ServiceWear Apparel seeks to recognize the men and women who go to work every day to make our cities, towns, counties, and neighborhoods a better place. These individuals put on their workwear or uniform before work each day, and provide a level of service to the public. Recognized by their peers and those who benefit, this individual goes beyond what is required or expected in their day-to-day job responsibilities. We believe that these unsung heroes of public service don't always receive the attention and recognition they deserve. This is why we are proud to sponsor the Workwear MVP Award.

Our 2017 Finalists

Jeff Barker

Hobbs Municipal School, NM

Jeff Barker has served the students and staff of Hobbs Municipal Schools for 27 years. The passion he has for the students is exemplified in everything he does. Jeff continually strives to provide better "kid service" at each opportunity given. From mowing the grounds just before school starts in August, to setup for graduation of nearly 600 students in May, to summer maintenance, Jeff does it all!

Jeff has moved the department from an entirely demand response maintenance department to a department that balances the benefits of preventive maintenance practices with demand response maintenance. This is all the while conducting on facilities that average in age of 57 years, total nearly 1.5 million square feet and 200 acres of grounds. He is a highly-respected member of Hobbs Schools and we could not provide the opportunities to students and staff without his leadership and example.

Over 189,000 students have benefitted from his attention to detail and excellence to service. He might not be providing the instruction of reading and writing each and every day but without Jeff’s vision and leadership, the instruction would be much more difficult to provide. Jeff and his team are true unsung heroes of the Hobbs Municipal Schools. We are truly blessed to have him as a member of our family and MVP!

Garrett Bell

Inland Empire Utilities Agency, CA

Garrett Bell is the unsung hero, whom I am nominating for the 2017 Workwear MVP Award.

Garrett is uniquely suited for a very demanding job. Day/night, under a blazing Southern California sun or under a moonless stormy sky at 3:00 a.m., someone needs to be on duty. Within the Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s service area, that someone is Garrett Bell. His title is "Groundwater Recharge and Recycled Water Operations and Maintenance Specialist." As overwhelmingly complex as that title sounds, it doesn’t capture half of the heroics it takes to be successful as the "groundwater recharge guy" in Southern California. The bottom-line, Southern California is a desert. The IEUA service area (242 square-miles) has more than 850,000 residents and an economy valued at tens of billions of dollars per year. Every family, every business, and school; needs and expects water when they open the tap. Garrett is a critical player on a sophisticated team that provides this vital resource for so many. His many and varied duties include:

1. Manages the performance of more than 30 groundwater recharge basins (large football-field-sized earth-bottomed water-holding basins) that ‘percolate’ water, down through the soil, for storage in the aquifer below.

2. During rainstorms, he is "on duty" (or on-call) 24/7 to monitor the water captured, ensuring the purity and quality of that water, while maximizing the amount of water captured.

3. Rain doesn’t fall evenly everywhere, so Garrett is responsible for moving water from where there is too much to wherever there is additional capacity. Sometimes that means moving manually 500-pound slide valves; other times its opening and closing valves as easily as pressing laptop keys to engage remotely operated valves (if the electricity is on). If the power goes off in the storm, knowing where the valves are and how to operate them is critical to managing the amount of water stored.

4. When the rain isn’t falling, there is another set of responsibilities. Garrett ensures compliance with State Department of Health, California EPA, Federal EPA, the Army Corp of Engineers, etc. This requires carefully sampling of the "fleet" of 45 monitoring wells, managing the custody of all the samples, then reporting all the testing results.

5. Garrett is also responsible for having the know-how to maintain, trouble-shoot, and repair all the specialized equipment needed to "capture and recharge" more than 50,000 acre-feet (equivalent to 500 football fields – one hundred feet deep) of water each year. This includes gizmos and gadgets like lysimeters, submersible bladder pumps, SCADA, multiple OITs, laptop/I-Pad mounted system status and operation; as well as picks, shovels, welders, and driving earth-moving equipment.

