding to customer questions and complaints and resolving issues while maintaining a professional demeanor. With her positive attitude, exemplary work ethic, and trustworthiness, Araceli is truly one of our most valued employees. 

Araceli is married to Manny. They have 2 boys, Alex who is 16, and Nico who is 12, and two daughters, Nelinha who is 5, and Emma who is 7 months.  Araceli is very much involved with her children and you can often find her cheering them on at sporting events and extra-curricular activities. In her spare time she enjoys shopping, reading, and loves spending quality time with her family.

Araceli’s favorite part of working for the City is the teamwork environment and her fellow coworkers. Araceli is one of our more dedicated staff with excellent work habits and has a great attitude. Thank you, Araceli, for your hard work and congratulations for being chosen as the employee of the month for January 2020!

City of PortervilleAguilar - Copy
February 2020 Employee of the Month
Rudie Aguilar
Fire Department

Rudie Aguilar was born and raised in Porterville and attended Porterville High. Rudie has been a career Firefighter for 10 years and recently transitioned from Tulare City Fire back home to the Porterville Fire Department. He enjoys spending time with his wife Danielle and children Addison and Kinslee, as well as building and working on classic cars. He says that he looks forward to being an active member of the Fire department and providing professionalism and quality public service the community deserves.

2023

2024

2015

baezrafael2City of Porterville
December 2015 Employee of the Month
Rafael Baez
Public Works Department

Rafael Baez began his service with the City in November of 2006 with the Field Services Shop as a Mechanic II. His duties include performing maintenance and repairs on City vehicles and equipment, and serving as lead mechanic in the absence of the Shop Superintendent. Rafael is appreciated for his ability to recognize and address potential problems before they become costly breakdowns, his willingness to help wherever needed, and his inspirational work ethics. Rafael recently received his Traffic Signal I Certification and assists the City Electrician as time permits.

When asked about the most enjoyable part of his job, Rafael says he likes the challenge of figuring out what is wrong with equipment and making effective repairs. He also appreciates working with great coworkers at the Shop and all other Departments. One of his personal goals it to keep up with the rapidly changing technology in the automotive field.

Rafael has been married to Maria for 17 years. He has two children, Gabriel and Alondra.

Thank you, Rafael, for your continuing service to the City of Porterville.
juliephillipsCity of Porterville
November 2015 Employee of the Month
Julie Phillips
Community Development Department
Planning Division

Julie LaPere, otherwise known around City hall as Julie Phillips and within the Community Development Department as the “brains” of the operation, began working for the City in September of 2005 as a Senior Planner, but had worked with the City for the previous two years as the on-call environmental consultant. In 2006, Julie returned to consulting, but maintained her relationship with Porterville. She returned to the City in 2012 as the Community Development Manager.
Julie enjoys researching and keeping abreast of State and Federal regulations and finding effective ways to implement those in our community. She particularly appreciates coordinating with the various departments on projects like the Medical Cannabis Ordinance, Animal Control Ordinance, and all of the various water-related policies and ordinances, such as the Extraterritorial Service Agreement Policy and tonight’s Water Conservation Ordinance. In this past year, Julie has been responsible for several environmental documents, updating the Housing Element, implementing the Receivership Program, revising the Sign Ordinance and multiple annexations.

Julie met her true love while working for the City and is happily married to David LaPere. They are raising David’s two daughters, Megan, 18, and Madison, 14, as well as their three K-9 kids: Gracie, Marcie Who-paw and Maggie-Mae. In Julie’s spare time she enjoys working on home improvement projects, crocheting, and baking (although she rarely brings her treats for staff to enjoy). (-:
luisa2015City of Porterville
October 2015 Employee of the Month
Luisa Zavala
Administrative Services

Luisa Zavala has been selected as the City of Porterville Employee of the Month for October 2015.  Luisa began her career with the City in February 2008, and currently holds the position of Deputy City Clerk in the Administrative Services Department.

Luisa has proven to be a tremendous asset in the Department, and takes great care in the performance of her many duties, which include preparing agendas and minutes, processing City legislation, drafting proclamations, and assisting with municipal elections.  She serves as a compliance officer with Fair Political Practices Commission’s filings, and coordinator on all California Public Records Act requests.  Luisa is also the department’s resident passport expert; the go-to person for City-wide research projects, and oversees all updates to the department’s webpage.  Luisa’s excellent writing skills, her adeptness at multi-tasking, and her attention to detail make her a tremendous asset to the City.  Her quick wit and clever personality is a bonus. 

When asked about her most enjoyable aspects of her job, Luisa replied, “While many outside of city government may not know what a city clerk does, it is one of the oldest positions in city government.  I think that is pretty cool.”  She also enjoys the camaraderie she has with co-workers; and the opportunity to work with the public, City Council Members, and community leaders.  She says that being Deputy City Clerk provides her with a broader knowledge of municipal government and her community which she can utilize when helping the public. 

When she is not serving the City of Porterville, Luisa enjoys spending time with her husband, Mike, her “little Schatzi,” one-year-old Alexander, family, friends, and their three dogs.  She enjoys crafting, and is an avid reader.
ArthurCity of Porterville
September 2015 Employee of the Month
Arthur Demarath
Parks & Leisure Services

Arthur was employed by the City of Porterville as a Leisure Services Coordinator in March 2014.  Some of his duties include overseeing the Youth Center, administering fall soccer, arena soccer and youth baseball, handling program registrations and facility reservations, and assisting with many of the Parks and Leisure Services special events throughout the year.

Two of Arthur’s highest attributes are his integrity and exceptional work ethic.  He is a driven individual who sets goals and goes after them.  His latest accomplishment was increasing the youth fall soccer program to an all-time high, with 476 boys and girls ages 4-13 participating, along with 110 volunteer coaches.

When he’s not recruiting Council Members to umpire a youth baseball game, or lining a soccer field, Arthur may be seen working with the Team M youth wrestling program or coaching the varsity wrestling team at Monache High School where he has been the head coach since 2008 and in the program since 1998.

Arthur is married to his wife, Eileen, and has two children: Arthur III age 19, and Zachary age 16.  His family volunteers at many special events and are always a huge help.  Aside from coaching, Arthur enjoys reading James Patterson novels, watching all forms of sports, and tending to his 40-year-old bonsai tree “Bud.”

Arthur states working with his co-workers, and with the community, helping kids get involved with sports, are two of his favorite aspects of his job. 
NickSauceda2City of Porterville
August 2015 Employee of the Month
Nick Sauceda
Fire Department

Firefighter Sauceda began his career with the Porterville Fire Department in March 2013 as a Reserve Firefighter. After completing the Firefighter 1 Academy, he received a promotion to probationary Firefighter in January of 2015, and was assigned to A-Shift with Captain Randall Cline and Lieutenant Mike McGill. Nick became a nationally registered Emergency Medical Technician in June of this year.

While on A-Shift, Nick has earned a reputation for having a great work ethic and for being the first volunteer for every assignment. 

Since joining the Fire Department, Nick has demonstrated his commitment to public safety and community service by responding to an unusually high number of emergency incidents.  During the month of June, Nick responded to 75 emergency incidents, double the average of all other firefighters and nearly 18% of the department monthly total.

Nick is from Porterville and attended local schools, graduating from Porterville High School. He and his wife Tiffany, are expecting their first child in February. While not responding to emergency calls, Nick and Tiffany enjoy spending time in the mountains, camping and hiking.

Prior to his career with the City of Porterville, Nick was a five-year member of the United States Air Force, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant while stationed in Alaska and serving in the Middle East.
EricaBenevidezCity of Porterville
July 2015 Employee of the Month
Erika Benevidez
Police Department

Erika Benevidez was nominated and selected by the Directors as the City of Porterville’s employee of the month for July because of her dedication to her job and exemplary work ethic.

