Mayor Chris Beutler today will present the Mayor's Award of Excellence for September to Office Specialist Brianne Crooks of the Purchasing Division of the Finance Department. The award will be presented at 3 p.m. at the beginning of the City Council meeting at the County-City Building, 555 S. 10th Street. The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City.
Crooks has worked for the City since 2016. She was nominated in the category of loss prevention by Assistant Purchasing Agent Lori Irons for helping to establish the insurance requirements for those with City and County contracts.
In late 2016, in the midst of awarding more than 100 unit price contracts, it was determined that additional insurance requirements were needed. Crooks immediately took a leadership role in learning what was needed. She reached out to industry experts to learn about the endorsements the City and County would require, and she worked with those experts as well as departments and suppliers to help clarify the needs. Crooks played a key role in helping to effectively and efficiently execute the unit price contracts with the new requirements.
Crooks was then asked to join a committee to help draft the insurance clause to be used for City and County contracts. She helped write and review the clause and participated in several discussion sessions prior to it being implemented.
Since then, Crooks has continued to learn more about the potential risk involved with contracts. She has become the primary person in the office to determine insurance risk and the coverage needed on contracts to insure against potential loss.
She is able to quickly review documents to identify if they meet the required coverage and to offer help when different documents are needed. Crooks has also taken a class to expand her knowledge of insurance. She continues to research the subject to stay familiar with forms and coverage requirements to help protect the City and County.
Irons writes, "Her work in this area is a great asset to departments, suppliers and Purchasing in assessing insurance needs and ensuring we have proper documents in place to protect against liability claims. The benefit of this is unmeasurable."
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are customer service, productivity, safety and valor. Consideration also may be given to nominations that demonstrate self-initiated accomplishments or those completed outside of the nominee's job description. All City employees are eligible for the award except for elected and appointed officials. Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public. Nomination forms are available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: hr) or from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Human Resources Department, which oversees the awards program.
All nominations are considered by the Mayor's Award of Excellence Committee, which includes a representative with each union and a non-union representative appointed by the Mayor. Award winners receive a $50 gift certificate, a day off with pay and a plaque. All monthly winners and nominees are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $250 gift certificate, two days off with pay and a plaque.