2021 Staff excellence award winners


This year, we expanded the recognition program to recognize all of our team members in UBC Facilities for their hard work and dedication to service excellence.

The UBC Facilities Staff Excellence Award Program provides recognition and rewards to staff who have demonstrated excellence consistently in the performance of their work and service to the university. All UBC students, faculty and staff were invited to nominate one, or more, of their clients or colleagues who, in their view, have achieved excellence in one of the award categories inspired by our VPFO Strategic Plan:

  • Asset Stewardship
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Customer Service Excellence
  • Leadership Development
  • Safety & Wellbeing
  • Teamwork
  • The Kim Nulty Inspiration Award


This year, we received over 50 nominations. The 2021 Staff Excellence Award selection committee had quite the task of reviewing the submissions. After careful consideration and intense deliberation, congratulations to the following 2021 Staff Excellence Award recipients:

Asset stewardship

This category is awarded to an individual who has made significant contributions to maintaining and improving our assets and spaces; and is invested in ensuring our spaces are safe, efficient and effective.

Thomas Takaki, Plumber, Building Operations

  • His tireless efforts working behind the scenes in making the university operate efficiently and safely. He is one of the unsung heroes, who maintains building systems without the department faculties actually knowing.
  • He spent time learning the news systems through “trial by fire” at the Bio-Sciences ULTL, a building with deficiencies that can be addressed by Thomas.
  • He provided assistance in many safety and asset issues throughout the year:
    • Identifying secondary backflow preventers requiring annual testing
    • Troubleshooting chronic leads in lab spaces
    • Tracing condensation built up in HVAC equipment
    • Eyewash station modifications.


Creativity & Innovation

This category is awarded to an individual who contributed innovative ideas and/or facilitated an innovative environment where excellence and greatness were enabled; developed or improved methods, processes and/or procedures through original thinking and creativity, and employed emerging technology and/or introduced new and meaningful ways to achieve new standards of efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace.

Blair Phillips, Sub-Head Electrical Projects, Building Operations

  • Transition from PeopleSoft to Planon was not easy. But Blair took the initiative to improve the online Stores catalogue and work with them to update the naming convention and make it easier for coworkers to identify parts.
  • Constantly looking for ways to improve work for the electrical crew, Blair spent a considerable amount of time figuring out new processes within Planon that greatly expedites work. He taught many of the heads, sub-heads and project coordinators ways to create custom filters and process to run reports quickly and get work done in Planon.


Customer services excellence

This category is awarded to an individual who demonstrated significant contributions to; propelling excellence in customer service, improving customer experience throughout our community, anticipating and proactively meeting client needs and consistently providing superior service.

Jasiman Hussein and Allan Herrero, Building Services Workers

  • Jasiman’s bright and cheery personality brings so much positivity in Brock Hall, specifically in BH2303. She does an amazing job of keeping the second floor of Brock Hall looking clean and well-kept. She is interested in her clients and is always willing to go the extra mile.
  • Allan has been working in the Friedman building for many years. Staffing was a challenge as a result of COVID-19. Allan was willing to cover for other areas and yet manages to maintain a high standard worthy of praises from clients. Allan shows great leadership in understanding all of his priority for the medical building. He is very professional, extremely polite and knowledgeable about his work, the building and his clients.


Leadership development

This category is awarded to an individual who demonstrated significant contributions to; fostering a culture of service excellence through a positive attitude and high performance, exhibiting confidence, empowerment and the exceptional qualities of a leader.

Roger Cerny, Head Utilities Plumber, Energy & Water Services

  • Roger transformed the Utilities Plumbing crew to a more cohesive, welcome and forward-thinking team.
  • Supporting the Utilities Plumbers in obtaining water distribution and waste water distribution certifications, the crew is going above and beyond the work scope at UBC. The team became proud asset owners.


Safety & wellbeing

This category is awarded to a group or an individual who made significant contributions to a safe, inclusive and healthy workplace where people feel respected, supported, valued and inspired.

