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The original item was published from 2/11/2020 1:17:37 PM to 2/29/2020 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: February 11, 2020

[ARCHIVED] City presents Employee of the Year Award

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Two Bristol, Tennessee employees who last winter rendered aid to an accident victim until first responders arrived were recognized Tuesday with the City’s Employee of the Year Award.

Richard Conner and Don Venable of the Department of Development Services were presented with the City’s top employee honor by Mayor Margaret Feierabend and City Manager Bill Sorah for stopping en route to a jobsite to help a motorist who had driven over an embankment. They were among 13 city employees who received Bristol First awards during 2019. All Bristol First recipients were considered for the year’s top honor and recognized during Tuesday’s luncheon.

Venable joined the City in November 1999 and currently serves as a Construction Superintendent. Connor, who is assigned the role of Maintenance Worker I, joined the City in 2005. Both work within the City’s Utility Division.

They were nominated by the grateful motorist, who noted how the two went “the extra mile and assisted me in my time of need. They made sure I was all right, took care of traffic, and assured me that help was on the way.”

The Bristol First award was created in 2014 to recognize City employees for service to the public, leadership, service to other City employees, and efficiency, creativity, and inventiveness. Nominations are accepted from city employees, elected officials and community members throughout the year, and recipients are recognized during monthly meetings of City Council. Conner and Venable received the Bristol First award in January 2019.

Others recognized with 2019 Bristol First awards and honored Tuesday were:

  • Capt. Charlie Thomas of the Police Department, who helped members of a City neighborhood combat everything from criminal activity to animal control issues.
  • Blake McCracken of the Department of Development Services, who provided knowledgeable and professional assistance to a community member who had a sewer problem after regular business hours.
  • Major Matt Austin of the Police Department, who helped locate an elderly woman after she was reported missing from a senior living facility.
  • Janet Ross of the Department of Development Services, who was recognized for her skill at trimming hedges and also for helping a city resident who needed assistance loading groceries into her car.
  • Jonathan Baumgardner, Robert Bebber, Greg Cotter and Caleb Russell of the Department of Development Services, who were recognized for their work on a sidewalk project along Georgia Avenue and the extra steps they took to assist neighbors in the area.
  • Ronnie Mutter, Wes Ritchie and Tyler Tester of the Department of Development Services, who searched the shoulder of a busy street to help a community member find a cell phone that contained irreplaceable photos.

For additional information about the Bristol First Award and the nomination process, please go to or call the Department of Community Relations at (423) 764-4171.

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