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RivCoParks Recognitions
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Submit your nominations for Shining Star recognitions - click this green box.

ARCHIVES
2022-2023 Monthly Shining Star Awards
September 2023
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Employee of the Month

Mike Van Daele

 

In the last two months Mike has taken on the task of restriping all of the roadways in the park. Not only did he start the project but he expanded it as he went through and trained other staff to utilize the tools so the task can be repeated long into the future. Originally, the task was to just do the center stripes on the entrance road and a few of the parking lots. As he got more confident he adapted and took on the entire park including getting some templates and redoing the 'stop' signs on the road and some of the directional arrows. He did all of this work in and around the other tasks he's required to do as Ranger. The results have been excellent and the park looks better for it.

Employee of the Month

Shawn Huggard

 

Shawn is an excellent communicator and leader in the District. When he's not covered in mud, eyes sparkling behind a face caked in mud from augering holes and finding solutions to big District problems with his team, He can be found responding to queries for advice from staff from Blythe to the Mountain Parks to downtown. He is very willing to share advice and wisdom. Not only that, he delivers outstanding solutions and gets things done. A true Jack of all Trades, without sacrificing talent and skill.

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Volunteer of the Month

Paul Lanhardt

After volunteering for the Santa Rosa Plateau for several years, Paul recently began volunteering with the MSHCP Unit. Even in that short period of time Paul has helped the Unit tremendously by hiking remote areas of our conservation land that are very hard to access. Paul preplans his trips and reports back his findings which helps the MSCHP as an extra set of boots on the ground. Although Paul is a volunteer, Paul has the mindset and work ethic of RivCo Parks Ranger. Paul has already hiked many miles checking remote potions of RCA lands, including hiking to the far flung Bishop and Sierra Bella properties to sign their remote boundaries. Paul also found a shooting area in a hard to reach canyon of the Olsen Canyon property, which prompted MSHCP rangers to go and block access to the shooting range. Paul's work with the Unit is much appreciated and we hope he chooses to continue the great work!

August 2023
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Employee of the Month

Martha Carmona - SARB

 

Since joining RivCoParks, Martha has been an outstanding team member and leader. She has taken on numerous roles and responsibilities in the SARB unit and in Bus Ops. Recently, Martha was able to create a District-wide trail map that included dozen of miles of trails in Open-Space and Regional Parks. She also maps all of our facilities and including nature centers and campgrounds. During this project, she showed that she is capable of Networking with all of the District site supervisors and express Teamwork to get this project done in a timely manner. Martha is truly deserving of the employee of the month award

Volunteer of the Month

Annabel Casas - Lake Skinner

 

Annabel has been a great teammate and take time to help out whenever she can. She is always asking if anyone need anything from the store while she is out of the park. She exceeded expectation when just recently we Lost power at Lake Skinner, and she jump into action to remind Camp host with pet the electricity was out. She even saved the life of the oldest pet in the park. And if that pet could talk, she would thank her so much. Annabel went over to Camp host 275 house and open window after find out they where out of the area and would not get back in time. our heart are super grateful for her.

July 2023
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Employee of the Month

David Ledbetter

Dave Ledbetter has been invaluable for his knowledge of the park operations and policies. He can be counted on to help others when needed. He takes the time to show staff various ways to be more efficient in daily routine. He has a tremendous work ethic. Dave has been a truly outstanding teammate.

June 2023
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Employee of the Month

Andy Mick

 

Andy Mick is a real team player and goes above and beyond his normal duties. He is often seen multi-tasking and handling intake of customers 2 or 3 at a time, helping Rangers stripe parking lots and has volunteered to come in on his days off do to scheduling issues. Never complains and works hard.  Loves his job, shows up everyday. Really cares about the customers and representing Rivco Parks.

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Volunteer of the Month

Nick & Earlene Marron


Nick and Earlene are the father and daughter team who handle all of the cabin cleaning and linen ordering at the park. Through their tireless efforts the parks guests get a premium experience each and every time they visit. Nick and Earlene take great pride in the cabins and they love their job so not only do they keep the cabins shining they go about it with a smile and upbeat attitude.

May 2023
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Employee of the Month

Anna Sawyer 

Ana goes above and beyond her role in the natural resource division, lending out help whenever asked and even took the initiative to start a project on an endangered plant. She is a great park steward and role model in our NRM Division, and continues to do great things for our community.

Camphost of the Month

Josh Hankerd

Josh is a camp host who works the kiosk at Rancho Jurupa Park but more than that he is always watching the park and assisting in whatever way he can. Need someone to close the park at the last minute, Josh is your man. Need someone to open the park at the last minute, it's very likely Josh will be able to. He sees something happening in the park and he says something, helping the Rangers stay on top of 14 day stay violations and keeping an eye on things. He's been key in helping Rangers catch a few squatters in the park in the past as well. In the kiosk he's excellent with customer service and is always willing to go above and beyond to get a guest into the park. He is a key player in the park and the kiosk.

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Employee of the Month

Francisco Guzman 

Francisco takes pride in his work, which for him means there must be ALOT of pride. Whether its weed abatement, trash clean up, or assisting with habitat restorations, Francisco is always willing to dive in head first and work hard until the job is completed. His love for all animals, his hard work ethic, habit of going above and beyond, and his abilities to learn new tasks and about species has made him a very valued member of the MSHCP team.

April 2023
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Employee of the Month

Chris Sanchez 

A-sets goals and meets deadlines! works very hard!
C-connects with homeless individuals and offers services, finds out what they need help with, and connects them with the help/programs they need.
T-a natural team leader who respects everyone's input and style of work.
I-couldn't find a vendor to pick up scrap metal so found a new vendor who could get the job done.
O- answers calls from homeless individuals seeking help on his days off. He is ready to help those in need 24/7.
N-when he doesn't know the answer, he calls his contacts to figure out a solution or advice on how to handle the situation.
S-no matter how rushed or busy we get Sanchez finds the time to make meaningful interactions with community members

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Volunteer of the Month

Robert Dotta

Robert is the reliable, capable volunteer to support maintenance and trail patrol activities and assist new volunteers on these activities.  He does this with a calm demeanor that inspires teamwork and quick learning.  It is a joy to work with Robert and staff as we efficiently and intuitively get things done.

The Santa Rosa Plateau has nearly 40 miles of trails that have been closed for months due to wet conditions with overwhelming weed growth. SRP has one full time maintenance person, Blake Adam, to keep the trails clear of weeds and fallen or overgrown branches and trees, bridges repaired, and equipment repaired or replaced.  Robert is the lead volunteer, with a few others, to aid all these activities.

The Santa Rosa Plateau has thousands of acres or off-limit research areas dedicated to restoring wildlife.  Biologists and other staff visit these areas to evaluate conditions, identify and control invasive species, and manage trespassing humans.  Robert is the leading volunteer to assist them, recording locations via GPS, photos, and incident reports. He helps dissuade trespassers and mitigates their impacts, e.g., camps, fires, new human trails.

Employee of the Month 

Josh Knisbell 

I’m nominating him because he helps out, even though he’s a newer employee he helps out as much as he can and keeps the park safe. Always lets me know to reach to him if I need anything. Really happy he is part of the team. 

March 2023
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Employee of the Month

Robert Powell

Robert was especially helpful on a recent trip to Kabian. He stepped up and was able to assist a visitor with questions they had. If he didn't know the answer, he used his resources to get the information they needed.
Robert also literally got his hands dirty recently when a visitor got their truck stuck leaving Kabian after all the recent rains. Robert called around to DMT and MSR to see if they could help, however it would have been over an hour for them to arrive. Robert found a tow chain in his vehicle and was able to safely maneuver his truck, latch onto the stuck truck, and pull it out. Robert was calm and focused throughout the whole situation. The visitor was grateful for Robert’s assistance and willingness to go above and beyond. Instead of throwing in the towel and waiting, Robert took initiative.

Volunteer of the Month

Stephanie Wilson

Stephanie has been a volunteer at Rancho Jurupa for around a year and in that time has seen several personnel changes as well as a transition of the reservation software. She has done all of this with a great attitude. She's taken new staff under her wing and helped them learn how the park operates. She consistently remains positive when minor speed bumps arise with the new reservation system and has been outstanding at watching the park alongside the other hosts and rangers. She's helped create an atmosphere of teamwork and stability in the kiosk, through organizing potlucks with Lally and decorating the kiosk for Halloween and Christmas. She's an outstanding volunteer and a valued member of the kiosk team.

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Employee of the Month 

Paul Sanderson 

Paul is great employee who is constantly looking to assist other staff across the park. In the past few months, Paul has been instrumental in getting several quotes/options for the repair of the Gopher Hole AC.  He’s been involved in troubleshooting the main breaker to the park, and worked with a contractor to get the parks irrigation pump repaired and re-installed. He's communicated with all of those involved and made sure everyone was up to speed on where his projects were at. He's a vital member of the RJU Maintenance Team. 

