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Saluting Employees

September/October 2017
Volume 25 Issue 1


Slideshow: TDCJ staff takes on Hurricane Harvey

  • TDCJ Transportation Officers at the Sesquicentennial Plaza preparing to evacuate offenders from the Houston area during Hurricane Harvey. (Photo courtesy of City of Huntsville)
  • Stiles Unit Sergeant James Cortez helps a family get to a safe area during Beaumont-area flooding due to Hurricane Harvey.
  • Stiles Unit Major Toby Powell helps a woman from a rescue boat in Beaumont-area floodwaters.
  • Stiles Unit Sergeant Seth Riser helps make sure every family member, including the dog, reaches safety.
  • TDCJ Human Resources staff members help gather employee-donated items for criminal justice employees in Texas who were hard hit by Hurricane Harvey. From left to right: Paula Gilbert, Fern Caddenhead, Renee Langston, Linda Castleberry, Brandi Doshier.
  • In Huntsville, TDCJ Laundry Manager IV Tanya Jenkins and Laundry Manager III Barry Gordon help provide laundry service for those who were driven from their homes and forced into local storm shelters.

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Agency staff, supporters across nation help TDCJ employees hit by Hurricane Harvey

As Hurricane Harvey weakened and dissipated over land, TDCJ staff and criminal justice groups from around the nation were working hard to gather much-needed supplies and raise funding for criminal justice employees in Texas who were especially hard hit by the storm.

Photograph of two trucks and trailers full of donations for TDCJ staff.
Trailers loaded with items donated by TDCJ employees leave Huntsville for Beaumont, Rosharon and Liberty, where hundreds of their coworkers were severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier explained that the storm made no distinctions among its many victims, saying “Hurricane Harvey left its mark on Texas. Homes were lost and lives were shattered as the storm made its way across the Gulf Coast. Employees of TDCJ, like many in the Lone Star State, were not spared.”

Collier went on to describe how the agency took early action to mitigate the storm’s damaging effect on staff members. “We established an employee hotline as the storm began and encouraged employees to contact the hotline with any questions and needs that they may have. We had nearly 900 employees contact the hotline during the storm.”

Human Resources and Victim Services staff compiled a list of the most needed items, and helped hotline callers identify potential resources in their area. TDCJ employees across the state, as well as employees of other entities reporting directly to the TBCJ such as the Windham School District, were anxious to help their coworkers. Churches and other outside organizations also made helpful contributions. Several trailers loaded with staff-donated supplies left Huntsville early on the morning of September 13, bound for Beaumont, Rosharon and Liberty, where hundreds of employees were hard hit by the storm.

Even as the storm raged, individuals, businesses, correctional agencies and other groups from around the nation were asking how they could help. A partial list of those who provided financial assistance includes the Association of State Correctional Administrators; the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction; the Indiana Department of Correction; the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections; the Kentucky Department of Corrections; the Arizona Probation Officer Association; the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; the Texas Public Employees Association and the Texas Corrections Association. Working together, nearly $90,000 was raised to aid the recovery of Texas criminal justice employees who bore the brunt of the storm.

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2017 PACT Conference

The PACT Conference included 22 TDCJ program information booths and eight outside vendor booths for attendees’ convenience. Breakout sessions allowed attendees to interact with agency staff from TDCJ’s Correctional Institutions, Parole, Rehabilitation Programs, Reentry and Integration, Health Services and Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Logistics divisions, along with representatives from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the Windham School District.

Nearly 400 were in attendance at this year’s PACT Conference, including more than 230 registered participants from the public.

Photo of Two PACT Conference attendees speaking with Amanda Vasquez, a manager with the Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments, about programs and services porvided by TDCJ's Reentry and Integration Division.
Two PACT Conference attendees (left) speak with Amanda Vasquez, a manager with
the Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments, about
programs and services porvided by TDCJ's Reentry and Integration Division.

Photo of woman greeting attendee at PACT conference table.
PACT Conference attendees could meet with representatives form several TDCJ
divisions and departments to discuss and learn about agency operations.

Photo of presenter in front of participants answering questions at conference.
Clinical Manager Geralyn Engman answers questions from
conference participants and explains how the Rehabilitation
Programs Division helps offenders prepare for reintegration
into society.

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ITD Director Mike Bell departs TDCJ

Departing ITD director Mike Bell.
Mike Bell

In October, Chief Information Officer and director of the agency’s Information Technology Division Mike Bell left TDCJ to accept the position of Chief Technology Director in the Office of Technology Services with the Houston Police Department.

Bell, a former U.S. Navy officer, joined TDCJ in 2008 as deputy director and Information Security Officer for ITD. He was appointed CIO in September 2009. Prior to joining the agency, Bell worked for 15 years as a professional IT consultant and holds several IT certifications including PMP, CISSP, CISA, CISM and ITIL.

As CIO, Bell was responsible for supporting the agency’s information technology initiatives. He directed a staff of 260 IT professionals supporting 38,000 TDCJ employees, served as chairman of the IT/IS Committee for the American Correctional Association and is a member of the FBI Infragard program.

TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier commended Bell’s contributions to the agency, saying “Mike’s strategic leadership in the use of information technology resources has advanced our agency tremendously. His customer-focused attitude served as an example for those who worked with him and those who worked for him.”

Bell earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Sam Houston State University and his master’s degree in Technology Management from Texas A&M University.

