As the year ends, it's all too easy to forget to take a moment to celebrate and reflect on the year's accomplishments.

As the year ends, it's all too easy to forget to take a moment to celebrate and reflect on the year's accomplishments.

Our organization recently did both at our annual Employee Recognition event.

In addition to thanking those employees who celebrated anniversary milestones in their service to the city, we recognized employees in three award categories: Notable Team Project, Exceptional Customer Service and the Distinguished Service Award.

The winners were:

•Notable Team Project: Chad Gibson, Roger Eastep, Justin Milam, Bob Geiger (all with the Community & Economic Development Department), Chris Zimmer and Ben Anders (both from the Fire Division). This group won for its work on the Homewood Suites and Lane Avenue mixed-use project.

The senior management team and Upper Arlington City Council received numerous compliments about work ethic, collaboration and dedication of these individuals who exemplify the word "team!"

•Exceptional Customer Service: Sebastian French and Dale Williams (both of the Engineering Division). Sebastian and Dale were the construction inspectors assigned to the road reconstruction projects on Sunningdale Way and Mount Holyoke Road this past summer and fall.

Both went above and beyond providing customer service -- they received handwritten notes from residents that included a wedding schedule and doctors' appointments, and always worked closely with the contractor to ensure that driveway access would be maintained.

•Distinguished Service Award: Michael Pollack (Parks & Recreation). Michael has helped put into place new and improved options for customer registration on the Parks & Rec website. He also established and runs the Amelita Mirolo Barn rentals and maintenance. He works hard to make every event at the Barn a memorable one for our customers, and is the first to jump in with any project.

While these candidates rose to the top of our nominations, the decisions were difficult. There were many worthy candidates this year, indicating the pride that city workers take in serving our community.

2013 Community Awards

It's not just employees who enrich Upper Arlington, of course -- the residents and community entities here are top-notch. To celebrate those who contribute so much to quality of life in UA, we have the Community Awards program, now in its 16th year.

Nominations are being accepted for Business of the Year, Community Enrichment, Community Safety, Super Senior or Youth -- and we have a new award this year, the Rotary Club of Upper Arlington Volunteerism Award.

The Rotary Club of UA will generously donate $500 to the recipient's charitable organization.

If you know of individuals, a team of residents, a civic organization or business that stood out in 2013, I invite you to fill out a quick nomination form. The deadline to do so is Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, with winners announced at our 2014 State of the City Address, held Monday, Jan. 27, 2014.

You can find nomination forms online at or by calling my office at 614-583-5040.

2014 Wall of Honor

This time of year also begins our 2014 Wall of Honor process, with nominations now being accepted. This partnership between the UA Historical Society and the city commemorates deceased UA residents who contributed greatly to the city, state or nation in some way during their lifetimes.

The nomination deadline is Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. Full details are available at or by calling the Upper Arlington Historical Society at 614-470-2610.

Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.