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The original item was published from 12/28/2022 3:58:00 PM to 12/30/2022 10:34:31 AM.

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Posted on: December 14, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Key West Chamber Honors City Employees

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The City of Key West is grateful to the Key West Chamber of Commerce for the extraordinary opportunity to recognize City employees for their dedication.  Four people were recognized during the Chamber's luncheon on December 14, 2022, for their service to the community.

Public Works Foreman Oscar Ladino was named City Employee of the Year, an award sponsored by the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum.  City Manager Patti McLauchlin introduced the award, pointing out that Ladino is largely responsible for all of Duval Street and just about every event that happens in the city,

"In a year where we were short-staffed and asking everyone to do more with less, Oscar has risen to the challenge," said McLauchlin.  "With more and bigger events being thrown at him, he has made the process seamless for organizers and City staff.  Oscar is an incredible asset to the Community Services Department and the City of Key West.  His value as an employee cannot be overstated.  We are extremely lucky to have had Oscar here for over 20 years."

Captain David Zarate was named Firefighter of the Year, an award sponsored by Keys Federal Credit Union.  Captain Zarate has been with the Key West Fire Department since 2003.  Division Chief of Emergency Management and Training Gregory Barroso noted that David has a passion for training fellow firefighters and passing on the knowledge he's gained.

"David has stepped up at every opportunity to act capably above his class as commander in the absence of his supervisor," said Division Chief Barroso.  "Most recently, David displayed extraordinary initiative during Hurricane Ian while actively responding to the fire at 3201 Flagler Ave.  That night, during intense weather conditions from the storm, Acting Commander David responded and directed over 25 men and women to control the fire.  David's leadership and effective response saved lives and other structures in the surrounding area."

Key West Police Officer Andrea Bernatova was named Police Officer of the Year, an honor sponsored by Opal Key Resort and Marina.  Key West Police Chief Sean Brandenburg noted in his introduction that she speaks three languages, holds a Master's Degree in economics, and sponsored her attendance at the police academy.  Many new officers garner sponsorship from local law enforcement, who pay salaries and tuition.  Officer Bernatova was determined.  He said she is the kind of officer he hopes to see in future leadership roles in the department.

"On her first call," said Chief Brandenburg, "she responded to a local hotel for a man having a medical emergency.  She saved that man's life, earning the Key West Police Department Life Saving Award.  She is a well-rounded officer who frequently receives letters of recognition from the community for her compassion during calls to service.  We are fortunate to have her on our team."

The Chamber also recognized Special Project Coordinator, formerly Executive Administrator to the City Manager Dorian Patton, with their Key West Star Award for his selfless volunteer service to the community and local businesses.

LadinoIn the photo from L to R:
Community Services Director Marcus Davila, City Employee of 2022 Oscar Ladino, and City Manager Patti McLauchlin
ZarateIn the photo from L to R:
Division Chief of Emergency Management Services Gregory Barroso, Firefighter of 2022 David Zarate, and City Manager Patti McLauchlin
BernatovaIn the photo from L to R:
Police Chief Sean Brandenburg, Police Officer of 2022 Andrea Bernatova, and City Manager Patti McLauchlin
PattonIn the photo from L to R:
Special Projects Coordinator, formerly the Executive Administrator to the City Manager, and volunteer extraordinaire Dorian Patton and Chamber President Suzanne Moore

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