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06/07/2012 07:00:00

Tony Parker and Vince Riley Win the 2012 Thomas W. Schmitt Annual Staff Prize

Tony Parker, a project manager in Facilities Design and Construction, and Vince Riley, a Super Lead in Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation, have been awarded the 2012 Thomas W. Schmitt Annual Staff Prize. The prize recognizes staff members within the Caltech community whose contributions embody the values and spirit that enable the Institute to achieve excellence in research and education.

Tony Parker's work is visible in buildings across campus. Coworkers who nominated him for the award described him as the "ultimate project manager" and said he is often requested as the lead on campus construction projects because of his high level of customer service and his ability to manage difficult situations with great diplomacy. Tony's coworkers also said they appreciate his words of encouragement and his willingness to go out of his way to help others.

Noted an anonymous nominator: "Tony knows the challenges and understands the requirements needed for custodial staff to prepare a building for opening after new construction or a rehab project, and knows how to manage difficult situations with faculty. His commitment and attention to detail are appreciated by all who have worked with him."

"Tony focuses on every aspect of a project—from big picture to small detail," said another nominator. "His skills are matched by his positive personality, which brings much relief to the pressures of having projects done on time and within budget."

Vince Riley began his career at Caltech when he was just 15 years old. He started as a participant in a summer program in 1978, and three years later, he began working full-time. In 1991, he became a senior building supervisor in the physical education and recreation division of the athletics department. Currently, he serves as the Caltech "athletics ambassador," organizing the daily functions of the athletics department.

"Vince has innumerable responsibilities, and he is an example of an unsung Caltech employee whose conscientious, intelligent, and dedicated service is what makes our Institute very special," remarked an anonymous nominator.

All staff members are eligible for the Schmitt Prize and are nominated by a member of the Caltech community. Former Associate Vice President for Human Resources Tom Schmitt created the annual staff prize shortly after he arrived at Caltech in 1997. Financial support for the prize is provided by Ted Jenkins, an alumnus and trustee.

A committee of four staff members makes the final selection based on certain criteria. The selected staff member should enjoy uncommon trust and respect among her or his peers, directly or indirectly support the Institute's research and teaching mission in a singularly effective, professional, and passionate manner, and engender a spirit of enthusiasm about Caltech and its values among everyone with whom he or she interacts, both on campus and off.

Written by Andrew Allan