2019 Winners

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KEITH KERMAN

Chief Fleet Officer, Deputy Commissioner, NYC DCAS

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RENEE PARHAM

Director, Emergency Services Bureau Office of Enforcement and Neighborhood Services, NYC Housing Preservation & Development

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JOE MARCELLINO

Associate Director of Emergency Management, Coney Island Hospital NYC Health + Hospitals

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GESILLE DIXON

Borough Director, Bronx Neighborhood Library Networks, New York Public Library

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CANDY RODRIGUEZ

School Safety Agent, Joan of Arc Public School Complex, NYPD

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JOHN GALLAGHER

Deputy Warden in Command, Population/Custody Management NYC Department of Correction

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KEITH KERMAN

Chief Fleet Officer, Deputy Commissioner, NYC DCAS

Throughout his 25 year career in NYC government, first at the Parks Department and then at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Keith Kerman has been motivated by environmental sustainability and increased efficiency. As the City's first Chief Fleet Officer, he oversees 31,000 vehicles used by 60 City agencies and offices. He has created the nation's greenest fleet, with nearly 20,000 vehicles using alternative fuels like biodiesel or electricity. He has also created the nation's largest governmental "fleet sharing program" and has consolidated repair services that has reduced out-of-service time for vehicles. In all, these innovations have saved NYC millions of dollars and contributed to improved public health. Mr. Kerman is described by a colleague as, "…the embodiment of public service at its best. He is the full package: A great planner, a great implementer and a great innovator."

RENEE PARHAM

Director, Emergency Services Bureau Office of Enforcement and Neighborhood Services, NYC Housing Preservation & Development

As the Director of the Emergency Services Bureau and with 35 years experience at HPD, Ms.Parham is revered as an expert in the complex system of how to get repairs done well and quickly and how to ensure the housing code is met. Her team responds to 30,000 emergency repair cases a year, such as no heat, no water, burst pipes or collapsed ceilings. She is recognized not only for her team's quick response time, but also for her ingenuity in finding temporary fixes. She will arrange a fuel drop off in the middle of the night. Her tenacity in holding landlords accountable when essential repairs are neglected and getting warrants so vendors can fix the problem is legendary. Says Ms. Parham, "I want everyone in our division to put themselves into the position of tenants. Can you imagine trying to sleep with no heat in the dead of winter? What about not being able to cook for your family because you don't have gas for the stove? That is always in the forefront of my mind and motivates me to work to the best of my ability."

JOE MARCELLINO

Associate Director of Emergency Management, Coney Island Hospital NYC Health + Hospitals

A nationally recognized authority on Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Joseph Marcellino is the expert at Coney Island Hospital. When Hurricane Sandy hit, the hospital was flooded. It had no power or electricity and a raging fire on the campus. Mr. Marcellino oversaw the safe and smooth evacuation of all 250 patients, each with an evacuation kit with personal information, diagnosis, medical conditions and medications. The hospital was out of operation for six months, so Mr. Marcellino helped establish urgent care centers and a pharmacy in south Brooklyn as the hospital worked toward reopening. Dr. Mark Kindschuh, Chairman of Emergency Medicine says, "Our emergency room cannot function without him. We rely on him for large-scale emergencies and for smaller ones like flu surges or multiple-injury car accidents. He saves lives, pure and simple."

GESILLE DIXON

Borough Director, Bronx Neighborhood Library Networks, New York Public Library

Gesille Dixon is in charge of the 35 Branch Libraries that serve nearly 1.5 million residents of the Bronx. Foremost for Ms. Dixon is the importance of libraries as a place to promote literacy, but she is also is acutely aware that what each library offers has to be tailored to the specific needs of the community it anchors. Says Ms. Dixon, "Libraries have always been gateways, it is a gateway to foreign lands, to creativity and imagination, but it is also a gateway to a better education, to job resources, to citizenship and to a very caring community." Throughout her career, she has been a pioneer in forging strong community partnerships with neighborhood organizations, schools, and government agencies and when necessary in taking the library to people where they work—the Bronx Terminal Market—or where they live—assisted living facilities. Charlie Vazquez, formerly with the Bronx Arts Council's says, "Gesille fights for the notion that the people of the Bronx are worthy of having access to world-class resources and fights to erase all obstacles."

CANDY RODRIGUEZ

School Safety Agent, Joan of Arc Public School Complex, NYPD

Candy Rodriguez has been a School Safety Agent for 43 years in the same school complex on Manhattan's Upper West Side. She is beloved by generations of neighborhood families. From day one, she got to know the students, learned how to head off fights, and collaborated with staff to change the culture of the school. She is singled out for her leadership skills, strong work ethic, and remarkable rapport with everyone. Says Principal Brian Zager, "When it's about business, Candy is all about business. She's an amazingly powerful presence. She's about 5'3" tall, but she can give the impression she is 6'4"." Several people have observed that parents love her, kids love her, and staff love her. She has a personal interaction, complete with an inside joke and a huge smile for every child who walks by her station. And, at the end of day, there is always a long line of students who won't leave without a hug from Candy. The school is one of the safest in the city.

JOHN GALLAGHER

Deputy Warden in Command, Population/Custody Management NYC Department of Correction

In 1989, John Gallagher was assigned to Rikers Island as a rookie Correction Officer. Thirty years later, he is an undisputed leader and fierce advocate for transforming the Department's approach to treating inmates with mental illnesses. Because of his initiatives, seven jails on Rikers Island now have mental health units which house inmates with mental illnesses, provide supports, and are an alternative to solitary confinement. Because of him, over 600 Officers have received Crisis Intervention Training on how to de-escalate situations involving inmates with mental health issues. "I would ask you to find a more compassionate and caring man than Dep. Gallagher. But then I would be asking you to do the impossible," says Correction Officer Sandra Reid. Adds Senior Deputy Commissioner Timothy Farrell, "John Gallagher possesses a level of passion and dedication that is unmatched. For him, providing humanistic care and ensuring security in our facilities are not mutually exclusive, but, in fact, are mutually beneficial."

 
 

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