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Vol. XXll. Number 3
Asst. Vice President
In This Issue:
Physical Plant SAA
New CDL Licensees
Thompson Named 2006 EOY
SPhysical Plant's 2006 Divisional Employee of
the Year is Ronnie Thompson. Ronnie works as a
Maintenance Mechanic in the Facilities Department
Ronnie started working at PPD almost ten
years ago. He and a partner had founded Thomp-
son Sheetmetal in the late 1980s, and they built the
business together until Ronnie decided to accept a
position with PPD.
"There was just so much travel involved in
that," he said regarding Thompson Sheetmetal. "I
would be going to different places all the time, and
Ronnie Thompson (left) with PPD sometimes the money I was making wouldn't cover
Asst. Vice President Dave O'Brien all the expenses of that travel. So I decided that I
wanted to do something with a little steadier pay,
and something where I wouldn't have to be on the move quite so much. PPD fit the bill on both
of those requirements."
See THOMPSON Continued On Pg. 3
Takes Over PPD Risk Management
Physical Plant's new Risk Management Coordinator is Wesley Mira. Wes takes over the
Risk Management office, replacing the recently departed Ron Hambrick, who left PPD inNo-
Wes graduated from the University of Florida in 2000 with a Bachelor's of Science degree
in Business Administration. He is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese, and immediately
following college, he worked for two years with BellSouth's Latin American operations, con-
ducting internal audits, process flow analyses, and government compliance audits. After leav-
ing BellSouth, he spent two years working at Ocala Recycling, first as a materials buyer, and
later as that company's Risk Management Coordinator.
Y "That was like boot camp for my risk management skills," he said, laughing. "I feel like I got
Quite a bit of on-the-job training and experience from my time at Ocala Recycling."
Wes Mira Wes cited several reasons for taking the position with PPD. "I wanted to come and be part
of a larger organization," he said. "Physical Plant offers a lot more resources and opportunities
to expand my knowledge base. Also, the commute to Ocala from Gainesville each day was pretty rough, and I'm glad to be working
closer to home."
When asked to describe his risk management philosophy, Mira didn't hesitate. "My motto is: safety doesn't happen by
accident," he said. "I want to put a very high emphasis on reducing repeat injuries, and reducing the time that our employees miss
due to injuries, with proper safety education and training. From talking to (former Risk Management Coordinator) Allan Preston,
and looking at what Ron Hambrick accomplished here, I feel like I have some big shoes to fill. Those two guys, and Allan
especially, laid a great foundation for what the Risk Management Office stands for, and I'm looking forward to getting to work with
PPD's employees and help our organization continue to achieve higher standards in on-the-job safety."
PPD SuperiorAccomplishmentAward Winners
The 2006 Finance and Administration Superior Accomplishment Award winners were recognized at a
ceremony held on March 7th at the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom.
The winners from Physical Plant were (front row, left to right): Charlene Smith, Building Services; Arthur
Holsey, Grounds; Terry King, Building Services; Ruthie Noland, Systems; By Hart, Building Services; Doug
(Back row, left to right:) Hope Seay, Human Resources; Doug Hoffman, Grounds; Chris Roberts, Facilities;
Richard Thomas, Facilities; Danny Grant, Systems. (Not pictured: Katherine Pons, Building Services.)
The Superior Accomplishment Awards program recognizes staff members who contribute outstanding and
meritorious service, efficiency and/or economy, orto the quality of life provided to students and employees.
PPD's division-level winners will now go on to compete for university-level awards, with cash prizes of up to
Congratulations to each of these PPD SuperiorAccomplishmentAward winners!
OB'Gram: Take Care When Working
Q Outdoos In Summer Heat
by Dave O'Brien
--- .There are several ways to know when spring has arrived at UF. The football team has started their drills,
and you also can hear the 'ping' of aluminum bats over by the baseball stadium. Classes are meeting outside
and students are enjoying the sunshine. PPD's work outdoors increases dramatically, and that means we all
need to be aware of how to protect ourselves from too much exposure to the Florida sunshine and hot
weather. The Risk Management office at PPD will be scheduling training sessions on how to avoid heat
stress. I hope that all of our employees who spend the majority of their working hours outdoors will partici-
pate in the programs.
We also need to be wary of too much sun. According to the American Cancer Society, cancer of the skin is the most common
of all cancers, and most of these cancers are related to too much exposure to UV radiation. Sunlight is the main source of UV
radiation. PPD baseball caps are available in Central Stores for employees to wear at work, in order to provide some protection
from the sun. All of us should remember to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher whenever we are going to be out in the sun
- whether at work or at play.
Daylight Savings Time arrived early this year, and that gives us more daylight hours that we will spend away from our jobs.
I want everyone at PPD to be safe at work so that they can enjoy their time away from work.
Supervisor Development Program Graduates
-- C Recentgraduates of
Phase 1 are (front row, left
to right): Jessie Mae
Johnson, Audrey Byrd,
Classie Ross, Sandra
Thomas Woulard, and
O s a Kathy Robinson.
