TaxWatch Productivity Awards
Each year, the TaxWatch Productivity Awards (formerly Prudential Productivity Awards) honor state employees for their innovative and cost-saving accomplishments as well as the measurable contributions, increased productivity and added value of individuals and teams. Learn more here, or submit your nomination here.
A joint effort of the Florida Tax Watch, the Florida Council of 100, and the State of Florida, the TaxWatch Productivity Awards (formerly Prudential Productivity Awards) are presented annually to honor state employees throughout Florida who have significantly increased productivity in delivering state services and products. In addition to honoring innovative and cost-saving accomplishments, the awards program recognizes the measurable contributions and added value of individuals and teams. Award winners are presented with cash awards and commemorative plaques.
2020 Florida TaxWatch Productivity Award Winners
This year, cash and plaque awards will be presented to 179 individuals and teams from across the state for their innovation and productivity improvements. Since 1989, award winners have produced more than $9 billion in cost savings/avoidance or efficiency gains for Florida taxpayers and businesses.
The individual awardees from UF who has been identified as the 2020 winners are:
Vinson Grimm, Electrical Supervisor, UF Health Science Center
Vinson Grimm, Electrical Supervisor analyzed the sequence of operations related to energy consumption, and discovered the electric heat was being used during the summer to help regulate area cooling. By re-programming the automation system, the electric heat was no longer in the sequence of operations during the summer months. This resulted in a 41% reduction in utility cost and return on investment in less than one year.
Cost Savings Estimate: Annualized energy savings of $29,970.
Milton Marsh, HVAC Mechanic IV, UF Health Science Center
Milton Marsh’s innovation resulted in the elimination of environmentally unfriendly “Mercury” switches and the elimination of Electric Heat to regulate “Cold Room” temperatures in research rooms. Milton incorporated a thermostat to replace the environmentally unfriendly mercury switches. His analysis and solution allowed for the reduction in operating cost and environmental concerns, as well as provide our customers with reliable equipment.
Cost Savings Estimate: Annualized cost savings of $45,000
Since 1989, award winners have produced roughly $9 billion in cost savings, efficiency gains, cost avoidance and increased revenue for state government as well as Florida taxpayers. This year, cash and plaque awards were presented to nearly 605 individuals and teams for their innovation and productivity improvements.
This year, cash and plaque awards will be presented to 203 individuals and teams from across the state for their innovation and productivity improvements. Since 1989, award winners have produced more than $9 billion in cost savings/avoidance or efficiency gains for Florida taxpayers and businesses.
Dana Crosby, Program Administrator, Department of Sports Management
Dana Crosby, Program Administrator of the Florida School Crossing Guard Training Program, launched a computer-based training (CBT) program for the certification of school crossing guard training. Implementation of the CBT program reduced a two-day class to a one-day training session. This program allows agencies all over the state to save time and money by streamlining the process for their staff to become certified Florida School Crossing Guard Trainers.
Cost Savings estimate: $92, 000
Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center Team, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Front row (L-R): Karen Hancock, Mike Boyette, Patrick Troy, Wanda Laughlin. Back row: Charles Barrett, Ben Broughton, Kevin Athearn, Joel Love. Not pictured: Robert Hochmuth
The modernization and technical transformation over the last two years at the University of Florida’s Extension farm in Live Oak, FL has resulted in increased efficiencies and savings in labor and farm inputs, and the conservation of natural resources.
Cost Savings Estimate: $185,950 per year or $371,900 over the past two years
Family, Youth and Community Sciences Team, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Back Row (L-R) Michael Gutter, Samara Deary, Heidi Copeland. Front Row: Heather Janney, Carree Musgrove, Taylor Spangler, Diann Douglas. Not pictured: Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar
After the IRS consultants approached agents in rural counties to become involved with preparing federal income taxes through the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a plan was formulated to incorporate communication technologies such as SKYPE as a method of providing no cost tax return preparation and assistance to multiple counties in Florida and Georgia (eight counties in Florida: Bradford, Columbia, Gadsden, Hamilton, Leon, Okaloosa, Union, and Walton; four counties in Georgia: Early, Lanier, Sumter, and Tift).
Cost Savings Estimate: $50,000 – $99,999
Agricultural and Biological Engineering Team, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
James Canter & Max Williams
After seeing the innovative online IT request portal Canter designed, Williams worked with Canter to create similar portals for P-card and travel submissions, resulting in increased staff accountability, improved stakeholder relations, and conserved resources, in the form of time and office supplies.
Cost Savings Estimate: Up to $24,999
Admissions and Enterprise Systems Team, Joint efforts by Enrollment Management and Information Technology
Team Members: Morgan Vollrath, Rick Bryant, Dmitri Vershinin, Alan Cook, Jay Schnedl, Chris Stetter, Luis Andino
Tasked with increasing the diversity of its freshman application pool, UF was able to implement the new Coalition freshman application within a very short period of time in order to increase the number of low socioeconomic and first generation applicants for the 2017 cycle in a fiscally conservative manner.
Cost Savings Estimate: $100,000 – $499,999
Daniel Morgan, Fiscal and Logistics Operations Manager, College of Pharmacy
Morgan saw the myriad of financial issues affecting the fiscal unit and volunteered to correct all the problems which included the implementation of policies and procedures, while performing his day-to-day responsibilities.
Cost Savings Estimate: $100,000 – $499,999
Visit the TaxWatch Productivity Awards website for a complete list of winners. The TaxWatch Productivity Awards Agency Coordinator for the University of Florida may be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 273-0149. The Agency Head for the University of Florida is Jodi Gentry. Should you have any questions regarding the nomination process or online application please contact Training and Organizational Development, at the email or phone number listed above.