Roadrunner Kudos is an employee recognition program developed by the Controller's office to recognize all of the great things the staff do every day to make the Controller’s area successful!
Each quarter, a member of the management staff selects an employee in the Controller’s area that has exhibited excellence in their work, increased efficiency, was helpful to the UTSA community or anyone in Business Affairs, someone who made a great suggestion or helped his/her colleagues.
Please click on any name below to read more about the individual winners.
Cynthia Schweers, Accounting.
Cynthia Schweers has contributed a great effort into the process that now surrounds the reimbursement from the State of Texas via USAS. The paid E&G accounts had not been reimbursed between September - November going into the month of December 2014. These funds amounted to approximately $36M that UTSA was funding from their investments.
Cyndi patiently went through the process, most times more than once, to review the file prior to upload, prepare and send the file for upload, and then watch it through the process. This included working with the USAS contact at UT System, ARDC, and UTSA Disbursements. Once the file made it into USAS, there were many errors that had to be corrected. Working with UT System and ARDC, these issues were discovered and worked through. This took time and patience. Our proactive approach while working on these issues helped other components as now the issue will be resolved before they send their files.
There were also vendor errors that had to be corrected. Due to staff turnover, Cyndi became the point person who oversaw the process and kept all abreast of any additional items that needed to be researched.
UTSA finally received reimbursement in January for these funds. Additionally, payroll for December was then ready to be sent for reimbursement. These funds amounted to an additional $24M. The reimbursement process for that payroll cycle went smoother as a result of Cyndi's dedication.
Thanks to Cyndi’s efforts, we are now caught up on our reimbursement for payroll expenses from the State of Texas and know more about the process for reimbursement. Her patience and effort are greatly appreciated and embody the guiding principle “We Partner for Success.”
Disbursements and Travel Services.
(left to right) Nora Compean and Lindsay Stanisz
Lindsay has quickly embraced her duties as a Disbursements and Travel Services I(DTS I) and has manned the front desk admirably. She is friendly, cooperative, helpful, willing to assist others, and maintains a positive outlook to ongoing changes. Although Lindsay has been with DTS since early September, she has actively participated as part of the Halloween Committee in October and has been promoting and attending the State Employee Charitable Campaign(SECC) meetings with Robyn Rigney.
Lindsay maintains a positive attitude at all times and has been a great and welcomed addition to our group. Lindsay is prompt, efficient, and has proven to excel in her customer service skills with vendors, departments, and coworkers alike. Lindsay has proven to have a substantial understanding of the vendors quickly and has maintained her workload with minimal supervision.
Lindsay represents The Guiding Principles WE PARTNER to deliver excellent service and WE CREATE positive change.
Grants and Contracts Financial Services Staff.
(left to right) Lenora C. Chapman, Angie Lopez, Lila Martinelli, Gloria Alanis, Rosa Varela, Diana Rodriguez, not pictured, Melissa Viesca-Benavidez.
Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs Lenora Chapman presents the October 2013 Roadrunner Kudos Award to the Grants and Contracts Financial Services staff.
Recent events have provided an example of the teamwork and dedicated service for which this department is known. The department was faced with the challenge of completing Fiscal Year 2013 year-end reports and other Annual Financial Report (AFR) activities at a time when key staff members were no longer available due to retirement, assignment to the PeopleSoft project, and other factors.
The Grants and Contracts Financial Services department exemplified the meaning of the word “teamwork” by assuming additional responsibilities, learning new tasks, and working together to successfully complete year-end activities while continuing their high level of service to university departments and Research Service Centers.
Kudos to the Grants and Contracts Financial Services staff for exemplifying the Business Affairs Guiding Principles - “We respect and care for each other,” and “We partner to deliver excellent service.”
Priscilla Ybarra, Accounting Services and Accounting group.
(Left to Right:) Charlotte Mikulec and Priscilla Ybarra.
JPMC initiated a change at mid-month which impacted how banking transactions are recorded in Accounting Services. Along with another staff member, they worked through the entries and were able to make the changes needed with minimal impact evident on the bank reconciliation report.
Priscilla Ybarra has implemented a new procedure that makes the recording of credit card fees on a monthly basis more efficient. This new process uses the data provided by the bank and with the use of Excel creates the journal entry that is uploaded, cutting out manual data entry.
