NewsNet - 2018 in Review (Part 2 - Awards and Recognition)

As 2018 is drawing to a close, NewsNet this week is taking a look back at some of the accomplishments and fun things that happened in the City of Tucson this year. Today, we have the second of a two-part special edition that focuses on some of the awards and recognition the City received in 2018 (with the original story date added), and that represents only a small portion of good news this year. We hope you enjoy these stories once again.

City Leaders Recognized at Women of Influence Awards (3/9/18) - Tucson Fire Department Assistant Chief Laura Baker won the Public Service Champion Award during Tucson Local Media's Women of Influence Awards in April at the Desert Diamond Casino. In 2015, Baker became the first woman in TFD history to attain the title of assistant chief. In that capacity, Baker previously managed fire prevention, medical administration, and the 911 Communications Center. She currently oversees Logistics, Human Resources, Finance, and is the liaison for Public Information and Community Relations. Baker also helped create Camp Fury, a five-day public safety camp for girls entering grades 9-12.

City's Fleet Earns National Ranking (5/11/18) - The City of Tucson’s Fleet Services Division was named one of the “100 Best Fleets” for 2018. Tucson earned the 53rd rank in the awards announced in May at the annual NAFA Institute and Expo. The award recognizes excellence in fleet management and rewards peak-performing fleet operations. This is the sixth consecutive year in which the City of Tucson is among the top 100 fleets in the nation. The division manages a diverse fleet of more than 2,600 vehicles and oversees fueling operations for the City.

Tucson Water Receives State Award (5/14/18) - Tucson Water received the Large System of the Year award from the AZ Water Association at its annual conference in Phoenix in May. The utility was recognized for leading Arizona’s second-largest city from 100 percent groundwater dependence to reliance on a diverse, primarily renewable water portfolio. This helped keep total water usage at levels from the 1980s, even with an increase of more than 200,000 customers. In addition, Tucson’s partnerships with Phoenix and Las Vegas for Colorado River water storage were noted, as well as its new Neighborhood Green Infrastructure Program.

City Wins 2018 Wellness Award (5/24/18) - The City of Tucson earned the 2018 Healthy Arizona Worksite Program Gold Level Award, which is given to businesses that track and document outcomes and behavior change within their data- and outcomes-driven wellness initiatives. Gold level programs demonstrate support from leadership and integrate worksite health programs with business policies and benefits. The City partners with CIGNA to provide a robust wellness program that includes an annual weight loss competition, quarterly maintenance weigh-ins, Holiday Maintain Don’t Gain Challenge, MotivateMe, healthy cooking demonstrations, on-site flu shot and mammography events, semi-annual wellness fairs, fitness facility partnerships, and more.

City GIS Team Wins National Award (7/20/18) - The City of Tucson's Geographic Information Systems (GIS) team received a Special Achievement in GIS award from Esri at the GIS mapping software company's annual conference in San Diego in July. The City's GIS team, which has people from numerous departments, was recognized for taking a program that was focused on departmental needs and had numerous duplicative functions, to now having a community of professionals working together to support the goals and aspirations of the City through spatial data and analysis.

Tucson's Homeless Work Program Receives National Award Of Merit (7/27/18) - The Tucson Homeless Work Program in July received the Award of Merit from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). The Tucson Homeless Work Program, created by Ward 5 Tucson City Council Member and Vice mayor Richard Fimbres in 2016, is a collaborative effort between community nonprofit organizations, the City of Tucson, Pima County, and business leaders. The primary goal of the program is to help people exit homelessness through rapid engagement in daily employment and immediate cash payment for work. Old Pueblo Community Services oversees the program. The agency coordinates transportation, supervises the workers, provides financial oversight, handles all worker pay, maintains worker documentation, and conducts regular evaluation and quality management functions.

Vice Mayor Richard Fimbres Honored with National Award (8/3/18) - Ward 5 Tucson City Council Member and Vice Mayor Richard Fimbres was honored at the Summer Conference of the Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) for his work creating the Tucson Homeless Work Program and forming the Tucson Homeless Coalition and Tucson Change Movement. The Tucson Homeless Work Program helps people exit homelessness through daily employment and cash payment for their work. In response to issues related to homelessness in Tucson, Fimbres formed the Tucson Homeless Coalition, a group of organizations, businesses, and homeless individuals who tackle complex problems. Fimbres' work with the coalition also helped form the Tucson Change Movement, which uses parking meters as donation stations to collect donations for homeless programs.

City Employee Wins National Procurement Award (9/11/18) - The Institute for Public Procurement (NIGP) in September named the City of Tucson's Victoria Cortinas as its 2018 Manager of the Year. She was recognized as an active promoter and supporter of public procurement who demonstrates a passion for the profession and maintains high ethical standards. During her 21 years with the City, Cortinas has served in various capacities in the Department of Procurement and currently is the administrator of the Procurement Operations Division of the Business Services Department and serves on several committees and task forces at the NIGP Copper Chapter, the local affiliate of the NIGP. Founded in 1944, NIGP exists to develop, support, and promote the public procurement profession. The Institute supports more than 3,000 member agencies and more than 15,000 professionals across the United States, Canada, and other countries outside of North America.

City Employees Win Women in Government Awards (9/24/18) - The City of Tucson had several winners in September's Pima County/Tucson Women's Commission Women in Government Awards. Veronica Kearney of the Tucson Police Department's (TPD) Crime Lab won the City Leadership Award. Ashley Covarrubias of TPD won the City Rising Star Award. The Synergy Award for the City of Tucson went to the Public Defender's Office support team of Linda Barraza, Miroslava Martinez, Sheryl Miller-Norton, Regina Noperi, Miriam Perez, Karla Sainz, and Pamela Stewart. Maria Sereno of City Court took home the City's Unsung Heroine Award.