Inventory Department staff members
Inventory Department staff members (from left): Miriam Marin, Frank Bates,
George Estevez, Olinda Ongay and James Sumner
(Photo by Mark McClendon)

Team Spirit Award: Inventory Department

By Kareem El Dahab
Student Writer, College of Liberal and Fine Arts

(April 18, 2006)--Staff members from the UTSA Inventory Department will be honored with the Team Spirit Award, one of five that will be presented April 20 at the UTSA Staff Excellence and Service Awards ceremony. The Inventory Department staff members are George Estevez, inventory clerk I; Olinda Ongay, inventory clerk II; Miriam Marin, inventory clerk II; James Sumner, inventory clerk III and Frank Bates, accountant II.

The five Staff Excellence Awards recognize excellent work performance in emerging leadership, dynamic leadership, teamwork, extraordinary initiative and overall excellence.


This year's additional award winners are:

  • Rising Star Award: Dan Smolenski, senior systems administrator, Department of Computer Science
  • Leadership Award: Lowa Mwilambwe, university center director
  • Extra Mile Award: Robert Rivas, research scientist associate II, Department of Biology
  • Order of the Roadrunner Award: Hermilo "Milo" Silva, assistant director of planning and engineering, Center for Distance Learning and Academic Technology

In the third of five award spotlights that will be featured on UTSA Today, the Team Spirit Award is awarded to a group of university staff members who have demonstrated exceptional ability to foster collaboration, communication and cooperation among colleagues within and outside their department. The team has significantly improved customer service, customer service satisfaction, and notably improved productivity and efficiency.


Inventory Department

Team Spirit Award winners

The UTSA Inventory Department's mission is to report and reconcile all university capital and controlled inventory. The inventory can either be bought by UTSA funds, transferred to or donated to UTSA departments. This year, the inventory staff overcame workload barriers, promoted procedural changes, maintained task consistency, embraced diversity and provided top-notch customer service.

The staff, George Estevez, Olinda Ongay, Miriam Marin, James Sumner and Frank Bates, have worked together as a cohesive team, leaning on or lifting each other up to get the job done right.

This year, they managed an inventory training schedule that trained 159 people in four months. They coordinated state agency transfers with other UT System institutions and state agencies and ensured that property transfers of nearly $500,000 were recorded correctly. The team overcame file-transfer crossover failures, system errors and learning curves. They continually worked out the problems until the files were created, and confirmed the transfer of 100 percent of inventory records between three databases with accuracy and reconciliation.

According to their boss, inventory manager Cassandra Porter, "They've had an amazing year -- far exceeding established goals that couldn't have been achieved without a coordinated group effort. I'm very proud to have them on my team."


UTSA employees are invited to attend the event hosted by Rosalie Ambrosino, UTSA provost and vice president for academic affairs; Kerry Kennedy, UTSA vice president for business affairs; and Jude Valdez, UTSA vice president for extended services, at 2 p.m., Thursday, April 20, in the University Center Laurel Room (2.01.28) on the 1604 Campus. The ceremony will include remarks by UTSA President Ricardo Romo.

Downtown Campus and Institute of Texan Cultures staff members can attend the event utilizing VIA buses 93 or 94 at no charge by showing their UTSACard.

The ceremony will include retiree recognition, service pin awards for 5 to 35 years and refreshments. Thirty-four staff members will be honored on their retirements and 214 staff members will receive UT System service awards for the 2005 calendar year.

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