February 2023
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Employee of the Month

Bridget Lawlor

Bridget often faces challenging situations with guests and the public, however always finds a way to rise above and beyond of what is expected of her. Despite being in her role for a short amount of time, she has embraced the chaos and has stepped in where needed. There is rarely a Saturday when the nature centers, open space and interp sites don’t see a lot of traffic. She is an exemplary employee and instantly responds to questions and problems.  She will routinely connect her staff with people who have ideas, answers, and sees projects through to their completion. She has also been a positive change agent who always does whatever it takes to move activities forward and provide outstanding service with each interaction she makes. She is building a cooperative working system that’s linking staff and departments together into a stronger, broader, and more supportive web of can-do successes. It's hard to believe that Bridget has only been with the Park District for around 6 months. She has jumped right in and shown herself to be a great fit on the RivCoParks team.

Employee of the Month

Jonathan Reinig

Putting it simply, Jonathan is a rockstar. He recently led several talks at the Wildlife Society Conference and is currently leading the District’s poppy efforts at Walker Canyon. He is a great park steward and role model in our NRM Division, and continues to do great things for our community.

January 2023
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Employee of the Month

Sonny Waldron

  • Connecting (They connect people to programs, services or places by reaching out.)

  • Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!)

  • Networking (They talk to people. Yes, that’s a good thing! They reach out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.)

  • Stewardship (They are good stewards of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean they help protect resources and educate others.)

Sonny is always taking the time to connect kids and adults to the park he loves. You can tell he has a real passion for educating the guests on all the wonderful wildlife the park has to offer.

Further when he gets questions, he doesn’t know the answer to he does research and reaches out to others that do know. I have seen guests recognize him and shout out that’s the guy that showed us the snake last time we were here. He is the face of the park; all the customers know him and have great things to say about him. He connects on a personal level with the volunteers and guests.

Sonny, RivCoParks is delighted to have an employee like you!  We appreciate your passion for our parks and for engaging families who visit us! Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

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Employee of the Month

Nori Gardner

  • Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)

  • Connecting (They connect people to programs, services, or places by reaching out.)

  • Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)

  • Innovation (Dang, they are smart! They come up with new ideas all the time!)

  • Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!)

  • Networking (They talk to people. Yes, that’s a good thing! They reach out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.)

  • Stewardship (They are good stewards of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean they help protect resources and educate others.)

As Senior Ranger she is a shining example for me to follow. She is a great mentor and has helped me too continually better myself. She points out areas of improvement that I need and praises me for what I have accomplished.

Nori always does what is best for the Parks. Returning guests tell me to tell her hello and how much they love the park.  She is a wonderful person to work with and just as wonderful inside and out!

Nori, RivCoParks is very lucky to have an AMAZING employee/mentor like you!  We appreciate your willingness to improve your staff and our parks.  You truly shine inside and out! Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

December 2022
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Employee of the Month

Annie Luciano

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)
Connecting (They connect people to programs, services, or places by reaching out.)
Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)
Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!)

Annie is always helpful when posed with even the most inane questions or requests. If she doesn't immediately know the answer, then she dives in and finds someone who does. She works hard to connect the right individuals to get things done and does so without complaint. She is a vital part of keeping things running smoothly at Park District HQ.

Annie, RivCoParks is very fortunate to have an employee like you!  We appreciate everything you do! Not only for Headquarters but for your RivCoParks team. Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

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Employee of the Month

Christina Sanchez

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)
Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)
Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!)

 

Shout out to Chris at Finance for always being helpful with payroll questions. She is very sharp and knowledgeable with payroll. She is very patient with field staff in helping fix our timesheets and to train us whenever its needed.

*Accomplishments - for getting our payroll done correctly and submitted on time


*Teamwork - for all the payroll resources you provide to staff and training when its needed            


*Outstanding Service - for always being available for payroll questions and always have an awesome attitude with employees

Christina, RivCoParks is so excited to have an employee like you!  We appreciate taking the time to ensure we get paid (Lol!) and taking the time to educate us on our timesheets! You are a true asset to the RivCoParks team. Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

Volunteer of the Month

Kim Boyer

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)

Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)
Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!)

 

Kimberly is a volunteer at Hurkey Creek, and she is one of our hardest workers!  Her laughter brightens everyone's day, and her work ethic is above reproach. She always does more than is expected or required.

 

Kimberly has stepped up and taken ownership of keeping roads and debris clear from our park roads following recent storms, continued re-planting trees (nearly 150 trees in the ground this year), and maintains her routine tasks of greeting guests, returning phone calls, booking reservations, and helping keep fire pits clean and level. 

Her peers have shared that they appreciate her hard work and the example she sets when helping onboard and train new hosts with the Rangers. For example, the roads and tree replanting are projects that are large volume projects that are a bit overwhelming when attacking on one's own, but she has held a positive attitude and maintained forward momentum on the jobs keeping us on track with her strong example and teamwork. She has done well working both independently and with groups of hosts and has made a significant dent in our winter plans which has allowed staff to remain on track with regular routine maintenance, customer service, and Camp Host/Park Expansion projects that are ongoing
 

Kim, we are delighted to have a volunteer like you. You set the example on going above and beyond and making others day for RivCoParks!  We appreciate everything you do!  Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

November 2022
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Employee of the Month

Loree Broderick

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)
Connecting (They connect people to programs, services, or places by reaching out.)
Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)
Innovation (Dang, they are smart! They come up with new ideas all the time!)
Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!)
Networking (They talk to people. Yes, that’s a good thing! They reach out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.)
Stewardship (They are good stewards of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean they help protect resources and educate others.)

Loree Broderick. What is there to say of how AMAZING She IS!!! Not only as our HR Rep yet also for helping to facilitate two cancer awareness events.  She makes every effort to assist district staff and provide each staff member attentive time and resources to help them out in their best interests.

Not only that she always takes time to keep morale up. Her office is a prime example of keeping on theme with the seasons but always keeps a great welcoming attitude. She makes sure she talks business but always leaves a smile on your face as you leave her office. You leave knowing she’s going to help you and makes you feel as if you mattered. Her heart shows in this regard.

The two events she coordinated with Breast Cancer Awareness and Prostate Cancer Awareness (i.e., Movember). She brought games, food, prizes, and all-around great time for these events. Not only were they informational, but it was also a great way to get the RivCoParks team back together to bring awareness and morale back. I can even hear her bell as I write this saying “IT” S RAFFLE TIME!”  Through these events she demonstrates her ability to multitask with deadlines, teamwork and by bringing us together and giving us another reason why she’s more than deserved this nomination. 

 

Loree Broderick, RivCoParks is delighted to have an employee like you! You are an Impeccable employee that RivCoParks has to offer. We appreciate everything you do! Not only for Headquarters but for others around you. Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

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Volunteer of the Month

Nola Columbaro

Connecting (They connect people to programs, services, or places by reaching out.)
Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)
Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!)
Networking (They talk to people. Yes, that’s a good thing! They reach out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.)

 

She is a volunteer at Gilman Ranch. She is a demonstration about how great she is. Always showing up on every 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month regardless come rain or shine. Not only is she punctual but her utilization of social media such as the Next-Door app does wonders for the ranch.

The number of attendees at Gilman Ranch have increased dramatically. Sometimes more than they can handle. Nola has taken the responsibility of inviting various vendors at events. This is a large responsibility because of paperwork and working with the personalities that go along with it.

Finally, she’s not only working these events, but she has also recruited her family members to come out and participate at these events too. And they are just as wonderful as she is!

 

Nola Columbaro, Gilman Ranch is delighted to have a volunteer like you. You are an exemplary volunteer for RivCoParks!  We appreciate everything you do!  Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

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Team of the Month

Archaeology Day Team

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)
Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)
Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!)

 

My coworkers at Hidden Valley Nature Center and Park Headquarters are wonderful to work with, a big thank you goes to those who are always showing up to help.

Bridget Lawlor, Sue Afflerbaugh, Samantha Dempster, Leslie Cattern, Harmony Tehrani, Alonna Medina, Eric Boor & David Macamay. Some of these team members are great not only here at Parks HQ but lend their help from time to time at Hidden Valley Nature Center.

To Eric boor who helps load and unloads. To Bridget, Sue, Samantha, Leslie, Harmony, and Alonna who help set up and tear down the EZ-Up canopy shelter, the big 8ft tables and boxes of goodies to give out and display. For David Macamay who helps by making sure If someone needs help and getting the help they need. While making sure he takes great photos that best represents us and capturing the moments of each event.

Our staff went the extra mile to make sure I had the help needed for me to do my job. I was able to greet and talk to guests throughout the day and offer information and goodwill to the public as planned.
 

