UF |UNIVERSITY of
UF FLORIDA C
I From the Physil P t Dv isn of te Ut -
Vol. XXII. Number 8
In This Issue:
Sarah Hanson, New
GED Program Open
To UF Employees
Brook Mercier Is New PPD HR Manager
After almost three years as PPD Human Resources
Manager, Kevin Clarke has left the department for an Em-
ployee Relations Coordinator position with IFAS. In this
capacity, he will perform employee relations functions on a
statewide level. Replacing Kevin at Physical Plant will be
incoming PPD HR Manager Brook Mercier.
Brook comes to us from Huntsville, Tennessee, where
.he was the human resources manager for a Great Dane semi-
truck trailer manufacturing plant. "I was with Great Dane for
seven years," he said. "I worked as an HR manager at the
Savannah plant, which is one of their oldest plants, at over
S75 years old. I then moved to Huntsville when Great Dane
Opened a new plant there a couple of years ago."
Brook grew up in Fitzgerald, Georgia, and received a
bachelor's degree from Georgia Southwestern State University, and a Master's of Business
Administration degree from Georgia Southern University. At the University of Florida, he saw a
career opportunity that looked too good to pass up.
See MERCIER Continued On Page 3
Alachua County Choppers
July 19 was official Ride-Your-Bike-To-Work Day, and a dozen PPD employees showed up at Building 700 to
display their motorcycles. They are: (leftphoto, left to right) Buster Johnson, Wally Lake, Wayne Carawan,
Dennis Doran, Tom Black, and Robert Wall; (right photo, I-r) Dana Simmons, Tony Bruce, Harley Ingle,
Daron Wright, Danny Buckland, and Wild Bill Munden.
George Lyons Retires From Building Services
After over 35 years with the University of
Florida, George Lyons has retired. A
retirement celebration was held for him in
the Building Services training room, and
several employees gave testimonials to
a .. b d .. . George's engaging personality and work
George said, "I've had a great time here at
OB PPD and I feel like I've made a lot of
t n friends. I will be back from time to time to
visit all of you."
Building Services Asst. Director Derrick
Bacon said, "I have only worked with
SGeorge for a short while, but he has always
been a wonderful person to work with and
a fantastic employee. Our department is
S-freally going to miss him."
Left: George Lyons (left) receives his
retirement medallion from Derrick Bacon.
OB'Gram: Get Ready For Students' Return
by Dave O'Brien
Wow! It's hard to believe that summer is almost over. UF students will be back in force the week of August
S 21t. This usually means some adjustment in our schedules, too. Traffic on the roads to UF will be really busy.
We'll have to plan to leave home early for the first few weeks of the new semester, and we probably will want
to avoid Wal-Mart and Target until they're all settled into their homes away from home!
Since we'll be driving and working on campus, we need to be especially aware of the opportunities for
making that good first impression. Let's make every effort we can to welcome our new and returning students.
After all, they are the reason we're here!
July Communication Breakfast Notes
OB began the breakfast by mentioning that President and Mrs. Machen are moving out of the President's house and into a
home off-campus. Although the Machens will no longer live there, the President's house will still be used for meetings and social
events, and PPD will still be responsible for the property's care and upkeep.
The UF logo has been changed. OB mentioned that this is part of the branding process UF is undergoing as part of its efforts
to become one of the top-10 public universities in the country. OB said he will keep departments updated as to the process to
change over to the new logo.
PPD has been testing an electric truck negatives include less power than normal trucks, and no A/C, while positives include
easy maneuverability in tight spaces, and good visibility. At the same time, we have been testing biodiesel (refined vegetable oil)
in a couple of diesel trucks and mowers at Grounds Dept. Motor Pool is looking at offering a 25/75% blend of biodiesel/regular
diesel this will cut down on vehicle oil consumption. These are all parts of PPD's ongoing efforts to increase campus sustainability.
Question & Answer Session:
Q: Are there layoffs going on at the Brain Institute?
A: I have not heard that anything like that is going on, no.
Q: Do we know what the renovation schedule at the Nuclear Building will be?
A: The A/C system will need to be re-done, however, we don't currently have a timetable on that project.
Q: Are their any plans to upgrade our work vehicles at PPD?
A: PPD has been working to upgrade our vehicles as much as possible, however, with the utility increases of the past three
years, we have not had the money to continue this project. However, I urge all employees to treat your work vehicles as your own
and try to keep them in the best condition possible.
