Town of Taber Public Works Waste Services & Administrative Manager wins APWA Award
The Town of Taber proudly announces that Lisa DeBona, Waste Services & Administrative Manager in the Public Works Department, has been honored with the prestigious Alberta Public Works Association's 2022 Administrative Professional of the Year (Urban) Award.
The APWA's distinguished award recognizes outstanding achievement in administration within the public works department and serves to inspire excellence and dedication in the public sector.
Ms. DeBona's journey with the Town began in 2013 as a Clerk Typist I. Through her unwavering dedication and professional prowess, she rapidly ascended through the ranks. In 2017, she joined the management team as the Public Works Administrative Supervisor, and today she proudly serves as the Waste Services & Administrative Manager. Throughout her tenure, Lisa has successfully overseen a wide range of systems and projects within the Town. Her responsibilities have encompassed the overall administration of the Public Works Department, fleet management, waste collection, project management, work order tracking, and various other areas. Notably, she led the transformation of the Town's Waste Management System, resulting in the implementation of the highly successful 3-cart system and a significant increase in recycling and compost diversion rates. Thanks to her leadership and the collective efforts of the Public Works team, this project alone earned the Town three prestigious awards over the years.
The award was presented to Lisa DeBona in June 2023 at the APWA's Annual Conference.
Town of Taber Public Works Foreman wins APWA Award
The Town of Taber is proud to announce that John Browning, Foreman of Roads and Walks in the Engineering and Public Works Department is the recipient of the Alberta Public Works Association’s 2022 Young (Emerging) Leader Award.
As per the APWA, the award “recognizes emerging leaders in the public works section for their far reaching, positive impact of public works program and services.” Candidates must be nominated and “demonstrate leadership qualities within their organization regardless of their position.”
Though most often publicly seen on road and sidewalk projects, John and his crew work on a multitude of projects throughout the community, oftentimes without being noticed. Beyond the day-to-day quintessential operations of the Public Works staff (sidewalks, culverts, tree care, snow removal, etc.), John also oversees burials within the Taber Memorial Gardens, supports numerous interdepartmental requests for assistance (such as hanging the Veterans Banners or assisting with event setup), and assists with large-scale capital projects that the Department undertakes each year. John is also instrumental in working directly with various community groups such as Taber Communities in Bloom (Christmas displays, beautification projects, etc.), the Taber Chamber (Cornfest setup), and many others.
The award was presented on September 30th, 2022 at the APWA’s Manager Workshop in Red Deer.
Town Wins Eleven Hermes Awards
The Town of Taber is proud to be the recipient of eleven Hermes Creative Awards as administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), the most awarded to the Town in one year. This also marks the first time the Town has been awarded Platinum levels. The majority of the awards were presented at the June 13, 2022 Council meeting to Administrative Services Manager Kerry Van Ham (left) and Communications and Projects Coordinator Meghan Brennan (middle). The Veterans Banner Project Platinum Award was jointly presented to Arts, Culture, and Events Coordinator Emily Hembrough (right) and Communications and Projects Coordinator Meghan Brennan. The awards are as follows:
- New Voters Election Ad
- Fire Department Lights Ablaze Poster
- Taber Veterans Banner Program
- Women in Politics Ad
- Beyond Barriers Ad
- Voice Your Choice Election Topic Ads
- Fire Department 2020 Infographic
- 2021 Municipal Election Mailer
- More Than a Name Ad
- Winter/Spring 2022 Leisure Mailer
- Council Delegations & Presentations Pamphlet
Town of Taber Utilities Foreman wins AWWOA Award
It is with deep pride that the Town of Taber announces that Chris Flaherty, Utilities Foreman for the Town of Taber has been awarded the 2022 Alberta Water and Wastewater Operators Association’s Gerald Samuel Operator of the Year Award.
According to the AWWOA, the award recognizes a member who demonstrates “exemplary service to the water and/or wastewater operations field over an extended period of time.” The candidate must be a member of good standing with the AWWOA.