This team really shows the parks spirit of getting down and dirty and making sure any event is a successful event. The saying goes “teamwork makes the dream work,” this quote encapsulates what they do and for that we thank you for it.  It's great to know there are staff who are willing to help, and they do so with a smile and a genuinely positive attitude.
 

We have awesome staff here at parks! Keep doing great work and thank you for helping your fellow workers too. These things you do are valued and appreciated!

Archaeology Day Team, RivCoParks is ecstatic to have a Team like all of you! You all are a wonderful team!   We appreciate everything you do! Thank you for being our SHINING STARS!

2021-2022
October 2022
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Employee of the Month

Rebeca Pena

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)
Connecting (They connect people to programs, services or places by reaching out.)
Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)
Innovation (Dang, they are smart! They come up with new ideas all the time!)
Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!)
Networking (They talk to people. Yes, that’s a good thing! They reach out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.)
Stewardship (They are good stewards of the County, RivCOParks, and the world! By this we mean they help protect resources and educate others.)

Rebeca was recently (very deservedly) promoted to our Recreation Coordinator and continues to excel in all the RivCoParks A.C.T.I.O.N.S. 

Rebeca is dependable and can always be counted on to handle situations that arise during events, many of which are unexpected and require in the moment critical decision making. Not to mention, she is quite innovative and is always thinking outside the box when things don't go as planned- for example, a power outage during a wedding! 

She is on top of her work and is diligent about reaching out to event holders to get all the information we need to make their event a success. She is committed to providing event holders with a professional and great experience, whether it’s a bride on their wedding day or a corporate meeting. 

Rebeca is willing to be flexible and adaptable, which was especially exemplified when she was asked to move from Guest Services to Events to fill staffing needs. She took on the assignment with a good attitude and without question. Since then, she has been instrumental in our Crestmore events team and has kept our busy calendar going even during shifting staff.

Everyone on the team appreciates her limitless knowledge of our park sites. There are quite literally very few questions she cannot answer about RivCoParks! Rebeca, we are soooo lucky to have such a dedicated and hard-working team member like you! You are so appreciated, thank you for all you do!!!!


Rebeca, Headquarters is lucky to have an exemplary employee like you. Thank you for stepping in where and when you are needed and your teamwork!  You have stepped into your new role with gusto, and we appreciate everything you do! Not only for Headquarters but for your coworkers too! Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!
 

Employee of the Month

Josh Rivera

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)

Connecting (They connect people to programs, services or places by reaching out.)

Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)

Innovation (Dang, they are smart! They come up with new ideas all the time!)

Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!)

Networking (They talk to people. Yes, that’s a good thing! They reach out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.)

Stewardship (They are good stewards of the County, RivCOParks, and the world! By this we mean they help protect resources and educate others.)

 

A little about Josh…

 

A while ago he was promoted to the new role of being a supervisor. Being a supervisor or any leadership role is not easy. Tackling current responsibilities as well as your own teams’ responsibilities is a tough challenge for anyone. Josh on the other hand went into this position headfirst like a champ. Like anything new, there will be tough times and mistakes. A good leader demonstrates an aptitude to learn from those mistakes. That’s where Josh fits in. Learning from tough and stressful times has made him and his team great for it. Nothing exemplifies the park spirit like being a team player and getting into the thick of it with your fellow coworkers. For that we thank you!

 

Josh, Open-Space needs a supervisor like you! To be an exemplary example of what a quality of a supervisor here what Riverside Parks has to offer. We appreciate everything you do! Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

September 2022
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Employee of the Month

Mary Ruth Johnson

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)

Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)

Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – Both outside and inside the organization)

 

She is an amazing employee!! She is always on duty to help with anything and anyone.  When there is low volunteer work, she puts her foot forward to help cover. She has a lot to do! Including having to manage the alerts that need to have the latest version of what’s going on.

On any particular day, week, or weekend there is a laundry list of what’s going on in the ecological reserve. Her tenacity and never give up attitude is something to be admired. With this amount of responsibility of maintaining volunteers and school sign ups. Nothing got her down.

She rose to the occasion and met each challenge at every turn. Whether it was COVID-19, Fires, and other unknown conditions. She did it all with a smile and upbeat attitude.  These are exemplary accomplishments of how she helps keep the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve going. Mary exemplifies the saying when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

 

Mary Ruth, Santa Rosa Plateau (SRP) is very fortunate to have an Outstanding employee like you!  You truly are an exemplary example of the quality of employee that RivCoParks has!  We appreciate everything you do and your continuous passion for SRP!  Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

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Employee of the Month

Paige Valdez

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)

Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)

Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – Both outside and inside the organization)

 

She is an amazing worker. Paige always puts her foot forward in getting work done. She also demonstrates patience when training. While she juggles many responsibilities, she finds the time to help and make sure her new fellow coworkers are doing the job right and paying attention to detail.

She is very knowledgeable and takes pride in her work and the tasks at hand.  She lends her talents to help Hurkey creek from time to time when needed. 

Paige, Idyllwild Park appreciates a worker like you!  You are an exemplary example of the quality of worker the RivCoParks has to offer. We appreciate you lending a helping hand. Not only for the park but for others around you. Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

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Volunteer of the Month

Sandra Rowell

She is an amazing volunteer. She has an amazing personality. Keeping an upbeat attitude. Being delightful to work with others. She exemplifies how punctuality is important to work and has never missed a day of work. Her qualities do not stop there.

She is a team player. Checking in on her fellow coworkers and stepping up when her fellow workers are either sick or on vacation. Come rain or shine we can count on Sandra to always give quality service when tasks need to be done. Being a team player with any job she is given and making sure the team is doing the work. All while maintaining a great work attitude.

Sandra Rowell, Lake Skinner needs a volunteer like you!  You are an exemplary example of the quality of a volunteer the RivCoParks has to offer. We appreciate everything you do! Not only for the park but for others around you. Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

August 2022
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Employee of the Month

Harmony Tehrani

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)

Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)

Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – Both outside and inside the organization)

 

A little about Harmony Tehrani. She works at the Hidden Valley Nature center and Wildlife Area. She stepped up big time. The State Natural Resources Agency Reached out about touring and hosting a roundtable at Hidden Valley. At every step of the way made sure there was space available, helped set up/tear down tables and chairs.  Showed our esteemed guest what Hidden Valley has to offer. Making an impression on the guests and how her passion for what she is doing is inspiring the next generation of Public Land Stewards. Being very attentive to the guests and all their needs and honestly being front and center and showing off that passion of hers.  This goes to show and exemplifies about initiative of the importance of such an agency visiting and showing impeccable level of professionalism about What Riverside Parks has to offer including our Nature Centers.

 

Harmony, RivCoParks is so lucky to have a hard worker like you! Your teamwork, work ethic, and Passion. All these qualities are what makes you AMAZING! Not only for the Reserve but for others around you. Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

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Volunteer of the Month

Maureen McFarland

Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)

Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – Both outside and inside the organization)

 

Recently there was a summer camp called “Fun in the Sun summer camp” this past year. Her exemplary work was noted by those who seen her. She was very friendly and helpful to those who needed her assistance. Her attitude was tremendous showing of what we have to offer and how the level of customer service. Even with the little campers making sure everyone is having a great time with each activity that was done. Helping to provide an excellent space for the campers to make memories and to show the level of service that we demonstrate here at Riverside County Parks.

Maureen, RivCoParks is so lucky to have a hard worker like you! Your teamwork, work ethic, and service. All these qualities are what makes you AMAZING! Not only for Hidden Valley but for others around you. Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

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Employee of the Month

Josh Spoon

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)

Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)

Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – Both outside and inside the organization)

Innovation (Dang, they are smart! They come up with new ideas all the time!)

Networking (They talk to people. Yes, that's a good thing! They reach out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.)

Stewardship (They are good stewards of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean they help protect resources and educate others.)

 

A little background on why Josh Spoon is deserved of this nomination. Covid as we know is still out here and rampant. With Covid putting a damper on everyone including staffing because of the risk of the exposure to catching the disease. Which has impacted our agency as most of everyone is aware. Including staffing for parks. Now where josh begins that he had to take up multiple jobs. For instance how he not only assisted in Hurkey Creek in their time of need while also maintaining his responsibilities at McCall. He exemplifies that no matter what befalls our park he is an exemplary part of the work force. For doing assignments that are not part of his job description and getting to the nitty gritty of job at these parks. For example where he was shoveling human excrement and going into the main sewer line not once, but twice! In the rain nonetheless. Another one would be chipping branches from downed trees, even a hazardous downed tree by a camp host site. Not only does he work hard he also comes in his day off to help, because he understands the need for work and working with a team. All with a can do attitude, even working in human excrement his attitude did not falter. Always keeping a high smile while doing tough jobs goes to show the character of individual especially in tough times as stated above.

 

Josh, RivCoParks is so lucky to have a hard worker like you! Your teamwork, work ethic, and ingenuity. All these qualities are what makes you AMAZING! Not only for Hurkey Creek but for others around you. Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

July 2022
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Employee of the Month

Mike Herman

Accomplishments (He gets stuff done!)