Garrett wears the uniform with pride and shares a passion for all-things water and water management. Whether it is groundwater recharge, water-wise conservation, efficient irrigation, recycled water replacement of potable water, providing water for critical habitat; or simply using his many talents to optimize the benefits of the Chino Groundwater Basin for its 850,000 residents … not one of them knows his name … yet.

Susan Briggs

Valhalla Ambulance Corps, NY

Susan Briggs is a Nurse Practitioner who started her medical career as a Volunteer EMT. She became an RN working at the Westchester Medical Center. She remained active in the Volunteer sector becoming an Instructor for EMS and eventually expanded as an instructor for Nursing Students where she teaches at the Westchester Community College. She continually teaches refresher courses for EMT’s, Paramedics, and Nurses. Her dedication in EMS education has been instrumental in the success of the various EMS Agencies within the County of Westchester New York.

Susan Briggs has expanded her teaching role by opening her own business called Briggs Community Health. Her main goal is to start a community based EMS health system that would go to those in need. She is currently using the business to teach EMS courses to any Agency, Business organization, or Individual. It’s her hope that by teaching others, that they will be able to reach out and help those that are home bound in need care but not necessary in need of medical transport. Susan Briggs continues to actively ride as an EMT with Valhalla Ambulance Corps.

John Paul Dorais

Meriden Police Department, CT

Officer Dorais is one of the most proactive police officers in our agency. Officer Dorais has made numerous arrests that have a tangible correlation to public safety to include drug, gun, and other acts of violence arrests. Officer Dorais brings an exemplary work ethic every day and his positive attitude is contagious. I see Officer Dorais always working to improve and expand his tool belt. Officer Dorais has built meaningful contacts within the community that has yielded information that has prevented crime and enhanced the quality of life for the residents for the City of Meriden.

Andrew O’Neill

Spring Lake Heights Police Department, NJ

This past Father’s Day, 28 year police veteran Sgt. Andy O'Neill left his wife and three kids to work an open day shift at the Police department. This was not his normal schedule. He worked it so another officer and his newborn son could celebrate their 1st Father’s Day together as a family. While Andy worked, many sons and daughters and wives were thanking and honoring the fathers in their lives. At a Central Avenue residence, a husband and father was with his wife and two daughters at home. Suddenly and inexplicably he collapsed. His heart stopped beating and he wasn't breathing. A husband and father lay in front of his family lifeless. The family called 911 to begin lifesaving efforts. Andy and his partner Ptl. Casey Willms were already on a medical call involving a 2-year-old in respiratory distress.

Casey stayed and gave care to the infant and Andy responded to the CPR call. Upon his arrival at the home Andrea Rogers, a volunteer with Spring Lake First Aid, arrived in her personal car. They entered the home and found the victim on the floor surrounded by his wife and two daughters. Andy and Andrea then worked flawlessly as a professional team. They accessed and took immediate appropriate lifesaving actions.

Cordio-Pulmonary Respiration (CPR) was started. An Automated External Defibrillator(AED)was attached to the man's chest, his heart needed help restarting. Andy and Andrea were there to do that. But one shock from the AED wasn't enough. Hearing that additional assistance was needed, Sea Girt Police Officer William Joule arrived to help. Joule immediately transitioned onto CPR with Andrea. Andy shocked the man's heart a second time and a pulse began. But, two shocks were not enough. His heart stopped again. CPR started again and another shock was given. But three shocks were not enough.

Two more Sea Girt Officers arrived to help. Sgt. John Demillio and Officer Frank Ciufo jumped right in to help. MONOC Medics arrived as well as additional Spring Lake first aid members and shocked the man a fourth time. He regained a pulse and was transported to Jersey Shore University Hospital where he received a triple bypass that night. Sgt. O'Neill visited the husband and father a few days later. He gave us the okay to share this story. We won't publish his name but every Officer involved will remember his name. Every Officer, with one exception, involved in this save is a father. The victim is a father. None of them expected a Father’s Day quite like this. Sgt. ANDY O'NEILL was ready.

