Wednesday, 25 May 2016 14:03

Bravo winners inspire hope and solidarity in community

Written by
Rate this item
(2 votes)

Meet your 2016 Bravo Award winners

Inspiring and hard-working.

These are just a few words City Council members used to describe nine city employees presented with Bravo awards at the Houston City Council May 3, 2016 meeting.

Both Mayor Turner and members of City Council took time to congratulate the Bravo winners and their overall efforts to make Houston a great place to live, work and visit.

“We are blessed to have all these wonderful people that work within the ranks of the City of Houston,” said Council Member Mike Laster.

Bravo awards recognize city employees for their outstanding service and acts of kindness in the community. And these nine dedicated employees are true examples of public service.  

 “It's individuals like you that are out there working for the community that make it all possible,” said Council Member Robert Gallegos.

And Mayor Turner agrees.

“You not only do a great job for the City of Houston, you do much for the community of Houston,” he said. “They are great at what they do, because it's who they are.”

From ensuring the health of our city to providing aid to those recently effected by the devastating floods, Bravo winners go above and beyond to help those most in need.  We want to say, ‘bravo and well done’ to the following truly inspiring city employees:

2016 Bravo Award Winners

Connie Fuentes
Supervisor, Northeast Service Center, Solid Waste Department

An advocate for maintaining a clean city, Connie Fuentes is best known for educating citizens about the city’s recycling services. With a career that spans almost three decades, she ensures hundreds of residents and small business owners receive essential solid waste removal services. For the past 26 years, Fuentes has volunteered at Sagemeont Church, transporting parishioners to and from service, helping in the children’s ministry, and serving special needs children in the Special Friends Bible Study Program.

Karen Franklin
Special Projects Coordinator, Housing and Community Development

With a passion for helping people, Karen Franklin’s role in the city ensures compliance of Minority, Women, and Small Business participation and the City’s Pay or Play Program.  Her commitment is exemplified by her continuous efforts to bring effective services to citizens. As founder, chairman, and CEO of the World Youth Foundation, Franklin has helped mentor and lead more than 50,000 local youth since 1991. Her ongoing volunteer efforts ensure underserved populations in the city prosper and succeed.

Karen Williams
Assistant Director, Administrative Services Division

Considered the go-to person for problem resolution, Karen Williams supports and guides her staff to excel in the workplace. Her volunteerism covers a multitude of programs including Project Cradle Care, an annual education event for pregnant teens. As President of the Houston Chapter of the Gamma Phi Sigma Sorority, Williams leads annual efforts to address community needs. Since 2004, Karen has donated $12,000 in scholarships to help local youth reach their educational goals.

Lakeisha Henderson
Graduate Engineer, Floodplain Management Division, Public Works & Engineering

A true image of public service, Lakeisha Henderson provided support to flood victims across Houston after the devastating Memorial flood of 2015, and recent flooding that has plagued residents. A community outreach member of the Houston Area Urban League, Henderson organizes an annual event to give underprivileged children a snapshot of college life. She also gives her time to Bread of Life, the Houston AIDS Walk, Mia’s Closet Back-to-School Bash, and the Buddies, Books and Brunch program.

Lynna Shuffield
Senior Paralegal, Real Estate Section, Legal Department

A historian at heart, Lynna Shuffield has devoted 40 years of her life to the historical preservation of cemeteries and historical markers in Texas.  Shuffield researched and filed paperwork to designate 13 Historical Texas Cemeteries, and worked to have 1,089 names added to the Harris County War Memorial in Bear Creek. Most recently, she coordinated research and fundraising efforts to have the Allen Brothers statues added to the front porch of city Hall.

Marty Haley
Senior Mechanical Inspector, Occupancy Division, Public works & Engineering

Marty Haley’s compassion for children shines through in his volunteer efforts. As a Shriner Clown, Haley delivers presents on Christmas morning to children at local Shriner Hospitals. A member of the Masonic Lodge, he has helped to raise more than $40,000 in scholarship funds. Haley also motivates 2nd through 5th graders with his Take the Time to Read program, which gifts bikes to top readers. Last year, Haley helped to organize donations for the Fantastic Teeth Club, providing free dental kits to more than 500 1st grade students.

Miguel Leija
Community Liaison, Community Health Division, Health Department

An outstanding asset to his division, Miguel Leija’s commitment to excellent guides his passion for service. His efforts helped to establish the first and only mobile Mexican Consulate Services at the Magnolia Multi-Service Center. As a board member for Conversando Entre Amigas, Leija helps women rebuild their lives after leaving abusive relationships. Lejia also sits on the board of Air Alliance Houston, which aims to ensure air quality for Houstonians.

Scott Shaunfield
Staff Psychologist, Houston Fire Department

A compassionate leader, Scott Shaunfield serves voluntarily as the Team Coordinator for Fire’s Critical Incident Stress Management Team. Shaunfield leads valiant efforts to help his fellow firefighters deal with trauma and tragedies in their lives. Through his selfless actions, he encourages their mental well-being and promotes their recovery. Shaunfield’s willingness to extend a helping hand ensures our first responders and their families; receive vital services during critical times.

Veronica Hernandez
Senior Community Liaison, Department of Neighborhoods

Veronica Hernandez’s day-to-day efforts have helped hundreds of residents receive basic needs and necessities. In times of disaster and outside of her job scope, Hernandez translates for Spanish-speaking residents and helps them apply for assistance. She also coordinates public safety efforts to reduce crime and assists with community revitalization projects. Since 1997, Hernandez has volunteered with the Hispanic Ministers Against Crime, helping to organize food donation during the holiday seasons.

To learn more about the Bravo awards or view past winners, log on to