Connecting (He connects people to programs, services, or places by reaching out.)

Teamwork (He help others and is RESPECTFUL!)

Innovation (Dang, he is smart! He comes up with new ideas all the time!)

Outstanding Service (He will go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – Both outside and inside the organization)

Networking (He talks to people. Yes, that's a good thing! He reaches out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.)

Stewardship (He is a good steward of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean he helps protect resources and educate others.)

 

Mike Herman has been an AMAZING supervisor! His leadership skills continue to grow as he is challenged with multiple issues, customer complaints, COIVD guidelines, etc. He can communicate organizational needs and walks the talk himself to ensure they are being met and setting the example of a leader!

He can oversee employee’s by providing guidance, and support. He is innovated by being able to take the time to identify development needs for his park and staff. He has managed to reciprocal relationships between himself and his staff. His stewardship shines by making sure every day the organization is successful!

He has had his hands full since being promoted to this position and he does it all by remaining professional and has a smile on his face. Mike is a team player by offering his assistance even while he has much work to do. He isn’t afraid to offer a lending hand.

I appreciate his knowledge, influence and how he stays motivated and positive and does his best to do the same with his staff.

Mike you are shining BRIGHT as one of our most valuable stars!

Mike, RivCoParks is so lucky to have a hard and dedicated worker like you! Your teamwork, leadership and work ethic are qualities that makes you AMAZING!  Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

2021-2022 Monthly Shining Star Awards
June 2022
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Employee of the Month

Kalee Koeslag-Schellerup

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)

Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)

Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – Both outside and inside the organization)

Innovation (Dang, they are smart! They come up with new ideas all the time!)

Networking (They talk to people. Yes, that's a good thing! They reach out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.)

Stewardship (They are good stewards of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean they help protect resources and educate others.)

 

A little about Kalee. She has taken the role as interim NRM after the position became vacant. While the position was vacant for some time the work was adding up, until Kalee picked up the call of duty. She jumped into action and started handling the work without hesitation. Not only juggling her day-to-day responsibilities with the MSHCP but also at the MSR, she continues to make every effort to ensure RivCoParks is successful on the reserve including fulfilling contract needs at the MSR.  Yet at every point of her job, she was knocking out annual work at the MSR and bringing new ideas which are now being accepted by the partners on the reserve!!! Even though her tasks may ask her to go to uncharted territory and rough seas, Kalee’s professionalism and hard work always braves these bits of uncertainty and shines through to better herself and her fellow coworkers around her.

 

Kalee has a diverse background in natural resources including species management and habitat restoration.  She enjoys taking pride representing RivCoParks with meetings with our partners MWS and is quick to complete those assigned tasks.  She is an amazing biologist, strong leader, and a great teammate!

 

Kalee, RivCoParks is so lucky to have a hard worker like you! Your teamwork, work ethic, and ingenuity. All these qualities are what makes you AMAZING! Not only for the Reserve but for others around you. Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

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Volunteer of the Month

Ellen Stern

Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)

Stewardship (They are good stewards of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean they help protect resources and educate others.)

 

Ellen Stern is an amazing worker. Not only for her stewardship on educating others and to the public. She also helps train her team with a nice friendly and warm environment. Doing a thorough job helping her team learn policy and get up to date on day-to-day operations.  She exemplifies a level of professionalism that is both inclusive and educating.  Even when she is being shadowed the sun shines bright with her quality of work that casts a long shadow for others to follow.

 

Ellen, SRP need People like you!  To be an exemplary example for what RivCoParks has to offer. We appreciate everything you do! Not only for the Plateau but for others around you. Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

Golden Star
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Volunteer of the Month

Pat Huttunen

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)

Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)

Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – Both outside and inside the organization)

Networking (They talk to people. Yes, that's a good thing! They reach out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.)

She is an amazing worker. Going above and beyond to make sure the park facilities are at a great quality of cleanliness such as the restrooms/showers. No job is too hard or too dirty for her to get the job done. Pat, also is not afraid to speak up always reporting any issues to the appropriate staff member, asking for help when needed depending on the job. Thus, expanding her skillset in the process not only learning from her peers, but elevating herself in the process. Pat sometimes has to do the work that she is uncomfortable with, such as working kiosk, but she challenges herself to get our guests checked in.

 

Her work is not always sunshine and rainbows.  She is responsible for greeting guests after hours; Making sure recycling is sorted and picked up, and she is always picking up trash to make our parks even more beautiful than they already are. Not only do her fellow coworkers notice, so do the guests!!!! We cannot be prouder of the work you do, and it shows.

 

Pat, Mayflower Park needs a volunteer like you. You set the example of a quality volunteer for RivCoParks! We appreciate everything you do! Not only for the park but for others around you. Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

May 2022
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Volunteer of the Month

Josh Hankerd

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)
Connecting (They connect people to programs, services, or places by reaching out.)
Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)
Innovation (Dang, they are smart! They come up with new ideas all the time!)
Outstanding Service (They go 'to infinity and beyond' for customers - both outside and inside the organization!)
Networking (They talk to people. Yes, that's a good thing! They reach out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.)
Stewardship (They are good stewards of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean they help protect resources and educate others.)

He is the only volunteer at Rancho Jurupa that shows true core values in his ACTIONS and helps to make this park run!

Josh, RJU is one of the busiest parks and needs a volunteer like you to ensure it is running efficiently for our guests.  We appreciate your hard work, and dedication! Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!
 

April 2022
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Employee of the Month

Rhonda Long

Accomplishments (She gets stuff done!)
Teamwork (She helps others and are RESPECTFUL!)
Innovation (Dang, she is smart! She can come up with new ideas all the time!)

 

Rhonda is very knowledgeable in all areas of the Parks Department. She is a very good mentor. She is patient and funny and has very good ideas to improve current procedures.

 

Rhonda, you are so reliable and loyal.  Your teamwork, and dedication for our department is TRULY EXCEPTIONAL!

 

YOU ARE OUR TRUE SHINING STAR! Thank you for all you do for our Finance Team and RivCoParks Family.  We truly appreciate you!

Volunteer of the Month

Martin Medina

Accomplishments (He get stuff done!)

Teamwork (He helps others and is RESPECTFUL!)


Martin Medina is ALWAYS available to help when ever needed! He has a FT time job outside of the park & still manages to put in a lot of hours as a Camp Host.

Most recently, I had a power outage in my trailer. The main power cord that is connected to the outside electrical box burned out, causing major damage!
It was a rainy & cold Sunday evening & all the Park employees had left for the day. Mr. Medina heard my radio call & let me know he would look at it. I was so worried we would go without any heat as it was extremely cold! After a few hours in the rain, he was able to get power back on!

My daughter & I are extremely grateful for his dedication!

 

Martin, you are so reliable and talented.  Your helpful attitude goes a long way a Lake Skinner!   YOUR dedicated and show compassion and ARE OUR SHINING STAR! Thank you for all you do for RivCoParks.  We truly appreciate you!

March 2022
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Employee of the Month

Steven Contreras

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)
Connecting (They connect people to programs, services or places by reaching out.)
Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)
Innovation (Dang, they are smart! They come up with new ideas all the time!)
Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!)
Networking (They talk to people. Yes, that’s a good thing! They reach out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.)
Stewardship (They are good stewards of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean they help protect resources and educate others.)


JUST AWESOME AND DOES A REALLY GOOD JOB WITH TEAM, STAFF, AND CUSTOMERS


Steven has a great personality and he bring a positive attitude to the park. He is always on time and reliable, we know we can count on him ! He understands the needs of the customers and goes out of his way to make the customers experience a pleasant one, and even in the most stressful situations he remains calm and collected. We want to nominate Ranger Contreras so that he knows how much we appreciate all of his hard work.


Steven, your dependability, teamwork, and passion for our RJU park, is TRULY AWESOME!   YOU ARE OUR SHINING STAR! Thank you for your ensuring our guest have a great experience.  We truly appreciate you!

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Volunteer of the Month

Bob Inman

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)
Connecting (They connect people to programs, services, or places by reaching out.)
Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)
Innovation (Dang, they are smart! They come up with new ideas all the time!)
Outstanding Service (They go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!)
Stewardship (They are good stewards of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean they help protect resources and educate others.)
An Awesome VOLUNTEER

Location – Santa Rosa Plateau / Santa Rosa Plateau Nature Education Foundation (SRPNEF) ACTIONS – and description of the ACTIONS

  • Accomplishments – Leadership of the Asset and Fund Development Committee resulting in the successful implementation of fundraising activities and management to raise over $1M in the last ten years. Has also served as the Board Vice President for the ten years.

