NTMWD Celebrates Employees Awarded for Excellence in 2020-2021

Each year, the North Texas Municipal Water District recognizes its employees who exemplify the organizations core values of integrity, trust, respect, unity, safety and teamwork. This annual award is given to an outstanding employee to commemorate and memorialize the 28 years of dedicated service of a former executive director, Carl W. Riehn. The District also began a new recognition program for teams who go above and beyond routine tasks.

Due to the ongoing efforts to protect employees from any remaining spread of covid-19, winners were announced via an organization-wide virtual meeting in December, and then celebrated at a breakfast in early March.

2021 Carl W. Riehn Employee of the Year

Finalist – Solid Waste:  Walter Miller, Custer Road Transfer Station Forman

Walter excels at managing his team at the Custer Road TS, and often goes out of his way to assist his teammates by checking in residents, picking up loose paper and directing traffic in inclement weather. He is always first to work and as a positive attitude and smile that spreads quickly with his staff. Walter implements innovative ideas to keep trash contained, costs down and payloads up. He took personal initiative to get his MSW Class B license and attends available training to be ready to assist his team in all areas. Safety of his team and anyone visiting Custer Road TS is paramount to Walter, and he conducts vital safety meetings every week with operators and drivers.


Finalist – Support Services:  Kathleen Vaught, Public Relations Specialist, Communications Department

Over the course of a year, the Communications Department went from being a team of four down to a team of one. Kathleen took over numerous responsibilities ranging from administrative coordination, project communications and departmental management. Kathleen continued to assist and offer her support for communication efforts across the District including messaging for various service areas. Kathleen remains active in several professional organizations to stay abreast of the latest communication techniques, especially during the pandemic. She is known for her positive attitude and willingness to help where she can.


Finalist – Wastewater: Jennifer Adkins, Information Systems Assistant, Wilson Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (RWWTP)

Jennifer is known for her great attitude and dedicated work ethic that helps keep the operations and maintenance programs at Wilson Creek RWWTP organized and working efficiently. She lead efforts to build scheduling in Maximo, does asset tagging and tracking, and takes the extra steps of understanding the various workflows to assist in making some of them more organized and streamlined. Jennifer ensures she is up-to-date on numerous District trainings to be a go-to resource for the Wilson Creek teams. Everyone who works with her admires her continued efforts to assist in whatever way she can for the benefit of the organization.


Finalist & Winner – Water: Kevin Briones, Shift Supervisor, Water Operations

Kevin consistently performs at a level above what is required including spearheading a 4-hour control room report that has become invaluable as a gauge to address issues before they become urgent. Even with low-staffing challenges for the shift Kevin supervises, those teams are able to competently and efficiently accomplish all regular and specialty assigned tasks. This is a testament to Kevin’s leadership in that his team respects and supports his direction. Kevin, known for his positive attitude and inspiring ideas, also dedicates time for himself and his team to achieve professional development goals including proving mentoring and study materials.


Team Awards

2020 – Facilities Services Custodial Staff

The Custodial Staff exceeded all expectations in performing the essential services of keeping NTMWD employees and facilities safe of COVID-19 during the height of the global pandemic and national emergency. The team worked many long hours coming in early and/or staying after hours to complete sanitization of facilities where critical tasks are performed. These efforts were key in the District’s fight to keep its employees safe. In 2020, the Facilities Services Custodial Staff consisted of (pictured from left to right) Michael Hammond, Jamie Phillips, and Robin Clarke; and retirees (not pictured) Joshua Haynes, Larry Bishop, Legacy Pickrom, and William McGuire.


2021 – Richardson Spring Creek force main repair

On June 15, 2021, the NTMWD Spring Creek force main, located in Richardson, experienced a challenging leak in a high traffic intersection. The Spring Creek force main is critical to the Upper East Fork Interceptor System and could not be shut down for an extended period of time.
with an SSO of less than 50,000 gallons and did not reach a water body. Due to the coordinated team effort the pipeline was located, repaired and put back into service with minimal impact to the environment. Departments involved in this emergency repair included Facility Services, UEFIS, Wastewater Conveyance, and Communications. It took this extended team effort of operators, truck drivers, welders, and more to get the leak located, under control, and repaired.

The extended team included the following staff: Duane Gallagher, Philip Hicks, Aaron Inge, BJ Cates, Brandon Spruill, Chris Royal, Clint Coker, Cody Cash, Justin Diviney, Lauren Kubin, Marty Luke, Raul Hernandez, Tino Tolentino, Drake House, Esteban Davis, Josh Jackson, Shawn Kirkpatrick, Behzad Maboudi, Eben Gibbs, Floyd Cress, Adam Strickland, Bengie Hughes, Bradley Pollard, Brandon Stowe, Bryon Stanton, Carlos Rodriguez, Clay Cullen, Colton West, Coy Cowart, Darren Adams, Efren Martinez, Francisco Rico, Gary Bentley, Jamie Nichols, Jason Natali, Josh Andrews, Josh Crowell, Juan Gonzalez, Larry Gorum, Rory Watkins, Steven G Kennemer, William McDowell, and Kathleen Vaught.