Mayor Don Wesely today presented the Mayor's Award of Excellence for December 2001 to Bill Thoreson of the Personnel Department. The monthly award recognizes city employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the city. The award was presented at the beginning of today's City Council meeting.
Thoreson has worked as the City of Lincoln-Lancaster County Benefits Specialist for 15 years. He was nominated in the category of customer relations by Personnel Director Georgia Glass. In managing benefits for all city and county employees and elected officials, Thoreson deals with enrollment for insurance; the administration of benefit and pension plans; and new employee orientation. Glass said Thoreson is always available to answer questions, help with insurance claims and explain retirement options.
"When an employee dies, Bill talks to the grieving spouse and family to help them receive their benefits," Glass writes in her nomination. "If an employee goes through a divorce, Bill helps the employee and children and talks to the lawyers. I have received many calls from employees that Bill has helped to tell me that he ‘saved them' because they did not know what to do, and Bill did. Bill is the intermediary in countless ways for city and county employees who are not familiar with the complex world of insurance and pension plans."
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are productivity, loss prevention, safety and valor. All city employees are eligible for the Mayor's Award of Excellence except for elected officials and some managers. Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public.
Nomination forms are available from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Personnel Department, which oversees the awards program. All nominations are reviewed 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 $100 U.S. savings bond, a day off with pay and a plaque. Monthly winners are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $500 U.S. savings bond, two days off with pay and a plaque.