The motto for the crews of the Solid Waste Division is “Dedicated to Quality Service” and few exemplify dedication to that motto more than Steve Wright — the City of St. Augustine’s 2009 Employee of the Year.
The annual award was presented to Steve by City Manager Bill Harriss during a recent ceremony held at the annual Employee Service Award Program.
Although Steve has been with the city five years, he has over 15 years of prior experience in the area of solid waste gained through his employment with BFI Waste Services.
Steve, a St. Augustine native, and his wife Cindi have three children: Jordan who has a family of her own including two children; Britanny, a student at St. Johns River Community College; and Robert, a sophomore at St. Augustine High School where he plays football and is in the band.
It was Robert who introduced his parents to geocaching, an outdoor activity in which participants use Global Positioning System to hide and seek containers filled with ‘things.’ Currently there are over a million caches throughout the world and Robert has more than 150 ‘finds’ in his name with Steve locating about 50. It’s turned into a family hobby and they even include caching into their vacations. One of their more recent cache finds was in Savannah where they met other families searching for the same cache.
As members of Trinity Episcopal Church for the past 20 years the Wright family has served in many capacities with Steve now serving as usher and previously as a member of the vestry.
Although busy working and raising a family, one important thing in Steve’s life that he never got around to was obtaining his high school diploma. Although through the years many people encouraged him to get his GED, Steve credits Martha Graham, Director of Public Works, with who ultimately “gave me the boot that I needed,” said Steve. “She said ‘you really need to do this’ and I needed to hear that from her.”
Steve said that when he puts his mind to do something, he follows through, and that was the case with the GED challenge. Asked how he felt after hearing the positive results of his test, his response was “I got tears in my eyes.”
“Steve’s a hard worker and deserves this honor,” said Rick Stevens, Supervisor of Solid Waste Division.
Congratulations to Steve Wright, the City of St. Augustine’s 2009 Employee of the Year.