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Dimas Cortez of the Office of Parking Services was awarded the sixth annual Gazelle Award at the annual area-wide meeting for the Office of Administration and Finance Tuesday.

Presented by Vice President Robert L. Fenning, the Gazelle Award was instituted in 1996 to recognize an employee in administration and finance, nominated by his or her peers, who demonstrates, among other things, consistent exceptional performance of duties. One of 10 nominees, Cortez was cited for his dependability, honesty, reliability, accountability and professionalism in everything he does.

James Long, director of parking services, stated in his nomination that "By profession, Mr. Cortez is a mason. He learned his skills while working on the Panama Canal from 1954 to 1981. When asked to build the stone wall around Quarantine Garden, he was happy to be able to use his masonry skills. The material he was given to work with was good by not always up to his exacting standards. He would take some of the blocks and chip away at them until they fit the way his critical eye thought they should fit." He added that Cortez, although in his early 70s, "understands that the world is changing and that he must change in order to grow personally and professionally."

Cortez, who began his career at Old Dominion University in 1994 in the Grounds Department and transferred to the Office of Parking Services in 1999.

Past recipients of the Gazelle Award include Rick Lovelace of Computer Services, Benny Jackson of Moving and Special Events, Cecil Smithson of Webb University Center, Ann Tatman of Administrative Services, and Ricardo Mendoza of Facilities Management.

This article was posted on: July 29, 2002

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