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Ferndale Elks Honor City Employees and Citizen of the Year

essentialTOPtempFerndale Elks Honor City chazzano game adEmployees and Citizen of the Year

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Photos: Kara Sokol, City of Ferndale,  Nov. 12, 2015)


There are many people who make a community great, including the men and women who work for the City itself. Each year the Ferndale Elks Club hosts an event to honor those often unsung heroes who do the day to day work of keeping the City running. They also ask the Mayor to select the Citizen of the Year and Senior Citizen of the Year.

RustBeltAd01At a cozy gathering on Tuesday at the Elks Lodge, the following people were recognized:


City Worker of the Year – Cecile Thompson

DPW Worker of the Year – William Forbes

Police Officer of the Year – Daniel Kuzdzal

Firefighter of the Year – Jack Pesha

Court Employee of the Year -Sonja DeBrincatlisa schmidt law

Citizen of the Year – Kat Bruner James, President of Citizens for a Fair Ferndale (CFF)

Senior Citizen of the Year – Jan Froggatt

“All of our staff had a tremendous year of working cohesively towards our common goal to improve customer service, efficiencies and processes ultimately resulting in a very successful year, and we thank each and every one of you for your contributions.  The folks mentioned above were nominated by their peers as standing out by contributing in a very significant way which they shared with their nomination,” said Human Resource Director Jenny Campos in a message to the winners. “Keep up the great work!”

Cecile Thompson is an accountant with the city. She diligently processes payments with a 934_8600_Gen-Online_Bannerssmile, and has been with the City of Ferndale since 1998.

William Forbes is on the crew of the DPW. From plowing to maintaining playgrounds, water systems to weeding, Forbes and the DPW crew tackle the many tasks that keep the City looking good and running smoothly. To learn more about the DPW and their work check out

Daniel Kuzdzal and Jack Pesha save lives with their work as first responders. Kuzdzal was nominated by fellow Police Officers and was presented his award by Police Chief Tim Collins. Pesha was presented his award by Fire Chief Kevin Sullivan.  Sonja DeBrincat was recognized for her work as Deputy Court Clerk of the 43rd District Court.

The Citizen of the Year Award went to Kat Bruner James. James is the President of Citizens Judy_Palmer30yearsfor Fair Ferndale, a group that promotes civility, hosts candidate forums, gives Good Neighbor Awards and does other work to promote equality and fairness. She is a civil rights attorney that spends her day sticking up for others. She helped start the Vester Street Neighbors community group, and serves on committees that help encourage voter participation, land use master planning, parking issues and discussions of racial equity in Ferndale. Mayor Dave Coulter presented her with the award. Learn more about CFF at

Jan Froggatt is a devoted Ferndale resident and a member of the Ferndale Historical Society, a group that preserves the stories and artifacts of Ferndale’s past and works to encourage historic preservation.  Learn more at

The soiree also included a community dinner and a chance for city workers and supporters to feel valued for the work they do. The event is sponsored each year by the Ferndale Elks. Learn more about this community-minded organization at

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