Employee of the Year, Toni Merrill, center, with Doug Smith, LMUD general manager and Christina Nystrom, LMUD customer service supervisor. Photos submitted

Utility announces award winners

On Friday, Dec. 13, LMUD employees, management and board members gathered at the Honey Lake Valley Association Hall to honor the 2019 Lassen Municipal Utility District employee of the year and the recipients of the 2019 Service Awards.

The Lassen Municipal Utility District recently presented Service Awards to Adam Hull, linecrew foreman, 20 years, left; Karen Rollings, administrative services manager, 15 years; Doug Smith, general manager, five years; and Sean Norvell, linecrew foreman, 20 years.

The employee of the year award originated in 2008, coinciding with the District’s 20th anniversary. With more than 30 dedicated and hard-working employees, the management staff is faced with the difficult task of picking one employee who is awarded the honor; but in the end, only one can be chosen, and this year that one was Meter Reader, Toni Merrill.

Merrill joined the LMUD team on July 9, 1990 as a customer service representative. A few years later, she became a meter reader. “There are so many other’s that deserve this award, I really didn’t do anything special, just my job,” said Merrill who retired Jan. 2 of this year. “I’ve enjoyed my time at LMUD. It’s a great place to work. I’ve met so many wonderful people, and I’ll miss them all.”

When asked what she thought about this year’s recipient, Christina Nystrom, LMUD’s customer service supervisor said, “Toni’s willingness to take on any task, efficiently and knowledgeably, has been a huge asset to our department. I can’t imagine a better choice for this award.

As far as Merrill’s retirement, Christina added, “It’s hard to say goodbye to Toni. Her energy and positive outlook will be tremendously missed by employees and customers. We all wish her the best as she moves into the next phase of her life.”

General Manager Doug Smith had this to say about Merrill: “Toni has been a great employee at LMUD for a long time – always cheerful, always willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. It has been a joy to work with her, and she will certainly be missed.”