Erika was born and raised in Porterville all of her life.  Erika has three sisters and is the oldest daughter of Manuel and Francis Benevidez.  Erika attended local schools, graduating from Porterville High School in 2001.  In 2010 Erika put herself through an eight-month training program offered by Proteus.  Upon completing her training, she was hired by the City of Porterville on October 1, 2010, and opted to work at the Porterville Animal Shelter because of the love and passion she has for animals.  Erika was ultimately hired as a Community Service Officer by the Porterville Police Department where she remains assigned to the Animal Shelter.  Erika has proven herself to be an extremely valuable member of the Animal Control Unit and has been instrumental in the adoption and implementation of new computer software programs which significantly aid in the management of the facility.  While Erika’s duties include working in the field, she is considered by all to be the go-to person whenever it comes to matters of running the office.  In addition to being extremely knowledgeable as to the workings of the Animal Control Unit, she has also shown herself to be very friendly, adaptable, and is always willing to help others, whether it is her co-workers or members of the community.    When talking with Erika she will readily tell you that she absolutely loves coming to work at the shelter and working with the animals.

Erika’s immediate family includes her “better half” (her words) Davin Jiron, and her 11 year old daughter, Mercedes.
ManualAzevedoCity of Porterville
May 2015 Employee of the Month
Manual Acevedo
Finance - IT Department

For the month of May 2015, we would like to honor Manuel Azevedo as the City of Porterville’s Employee of the Month. Manuel was hired on October 20, 2013 as an IT Analyst.  Manuel grew up in Tulare County and he attended Tulare Union High school.  He received his Bachelors of Science degree from Devry University in technical management in 2006.

Manuel spent some time in the Bay Area working in software sales and medical device manufacturing and support. He returned to the Central Valley and specifically Porterville to raise his family.

The function of an IT analyst here at the City varies in technical and analytical duties in support of the enterprise, client and server, desktop PC's, software and mobile terminals. Manuel has continually demonstrated the ability to successfully support all aspects of technology we have. Manuel also brought his customer support skills as he interacts with our internal users with enthusiasm, knowledge, and respect.  When Manuel is assigned a project, he takes ownership and follows through with determination and ardency.

In addition to Manuel, he has three other family members who are part of the City of Porterville team: His cousin, Sgt. Mark Azevedo, cousin-in-law, Kim Azevedo, who is a dispatcher, and his wife, Diana who is a Police Records Clerk.

Manuel has been married to Diana for 17 years. They have two boys: Aaron who is 13 and Jacob who is 10. In addition to raising a family and being a good husband, Manuel is heavily involved with his son’s Little League team and he is their number one supporter.
mulvihillCity of Porterville
April 2015 Employee of the Month
Tim Mulvihill
Public Works Department

The Department Directors for the City of Porterville have selected Tim Mulvihill of Public Works as the April 2015 Employee of the Month.

Timothy Mulvihill began his employment with the City of Porterville July 12, 2010, with Public Work as a Field Services/Water Utility Worker. Tim has worked his way up through the ranks during his tenure with the City. Tim started with the Department as a Water Utility Worker I, and now serves as a Water Utility Worker III. Tim is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the City’s Sewer Collection System.  Tim’s initiative to further his education, attain Distribution Certifications, and strong, professional work ethic are just some of the reasons Department Directors have selected Tim Mulvihill as Employee of the Month for April. Tim is considered to be a great asset to the Field Services Water Utility Division.

Tim finds the most enjoyable part of his job is working with the specialized heavy equipment in his department.

Tim also has the privilege of being married to his lovely wife, Samantha.

In Tim’s free time, he enjoys drag racing in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA, Heritage Series), and competition shotgun shooting.
amygraybehl2City of Porterville
March 2015 Employee of the Month
Amy Graybehl
Parks & Leisure Services

Amy Graybehl was employed by the City of Porterville Parks and Leisure Services Department on January 2, 2013, as a Leisure Services Specialist.  Amy grew up in Porterville and graduated from Monache High School prior to attending UC San Diego and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Communications. 

As for the marketing portion of Amy’s position, her duties include: social media and website updates, producing all press releases, flyers, banners and presentations for the department, writing a bi-weekly article for the Porterville Recorder and doing interviews on KTIP radio.  Amy’s position also has her performing several other duties.  Some of these additional duties are coordinating many special events including Freedom Fest, Step Up, Kids Fest, the Wall of Fame Ceremony and Corporate Games.  She also launched the City’s myPorterville app and is responsible for maintaining it.  Another of her duties is serving as supervisor to the Youth Commission, as well as assisting with various youth and adult sport leagues.

Her tremendous work ethic and professionalism deems her more than worthy of this award.  She truly aspires to make as many people as possible aware of, and in attendance at, City events, and takes pride in creating the best experience for attendees.

During her free time, Amy enjoys adventures outdoors, going to concerts, playing volleyball and any excuse to travel and spend time with her family.  When asked what she likes most about her job, Amy said she could best describe it with the moments at events or activities where she can witness the impact of her department’s efforts in bringing people together to play, to connect, and to build the community.
JoeJuarez1City of Porterville
February 2015 Employee of the Month
Joe Juarez
Police Department

Joe Juarez has been employed with the City of Porterville for approximately 25 years.  He was first hired by the City of Porterville in 1991 as a part-time employee in the Parks and Leisure Services Department.  In 1995 he became a full-time employee and continued to work for the Parks and Leisure Services Department, serving in a number of capacities, but primarily as the building custodian for the Police Department.  In January of 2007, Joe transferred to the Porterville Police Department, continuing his duties as building custodian, where he still works today. Joe was recently named the Police Department Civilian Employee of the year.

At the Porterville Police Department, Joe performs a myriad of duties with regard to building and grounds maintenance; so many that it would be very hard to list them all.  Joe doesn’t need to be assigned tasks – he just sees what is needed and does it. Joe has an intimate knowledge of the 25 year old building and its constant requirements to keep clean and well maintained.  His strong work ethic and attention to detail ensures that the building remains in top condition, a condition which draws positive comments from many visitors to the building.  Along with that, his helpful attitude combined with his pleasant demeanor makes Joe an outstanding employee who is well liked throughout the Department.  With that, it is often said that any person in the department can take a week off work and not many people will take notice, but if Joe is gone for only a few days, everyone notices and misses him.

Joe has three children, a daughter, Ruby, who is 19, and two sons, Anthony, who is 20, and Andrew, who is 16.  When not working for the Police Department or spending time with his family, Joe spends his time coaching the Porterville Cougars, a Pop-Warner football team and also spends time working with the Porterville High School Panthers Football Team.
orongericCity of Porterville
January 2015 Employee of the Month
Eric Orong
Fire Department

Eric Orong is originally from Visalia, and graduated from Mt. Whitney High School in 1998.  He began his career in fire service in 1999 and worked for several fire organizations before joining the City of Porterville Fire Department on Sept. 17, 2007.  He currently holds the rank of firefighter and is also an acting engineer, critical incident stress de-briefer, and previously served as fire investigator.  Eric completed the College of the Sequoia’s Fire Academy in 2001, and has attained certification as a fire apparatus driver-operator and Fire Officer.  He is currently completing the training program for certified fire instructor.  Eric has been married to Stephanie for six years and they have two sons, Owen and Luke.  When not on duty, Eric works part-time for Porterville College as a professional expert and enjoys spending time with his family. 

On November 29, 2014, Eric was driving with his family to Visalia to look for a Christmas tree.  Approaching Lindsay, they noticed a large column of smoke and went to investigate.  They found a commercial building on fire in the downtown area of Lindsay with a single police officer operating the fire engine and hose.

With Stephanie’s permission, Eric went into firefighter mode, helping relocate the fire engine to prevent it catching on fire and then directing the high flow, master stream nozzle to the flames.  Only after the engine was secure and additional help arrived did Eric rejoin his family to continue on their way.
His actions helped prevent damage to a City of Lindsay fire engine and to prevent the fire from spreading to adjacent buildings.

2014

clip_image002City of Porterville
December 2014 Employee of the Month
Maria Medina
Finance Department

Maria Medina joined the City of Porterville in October of 1994 as a temporary Account Clerk I with the Finance Department.  She started at the front counter with cash collections helping customers with bill payment and signing up for utility service.  Her customer service skills, cheerful attitude, and fluency in Spanish earned her full-time, permanent status in September 1995.  She continued working at the front counter, learning other utility duties and assisting the business license clerk.  In May of 1997, Maria was promoted to an Account Clerk II and she moved to the back office where she processed closing utility bills and penalties and continued to assist in business license.  Later on, she was assigned to accounts receivable where she handled the billing and collection of various City services, including weed abatement, bin services, police services, hangar rentals, and others.  In 2003, Maria accepted the position of business license clerk, a position she still holds today and one she really loves.  In this position, she processes new business license applications, renewals and collections.  She also handles the applications for bingo permits, temporary auto sales, circus and carnival, and car wash permits.  In September of this year, we stepped up our business license enforcement and actively sought out unlicensed businesses.  This brought about some unwanted and fierce responses that Maria took all in stride, calmly explaining the regulations for compliance to City Code.  So far, we have licensed over 60 new businesses in this period of time.

