What’s something you've learned since working for the City?
“The City’s departments are incredibly large and wide-ranging. The general public is completely unaware of the sheer number of times they interact with something the City had a part in making safe for them: infrastructure, buildings, first responders, event planning, the food they eat, the airport, and the zoo.”
What’s the hardest part of your job?
“I deal with managers at food establishments that sometimes see profit margins as more of a focal point and priority instead of safe food handling practices. Operating a food establishment is costly (equipment repair, pest control, overhead, etc.), and sometimes managers/owners aren’t always willing to spend money to make their operations safer for the public. Convincing them to invest in public safety can be challenging.”
What issue is impacting/affecting your area right now? How are you dealing with it?
“Sometimes we wonder what else our food establishments need or want from our office to better help serve them. To address this openly, we’ve created a Local Food Advisory Committee. This is a group composed of local industry (restaurant owners, event planners, farmer’s market managers, manufacturing managers, etc.) with which we have quarterly meetings to discuss current food safety issues and see how we can make changes with their support.”
What’s the coolest thing you've done in your career?
“Our office was asked to assist Joplin’s Health Department after their EF5 tornado hit in 2011. I got to assess damage done to food establishments in the path of the tornado and report to the department which facilities had power and had a safe environment to serve and prepare food.”
What do you admire about this organization?
“I admire the City Ambassador Program (CAmP) that the City created. Such a neat way for employees to witness and understand the depths to which each department goes to serve the public and make Springfield safe.”