Ottawa County 58th District Court Gives Hope

The Ottawa County 58th District Court staff donated 81 backpacks filled with necessities (socks, pajamas, toothbrushes…) and other important items (toys, coloring books, crayons, puzzles…) to Hope Pkgs. Hope Pkgs is a local nonprofit that provides “first night bags” for children entering foster care. Many kids enter a foster family’s home with nothing but the clothing on their backs. The filled backpacks provide some comfort and hope for children of all ages during the transition. Let’s applaud these employees for their generosity and demonstration of The Ottawa Way.

Pictured is Lisa from Hope Pkgs and the District Court All RISE! Staff Enrichment Team who orchestrated and oversaw the project. (Not pictured is team member Sue O’Connor)

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Friend of the Court Awarded by State

At the Michigan Family Support Conference last week, Ottawa County Friend of the Court received the award for top performance of a large county in four federal performance measure areas. Congratulations to Jennell Challa, to Friend of the Court staff, to the judges, to the referees and to everyone who plays a part in the child support enforcement program in Ottawa County.

Ottawa County Honors Court Employee for Customer Service

Ottawa County extends its congratulations to Ryan Gamby who was selected to receive the Outstanding Customer Service Award for the fourth quarter of 2015. Gamby has been with Ottawa County for four years and serves in 58th District Court Probation and Community Corrections. Meet Ryan Gamby at http://bit.ly/cs-award.

The individual who nominated Gamby wrote:
“Ryan CONSTANTLY goes above and beyond what is expected in his job. I think almost daily that I request something of him and he cheerfully acts on it. One example: An out-of-town attorney came in for arraignment, had a pre-trial and then the defendant was sentenced. Judge ordered that the defendant be put on a Soberlink unit. Ryan was the only one available this day… he had another person coming in to be put on the only Soberlink unit left in the office, so he put this defendant on the only Soberlink he had, as she was from out-of-town. He then made a run to the jail to get another unit so he could put the original person on that unit. The defendant that was scheduled to come in was on probation and without a license, so he didn’t want to make it any harder for that person to be placed on the Soberlink as was ordered. She had already made arrangements for a ride to the courthouse. That is just AWESOME customer service. Ryan did all this even though he was swamped with extra work (he was covering for a Probation Officer out on medical leave). Ryan is just so easy to work with and truly cares about the customer and has the intuition to see how it would affect the other person. I could go on and on because this is a daily occurrence. Ryan is a GREAT team player with a huge heart and smile to go with it.”

Gamby’s supervisor agreed. “Courteous treatment makes the client, even in the worst of circumstances, walk away feeling respected and valued. Ryan provides an excellent customer experience to everyone he comes in contact with. This recognition is well deserved,” commented Alma Valenzuela, Assistant Director of Probation and Community Corrections.

Gamby is the eighth recipient of the County’s Outstanding Customer Service Award. Ottawa County employees are trained to present a friendly, professional demeanor treating customers with integrity and respect. The Outstanding Customer Service Award is presented quarterly to an Ottawa County employee who exemplifies this to both internal and external customers. Customers can nominate an Ottawa County employee for an Outstanding Customer Service award at miOttawa.org.

 

Eighth Recipient of the Outstanding Customer Service Award Announced

Congratulations to Ryan Gamby from 58th District Court Probation and Community Corrections!

Ottawa County Employees continue to go above and beyond, day after day. For the Fourth Quarter of 2015, 30 employees were nominated for Outstanding Customer Service Awards; some were nominated multiple times. Nominees for the Outstanding Customer Service Award were:

  • Jill Albrecht-Bannink, Department of Public Health
  • Esther Arizola, Department of Public Health
  • Becky Ashcraft, Sheriff’s Office
  • Josh Barton, Sheriff’s Office
  • Cathleen Bylsma, County Clerk’s Office
  • Jennell Challa, 20th Circuit Court Friend of the Court
  • Dave Cook, Innovation and Technology
  • Anastasia Endres-Bercher, Department of Public Health
  • Rebekah Folkert, Department of Public Health
  • Mary Frein, MSU Extension
  • Adeline Hambley, Department of Public Health
  • Mary Hamstra, Department of Public Health
  • Chris Harwood, Sheriff’s Office
  • Kevin Hoxsey, Department of Public Health
  • Alanna Hyatt, Department of Public Health
  • Katelynn Keene, Treasurer’s Office
  • Heidi Koopman, 20th Circuit Court Juvenile Services
  • Tami McCoy, County Clerk’s Office
  • Mike Mepyans, 58th District Court Probation and Community Corrections
  • Dave Miller, Department of Public Health
  • Steve Namenye, Innovation and Technology
  • Becky Nieboer, County Clerk’s Office
  • Teresa Overly, Water Resources Commissioner’s Office
  • Deborah Parker, County Clerk’s Office
  • Sandra Shafer, 20th Circuit Court Friend of the Court
  • Eric Smith, Sheriff’s Office
  • Karla Snodgrass, Treasurer’s Office
  • Jessica Voglewede, Department of Public Health
  • Adam Zantello, Department of Public Health

