Following are the Human Services Employees of the Month. Click the link to see all the fascinating recipients.
Debra Branson has worked for Human Services Administration – Finance for almost all of her 30+ years with the County. Her major roles with Human Services (HS) are coordinating the procurement of services and supplies for HS departments and divisions, assisting with related policies/procedures and supervising those who provide essential support for ordering equipment and supplies, making vendor payments, travel reporting and preparing travel reimbursements.
Debra is very friendly and service-oriented. She tirelessly works to provide service to anyone who asks for assistance and successfully instills that work ethic onto her staff. Debra has successfully coordinated the HS Administration holiday luncheon for the past several years and it seems that each year they get better and better.
Debra has recently been tasked to coordinate the acquisition of many of the safety items that have been necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic. If you see temperature taking devices, Plexiglass barriers, hand disinfectant dispensers, wipes, sprays, masks, gloves, gowns, wall signs and floor decals you can be assured that Debra has been an integral part in providing them.
Debra has also proven to be a great judge of talent when it comes to hiring staff. She has assembled an exemplary team who all exhibit the love for customer service that Debra enthusiastically demonstrates. She is a talented trainer and it is to her credit that many of her staff have promoted and moved on to jobs with more responsibility.
Debra is a very talented baker and “crafter” and many in the office have been grateful recipients of her baked goods and unique homemade crafts.
Barbara Barnes has been selected as Human Services (HS) Employee of the Month for her dedication and commitment to HS Auditing division. She has been working for the County of San Bernardino since 1988. She has been with HS Auditing division since December 2013 as a Supervising Fiscal Specialist for the Recovery Unit. She is an exceptional supervisor and leads by example. Barbara supervises a staff of 10 and is responsible for the collection of payments related to CalFresh and CalWORKs. Despite many interruptions, she manages her time well and is willing to help others. She provides guidance and support to her team with a positive demeanor.
Barbara is currently our unit representative for the CalSAWS migration, which is expected to go live September 2021. She works closely with other County departments, other counties, and state agencies; no matter if it is for customer cases, CalSAWS migration, annual reviews, federal and state regulation and implementation. She stays positive during busy times and has great communication skills.
In addition to her daily tasks and responsibilities, Barbara has shown exceptional leadership skills, especially during the height of the countywide pandemic. She assisted with the implementation of the CDC guidelines related to COVID-19 for her unit and the division. She gave great recommendations to ensure safety for all. She managed to keep her unit calm through these uncertain times and addressed staff concerns clearly and effectively. Barbara ensured staff and customers had the necessary PPE for a safe surrounding. She motivated the staff when the unit experienced an increase in calls and customers due to telecommuting and availability issues. In addition, she took the lead when the state made an error listing San Bernardino County on Tax Intercept letters that were mailed to customers throughout the United States. Her persistence and feedback lead the state to identify a system glitch that affected many people nationwide. Her customer service skills provided customers with guidance during this time. We are pleased to have Barbara on our team.
Hillary Steenson-Ray continues to demonstrate excellence in the performance of her duties, roles and responsibilities as Community Events Coordinator for Children’s Network. She possesses outstanding understanding of and compliance with the Countywide Vision and the mission and goals of Children’s Network.
She works purposefully towards meeting the needs of both internal and external customers. She remains available to customers to answer questions, provide information and resolve issues or concerns.
Hillary consistently displays excellent commitment and motivation to meeting the needs of children and families in the community. She does this through efforts to support and provide education and training opportunities to the professionals and service providers who interact with the community. As Community Events Coordinator, Hillary recently coordinated our 34th Annual Children’s Network Conference which, due to the current global health crisis and pandemic, for the very first time was conducted entirely via a virtual platform. Her commitment to excellence and dedication to providing an outstanding conference experience for the professionals who work with children and families was evident and led to a very successful event.
Orsolya Sabado is a Child Support Attorney for the Department of Child Support Services who has been with the department for one year. In this year, she has made multiple contributions to support the Department and Countywide Vision and mission. Orsolya is a legal resource to Child Support staff, provides quality internal and external customer service and never turns down a new project or idea. Operational staff go to Orsolya to assist with their legal questions.
Orsolya is kind, considerate and professional in every interaction. One Child Support Supervisor commented that he “constantly hears how helpful and supportive Orsolya is through the generating of legal actions. Orsolya is not just an Attorney on the Attorney team, she’s an extension of the Case Management team four. She’s professional, friendly, funny and engaging. I’m glad she’s part of our team.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Orsolya has also been instrumental in bringing new tools to staff including electronic signature for customers. She was vital in implementing the process, including training staff on how to use it and writing the procedures for staff. Orsolya consistently goes above and beyond to help her colleagues, actively collaborates with operations and the courts and maintains excellent customer service.
Maria Carrillo has been employed with San Bernardino County since March 2007. She is the singular Supervising Office Assistant for the entire Program Integrity Division. Maria is well versed in the daily operations of the division and coordinates the functions of the administrative support staff to ensure that unit needs are met.
Maria skillfully assists in handling matters associated with the building, she’s the point of contact for security guard-related matters, is back up for secretarial duties, all while coordinating with division leadership to ensure efficient processes and high-quality work products.
The current pandemic has highlighted Maria’s commitment to the division and her unwavering support of department goals. Her approachability and willingness to assist wherever needed has been instrumental in our efficient operational adjustments. Maria does it all with a great, positive attitude and it is very much appreciated.
Rosario Arguelles began her career with San Bernardino County in 2010 with the Transitional Assistance Department (TAD) and joined the Human Services Program Development Division (PDD) in 2017 as a Program Specialist.
Currently, Rosario supports the General Relief program and the Special Projects unit. She has been tasked with exceptionally high-level assignments, targeted for top Human Services leadership, the County Administrative Office (CAO), and the Board of Supervisors. In addition, Rosario is the PDD project lead for the upcoming migration to the California Statewide Automated Welfare System (CalSAWS). She is highly dependable, flexible, and skilled, regularly developing executive-quality products with very tight deadlines. Rosario also upholds a regular workload which includes maintaining numerous handbooks, assisting other program staff, and serving as a statewide Regional Committee Member for the GR program. She always carries a team-focused uplifting attitude and is eager to assist with whatever task is needed to bring a project to a successful close. She embodies the best of PDD and is often one of the first staff to be approached for important assignments.
Rosario completed the Management & Leadership Academy (MLA) in 2019, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and is married with three children.