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1/8/2016 - Selectmen Announce Fairfielder and Employee of the Year Winners

First Selectman Mike Tetreau announced that the Fairfield Board of Selectmen recently honored Janet Merando with the 2015 Employee of the Year Award and Marlene Battista with the 2015 Fairfielder of the Year Award. Family, friends, nominators and co-workers attended the meeting to support the winners.

Since 2004, the Fairfield Board of Selectmen has awarded one Town or School Employee and one Fairfield resident with these Awards. Any member of the public can submit nomination forms which are made available each September. After reviewing each nomination form, the Board of Selectmen then selects the two final winners for each category and presents awards to two deserving individuals at a Board of Selectmen meeting. The winners’ names are engraved on a plaque that is displayed in the first floor lobby of Independence Hall along with previous winners. The Selectmen’s page on the Town’s website, www.fairfieldct.org/bosawards, lists all of the winners and the awards criteria.

Fairfielder of the Year Award:

The primary criteria for the Fairfielder of the Year Award are personal time, energy and talent of service to the residents of Fairfield, and/or society in general, that promotes the quality of life in our town. The criteria includes, but is not limited to, outstanding volunteer commitment that benefits an individual, group or the entire community of Fairfield, unique achievement that benefits our community or society in general, a model citizen who reflects the positive values of the Town of Fairfield, exceptional personal qualities, including, but not limited to leadership, initiative, reliability/dependability, integrity, cooperation and spirit.

The Selectmen awarded resident Marlene Battista with the 2015 Fairfielder of the Year Award.

According to nominator Julia DeMeo who served as the Town’s 375th Grand Gala Co-Chair with Marlene Battista, “On a volunteer basis, Marlene epitomizes what you are looking for in (this award)—someone who gives freely of themselves for the betterment of our community.”

In her nomination form, Kristen Plock, who along with three others who helped write the application, highlighted Ms. Battista’s tireless community volunteerism in her roles as Chair of Pink Pledge which benefitted the Norma Pfriem Breast Center; Co-Chair of the Town’s 375th Grand Gala; helping “scores of happy Fairfield children who continue to enjoy the exhibits and events at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children;” and former President and current board member of the Junior Women’s Club of Fairfield where Ms. Battista helped spearhead “past, and continued, successes of annual Fairfield traditions like A Visit to Santa’s House and Touch-a-Truck.” The nominators also stated, “The entire community, in one way or another, has likely experienced the benefits of Marlene’s steadfast dedication to and love for the Town.”

Donna Twist, Executive Director of the Norma Pfriem Breast Center and Vice President of Development at the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation, congratulated Ms. Battista and thanked her for her time, efforts and creativity in helping benefit the Breast Center.

Employee of the Year:

The primary criteria for the Employee of the Year are service and job performance that goes beyond the daily work of the individual and that benefits the Fairfield government and community. The criteria includes, but is not limited to, performance excellence, reliability/dependability, initiative, integrity, judgment, cooperation and spirit, outstanding public service, and unique contributions to improve government services.

The Selectmen awarded Janet Merando, the Town’s Human and Social Services Administrative Assistant at the Bigelow Center for Senior Activities, with the 2015 Employee of the Year Award.

Ms. Merando received a record number 47 nominations. One of her nominators was Terry Giegengack, Director of Human and Social Services, who wrote in her nomination form that “Janet has the wise perspective and history of working 16 years with the Fairfield seniors and social services. She goes the ‘extra mile’ inspiring volunteers and staff alike to give their best efforts.”

State Senator Tony Hwang, who also nominated Ms. Merando, said that Janet demonstrates great care and humility and is truly deserving of this award. He said Ms. Merando makes the Bigelow Center a special place and a second home for patrons.

Former Human and Social Services Director Claire Grace, members of the Human Services Commission and members of The Fairfield Senior Citizens Associates, who include Dr. Richard DeAngelis, who said Janet is of the best quality among all the people he’s worked with, were also present.

First Selectman Mike Tetreau said, “These awards have become a popular and rewarding tradition in Fairfield. They give the Fairfield community an opportunity to highlight the many wonderful and devoted residents and employees who serve as the backbone of our Town. I congratulate Marlene Battista and Janet Merando for their outstanding service and dedication to our Town.”

The photos shows Fairfielder of the Year Award Winner Marlene Battista with First Selectman Mike Tetreau, Selectman Chris Tymniak and Selectman Laurie McArdle at the top of the page and in the middle of the page, the photo shows Employee of the Year Award Winner Janet Merando with First Selectman Mike Tetreau, Selectman Chris Tymniak and Selectman Laurie McArdle. 

Photos taken by Kendra Wingate.