Town of Brookline Honors Employees During National Public Service Recognition Week

For immediate release

BROOKLINE – Town Administrator Mel Kleckner is pleased to share that the Town of Brookline acknowledged employees last week as part of National Public Service Recognition Week.

Celebrated during the first week of May since 1985, PSRW is a nationwide public education campaign designed to honor those who serve as federal, state, county and local employees.

“So many people put in remarkable effort to make town government run smoothly and effectively, and many of them do so behind the scenes,” Kleckner said. “Public Service Recognition Week is an opportunity for us to pause and show our gratitude for their efforts, which directly benefit the community.”

To mark PSRW, the Town of Brookline invited staff members to nominate their colleagues and peers for recognition. The following town employees were nominated for recognition for outstanding contributions to Brookline’s efforts to serve its residents and visitors:

  • Zeray Assefa, of the Information Technology Department, for 20 years of service to the town and Public Schools of Brookline.
  • Javier Rodriguez, of the Department of Public Works, for his contributions to numerous DPW and highway projects. Rodriguez has been a town employee for 16 years, and in that time has worked to become the head carpenter and play an integral role in snow and ice removal operations during the winter.
  • Ryan Kasala, of the Human Resources Department, who joined the town amid the COVID-19 pandemic and took on an active role in supporting contact tracing among employees. He’s also made numerous contributions to the town’s work related to workers’ compensation and on-duty injuries, and uses care and compassion to support the employees he works with who are facing health challenges.
  • Darlene Johnson, of the Health Department, for her myriad efforts to support the town’s response to COVID-19, including vaccination clinics, disseminating information and answering residents’ questions through the height of the pandemic. She’s also played an instrumental role in making the farmer’s market voucher program and website redesigns a success.
  • David Guzman, of Planning and Community Development, for his sense of calm and his compassionate approach to helping residents experiencing housing crises, his advocacy for public housing, and his strength as a listener, which helps move projects along.
  • Dai Q. Nguyen, of the Health Department, for his thorough approach to supporting public health in town, including going above and beyond during a period of transition for the department to ensure its success in responding to the pandemic. He also serves as a vocal advocate for his colleagues’ wellness by encouraging meditation and mindful breathing which contribute to reduced stress.
  • Todd Kirrane, of the Department of Public Works, for his tireless work on numerous transportation initiatives and programs at Brookline, including the Transportation Board, Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Bicycle Advisory Committee and the Shared Mobility Advisory Committee. His colleagues admire his leadership in shaping Brookline’s transportation policy and approach, making the town a safe place to walk, bike, scoot and drive. Kirrane has also been instrumental in securing essential grants.
  • Lloyd Lovering, of the Recreation Department, for his hard work and sense of pride in maintaining Recreation’s facilities, and his willingness to step wherever he’s needed.
  • Maria Morelli, of the Planning Department, for her strong work ethic, attention to detail and willingness to help her colleagues to accomplish their shared goals.
  • Ren Avellani, of the Information Technology Department, for his sense of caring for others and his tireless work to provide invaluable technical support townwide.
  • Lt. Walter Francis, of the Fire Department, for his compassion and empathy in dealing with patients on medical calls, his sympathetic demeanor and his professionalism that make him a role model for his fellow members.
  • Justin Casanova-Davis, of the Finance Department, for his strong performance in his new role as the department’s director, including fostering an inclusive atmosphere.
  • Josh Cooke, of the Recreation Department, for his work organizing significant events and programs like summer camp and Brookline Day. He also contributed to the town’s emergency operations center during the pandemic, bolstering efforts to conduct drive-through flu vaccine clinics in the fall of 2020 and later organizing COVID-19 vaccine clinics for employees and residents.
  • Julie Washburn, of the Council on Aging, for making the Senior Center a welcoming atmosphere, as well as working tirelessly to ensure Brookline’s older population is protected and receives the services they need while maintaining their independence.
  • Katie MacGillivray and Tiffany Sousa, of the Select Board’s Office, who together serve as the backbone of the Select Board’s day-to-day work. MacGillivray is a longtime employee and resident who fields numerous calls from people in the community and is responsible for maintaining numerous town records and the minutes of the board. Sousa was recognized for her crack for putting business owners at ease with her extensive knowledge of the town and state licensing procedures. Additionally, other departments in town rely on Sousa to assist with workflow challenges that come with local licensing.
  • Shuang Huang, of the IT Department, for his team-driven attitude and motivation to make IT a good place to work.
  • John Buchheit, of the Legal Department, for his longstanding service to the town and his accomplishments in recent years.
  • Richard Allen, of the Police Department.
  • Stephanie Aucoin, of the Department of Public Works’ Transportation Division, for her commitment to service when working with residents.
  • Alex Cassie and Kiara Huntress, of the Parks and Open Space Division, for their strong work in a number of key areas, including the Green Dog program, permit verification, education, event management, wildlife assistance, goose management, park safety and visitor assistance . Both Huntress and Cassie fulfill these diverse responsibilities with professionalism and pride, and are always willing to help educate park users with a goal in mind of protecting the town’s public parks and open spaces for today and the future.
  • Kaitlin Conneely, of the Police Department, for her work building longtime relationships with students and community members as the department’s community service officer.
  • Christine Hurley, of the Department of Public Works, for going above and beyond to make sure she’s fostering strong communication with residents and her fellow employees.
  • The Police Department’s Special Response Team, for their dedicated efforts to protect public safety.

Nominated staff members were recognized throughout the week on social media for their various contributions to the town and its residents.

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