Mayor Leary’s Message – April 2018
Employees of the Year
24/7/365 – you will always find City of Winter Park employees working behind the scenes to provide the high-quality services we all have come to appreciate, enjoy, and expect. Each year the city recognizes three of those devoted employees with the Employee of the Year awards for their extraordinary efforts during the year. Congratulations to each of the gentlemen for their commitment to the City of Winter Park:
Employee of the Year
Water & Wastewater Utilities Department
Field Supervisor George Richardson consistently goes above and beyond on every project. He manages three distinct construction crews and has been instrumental in developing and ensuring the success of the city’s horizontal directional drilling, installation of fiber optic conduits, and pipe bursting programs. George also planned and directed the completion of water main replacement in conjunction with the I-4 Ultimate project. This resulted in a savings of nearly $1.7 million by keeping major portions of the project in-house. His division completed the installation of the new wet well for the lift station on Lee Rd. With his expertise, this project was completed ahead of schedule, with an estimated $85,000 cost savings.
George is always looking for ways to improve and enhance efficiencies, saving money while increasing production. He is a self-motivated, hardworking, lead-by-example employee who is an exemplary role model and well respected by all his coworkers.
Firefighter of the Year
Winter Park Fire-Rescue Department
Engineer Eric Wheaton continually leads his fellow firefighters by example through training and education. He is what is referred to in fire service as a “legacy,” as his father, Wally Wheaton, worked with the department for 30 years. Since joining the Winter Fire-Rescue Department (WPFD) in July 2007, Eric has excelled at nearly every aspect of the job. He routinely leads training programs, not only within the WPFD, but serves as a well-respected instructor on the national stage. He represents the city, WPFD, his family, and the fire service industry with pride and honor.
As a leader, Eric takes it upon himself to set an example for new firefighters. No matter the time of day, he continuously prepares himself and his rig for service. Eric is meticulous in assuring all tools and equipment are in ready status. He is highly respected and trusted with any assignment, always setting the bar very high for those who will follow.
Officer of the Year
Winter Park Police Department
Officer Ryan Wing continually goes above and beyond the call of duty actively searching for wanted suspects in the city, having found numerous suspects through social media applications. He also continually presents new training ideas to the department and remains engaged with the community with his polite, courteous, patient and professional demeanor.
Officer Wing’s excellent work ethic motivates his colleagues to give it their all in keeping the city safe. Along with his exemplary work ethic, he is exceptionally thorough and diligent with his reports. On many occasions he continues investigating a case all the way through to completion, rather than forwarding it directly to the detective unit. His commitment to exhaust every option has saved many hours of work for detectives, in turn allowing them to focus their attention on other cases.
George, Eric, and Ryan are three examples of city employees who serve our community. We thank them and all our staff for what they do to continue to make Winter Park a city of arts and culture that cherishes its traditional scale and charm while building a healthy and sustainable future for all generations.
Mayor Steve Learyby