For the past 10 years, Maria has also worked part-time at the City’s OHV Park, first as a cashier during the weekends.  Within a few months, she was appointed to the position of OHV assistant coordinator, which she still holds today.  With a great attitude and cheerful disposition, Maria continues to be a valued member of the City team.

Maria has been married to Miguel for 30 years.  They have 4 children and 14 grandchildren.  In her spare time, Maria loves to crochet and to read books.  But most of all, she loves spending time with her grandchildren.  Before working for the City, Maria was an enlisted member of the US Army for four years and later on spent two years with the National Guard.
jasonridenour2014_000City of Porterville
November 2014 Employee of the Month
Jason Ridenour
Community Development Department

Jason Ridenour joined the City’s Community Development Department as the Economic Development Associate in December 2012. Prior to working with the City, Jason worked in the San Francisco Bay area in the private sector helping new businesses to develop as a Director at an angel investment firm, similar to venture capitalism. Jason studied Finance at California State University Chico, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2007.

The regular workload of the Economic Development Associate position is anything but “regular,” and tasks vary from statistical data crunching to helping local businesses improve and expand.  In addition to staying connected to the community and assisting local businesses as they grow, Jason proactively recruits national retailers and industry to the city. Jason builds relationships with possible businesses, as well as with local developers, and uses his experience and local familiarity to encourage partnerships that would result in a new business in Porterville. Jason’s ability to successfully “sell” Porterville is evident with the upcoming openings of Panera Restaurant, Me-N-Ed’s Pizzeria, and Applebee’s Bar and Grill.

Jason is a dedicated and driven employee, and is always willing to take on those “other duties as assigned,” he steps in to help wherever he can. His work ethic is only matched by his great sense of humor. Jason helps keep spirits high in what is often a stressful department, and encourages his teammates to keep up the good work by reminding us that we all contribute to the growth and future of Porterville.

Born and raised in Porterville, Jason is enthusiastic about doing all he can to bring great things to his hometown, both professionally and personally. He is married to his childhood sweetheart, Tiffany, and in August of this year they welcomed their son, Lucas. When he isn’t doting on his wife and son, Jason enjoys working on his racecar (Number 83!) and doing home improvement projects.
terrymendez2City of Porterville
October 2014 Employee of the Month
Terry Mendez
Public Works Department

For the month of October, Department Directors have selected Terry Mendez as the City of Porterville’s employee of the month.  Terry began working for the City of Porterville in October of 2000 at the Wastewater Treatment Facility as a Clerical Assistant I and was promoted to a Clerical Assistant II in 2004. She is the sole clerical support person for the entire Treatment Facility and she adeptly keeps the flow of the office humming along.

Terry is in charge of gathering data and preparing monthly and quarterly reports that are submitted to the California Regional Water Quality Control Board. The Wastewater Operators rely on her knowledge to order not only routine maintenance material and parts, but they also rely on her purchasing experience in ordering specialized equipment.  She is in charge of booking tours of the Treatment plant and enjoys seeing children react to the different smells and reach realization of what wastewater really is.  She is very polite and professional when speaking on the phone or when greeting people in person in her office. She is great at helping others in her office troubleshoot problems or questions that deal with any of the programs in Microsoft Windows.  She can always be counted on to complete a task that is given to her with a smile.

Terry is married to John and together they have 3 children: Isaac who is 20, Analiesa who is 18, and Isabella who is 15.  Terry enjoys reading, shopping, spending time with her family and getting together with her two closest friends that she has had since the first grade.   But most specially, she likes to go to live tapings of shows in Hollywood and she has been to the Jay Leno Show, The Conan Show and, most recently, The Voice.
vikkie2014City of Porterville
September 2014 Employee of the Month
Vikki Cervantes
Library - Parks & Leisure Services

Vikki Cervantes began working for the City of Porterville as a part-time Library Assistant in 1995 and became a full-time employee in 2000.  She received her BA in Social Science from Chapman University in 2004 and her Masters in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University in 2009.  Vikki became Porterville City Librarian in August 2007 and has been in library services for 19 years.

It didn’t take Vikki long to bring many fresh new ideas and programs into the Library.  Under Vikki’s leadership the Library has been awarded California State Library Grants for Online Homework Help and Family Place Library.  Vikki has worked hard to establish a team that is adaptable to handling the diverse needs of the community, and most notably delivering the friendly service expected by the patrons.  Vikki continues to work on the transformation of traditional library services. She has created an Early Learning Center, focused on collection maintenance, reorganized library space at the Margaret J. Slattery Library, and enhanced the visibility of library services through community participation.

Vikki currently serves as the Chair of the San Joaquin Valley Library System.  She is also on the Board of Directors for the Family Crisis Center and the Time Marches On Committee.

Vikki has a three-year-old daughter, Kimoriana.  Her hobbies include reading, cooking, traveling, and home improvement projects.  Vikki’s most rewarding hobby is assisting young people with their future educational goals and careers.
officermartinCity of Porterville
August 2014 Employee of the Month
Officer Wayne Martin
Police Department

Department Directors for the City of Porterville have selected Porterville Police Department Detective Wayne Martin as the Employee of the Month for August 2014.

Wayne has been employed with the City of Porterville since December 2006.  He began his employment as an officer assigned to the Patrol Division.  As a uniformed officer in the Patrol Division, Wayne worked a variety of shifts, handling calls for service and proactively seeking those who were violating the laws.  It was during this time that Detective Martin developed his skills and subsequently his reputation as a thorough investigator and outstanding report writer.  He also developed a reputation of being a reliable and extremely hard worker who is well liked by all of his peers and supervisors.

Based on Wayne’s quality of work in the Patrol Division, he was transferred to the Investigations Division as a detective in January 2013.  As an investigator, Wayne is responsible for investigating a variety of crimes, ranging from simple burglary to homicide.  However, it was quickly realized that he had the temperament and personal skills that would enable him to excel in the investigation of child abuse and sex crimes and he is now the primary investigator for such crimes.  These types of crimes can be difficult not only to investigate, but to gain the trust of the abused victims.  Wayne has these abilities and he has even been recognized by Child Welfare Services as a go-to person when they require assistance. 

As part of his assignment in the Investigations Division, Wayne is also responsible for tracking all registered sex offenders within the jurisdiction of the City of Porterville.  When given this assignment, he developed a more efficient system of tracking these registrants and regularly organizes operations to contact these persons and verify their compliance with their restrictions.

Wayne is also an advisor of the Police Department’s Explorer Program.  As an advisor, he sacrifices many hours of his own time in helping the program and the young adults in the program.  He travels with them several times a year when they are participating in events. 

Despite the workload demands of his current assignment, Wayne has also returned to the classroom and is in the process of obtaining his bachelor’s degree so he can even better serve the community.  He is a valued employee who sets the standards for his fellow employees and is an asset to the Investigations Division, the Police Department, and the City of Porterville.

Detective Martin is married to Rachael and they have two sons, Lucas and Ryan.
LuisaHerrera_000City of Porterville
July 2014 Employee of the Month
Luisa Zavala
Administrative Services

Luisa Zavala has been selected as the City of Porterville Employee of the Month for July 2014.  Luisa began her career with the City in February 2008, and currently holds the position of Deputy City Clerk in the Administrative Services Department.

Luisa has proven to be a tremendous asset in the Department, and takes great care in the performance of her many duties, which include preparing agendas and minutes, processing City legislation, drafting proclamations, and assisting with municipal elections.  She serves as a compliance officer with Fair Political Practices Commission’s filings, and coordinator on all California Public Records Act requests.  Luisa is also the department’s resident passport expert; the go-to person for City-wide research projects, and oversees all updates to the department’s webpage.  Luisa’s excellent writing skills, her adeptness at multi-tasking, and her attention to detail make her a tremendous asset to the City.  Her quick wit and clever personality is a bonus. 

