Tulare County supes announce 2021 Employee of the Year

Jessica Guzman, 2021 Tulare County Employee of the year, poses with the Tulare County Board of Supervisors and Tulare County Health & Human Services colleagues

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors selects an Employee of the Year on an annual basis from over 116 qualified nominees and 19 county departments. Today, with much jubilation, the Board recognized Jessica Guzman as the 2021 Tulare County Employee of the Year.

Guzman, an Accountant III with the Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency, is an individual who goes above and beyond in all her assigned duties. She is described by her colleagues as having remarkable discipline, tenacity, creativity, and thoughtfulness and is well known for her ability to thoroughly research topics of interest, as well as her proactive work ethic.

Guzman has dedicated an incredible amount of time to ensuring Tulare County properly documents the costs associated with natural disasters to maximum the county’s reimbursement. She led the Tulare County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Financial Team through many disasters such as the Cedar, Pier, SQF and KNP Complex Fires, and the Windy Fire, the Three Rivers Flood, and the Covid 19 Pandemic. While working at the EOC, Guzman personally pioneered the county’s Cost Recovery process from scratch without any official county procedure or guidance. Over the same period of time, Guzman established an additional guide on how to identify reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenditures. She played a key role in submitting these documents to the State of California for approval. This was an extremely challenging assignment whose duration may last several years after an emergency officially ends.

Colleagues note that Guzman consistently demonstrates initiative and excellence in the workplace. When one of her co- worker’s retired, she did not hesitate to take over the individual’s responsibilities on behalf of the team. Moreover, she has improved both the accounting and program workbooks of many financial units, and in particular the accounting for the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Program (NEOP).

“Jessica Guzman takes pride in the work she provides for Tulare County” said Eddie Valero, the Chair of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors. He added, “Her calm demeanor and dedication to the EOC has created a level of professional service that has been indispensable during the last several natural disasters our county residents experienced”

Tulare County Departments, such as Health & Human Services Agency, Tulare County Fire Department, Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Tulare County Resource Management Agency, Tulare County General Services Agency, and Tulare County TCICT have benefited by realizing additional cash flow as a result of Guzman’s hard work and excellent efforts.

As the 2021 Employee of the Year, Jessica Guzman receives one extra week of paid vacation along with a year’s worth of bragging rights knowing she is in the ranks of Tulare County’s best assets.

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