Bess Martinson honored as 2017 Employee of the Year

Town of Wake Forest News

Graphics Coordinator Bess Martinson is the Town of Wake Forest “2017 Jon Ray Employee of the Year.” Town Manager Kip Padgett made the announcement Friday, Dec. 8, during the Town’s annual Employee Christmas Luncheon.

Prior to revealing the name of this year’s winner, Padgett provided several clues as to their identity.

“This person personifies the Town’s core values,” said Padgett. “They care about their work. They are committed to helping the Town achieve its common goals to serve the citizens of Wake Forest. Their quality of work is a direct reflection of their integrity. This person is creative and innovative in every project. From (designing) the annual budget cover to the Guide to Wake Forest to the Wake Forest Wall Calendar and all publications in between, this person works diligently to portray the incredible charm and character of our beloved community in every printed and digital piece she produces.”

A native of Fairport, New York, Martinson has worked for Wake Forest since 2010. A 1987 graduate of the University of Florida, she was nominated for the award by several co-workers who praised her “work ethic,” “enthusiasm,” and “organizational commitment.” One even called her “the Michael Jordan of graphic design.”

Martinson’s handiwork is evident in Town Hall and throughout Wake Forest. As the Town’s graphics coordinator, she is responsible for designing a majority of the Town’s printed information pieces, including the “Guide to the Town of Wake Forest,” the “Our Town” newsletter, “RecConnect,” the “Resident’s Guide to Sanitation Service,” and the 14-month wall calendar, plus many of the digital and printed marketing and promotional pieces, including banners, flyers, bookmarks and other materials, that reflect the Town’s brand.

For her part, Martinson says she was both shocked and humbled to hear her name announced as this year’s winner.

“I was genuinely surprised,” said Martinson, “especially when I consider the outstanding efforts of so many Town employees.

“There’s Det. Sattler who for many years has organized the Annual Police Department Turkey Drive, so many of our residents can have a great Thanksgiving. There’s Anna Bolton who works non-stop promoting Wake Forest, including handing out Town calendars to her trick-or-treaters. I also think about the Wake Forest Power crews who earlier this year left their families to help residents in Florida after the hurricane. Then there are the yard waste collection crews who have been working tirelessly trying to get all the leaves picked up and Lisa (Hayes), Lynnette (Beadle) and Jennifer (Herbert) who through rain, sleet, snow or hail are out there preparing these incredible events for our community. The list goes on and on.

“Suffice it to say, I’m fortunate to work with an extraordinary group of people and it’s an honor to receive this recognition.”

The Jon Ray Employee of the Year Award is named after former Street Supervisor Jon Ray who passed away in November 2013. Padgett, along with a committee comprised of former EOY award winners, selects the Employee of the Year from nominations submitted by Town staff. Submissions must include a written narrative explaining why the nominee is deserving of the award.

Previous Employee of the Year Award recipients include Recreation Program Superintendent Monica Lileton (2016), Public Facilities Specialist Joseph Pennington (2015), Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Crew Supervisor Randy Hoyle (2014), Street Supervisor Jon Ray (2013), Senior Code Enforcement Official Tim Edwards (2012), Senior Planner Candace Davis (2011), Construction Worker Lance Pontrelli (2010), Police D.A.R.E. Officer Scott Graham (2009), Assistant Public Works Director John Thrift (2008), Maintenance Worker Gennie Williams (2007), Accounting Services Manager LaVerne Harding (2006), Inspections Administrator J.J. Carr (2005), and Human Resources Director Tammy Moody (2004).


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