When asked about her most enjoyable aspects of her job, Luisa replied, “while many outside of city government may not know what a city clerk does, it is one of the oldest positions in city government.  I think that is pretty cool.”  She also enjoys the camaraderie she has with co-workers; and the opportunity to work with the public, City Council Members, and community leaders.  She says that being Deputy City Clerk provides her with a broader knowledge of municipal government and her community which she can utilize when helping the public.   Oh, and she really enjoys long City Council Meetings!

When she is not serving the City of Porterville, Luisa enjoys spending time with her husband Mike, her “little Schatzi” one-year-old Alexander, family, friends, and their three dogs.  She enjoys crafting, is an avid reader, and a founding member of the City’s book club.
SpeckTallenCity of Porterville
June 2014 Employee of the Month
Tallen Speck
Fire Department

Directors for the City of Porterville have selected Firefighter Tallen Speck as the June 2014 Employee of the Month. Tallen was selected for this honor on the basis of his strong work ethic, positive attitude, and his cooperation with his superiors and his team of co-workers.

Firefighter Tallen Speck was born in Oklahoma and moved to California with his family at age 5. He attended local schools and graduated from Monache High School in 2000. He then worked in construction, installing granite counter tops, before graduating from the Fire Academy in 2011. Shortly after his graduation, he was hired as a reserve firefighter with the City of Porterville Fire Department. Tallen showed great promise and was hired as a full time firefighter with our Department in December 2012.

Tallen is a team player and immediately volunteered his construction and granite-working skills when the Fire Department decided to renovate the circa 1964 kitchen at Fire Station 1 earlier this year. In short order, he and his crew transformed an outdated eyesore into a modern, functional, and sustainable kitchen with new floors, refinished cabinetry, and granite counter tops. This crew of willing workers saved the Department thousands of dollars in material and labor costs.
Tallen continues to pursue professional development and has recently completed the California Fire Service Training and Education courses for emergency vehicle operations and fire pump operations. He is now assisting in training the department’s newest firefighters. 

In his free time, Firefighter Speck enjoys hunting, fishing and camping. He and his wife, Kaycee, have four sons: Tallen Jr, Gryphen, Owen, and Corben.
JackandMe_001City of Porterville
May 2014 Employee of the Month
Debbie Salter
City Manager's Office

Debbie has been selected by the directors of the City of Porterville as the May 2014 Employee of the Month. Debbie began working for the City in 1999 and was, and is, happy to be a member of the City of Porterville team. She began her career with the City of Porterville working in the Finance Department as the assistant to the Purchasing Agent. In 2000, she transferred to the Police Department, assigned to the Patrol Division. The seven years she worked there gave her a unique insight into the workings of the Police Department and you would be hard pressed to find someone who is more “pro law enforcement.”

Debbie accepted the position of Secretary to the City Manager in September 2007. This position has provided her with an opportunity to further expand her knowledge of City and municipal government functions. Since the City Manager’s office is the hub of the City organization, she interacts with many departments as well as Council Members. She also answers the “Operator’s” line so she hears from many citizens of our community for many different reasons. Her goal is to assist each person so they have a positive experience when they contact the City. 

Debbie is married to Steve, has a son Larry (and daughter-in-law, Annette) and a daughter Missy (and son-in-law, Joe). She also has two much-loved “furry girls”: Mika, a Lab/Border Collie mix, and Maddie, a Goldendoodle. She enjoys walking them, and you might have seen her out and about with a large black dog and a large white curly dog. We all know her as a strong advocate for animals, because, as she says, “They can’t speak for themselves.”
ireneanayaCity of Porterville
April 2014 Employee of the Month
Irene Anaya
Finance Department

For the month of April 2014, we would like to honor Irene Anaya as the City of Porterville’s Employee of the Month.  Irene joined the City in 1999 as a Clerical Assistant assigned to the Planning Department.  She moved to the Engineering Department for a short period of time prior to joining the Finance Department in 2003 as an Account Clerk.  Irene matriculated through Accounts Receivable, Business License and Utility Billing, ultimately landing in Accounts Payable in 2005.

Her broad skill set and keen attention to detail quickly stream-lined the payables process, and her bi-lingual abilities plus her knowledge of licensing and billing make Irene one of our most valued employees.  Irene is very dependable and conscientious with an impeccable work ethic.  She is always the first one at work, well-liked by staff, always willing to help out wherever and whenever help is needed.  She is able to handle difficult or problematic situations calmly and with a level-head.  We are very fortunate indeed, to have Irene as a member of the City team.

Irene grew up in Porterville and moved to Strathmore when she married Ralph, her husband of 30 years.  Together they have two boys:  Cesar, 26, and Cristian, who is 20.  Irene is very devoted to her family and spends a lot of her time with them.

Thank you, Irene for a job well done! 
jeffduke_000City of Porterville
March 2014 Employee of the Month
Jeff Duke
Public Works Department

The Department Directors for the City of Porterville have selected Jeff Duke of Public Works as the March 2014 City of Porterville Employee of the Month.
Jeff Duke began his employment with the City of Porterville on December 1, 2012, at the Wastewater Treatment Facility. Jeff works in the Engine Room and is responsible for keeping all engines running and serviced. He is hard working and detail oriented and keeps all work orders up to date on plant equipment and all mechanics in working order.

Jeff is industrious and recently obtained his Grade 1 Wastewater Treatment Plant Operation certification and is now diligently working toward obtaining his Grade 2. He is also a member of the California Water Environment Association. He states his favorite part of his job is always learning something new and his goal is to someday run the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Jeff enjoys mechanics, welding, riding quads, and camping with his family in the desert. Jeff is married to his lovely wife Stephanie, and has two children: Zack, 17, and Azlynn, 13.
mikepatterson_000City of Porterville
February 2014 Employee of the Month
Mike Patterson
Parks & Leisure Services

Mike Patterson has been employed with the City of Porterville for 25 years.  He was hired as a Parks Maintenance Worker I in 1989.  Mike was promoted to a Parks Maintenance Worker II in 1991 and to a Parks Maintenance Worker III in 1993.  His main duties while serving in that position for 19 years was to oversee the maintenance of the golf course and pool.

Mike was promoted to Acting Supervisor in February 2012 and then became Parks Superintendent in July 2012.  Due to an unexpected health issues suffered by his wife, Mike will be retiring this month and he will move onto a more important role of taking care of his wife and spending time with his family.  Mike was extremely well liked by his co-workers, took pride in his work and was very dependable.

During Mike’s brief Superintendent stint, his tremendous attitude and vision paved the way for the Parks Division to make some significant, positive strides.  Mike did a fantastic job keeping project costs under budget and he always was thinking of creative ways to save money.

Mike is married to Patricia and has a son, Kevin, (daughter-in-law Shanuda), daughter Alicia, and two grandchildren, Kamry and Kasen.

His hobbies include fishing, camping, reading and woodcarving.  When asked what he liked most about his job, Mike stated working on projects with the parks crew to improve the parks and other areas of town, and the lifelong friendships he developed over his years with the City.
graves805City of Porterville
January 2014 Employee of the Month
Elbia Graves
Police Department

Department Directors for the City of Porterville have selected Porterville Police Department Records Clerk Elbia Graves as the Employee of the Month for January 2014.

Records Clerk Graves has been employed with the city of Porterville since October 1996.

As a Records Clerk, Elbia handles public information requests and police incidents at the front counter. She also performs general clerical record keeping duties in support of the police records management system.

Elbia is an extremely hard worker who is well liked and is very reliable. She is a valued employee who sets the standards for her fellow employees and is an asset to the Records Division.

Prior to her employment with the City of Porterville, Elbia served her country in the United States Army for 20 years. While in the armed forces, Elbia also received her Associates of Arts degree at the University of Maryland.

Elbia is a resident of Visalia and a graduate of Lindsay High School.  She has two sons, James and Thomas.  She also has two grandsons, Lincoln and William, and one granddaughter, Samantha.

Elbia has submitted her retirement application, which will become official effective April 2014, and her last day of working will be at the end of January 2014, as she will utilize her accumulated vacation time until April.

2013

ramonvelascoCity of Porterville
December 2013 Employee of the Month
Ramon Velasco
Parks & Leisure Services

Ramon Velasco was hired by the City of Porterville as a part-time Parks Maintenance Worker Aide in May 2003 for the Parks and Leisure Services Department.  He became a full-time Parks Maintenance Worker I in August 2005. Ramon was promoted to his current position as Parks Maintenance Worker II in March of 2007.

