Thirty-two employees representing nine departments within the city of Harker Heights were honored Tuesday at the quarterly employee recognition ceremony in the Activities Center at Stewart C. Meyer Public Library.

Recognitions ranged from new employees, promotions, years of service pins, and the employees of the third and fourth quarters.

The recipients were called forward by their immediate supervisors and then greeted with a handshake from council members and City Manager David Mitchell.

Two of the most prestigious awards presented at the ceremony were employees of the third and fourth quarters.

Employee of the Third Quarter was Building Inspector Michael Beard.

Members of the selection committee commented that throughout Beard’s tenure of service to the city, he has earned respect from co-workers, contractors, builders and others within the city.

He has successfully maintained an exceptionally high standard of productivity without compromising the integrity of his daily inspections.

The worker selected as the Employee of the Fourth Quarter was Yahaira Marquez, court clerk of the Harker Heights Municipal Court.

The selection committee stated that Marquez’s eight years of service to the community and the state of Texas has been exemplary. She retains a wide-ranging knowledge about the city’s programs and policies as well as Texas municipal law.

Citizens have praised her assistance concerning details of their specific needs with the Court. Since the retirement of Municipal Judge Tony Kosta, Marquez has aided recently appointed Municipal Judge Judge Billy Ray Hall and Alternate Judge Garland Potvin ease into their new roles.

Departments honoring employees included: Administration, Pet Adoption Center, Courts, Police Department, Code Enforcement, Fire Department, Library, Parks and Recreation, and Public Works.

Council member Jackeline Soriano Fountain told the Herald that as a new council member, she feels the recognition is a wonderful way to honor the hard work of city employees in a public way.

“Their peers get to see what everyone else is doing and share in the joy of their accomplishments. To see each employee get an award from their supervisors is also priceless,” Fountain said.

Prior to a meal prepared by workers in the Administration Department, the participants watched a short video produced by Harvard University that focused on a 75-year study that looked closely at people’s lives and what contributes to personal success or failure.

“The fascinating thing discovered in the study was that the happiness of individuals was tied to the quality of the relationships between fellow workers and associates,” Mitchell said. “This was a way to look at fostering good relationships as well as the importance of healing relationships.”

A list of departments and the names of the employees recognized included:


Ursula Paddie, new employee

Pet Adoption Center

Jessica Giese, 5-year service pin

Loretta Harvey, new employee


Courtney Lauderdale, promotion to deputy court clerk

Police Department

Peter Quichocho, 5-year. service pin

Roxanne Harrill, 15-year service pin

Randy Stefek, 15-year service pin

Houston Johnson, 20-year service pin

Christie Dobrovodsky, new employee

Yesmarie Burgos-Figueroa, “2017 Police Officer of the Year”

Code Enforcement

Michael Beard. 5-year service pin and promotion to building plans examiner

Eric Moree, promotion to residential plumbing inspector

Leo Mantley, master’s degree

Fire Department

Anthony Combs, 5-year service pin

Jonathan Newhouse, 5-year service pin

Jacob Cardona, 10-year service pin

Glenn Gallenstein, 25-year service pin

Brad Alley, 25-year service pin

Aaron Dunnam, promotion to “fire instructor III”

Martin Mercado, “2017 Firefighter of the Year”


Christina Link, new employee

Parks and Recreation

Henry Nash, 5-year service pin

Eric Larson, 10-year service pin

Casey Brazzil, 20-year service pin

Jeff Achee, Texas Recreation and Parks Society Central Region Young Professional Award

Public Works

Charles Adams, 10-year service pin

Sammie Reynolds, new employee

Arno Stemmer, new employee

Melvin Reyes, new employee

Leslie Stevens, “Class C Water Distribution License”

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