Award Winners Go Beyond Job Descriptions to Get Work Done

Newark, NJ - Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. presented the monthly Essex County Teamwork Awards to seven Essex County employees during an informal ceremony Wednesday, June 4th in his office. The employees who were recognized share several common traits, such as the extra effort they regularly give to get the job done and their willingness to help other County workers.

"These employees have gone above and beyond their job descriptions to make sure Essex County government works smoothly and our constituents are provided with the services they need," DiVincenzo said. "The seven employees being honored today are exemplary employees who not only work hard to fulfill their duties, but make the extra effort to help their colleagues. They truly deserve the Teamwork Award," he noted.

The seven people receiving the Essex County Teamwork Awards for June were:

Carmen Fernicola of Belleville has been employed by Essex County for 21 years and currently is a member of the County Administrator's Staff in the Department of Administration and Finance. He is the liaison between the Administration and Freeholder Board, and is responsible for reviewing every item submitted to the Freeholders for action.

Thomas Foppiani of Nutley has been a Tree Climber with the Division of Roads and Bridges in the Department of Public Works for two and a half years. He was recognized for the strong work ethic he employs after working 25 years in the private sector, serving as a role model and mentor to younger employees, and never declining an assignment, even if it is outside his scope of work.

Delmarti Johnson of Newark started working as a Seasonal Park Attendant for the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs in 1991 and was hired in 1999 to maintain the Department's offices. Seeking additional responsibilities, she volunteered to perform clerical work in the Golf ID Unit and, in 2000, became a full-time clerk in the Golf ID Unit. She was honored for her hard work and her honesty, which she exhibited by not accepting payments from golfers to process ID cards without proper documentation.
Noreen Landers of West Orange is a Secretarial Assistant who has spent 29 years working in various departments at the Essex County Hospital Center. She currently is helping develop the Hospital's Health Information/Information Management System. She is credited with saving the county thousands of dollars in consultant fees because of her knowledge of the computer system and her willingness to help her workmates solve their computer problems.
Michael Loreto of Belleville has been a Corrections Officer at the Essex County Jail for 20 years. As an Institutional Trade Instructor, he is responsible for all maintenance matters at the Jail, and works with County tradespeople and inmates to make sure work is completed. He also fills in at other posts if his shift is not at full capacity and still completes his maintenance duties efficiently and on schedule.
Samuel Okpareke of Orange is a Workforce Investment Board Planner in the Department of Economic Development, Training and Employment and is responsible for creating and overseeing the Adult Literacy Labs. He was chosen for the award because he "readily lends his skills and creativity to other staff members as they reorganize the Workforce Investment Board and establish and manage One-Stop Career Centers.
Ida Williams of Newark is a Senior Clerk-Typist in the Division of Welfare in the Department of Citizen Services and has been employed by the County for 31 years. She coordinates the monthly General Assistance check issuance system, which generates 1,700 checks. When the State computer system malfunctioned in April and May, Ms. Williams worked extra hours without being compensated to make sure every client received their check.

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 June.
(past awards)