Ramon spends most of his time maintaining the 85-acre Sports Complex.  Ramon handles all the irrigation, oversees the equipment maintenance, mows the grass, cleans the restrooms and preps the fields.  He also goes above and beyond to help all of the youth sports leagues that use the Sports Complex.  Ramon always displays a great attitude and is a true team player when it comes to helping his co-workers.  It is his attitude and tremendous work ethic that will enable him to continue to climb up the Parks Division ladder in the years to come.

Ramon is married to Maria and has a son, Jose (11) and a daughter, Destiny (7).  His hobbies include horseback riding, Mexican rodeo, watching sports, and coaching his children’s sports teams.

Ramon states that his favorite part of his job is being outdoors and that he is happy to be a part of the Parks and Leisure Services Department. 
barrios-emp-month-nov-2013City of Porterville
November 2013 Employee of the Month
Sabrina Barrios
Porterville Fire Department

Firefighter Sabrina Barrios is the daughter of Shelly Porter and Tony Barrios. She spent her early years in Porterville and Visalia, together with five sisters and two brothers.

Sabrina’s interest in firefighting began at an early age when she became a volunteer Explorer for Tulare County Fire Department at age 15. Within a year, she was promoted to Explorer Chief and was active in this capacity until age 18. After graduating from Golden West High School in 2005, she was hired by Cal Fire where she worked for three years before being hired by the Porterville Fire Department in 2007.

Firefighter Barrios recently obtained her Fire Officer certification as well as Driver Operator endorsement to drive fire equipment. She is responsible for maintenance and repairs of the department’s self-contained breathing apparatus, and is a Porterville Fire Department CPR instructor.

In July of 2013, Firefighter Barrios responded to an emergency medical incident for a person electrocuted and in full cardiac arrest. She immediately initiated CPR and defibrillation, administering multiple shocks to the patient, restoring both a heartbeat and normal breathing within minutes of her arrival on scene.

In October, Firefighter Barrios volunteered to be a CPR instructor for the Fire Department’s first public CPR classes and helped teach 49 members of the community life-saving CPR skills.   
          
When not working at the fire department, Sabrina enjoys fishing and spending time with her boyfriend, Eric, his two daughters, Ellie and Georgia, and her two shepherds Allie and Kilo.
friosCity of Porterville
October 2013 Employee of the Month
Fernando Rios
Community Development Department

Assistant Planner, Community Development Department- Planning Division

Fernando was born and raised in the Porterville area, and is a graduate of Porterville High School. After obtaining his Bachelors of Science in Urban & Regional Planning at Cal Poly Pomona, Fernando returned to pursue his chosen profession with the City of Porterville, beginning as a Planning Technician in October 2008, and promoting to Assistant Planner in 2009. In 2011, he accepted an employment opportunity with CVMS, a local property preservation company. Fernando returned to the City of Porterville Planning Division as an Assistant Planner in December 2012.

Fernando is a valuable resource in the Planning Division, and is involved in nearly all current planning projects, as well as many long range planning efforts. Over the last year, the Community Development Department has experienced significant turn over due to retirements and other staff changes. Upon his return to the City, Fernando hit the ground running, helping to get projects processed and complete backlog due to the staff transitions. His attention to detail and considerate interpretation of the Development Ordinance is a resource to the entire team and the development community. Additionally, Fernando is integral to the success of the City’s Elderberry Mitigation site- spending many early mornings and hours of his own time walking the site to help improve the success rate of the mitigation plantings.

Fernando is active in his off-duty hours, and enjoys gardening, snowboarding, and running- he has finished five local 5Ks this year. He has a great sense of humor which everyone in the Community Development and Public Works Departments enjoys- often finding creative ways to motivate others to participate in the quarterly fitness incentive. Some might call it “trash talk”, but we call it encouraging exercise.

Fernando enjoys planning the future of his home town, where most of his family still resides.

Thank you, Fernando for all your hard work.
gabbycruzeomCity of Porterville
September 2013 Employee of the Month
Gabby Cruz
Finance Department

For the month of September, the directors have selected GABRIELA CRUZ as the City of Porterville’s employee of the month.  Gabby, as we call her, joined the Finance Team as an Account Clerk I in February of 2007.  She started at the front counter with cash collections, helping our customers in processing their transactions.  She showed excellent customer service, always professional and polite to everybody.  It became quickly apparent that Gabby is one of our more dedicated staff with excellent work habits and a great attitude.

Within a few months time, Gabby was promoted to an Account Clerk II and was assigned to be the chief Accounts Receivable Clerk.  She quickly learned and mastered the Accounts Receivable module and the billing process.  In this position, she was responsible for the collection of several thousand dollars in past-due accounts, balancing the daily cash receipts and preparing the deposits to the bank.  Recently, Gabby was promoted to Payroll Administrative Aide. She is currently learning payroll maintenance, processing and reporting. Gabby continues to be dependable and trustworthy.  She is very conscientious and thorough about her work.  She enjoys learning new things.  She’s always willing to help out wherever we have a need.  With her positive attitude, exemplary work ethic, professionalism, and excellent customer service, Gabby is truly one of our most valued employees.

Gabby is married to Ruben.  They moved to Porterville from the LA area about 11 years ago.  They have 2 children, Ruben Jr. who is 15 and Jasmine who is 8.  Gabby enjoys reading, shopping and surfing the internet.  But most specially, she likes to go to different places with her family.
jesusguzmanCity of Porterville
August 2013 Employee of the Month
Jesus Guzman
Public Works Department

The Directors of the City of Porterville have selected Jesus Guzman as the August 2013 Employee of the Month because of his exemplary high work ethic.

Jesus began his service with the City of Porterville on August 16, 2010, as a Wastewater Operator in Training with Field Services. On August 1, 2011, he was promoted to the Operator I position. Most recently, Jesus was promoted to the Operator II position on July 1, 2013.

Jesus has been the lead process control operator since November 2012. He was reassigned to his position from the maintenance side of wastewater treatment. Jesus has quickly adapted to his new role and is learning how to interpret laboratory data and plan process control adjustments.

Jesus said his favorite part of the job is the camaraderie at the wastewater treatment facility and the day-to-day challenges of running the plant.

Jesus has been a member of the California Water Environment Association since 2010. The CWEA is an organization dedicated to the educational development of wastewater professionals.

Jesus is certified by the State of California as Grade II Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator.

Jesus and his girlfriend, Yvette, have six children. He likes spending his off-work time customizing cars and enjoying time with his family.

gilmer800_000City of Porterville
July 2013 Employee of the Month
Rita Gilmer
Porterville Police Department

Department Directors for the City of Porterville have selected Rita Gilmer as the Employee of the Month for July 2013.Rita Gilmer has served as a Records Clerk for the Porterville Police Department for over 34 years. Rita has served the City and the Department proudly during that time.

Rita graduated from the College of Sequoias in 1978 with an Associates of Science Degree in Business Management.  Shortly after graduation, Rita began her career at the Porterville Police Department as a part-time Records Clerk.  Rita continued her part-time employment until she was given a full-time position on June 24, 1980.  Rita has spent her entire career solely with the City of Porterville’s Police Department.

During her time at the Department, Rita has become an expert in every facet of the Records Division. She was instrumental in helping the Department transition to an automated Records Management System in 1998.  She has been instrumental in helping mentor and train personnel who were hired after her.

Rita has long been a backbone in the daily operations of the Records Division. Her current assignment has her working concurrently with the local District Attorney’s Office, ensuring that all criminal reports are completed in a timely manner for review and prosecution.

In her off time, Rita enjoys spending time with friends and family, camping at the coast, or being active in her church. She has been married to her husband, David Gilmer, for 17 years and they have one daughter, Erica, who is 13 years old.

Rita is scheduled to begin her vacation August 2013, which will continue to her anticipated official retirement date in November 2013. Rita claims to have no current plans for her retirement, other than being a full-time parent.

galeempmonth002City of Porterville
June 2013 Employee of the Month
Gale Labonte
Parks & Leisure Services Department

Gale Labonte began working for the City of Porterville on January 18, 1999, in the Planning Division as a Clerical Assistant.  In June of 1999, she moved over to the Parks and Leisure Services Department.  Gale worked at the front counter in the City Hall Parks and Leisure Services Department handling Leisure Services clerical responsibilities, including park reservations and program registrations.  She then moved to the parks office at the Corporation Yard in 2004 where her duties focused on the Parks division.