Mr. Flaherty began his service in Taber as a Utility Lead Hand for EPCOR in 2014. When the Town took over their own utility services in 2017, the Flaherty family chose Taber as their home and Chris agreed to stay as the Town’s Utility Foreman to maintain continuity.
Chris is very active in the day-to-day operations of the water and wastewater services alongside a very capable team. As part of that team, Chris has assisted with a number of capital projects including the $5.7 million Industrial Lagoon and Effluent Irrigations System Upgrade and the future $3.8 million Raw Water Pump Station. Besides these projects and others, Chris and his colleagues work to maintain their high level of certifications in order to offer the high quality of utility service our citizens have come to expect.
The award was presented on March 16, 2022 at the AWWOA’s Annual Operators Seminar.
Volunteer Campaign Posters Win Gold Hermes Awards
The Town of Taber has won a Gold Hermes Creative Award in 2020 for our various campaign posters aimed at recruiting volunteers for our boards, committees, and commissions. This marks the fifth Gold Award the Town of Taber has won through this association.
The Town also won an honourable mention for the County Government of Siaya Welcome Reception Speech, given at the dinner reception for the Delegation from the County Government of Siaya in Kenya.
Town Website Wins Quartet of International Awards
Following the launch of its new website in June, the Town of Taber is delighted to announce it has received four prestigious, international awards, all from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (ACMP). The awards include Gold Levels in the Hermes Creative Awards, dotComm Awards, AVA Digital Awards, and the MarCom Awards.
According to the AMCP's website, "entries come from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, PR firms, design shops, production companies and freelancers. AMCP administers and judges several international competitions for marketing + communication professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of marketing + communication programs and print, visual + audio materials."
The Town of Taber launched its new website (www.taber.ca) following months of design and collaboration between Departments as spearheaded by the Information Technology Department and communications staff. The new site designed by Granicus GovAccess (formerly Vision) focuses on ease of access for users, with simpler navigation, mobile adaptability, accessibility and translation services, emergency alerts, as well as text and email notifications to subscribers.
Finance Department Wins Fifth Consecutive GFOA Award
The Town of Taber is pleased to announce that its Finance Department is a recipient of a Canadian Award for Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA), the fifth year in a row the Town has received the honour.
Reports submitted to the CAnFR program are reviewed by selected members of the GFOA professional staff and a review committee, which comprises individuals with expertise in Canadian public-sector financial reporting and includes financial statement preparers, independent auditors, academics, and other finance professionals.
Town Wins Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Sustainability in Action Award
The Town of Taber is honoured to be a recipient of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association’s Sustainability in Action Award for its Municipal Solid Waste Initiative.
According to the AUMA, the Award is presented to “an AUMA member that has demonstrated excellence in... achieving measurable outcomes in environmental sustainability,” and was awarded to the Town of Taber at the 2018 AUMA Convention in Red Deer on September 26th.
Applications from municipalities across Alberta were submitted, and the Town of Taber and the Town of Devon were the successful recipients in the Population 2,500 – 10,000 Category.
The Municipal Solid Waste Initiative was implemented in 2016 and has ultimately resulted in a 75% diversion rate as compared to 6% prior to MSWI implementation.
Town Wins Summit Creative Award
The Town of Taber Administrative Services Department is a recipient of a 2018 Gold Summit Creative Award for its Taber Memorial Gardens Mapping Project. This award is an international accolade that honors excellence in creativity and communications. The Summit International Awards (SIA) was founded in 1994. The 2017 competition "drew more than 5,000 submissions from 24 countries in 18 major categories."
By SIA bylaw, only 1-3% of submissions are ever allowed to win a Gold level, meaning that the Town of Taber's award was chosen from the hundreds of submissions to be in that percentile. In 2018, only 1% of all submissions were Gold winners.