Congratulations to all of the nominees and keep-up the spectacular service! If you wish to nominate a co-worker or promote the program to residents, details are available at miOttawa.org. Nominations can come from both inside and outside the organization. Each quarter, the Customer Service Team will review all of the nominations and select the recipient of the Outstanding Customer Service Award.

More information about Ryan Gamby will be posted in a future article.

Congratulations again, Ryan!

Award

Submitted by Misty Cunningham, Administrative Assistant, Ottawa County Administrator’s Office

Lighthouse Girl Learns to Give Back

Random acts of kindness are extremely powerful. The impact of an act of kindness can have a lasting impression on the giver and receiver. The 20th Circuit Court, Juvenile Services Division’s Lighthouse Girls Residential Program had an opportunity to witness with one special act of kindness by a special young woman.

The Lighthouse Program is dedicated to offering female-specific treatment and support for girls ages 12-17 involved in the juvenile justice system. The girls involved in the Lighthouse program are offered opportunities to explore new skills to learn and apply to their future. They are challenged to think outside the box and gain new skills that allow them to enhance their self- esteem and enrich their daily lives. The girls are connected with a mentor/volunteer from the community to learn the necessary skills and practice a challenging new asset/skill.

One Lighthouse resident took this opportunity a step further and created a special meaning to her learning experience, while also showing others how she could create her personal act of kindness.

Kelly (not her real name) challenged herself by learning physical fitness skills. Each week she worked with her mentor to understand proper technique and was able to develop and practice sets of exercises to help her grow in her skill. In addition, she worked hard with Lighthouse staff to organize a sponsorship program that encouraged others to help her meet a goal by raising $500 within ten days which would be donated to an organization that has been inspirational in her life; she wanted to advance services to those in need. At the conclusion of the ten days, Kelly was excited when she discovered she had exceeded her financial goal by raising $550 through her hard work.

Upon completion of her challenge, Kelly presented those funds to the executive director of Bethany Christian Services, Steve Eckert.  Kelly also individually designed and painted a donated wooden chair to place in the lobby of Bethany Christian Services as a reminder of the impact that Bethany Christian Services has made in her life and others.

This Lighthouse graduate was not only able to give back to an organization that had an important impact on her life, but also, she was able to feel a sense of pride that these gifts were provided through her hard work.  An immense thank you to the 20th Circuit Court, Juvenile Services Division staff members for  supporting Kelly’s goal to pay it forward to Bethany Christian Services. The impact of this act of kindness brings warmth to this holiday season and is a good example of the care and support the 20th Circuit Court, Juvenile Services Division staff offer the population with whom they work.

lighthouse project

Kelly also individually designed and painted a donated wooden chair to place in the lobby of Bethany Christian Services as a reminder of the impact that Bethany Christian Services has made in her life and others.

Submitted by Michelle Anguiano

Deputy Bennett Awarded for Customer Service

Ottawa County extends its congratulations to Deputy Brad Bennett who was selected to receive the Outstanding Customer Service Award for the third quarter of 2015. Deputy Bennett  has worked four years with Ottawa County as a Sheriff’s Cadet and three years as a Sheriff’s Deputy.

