Employee Spirit Awards

Spirit Awards Header Blue
The City’s SPIRIT Statement identifies the values of our organization. The SPIRIT Awards were created to celebrate what it means to be a part of the City of Dubuque organization and to recognize the way our employees go above and beyond their job descriptions every day to provide high-quality service to the community. City employees are invited to nominate a co-worker or group of co-workers throughout the year as they make great efforts and achieve great outcomes. The six award categories are outlined below. In addition, from all of the nominations, a seventh award called the Circle of Excellence Award will be chosen blindly by the SPIRIT Awards subcommittee. Each year, the award winners will be recognized at the employee recognition luncheon.

This year's award winners were recognized at employee recognition luncheon on May 8, 2019.
Click here to see a video of the luncheon. 
Click here to see a list of all nominees! 
The current winners are listed under the categories below! 

Submit a Nomination


Nominating someone is easy! Please write a paragraph explaining how the individual or group of individuals meets the award category criteria. We highly encourage you to submit nominations throughout the year as you see co-workers doing and achieving great things! 


Click here to submit a nomination. 



Award Categories

Service Icon

Service: The Consider It Done Award
Current Winner: Rob Blake, Water Department

This employee or group of employees is responsive and provides high-quality customer service to residents and other departments with a positive, friendly attitude.

This award is presented in Sarah Bennett’s memory. Sarah was an employee in the Housing & Community Development department who passed away unexpectedly in 2018. Sarah is remembered by her co-workers as always providing the highest-quality customer service to all residents with a positive attitude.


People Icon

People: The Highest of High Fives Award

Current Winner: Intercultural Competency Facilitators - Maddy Haverland, Jeremy Jensen, Nancy Knipper, Nate Lech, Anderson Sainci, and Karen Smith



This employee or group of employees shows compassion for the people we serve and with whom we work, encourages personal and professional development, and is dedicated to the community.
Integrity Icon 2

Integrity: The Constant Contributor Award
Current Winner: Russ Stecklein, Transportation Services

This employee or group of employees is honest, has high ethical standards, and provides fair and equitable treatment to all.
Responsibility Icon

Responsibility: The Macgyver Award
Current Winner: Jenny Larson, Finance & Budget


This employee or group of employees provides the best value with available resources to residents and the organization.
Innovation Icon

Innovation: The Big Bang Award
Current Winner: Kelli Buchenau, Public Information

This employee or group of employees searches for creative solutions and tries new approaches. They plan ahead, evaluate current operations and systems, and take reasonable risks. While positive outcomes may have been achieved as a result of this innovative approach, the value of strategic risk-taking and learning from missteps is also recognized in this award.


Teamwork Icon

Teamwork: The Cloud 9 Collaborator Award
Current Winner: Marie Ware, Leisure Services

This employee or group of employees is recognized for working as a team to accomplish goals and build partnerships within the organization or with other members of the community.


One Circle of Excellence Award will be chosen by the SPIRIT Awards committee from the nominations submitted for the six categories above.

Circle of Excellence Icon

Circle of Excellence Award

Current Winner: Jenny Messerich, Legal Services
Current Winner: Stephanie Valentine, City Manager's Office


This award is the “ultimate” City employee award, and recognizes the individual or group of individuals who best represent what it means to be a City of Dubuque employee, and the SPIRT statement above. The awardee(s) personifies the mission, vision, and values of our organization and move us towards our goals of being an equitable, sustainable and resilient community of choice.