Employee of the Year

Elizabeth "Ibby" Acosta is the 2017 Employee of the Year

Senior Administrative Assistant Elizabeth "Ibby" Acosta has been named the 2017 City of Falls Church Employee of the Year. The citizen-led Employee Review Board selected Ibby for her exemplary work as project manager for the City's transition between document and record storage providers. Ibby's efforts were done on her own initiative, resulting in a better quality document storage system and directly saving the City over an estimated $8,000 annually in record storage and retention costs.

Ibby has worked for the City for six years, and her current assigned duties as a Senior Administrative Assistant within the Finance Division are to work on payroll and accounts payable issues. She was nominated by the Finance Department.

A major role in government service is maintaining and preserving the public record, which is often paper documents. Under the authority of the Virginia Public Records Act, it is the City's obligation to ensure that public records are maintained and publically accessible throughout their life cycle. 

Ibby - sash

In 2017, Ibby took it upon herself to efficiently and effectively project manage the massive task of transitioning the City's Document Storage and Management Services from one records management provider to another. Working with the City Clerk (the City's designated records officer), Ibby spent countless hours reviewing the associated identification, movement, storage and/or destruction of departmental documents and records related to the ongoing services in the City of Falls Church.

Prior to Ibby's efforts, the City's existing records management provider had not proven to be in the best interest of the City, as it included excessive services fees and less than satisfactory customer services. With the City Hall Renovation project fast approaching, Ibby identified the critical need to expedite and overhaul the City's document storage and management services. As the project manager of the City's document storage transition, Ibby far exceeded her job description and requirements. She spearheaded efforts to find a new record storage provider and establish a reasonable contract for their services, all while ensuring any documents stored with the existing records management provider were always accounted for (per Virginia Public Records Act) and transferred successfully.

Ibby's actions are directly related to an ongoing estimated savings of $676 per month for the City's document storage and management needs. Her overall accomplishments were completed of her own drive and purpose, not as a directive from her supervisor or higher management.

"We are thrilled with the selection of Ibby as our 2017 Employee of the Year," said Deputy City Manager and Director of Human Resources Cindy Mester. "Ibby is the embodiment of our Leadership Guiding Principle that the quality and success of our City is a shared responsibility. Her leadership as a staunch steward of the City’s finances and records, who always looks for ways to save the City money in the short and long-term, is unparalleled.”

The citizen-based Employee Review Board selects an Employee of the Year each year from nominations submitted by City employees and citizens. The recipient is selected for their involvement in an accomplishment of outstanding worth in advancing and improving public service in the City of Falls Church that produces outcomes, such as higher morale or acts beyond the call of duty, and goes above and beyond the nominee’s normal duties.

Previous Employee of the Year Winners

Year Winner 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


  • An accomplishment of outstanding worth in advancing and improving public service in the City of Falls Church.
  • The nominee must be involved in and identified with the achievement.
  • There must be tangible results achieved from this performance; results might be higher morale, more effective operations, lower costs or acts beyond the call of duty.
  • The achievement was remarkable or an unusual performance of the nominee’s assigned duties, or above and beyond those assigned duties.
  • The achievement occurred in the calendar year of 2017.

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, 2017 and December 31, 2017?
  3. Gather photos, articles, or any other supporting documentation (optional but encouraged).
  4. Submit the complete package by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 21, 2018


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 9, 2018 Council Meeting in City Hall.