Following are the Human Services Employees of the Month. Click the link to see all the fascinating recipients.
Marie Williams started her career with the County and the Preschool Services Department (PSD) in November 2018 and exudes enthusiasm for her job and the Nurse Visitation Program every single day. She goes above and beyond to ensure the needs of her families are met by being available to the mother’s day or night, but even more than that, she opens her heart to moms that have built walls of distrust. Marie chips away at those walls and floods these mothers with love. She has an innate ability to connect with the teen moms in the program and has built nurturing relationships with them. She recognizes that pregnant moms may be experiencing some apprehensions or fears and she is available to them whenever they may need her day or night. Some have never really known love, but she shows them by being a positive role model and provides resources to meet their mental and physical needs including her families in rural areas of the county. She is keenly aware of her family’s needs (i.e. diapers, clothing, food etc.) and is always willing to go the extra mile to support them. It is not uncommon for Marie to deliver car seats outside of regular business hours to ensure new parents can transport their baby home from the hospital.
Marie has expressed how blessed she is to be able to share her talents and gifts with the children and families she serves. As a role model, she inspires and mentors mothers with the idea that they too can become registered nurses. PSD and the families she has served are truly cared for because of Marie.
Olivia Penaloza has been an interpreter with the Transitional Assistance Department since 2006. Olivia does an amazing job, day in and day out, serving our community with a smile, kindness and positivity while translating for our Spanish speaking customers and our staff. If she’s not at someone’s desk interpreting, you can find her in our lobby looking for someone to help, no matter how busy we are and without being asked because she has a passion for helping people. It is not an exaggeration to say that Olivia loves what she does and serves with a level of compassion that’s not often seen. Everyone should have the opportunity to spend time speaking with her because words cannot do justice in describing her passion and sincerity and the way she lights up when she talks about why she loves helping people. Olivia is consistently recognized by customers, staff and management for her exceptional customer service.
She truly exemplifies excellence in not only the performance of her job duties, but as an individual. This is also reflected in her children as well. Olivia has 4 children: a daughter that is the chief counsel for UC Santa Cruz, a daughter that is an assistant district attorney for the City of San Francisco, a son that is an engineer for Caltrans and a daughter that is studying to become a nurse at a university in Boston. Their success and desire to help people is due in large part to Olivia’s drive, commitment and sacrifice. It is truly both an honor and a pleasure working with Olivia.
Yvonne Wooten began working for San Bernardino County as an office assistant II in 2007. She promoted to office assistant III in 2009 when she accepted a position in Veterans Affairs. Since then, Veterans Affairs has come to depend on Yvonne’s quiet strength, attention to detail and high level of professionalism to tackle whatever comes her way. Yvonne first worked in the department’s Rancho Cucamonga office as one of only two people staffing the office. She was relied upon to work independently, at times being the only person in the office. She executed all duties with skill and confidence, allowing supervisors to rest at ease knowing the Rancho office was in capable hands. Yvonne has since transferred to the main office in San Bernardino and now handles special projects for the department including tracking incarcerated veteran correspondence, college fee waiver audits and floating coverage.
Yvonne exemplifies the ideal team player attitude. When her work is caught up, she can be counted on to offer help to others in any way needed without being asked. Regardless of where she is working or what she is tasked with, Yvonne displays total competence. She is a vital member of the department’s clerical staff and is an indispensable member of our team. Congratulations to Yvonne on being named HS Employee of the Month.
Anna Leichliter is a dedicated and valued employee of Children and Family Services (CFS). She has been a County employee since 1986 and her commitment to CFS and the department’s staffing needs is unwavering. Since she came on board, she has played a crucial role in developing and spear-heading one of the most intensive and successful hiring practices CFS has ever experienced. Anna is a member of the department diversity committee, specifically recruitment and retention, where she works with all levels of CFS staff to improve staff outcomes. She is a team player and has worked closely with Human Resources, Personnel and her leadership team to enhance our hiring and retention efforts. Since Anna’s assignment to her position, CFS has hired over 650 employees. This would not have been possible were it not for her efforts to work with Human Services and Personnel to develop one of the County’s most successful speed-hiring events.
