Below, we share five employees who made our community a better place to live in 2019.
Animal Control Officer Robert Aversa is known for always bringing kindness to his duties as he helps distressed animals and pet owners. His passion and excitement for his job are contagious and commendable.
Robert is committed to not only providing great customer service but also building a relationship with the community. Robert attends community events and spends time in our parks to get to know residents and neighbors and educate them about responsible pet ownership. He often works to help injured animals. For example, he has responded to many calls at Floyd Lamb Park where the geese have been hooked by fishing equipment. Last fall, he joined forces with our Las Vegas Fire & Rescue and Operations & Maintenance Departments to save the life of a cat who had been trapped in a pipe on a freeway overpass.
Our employees strive to meet our city values of being kind, committed and smart and Robert embodies these qualities.
Paola Pisani is a fire prevention inspector and has been with the city since 1996. Paola oversees more than 1,000 properties in her inspection area. Beyond that heavy workload, she also always is looking for ways to help people in our community.
Last December, while responding to a service request in an apartment building, Paola met two families who were struggling financially. After completing the call, Paola contacted some local fire charities and spearheaded an effort to secure toys and gift cards for the families. She even spent her own time and money to buy both families Christmas dinner. With the help of her fire prevention team and the crew at fire station 108, firefighters delivered the presents and food on a fire engine a few days before Christmas.
Nick Gonzales is a code enforcement officer in our Planning Department. Oct. 15, 2018, Nick was inspecting a vacant building in the downtown area when he came across an incapacitated individual in the building. Nick immediately called the City Marshals to get medical attention for this individual. Medics arrived and were able to save the person’s life, thanks to Nick’s quick reaction.
Our Code Enforcement officers have a tough job and are sometimes placed in dangerous situations as they inspect vacant properties. They also are ambassadors to our community as they work to ensure that properties are up to code and safe. Nick's commitment to his job and the community saved a life.
Jocelyn Bluitt-Fisher is the city’s administrator for homeless services and a leader. She took this position in 2017, coinciding with the planning and execution of the city’s Courtyard Homeless Resource Center. This is the city’s one-stop shop for homeless services and a safe place for those living on the streets to go and start the process of breaking the cycle of homelessness. Under Jocelyn’s watch, more than 1,000 people experiencing homelessness have been transitioned off the street. This is someone who is truly making a difference in our community every day.
Jocelyn has brought together more than two dozen nonprofit agencies to serve homeless individuals in the Courtyard at no cost to the city. She treats everyone who comes into the Courtyard with dignity and respect, and that example permeates throughout the staff working at the Courtyard.
Jocelyn also is creative and fearless. She is always looking for ways to better serve the community and those who are most in need. She looks at the Courtyard as something that can always be improved and is constantly trying new ideas and looking for solutions that sometimes have to be tailored for each individual client. Jocelyn breaks down barriers and promotes openness and she is an outstanding employee and person.
Ashley Koehlmoos is a community program specialist at the Centennial Hills Active Adult Center in Ward 6. Ashley really takes our values to heart as she works to provide activities and experiences that have built a community for the seniors in the northwest part of the city. The center offers many activities, trips and seminars, and Ashley is at the forefront on these projects. She always has a kind word and takes the time to really get to know the residents who come in and visit the facility. For Thanksgiving, Ashley cooked a feast for more than 70 active adults at the center.