Additionally, Priscilla was a part of the team that worked on the revision of the employee recognition program. This process took several meetings and was a collaborative effort among all involved. The outcome is that due to the efforts of the team, the program has been revived.
Priscilla also answers the main phone line for Accounting - which gets a variety of questions from departments. Priscilla is able to assist with most questions without having to transfer the call and can provide the departments with accurate and timely answers. Priscilla asks additional questions so that she has a better understanding of department needs and can better assist when they call. Priscilla wants to know the reason behind the answer.
Sue Davidson, Disbursements & Travel Services I
(Left to Right):DTS I Specialist Sue Davidson, Asst. Director, Disbursements & Travel Services (DTS) Nora Compean
Sue has been instrumental with processing vouchers in the capacity of a DTS I. She arrives early to work and sometimes stays late in order to get her work done. She is always so willing to help others in the different tasks and has a great disposition to engage in the new tasks that result from change. She is cooperative, positive and patient. Sue just recently also assisted with the processing of the IDTs in the absence of one of our staff who was out on leave. We are very fortunate to have Sue as part of our team. Sue is definitely a positive team player.
Elisabeth Cuadros, Disbursements & Travel Services
(Left to Right): Asst. Director, Disbursements & Travel Services (DTS) Nora Compean, DTS Specialist II Elisabeth Cuadros, Asst. Controller Diana Ollervidez
Elisabeth demonstrates daily in her role within the DTS Travel Office the Guiding Principle: We Partner to deliver excellent service
Elisabeth is committed to providing University travelers with high-quality service. Elisabeth is diligent in managing the vouchers submitted for reimbursements to ensure they are approved within the 10 business day standard. When faced with challenges, Elisabeth works quickly to resolve those challenges to ensure the traveler's funds and reimbursements are available by the required time lines. Elisabeth also understands the impact of the Travel FMOGS in her daily work and ensures she stays abreast of any changes in order to provide DTS travel customers with clear answers to inquiries.
Some of our customers describe Elisabeth as:
· An awesome individual to work with.
· Always has an upbeat attitude and helpful.
· Is always willing to share her knowledge and time.
Elena Villanueva, Grants & Contracts Financial Services
(Left to Right): Dir. Grants & Contracts Financial Services Carol Hollingsworth, Grants Accountant Elena Villanueva, Asst. VP for Financial Affairs/Controller Lenora Chapman
Grants accountant Elena Villanueva is the February 2012 Roadrunner Kudos award winner. As a staff member of the Grants & Contracts Financial Services Office, Elena was nominated by two offices within the Controller's area, and her role in training staff members in Grants and Payroll has contributed to her selection as this quarter's winner.
Within her own department, Elena has adopted the dual role of trainer/troubleshooter to ensure that grant account records are current and accurate for a smooth year-end process. To accomplish this goal, Elena focuses staff training on the critical components of account activation and cash management duties.
In the Payroll department, Elena has trained multiple staff members to use scanning equipment. To facilitate more hands-on training, she scheduled Payroll staff to use the scanner in her own department. Payroll supervisor Christine Bodily adds, "Without her time and expertise, we would have lost valuable hours figuring out the scanner machine on our own."
Elena's determination to maintain high quality in her own department, as well as her patience and knowledge sharing towards trainees in other departments, exemplifies the selflessness of the best UTSA employees to value and empower people, and a willingness to partner with others to deliver excellent service.
Congratulations Elena; your career dedication and your inclination to help others reflect support and acceptance for the Business Affairs Guiding Principles to make success happen.
Staff Members, Several Financial Affairs Departments November 2011
November 2011 recipients: (Left to Right) Standing: Jorge Solis, Justin Avants, Charlotte Mikulec, Gloria Alanis, Elena B. Villanueva, Priscilla Ybarra, Regina Moore, Nora Compean, Cyndi Schweers, Leigh Ann Young, Susanita Duenas, Lenora C. Chapman, Lily Wang, Ashley Zaldivar, Kim Doan. Sitting: Diana Macias-Ollervidez, Carol Hollingsworth, Linda G. Martinez, Paula Villagran.