  • Connecting – Very resourceful in connecting and referring staff to companies and individuals who have become board members, donors, and members of the SRPNEF

  • Teamwork – Not just a team player but managing and encouraging committee and Board members to work together in support of the SRPNEF mission. Also is an example to other Board and committee members by consistently volunteering at events and providing sponsorship support for events and education program needs.

  • Innovation – Using considerable experience and skills of financial management, has carefully set out an investment strategy and financial policies and procedures.

  • Outstanding Service – All of the above and more. He is a wonderful and careful listener. Modestly assessing needs and managing plans and strategies to address the needs.

  • Stewardship – Bob has both financially and strategically supported each step of SRPNEF’s nature education programs. In addition, he has supported and encouraged a more comprehensive partnership between the SRPNEF and the Plateau Management Committee and the Reserve Land Managers. He believes a strong partnership will bridge the connection between educating about nature and the management of land…that they go together to helping youth understand the importance of protecting and preserving the Reserve and places like it.

Bob, thank you for being an AMAZING volunteer who truly cares about the Santa Rosa Plateau.  Your service and hard work is unmatched!

We appreciate your support, dedication, and teamwork! Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

February 2022
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Employee of the Month

Ariannah Romo

Accomplishments (She gets stuff done!)
Teamwork (She is willing to help others and is RESPECTFUL!)

I would like to nominate Ranger Ariana (Ari) from Hidden Valley. She has helped us out tremendously here at Box Springs Mountain Park. She gets things done. She really cares.

Ariannah since her short time with RivCoParks has shown true dedication and initiative towards her position.  She is a team player and offers her assistance wherever and whenever needed without hesitation. 

She takes pride not only in her job duties but those of her whole Open-Space team.  She has truly been a great addition to the RivCoParks team!

Ari, your determination, teamwork, and disposition to learn and help, is TRULY AWESOME!   YOU ARE AMAZING! Thank you for your representing RivCoParks with pride!  We truly appreciate you!

Royden Levi

Jack Obray

Charlie Torrisi

Gerald Thompson

Volunteers of the Month

The Mayflower Honey Wagon Crew

Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)
Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)

 

Mayflower’s Honey Wagon/pump crew team. These guys provide our guests a less stressful stay during our winter season.

This crew consist of Royden Levi, he is the driver (the brains of the operation) and knows everyone who needs to be pumped (eleven years of service).

Jack Obray is our main man that makes our guest feel welcome while out pumping *always has treat for dogs (fourteen years of service).

Charlie Torrisi is the one that gets to do the dirty work by crawling under the side outs to hook up the connections on more difficult R. Vs (third year of service). 

New to our MFL/Honey wagon team is Gerald Thompson, he is Charlie’s sidekick, and they get to switch off on the dirty work. Together they made a great team; always cheerful and a joy to be around. Mayflower appreciates the hard work they do for the park 3 days a week. Who knew such a dirty job could cause laughter and for people to come together😀. 

They’re never late, extremely clean and they’re funny too!

 

Mayflower’s Honey Wagon, thank you for being such outstanding volunteers and while handling a “dirty” job of the park, you all have the best disposition about you and make our guests stay worthwhile, thank you for going above and beyond!

We appreciate your service and teamwork! Thank you for being our SHINING STARS!

January 2022
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Employee of the Month

Sue Afflerbaugh

Sue Afflerbaugh is our Shining Star by her Accomplishments (she gets stuff done!), Connecting (she proudly connects people to programs, services, or places by reaching out.), Teamwork (she is always there to help others and is RESPECTFUL!), Innovation (Dang, she is smart! She comes up with new ideas all the time!), Outstanding Service (‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!), Networking (she enjoys talking to people. Yes, that’s a good thing! She reaches out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.) and Stewardship (she is a good steward of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean she helps protect resources and educate others.)

Accomplishments: Sue get it all done! From animal feeding (including our ball pythons) to cleaning the bathrooms to landscape maintenance. There isn’t anything she can’t do!  Connecting: Sue is here to help! She is always looking for what our customers’ needs are and does her best to connect them to the park or program that will best fit for them.  Teamwork: Sue’s personal motto is “Teamwork makes the dreamwork” If you need help with something Sue is always there to lend a hand. Not only with a smile but with a positive attitude and a spring in her step.  Outstanding Service: Sue takes costumer service to the next level, if a customer needs something that we cannot provide she directs them to the correct resource. We get some interesting questions, and she finds the answer without missing a beat.  Networking: I think Sue knows just about everyone in Riverside! She has recruited volunteers for us at the grocery store!  Stewardship: Sue not only talks with our customers about caring for the park, but she also picks up trash and does landscape maintenance. She walks the walk and talks the talk; she leads by example.

Another primary example as to why I nominate Sue as one of our shining stars: Hidden Valley Nature Center was vandalized when an object was tossed through one of the front windows sending glass all over the place. Sue called Park vendors and found the price to replace. The price was high and talking to them, she learned it was because of the drive they had to make. There are no local vendors to Hidden Valley. To save the District money, Sue went to a local glass shop herself (Outstanding Service). Talking to the glass shop about how great the parks are she got to learn how to replace it herself. The lesson was free because the glass company wanted to help such a great organization (Stewardship, Innovation, Networking). She went back to Hidden Valley, shared what she had learned with Samantha and the two of them installed the replacement glass (Accomplishment, Teamwork); thus, saving the parks hundreds of dollars (Stewardship). To learn about her and connecting.  I would need to write another letter about her and home schoolers.

Sue, your dedication, determination, and willingness to learn and share, surpasses a shining star, you are TRULY AMAZING!   Thank you for your representing your ACTIONS daily!  We truly appreciate you!

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Volunteer of the Month

Steve Lusky

Steve Lusky is our Shining Star by: Accomplishments (He gets stuff done!) Connecting (He enjoys connecting people to programs, services, or places by reaching out.) Teamwork (He is very helpful and is RESPECTFUL!) Innovation (Dang, he is smart! He comes up with new ideas all the time!) Outstanding Service (He will go 'to infinity and beyond' for customers - both outside and inside the organization!) Networking (He talks to people. Yes, that's a good thing! He reaches out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.) Stewardship (He is a good steward of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean they help protect resources and educate others.)

Steve has been a volunteer docent on the Reserve for 15 years. He has always been a devoted and passionate member of the volunteer team, but this year was particularly special. With the trail closures due to fire, COVID and now with flooding, Steve has played a critical role in staffing trailheads to enforce these closures, but more importantly has always taken time and showed patience in explaining the reasoning behind the closures and giving multiple nearby outdoor recreation alternatives to a frustrated public.


Steve has also spent many hours this past year removing trash from the county roadside that passes through, and accesses, the Reserve. Broken bottles and food wrappers pose a risk to wildlife, while unsightly garbage can reflect poorly on overall Reserve management and can negatively affect visitors' outdoor experience.
Steve also took on the responsibility of scheduling and organizing volunteer shifts and hours for trailhead duty over the recent holidays. Making sure all shifts are covered every day from sunup to sundown is extremely important to the district’s responsibility of protecting resources in the State Ecological Reserve and the County Multi-Use Area and was necessary in allowing District staff valuable time with families during the holidays.


Steve is also one of the most active volunteers for the Santa Rosa Plateau Nature Education Foundation (SRPNEF). He is the point person for all special event set-up and break-down duties. There were multiple and important events hosted by the SRPNEF in 2021, including workshops organized with the Riverside County Office of Education, and an outdoor concert festival fundraiser that welcomed hundreds of people. The success of the Foundation has direct impacts on the district regarding funding and community outreach, and Steve routinely helps to build a strong relationship between the two organizations.


Steve is also a trusted and valuable mentor for all volunteers and especially the large, new crew that has joined the team over this past year. As we've been unable to provide in-person training programs at the Visitor Center for new volunteers, we have been reliant on seasoned volunteers to help train new volunteers. Steve has been an important part of that effort, often spending hours of time at trailheads imparting his many years of experience and in-depth knowledge of the resource while training new volunteers.
Steve is a valuable and integral part of our team, and I hope he can be acknowledged as such at the district level.

 

Steve, thank you for being an outstanding volunteer and going above and beyond! We appreciate your tremendous service and teamwork! Thank you for being our SHINING STAR!

December 2021
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Employee of the Month

Bill Evans

Bill Evans is our Shining Star by Connecting (he takes time to connect people to programs, services or places by reaching out.), Teamwork (he is always willing to help others and is RESPECTFUL!), and his Outstanding Service (he will go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!),

I am a volunteer at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. The moment I saw your email, I immediately thought of nominating Ranger Bill Evans.

Ranger Bill goes above and beyond to help volunteers and visitors to the Plateau. He is so very patient with both old and new volunteers. He listens to any concerns/questions, offering advice and information to help us do our jobs better. If he is on duty during your shift, he always checks in to make sure things are going okay.  If it is hot, he checks to make sure you have water, shelter, etc. I never hesitate to text or call him about any situation at the Plateau (such as the bicyclist who rode up the trail when the Plateau was closed).

