The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community tribal government held its annual Employee Christmas Luncheon on December 1 in the Talking Stick Resort ballroom. More than 1,500 employees gathered under one roof to enjoy the Christmas lunch and entertainment and to hear the nominations for SRPMIC Employee of the Year.
Community Manager Bryan Meyers thanked the staff for their hard work throughout the year. SRPMIC President Delbert Ray, Sr., also acknowledged the staff for their help serving the Community.
The emcee for the event was Pacer Reina of the Administration department. Reina and Salt River Police Department Chief Patrick Melvin entertained everyone by dressing as Elvis throughout the event. A buffet-style lunch was served, and everyone played games and took advantage of the photo booths that were set up for departments to take Christmas group pictures.
The nominees for 2015 Employee of the Year:
Marianne Bennett, HHS Clinical Services Manager
Dariusz Grunz, SRPD Police Officer
Erica Harvier, Administration Executive Secretary
Maurice Hurd, SRPD Sergeant
Greg Morrison, IT Sr. Application System Analyst
Mervin Monte, Public Works Lead Building Maintenance Worker
Eniketi Voss, Human Resources Benefits Analyst
When the Employee of the Year was announced as none other than Mervin Monte, Lead Building Maintenance Worker from Public Works, it was no surprise that he was not in attendance—he was working back at the Two Waters complex.
Monte started working for the Public Works Department as a temporary building maintenance worker in 1997, nine months later on June 1 he became permanent. “About a year later I was asked to take care of the Community Key System, then a year after that I was promoted to Lead Building Maintenance Worker,” said Monte. “Around 2004, I was asked to be Acting Supervisor when our Supervisor moved to another position. Shortly after a new Supervisor was hired, I was asked to be Acting Facilities Manager, which lasted about four years. In 2008, I moved back to Lead Building Maintenance Worker and was tasked to oversee the maintenance of Fire Alarm/Sprinkler/Extinguishers, Security Systems, Card Access System and Emergency Generators. I have been in that position since.”
Over the years, many staff may have met Monte when they accidentally locked their office door and had to call to have it unlocked; had their key fob activated as a new employee; or maybe to have the main office door locked but his job duties entail so much more.
Public Works Director Kirk Beaty in his nomination letter pointed out that a lot of employees and Community members know Mervin Monte; some people know him as Monte Mervin, or as the guy with two first names. But whether he’s known as Mervin Monte or Monte Mervin, those who know Mervin know they can count on him to get things done. Mervin is the primary employee responsible to maintain the safety and security systems of the Government facilities. This includes door locks and hardware, keys, access fobs, surveillance cameras, fire alarms, fire sprinklers, fire extinguishers, intrusion alarms, emergency generators, and computerized controls for the air conditioning, heating and energy management systems.
“If you receive an e-mail that states the “Fire Alarm is in TEST”, you know that Mervin is inspecting or adjusting these safety systems to ensure they function in the event of emergencies,” Beaty wrote. “While most people don’t interact with Mervin directly, every Community Member, employee, and visitor is impacted by his work every time they open a door, or feel cool air inside a building.”
Over the years, there have been many changes Monte witnessed. One being the growth of the Public Works Department to match the growing number of facilities to maintain in the Community.
“I think the biggest [change] is the technology. In our department, we can see problems at facilities and correct [them] before anyone even knows there was a problem. [For example,] air conditioning, fire alarm systems, card access, emergency generators and this is only the facilities maintenance section, one or more of the Public Works sections have their own alert systems.”
Monte said he likes being able to fix/repair problems on his own using the new technology or answer questions about these systems. “I do have to commend the rest of the Facilities Maintenance staff who I do on-call occasionally for assistance, as Kirk Beaty mentioned, I am a lead, but have no one to lead, [Beaty] pretty much summed it all up,” said Monte about Beaty’s nomination letter.
In his nomination letter Beaty also wrote, “Mervin exhibits one of the strongest work ethics that I have seen in my tenure with the Community. He puts service to customers (Community Members, employees and visitors) before his own needs. While his position title states that Mervin is in a leadership role, it is his behavior and character that truly define his title. Mervin’s dedication to service and to his job exemplifies the characteristics of an employee worthy of the honor to be recognized as Employee of the Year. Mervin Monte is a dedicated servant to the Community who works hard day and night (literally). He ensures that everyone who visits Community facilities can get in and can feel safe while conducting their business. Mervin maintains professionalism, character and integrity in everything he does, and it is these attributes that identify Mervin as a true leader. It is because of his outstanding service, leadership and work ethic that I am nominating Mervin Monte, Lead Building Maintenance Worker at Public Works, for the honor of Employee of the Year for 2015.”
As part of the honor, Monte received a $1,500 Visa gift card, a plaque, a Kindle Fire HD 7, and a custom designed 9-inch lamp with basket designs on it.
Last year the Employee of the Year award went to Marcus Begay, also of the Public Works Department.