Allegheny County Employees Receiving Honors & Accolades

PITTSBURGH – County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced today that a number of employees of Allegheny County have recently been honored or received accolades for personal or professional accomplishments:

Gary Thomas, Assistant Chief of Emergency Services and 9-1-1 Coordinator, recently received the professional designation of Registered Public-Safety Leader from the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO). The 12-month program provides training in communications, management, interpersonal negotiations, team performance and leading with confidence and integrity. Receipt of the certificate also means that Mr. Thomas has been accepted into the APCO Institute Registry of Public Safety Leaders, a prestigious acknowledgement of excellence within the industry. Mr. Thomas is a resident of the Town of McCandless and has worked for the Department of Emergency Services since November 2009.

Also in the Department of Emergency Services, Donna Duncan and Chuck Perry, full-time Telecommunications Officers (TCOs) at the Allegheny County 9-1-1 Center were recently featured in a Post-Gazette article about their roles as instructors in a two-hour pet first-aid course. In addition to Ms. Duncan and Mr. Perry, TCOs Judy Blahut, Melissa Salerno and Jessica Shandrick were also part of the training. They all serve as members of the Allegheny County Animal Response Team.

ABOARD’S Autism Connection of PA has announced its finalists for the prestigious Temple Grandin Award, and the list includes Department of Real Estate part-time employee Joe Kleppick. Mr. Kleppick has Asperger’s Syndrome, but rather than treating it as a disability, he shines a light of education on it and asks only for acceptance and understanding. In addition to his work for the county, Mr. Kleppick works to educate the public, students, educators, employers, political leaders, parents and others. At the county, he is a clerk who works making copies of deeds, retrieving and returning deed books that go back to the 1700s, fulfilling and researching mail requests, answering phones and providing assistance to the people who come into the Department. Mr. Kleppick is a resident of the Borough of East Pittsburgh and has worked for the Department of Real Estate since August of 2011.

“Too often, people have an impression of government employees based on stereotypes and bad reputations, but that’s not the case here,” said Fitzgerald. “These are just a few of the amazing employees who work for Allegheny County and who represent our residents so well. Our employees are our greatest asset, and I am proud to recognize them in a small way.”

During his State of the County address earlier this month, County Executive Fitzgerald announced the reinstitution of the Frank J. Lucchino Distinguished Service Award, as well as the creation of the Exemplary Employee Award. The Frank J. Lucchino Distinguished Service Award was initiated in 2000 to recognize and reward exemplary performance by county employees through exceptional efficiency and productivity, customer service, or innovation and creativity. It will be presented annually to an employee (or employees) who has exceeded all expectations, made a significant impact upon the county, and has represented the county admirably in his or her actions. The Exemplary Employee Award will be presented periodically in recognition of exceptional achievements by a county employee group. Nominations may be made by both Allegheny County employees and non-employees. Please visit www.AlleghenyCounty.US/manager/award.aspx to submit a nomination online or fill out a printable form that can be sent to the County Manager’s Office. Directions and details for nominations are available on the website.

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