Erin Kastner, Geo-spatial Information Manager, Energy & Water Services

  • Erin has been with UBC for over 20 years. During nearly all these years, she has been involved in health, wellness and safety.
  • From an ergonomic coordinator to a general health & wellness coordinator, she continues to this day to be involved in guiding staff to wellness resources and activities.
  • Aside from her regular work, Erin coordinates charitable initiatives including the United Way campaigns and food bank drives.
  • Erin also recently took on the role of Energy & Water Services’ Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee as co-chair.



This category is awarded to a group or an individual demonstrated exemplary collaboration, cooperation, reliability and flexibility within and between all levels of UBC Facilities and the UBC community.

Metal Shop, Building Operations

  • Anthony Boyce, David Kernachan, Mark Anderson, Matt de Souza, Michael Laing, Raymond Lum and Sergio Ferino
  • They have described as a team that delivers, whether it’s supporting in-house trades on various projects, work requests, equipment repairs, or unique one-offs for clients outside of Building Operations.
  • They accomplish this by working as a cohesive team, sharing and communicating effectively and efficiently within the unit. They assist each other by focusing and leaning on each other’s strengths so the entire group benefits from the collective knowledge and experience.
  • The Metal Shop exemplifies the behaviours Building Operations prioritizes in the areas of safety, service, accountability, leadership, innovation and collaboration.

Mechanical Maintenance – Mechanical Assistants Team, Building Operations

  • Conor Hourigan, Ed Kirsch, Elizabeth Cortens, Joel Shantz, Kevin Lang, Michael Manhas, Niko Sarantidis, Raphael Sicilia, Shaun MacDonald, Shawn Kenney, Stephen Langrell, Stephen Murphy, Thomas Baker, and William Guest.
  • As the campus ramped up for teaching activities, the concern around air quality and COVID-19 increased with occupants in campus buildings. In collaboration with the maintenance planning team, the Mechanical Assistants and Millwrights did outstanding work preparing the campus.
  • The team pushed through 297 work order, working as a cohesive team for a better and safer campus.


Kim Nulty inspiration award

This award is given to an individual who is committed to continuous improvement and development, positively influencing others to building consensus around departmental and university initiatives.

Jodi Scott, Senior Facilities Planner, Infrastructure Development

  • Jodi is the inspirational and collaborative leader of the Learning Spaces Team.
  • She exemplifies all the categories of this award. She is the ultimate example of campus citizen working for the common good and using her considerable abilities and good humour to persuade others respectfully to do the same.
  • Jodi champions the highest-level design and broad stakeholder involvement to enhance equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Jodi approaches every issue with utmost diligence, speed, professionalism and respect and she will leap into any gap she spots to provide positive and inspirational leadership.


2021 Staff Excellence Award selection committee

  • Caroline Macleod, UBC Facilities
  • Carmen Raiche de Araujo, Infrastructure Development
  • Conor Cregg-Guinan, Custodial Services
  • Dean Gregory, Municipal Services
  • Hardeep Malli, Custodial Services
  • Hoi Yu, Municipal Services
  • Kishani Gibbons, Customer Services & Informatics
  • Jeremiah Schneider, Building Operations
  • Joel Daley, Energy & Water Services
  • Nick Banquero, Customer Services & Informatics
  • Mark Donald Jones, Customer Services & Informatics
  • Pauline Li, Infrastructure Development
  • Phil Brusse, Energy & Water Services
  • Richard Gee, Energy & Water Services
  • Scott Steven, Energy & Water Services
  • Stephen Li, Building Operations


A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate their team member(s) and colleagues to recognize the amazing work they do. Thank you to the 2021 Staff Excellence Award committee for organizing this program and selecting the winners, and thank you and congratulations to all the recipients for all that you do and for your dedication to UBC!

John Metras
Associate Vice-President, Facilities