In November 2013, Gale moved back to City Hall where she currently works in the Parks and Leisure Services Administrative office maintaining parks division work, as well as administrative office clerical duties.  It is fantastic having Gale back ‘home’ in the Parks and Leisure Services City Hall office.  She possesses a wealth of knowledge from her fourteen years of experience. Gale attends the Parks and Leisure Services Commission meetings and is responsible for the minutes.    She has also been instrumental in maintaining the City of Porterville Tree City USA status.

Gale is married to Andy and has two sons, Adam and Travis.  Her hobbies include collecting Mickey Mouse items, crafting, decorating and learning about history.  When asked what she likes most about her job, Gale states that she has great co-workers who make it fun to come to work!  She added that there’s never a dull moment in Parks and Leisure!
josieCity of Porterville
May 2013 Employee of the Month
Josie Castaneda
Administrative Services Department

Department Directors for the City of Porterville have chosen Josie Castaneda as the Employee of the Month for May 2013.  Josie has worked for the City for 28 years, beginning her career in 1985 as a Clerical Assistant II in Risk Management.  She is currently employed as an Administrative Analyst in the Human Resources Division of the Administrative Services Department.

As an HR Administrative Analyst, Josie’s primary responsibility is the administration of the City’s workers compensation program.  In this regard, she handles all aspects of work-related injury claims, involving a tremendous amount of coordination between the injured worker and his/her supervisor, as well as the City’s third party claims administrator, doctors, and sometimes attorneys to facilitate the appropriate resolution and the return to work of the injured employee.  Josie is extremely knowledge in workers compensation administration and her attention to detail is just one of Josie’s much valued attributes. Josie strives to stay current on the ever-changing workers compensation laws, and works diligently to protect the rights of all involved parties.  In addition, some of Josie’s other responsibilities include tracking performance reports for all full-time City employees; preparing and filing mandated CalOSHA reports; and coordinating certificates of insurance through the Central San Joaquin Valley Risk Management Authority, on which Josie also serves as the City’s Alternate Member.  When asked to describe her favorite aspect of her job, Josie says that she most enjoys working with professionals in every department and gets great satisfaction from providing assistance to them.

Josie is a dedicated and extremely dependable employee.   She is a tremendous asset to the Administrative Services Department, not to mention the City.  Josie resides in Woodville with her husband of 29 years, Guillermo, and has three adult children, Ana Laura and her husband Robert; Guillermo Jr.; and Julio Cesar.   When she is not serving the City of Porterville, Josie enjoys spending time with her family and traveling to tropical destinations.

The City of Porterville is very fortunate to have an employee like Josie.
mikebrodbeckCity of Porterville
April 2013 Employee of the Month
Michael Brodbeck
Fire Department

Michael was born and raised near Pismo Beach in Nipomo, California. In 2006, he graduated from Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria with an Associate of Science degree in Fire Technology. Later that year, he completed the State Fire Training course requirement’s for certification as a Firefighter 1.

Before coming to Porterville, Michael spent four years as a firefighter with the Nipomo Fire Department and worked in the Cal-Fire, San Diego Ranger Unit as a seasonal firefighter.

Michael began his career with the City of Porterville in June of 2008. In October of 2011, he accepted a position in the Fire Investigation Unit as a Fire/Arson Investigator and has recently become an Acting Engineer. In December 2012, Michael received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Studies through Brandman University.

Michael was selected as Employee of the Month for his great work ethic and positive attitude, his willingness to assume additional responsibilities and assignments, and for helping to meet the goals and objectives of the Porterville Fire Department.

Michael has been married to Janelle for three years.  They have a beautiful little girl, Samantha Rose.  In his free time, Michael enjoys camping, biking, and hiking and spending time with his family.
cliffCity of Porterville
March 2013 Employee of the Month
Cliff Savage
Public Works Department

Cliff Savage started working for the Public Works Department as a Refuse Driver on January 3, 2006.   From the beginning, Cliff has been a very dependable and dedicated employee with a consistently positive attitude and he takes great pride in his job.

Cliff is always willing to assist others and promotes team work at all times. He often reports to work early, works overtime, and Holidays when necessary.  Cliff is flexible and he adapts well to change, as is evident in the fact that he can and will operate all the different vehicles in the refuse fleet from the front end loaders to the forklift.  He currently operates a side loader on the residential routes.  Cliff enjoys running all the different equipment and thinks it’s fun to work, which may be why he’s had a 100% attendance record every year since beginning work for the City.  

He is an avid Ram’s fan and also enjoys golf, baseball and fishing.  Cliff has been married to April for the past 21 years, and they have three daughters, Heather, Stephany and Cynthia.
lupediaz2013City of Porterville
February 2013 Employee of the Month
Lupe Diaz
Community Development Department

Lupe has been with the City since 2007 in the Housing Division of the Community Development Department and has recently taken on the duties of Development Associate.  She is responsible for the administration of the CDBG grant program as well as managing the housing programs, including the First Time Homebuyer Program, the Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program, and the Public Utility Assistance Program for low-income households.  Lupe also monitors several multi-family housing projects within the City. For the past five years, Lupe has been the coordinator of Project Homeless Connect and the annual Point in Time Survey. Her involvement with the Kings/Tulare County Continuum of Care on Homelessness has given her the opportunity to assist individuals that find themselves in need. Most recently, while coordinating with Family Services, she has had the satisfaction of assisting to house four homeless individuals through the Shelter Plus Care Program.

Lupe describes the most enjoyable part of her job as being able to assist those in need, reaching out to the community and making a difference wherever possible. Her motto is, “Give whatever you have, help with whatever you can, and start wherever you are.”

Lupe has two children; a daughter, Daniella, age 24, who teaches first grade at Kennedy Elementary in Lindsay, and a son, Samuel, age 22, who is attending College of the Sequoias and works as assistant manager at Guitar Center-Visalia.Lupe enjoys reading, walking, and cooking. Lupe loves antiques and thrift store shopping. She finds her recent hobby of painting furniture in shabby chic style rewarding and relaxing. She attends Porterville Believers Church.
CarlosMezaCity of Porterville
January 2013 Employee of the Month
Carlos Meza
Finance Department

For the month of January, we are honoring Carlos Meza as the City of Porterville’s Employee of the Month.  Carlos was hired in October 2008 as a Meter Reader.  Carlos immediately demonstrated outstanding performance in his new position. He has a great attitude, reports to work with a smile on his face and ready to work.

Carlos’ work is exceptional, always completed ahead of schedule and with accuracy.  He is a team player, always helping out with anything that needs to be completed. Carlos doesn’t mind going above and beyond his job duties.  Instead of calling the Water Department for repairs, he does the work himself.  He is very well liked and has a great working relationship with staff.

Carlos is always able to maintain a courteous demeanor, even in adverse situations.  He is able to express a calm and polite attitude while dealing with the most difficult customers.   Carlos has an extraordinary degree of job knowledge, always adhering to policies. He can always be depended upon to handle any situation that may arise.

Carlos has been married to his wife, Maria, for 12 years.  Together, they have raised Maria’s brother and sister, Raul and Catia.  Carlos is very active; he enjoys playing soccer, which keeps him in shape.  He successfully participates in the City’s Fitness Incentive Program, often scoring as an “Olympian.” Carlos mostly enjoys spending time with his family.

Carlos, we truly appreciate you and your work. You represent the City of Porterville in a positive manner!

2012

120312marshall2City of Porterville
December 2012 Employee of the Month
Marshall Chairez
Public Works Department

Marshall Chairez was selected as the December 2012 Employee of the Month because of his outstanding work ethic, his attention to detail, and his willingness to assist others.

Marshall began his career with the City of Porterville in September 1988 as a Field Services Worker I in the Streets/Traffic Division.  He was promoted to Field Services Worker II in 1997 and to Field Services Worker III in 2009.  In this capacity he is responsible for the maintenance of all Street Signage and Street Markings throughout the City.  Marshall takes pride in his job and states that one of the most enjoyable parts of his job is serving the public to the best of his ability.

