The Utah Public Employees Association just couldn't decide who was more deserving of its top award, Logan City Engineer Ross Wilson or state Department of Human Services counselor Harold Durrant of St. George.
So the organization decided to give the UPEA Outstanding Public Employee Award to both men and one woman this year. Traditionally, one man and one woman are honored.Along with Wilson and Durrant, Colleen M. "Beanie" Archie of Riverton was honored. Archie, an employee of the Salt Lake County Health Department, coordinates the "Baby Your Baby" program.
Plaques were presented to the trio by UPEA President Dannie R. McConkie at a recent recognition banquet. The three had already earned commendations from their peers in local competitions.
Archie is the first person most new prenatal patients meet when they enter the county clinic, and "she welcomes them with enthusiasm, warmth and concern," according to the co-worker who nominated her, Audrey Brim.
"She's in perpetual motion physically and mentally," Brim said. "She's an extremely caring and courteous individual and is loved dearly by our prenatal patients, babies and staff."
Wilson was described by his supervisor, Rod Blossom, as "willing to help anyone. . . . He accepts responsibility well and is a person who can be counted on to complete a project."
Wilson was said to have been key in resolving a computer billing problem that affected power users throughout the city. "His expertise also extends beyond his city engineer duties," Blossom said.
Durrant, who helps Utahns cope with the trauma of placing a loved one into a nursing home or other care facility, has been a state employee for more than 26 years.
"During that time, he has helped literally thousands of people receive the basic necessities of life; namely food, clothing, shelter and medical attention," said his nominator, E. Dexter Rees.
Others recognized as finalists include: Robert J. Oliver, Ephraim, Snow College; Charles C. Kruger, Bountiful, Salt Lake County Public Works Department; and Lamar Avery, West Jordan, Salt Lake County Engineering.
Also among the finalists were: Deann O. Beckstead, Bountiful, Salt Lake County recorder's office; Susie Madrid, Kearns, Salt Lake County Library; Denise Johanesen, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County Aging Services; and Joyce Christensen, Sandy, Salt Lake County fleet management.