The Summit Creative Award is the second international award to be presented to the Town for its Taber Memorial Gardens Mapping Project, the first being the Hermes Creative Awards. The award was presented to Carley Grant of CMG Designs and to the Administrative Services Department at the October 9, 2018 Council meeting.
Images L to R: Administrative Services Manager Kerry Van Ham and Communications and Projects Coordinator Meghan Brennan are presented the SIA Gold trophy by Mayor Prokop; Carley Grant of CMG Designs accepts the Gold SIA Award from Mayor Prokop for her contribution to the Taber Memorial Gardens Mapping Project.
Town Wins Two Gold Hermes Creative Awards
The Town of Taber is proud to be the recipient of two gold Hermes Creative Awards for its Taber Memorial Gardens Mapping Project and its Growing Good Neighbours Guide.
The Taber Memorial Gardens Mapping Project involved a complete refresh of the previous cemetery map and included row markers and a detailed interpretive map for the Gardens. Initiated in 2017, the project’s design was created by Carley Grant of CMG Designs, who is also a co-winner on the project.
The second award-winning project is the Growing Good Neighbors Guide, a project initiated by the Planning and Economic Development Department and designed in-house by Administrative Staff. Similar to publications that other municipalities use, the Guide is a handbook that outlines the most frequently-asked questions about Town bylaws, specifically ones that relate to the responsibilities of property owners in the community.
The Taber Memorial Garden Mapping project was installed in 2017. The Growing Good Neighbours Guide is expected to be printed in the near future. The awards were presented to their recipients at the June 25th Council meeting.
Images L to R: Administrative Services Manager Kerry Van Ham and Communications and Projects Coordinator Meghan Brennan display the Gold Hermes Award with the Taber Memorial Gardens Interpretive Map; Carley Grant of CMG Designs accepts the Gold Hermes Award from Mayor Prokop for her contribution to the Taber Memorial Gardens Mapping Project.
Director of Planning and Economic Development Phyllis Monks accepts the Gold Hermes Award from Mayor Prokop for the Growing Good Neighbours Guide Project.
Town Wins International Communitas Award
The Town of Taber is pleased to announce that its Municipal Solid Waste Initiative (MSWI) has been awarded a 2018 Communitas Award in the category of Ethical and Environmental Responsibility – Green Initiatives.
The Communitas Awards is an “international effort to recognize exceptional businesses, organizations, and individuals that ... are changing how they do business to benefit their communities.” The name stems from the Latin word meaning “people coming together for the good of a community,” and the Award is sponsored by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.
The Green Initiatives Category evaluates a company’s environmental practices and green programs. The Town’s MSWI was introduced in 2016 as a way to move towards more environmentally-minded waste collection initiatives, and included 3 carts for recycling, organics, and residual waste.
Within 8 months of the launch in May 2016, the Town of Taber saw a 55% and 17% diversion rate for organics and recycling, respectively. These numbers indicate the percentage of waste diverted from the landfill. The Town has also seen 34% decreases in both transport costs and truckloads leaving the Transfer Station since the MSWI was implemented.
“We knew that Taber could be a hub for environmental practices in Southern Alberta” said Director of Engineering and Public Works Gary Scherer, “Winning the Communitas Award shows how dedicated our staff and citizens are to making this idea become a reality.”
“Winning an international award is no small feat, especially one that recognizes a group effort benefiting a whole community,” said Mayor Andrew Prokop, “The cooperation and effort the people of Taber have demonstrated with our new waste system truly embodies that spirit, and I would like to thank them for their continued efforts.”
Taber Wins Communities in Bloom Provincials for Second Year in a Row
For the second year in a row, Taber has been announced as a provincial winner for Communities in Bloom. The judges awarded 5 blooms in the “Population 6001-15,000” category during the awards ceremony held in Lacombe on September 23rd. In addition to the five blooms, a special mention was made for the Canada 150 metalwork art currently on display at the entrance to Confederation Park.
