The El Dorado Correctional Facility recognized staff members for their service and work at the facility during the all employee meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The El Dorado Correctional Facility recognized staff members for their service and work at the facility during the all employee meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Deputy Warden James Heimgartner opened the meeting.

“This year we had a lot of changes,” he said, adding that things were coming and going in the department. “We’ve had a good year.”

He said the reason for the good year was because of all of those gathered in the Spiritual Life Center for the meeting.

Chaplain Randy Drake then remembered those employees who have died in the line of duty, asking for a moment of silence for them.

Secretary of Corrections Roger Werholtz also talked to the group.

He gave an update on the legislative session.

He talked about Senate Bill 434 which increases the penalty for sexual misconduct and trafficking contraband.

He also talked about the more than 80 employees they have lost through layoffs and cutbacks, as well as the more than 200 contract employees they have lost.

There also were cuts in the offender programs, some of which they are starting to get back.

He said another thing they had spent a great deal of time talking about is changes. Among those changes was the fact Werholtz is leaving in December.

He also looked to the future.

“We still have a number of serious, unresolved issues in this agency that we need their (the legislature) help to fix,” he said. “We have plans in place to fix some of those things.”

There were five things he talked about.

One was the replacement of the computer system. Kansas has the second oldest computer system in the country, with the oldest being California’s. He said they need to replace it before it fails.

The second thing was the vehicle fleet which is well past its replacement schedule.

He also talked about reversing the trend on program reductions and starting to get those programs restored.

The fourth thing was them not being adequately equipped to deal with individuals with mental and behavioral disorders.

The final item was recognition and compensation for the Department of Corrections employees, such as retirement programs.

“The reason the Department of Corrections faired as well as it did in the legislative process is people understand how important the contributions you make are,” Werholtz said.

He told them they make the state safer.

To recognize the employees for their work several awards were given.

Employee of the Year recognition went to COI Jodi Harber, EDCF Uniformed Employee; Shirley Jones, EDCF Non-Uniformed EMployee; Laura Boyer, EDCF Contract Employee; and Steve Schmidt, EDCF Volunteer.

The Above and Beyond Award went to Dale Call; the Appreciation Award was given to Lena Pond; the Community Service Award went to Nancy Gilmore; and
the Innovation Award went to Mike Harden and John Nold.

The Teamwork Award went to the Special Security Team of Thomas Baca, Walter Burrows, John Cannon, Troy Carrell, Steven Chastain, Tony Cooley, Khanh Dang, Stephen Evans, Casey Gates, Tracy Johnson, Don King, Lawrence Lazar, Leonard Maddox, Ken McGuire, Jerry O’Neal, Dan Powell, Noal Reynolds, Efrain Rueda, Gregory Shinert, Wayne Smalley and Rodney Thomas.

Service awards were presented to:

For five years of service – Michael Addington, Emily Askren, Julie Bishop, Shawn Black, Troy Carrell, Patricia Coultis, Stephen Evans, Michelle Goken, James Jehner, Leonard Maddox, Seth Miner, Eugene Newfield, Margaret Roberts, John Schilling, John Snow, Brandie VanArsdale, Terry Walker and Jenny Watkins.

For 10 years – Kathleen Boone, Maria Bos, Stephen Brooks, Lawrence Collier, Ronald DeBerry, Floyd Dickinson, Teresa Foster, Michael Hays, Don King, Rick Martin, Lonnie O’Brien, James McMunn, Rodger Peterson, Angela Randolph, Joseph Shaw and Craig Weaver.

For 15 years – Chauncey Biby, Tom Clark, Agnes Linaweaver, Mary Mains, Julie Manion, Kenneth McGuire, Michasel Scott, John Simon and Tim Smith.

For 20 years – Trellis Alt, Jerry Clark, Randy Johnson, Dennis Letourneau, Jess Quidachay, laurie Rohling and Preston Smith.

For 25 years – Susan Bigreal, James Haydon, Jay Johnson, Maureen Malott and Laura Zambo.

For 25 years – Jerri Adams.

Employees also were recognized for perfect attendance, including:

For one year – Ronnie Beeler, Yvonne Breckon, John Cannon, Josh Diaz, Gary Langenegger, Kenneth McGuire and Lance Varley.

For two years – Valerie Gomez, Mark Good, John Himes, Tim Smith and William Wilkinson.

For three years - Steven Gillis, Shawn Humig, Patrick Mansfield and Randy Sherman.

For five years – Heath Austin, Chauncey Biby and John Snow.

For six years - Doug Weber and Gary Wilson.

For eight years – Dale Call.

For nine years – James Griffitts and Leonard Van Beisen.

For 20 years – Preston Smith.

They also recognized the CISM team for their commitment to meeting staff needs.

The CISM team includes Heath Austin, Cherie Bahm, Chauncey Biby, Marcus Biby, Laura Boyer, Dale Call, Scott Galloway, Shirley Jones, Lynnae Lewellen and John Snow.

A final recognition went to the Wellness Committee of Maria Bos, Paula Chambers, Candy Greenwell, William Henley, Jay Johnson, Judy Langhofer, Janie Mackey, Lena Pond and Kayleigh Ruck.