CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Despite rain and gloomy skies, the stars of the City of Clarksville workforce shone brightly Wednesday morning inside the Wilma Rudolph Event Center.
The City’s second annual “Cause for Applause” breakfast event, designed to recognize outstanding job performance and exceptional delivery of city services by employees, honored 33 “Mayor’s Shining Stars” and 59 “Mayor’s Rising Stars” chosen from among the 1,170 full-time municipal employees.
“You are the heart and soul of all we do for our citizens and our community,” Mayor Joe Pitts said. “I really can’t say it enough: Thank you, thank you and thank you!”
Shining Stars are recognized for factors such as developing successful new policies or procedures, providing innovative customer service, contributing to community service organizations and instituting innovations that lead to efficiency and cost savings.
Rising Stars are chosen for performing exceptional customer service, contributing to enhanced community relations, being commended by a citizen or customers and volunteering to work on special projects.
Valerie Guzman, Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of the Greater Clarksville Region, gave the keynote address and congratulated the high-achievers, noting that their efforts helped lead the community through the challenges of the long coronavirus pandemic.
“City workers took it all on during the pandemic, keeping the City safe and our services up and running through all kinds of challenges and uncertainties,” said Guzman, a former two-term City Council member and Mayor Pro Tem. “Yet every department found time to help the United Way and other agencies help citizens in need. Parks & Recreations, the Fire Department and CPD helped with our Shower Up events for homeless people. The Street Department showed up with forklifts and muscle to help distribute thousands of pounds of food boxes, and CTS provided free rides that also gave people the ability to get on a bus and out of the rain and cold. You are truly an amazing group of people, and I am forever grateful to you all!”
Chief of Staff James Halford, who is the architect of “Cause for Applause,” noted that last year’s inaugural gathering was the last big event before the pandemic shut down such assemblies.
“I’m glad it’s this event, which honors our high-achieving staff members, that is one of our first chances to get together again,” Halford told the honorees. “I truly believe it’s what you do that makes Clarksville the best city in America to live.”
Awardees enjoyed a catered breakfast and received a pin, a certificate, a custom water bottle and perks like front-of-the-line access at the Mayor’s Christmas Breakfast and reserved Riverfest parking.
Ryan Milton, right, an Applications Specialist in the Clarksville Information Technology Department, gets a handshake from Mayor Joe Pitts at the Cause for Applause event. Milton was chosen as one of the City’s Rising Stars and honored during the annual appreciation breakfast on Wednesday.