Asst. VP for Financial Affairs/Controller Lenora C. Chapman presents the November 2011 Roadrunner Kudos Award to staff in the following departments: Accounting Services, Disbursements & Travel Services, Grants & Contracts Financial Services, and Payroll Management Services.
Staff members in these departments are commended for taking on additional responsibilities, learning new tasks and accomplishing all goals in order to close out the fiscal year on time, and ensuring accuracy of accounting records. The fiscal year closeout was a team effort, and the Roadrunner Kudos is presented in appreciation to everyone for doing a great job and maintaining a positive attitude.
2011 seemed more difficult than prior years, as key personnel were assigned to the PeopleSoft Project. Current staff in the departments listed above managed the additional duties and responsibilities, and teamwork and cooperation were more important than ever. Through dedication, hard work, and despite unforeseen technical obstacles, these staff members closed out the year, met established deadlines and produced an Annual Financial Report. Kudos to all the staff for their successful efforts.
Rosa Casas, Payroll Accountant/Management Services
Presented by Javier Martinez, Director of Payroll Management Services (right)
Payroll Accountant Rosa Casas has been recognized in the Controller’s Area as the May 2011 winner of UTSA Roadrunner Kudos. Rosa’s contributions on Payroll’s Retiree ACH Debit Service Project helped provide a fast and easy way for retirees to pay for their insurance premiums with a direct debit from their checking or savings account.
As part of the development team, Rosa suggested modifications and development to validate our ACH files prior to sending them for bank debits. As a result of her gained experience in the development and testing phases, Rosa ascended to become the administrator of Payroll’s Retiree ACH Debit Service Application.
The application’s first distribution to financial institutions returned no errors, proof of Rosa’s detailed efforts on the project. Rosa continues to improve the application as well as advertise its benefits to our retirees. As a result, Payroll’s Retiree ACH Debit Service Application has seen enrollment increase, as 48% of our eligible retirees have enrolled in the program. Kudos Rosa, and thank you for helping to make success happen.
Linda G. Martinez,
Office of the Assistant Vice President, Financial Affairs and Controller
Presented by Lenora Chapman (right),
Assistant Vice President, Financial Affairs and University Controller
Linda Martinez, ASO II was recognized for the assistance she provides to the Controller's area, including Grants and Contracts Financial Services (GCFS), Accounting Services and Disbursements and Travel Services (DTS).
Linda plans various meetings and presentations, most recently, the end of year workshops and the space survey training session. Her reliability and attention to detail allows presenters to focus on their topics.
Linda is always willing to provide technical assistance in the preparation of presentations, charts, graphs and other materials – a trait much appreciated by those of us who are computer challenged and to whom the memory stick is a mystery!
In addition, her positive attitude is a plus.
Linda also assists with the recruitment of staff in all areas of the Controller's division. For example, she has prepared requisitions, developed Monster.com ads, setup interviews, prepared interview packets, managed the STARS system and assisted with HRMS documents, which allows management and their staff to spend time on other priorities.
Cynthia Schweers, Accounting Services
Presented by Ana Longoria (right), Director, Accounting Services
Cynthia Schweers, Senior Accountant is the recipient of the November Roadrunner Kudos. Cynthia is responsible for setting up the Investment in Plant accounts at the budget group level and recording the activity at the general ledger account level. She has assigned account numbers to each asset on the S-11 schedules (Capital Asset Schedules) based on the account number structure developed for the Investment in Plant Fund group. Once assigned, she created 121 budget groups in DEFINE for the account numbers. Cynthia also clarified Investment in Plant activity at both the general ledger account level and the subsidiary account level. She created Excel templates for the balance forwards, asset additions, construction in progress transfers and depreciation and uploaded the templates into DEFINE to create journal entries. After all the activity was recorded, she reconciled the accounts back to the S-11 schedules. Cynthia's important work with the Investment in Plant Fund activity allows efficient access for COGNOS reporting, as well as automated scheduling for the AFR. This will also assist in mapping the capital assets from DEFINE to PeopleSoft.
Cynthia has trained several Financial Affairs staff members on various accounting processes, journal entries and DEFINE. She is consistently available to answer any questions from team members.