“We thank Deputy Bennett for his commitment to customer service. The Sheriff’s Office commits itself to a high level of service for the community it serves. Deputy Bennett’s actions are a fine example of his commitment to community,” said Captain Valerie Weiss. The individual who nominated Deputy Bennett wrote:

On 7/21/2015 my father, my mother and myself were on our way home from Ann Arbor where my father was getting a biopsy done because we recently found out he has cancer. Needless to say, it’s been rough lately. When we were driving through Coopersville our car broke down on the side of the highway. Officer Bennett pulled over and was extremely kind and helpful. He took my dad to get gas and he then filled the car for us, he stayed while we tried to start it but unfortunately it wouldn’t start. He gave us a ride to the gas station where the car was being towed to. He had to leave after that but we did end up getting the car started. With all the negative attention police officers are getting lately I think the positive needs to be talked about too! He gave me a great memory with my dad that I will never forget! If this somehow reaches you Officer Bennett, Thank you so much for your service. You are a wonderful person and a great role model!! Thank you for making our day!”

Meet Deputy Bennett at http://bit.ly/cs-award.

Bennett

 

Bennett 2

Kristin Caron Awarded for Customer Service

Ottawa County extends its congratulations to Kristin Caron who was selected to receive the Outstanding Customer Service Award for the second quarter of 2015. Kristin is a Probation Specialist for Ottawa County 58th District Court Probation and Community Corrections.

“Kristin has a great work ethic and a willingness to go above and beyond.  I am pleased and honored to work with her,” said Alma Valenzuela.

The Individual who nominated Kristin wrote: “I was told by a coworker of an incident where Kristin was working and provided an example of outstanding customer service and I would like to see her recognized for her actions. Kristin had been at work conducting home checks and during one stop she noticed something to be off about a probationer’s behavior. Upon asking the probationer if everything was alright, that person confided that she was upset and considering self-harm. Kristin asked whether or not she had a plan to harm herself, and after she was shown the tool the probationer planned to use to harm herself, Kristin asked if she could turn the tool over to the individual’s social worker who lived nearby and was able to remove the tool from the home. Kristin then went out of her way to go to the store and purchase a journal and some pens and returned to the distressed probationer’s home and recommended that the person try journaling when they were feeling overwhelmed. When I heard about this from a coworker, I was extremely impressed with the level of care and thoughtfulness Kristin demonstrated in her actions. She went above and beyond by reaching out to the individual to ask what was wrong and then taking the additional steps well outside of what is required of her to prevent the individual from harm. Not only did Kristin prevent harmful behavior, but she also provided a healthy outlet for the individual to express her feelings in similar future situations. Kristin has been involved in her current position for less than a year and although she is relatively new to field supervision, she demonstrated concern and compassion that perfectly exemplifies the standards the 58th District Court hopes to set for customer service and community outreach.”

Meet Kristin Caron at http://bit.ly/cs-award.

Kristin Caron

 

Kristin is taken by surprise as County Administrator Al Vanderberg announces that she is the recipient of the Outstanding Customer Service Award.

 

IMG_8747

Kristin receives the award from Ottawa County Board of Commissioners Chairman Joe Baumann.

Sixth Recipient of the Outstanding Customer Service Award Announced

Ottawa County is delighted to announce its sixth recipient of the Outstanding Customer Service Award.

Congratulations to Kristin Caron from 58th District Court Probation and Community Corrections!

Ottawa County Employees continue to go above and beyond day after day. For the 2nd Quarter of 2015, 39 employees were nominated for an Outstanding Customer Service Award, some were nominated multiple times. I think that I speak for all of the Customer Service Team members when I say it is an honor to be able to read and celebrate all of the fantastic work being done by our fellow co-workers!  Nominees for the Outstanding Customer Service Award were:

  • Corrie Alexander, Michigan Works
  • Jill Bannink, Environmental Health
  • Christine Bartaway, Innovation & Technology
  • Laura Cierlak, 58th District Court
  • Dave Cook, Innovation & Technology
  • Tom DeRocha, 58th District Court Probation and Community Corrections
  • Kalen DiGregorio, Sheriff’s Office
  • Chris Dill, Sheriff’s Office
  • Nick Dood, Friend of the Court
  • Anastasia Endres-Bercher, Department of Public Health
  • Brent Ferris, 58th District Court
  • Brad Gamby, Innovation & Technology
  • Macarena Gonnella, 20th Circuit Court
  • Raechelle Gonzalez, County Clerk’s Office
  • Mary Hamstra, Department of Public Health
  • Barbara Holt, County Clerk’s Office
  • Kevin Hoxsey, Environmental Health
  • Brenda Kempf, Department of Public Health
  • Nick Knott, Sheriff’s Office
  • Patti Krieg, Probate Court
  • Jonathon Marin, Treasurer’s Office
  • Tami McCoy, 20th Circuit Court
  • Dave Miller, Environmental Health
  • Kelly Morrissey, Parks Department
  • Steve Namenye, Innovation & Technology
  • Becky Nieboer, 20th Circuit Court
  • Sue O’Connor, 58th District Court
  • Debi Parker, 20th Circuit Court
  • Mike Roelofs, Sheriff’s Department
  • Angie Rogers, Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
  • Michelle Sampson, Sheriff’s Office
  • Lee Sandoval, Sheriff’s Office
  • Amanda Sheffield, Probate Court Clerk
  • Matt VanLiere, Sheriff’s and Friend of Court
  • Jessica Voglewede, Environmental Health
  • Mary Warnock, Community Mental Health
  • Stacy Wilson, Department of Public Health
  • Josh Wise, Friend of the Court
  • Adam Zantello, Environmental Health

