Wednesday, April 23, 2014 Subscribe       Search
 2012 Awards & Recognitions  
35 Year Recognition 
Rhonda Lund started working in the Town Office on August 16, 1977 as the receptionist. Those were the days when the phone system had switches and we didn't have a computer!  She has outlasted everyone else and now has the most seniority of all the Town Staff - not that she is the most senior!
  • In 1977, Roots was on TV
  • Star Wars opened in theaters
  • First Apple computer went on sale
  • Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977
  • Postage stamp prices were 13 cents
  • Gas prices were 64 cents
  • Brent was 8 years old
Most everyone knows that Rhonda does not like change, however she has gone from handwriting messages to e-mails and from typewriters to computer word processing.  Another of Rhonda's pet peeves is getting up in the morning but she is not afraid to work half the night. Rhonda is an asset to the Town, she has knowledge and leadership that most communities would love to have.  Rhonda is extremely capable of taking over whenever required and is also a go to person for staff with sound advice.  She is dedicated to working with everyone to find a solution as well as brings out the best in everyone.

When Rhonda was hired, Dr. Sam Dookie was mayor and since then, she has worked for 7 other mayors: Eugene Kush, Jack Machell, Gordon Hunter, Walter Smigg, Pat Burns, Mary Collins and Mark Nikota.  She has worked for 7 Town Managers or Chief Administrative Officers:  Dale Nichol, Robert Wemyss, Vance Little, Richard Binnendyk, Alec Simpson, Duff Carroll and Geraldine Gervais.  When asked, Rhonda can't recall how many people she has worked with over the last 35 years but she did remark that she has enjoyed the opportunity to work and learn from them.

Rhonda's grandparents moved to Hanna from the farm and her grandfather, Alex Sieppert contracted with the Town as the "Town Scavenger" for many years.  Those were the days when garbage was burned in barrels in the back yard and you were not allowed to burn garbage on Monday because that was wash day and clothes were hung to dry on the clothesline outside!
25 Year Recognition 
Winona Gutsche has been with the Town since October 19, 1987. Winona is a very important person in our organization as she is our payroll officer. Besides providing your payroll information, Winona maintains the employee files, administers the benefit programs, personnel policies and procedures.  She also maintains the tax records, cemetery records and banking information.  Because Winona worked for the Town when our computer system was new, she has a wealth of knowledge regarding the programs so she is the person we go to when we need help, which is great because she is always willing to go the extra mile to help staff members and customers.  Winona has chosen a sapphire ring and earring set as her 25 year gift.
15 Year Recognition 
Delmar Weich started with the Town as a labourer in the Public Works Department on May 30, 1997.  In the past 5 years, Del has had 5 co-workers leave and 5 new ones come into the department.  Del keeps our equipment running, doing repairs and maintenance on vehicles and equipment for both public works and parks.  When that doesn't keep him busy, you can find him working with the crew on one of the many jobs they look after, from digging graves to repairing water or sewer lines or maintaining a road.  Speaking of road, Del is usually the one you find in the sweeper and now with the new sweeper you actually see Del instead of a cloud of dust!  Del chose a jade crystal table clock for his 15 year gift.
10 Year Recognition 
Laurie Armstrong was hired in January 2002 as the Director of Economic Development & Tourism.  Her initial duties were to provide assistance and information to existing business as well a new business, industry and services.  As our technology requirements grew, Laurie took up the challenge and lead us into the information age.  (Remember 10 years ago, when email was new and iPhone and Blackberries were only on TV and the Town of Hanna did not have a website, Facebook page or Twitter account!)  Laurie keeps all those things updated for the Town.  She is still involved in economic development as well as co-ordinating our advertising and promotions.  This year, Laurie's title was changed to Director of Business and Communications.  Laurie works hard to find the solution to any problem we have with our computers (and other devices) and makes it seem so easy.  She is dedicated to finding ways to make Hanna "Worth the Drive".  Laurie has chosen silver hoop earrings as her 10 year gift. 
5 Year Recognition
 Brent Olesen started with the Town of Hanna in the Public Works Department in March 2007. as an equipment operator.  He started at a time when the department was undergoing a major shift with long term employees like Bob Crowle, Rod Sieppert and Bill Paisley retiring.  When the Public Works Foreman resigned in November of 2009, Brent was promoted to that position.  He held that position for a few months and when Bill Paisley retired, Brent applied for Director of Public Works.  Brent's can-do attitude, wide variety of skills and strong work ethic made it an easy decision to promote him to the position of Director of Public Works in May of 2010.  Brent is a 16 year member of the Hanna Volunteer Fire Department so he has had ties to the town prior to being hired in Public Works.   Brent chose a watch as his 5 year gift.

Ruth Fortna began working for the Town on June 5, 2007 as assistant to the Director of Economic Development & Tourism.  As the department changed, Ruth changed with it.  She is the one who puts our newspaper ad together, keeps the sign on the highway updated and inputs new information on our website.  Ruth is willing to take on new challenges and has filled in wherever needed in the office when others have taken sick leave or holiday time.  With her sunny disposition and helpful attitude, the office is not the same when she is away.....mostly to Mexico where she replenishes her sunny disposition. Ruth chose a silver ring for her 5 year gift.
33 Years Assessment Services 
 Barry Kautz worked as a summer student with the assessors in 1977 & 1978.  After graduating from Olds College, Barry was hired as a full time assessor with the Provincial Government.  He worked in Hanna as the assessor from 1981 until 1995, when the provincial assessment service was privatized. At that time, Barry joined a company called Regional Assessment Management & Consulting and continued to work in Hanna until May 2012.

Barry is highly respected by his peers and his opinion is always requested by others in many areas of assessment.  He was always at the top of a list of assessors called to assist in any disaster services area in Alberta.  Barry took a lot of pride in his job and was known as a straight shooter, the auditors always gave him 'top marks'.

Barry actually assessed the Town of Hanna and surrounding area for 33 years.  The Town of Hanna was fortunate to have Barry and his wife Wanda live, work and raise their children in Hanna during all the years that Barry worked as an assessor.

Barry has decided to retire as an assessor and work in a different field.  On June 12, 2012, Chief Administrative Officer, Geraldine Gervais (pictured left) and Mayor Mark Nikota (pictured right) on behalf of the Town of Hanna presented Barry (pictured center) with a token of appreciation for his years of service to the Town of Hanna.
Bob Crowle retired from the Town of Hanna in 2009 with 42 years of service and Rod Sieppert retired in 2006 after working for the Town for 42 years.
As of 2012, the Town of Hanna has 20 full-time employees.  Of that number there are 5 employees with less than 5 years of service; 8 employees with 5 or more years of service; 2 employees with 10 or more years service and 1 employee each with 20 years, 25 years and 35 years.
Copyright 2006 by Town of Hanna   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement