UH recognizes citizen and employee of the year

John Pucella receives his proclamation from Mayor Susan Infeld.

The City of University Heights honored two of its own at its Dec. 17 city council meeting. Katherine Hawn, a Saybrook Road resident, was presented with the Citizen of the Year award. Hawn was recognized for her work with the city’s children as coordinator and coach of the Purvis Park Piranhas swim team. John Pucella, assistant service director for the city, was recognized as Employee of the Year.

Each year, the mayor of University Heights chooses a resident to honor as Citizen of the Year. "I was aware of what Kay was doing,” said Susan Infeld, mayor of University Heights, “but it all came together this year. I talked with a lot of people, and with Kay, about what they were doing at their meets this year."

"Kay grew up in University Heights,” continued Infeld. “She was a kid who spent a lot of time at the pool during summer vacations. She swam competitively, and got involved again as an adult, so her daughter could have an experience similar to what she had as a child."

The proclamation that Mayor Susan Infeld presented to her at the meeting stated that “Hawn has demonstrated an important aspect of life to these children by showing them the importance of volunteerism to society. We are honored that Kay has chosen to live in our city and raised her daughter here, and are thankful that her love for her hometown has benefited the youth of University Heights.”

At the meeting, Mayor Infeld proclaimed John Pucella Employee of the Year. "Every year the employees vote among themselves, and this year we had our first two-time winner,” she said.

Pucella began his career with the city in 1991 as a laborer and worked his way up to foreman. He currently serves as the assistant service director and has twice served as interim service director. He previously won the award in 2008.

Mayor Infeld’s proclamation stated that “Pucella is well-regarded by his fellow employees in the city and is known to go the extra mile while performing his job, thus bringing accolades from residents and reflecting honorably on his fellow employees and the city.”

Mayor Infeld also awarded certificates of recognition to other city employees, based on feedback she had received about them from community members.

Deanna Bremer Fisher

Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.

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Volume 6, Issue 1, Posted 4:59 PM, 01.03.2013