Tree Specialist Named City of Knoxville Employee of the Year

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Tree Specialist Named City of Knoxville Employee of the Year

Posted: 10/19/2017
Click here to view photo gallery on Facebook of nominees
When East Tennessee storms tear through Knoxville, toppling trees and stranding branches in power lines, Randal Martin gets his chainsaw and goes to work.

Martin, a tree truck equipment operator for the City of Knoxville’s Urban Forestry division, is the first recipient of the City’s new Employee of the Year award. Mayor Madeline Rogero presented it to him on Thursday, Oct. 19, at the City’s annual Employee Appreciation and Benefits Lunch.

“Randal really demonstrates the commitment to public service that we emphasize in all of our departments,” Mayor Rogero said. “When trees are down and power is out, he wants to get out there as soon as possible and start cleaning up our neighborhoods and getting everything back to normal.”

Martin, who has been with the City since 2008, was nominated for the award by Chad Weth, Director of the City’s Public Service Department. In his nomination, Weth wrote, “Randal comes in at all hours of the day when storm-related events occur with trees. Many of these calls are initiated by KPD as roads become blocked by downed trees. Often times he is working multiple calls while communicating with his supervisor and other City departments on the status of the storm event.”

Martin is also an instructor for the department’s chainsaw safety class, a two-day tutorial in which he shares his experience and knowledge with newer City staff members.

The Employee of the Year program was created for non-uniformed City employees by the City Ambassadors, an internal group with representatives from multiple departments focused on customer service and employee engagement. (The Police Department and Fire Department each have their own employee recognition programs.) Each non-uniformed department can nominate one employee, and then a review panel of City Ambassadors selects one of those as the overall Employee of the Year. Martin was selected because he clearly demonstrates a commitment to exceptional customer service and staff leadership.

Besides Martin, the other employees nominated by their departments were:

Bryan Berry, Policy & Redevelopment; Justin Bradley, 311; Karen Briggs, Parks & Recreation; Whitney Crowe, Employee Benefits/Risk/Civil Service; Mark Elliott, Engineering; Tatia Harris, Community Relations/Mayor's Office; Brandon Littlejohn, Plans Review & Inspections; David Massey, Community Development; Tony Spoon, Fleet; and Lewis Whisnant, Information Systems.

Randal Martin

Randal Martin, Employee of the Year. From left: City Councilman Daniel Brown, Public Service Director Chad Weth, Martin, Mayor Madeline Rogero, City Councilman Duane Grieve, City Councilman Finbarr Saunders

Group Photo

Employee of the Year nominees. From left: Whitney Crowe, Employee Benefits/Risk/Civil Service; Bryan Berry, Policy & Redevelopment; Justin Bradley, 311; City Councilman Finbarr Saunders; David Massey, Community Development; Randal Martin, Public Service; Lewis Whisnant, Information Systems; Mayor Madeline Rogero; Brandon Littlejohn, Plans Review & Inspections; Karen Briggs, Parks & Recreation; City Councilman Duane Grieve; Mark Elliott, Engineering; City Councilman Daniel Brown; and Tony Spoon, Fleet Services. Not pictured: Tatia Harris, Community Relations/Mayor's Office

Click here to view a photo gallery on Facebook of nominees.