Employee of the Year

Jeremy Edwards is the 2019 Employee of the Year

Jeremy Edwards, Green Space Manager in the Department of Public Works, has been named the 2019 City of Falls Church Employee of the Year. The citizen-led Employee Review Board selected Mr. Edwards for going above and beyond his job description by being a leader in conservation landscape management, collaborating with volunteers, and providing environmental education. The nomination was written and signed by 26 City residents and business partners.

In 2019, Mr. Edwards recognized savings opportunities with commercial and private development projects. He requested wood chips from the clearing of the Founder’s Row commercial development property and used them for the walking patch in Howard Herman Stream Valley Park, saving the City $6,000. He also collaborated with residents to transplant unwanted native plants and trees from private properties to City parks.

Since becoming Green Space Manager in December 2012, Mr. Edwards leads enthusiastic volunteers of all ages to plant native trees, shrubs, and perennials in the City’s parks, positively impacting wildlife habitat and storm water retention. In 2019, he led a total of 280 volunteers at 12 public events with the City’s Habitat Restoration Team. This small rolling army removed invasive plants and installed over 7,600 native plants in eight of the City’s parks. These volunteers represent over 542 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars of donated labor.

Mr. Edwards engages the community in hands-on learning like advising Girl Scout Gold Star projects, Boy Scout Eagle Scout projects, and wildlife projects initiated by the George Mason High School Environmental Club. His collaborations with Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, and Tree Stewards strengthen the development of the local learning community of professional and citizen experts dedicated to public environmental education.

The nomination essay reads, "The tangible results of Mr. Edwards's leadership are evidenced in the beauty and function as wildlife habitat and green infrastructure of the City’s parks and in cost savings to the City. But the intangible results, the process of education that is difficult to put a price tag on, are just as impressive. For community members, his leadership builds morale and shapes their views on the City’s commitment to a more sustainable and resilient environment and encourages them to apply more sustainable and ecological techniques in their own backyards. Community members have come to trust and rely upon Jeremy’s expertise and actively seek him out. City resident Priscilla Guthrie describes the impact that he has for the community:

Jeremy Edwards is an incredible City resource. Over the years, we’ve watched him improve our parks and also increase residents’ appreciation and support for these precious natural assets. One of Falls Church’s young residents -- a 10 year old -- expressed it all when he ran towards a place in Crossman this spring. He was looking down as he ran, then suddenly stopped and started jumping into the air saying, “Here are the plants I planted last year. They are GROWING!” And, indeed they were.

The citizen-based Employee Review Board selects an Employee of the Year each year from nominations submitted by City employees and citizens. The other nominees this year were Dana Lewis (Housing and Human Services), Carly Lumsden (Emergency Communications, Police Department), Kerri Oddenino (CPEDS), and Billette Ripy (Library).

Jeremy Edwards EOY

About the Award

The “Employee of the Year” Award was established in 1987 to grant recognition to a City employee for accomplishments of outstanding worth in advancing and improving public service in the City of Falls Church General Government.

Accomplishments that are eligible for consideration will vary widely in form and substance due to the many different jobs City Employees perform. They will be evaluated against criteria that examine gains achieved, overall impact of the accomplishment, and the environment in which the achievement took place. The recipient receives a cash award.

Eligibility for the award is open to all permanent full or part-time employees in the City’s personnel system, provided the initial probationary period has been concluded successfully.  Appointed Officials, Elected Officials and their employees, and Division Directors are not eligible.

How to Nominate

  1. Complete the Employee of the Year Nomination Form (page 4 of the PDF)
  2. Essay answering all the questions below (see page 3 of the PDF for complete details):
    • What was the nominee’s accomplishment?
    • What was the nominee’s role in this accomplishment?
    • What was the nominee’s identification to the accomplishment?
    • What was the worth of the accomplishment?
    • How was the achievement remarkable and/or greater than the nominee’s assigned duties?
    • Was the accomplishment started and completed between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019?
  3. Gather photos, articles, or any other supporting documentation (optional but encouraged).
  4. Submit the complete package by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020 


Eligibility for the award is open to all permanent full or part-time employees in the City government’s personnel system, provided the initial probationary period has been concluded successfully. Appointed Officials, Elected Officials and their employees, and Department or Division Directors are not eligible.

Who May Nominate

  • Any City employee of the General Government
  • City citizens
  • Civic organizations or groups
  • Business and professional groups

Nominations may not be submitted by a member of the immediate family of the nominee or the nominee themselves.

Selection Process

The City Employees Review Board will receive the nominations and the supporting documentation and select the award recipient based on the facts presented. Presentation of the award will be made by the Mayor and Council at the April 27, 2020 Council Meeting in City Hall. 

Previous Employee of the Year Winners

Year Winner Department
2019 Jeremy Edwards Department of Public Works
2018 Carly Aubrey Planning Department
2017 Ibby Acosta Finance Department
2016 Joe Dowling Public Works
2015 Missy Elliott Police Department
2014 Megan Graham Court Services
2013 Leslyn Barrow Housing and Human Services
2012 Cary Frostick Mary Riley Styles Public Library
2011 Susan Richter Housing and Human Services
2010 Kathy Allan Environmental Services
2009 Rachel Kindell Aurora House
2008 Ed Lancaster Police Department
2007 Marshall Webster Mary Riley Styles Public Library
2006 Beverly Reich Human Resources
2005 Debralee Woodbury Recreation and Parks
2004 Jill Anne Spence Planning Department
2003 Dan Ellis Police Department
2002 Ali Khan Environmental Services
2001 Deborah Taylor Registrar
2000 Butch Goff Recreation and Parks
1999 Linda Weikle Recreation and Parks
1998 Danny Schlitt Recreation and Parks
1997 Robert Goff Environmental Services
1996 Dagmar McGill Mary Riley Styles Public Library
1995 Donna Ahart Aurora House
1994 Debra Gee Planning Department
1993 Bruce Taylor Police Department
1992 Ralph Lewis Environmental Services
1991 Annette Mills Environmental Services
1990 Melodie Baron Housing and Human Services
1989 Sue Spiker City Attorney's Office
1989 Lieutenant Greg King Police Department
1988 Howard Herman Recreation and Parks
1987 Robert Compher Environmental Services