Congratulations, Cynthia, on your November Roadrunner Kudos, and thank you for your continued support and dedication to the Controller's Office!
Justin Avants, Accounting Services August 2010
Presented by Ana Longoria, Director, Accounting Services
Ana Longoria, Director of Accounting Services, presented Justin Avants with the Roadrunner Kudos Award for the 3rd Quarter. Over the last three months, Justin has taken on additional duties from both the Capital/Special Projects Accountant’s position in the Controller’s Office and the vacant Accountant II position in Accounting, in addition to his regular job duties. Justin is a quick study and coupled with his experience and positive attitude he was able to assist with these duties without either department losing productivity. He worked with the Facilities staff on the project cost estimates, transfer requests and institutional project closeouts. Justin has also provided training to other staff members.
During this time period, Justin received two emails from departments expressing their appreciation for the way he has assisted them. According to one department, he is “consistently courteous, accurate, and prompt in handling everything and a true asset to your team.”
Justin, congratulations and thank you for your positive attitude, support during staff transition and dedication to the Controller’s Office!
Dorothy Cheatham, DTS
Presented by Lisa Cartier, Director,
Disbursements & Travel Services
Lisa Cartier (pictured on the left) presented Dorothy Cheatham with the April 2010 Roadrunner Kudos Award. Dorothy was hired at UTSA on July 16, 1984 in the accounting department (now called DTS) and recently received her 26-year employment pin. Dorothy has worked for eleven different managers and has been able to adapt to all of the changes that have evolved in the DTS department. She has remained true to the department throughout her years and continues to be open to change and improvements. She has persevered through various management styles, process and procedures and remained positive and optimistic through it all.
Dorothy distinctly remembers a particular experience where she assisted the registration department with the student registration process. Due to this manual process, the students’ class load, the volume of students and the sheer processing time required for each student, she worked long hours to ensure that each student was registered for classes prior to the employees leaving for the day.
During her evaluation, she mentioned that the current state of the department was the best she had seen in all of her 26 years at UTSA and is very excited to be apart of the new progress that the university is embarking. This kind of dedication and determination to one department and organization is truly hard to find. And for this reason, Dorothy Cheatham truly deserves the Rowdy Kudos Award.
Priscilla Ybarra, Accounting Services February 2010
Priscilla Ybarra, Accounting Services.
Presented by Ana Longoria, Director, Accounting Services.
How many of you balance your checkbook? How difficult is it? Can you imagine doing this for the University? Priscilla does this every month and she is expected to balance to the penny. Before the accounting records can be closed for the month or year the bank accounts must be reconciled. The reconciliation is complex and Pricilla has to reconcile each component of cash to include credit cards receipts, electronic checks (e-checks), cash, ACHs and wire transfers. At year end, she has only two days to complete the reconciliation which consisted of deposits totaling $157 million dollars and close to 1500 transactions. Over the years she has tried to make the process more efficient.
Priscilla takes pride in her work and when something does not look correct she goes the extra step to analyze data further. She discovered an error and brought it to the attention of the Director so that it could be corrected before yearend.
She also assists departments with questions they may have regarding their statement of account. If she does not know the answer, she will research and find the answer and call the department back rather than passing them on to someone else. Congratulations Priscilla!
Ana Longoria, Director, Accounting Services January 2010
Presented by Diana Ollervidez, Assistant Controller
Although we seldom realize how much work is entailed in managing the University’s Accounting Office on a daily basis, during this last fiscal year Ana has also had to manage and assist in six audits (five state and one UT System), the most she has seen in one year, since her years with the University.
I have had the opportunity to observe Ana on various occasions, and despite her full load, she is always willing to take the time to assist those who approach her with questions. She takes the time to explain and/or clarify a process to ensure the information is conveyed correctly and/or entry is recorded properly in an effort to help minimize the possibility of errors at year-end or during an audit. Although all the reports have not been received, the audit results for four of the six audits have been good.
Ana’s commitment to Financial Affairs, building a solid Accounting Office team by providing the required leadership, including to those who seek her assistance outside her office has made this process appear transparent to those not involved in the daily operations are just a few reasons why she is deserving of this award.
On behalf of the Controller’s management staff, we would like to thank Ana for her hard work and dedication.
Great job Ana!
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