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Woodrome named HR Employee of the Year

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Human Resources Division held its 17th annual Employee of the Year Luncheon in October at the Texas Prison Museum in Huntsville, where HR staff members who had previously been named Employee of the Month for fiscal year 2017 were presented with awards for outstanding performance.

Susan Woodrome, Human Resources Specialist III from the Duncan Unit, received special recognition as the HR Division Employee of the Year.

Woodrome began her career with TDCJ in August 2001 and has served as a Human Resources supervisor since September 2014. With her exceptional communication skills, she has built a series of strong, positive relationships with departments throughout the unit.

After a serious automobile accident involving two correctional officers near the Diboll area, which resulted in the two employees being transported to a hospital in Lufkin, Susan went above and beyond her normal agency duties by waiting with the accident victims, giving support and providing information about their health insurance benefits. It was several hours before the family members arrived at the hospital, and Susan stayed the entire time, holding the hands of coworkers she did not personally know, treating them with the kindness and compassion she is known for.

Director of TDCJ’s Human Resources Division Patty Garcia praised Woodrome’s achievements, saying “Her commitment to the employees and her professionalism to this agency are outstanding.” Garcia also recognized all the division’s employees of the month, noting “These HR employees are excellent representatives of this agency. They commit to high standards of work performance and support and praise for their colleagues. They should take great pride in this recognition.”

Photo of TDCJ's HR division employee of the year with HR director and deputy director.
Charlene Maresh (l), Deputy Director, Human Resources Division; Susan Woodrome (c),
EOY, Duncan Unit Human Resources Specialist III; Patty Garcia (r), Director,
Human Resources

Photo of TDCJ's HR division employees of the month for the year 2017.
HR Division Employees of the Month for FY 2017 (left to right):
Eilleen Kilatcho, Human Resources Assistant, Terrell Unit; Terry Bailey, Human
Resources Specialist V, Human Resources Headquarters; Teri Hall, Human Resources
Specialist V, Human Resources Headquarters; Darlene Kelley, Administrative Assistant III,
Human Resources Headquarters; Susan Woodrome, Human Resources Specialist III,
Duncan Unit; Doni McClelland, Human Resource Specialist III, Powledge Unit; Nicholas
Azurdia, Human Resources Assistant, Region VII Parole Office; Jennifer Burchard,
Human Resources Assistant, Coffield Unit; Linda Haley, Human Resources Assistant,
Human Resources Headquarters
(Not pictured: Melanie Self, Human Resources Specialist III, Allred Unit; Carnelle Franklin,
Human Resources Specialist III, Middleton Unit; Eugenia Beshears, Human Resources
Assistant, Gurney Unit)

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On the Move

Graphic showing the words "On the Move".

On the Move
Name From To
Bruce Armstrong Assistant Warden,
Alfred D. Hughes Unit
Senior Warden,
Clemens Unit
Michael Britt Major of Correctional Officers,
George Beto Unit
Assistant Warden,
H.H. Coffield Unit
Michael Butcher Senior Warden,
W.F. Ramsey Unit
Senior Warden,
Darrington Unit
Mary Comstock-King Senior Warden,
San Saba Unit
Senior Warden,
Charles T. Terrell Unit
Brian Cooper Assistant Warden,
H.H. Coffield Unit
Senior Warden,
A.M. “Mac” Stringfellow Unit
Jason Hardegree Major of Correctional Officers,
William P. Clements Unit
Assistant Warden,
William P. Clements Unit
Jaqueline Jones Senior Warden,
Charles T. Terrell Unit
Senior Warden,
Hospital Galveston/Carole S. Young Medical Facility
William Jones Senior Warden,
O.L. Luther Unit
Senior Warden,
Skyview Unit/Jerry H. Hodge Unit
Cynthia Lofton Assistant Warden,
Christina Melton Crain Unit
Senior Warden,
San Saba Unit
Virgil McMullen Senior Warden,
A.M. “Mac” Stringfellow Unit
Senior Warden,
W.F. Ramsey Unit
Barry Moran Assistant Warden,
Linda Woodman State Jail
Assistant Warden,
Christina Melton Crain Unit
Darrell Nash Assistant Warden,
William P. Clements Unit
Senior Warden,
Richard P. LeBlanc Unit
Toby Powell Major of Correctional Officers,
Mark W. Stiles Unit
Assistant Warden,
Alfred D. Hughes Unit
Maria Ramirez Assistant Warden,
John B. Connally Unit
Assistant Warden,
Linda Woodman State Jail
Philip Sifuentes Senior Warden,
Ruben M. Torres Unit/
Joe Ney State Jail
Senior Warden,
William G. McConnell Unit
Billy Steele Major of Correctional Officers,
J.B. Wheeler State Jail
Assistant Warden,
T.L. Roach Unit
Robert Stevens Senior Warden,
Skyview/
Jerry H. Hodge Units
Senior Warden,
Alfred D. Hughes Unit
Calvin Tucker Senior Warden,
Glen Ray Goodman Transfer Facility
Senior Warden,
O.L. Luther Unit
Darren Wallace Senior Warden,
Richard P. LeBlanc Unit
Senior Warden,
Ruben M. Torres Unit/
Joe Ney State Jail
Jason Williams Assistant Warden,
T.L. Roach Unit
Senior Warden,
Glen Ray Goodman Transfer Facility

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