Official news release from the City of Falls Church, Office of Communications.
Susan Finarelli & Clare Casey
703-248-5210 office
571-402-9102 cell


Elizabeth "Ibby" Acosta Named 2017 City of Falls Church Employee of the Year

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 -- Senior Administrative Assistant Elizabeth "Ibby" Acosta has been named the 2017 City of Falls Church Employee of the Year. The citizen-led Employee Review Board selected Acosta for her exemplary work as project manager for the City's transition between document and record storage providers. Acosta's efforts were done on her own initiative, resulting in a better quality document storage system and directly saving the City over an estimated $8,000 annually in record storage and retention costs. 

Acosta has worked for the City for six years, and her current assigned duties as a Senior Administrative Assistant within the Finance Division are to work on payroll and accounts payable issues. She was nominated by the Finance Department. 

A major role in government service is maintaining and preserving the public record, which is often paper documents. Under the authority of the Virginia Public Records Act, it is the City's obligation to ensure that public records are maintained and publically accessible throughout their life cycle. In 2017, Acosta took it upon herself to efficiently and effectively project manage the massive task of transitioning the City's Document Storage and Management Services from one records management provider to another. Working with the City Clerk (the City's designated records officer), Acosta spent countless hours reviewing the associated identification, movement, storage and/or destruction of departmental documents and records related to the ongoing services in the City of Falls Church. 

Prior to Acosta's efforts, the City's existing records management provider had not proven to be in the best interest of the City, as it included excessive services fees and less than satisfactory customer services. With the City Hall Renovation project fast approaching, Acosta identified the critical need to expedite and overhaul the City's document storage and management services. As the project manager of the City's document storage transition, Acosta far exceeded her job description and requirements. She spearheaded efforts to find a new record storage provider and establish a reasonable contract for their services, all while ensuring any documents stored with the existing records management provider were always accounted for (per Virginia Public Records Act) and transferred successfully. 

Acosta's actions are directly related to an ongoing estimated savings of $676 per month for the City's document storage and management needs. Her overall accomplishments were completed of her own drive and purpose, not as a directive from her supervisor or higher management. 

"We are thrilled with the selection of Ibby as our 2017 Employee of the Year," said Deputy City Manager and Director of Human Resources Cindy Mester. "Ibby is the embodiment of our Leadership Guiding Principle that the quality and success of our City is a shared responsibility. Her leadership as a staunch steward of the City’s finances and records, who always looks for ways to save the City money in the short and long-term, is unparalleled.”

The citizen-based Employee Review Board selects an Employee of the Year each year from nominations submitted by City employees and citizens. The recipient is selected for their involvement in an accomplishment of outstanding worth in advancing and improving public service in the City of Falls Church that produces outcomes, such as higher morale or acts beyond the call of duty, and goes above and beyond the nominee’s normal duties.

The public is invited to join the City at two upcoming 2017 Employee of the Year celebratory events on Monday, April 14. A reception honoring this year's winner will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Cherry Hill Farmhouse (312 Park Ave.) followed by a presentation at the City Council Meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Center (223 Little Falls St.) 
2017 Employee of the Year Elizabeth "Ibby" Acosta (fourth from left) was surprised with the honor by (left to right) Cindy Mester (Deputy City Manager), Wyatt Shields (City Manager), Kiran Bawa (Director of Finance), Meaghan DeCelle (Human Resources), Krisanee Vitoonkittikul (Finance), Melissa Ryman (Finance), and Jim Wise (Finance). 
Elizabeth "Ibby" Acosta was selected for as the 2017 Employee of the Year for her exemplary work improving the City's document management and storage procedures.
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