Ranger Bill very quickly responds to any texts or calls.
 

He also is very nice & polite to visitors – even those who complain or criticize policies. I believe he helps visitors to appreciate the beauty and wonder of this special reserve.

Ranger Bill’s calm, polite demeanor and helpful attitude are real assets to RivCo Parks.
 

Bill, your commitment to ensure volunteers have what they need and your pride for SRP doesn’t go unnoticed!  Thank you for your teamwork and being an amazing SHINING STAR!  We truly appreciate you!

Golden Star
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Golden Star
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Employee of the Month

Shannon McDaniel

Shannon McDaniel is our Shining Star by her Accomplishments (she gets stuff done!), Connecting (she proudly connects people to programs, services or places by reaching out.), Teamwork (she is always there to help others and is RESPECTFUL!), Innovation (Dang, she is smart! She comes up with new ideas all the time!), Outstanding Service (‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers – both outside and inside the organization!), Networking (she enjoys talking to people. Yes, that’s a good thing! She reaches out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.) and Stewardship (she is a good steward of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean she helps protect resources and educate others.)

Nominating Shannon McDaniel on behalf of Tom Ash:
 

I get there at 4am and SKN is short staffed so I will help from time to time and when I do, I notice that Shannon does EVERYTHING!! She will work the kiosk, the boat ramp, pick up trash, gardening, you name it, she’s willing to help! In fact, every boater that I talk to, mentions how wonderful and amazing Shannon is! Quote “she is the best person on the planet.”

During an emergency at the boat ramps, 911 was called to help a boater who had collapsed. when checking with fire to see what was going on the boater’s friends had called 911 and he was taken by ambulance but during conversation the other boaters sung their praises about Shannon! They all spoke very highly about her even during a crisis.

Shannon McDaniel is most definitely a SHINING STAR!

Shannon, your hard work, dedication, and willingness to help wherever needed is amazing!  Thank you for your being an outstanding example of a SHINING STAR!  We truly appreciate you!

Volunteer of the Month

Melissa Mercer

Melissa Mercer is our Shining Star by her Outstanding Service (she goes to infinity and beyond), and Teamwork (she is always willing to help others and is RESPECTFUL!)

 

Malissa Mercer has a saying when I have heard people ask her about her duties involved in being a camp host.  She replies, " I clean restrooms, and I love to!" She encourages others to come look how clean they are each weekday morning.

 Also observe when you come into Lakeview how clean and green our park is. She is a great asset to us. Albert can take a day off and know his hard work will be continued through and by Melissa. She truly is an RJU Shining Star!

Melissa, thank you for taking pride in keeping our RJU park clean and inviting.  We appreciate your outstanding service and teamwork you offer too all! Thank you for SHINING!

November 2021
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Employee of the Month

Brandon Munoz

Brandon Munoz is our Shining Star by his Outstanding Service (he goes to infinity and beyond for our customers, and colleagues).

I'd like to recognize Brandon Munoz as a Shining Star. Brandon is the reason I decided to apply for the camp host position at Idyllwild Park. As a visitor, I first met Brandon when he checked us in at the kiosk. He was extremely friendly, helpful, and accommodating. He made us feel valued as campers and consumers of the facility. Whenever he is approached, Brandon tries to put customers first. He told us about the camp host position and made it sound great!


He had made working as a camp host a wonderful experience as well. He is kind and patient, teaching us the various details of working the kiosk and how to navigate the camp host responsibilities. Even when I ask the same questing multiple times, he takes the time to explain in a way that I can understand. He's intelligent, organized, efficient, a leader...
I really can't say enough good things about Brandon... He is such as asset to Idyllwild Park!

 

Brandon, your dedication, and outstanding service towards our RivCoParks guests and colleagues is amazing!  Thank you for your setting the example of a SHINING STAR!

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Volunteer of the Month

Dennis Rowe

Dennis Rowe is our Shining Star by his Outstanding Service (he goes to infinity and beyond), Accomplishments (he gets stuff done!), and Teamwork (He is always willing to help others and is RESPECTFUL!)

 

Oh YES!! I do know a shining star! Dennis Rowe. Camp Hosts at Hurkey. You can’t make him go home!! He’s always doing something. And whatever he does, he does well! Always cheerful and a pair to work with.

Dennis an extremely helpful soul and buckles down on his assigned projects, always willing to lend extra hand when others are busy, and always willing to teach what he knows (and learn when it’s something he's less familiar with!) 

He's building the greenhouse for the tree donation we received to upgrade from our temporary structure we put up in spring- plans for rainy days and helped research some affordable LED building light replacements when the weather didn't cooperate with him. 

Dennis is greatly appreciated for his "go-getter"-ness, he is a good team player- bringing joy and a positive attitude with him to work- and helps motivate others on the team with his consistency. 

Dennis, your hard work, willingness to lend an extra hand and motivation towards others doesn’t go unnoticed!  We appreciate your outstanding service you offer to all you are around! Thank you for SHINING!

October 2021
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Employee of the Month

Mary Ruth Johnson

Mary Ruth is our Shining Star by her Accomplishments (she gets stuff done), Connecting (she connects with people and loves to reach out), Teamwork (she respects others), Outstanding Service (she goes to infinity and beyond to help), and Networking (she loves talking with people, never hesitates to reach out to her peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and offer her help whenever needed).

Mary Ruth’s emails are so personable I feel like she is talking directly to you, and she encompasses a wealth of information. She makes everyone feel supported. She expresses sincere gratitude to volunteers. She goes above and beyond to make you feel good!

Mary Ruth's communication is warm and inviting while seeking my possibilities of becoming a volunteer. This is the reason I continued to move forward as a volunteer! I have participated with many different organizations with volunteering over the past 25 years and have never received the grateful sincere communications that Mary Ruth has shared with the appreciation of your volunteers. She is such a kind and caring person and makes a positive difference! She is also very passionate with education and sharing with others!
 

Mary Ruth is a Shining Star because she has been an amazing supervisor to me since I started volunteering.  She has been very patient and thoughtful and has guided me in the volunteer process.  I've learned quite a lot from her and feel that because of her personality I look forward to my volunteering hours.  She calls/texts to check on me when I'm not well, and I feel that that's going above and beyond.

She is completely dedicated to nature and the SRP and I can't imagine that we could get along without her.

Also, through the fire in 2018 and the Pandemic, Mary Ruth has maintained and scheduled all the volunteers to maintain a presence at all the gates on the Reserve. This has required her to quickly find a new volunteer whenever someone must cancel.  Her efforts have made it possible to be sure that the public is staying off the Reserve when we are closed and to enjoy trails when they are open.  Now that the 3rd grade students can come to the Reserve, she is also coordinating the schedule with the various school and scheduling the docents to man the nature tables and lead the students on the trail.


Mary Ruth is not only a shining star, but she is a whole star cluster.


It all works at the Reserve for the public and students because of Mary Ruth.

Mary Ruth is always welcoming to the volunteer docents; She’s very knowledgeable about the SRPER; She goes the extra mile… (last spring, in her spare time, she was outside hoeing weeds behind the visitor center!) honest!!!!  She’s a great person and employee of RivCo!!
 

Mary Ruth is always exceptionally helpful to everyone she meets and always with a smile. She is kind, generous, and efficient. She works many hours behind the scenes at the SRP, probably many of them voluntary.  She is truly a Shining Star!
 

Mary Ruth, we couldn’t agree more that you are a whole cluster of stars!  Your dedication and devotion towards RivCoParks never cease to amaze us.  You are a true example of how to continue to shine!  Thank you for your positivity and making all of us including the volunteers feel welcomed and the privilege to work with you.  We truly appreciate you!

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Volunteers of the Month

Jenny Cole (right) and Jo Daugherty (middle)

  • Jenny Cole and Jo Daugherty are our Shining Stars by their:

  •  Accomplishments (They get stuff done!)

  • Teamwork (They help others and are RESPECTFUL!)

  • Outstanding Service (They go 'to infinity and beyond' for customers - both outside and inside the organization!)

  • Networking (They talk to people. Yes, that's a good thing! They reach out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.)
     

Jenny and Jo volunteer at the Nature Center every Friday for 2-3 hours and have been for nearly a year now. They clean, feed, and spoil our California Quail that are in an aviary in front of the Nature Center, it's a huge visitor draw, and I OFTEN hear visitors commenting on how happy, fat, or lucky they are to have such a nice enclosure. After they take care of our quail, they clean the birding deck, the railings, interpretive sign, and audio device (a birding deck will attract bird poop), and then they refill all but the automated feeders with seed, water, or suet. They are lovely ladies and determined birders who then bird at the INC and report their sightings on e-bird and Facebook advertising our bird life and to attract more birders/visitors to come check out this awesome aviary.  Their taking on these duties directly impacted staff letting us accomplish more with the time we would otherwise devote to those necessary tasks.  I'm very grateful for their support and friendship.