Anna has also been instrumental in enhancing our on-boarding process for all new hires, which begins with a Meet and Greet featuring a welcome from the director, assistant director and the entire CFS executive team. This greeting, by CFS executives to all levels of newly hired staff, makes the new employee feel valued and part of the CFS family from their very first day on the job. Anna is truly an asset to CFS.
Bette Smith started her career with the County in 1991 as an eligibility worker with the Transitional Assistance Department (TAD). She promoted to the position of staff development instructor with the Performance, Education & Resource Centers (PERC) in 1994. Bette spent two years working on the C-IV project in Sacramento and upon her return, was promoted to the position of application specialist with the Information, Technology and Support Division (ITSD).
Bette’s education is in business and public administration; she is currently a business systems analyst III with ITSD. She has supported and taken the lead on an array of Information Technology projects.
Most recently, Bette successfully led the implementation of the Learning Management System (LMS) for PERC. This project required a strong coordinated effort between multiple departments and the subject matter experts at PERC and ITSD. It entailed research, analysis, planning and identifying opportunities to streamline and automate business processes.
Bette demonstrates the knowledge and ability to manage intricate Information Technology projects successfully and is an indispensable asset to ITSD.
Jennifer Patterson has been employed with the County since February 2018 as a payroll specialist. Since joining Human Services, Jennifer has been a stellar employee. She came to the County with experience in the banking industry and is very good with numbers. She delivers a high degree of customer service and routinely goes above and beyond the call of duty. Jennifer has quickly become a subject matter expert at HS Personnel and is someone staff goes to for answers and advice. She’s also assisted with numerous mass-hirings, presentations and trainings.
Though Jennifer has been with the County for a short time, she has become a quiet leader, a knowledgeable/approachable employee and a very important member of the HS Personnel Team. Jennifer embodies what an ideal employee is and we are very fortunate to have her as one of our own.
Jonathan Pinedo began his career with the County and Public Health in April 2014 as an Accountant Trainee. He has provided fiscal and administrative support to numerous programs over the past 5 years and is currently an Accountant III responsible for supporting the programmatic needs of Clinic Operations and Community Health Centers.
Jonathan is a vital member of the Fiscal and Administrative Services (FAS) unit in many ways. He is always willing to help when others have questions, he is patient and detailed when training staff, both current and new, and always exhibits professionalism when working with colleagues. Jonathan has great communication skills, confidence in his abilities and is supportive when his assistance is needed.
Recently, Jonathan was the fiscal representative for our department during both the Ryan White Part C site review, as well as the HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) audit. He spent the time necessary to ensure that he was well prepared for anything and everything that could come his way and the quality of his work reflected that as he made it through both evaluations with flying colors.
In addition, Jonathan is a 2019 MLA (Management & Leadership Academy) graduate which demonstrates his commitment to his profession and desire to utilize his skill set in a supervisory capacity. He is an invaluable asset to our department and we look forward to his continued growth and success.
Crystal Anderson was selected for the HS Employee of the Month because of her outstanding performance in many areas within the Department of Aging and Adult Services’ (DAAS) programs. She is always willing to help out and assist the department in any way she can. Crystal has a positive attitude, is flexible and willing to handle urgent matters at a moment’s notice. She covers six DAAS offices and manages many projects and programs as needed.
She participated in the CalFresh expansion project and reported to the State on behalf of San Bernardino DAAS. She also participated in the SNAP Pilot Project for two years, performed state mandated monitoring of the California Department on Aging (CDA) and volunteered to participate in the state mandated monitoring of DAAS Nutrition Sites to meet the deadline by the end of the Fiscal Year.
Crystal was diligent in providing valuable assistance and services to the victims of the Trona earthquake at the Local Assistance Center. She has participated in many internal and external projects including her participation on the committee for the Measure I Grant and the DAAS Diversity and Safety Committees and has taken the lead on the Transportation Reimbursement program, which has required a lot of problem solving and planning.
Crystal demonstrates willingness and commitment to ensure individuals are served in the optimum manner by DAAS. She goes over and above and is much appreciated for her hard work.