John Papuga wins Maintainer of the Year at Facilities Services’ Awards Presentation

John  Papuga  of the grounds crew won the Maintainer of the Year Award at the annual facilities services awards presentation and  chili cook-off. The event was held from 3-5 p.m. on Dec. 22 in the facilities services department in the Van Briggle building.

The Maintainer of the Year Award, created in 1983, recognizes a member of facilities services who significantly demonstrates a commitment to practicing the Colorado College mission core values and who significantly contributes to the success of the facilities services department in the past year. In order to be considered, Papuga’s nomination had to list his specific actions, or accomplishments, over the past year, and describe the ways in which his actions or accomplishments met the award’s criteria, which include:

Demonstrating exceptional leadership skill
Technical skill
Resource stewardship
Outstanding customer relations
Improving sustainability
Successful collaboration
Successful problem solving
Achieving an outstanding accomplishment or successfully meeting a unique or unusual challenge beyond normal or routine work experiences or expectations

Ryan Smith of HVAC received the Adam Valdez Excellence in Facilities Services Award, which was inaugurated in 2001. The Adam Valdez Award recognizes a member of facilities services who consistently and over at least a five-year period demonstrates a commitment to practicing the college’s mission core values and significantly contributes to the success of the department. Criteria for the award include:

Unselfish support of others – being a team player
Self-directed and motivator of others
Positive and constructive in communications with colleagues
Innovative and resourceful  — finding ways to get things done
Sets a good example  – productive and quality work

Smith also won the Radio Personality of the Year Award, an award that is subtitled “Most Time on Two-Way Radio for Work Orders.”

Other award winners are Lee Doughty, lock shop, who received the Customer Service Award and Mike Starr, set ups and events shop, who received the Pitch-In Award. Set ups/events shop received the Spic and Span Award for having the cleanest shop, with Nick Solano accepting the award on its behalf.

The awards ceremony was held in the carpenter’s shop, with the chili cook-off entries set up in the kitchen, along with other food. Winner of the best red chili was Pete Ordway, lock shop, and best green chili winner was Jerry Switzer, of grounds.

The history of the chili cook-off was detailed in an article written by Sally Eisentraut and published in the facilities’ TRADEWINDS January 2002 newsletter:

 “Our Grounds crew is nothing if not competitive.  An ongoing argument between Jerry (Switzer) and Cecelia (Gonzales) about who makes the BEST green chili sparked an idea to sponsor a chili cook-off – just to prove who was the best.  By mid-1996 they had come up with a plan. 

The first week in December seemed an ideal time – cold enough to really enjoy the chili and a festive time to get together.  They decided to save their aluminum cans (and dumpster dive for other metals to recycle) to pay for it. They would need to collect enough to pay for two $25.00 gift certificates (one certificate for the best Red Chili and one for the best Green Chili), the tortillas, beer and dessert.  They then asked Chef Matt from Sodexho Marriott (now Bon Appetit) to judge the contest and he agreed.  They immediately passed out flyers to facilities to advertise the first annual cook-off.”

1 Comment

  1. Thomas says:

    Congrats John!

    Very deserving of the award, and I am so proud… nobody was more eligible.

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