May 12, 2023

The City of Newberry recently recognized their Team of the Year, “Team Water Sewer Crew: Christmas Freeze.” The team included employees Daniel Shaw, Brandon Crowley, Dillon Amick, Austin Harris and Will Griffin.

Rather than a single employee of the year, the City of Newberry takes nominations from city staff for a “team of the year,” those that work together to make the city better each day.

City Manager Matt DeWitt said the team of the year initiative is one of his favorite programs the city has developed during his time here.

“It emphasizes the fact that none of us can truly accomplish great works on our own, and that it takes the collective works of a team or community to accomplish anything worthwhile,” he said.

The nomination for this year’s team of the year referenced that these staff members were called to work during the freezing winter temperatures surrounding the Christmas holiday.

“These guys spent Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the days before and after being called repeatedly to fix water leaks during the miserable weather conditions. They never complained when they were called out and worked as a team going to various calls to get the jobs done as quickly as they came in,” the nomination stated.

The team’s supervisor, Utility Director Tim Baker said he was extremely proud of their work that likely saved a large amount of expense and property damage for their customers.

“We also appreciate the sacrifice and understanding of their families since this event occurred over a multiday period during the Christmas holidays,” Baker said.

Human Resources Director Jana Boice said the team of the year was chosen through community input, with names removed from the nominations so that they can be chosen anonymously. A team of five community members not affiliated with the city, Boice said looks through the applications to make the final decision.

The runner-up in this year’s nominations was Team Customer Service: Violeta Suber, Heather Brown and Kim Hunter for navigating the changes within their department’s new software integration and working hard to ensure customers were affected as little as possible.

This team’s supervisor, Finance Director Shannon Smith said the customer service representatives navigated the changes within the department with a positive attitude.

“I’m proud of the work they do each day for our customers,” she said.

DeWitt said he was proud of the teamwork that takes place each day at the City of Newberry, with the community and residents being the direct beneficiaries of the collective efforts of many.

“We truly wouldn’t be able to deliver the services and experiences our residents have come to expect from the city without exceptional teamwork,” he said.