The awards ceremony, now in its 15th year, took place at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Wednesday. Starting last September all members of the community, including town and school employees, were encouraged to submit nominations for either or both awards. Each Selectman then individually ranked their top three choices for each category.
First Selectman Tetreau thanks everyone in Town Hall and in the community who submitted nominations. He added, “There’s no better way to start the holiday season than to honor individuals like Earl and Mary who go above and beyond to make a positive difference for Fairfield. These awards are a popular and rewarding town tradition and are a wonderful opportunity to recognize so many talented and devoted residents and school and town employees.”
2018 Employee of the Year - Earl Marshall, Jr.
Earl has worked for the Town for since 1987. Currently an automotive operator for Fairfield’s Department of Public Works (DPW), Earl had also worked at H. Smith Richardson Golf Course. Earl’s three nominators spoke at the BOS meeting citing how he takes pride in his work, loves doing what he could to make Fairfield’s residents comfortable and happy, and takes the initiative to go the extra mile for them.
One nominator spoke of how Earl is a dedicated employee who not only builds great relationships with the residents of Fairfield, but also has the reputation with his co-workers to be reliable and dependable.
Earl’s former boss, Golf Superintendent Peter Grace, and current boss, DPW Director Joe Michelangelo, both praised Earl on his friendly, easy-going manner and noted how he always has a smile on his face.
Several members of Earl’s family attended the awards ceremony and enthusiastically cheered him on as Earl humbly accepted his award that had been kept a surprise from him. Next month, Earl will retire from the Town.
2018 Fairfielder of the Year - Mary Hogue
The Selectmen then honored resident Mary Hogue for her multiple contributions to the Town which include, but are not limited to, member and environmental advocate for the Mill River Wetland Committee; co-chair of the CT League of Conservation Voters; board member of the Fairfield League of Women Voters; member of the Fairfield Earth Day Committee; former PTA chair of a Fairfield elementary, middle and high school; co-chair of the Fairfielders Protecting Land and Neighborhoods; Fairfield Forestry Committee Chair; Sustainable Fairfield Task Force (SFTF) member; and SFTF sub-committee co-chair on the Town’s sustainable involvement.
Mary recently helped establish the new Sustainable Fairfield County which encourages towns to work collaboratively on sustainability programs and advance environmental stewardship initiatives.
Mary’s deep knowledge and expertise on energy efficiency, sustainability and the environment has not only benefitted the Town and its residents, but has also made Fairfield a model for other communities.
As one nominator wrote, “Mary is both a leader and team player, and her hard work and dedication over many years has recently culminated in Fairfield earning the Sustainable Connecticut Silver Award, the highest level of accreditation a community can earn for its sustainable practices.” Another nominator stated how, “Mary is an exceptional example of our town’s wealth of outstanding community-minded residents.”
First Selectman recognized Mary’s husband and daughter to Mary’s surprise! He then asked Mary’s 14 nominators to stand and then called upon three of them to speak to why Mary is an exceptional example of good citizenship and is well-deserving of this award.
The Selectmen congratulated each winner and announced that their names have been added to a plaque that lists the names of all previous winners and the year they received their awards. The plaque hangs in the entryway of Independence Hall on the Burr Homestead side.
The online list of winners will soon be updated to reflect Mr. Marshall and Ms. Hogue's recognitions.
The photos show left to right: Selectman Chris Tymniak, Selectman Ed Bateson and First Selectman Mike Tetreau (far right) giving Earl Marshall, Jr. (far left) his award and a stunned Mary Hogue (far right) listening to three of her nominators, Joy Shaw (speaking), Jan Reber to her right and Misty Beyer to Ms. Shaw's left. Photos credit: Humberto J. Rocha, Hearst Connecticut Media Group.