While floral displays play a part in the judging process, a number of categories are also considered when a community is evaluated by the judges. These additional criteria include tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, and landscape. Taber received top marks in all categories, with the judges noting “the tidiness, order, cleanliness and first impressions upon entering the community indicate the community is well-maintained and the pride in the community was evident.”
Judges also noted the close working relationship between Communities in Bloom and the Town Recreation Department and Public Works Department, who also received points of praise within the evaluation. The Town’s quick removal of graffiti and the 3-cart waste system were highlighted in the tidiness and environmental categories respectively.
“We’re thrilled to have won this award for a second time,” said Jean Holman, president of Taber Communities in Bloom, “we have a very dedicated group of volunteers who work hard throughout the year to shine a light on how beautiful Taber truly is, and it’s an honour to be recognized.”
“The Town of Taber is incredibly proud of this award,” said Aline Holmen, Director of Recreation, “The volunteers and staff should be commended for their exceptional effort, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Communities in Bloom volunteers on their vision for the future.
The Town of Taber would like to thank the Communities in Bloom volunteers for their continuous dedication to making our community blossom. The Town would also like to thank all the residents and businesses who contribute their own efforts to beautifying our community. It is because of the cooperative effort that Taber truly is a “great place to grow.”
Town Wins Fourth Financial Reporting Award
The Town of Taber is pleased to announce that its Finance Department is a recipient of a Canadian Award for Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA), the fourth year in a row the Town has received the honour.
Established in 1986 to encourage the production of high-quality financial reports, the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting bestows the award on municipalities who go above and beyond what is required for their annual external audit. The GFOA outlines that the award honours those who “prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure.”
“Receiving this award is a testament to the dedication of Administration and Council in upholding the financial health and viability of our community,” said John Orwa, Director of Finance, “the collaborative effort allows us to deliver transparent finances to our community and the citizens of Taber.”
The certificate of achievement was presented to the Director of Finance by Mayor Andrew Prokop at the regular meeting of Council on December 18th, 2017.
Town Wins Recycling Council of Alberta Rs of Excellence Award
The Town of Taber’s Municipal Solid Waste Initiative was recognized with a Municipal Program Award from the Recycling Council of Alberta at their annual conference on October 12th, 2017.
On May 1st, 2016, the Town of Taber implemented the Municipal Solid Waste Initiative (MSWI), a comprehensive system catered exclusively to Taber’s needs. The Initiative replaced large commercial alley bins and included three separate carts for recycling, organic waste, and residual waste, plus an organics kitchen catcher for residents’ homes.
Besides the carts, the Initiative also included a number of communication initiatives for residents, an in-depth calendar and information booklet provided with cart delivery, and a process for including the three carts in Taber’s annual Cornfest so even visitors and vendors could participate in recycling and composting.
With careful budgeting and planning, the Town of Taber has been able to provide the Municipal Solid Waste Initiative at no extra cost to ratepayer’s bills.
In addition to the benefits in increased recycling and organic composting, the Town has also seen an increase in total revenue for waste collection since the program’s start in 2016. This increase is partially attributed to the upsurge of proper usage of the Transfer Station for large amount of waste. Additionally, the Town has decreased its transport costs by reducing the total truckloads taken from the landfill.
Town of Taber Municipal Election Logo Wins Hermes Gold Award
To foster better awareness of the upcoming municipal election, the Administrative Services Department created a new design for Taber’s election logo. The design uses the pantone colours of the official Town logo, without completely evoking the same imagery of the trademarked logo. The phrase “Voice your Choice” is used as a reminder to all citizens that voting is their chance to have their voice heard.
The Hermes Creative Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. There were over 6,000 entries from throughout the United States, Canada and 35 other countries in the Hermes Creative Awards 2017 Competition. Entries came from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, PR firms, design shops, production companies and freelancers.
AMCP judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry. Winners were selected from 195 categories. Only 22% of the entries won a Gold Award.