Pasco County employees that went the extra, extra mile to help residents and county government adapt to the challenges posed by COVID-19 were honored in a resolution adopted by the Pasco County Commission last week.
Commissioners approved the selection of the county’s 2020 Star Performers of the Year — chosen as the “best of the best” by county administration.
County Administrator Dan Biles said the award winners are among a multitude of county employees who went beyond the call of duty to provide needed services during 2020.
Those singled out for special recognition were:
- Todd Curci, Star Performer of the Year
- Tambrey Laine, Star Leader of the Year
- Pasco Community Cares Team, Star Team of the Year
Their contributions were outlined in a video presented during the Jan. 26 board meeting.
Curci was credited with helping the county to use technology, to adjust to restricted working conditions imposed by COVID-19. He helped employees not only to work remotely, but also to collaborate and to have staff meetings. He also helped elected officials to conduct their business via remote, then hybrid sessions.
“Todd tirelessly provided the necessary support and training across the organization, as we successfully transitioned to a remote work model,” the video said. “Additionally, Todd assisted teams across the organization, in hosting their WebEx meetings, including board meetings, team leadership meetings and Citizens Academy meetings.
“This volume of work included more than 75 meetings and over 200 hours of individual support time,” the video said.
Laine, who leads the county’s Media Relations & Communications team has created what is essentially Pasco County’s own newsroom, according to the video.
Laine’s department also helps get the word out through a variety of channels, including news releases, videos and news alerts. Her department completed more than 1,000 media contacts last year, and produced more than 100 videos.
Since 2017, it has helped increase the county’s social media following by nearly 50%.
The department also has established the county administrator’s podcast, has created a video about human resource benefits, has provided support messaging for census efforts and has shared news about everything from major projects to updates on COVID-19 vaccine efforts.
The Pasco Community CARES Team has been the conduit for distributing millions of dollars in federal funds provided through the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act, to Pasco County residents in need of assistance.
As the video put it: “Faced with the nation’s biggest health challenge in more than 100 years, many in our community lost jobs, and quickly ran out of money to pay bills and buy basic necessities.
It took a small army of county staffers, from nine different departments, to handle the massive workload.
“The Pasco Community CARES team served several thousand people, paying out more than $4 million in much-needed aid, with compassion, respect and integrity,” the video says.
During the board meeting, the nine departments involved were represented by their team leaders: Brian Hoben, Manny Long, Lisa Stinnett, Danielle Bierman, Jessica Bleser, Marcy Esbjerg, Kristina McGonigal, and Samantha Grahn and Laine.
Administrator Biles also said he would be remiss if he failed to mention the instrumental role that the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller’s Office played in the CARES Act efforts, and he wanted to be sure they received proper credit.
County commissioners also heaped on some praise.
“I think the county has just been remarkable in these trying times,” Commissioner Kathryn Starkey said. “Gosh, sitting here last year, who would have thought we’d have a year like this?”
Commissioner Jack Mariano said Curci’s persistence and expertise helped the county adapt, but also has set it up for the future.
“I think the county is going to benefit for many, many years to come, with the efficiencies of using technology,” Mariano said.
He also singled out Cathy Pearson, assistant county administrator for public services, for her leadership of the CARES’ team efforts.
“What you did for this community was phenomenal,” Mariano said.
Published February 03 ,2021
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