CYFD Recognizes 10 Employees with Awards



SANTA FE -- Two exceptional employees have earned employee of the quarter recognition and eight others have been named employees of the month by the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD). The awards were announced recently by Cabinet Secretary Dorian Dodson and the employees' respective service area directors.

The department's employees of the quarter are Bernice Becenti and Cheri Frietze. Service area-level recipients of monthly awards are Sam Castillo and Donna Sauter of Early Childhood Services (ECS); Marsha Buesgens and Kelly Latham of Protective Services (PS); Elizabeth Baldonado of Youth and Family Services (YFS); and Jeannie Cordova, Adam Criswell and Tina Martinez of Juvenile Justice Services (JJS).

Becenti, an employee in Information Technology Services, is the CYFD employee of the quarter for the fourth quarter of calendar year 2008. She was responsible for the development and implementation of an enhancement in the department's FACTS data system which enabled child care workers to more efficiently track their cases.

Frietze, an ECS regional operations manager in Las Cruces, is the CYFD employee of the quarter for the first quarter of 2009. She is commended for her 25-plus years of service to the department, for her dedication, motivation and problem-solving skills, and for being an outstanding advocate for her staff.

The ECS monthly awards go to Sauter for July and Castillo for August. Sauter is the manager for the Nutrition Education and Training section of the Family Nutrition Bureau, where she has served for more than 10 years. Castillo's quick thinking and actions helped protect fellow employees and property during an incident involving a fire in the Las Cruces Child Care Services field office last month.

Buesgens and Latham are co-winners of the July award in PS. Buesgens is recognized for her dedication and commitment while serving as a regional placement supervisor and recently taking on the additional duties of acting county office manager for Clovis and Portales. Latham serves as manager of the Title IV-E program and is commended for implementing significant changes in the organization and effectiveness of the program and for coordinating a successful federal audit.

Baldonado, an administrative assistant at the Juvenile Probation Office in Rio Rancho, is the employee of the month of May for YFS for taking on additional temporary administrative responsibilities in Socorro and Farmington.

Three employees share the JJS award for July. Cordova is called a "model employee" at Albuquerque's Youth Diagnostic and Development Center where she is respected and appreciated by clients and staff alike. Criswell, a youth care specialist at the J. Paul Taylor Center in Las Cruces, is commended for his contributions and commitment, including promoting the Cambiar New Mexico model and volunteering for additional responsibilities. Martinez, a secretary at the Eagle Nest Residential Facility, has been with CYFD for 22 years and is noted for her dedication, professionalism and willingness to be a team player.