(Back row, l-r): Brick
Baker (instructor), Kevin
Drye, Albert Gulley, Calvin
Key, and Sam Oates.
March Communications Brealfast Notes
OB said that the location for the university's new parking garage will be west of the Cancer/Genetics Building off Archer
Road. The garage is programmed to have 900 spaces. Parking decal prices are expected to rise in order to help cover the parking
garage construction and maintenance costs.
The new Human Resources offices will be officially opened onApril 23rd, in the old BellSouth building on University Avenue.
OB said that there will be plenty of parking at the new site, and access to the HR offices will be much easier for employees. PPD
will be responsible for maintaining the building and its grounds.
A group of UF employees and Gainesville residents are working to raise funds for the renovation of the Wilmont Gardens
area, just north of the new Cancer and Genetics building. OB said that the group is headed by Dr. Craig Tisher, Dean of the UF
College of Medicine, and that they hope to re-landscape the area and create a greenspace and meditative area for patients,
students and staff.
Question and Answer:
Q: With the new buildings coming online recently, has there been any talk of increasing PPD staff to help deal with them?
A: Yes, for each new building that comes online, PPD receives a certain amount of funds to maintain them and hire new staff
as necessary. Usually those new employees are in the Grounds and Building Services departments, but if a supervisor sees a need
and canjustify the addition of employees, we will certainly work towards creating the necessary positions.
Q: Who maintains the PPD website, and how can
we add things to it? New CDL Licensees
A: Susan Limpert, in the PPD Quality Office, is in
charge of our website. Changes and corrections may be
addressed to her at 392-2074.
Q: We have an on-going problem with contractors
who do not complete their work to the necessary UF
standards, and then PPD has to go in and fix their mis-
takes. How can we address this?
A: This is notjust a PPD issue, it is a campus-wide
issue with outside contractors. I feel that things have
been getting better in this area, but if you see contrac-
tors doing sub-standard work, let your supervisor know
and we will try to address the issue through the proper
Q: Is the PPD apprenticeship program still active?
A: Yes, there are currently two employees in the Two PPD employees have recently completed the
program, but we have not announced any new posi- CDL training program and received their licenses.
tions right now. We are continuing to study the program From left to right, they are: Robert Frame, CDL
and determine if it is a viable way to create advancement instructorArthur Payne, and Randolph Cash.
opportunities for our employees. Congratulations to the new licensees!
UF g UNIVERSITY of
BrianAcosta, Building Svcs.
Curview Baker, Grounds
Buddy Broxton, Systems
Ray Bryant, Building Svcs.
Samantha Carter, Building Svcs.
Charles Crandall, Systems
Desmond Grimes, Building Svcs.
Jon Merchant, Systems
Wesley Mira, Risk Mgmt.
Debra Moore, Building Svcs.
Gary Neeley, Facilities
Joyce Ross, Building Svcs.
Yasmine Satcher, Building Svcs.
Calvin Tyson, Systems
David Wilken, Resource Mgmt.
January Employees of the Month:
Robert Frame Mildred Graham
Building Svcs. Building Svcs.
Coretha Harris Mark Knabb
Building Svcs. Facilities
Mark Knabb, Facilities I -I
S Jesse Matthews Bennet Miller Don Short Tam Troung
Health Center Grounds Systems Building Svcs.
THOMPSON Continued From Page 1
There are several aspects which make working at Physical Plant a rewarding experience, according to Ronnie. "Well, I think
the benefits are great," he said. "The retirement plan is really nice, and the work that I do is interesting. There's a lot of variety in
this job one day I'll be doing sheetmetal fabrication such as A/C unit grills, the next day it might be pressure washing, or high
reach work, or roofwork. Plus, there's a great bunch of guys in the shop that I work with, and I get along with everybody really
Maintenance Specialist Bill Mikulski said, "Ronnie takes care of the majority of our sheetmetal jobs. He's a big help in the
shop, and even takes charge of things during my absences. There were several times this year that I had to be out, and Ronnie
helped oversee the operation of the roofing shop and made sure everything ran smoothly."
Facilities Construction Projects Specialist Wayne Wainwright said, "Ronnie has always been an outstanding employee. He
has always given outstanding service to all of our customers, and has never lost that focus. His work ethic, willingness to help
and pleasant attitude make Ronnie a pleasure to work with. He's the type of employee we depend on to keep things going
smoothly, and we are fortunate to have him working in Physical Plant."
When he's not at work, Ronnie says that he likes to hunt, fish and go swimming. He was born and raised in Gainesville, and
he and his wife Cathy own a home in town. They have four sons two are in school at UF, one is at Santa Fe Community College,
and the other is a sales manager at Lowe's. Ronnie also enjoys spending time with his 2 1/2 year old grandson he works a 4/10
shift so that he can take care of the boy every Friday.
Ronnie said that the two people he'd most like to thank for helping him become 2006 PPD Employee of the Year are Willie Hill
and Bill Mikulski. "Well, Willie was my first supervisor, and he really taught me a lot about how things work out here," he said.
"And Bill is the one who put me in for this award, and he's given me the opportunity to manage the shop when he's been out, and
I appreciate that."