Jeffrey Neville

Bishop Airport Police FNT, MI

Everyday Lt. Neville risks his life to protect the patrons and employees at Flint's Bishop Airport. On June 21st, 2017 while on routine patrol he was attacked by a foreign terrorist who attempted to murder him with a knife. Even after being attacked from behind, he began to fight for his life and never gave up until the suspect was subdued and handcuff. He's been more than the Lt. who helps me manage law enforcement at Bishop Airport daily. He's been my friend for 35 years. We started our careers together in 1982 when he was 20 & I was 25 years old. I've witnessed his integrity and his bravery. And I would love to see him be honored for it.

Paul Piccirilli

Roswell Fire Department, GA

Under Chief Piccirilli's leadership, the Fire Marshal's office has adopted the Knox Box program for commercial and multi-family gated properties. It is also a residential voluntary invalid/senior program provided free of charge to anyone who may benefit from having a Knox Box on their residence for Fire Department access.

Chief Piccirilli was the driving force behind our department getting a state-of-the-art Fire & Life Safety Education Trailer that is used throughout the year at public/private schools, daycare centers, or any event where it may be requested. Because of his unwavering dedication to Public Fire & Life Safety education we have also gotten a fire extinguisher simulator, began a CERT program, child car seat inspection program, as well as being integral in the establishment of the Safe Kids North Fulton charter for our area.

Deputy Piccirilli retired on June 2, 2017 and I would love for his dedication to Fire & Life Safety be recognized. He is an all-around wonderful man and a walking data base of Fire & Life Safety codes! He will be truly missed!

Ruben Reyna

Los Angeles County Fire Department, CA

Ruben has worked with the Los Angeles County Fire Department for over 28 years. He is a very dedicated worker who cares for his staff. Coming into the fire season he makes sure that his staff has their turnouts checked out and if replacements are needed, they are ordered. They also need to make sure they have their strike team bags ready to go if they are sent to location which can be up to 14 days duration, if large fires break out. They need to always have their supplies, spare clothes and equipment ready. He depends on his staff to do their daily tasks so if they are sent somewhere they are not ill-equipped to handle whatever emergency comes their way. His staff, the public and his family count on him every day. At times, it is a heavy burden to carry when they are battling a large fire and someone gets hurt or the loss of property. I believe Ruben deserves the Workwear MVP Award because his staff purchases additional workwear, breathable shirts for comfort and additional uniform accessories on their own.

Trey Schneider

Prince William County Service Authority, VA

If the Prince William County Service Authority were a rock band instead of a water and wastewater utility, Trey Schneider could be its crowd-pleasing front man. The amateur guitarist and music aficionado often communicates with the public while on-site for issues like water main breaks. Morning, noon, or in the middle of the night, he knows the value of communicating with customers of all types. His down-to-earth qualities and love for children makes this father of two an ideal representative for the utility. "Seeing kids in the neighborhood while we are working and knowing they have school tomorrow, I try to do everything for them, so they can get their work done that night," Schneider said.

Schneider helps the Service Authority maintain an excellent reputation among customers by being empathetic, especially during late nights that are filled with the sound of a jack hammer on asphalt. "I make sure I take the time to listen, and let the customers know that we genuinely care about their issues." said Schneider. "We are not just there just because we were on call that night." Schneider often goes the extra mile, as Service Authority customer James Nguyen noted in a recent email. "Around 2:00 a.m., I realized we had no running water," said Nguyen. "I expected a service tech to arrive sometime in the late afternoon. But around 2:30 a.m., Trey Schneider showed up. Talk about incredible service! He fixed the problem and the water flowed again. He stuck around for another couple minutes to make sure that my service was not interrupted again and said he would come back and check on me later that morning. Trey did return that morning to follow up and provide assistance if needed. This is what I called Super Fantastic Customer Service."

"Trey is one of the most customer friendly employees here at the Service Authority and has received several letters from customers for his professionalism in the field," said C & D Supervisor Dale Arrington. Hired at 18 years old as a utility maintenance worker, Schneider loves the utility's family atmosphere. He says he hopes to retire wearing his blue oxford shirt emblazoned with the Service Authority's logo. "I was so young when I got here and the older guys took me under their wing," Schneider said. "It has always been very special working for the Service Authority and having this opportunity to serve the community."