Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Employee Achievement Awards

Again this year we recognized some of the employees that went far beyond their basic job and achieved great things. Every year for the last three years we have had this awards program. These individuals were nominated by their co-workers and selected by a cross-functional committee of NVRPA employees out of a great field of nominees.

2007 Employee Achievement Awards

Anthony (Tony) Blevins

In the category of Safety, Tony and his staff have a perfect record for 2007. Tony consistently places a high priority on the public’s health and safety. His considerable knowledge was instrumental in the development of the NVRPA Pesticide and Fertilizer Use policy, which will improve the health and safety of all NVRPA parks.

Benjamin (Ben) Bilko

In the category of Safety, Ben has brought a determined focus on aquatic safety to Cameron Run. Under his leadership, the lifeguard staff at Cameron Run achieved their highest rating from NASCO. Ben has taken a hands-on approach to his job, working with customers and staff to create an atmosphere of safety for everyone.

Daryl Adams

In the categories of Safety and Cost Savings, Daryl has developed a preventive maintenance program for all Park Authority fleet vehicles. He has also gone into great detail in correcting any safety problems with the Park Authority fleet, minimizing the likelihood of any accidents. The maintenance program will save the Park Authority money in the long term and improve safety for NVRPA staff.

John (Matt) Woods

In the categories of Programming and Above-and-Beyond, Matt created new interpretive trails for Ball’s Bluff Battlefield. He also worked with volunteers and graphic artists to create a series of new interpretive signs that tell the story of the battle with much more detail and accuracy. Matt also developed a detailed map of the trail. All of this was done in addition to Matt’s duties at Temple Hall Farm, and included a considerable amount of Matt’s personal time.

Richard Bailey

In the categories of Innovation and Programming, Rich planned, coordinated and implemented the development of a wall-sized educational mural in the nature center auditorium. He worked with the Arlington Alliance to get volunteers to draw the template for the mural. He also created a wall-sized mosaic of the earth and the moon on the outside of the nature center. Rich has organized field trips for the Junior Naturalist camp, including a trip to property owned by his parents on the Chesapeake Bay, culminating in rave reviews as well as a number of new and/or improved programs for different age groups.

Bryan McFerren

In the categories of Cost Savings and Innovation, Bryan changed the fairway turf at Algonkian Golf Course to Bermuda grass. This change will significantly reduce the chemicals and maintenance needed on the fairways. The result of this change is an improved golf course, less environmental impact, and tens of thousands of dollars in annual cost savings. Bryan also achieved the “Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Certification” for Brambleton and Algonkian Golf Courses. This accomplishment makes NVRPA the only park agency to achieve this level of environmental excellence in the mid-Atlantic states.

John Moore

In the categories of Versatility and Above-and-Beyond, John has shown a wonderful “can do” attitude. John has also shown great leadership in making improvements to Temple Hall’s Corn Maze. John was instrumental in working with the extension service to support “Ag Day” at Temple Hall, an event that educated over 800 children about agriculture. He works during his off-hours with the Loudoun County Fair Board and the Loudoun County 4-H program. John lives at Temple Hall Farm, which requires him to be on call 24 hours.

Alan Marshall

In the category of Versatility, Alan has stepped in whenever needed to maintain the equipment at Algonkian Golf Course, even though he was not hired as a mechanic. Alan has voluntarily taken on this task, which in turn has saved money because of less down time. Alan has also taken the time to create a service plan worksheet for all maintenance equipment at Algonkian, which helps with preventative maintenance. This service also prolongs the overall life of the equipment fleet at Algonkian.

Robert Croson

In the category of Versatility, Robert is the gardener for Brambleton Golf Course, but serves in many other capacities. Robert demonstrated his carpenter abilities by building a new staircase leading up to a forward tee at Brambleton. Because of the new stairs, golfers can safely proceed up and down from the tee during all types of weather.

Chris Marshall

In the category of Versatility, Chris has taken great initiative in obtaining certifications and in learning and performing all aspects of equipment repair. Chris has been with the Park Authority less than two (2) years and is now a Certified Chemical Applicator Technician. Chris is the first park maintenance worker to earn this certification, which helps free time for staff supervisors to perform other tasks. Chris has also learned how to make repairs to the irrigation system and to the mowing equipment.

Mark Brooks

In the categories of Versatility and Innovation, Mark fabricated and designed the surf- board signs, which helped the Cameron Run Pool concession be as successful as it was last year. Mark’s contribution was key to making the Holiday Village a success this year by using his great skills to make our yurts meet fire code and also have central heat. Santa could not have done his job this year, if Mark had not been such a skilled and creative carpenter.

Jonelle Bailey

In the category of Versatility, Jonelle led numerous improvements at the Bull Run Special Events Center including revised applications and contracts, and redesigned the Holiday Village. Jonelle has also updated all of Bull Run’s forms, and all of this while learning an entire new park system and providing exceptional customer service.

Everett (Jack) Shepherd

In the categories of Team Player and Above-and-Beyond, Jack saw the potential and took the initiative to create a scenic overlook at Occoquan Regional Park. Jack often comes in on his days off to check on projects or to help out with special events at the park. Jack also helps the new Rangers and teaches them about proper work ethics. Jack truly has a special passion for Occoquan Regional Park that benefits all members of the public who use this park.

Doug Radoye

In the category of Team Player, Doug exemplifies the best qualities of someone who helps others. Doug has shown great initiative in identifying and solving electrical problems throughout the NVRPA system. In 2006 and 2007, Doug’s contribution was key to the success of the Bull Run Light Show, making sure we had power everywhere we needed it for the light displays and Holiday Village.