Jenny is a retired elementary school teacher from Hemet Unified School District having served her community for over 37 years! 

Jo is the retired Director of the Hemet Public Library, she later unretired to help with RivCo’s Library system in the Temecula area. 

 They’ve logged over 100 volunteer hours at the Idyllwild Nature Center this year. “If it wasn’t for Jenny and Jo offering to volunteer at the Nature Center when they did, we would have never been able to develop the birding area to the extent that we have. Birders are now a common sight at our park, and we are providing incidental visitors with a birding experience that is unique and accessible - thanks to the efforts, determination, and support of Jenny Cole and Jo Daughtery.” -Ranger Steve

 

Thank you, Jenny Cole and Jo Daugherty, for representing RivCoParks by going above and beyond for our customers!  Your dedication to attract more birders and compassion towards the aviary is much appreciated! We admire your hard work!  We appreciate you! 

September 2021
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Volunteer of the Month

Shirley Roberts

Shirley Roberts is our Shining Star by her Outstanding Service (she goes to ‘infinity and beyond’ for our staff and our customers.

Shirley Roberts has gone above and beyond showing how much she is willing to help our customers. She makes herself available to our guest after hours. She recently went above and beyond to help a guest in need in their time of trouble. This demonstrated her outstanding service by taking the appropriate steps in getting an emergency taking care of. High-Five to her!!

Thank you, Shirley, for representing RivCoParks by going above and beyond for our customers!  Your willingness to get things done emergency or non-emergency is much appreciated! We admire your dedication!  We appreciate you! 

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Employee of the Month

Juan Rojas

Juan Rojas is our Shining Star by Accomplishments (He gets stuff done!), Connecting (he connects with people), Teamwork (He helps others and is RESPECTFUL!), Stewardship (He is a good steward of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean he helps protect resources and educate others.), and Outstanding Service (he goes to ‘infinity and beyond’ for our staff and our customers.

 

Juan continues to not just be a hard worker, but an asset to the park. Time and time again he is always willing to help wherever/whenever he is needed.  He provides support where he can and continually drives coworkers to be the best they can be.  His dedication and strive keep us all motivated out here in the desert!

 

Thank you, Juan, for representing RivCoParks by going above and beyond every day!  Your ability to get things done and assist wherever needed is much appreciated! We respect your “can do” attitude and motivating your team!  We appreciate you! 

2020-2021
August 2021
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Employee of the Month

David Macamay

David Macamay is our Shining Star by Accomplishments (He gets stuff done!) Teamwork (He helps others and is very RESPECTFUL!)
Innovation (Dang, he is smart! He comes up with new ideas all the time!) Networking (He enjoys talking to people. Yes, that’s a good thing! He reaches out to peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and help each other out.) Stewardship (He is a good steward of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean he helps protect resources and educate others.)

David is super creative and always brings something visually impactful to everything he does whether it’s a design, a photo or video assignment, he has the "eye" for it all!   David also is a great team player! He helps with whatever is needed, wherever he is needed. All who know David appreciate his positive attitude and helpful ideas.

David (and Marlene) should be recognized for the work done on the Intranet update and the small videos prepared of teams within the organization.  

Intranet
David researched available host applications out there for the best deal for RivCoParks. And was able to assist Marlene when she identified the need to convert our intranet to a better host that would save the Parks District annual money.  Together they worked on the updates needed on the website.  Together they worked on the information transfer and all that was necessary to reach their deadline. 

Videos
David (and Marlene) have been tasked with providing videos of various teams throughout the RivCoParks system.  David learned very quickly all that was required for filming, becoming our local expert on video taking utilized at our virtual ribbon cutting and beyond.  Several videos have been generated within the Open Space Team to better describe what we do in a storytelling methodology.

 

The Marketing team make the District very proud of all they have accomplished and continue to do!

David is being nominated for the incredible work he has done on the annual report for the district. David pulled together all the input from all the departments into a great document that truly showcased all the incredible work the district accomplished during the pandemic in FY20/21. David fielded directives from lots of managers and did so in a professional manner while still maintaining the artistic integrity he is so skilled at delivering. The annual report was not an easy task as the district work was so different than normal in these different than normal times. But then again this is David's standard mode of operation, he manages to take what is needed and improve upon it from his graphics illustrator's perspective. He is always thorough in his work and does so with a positive "teamwork" attitude. He's an asset to the district, and he helps make us shine, therefore HE is a shining star!

Thank you, David, for representing RivCoParks by going above and beyond every day!  Your ability and dedication to get things timely is much appreciated! Your creativity and willingness to learn and meet crucial deadlines is amazing!  We appreciate you so much! 

Employee of the Month

Lisa Rolland

Lisa Rolland is our Shining Star by her Accomplishments (she gets stuff done), Connecting (she connects with people and reaches out timely), Teamwork (she is willing to help and respectful to others), and Outstanding Service (she goes to infinity and beyond to help; both outside and inside the organization),

 

Lisa goes above and beyond to track what we need and is always happy to help with anything that comes up.

 

Lisa has stepped up to assist purchasing in our absence of our buyer and has still managed to continue her fiscal responsibilities and assist her teammates.

 

Lisa is very efficient and makes sure to remind staff timely to get stuff processed quickly.  She is very informative and helpful to her colleagues as well.

 

Thank you, Lisa, for representing RivCoParks by going above and beyond without hesitation.  Your ability to step in when needed is most appreciated! Your willingness to learn and remain on task is amazing!  We appreciate you so much! 

Golden Star
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Volunteer of the Month

Bill Lamb

Bill Lamb is our Shining Star by Accomplishments (He gets stuff done!), Connecting (he connects with people), Teamwork (He helps others and is very RESPECTFUL!), Innovation (Dang, he is smart! He comes up with new ideas all the time!) Networking (He enjoys talking to people. And is willing to help others), Stewardship (He is a good steward of the County, RivCoParks, and the world! By this we mean he helps protect resources and educate others.), and Outstanding Service (he goes to ‘infinity and beyond’ for our staff and our customers.

Bill is President of the Gilman Ranch Hands. He goes above and beyond and exceeds everyone’s expectations. He takes on jobs and duties that nobody else can or will do, such as trailering out the stagecoach, getting in touch with the people with horses who can pull the stagecoach at our events, parades, or market nights. He contacted the City of Banning a few years ago, so that we could hold events in conjunction with each other, thereby increasing our attendance. Many of these things he did pre-covid.

His most recent accomplishment, however, was rebuilding our gold panning boxes here at the Ranch. They are an integral part of our school field trips and events, but they had fallen into such disrepair that they were no longer usable. What that entailed included tearing down the old boxes and irrigation system. Rebuilding the irrigation system, trimming the surrounding trees, transporting cinder blocks, rebar, and multiple bags of cement.  He had to dig the holes to set with cement and the cinder blocks and needed to place the boxes at the correct angle. Much of this was done in 100 plus temperatures and using his own supplies.

Bill is simply amazing, talented and is a Shining Star!!

Thank you, Bill, for representing RivCoParks by going above and beyond every day!  Your ability to get things repaired and build rapport with the City of Banning is much appreciated! We respect your creativity, talent, and hard work!  We appreciate you! 

July 2021
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Employee of the Month

Dayna Whitaker

Dayna Whitaker is our Shining Star by her Accomplishments (she gets stuff done), Connecting (she loves connecting with people), Teamwork (she is ALWAYS willing to help others), Innovation (she is so creative with new ideas), Outstanding Service (she goes to infinity and beyond to help), Networking (she enjoys talking to people and lend a helping hand and ear), and Stewardship (she strives to speaking to the guests/colleagues and providing them with resources).

 

Dayna shows up in the worst of times and puts the employees and host at ease and she handles everything in a professional manner even when the unthinkable happens.

She has even taking the time to make sure she has water and snacks for everyone.

 

In July, there was a situation that was very unnerving for all the park and Sheriff who were on the scene. She is what a leader should be. Dayna is there for her staff in all situations. She is my shining star!

 

Thank you, Dayna, for representing RivCoParks by going above and beyond without being asked.  Your compassion and respect for everyone shines through.  Your willingness to help and continued dedication towards our ENTIRE team is amazing!  We appreciate you! 

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Employee of the Month

David Ledbetter

David Ledbetter is our Shining Star by his Accomplishments (he gets stuff done!), Connecting (he connects with people and loves reaching out), Teamwork (he is willing to help and respectful to others), Innovation (he is so creative with new ideas), Outstanding Service (he goes to infinity and beyond to help), Networking (he enjoys talking to people and lend a helping hand whenever he can), and Stewardship (he enjoys speaking to the guests/colleagues and providing them with resources). 