Congratulations to all of the nominees and keep-up the spectacular service! If you wish to nominate a co-worker or promote the program to residents, details are available at miOttawa.org. Nominations can come from both inside and outside the organization. Each quarter, the Customer Service Team will review all of the nominations and select the recipient of the Outstanding Customer Service Award.

More information about Kristin Caron will be posted in a future article.

Congratulations again, Kristin!

Submitted by Misty Cunningham, Administrative Assistant, Ottawa County Administrator’s Office

Youth Mural Fills Halls of Justice with Hope

“The Community Culture Care Mural has taught me that the things I do can count for something.” ~ Makayla 

“The mural helped show that we can contribute to society positively and that we’re not all that bad of kids.” ~ Devon

“This mural is the first time I’ve painted in my life and I loved it.” ~ Scott

“Creating this mural makes me wonder, what other great things can I create? It helped me get my mind off other things that are going on in my life and focus on what I can do in my community. I can honestly say I am very proud of myself for helping complete something important. It makes me feel like I finally succeeded at something.” ~ Brittney

These are just a few of the young artist’s comments shared yesterday during a touching ceremony dedicating an art piece at the 58th District Court in Holland. Judge Susan Jonas saw the walls of the Courthouse as a blank canvas. She also saw the artistic potential in the residents of the Ottawa County Juvenile Detention Center. Over 100 youth in the center worked with Ottawa Area Intermediate School District art teacher, Angie Briggs-Johnson, to create three murals depicting parts of the Holland community which were meaningful to them. What resulted was a powerful display which captured the youths’ views of their community and their places in it. They also embraced societal ideals including diversity, tolerance and a sense of belonging. A special thanks to those who work with these youth in Ottawa County. You see the gifts and talents court involved youth have to offer every day. You don’t give up.

Mural

Youth Mural Fills Halls of Justice with Hope

On May 4 at 4:30PM there will be a ceremony to dedicate the artwork in the Holland Courthouse at 85 West 8th Street.

The halls of justice were missing something. The walls of the Holland District Court building stood sturdy and solid but lacked ornamentation. To Judge Susan Jonas, the walls of the 58th District Court were a blank canvas. She also saw the artistic potential in the residents in the Ottawa County Juvenile Detention Center and challenged them to create a display for the Holland Courthouse. Over 100 youth from the Ottawa County Juvenile Detention Center worked with Ottawa Area Intermediate School District art teacher, Angie Briggs-Johnson, to create three murals depicting parts of the Holland community which are meaningful to them. What resulted was a powerful mural that captured the youths’ views of their community and their places in it. The murals also embraced societal ideals including diversity, tolerance and a sense of belonging.

The Detention Center residents who participated in this project took great pride in their contribution. While a resident was painting one of the murals, she was asked what made this project special. She responded that it represented that someone “out there” believed in her abilities and didn’t just focus on the mistakes of her past. These sentiments were echoed by many of the youth. Those who work with these youth in Ottawa County see the gifts and talents court involved youth have to offer every day.

Beginning April 25, the courts in Ottawa County Courts will be celebrating Law Week. The culmination of the Law Week celebration will be on May 4 at 4:30PM with a ceremony to dedicate this artwork erected in the Holland Courthouse at 85 West 8th Street. This art dedication is open to the public, and the building will be open for public observation of the artwork at 4:00.   More information about other Law Week events.

Artpreview