Susan Chidakel

In the categories of Team Player and Above-and-Beyond, Susan has helped all parks and departments with her great service to internal customers. Over the last couple of years, the budget process has changed substantially and has become much more transparent, user friendly and useful. Throughout these changes, Susan has worked to communicate with park managers, made sure all the changes were well understood, and also ensured that the information in the budgets was presented in a manner that was helpful to managers.

Thomas (Tom) Carr

In the category of Team Player, Tom has been instrumental in the many operational changes to how the Brambleton Golf Course is being maintained. Tom’s knowledge and expertise have played a critical role in the many improvements to the Brambleton Golf Course over the last year.

David Langhorne

In the category of Team Player, Dave has shown great skills in repairing equipment, advising others on what equipment to purchase in the future, and applying his knowledge to a wide variety of other issues. Dave has regularly gone beyond his job as a mechanic and used his skills and expertise on very concrete projects at Central Maintenance.

Derric Bolton

In the category of Team Player, Derric works tirelessly to ensure that our pools and parks are safe operations for the public and staff. Derric was instrumental in developing a new Pesticide and Fertilizer Use Policy for NVRPA that positions our agency as a national environmental leader. Derric assists every park with a wide range of operational issues, making him one of our most significant team players.

Cynthia (Cindy) Hudson

In the category of Above-and-Beyond, Cindy continues to provide outstanding customer service to staff. She manages every conceivable human resource issue, and is dedicated to helping all staff understand the full range of benefits and options available to them. In 2007, Cindy researched and implemented a health savings plan, which will provide a new and valuable benefit to many employees. She has also worked closely with the Human Resources Committee of the Park Authority Board to develop and review a wide variety of human resource policies and to ensure NVRPA’s policies represent the best current views on these subjects.

David (Dave) Fellers

In the category of Above-and-Beyond, Dave continues to make great contributions to the public with his stewardship of the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail. He builds bridges and water bars, clears fallen trees, installs and maintains trail signs and removes trash along this 17.5-mile trail. He often spends his personal time dealing with all sorts of trail matters, and he does all of this so that the public can enjoy the true beauty of nature.

Rebecca (Becky) Reynaldo

In the category of Above-and-Beyond, Becky has proven her extraordinary skills over and over in the oversight of NVRPA’s finances. Becky’s attention to detail has been a major factor in the clean audits and complimentary comments the Authority has received from the auditors over the last few years.

Kathryn (Kate) Irwin

In the categories of Innovation and Customer Service, Kate has shown great leadership in initiating and running a recycling program for the whole agency, dealing with printer cartridges and cell phones. She was also instrumental in setting up the paper, plastic and metal recycling program at Pohick Bay Golf Course. These programs significantly reduced the waste in our park and go a long way towards making Pohick Bay Golf Course, and NVRPA as a whole, a greener operations facility. Kate’s environmentalism has also extended to the outreach and education efforts that are part of the Audubon International Certification for Pohick Bay Golf Course.

Jake Bumbrey

In the Customer Service category, Jake provides great service to all our parks by helping the staff manage a wide range of construction contracts. Jake provides this valuable service with great good will and a “can do” attitude. In 2007, Jake was instrumental in overseeing a number of critical contracts that needed to be done to have another successful Light Show and Holiday Village at Bull Run Special Events Center. Jake makes sure NVRPA receives a good value from our contractors, and that the park staff is satisfied with the end product.

Kelly Weddington

In the category of Customer Service, Kelly has made dealing with the public a specialty that she excels at. While at Headquarters working as the Receptionist/Reservationist, Kelly handled an enormous volume of calls from the public, while helping to implement and start the use of a new website and reservation system. Kelly’s outstanding example of excellent customer service contributed to her promotion to Park Ranger at Temple Hall Farm, where she has already made great contributions.

James (Jim) Short

In the category of Customer Service, Jim has dedicated himself to improving the experience for all users at Sandy Run. His supervision of the regattas at Sandy Run has received numerous compliments from the general public and rowing community. When faced with challenges, Jim has consistently worked with those members of the public in a professional and polite manner until their issue was resolved, providing a model for all those around him to follow.

Katherine (Kathy) Brooks

In the category of Customer Service, Kathy serves a vital role in assisting our internal park operations customers. She handles a very large number of public contacts and internal issues and does so in a very helpful and courteous manner. Kathy takes great pride in her responsibilities and carries them out skillfully and with great efficiency.

MVP (2)


Dennis Charlton has forever changed the way we look at food service in our parks, from a low priority snack bar to a central, value-added service we can provide our customers. Dennis saved the Authority over $100,000 in the first few months of work by renegotiating contracts. Through his leadership, both the quality and profitability of our food service operations have dramatically improved. Just at Cameron Run, Dennis increased food sales by 38% during the summer of 2007. The dynamic team of Dennis Charlton and Scott Boger helped make 2007 one of the most successful years in NVRPA’s history.


For having such a positive and “can do” attitude in whatever he was working on, Scott Boger set a great example for all those he worked with. Scott has set a new high bar for customer service, far exceeding the expectations of our customers at Cameron Run, Temple Hall Farm, the Bull Run Light Show and everywhere else he worked. The dynamic team of Scott Boger and Dennis Charlton helped make 2007 one of the most successful years in NVRPA’s history.



Applying his 34 years of experience in park operations, Paul has helped transform the Park Authority in a very profound way. In his role as Director of Operations, he listens to and coaches Park Managers, his two Superintendents and other staff members. There is probably not an employee at NVRPA, who has not benefited from Paul’s knowledge and wisdom in some way. During the last several years, Paul has fostered a renewed entrepreneurial spirit at our organization. From the Holiday Light Show at Bull Run to the theming and marketing of our pools and water parks, Paul has played a major role in making our facilities more popular than ever before. In 2007, no one has contributed more to the success of NVRPA than Paul McCray.

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