Dave has been working for RIVCO for over 10 years and has been a valued member of the Mountain Parks team. Dave's love for the park shows when it comes to the protection of the natural resources up here. He understands how important it is to preserve the parks trees and works alongside the parks staff to be a steward to the land. 

Everyone has called out Dave's name for help for a wide variety of reasons and he is quick to come help. 

Thank you for always being there for the team Dave, even if it’s when a water line is spewing water on everyone. You are very much appreciated. 

Thank you, David, for representing RivCoParks by never hesitating to lend a helping hand no matter the circumstance.  Your love for our parks and resources is truly valued!  Your dedication and loyalty are appreciated!  We are so grateful for you!  
 

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Volunteer of the Month

Robin Borden

Robin Borden is our Shining Star by her Outstanding Service (she goes to infinity and beyond to help).

 

Robin is an outstanding volunteer; she was a camp host for Lake Cahuilla for a year before she joined the Hurkey Creek Team. It has been a great pleasure to see her join the mountain team and is often organizing BBQ for the crew. She has handled some difficult incidents and has been a great new addition to the team. She will be missed when she ends her season with us during the Winter season.

 

Thank you, Robin, for representing RivCoParks by going above and beyond, always with a smile on your face.  Your dedication to volunteer for two of our sites is very impressive and much appreciated!  We are grateful for you and your time! 

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Volunteer of the Month

Tabitha Maser

Tabitha Maser is our Shining Star by her Accomplishments (she gets stuff done!) Teamwork (she is very helpful and respectful to others), Outstanding Service (she goes to infinity and beyond to help) and Networking (she talks to people. Yes, that's a good thing! She reaches out to her peers and colleagues to learn new stuff and helps each other out.)

Tabitha Maser is a new camp host volunteer at Hurkey Creek Park. She volunteered herself to cover a shift after a last-minute call off and stepped up to the plate. She was aware the campground was sold out and that she would be dealing with difficult guests. She kept a smile and supported her team when we needed her help the most. In addition, she has proven to show outstanding customer service through difficult situations.

 

In July, there were several calls off due to outlying issues. Tabitha realized that park staff would be shorthanded through the morning shift via the parks group chat. She was scheduled for a later shift, but after realizing there would only be one person to operate the kiosk and clean restrooms, she informed crew she would come in early and ensure the booth would open on time. She did this without being asked!

 

Tabitha saw a need and once again, didn’t hesitate to step up to help provide her excellent customer service. During this time there were several issues that arose with reservations/bookings gone wrong including noise complaints.

 

Tabitha handled everything with style and grace, and she made a lot of our customers very happy based on her actions.

She handled all these numerous obstacles, while being the newest member to our team, and with only a few weeks of training behind her as a new volunteer. Tabitha was a shining star that day; as well as every other day she has worked.  She is a real pleasure to work with.

 

Thank you, Tabitha, for representing RivCoParks by going above and beyond, being quick on your feet to ensure our Hurkey Park ran efficiently all while keeping a smile on your face.  We appreciate you! 

2020-2021 Monthly Shining Star Awards
June 2021
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Employee of the Month

Clint Lopez

Clint Lopez is our Shining Star by Accomplishments (he gets stuff done!), Connecting (he reaches out to people and places), Teamwork (he is willing to help and is respectful), Innovation (he is constantly creating new ideas to get work done), his Outstanding Service (he will go ‘to infinity and beyond’ for customers and his co-workers), Networking (he talks to people to learn and help out) and his Stewardship (he takes pride in RivCoParks resources).

 

Clint is a true go getter and is always going above and beyond for his colleagues.  He has always been an employee that everyone can count on.  He is kind, respectful, understanding and always helpful, an all-around true team player!  He doesn't complain and is dedicated to get the job done.  He is efficient, productive and it shows in his hard work.

 

He has fixed the white wood fence on Crestmore Rd (for the 20th time or more 😊) and while doing so, he even took the time to bury a dead squirrel. The best thing is that he ASKS what he can do for you.

 

Thank you, Clint, for representing by being a true and dedicated team player. Your kindness and consideration are recognized! We truly appreciate YOU!

Thank you for all you do! 

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Employee of the Month

Loree Broderick

Loree Broderick is our Shining Star by her Accomplishments (she gets stuff done), Connecting (she has a way of connecting with people), Teamwork (she is willing to help others & lend a helping hand), Innovation (she can get creative with new ideas), Outstanding Service (she goes to infinity and beyond to help), Networking (she takes the initiative to learn new things), and Stewardship (she loves talking to the guests/colleagues and providing them with resources).

 

Loree is always ready to help. She tolerates grumpy employees and with a smile (Lol! 😊). She responds to employees ASAP and always with a wonderful, and friendly attitude. She handles a lot and will laugh alongside you. I greatly appreciate her! She is the kind of person you love hearing from because she is just a great human being.

 

Loree has a positive attitude and focuses on getting things done to help employees. She has been diligent in reminding us to nominate AWESOME EMPLOYEES and VOLUNTEERS to make sure hard work is recognized. Since

 

Loree has taken over the reminders, the number of employees and volunteers being nominated has drastically increased. So much so, that we often have more than one person (sometimes up to 5!) to recognize each month. This is just one example of how she works hard on behalf of our workforce. Her personality is that of helping and giving. She is a shining STAR!!

 

Thank you, Loree, for representing RivCoParks by continuing to help others and with a smile.  Your friendly and positive attitude is much needed during this time.  Thank you for continuing to be a shining star for the District!  We appreciate you! 

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Employee of the Month

Analica Gomez

Analicia Gomez is our Shining Star by her Accomplishments (she gets stuff done), Teamwork (she respects others), Innovation (Dang! She is so creative!), Outstanding Service (she goes above and beyond and is willing to give you a hand), and Stewardship (she is a good steward of the County, and RivCoPark resources.  She helps protect and educate others.)

 

Analicia has successfully played a very important role with the construction for the new Santa Rosa Plateau “pavilion”, which includes a new and enhanced electrical and lighting capabilities, and new basalt rock work with a seating and entry wall. 

 

Analicia took pride to also include a new cement base with new half circular steps which have been enhanced with Native American/Pechanga interpretive “tiles” featuring plants, animals, tools, and basket references that are particular to the Pechanga people and Native American presence on the Reserve.

 

She is coordinating additional repair of the dirt area in front of the pavilion and the building of new fencing to protect certain native plants in front, and west, of the pavilion area is underway and will be finished soon.  This will help to the rebuild and rehabilitation of the new pavilion area.

 

A couple of interesting statistics...from November 1, 2019, which was the launching of the Fire Fund drive…it has taken 1 year, 6 months and 9 days to complete the rebuild.  Between the Fire Fund and Beam Builder donors, vendors, and suppliers…over 250 individuals have been involved in bringing the structure back to life. 

 

Thanks to Analicia, she worked with us, at times daily, as we worked through all the machinations of the process.  We understand that the arrangement between the Foundation and Parks was a bit unusual under the circumstances.  I can speak for our entire Board of Directors, we really appreciated how our support was received…and how early on the communication with us was as if we were a “client” of County Parks. Analicia facilitated that approach and I have learned a lot from this very talented lady!

 

The story of the Reserve now has an interesting, new historical side story as a result of the Tenaja Fire. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of that history. 

 

Thank you, Analicia, for representing RivCoParks with your willingness to adapt to this new relationship with our friends/foundation, not only lending a helping hand but your ear to hear and execute their needs.  You played an integral part in getting our Santa Rosa Plateau back to a happy/pleasant place.  We couldn’t have done it without you.   We appreciate you! 

Golden Star
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Employee of the Month

Jennifer Diaz

Jennifer Diaz is our Shining Star by her Accomplishments (she gets stuff done), Connecting (she has a way of connecting with people), Teamwork (she is willing to help others), Innovation (she is so creative with new ideas), Outstanding Service (she goes to infinity and beyond to help), Networking (she takes the initiative to learn new things), and Stewardship (she loves talking to the guests/colleagues and providing them with resources).

 

Jennifer has been doing an awesome job handling all inquiries and bookings for weddings. She is constantly busy and providing excellent service! She is an awesome team player and gets the job done. She is a force to be reckoned with.

 

Jennifer is always going above and beyond to be helpful to staff and our customers. She is a terrific steward of our Headquarters and takes pride and makes effort to keep it looking as pristine as possible. She is always willing to stay over or come in early for events and is pleasant and kind.  She is a valuable player on our team! Couldn't do it without her and her help!

 

Thank you, Jennifer, for representing RivCoParks by going above and beyond without being asked.  You take pride in ensuring Headquarters is looking it’s best.  Your willingness to help whenever needed hasn’t gone unnoticed!  We appreciate you! 

Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District

4600 Crestmore Road, Jurupa Valley, CA 92509

Tel: 800-234-7275

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