Marshall has been married to his wife Norma for 24 years.  They have three sons: Marshall, Eric, and Randy, and four daughters: Megan, Jeanine, Alyssa, and Britney.  Marshall has coached football in the community for the last 23 years, and is currently an assistant coach at Porterville High School.  He enjoys spending his free time camping & fishing with his family, and being grandpa to Jayden and Maddison. 
darrinmaddoxCity of Porterville
November 2012 Employee of the Month
Darren Maddox
Parks & Leisure Services Department

Darren Maddox was hired by the City of Porterville on November 1, 1987, as a Parks Maintenance Worker II. He was promoted to Parks Maintenance Worker III two years ago. During his 25 years with the City, Darren has always been receptive to taking on new responsibilities, and there have been many additional responsibilities assigned to him lately due to the vacancy of the Parks Supervisor and one Parks Maintenance Worker III.

Darren’s skills are many: he is exceptionally knowledgeable in working with trees, he is currently welding a new fence at Murry Park, he possesses both a Class A and B license, he is a Certified Pool Operator, he oversees the SWAP program for the division, and he is well versed in equipment maintenance.
Darren is married to Tammy and has two daughters, Kristy and Brittney, a son-in-law, Anthony, and five grandsons.

His hobbies include dirt track car racing, off-roading, football, and camping.

Darren states that what he likes most about his job is working with his co-workers and with other City departments.
ofc.robmeierCity of Porterville
October 2012 Employee of the Month
Robert Meier
Police Department

Department Directors for the City of Porterville have selected Officer Rob Meier as the October 2012Employee of the Month.

Rob was born in Fremont, California, and spent time, while growing up, in Denair, California, and Chicago, Illinois, before finally settling in Visalia. He is married to Shanna and he is a devoted father to their beautiful daughter, Jaymee.

Rob Graduated from the Tulare Kings Basic Police Academy in December of 1998 and was hired as a Deputy Sheriff for Tulare County in July of 1999. Rob spent nearly 10 years working as a Deputy Sheriff before accepting a position with the Porterville Police Department in February of 2008. Since that time, Rob has been assigned as a Patrol Officer, a Narcotics Investigator, and is currently assigned as a Training Officer in the Patrol Division.

Rob has excelled in every assignment he has had and routinely goes above and beyond what is expected of him. On September 1st of this year Rob and his trainee were dispatched to a disturbance at a local hotel.  Upon arrival they learned the source of the disturbance was a young girl who was upset. She and her family were displaced due to a residential fire and she was distraught and scared staying in unfamiliar surroundings.

Although the shift was busy, Rob took time to connect with and comfort the young girl displaying a great deal of compassion for her and her family. The parents of the girl were quite appreciative of the concern shown by Officer Meier but his efforts did not stop there.

The following day, Officer Meier returned to the hotel with a care package for the young lady that included pajamas, girl’s clothing, a few toys, and a princess dress. The young girl’s mother called the Police Department stating her family was simply overwhelmed by Officer Meier’s generosity and concern. She further stated that his actions have given her family much needed hope and strength during hard times.

This incident is simply one example of the type of service Officer Meier is providing to the city of Porterville on a daily basis. It is for that reason he has been chosen for this recognition.
codyclemCity of Porterville
September 2012 Employee of the Month
Cody Clem
Fire Department

Cody Clem was born and raised in Porterville. He attended Monache High School, where he participated in the Associated Student Body, was a section leader for the drum line in the Monache High School Band, and was actively involved in sports.  Cody went on to attend Porterville College as well as Allan Hancock College, graduating with honors and an Associate Science degree in Fire Technology.

Cody began his career with the City of Porterville Fire Department in June 2006, when he was hired as a Reserve Firefighter. In the summer of 2008 he worked as a seasonal wildland firefighter with CalFire, thereafter rejoining Porterville Fire Department in the fall of 2008. He was hired as a temporary firefighter in November 2008 for a 1000-hour, limited term position, which led to him being selected as a full-time firefighter with the department in July of 2010.

Cody is known for his boundless energy, positive spirit, and his desire to complete any task quickly and in an efficient manner. In his free time, Cody is often involved in community service events, such as Shave the Brave, Fill the Boot, and the Porterville Firefighters Association’s Chili Cook-off. He also volunteers as a percussion instructor at Granite Hills High School.

When asked to describe his favorite aspect of his job, Cody says that it is a pleasure to serve the community that has given him so much, and he enjoys the camaraderie of working with his captain and fellow shift members.
JavierSanchezCity of Porterville
August 2012 Employee of the Month
Javier Sanchez
Public Works Department

The department directors of the City of Porterville have chosen Javier Sanchez, the Assistant City Engineer, as the Employee of the Month for August 2012.

Javier was chosen to be recognized because he played a major roll in the City's success in securing our FHWA funds for the Plano Street Bridge Project.

Javier began working for the City in March 2008. His duties include managing federal-aid capital improvement projects and enforcing various codes and regulations.

Javier serves on the advisory board for the Academy of Engineering at Harmony Magnet.

He enjoys exercising, spending time with family, and mentoring students and interns. He is married to Yuri and they have three children.
VetsDayRun2010044City of Porterville
July 2012 Employee of the Month
Howard Muzuki
Community Planning & Development Department

The City of Porterville is pleased to announce the selection of Howard Mizuki as our Employee of the Month for July 2012.  Howard’s selection was based on his ability to complete major projects, his flexibility to change, participation as a team player, and his success in achieving cooperation from his co-workers under what is, often, stressful conditions.

Howard began his career with the City in 1994 as a Water Systems Specialist.  In 1998 he was promoted to Administrative Analyst and currently coordinates the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) efforts.

Howard was instrumental in installation of the Automated Permits and Inspections software.  Other areas of responsibility include coordinating, Technical Support to Community Development, Training staff and documenting technical procedures for the department.

Howard is an avid golfer and works hard to remain physically fit. He is consistently among the top scorers in Fitness Incentive testing.

Howard and his wife, Paidge, have lived in Porterville since 1989, raised three daughters and have four grandchildren.
EmployeePhotos027City of Porterville
June 2012 Employee of the Month
Janie Rodriguez
Finance Department

Competent and conscientious with a keen commitment to accuracy can best describe June’s employee of the month, Janie Rodriguez.  Janie joined the City’s Finance Department in November 2005, as an Account Clerk II.  She was soon reclassified to Account Clerk III and thereafter promoted to Accountant I in 2008, the position she holds today.

Janie received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of LaVerne in 2006.  She has a lot on her plate as her responsibilities include preparing journal entries, quarterly financial reports and monthly Revenue & Expenditure reports.  She conducts the accounts payable audit and provides back-up support to both A/P and Payroll.  She is responsible for the First Time Home Buyer loan payment reconciliation as well as Agreement payments.  Janie is a valuable assistant to the Finance Director, especially during preparation of the annual CAFR and Budget.

Janie has been married to Jerry for twelve years.  They have two children, Lily, 12, and Erik, 7.  She loves exercise and walks and rides her bike.  Her favorite past-time is spending time with her family and she enjoys a good novel when she makes the time.  Janie also loves going to Las Vegas; however, she spends her time watching others lose their money—not hers!
eotmapril2012005City of Porterville
April 2012 Employee of the Month
Sarah Cardoza
Administrative Services Department

Department Directors for the City of Porterville have chosen Sarah Cardoza as the Employee of the Month for April 2012.  Sarah works as an Administrative Analyst in the Human Resources Division of the Administrative Services Department and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services/Business Management.

As an HR Administrative Analyst, Sarah is responsible for the daily administration of employee health and retirement benefits.  This includes assisting in the evaluation of contracts, renewals, and plan revisions; coordinating dissemination of plan information; overseeing claims administration; and keeping apprised of changes in applicable state and federal law.  Another of Sarah’s responsibilities includes assisting in employer/employee relations and the collective bargaining process with five of the six employee associations.  Sarah is the go-to person for compiling and analyzing data, and has worked diligently in preparing comprehensive MOUs for each of the units.  If that wasn’t enough to keep Sarah busy, she also assists with managing employee leave, developing and conducting supervisor training sessions, and serving as back-up personnel for Workers Compensation benefits administration.   When asked to describe her favorite aspect of her job, Sarah says that she loves the necessity of being a lifetime learner, as she is required to stay on top of ever-changing labor laws.  She also is appreciative of her job and the relationships she has established with her co-workers.

