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Sgt. Ted VanBeek goes the extra mile with Gresham Police Training Unit, Vehicle Crash Team.

OUTLOOK PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Gresham Police Departments Sgt. Ted VanBeek holds the honory tiara and scepter, given to the city Employee of the Year.The city of Gresham has named Sgt. Ted VanBeek its 2017 Employee of the Year, citing his dedication in filling in as needed throughout the department and for going above and beyond his duties.

VanBeek was honored alongside his fellow Employees of the Month during an annual celebration for all the city staff that help keep Gresham innovative and supportive for those in the community. The 10th annual ceremony was held Thursday afternoon, Jan. 25, at the Gresham Council Chambers.

"I am so grateful to be able to work alongside all of you," said Gresham City Manager Erik Kvarsten. "This is the very best part of my job — with every one of these people there is an underlying humility."

The event is put on by Gresham's Achieving, Celebrating Excellence (ACE) Committee, which handles the whole employee of the month program.

Throughout the year employees at Gresham can submit formal nominations for their peers to be named employee of the month, with the final decision being made by the ACE committee members. Those 12 employees are then brought before the majority of the city staff for an award ceremony filled with laughter and refreshments.

By being named Employee of the Year, VanBeek received two days of paid vacation and a check for $200. He also was given the tiara and scepter, customary symbols for the winner, by last year's honoree Jeremy Provenzola.

VanBeek was asked to suddenly fill in with the Gresham Police Training Unit in April 2017 after an unexpected retirement, forgoing the usual easing in process that comes with that kind of shift.

"He never complained, just made it happen," said Gresham Chief of Police Robin Sells. "He hit the ground running. You give him a job and you know it will get done."

VanBeek was able to quickly adapt to the new role, while continuing to serve with the late-night Vehicle Crash Team and fill-in on patrol.

"Thank you for the team that helped me get to this point," he said. "And to my family, because I've been a little busy this year."

In addition to individual employees, four teams of the quarter were also celebrated. The e-Time Implementation Team, Earth Day Team, SDC Team, and Fire and Emergency Services were all honored.

OUTLOOK PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Gresham honored 12 Employees of the Month for their dedication to helping the city and community.Gresham's 2017 Employees of the Month were:

• Ken Koblitz, Department of Environmental Services

• Stephanie Betteridge, Office of Governmental Management

• Eduardo Yanez, Facilities

• Dan Harsch, Information Technology Department

• Grant Ottaway, Department of Environmental Services, Operations

• Alex Walker, Community Development Services

• David Lashbaugh, Department of Environmental Services, Operations

• Scott Jury, Finance and Management Services

• Capt. Jay Cross, Fire and Emergency Services

• Jesse Wicker, Facilities

• Sgt. Ted VanBeek, Gresham Police Department

• Erika James, Department of Environmental Services

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