Williamson County recognized its Employees of the Year and Project Team of the Year for 2023 during the Commissioners Court meeting today. The award recipients were selected by a committee with 29 nominations over five categories.
For the category of Exceptional Customer Service, Julie Wassink, information and technology services system administrator, was the recipient. Her nomination said Julie is always quick to respond and provides excellent customer service. She delivers results in a timely manner and is always available for questions, even when those questions do not pertain to a project she is currently working on. Julie’s dedication to the county and willingness to tackle and resolve issues is rare to find. Julie is very pleasant, easy to talk to, and a joy to work with. No project is too difficult or extensive for her.
Rebecca Rodriguez, administrative services director for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, received the award for Professional Leadership. Rebecca was described in her nomination as “the glue that holds together the largest department within the county.” Rebecca is involved in many different areas in the Sheriff’s Office including employment decisions, policy management, all risk-related matters, and so much more. Rebecca deals with intense and sometimes traumatic situations but handles all duties with poise, professionalism, discretion and grace. She is always available and responds immediately regardless of the time of day. Her leadership is professional and consistent.
Christi Stromberg, facilities management director, received the Wilco Way Award for managers. The nomination for Christi praised her for stepping up to ensure customers and staff did not experience a lag in service or support during staffing challenges. She works closely with departments to avoid overruns of funds and makes sure work is completed in a timely manner within governmental regulations, even in emergency situations. Christi works all day, every day to improve processes, complete tasks and keep her team and others moving in a positive direction.
Anastacia Alvarez, a detective for internal affairs within the Sheriff’s Office, received the Wilco Way Award for Non-managers. Her nomination said Anastacia shows an extreme level of compassion for employees and citizens. From meeting citizens off-site to checking on employee welfare during an investigation, her genuine compassion and friendly demeanor puts others at ease, even in stressful situations. Detective Alvarez spends extra time speaking with employees and citizens to help them understand the investigative process. She has been instrumental in the success of weekly check-ins of employee welfare for those on administrative leave. Detective Alvarez gives employees a voice and provides issues they raise to the chain of command during disciplinary reviews. She has been invaluable to her supervisors and peers.
The Project Team of the Year went to the Purchasing Origination Application Project. Team members include Julie Wassink with Information Technology Services, Ashlie Holladay with the Budget Office, Holly Jung from Human Resources, Tomika Lynce with the County Auditor’s Office, Brenda Fuller from Purchasing, Abigail Taylor with the Corrections Bureau of the Sheriff’s Office, Benita Bonner from the Parks Department Shelley Loughrey from Benefits, Sara Greer from the County Auditor’s Office and Jody Cook with the County Auditor’s Office. This team created the Purchasing Origination Application workflow. This allows end-users to use the Sharepoint form to send requests to approval groups set up with multiple authorized employees and creates a repository for associated documents. Requests can potentially be approved in minutes instead of days, providing a faster and more efficient purchasing process.
Award recipients were recognized at the Commissioners Court meeting on August 22, 2023. The Employee of the Year award recipients also received an engraved plaque and a check for $500. The Project Team of the Year winners each received an engraved insulated cup and a team lunch with Judge Gravell at a later date. Funding for the program comes from proceeds from county vending machines.