Sarah is a consummate professional who is passionate about her job.  Time and time again she tackles the most challenging assignments and executes them with proficiency and diligence.  She is a tremendous asset to the Administrative Services Department, not to mention the City.

Sarah was born in Visalia, and lived there until she met and married her soldier, Darin.  In 2002, they moved to Fort Drum, New York, where she lived while Darin was deployed in Afghanistan.  In 2004, she and Darin returned to Visalia, which is where they currently reside with their two beautiful daughters, Sophia, who will be 5 years old next month, and Makayla, who is 8 ½ months old.  When she is not serving the City of Porterville, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, hosting summer BBQs, and vacuuming her house with her coveted Rainbow vacuum to keep it spotless.  Yes, vacuuming! 
debCity of Porterville
March 2012 Employee of the Month
Debbie Salter
City Manager's Office

Debbie has worked in a few different departments in the City, but considers it all to be the same team. She began her career with the City of Porterville in 1999, working in the Finance Department as the assistant to the Purchasing Agent. This position gave her a good overview of the City since she helped purchase items for, and had contact with, all the different departments. In June 2000, she transferred to the Police Department, assigned to the Patrol Division. The seven years she worked there gave her a unique insight into the workings of the Police Department and you would be hard pressed to find someone who is more “pro law enforcement.”

Debbie accepted the position of Secretary to the City Manager in September 2007. This position has provided her with an opportunity to further expand her knowledge of City functions and municipal government (as well as the Brown Act).

Debbie endeavors to have a positive impact on those she comes in contact with and believes every citizen of Porterville is our customer and deserves attentive, quality service. 

Debbie is married to Steve, has a son Larry (and daughter-in-law, Annette) and a daughter Missy (and son-in-law, Joe). She also has two “furry girls” that she adores: Mika, a Lab mix, and Maddie, a Goldendoodle.

Debbie enjoys humor, spending time with friends, traveling, and walking her dogs. She also ardently cares about animals and would love to see the building of the animal shelter in Porterville given top priority.
yulianaCity of Porterville
February 2012 Employee of the Month
Yuliana Andrade
Parks & Leisure Services Department - Library

Yuliana Andrade was first introduced to public library work through the CSET Youth Program in 2005. After that program ended, Yuli was hired on as a part-time Library Aide in June of 2006. In March of 2011, she was chosen to fill a full-time Library Assistant position.

Yuli is a team player and is willing to flex her schedule as necessary to help other divisions in her department with activities like Step-Up events, Kid’s Day, and Junior Giants Baseball. She is actively involved in programming inside and outside the library. Yuliana has conducted several presentations for Homework Help, assisted staff with school visits to promote Summer Reading programs, and has conducted library tours.  She organized and promoted our 2011 Banned Book Week. Yuli uses her bilingual skills to help connect with and serve our Hispanic population.

Yuliana has a pleasant outgoing personality and gets along well with her co-workers.  She eagerly takes on new responsibilities as assigned. Yuliana is currently assisting staff in conducting monthly computer classes for the public and has received many positive compliments from the students. Yuliana performs with a high level of energy and contributes extra efforts in all aspects of her assignments.  She was asked to meet with co-workers for cross training of library duties and exceeded our expectations by completing this task ahead of schedule.

Yuliana is committed to professional development and has completed many Info-People online training sessions. She is currently taking online classes through the State Center Community College District to attain her Library Technology Certificate.  Besides being a dedicated Library staff member by fulfilling her assigned duties and responsibilities, Yuli goes above and beyond by promoting the Library in new ways and accepting the associated work into her routine. Her most recent success is the Library’s Facebook page.  Within just a few months of creation, the Porterville Library’s Facebook page had more likes than Tulare County Library’s Facebook page and Tulare City Library’s Facebook page combined.  In order to keep postings current and responses timely, she sometimes manages the content from home on her own time.

Yuli is an excellent example of investing in individuals when hiring employees for the City. When our individual employees, like Yuli, are successful, their respective teams, divisions, and departments are on the road to success. Our City organization will prosper greatly when we invest in and reap the rewards of employees like Yuliana.
markknox_000City of Porterville
January 2012 Employee of the Month
Officer Mark Knox
Porterville Police Department

Department Directors for the City of Porterville have selected Officer Mark Knox as the Employee of the Month for January 2012.

Mark Knox came to work for the Porterville Police Department in May of 2002, after beginning his career with the Woodlake Police Department in 2000.

Mark was selected as Police Officer of the Year in 2003.

Mark has worked in a variety of assignments at the police department, which included time as an officer in the Patrol Division.  Mark worked three years as the DUI Enforcement Officer and to date has made over 1,100 arrests of individuals driving a motor vehicle while impaired.

Mark worked three years in the Special Investigations Unit where he investigated narcotics cases and gang investigations.  He was involved in a multi-agency gang investigation in the city of Porterville that concluded in 2008 with the arrests of over 50 individuals and the service of 25 search warrants.

In 2008, Mark was assigned to the Officer-In-Charge Program, where he became the supervisor in the absence of the shift Sergeant.

In 2010, Mark became the supervisor of the School Resource Officers, the Explorer Program, and the GREAT Program taught by Officer Mariko Williams. Mark spends several extra hours each week overseeing these programs, and donates hours to the Explorer Program each time they work details at Pebble Beach.

The police department recently tapped Mark’s past experience in landscaping to assist in the planning and installation of the irrigation system at the new police shooting range which now has over 1½ acres of sprinkler system.

Mark makes his home in Visalia with his dog, JD. Mark spends much of his free time doing outdoor activities including camping, hunting, and fishing.

Mark is a highly-valued member of the Porterville Police Department and a role model for young officers to emulate. He comes to work everyday with the mindset of doing the best job possible and making a difference through his work for our community.

2011

caroline1123City of Porterville
December 2011 Employee of the Month
Caroline Thomason
Laboratory, Public Works Department

Caroline Thomason started working for the City of Porterville nine years ago as a Lab Attendant. Caroline has since obtained Lab Analyst Grade 2 and Environmental Compliance Inspector Grade 1 certifications and is currently a Lab Technician II.

Caroline is a hard working, diligent employee who uses her time management skills and knowledge efficiently to get the laboratory samples analyzed on time. She runs tests on the sophisticated laboratory testing equipment and has had a large role in running the laboratory’s proficiency testing samples this year. Caroline is detail oriented and maintains laboratory maintenance logs and quality control charts for each procedure used in the lab. She collects and analyzes samples from our industrial dischargers. Caroline has a very good rapport with the laboratory clients who come in with their samples or to ask questions regarding their water.

Caroline has received her AA degree at Porterville College and is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Resource Management. Caroline said she enjoys challenging herself in school as she works toward her degree which is relevant to her job, and she is able to apply her water knowledge with her environmental studies.

When not working or studying, Caroline enjoys riding dirt bikes and quads, camping, shooting, and watching movies.

Caroline is married to David and they have a 7-year-old daughter, Miranda.
mhildrethCity of Porterville
November 2011 Employee of the Month
Lieutenant Mike Hildreth
Porterville Fire Department

Mike Hildreth was born in Redlands, California, and has lived in the Porterville area for approximately 37 years, growing up in Success Valley.  He attended Citrus South Tule Elementary School, Pioneer Jr. High School, Porterville High School, and Porterville College.

Mike began his career with the City of Porterville in 1998 when he was hired as a Reserve Firefighter.  In 1999 he became a full-time Firefighter with the department, and has worked his way through the ranks to his current position of Lieutenant.  In addition to his officer duties, Mike is also charged with developing and administering Wildland Firefighting Training to all shift personnel on an annual basis.  Mike also oversees the Reserve Firefighter Program.  As Reserve Program Coordinator, Mike is responsible for overseeing the recruitment and testing of all new Reserves, conducting the City’s in-house Reserve Academy, developing and administering monthly training sessions, and providing general supervision of the Reserves’ training program.

When asked to describe his favorite aspect of his job, Mike says that assisting members of the public when they are in need is very rewarding.  He also enjoys the camaraderie of working with his engine company, as well as training and drills to sharpen his skills and stay current with new life safety procedures and techniques.

Mike has been married to Patrice for eight years.  Together they have two beautiful daughters:  Logan, who will be five years in December, and Regan, who will be two years in February.  When not being utilized as a jungle gym by his girls, Mike enjoys golfing, cycling, and weight training.

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