MERCIER Cont. From Pg. 1
"I really wanted to find a long-term career in something that I was enthusiastic about, that I could see myself doing over a
long period of time," he said. "I felt that working in a university environment would be enjoyable and fulfilling. At the same time,
moving to Gainesville will allow me to be closer to family and my hometown, and that's also very important to me."
After only a few weeks at PPD, Brook says he already feels very comfortable. "The folks here have been very helpful," he
said. "I can already tell that people here really care about theirjobs, and they go out of their way to help make you feel welcome.
I feel that with my background in a manufacturing industry, PPD will be an enjoyable transition for me the atmosphere and skilled
workforce are similar in many ways."
Off the job, Brook is an avid sports fan and a scuba diver. "Growing up," he said, "I spent a lot of time in and around the
springs of North Florida, and the natural beauty of this area is something that I really enjoy."
Meanwhile, at Physical Plant, Brook says he's ready to dive into his new position. "I really enjoy working with people," he
said. "I am very excited to be here at PPD Human Resources, and I look forward to continuing our efforts to develop a satisfying
workplace for our employees."
UF GED Program Open To All Employees
If you have ever considered completing your high school education, UF's GED program can help you! The
program has enabled more than twenty UF employees to graduate over the past three years. The GED classes
are taught by a licensed instructor and meet Mondays and Thursdays from 8-10am or 10-12pm for a total of four
hours per week. GED participants work at their own pace to best meet their learning needs in the areas of math,
science, reading, writing, and social studies. There is no cost to attend GED classes and the time spent in class
is considered time worked.
For more information, please visit www.hr ufl. edu/qed or contact Sarah Hanson at 392-7898, or
New PPD Education/Training Coordinator
PPD Human Resources is pleased to introduce our new Education and Training Coordinator, Sarah Hanson. Sarah has taken
the position formerly held by Donna Agerton.
Sarah comes to PPD from LifeSouth Community Blood Bank, where she worked as an
instructional designer/trainer for the past two years. "At LifeSouth, I designed training
modules for our employees," she said. "We created online videos and tutorials as part of
the courses which were used for training employees at all of the southeastern LifeSouth
Sarah attended the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and received her bach-
elors in biology, and secondary education certificate. She had also begun work on a
master's degree in educationbefore moving to Florida. Prior to working at LifeSouth, she
taught high school outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. "I taught tenth-grade biology,"
she said. "I did that for about three years, but then my husband took a deputy sheriff's
position with Alachua County and so we moved down here."
At Physical Plant, Sarah says she sees a great opportunity to provide employees
with quality training and development. "I like the fact that I can develop and implement a
training program, and see it all the way through from concept to execution," she said. "At
LifeSouth, I created a lot of programs that would then be sent to other locations, and I
wasn't as involved as I would have liked in the actual implementation. Here, at PPD, I can
design and implement the training programs, and focus a lot more attention on employee development."
Outgoing PPD Human Resources Manager Kevin Clarke said, "Sarah brings an extensive track-record of strong training,
training development, and knowledge of learning techniques that will add significantly to the effectiveness of our Training and
Development initiatives here at PPD. Her vast experience will provide every department a tool that will enhance their ability to
effectively implement new training programs and target specific training needs that will help move PPD in line with the University's
goal of achieving top 10 status among all higher educational institutions. PPD is lucky to have found such a qualified, highly
recommended talent to fill this position, and I am confident that Sarah will elevate this position to levels that have not been
"So far, everyone has been extremely friendly and helpful," said Sarah. "I have received some great feedback and responses
to help me determine the training needs here at PPD. Some of my main priorities will be improving the new employee orientation
process, working on our supervisor training initiative, and offering more computer-based training for employees. I'm excited about
the future here at PPD, and I'm looking forward to facilitating our employees' development."
UW UNIVERSITY of
Juan Cervantes, Grounds
Michael Daniels, Grounds
Bertha Fisher, Building Svcs.
Johnnie Grant, Building Svcs.
Erica Johnson, Building Svcs.
Marion Martin, Building Svcs.
Herbert Brown, Work Mgmt.
Jerry Cummings, Health Center
Elizabeth Farmer, Resource Mgmt.
Dan Jarrell, Facilities
Classic Ross, Building Svcs.
June Employees of the Month:
Keith Feagle Isaac Gaddy
Facilities Building Svcs.
Mike Hutchins Edith Jackson
Systems Building Svcs.
Empoe S T S urter
Jose Diaz Joel Ellis
Resource Mgmt. Operations/Eng.
Mike Hutchins Gray Rawls
Systems Support Staff
Mark Ferguson Bill Fowler
Health Center Grounds
Roosevelt Waters John Young
Building Svcs. Facilities