2020 Preferred Safety and Risk Management Award Recipients

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October 22, 2020

Every year Preferred Loss Control provides recognition to Preferred Members that have exemplified, fostered, and promoted sound safety and Risk Management practices within their organization.

This year’s Member selection is especially significant due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how Members of Preferred have responded to the unique challenges associated with this pandemic.

Preferred Members are eligible for two types of awards and are nominated by their respective Regional Loss Control Consultant. The Risk Management Professional of the Year Award is awarded to the Risk Manager that has demonstrated outstanding performance in the practice of risk management as well as the promotion of the risk management profession. The Safety and Risk Management Member of the Year award is awarded to a Member that has demonstrated continuous improvement through the best practices of accident prevention and claims management as measured by the performance of their organization’s insurance program. This year’s award recipients are as follows:

Risk Management Professional of the Year - 2020

  • City of Cape Canaveral – Melinda Huser ™
  • City of Port Orange – Grace Stewart ™
  • City of North Port – Dawn Shorter

Safety and Risk Management Member of the Year - 2020

  • Town of Davie ™
  • Flagler County ™
  • Cedar Hammock Fire Control District

MELINDA HUSER - CITY OF CAPE CANAVERAL

Risk Management Professional of the Year - 2020

Melinda Huser, HR Director / Risk Manager for the City of Cape Canaveral, was recognized for this award due to her rapid, effective and collaborative efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before mass shutdowns began in March and Florida’s own stay-at-home order in early April, the City began procuring PPE, supplies and additional technologies to allow for easier remote working and the development of an Infectious Disease Outbreak Preparedness and Response Plan to guide staff and elected officials as the pandemic unfolded.

The City was also the first in Brevard County to issue a Declaration of Emergency.

In addition to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic Ms. Huser maintained a continuity of excellence in the execution of her daily risk management and safety activities to ensure workplace safety and liability exposures were mitigated. Ms. Huser is highly regarded by her peers in the risk management profession as evidenced by her dedication and passion for safety and risk management which are attributable to her previous military career, education and credentials.

GRACE STEWART – CITY OF PORT ORANGE

Risk Management Professional of the Year - 2020

Grace Stewart, Risk Manager for the City of Port Orange, was nominated for this award for her ability to maintain the integrity the City’s safety programming and risk management initiatives while simultaneously dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was evidenced by her “Hands On” approach to responding effectively and expeditiously to the requirements outlined by the CDC guidelines for COVID-19 as well as her safety and risk management duties and responsibilities.

Ms. Stewart, working in conjunction with Preferred Loss Control, has implemented the best practices of accident prevention / claims management.

This has resulted in the improvement of their insurance program by improving workplace safety and reducing liability exposures. Ms. Stewart’s efforts have made the City of Port Orange a safer place to live, work and visit.

DAWN SHORTER – CITY OF NORTH PORT

Risk Management Professional of the Year - 2020

Dawn Shorter, HR / Safety & Wellness Coordinator for the City of North Port, has been recognized for her dedication to the safety and wellness of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her responsiveness to the CDC guidelines for this pandemic were exemplary.

From the very beginning Ms. Shorter worked with the Property Maintenance Department to install plexiglass partitioning in areas where employees were required to interact with the public.

Ms. Shorter was instrumental in providing face masks, non-contact thermometers, hand sanitizer stations for employees / public as well as establishing social distancing signage and floor markings.

In addition to ensuring that CDC guidelines were implemented for COVID-19, Ms. Shorter continued to execute her safety / wellness duties by utilizing video conferencing to continue Peer Support Groups, Book Clubs, Wellness Programs and Safety Committee meetings.

Ms. Shorter has also led the charge with virtual workout programs to keep employees healthy while working from home.

TOWN OF DAVIE

Safety and Risk Management Member of the Year - 2020

The Town of Davie was nominated for the Member Award for having developed, implemented and enforced a safety program that has been taken from “Paper to Practice”.

Jose Lugo, Risk Manager, has effectively utilized the full complement of Preferred Loss Control products / services to support his safety programming and risk management initiatives.

The results of his efforts have assisted in reducing workplace safety accidents and liability exposures resulting in making the Town of Davie a safer place to live, work and visit.

FLAGLER COUNTY

Safety and Risk Management Member of the Year - 2020

Flagler County was nominated for the Member Award for having enhanced their safety culture. Samantha Whitfield, Risk Manager, has had an immediate impact by reforming the safety committee, delegating responsibility / accountability and evaluating / identifying priorities to make safety a priority at Flagler County.

Through her direct efforts she has improved the performance of the County’s insurance program resulting in less accidents, injuries and illness. Her success is directly attributable to her dedication and passion for safety / risk management resulting from her formal education and career in the military.

CEDAR HAMMOCK FIRE CONTROL DISTRICT

Safety and Risk Management Member of the Year - 2020

Cedar Hammock Fire Control District was nominated based on their rapid response and priority of addressing the exposures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the direction of Chief Hoyle and Training Officer Smith, the District implemented CDC guidelines from the beginning of the pandemic to ensure their employees were properly protected against the virus.

In addition, the District has made marked improvements to the performance of their insurance program by working with Preferred Loss Control to implement the best practices of accident prevention and claims management to protect their First Responders so they can be available to serve and protect the community