Recipients Ensure Smooth Operation of Government Services

Newark, NJ - Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. presented seven County employees with Essex County Teamwork Awards for August during an informal ceremony Wednesday, August 13th in his office.

"The dedication of County employees is an unknown story that I am trying to tell by presenting our monthly Teamwork Awards," DiVincenzo said. "Our employees really enjoy performing public service and regularly go beyond their scope of work to get the job done," he added.

Henry Chamesian of Cedar Grove has been a Principal Engineer in the Department of Public Works for the past four years. He is responsible for the rehabilitation of Riverbank Park in Newark and Verona Park, as well as the installation of rubberized safety surfaces in 12 County playgrounds. An aggressive effort to upgrade the Essex County Park System has resulted in an increased workload, but Mr. Chamesian has worked extra time to ensure the job is completed.

Charisse Franklin of Newark has worked for Essex County for two and a half years as an Employment Specialist in the Division of Training and Employment within the Department of Economic Development, Training and Employment. Responsible for tracking clients enrolled in various programs, she is described as a "pleasure to work with" and her contributions to the office go beyond her job description.

Susan Hirschhorn of West Orange is an Assistant Administrative Supervisor of Family Services in the Department of Citizen Services. A County employee for 33 years, she helped create new policies and procedures when Essex County's General Assistance caseload increased from 600 to 2,200 after assuming responsibility for East Orange's cases. She also managed the County Food Stamp Office on her own earlier in 2003 after the senior assistant administrator and another assistant were reassigned.
Miguel Mercado Jr. of Newark has worked for the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs for seven years and currently is the foreman at West Side Park in Newark. In his three years as foreman, he has helped improve the condition of the park and has taken his job to heart by relocating into Newark's South Ward neighborhood where the park is located.
Donna Onjian of Belleville has spent 31 years providing care to patients at the Essex County Hospital Center. Currently Head Nurse at the on-site Patients' Clinic, she acts as the liaison between medical specialists and patients when a patient needs services not provided by in-house staff. She is known as a dedicated employee who goes the extra mile.
Sandra I. Ramos of Belleville is an Officer in the Scheduling Unit of the Department of Corrections. A County employee for nine years, she is responsible for preparing all schedules for the Essex County Jail and always has shown exceptional judgment when handling the requests of her colleagues.
Denise Roberts of Stewartsville has been an Essex County employee for 10 years and is a System Analyst in the Office of Human Resources within the Department of Administration and Finance. She is responsible for overseeing health benefits for all retired County workers as well as maintaining records for the 4,000 current employees. Her helpful attitude makes former employees feel like they are still part of the Essex family.

Employees from each of the County's seven departments were nominated by their supervisors or Department Directors for this monthly award. The employees exemplify the County Executive's goal for a unified, cooperative workforce, who emphasize good customer service. Employees who were honored were invited to attend an informal reception in the County Executive's Office where they received a citation from the County Executive. Pictures of the winners were hung on the fourth floor of the Hall of Records outside of the County Executive's Office and will remain there during the month of August.
(past awards)