Wayne County Engineer Scott Miller, left, honored Brock Yoder with the Employee of the Year award last month for his involvement in coordinating recovery efforts from a derecho that rolled through Wayne County last spring.
WOOSTER Brock Yoder, who is celebrating his 15th year at his job, was awarded the 2022 Employee of the Year award from Wayne County Engineer Scott Miller for his efforts helping with recovery after a derecho passed through the county last spring, according to a news release provided by
Dan Starcher, public communications coordinator for Wayne County government..
“There was a lot of liaison work between our office, the commissioners, townships, and the Emergency Management Agency,” Miller said in a news release. “He (Yoder) worked with all those entities to coordinate cleanup operations.”
Miller said that his office was first on the scene after the storm to assess the damage and determine how to move forward with recovery.
“One of his responsibilities was going out and inspecting trees to make sure there was no danger to the public,” Miller said in the release. “The biggest thing was the number of trees that were down, the storm was severe, and it came on suddenly. Brock’s experience and dedication paid off.”
Yoder was one of a handful of employees who had to cut trees out of the roadway to get to work.
“It is good to see that amount of dedication,” Miller said. “Brock wears many hats; he manages our social media, oversees traffic control, takes care of road striping, ordering, permitting, and oversees the traffic maintenance department.”
Assistant County Engineer Andy Jones was part of the selection process.
“We take many attributes into consideration to determine the recipient,” Jones said in the release. “Brock stepped up and took care of the recovery effort after the derecho hit the area.”
Jones explained that he would typically assist with recovery coordination but was on vacation when the storm hit. Although he attended meetings via Zoom, Jones said that it was not the same as being on-site and commended Yoder for his initiative.
“Fortunately, through his experience working with road crews and utility companies, he was able to navigate the obstacles involved with disaster recovery operations,” Jones said.
Aside from coordinating cleanup efforts between road crews and utility companies, Yoder was responsible for keeping the public informed about downed power lines, road closures, and alternate routes.
Yoder admits it was a busy time.
“We weren’t pulling all-nighters, but we were there a lot during the cleanup,” he said in the news release. “I really appreciate this award and recognition; it means a lot to me. However, credit also goes to my crew; they perform the hard work and make me look good. I couldn’t get things done without them.”