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Public works veterans Leo French-Pinzon and Brian Faulhaber earn accolades at state conference

A pair of city of Newberg employees are enjoying the accolades of their peers after being recognized recently at an industry conference.SUBMITTED PHOTO - Public works employees Brian Faulhaber (left) is the head elf while Leo French-Pinzon portrays Santa during the city's annual treelighting ceremony in December.

Public works employees Leo French-Pinzon and Brian Faulhaber earned the 2019 Everyday Heroes Award of the American Public Works Association (APWA) at a conference in Hood River.

"The Everyday Heroes Award recognizes public works employees who are identified by their peers or customers for providing good customer service … making the best use of public resources … helping co-workers' success … and being a great person to work with," according to the APWA website.

French-Pinzon, a facilities maintenance supervisor, and Faulhaber, a facilities/ground maintenance employee in the department, have more than earned the award, their supervisor said.

"Since their first day, both Leo and Brian have treated the city facilities and grounds as their own," said Jay Harris, public works director, adding that the pair were each also recognized by their peers with the Public Works Maintenance Employee of the Year Award -- French-Pinzon in 2016 and Faulhaber in 2019.

"Leo and Brian show their commitment to their work and the Newberg community through their continued dedication to their jobs and through their passion for continued service to Newberg citizens," the release said.

An example is the pair's contribution to the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, where French-Pinzon plays Santa and Faulhaber is head elf.

Not all of their efforts have been lighthearted, however. In February 2019, both men witnessed an individual climbing over a barrier on an overpass on the Newberg-Dundee bypass, her intent to jump into oncoming traffic.

"While Leo engaged the individual, talking with (her) and slowing (her) down, Brian called 9-1-1 and quickly brought emergency dispatchers to the situation," the release recounted. "With the help of their quick action, Newberg police officers were able to prevent the individual from jumping.

"Both Brian and Leo demonstrate every day what it means to be an exemplary employee. The city would like to congratulate them on being recipients of the Everyday Heroes Award."

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