Willie Sanchez, Town Employee of the Year

Friday, November 15, 2019 0 Comments

Willie Sanchez, Town Employee of the Year

Working for the town of Miami Lakes for just one year, William “Willie” Sanchez is known as someone who can be relied upon to make sure things go right.

Sanchez is the coordinator of committees and special events.

And on Oct. 16, Town Manager Edward Pidermann announced that Sanchez, 47, was the 2019 Town Employee of the Year.

Sanchez, a longtime town resident, said the honor was a surprise for him.

“I was humbled to have the town view me in that manner,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez thought he was off that night and had gone home to spend time with his daughters Sophia, 7, and Oliva, 4. His wife Diana was traveling on business.

“I was feeding my girls when someone called and told me I needed to be [at town hall],” Sanchez said.

Pidermann presented Sanchez with the award in the council chamber that was filled with spectators who were also present for Mayor Manny Cid’s State of the Town address.

“We have an incredible staff in Miami Lakes, and this award could have gone to any number of employees,” Pidermann said during the ceremony. “But we felt Willie Sanchez stood out over the past year.”

Pidermann said Sanchez is someone almost everybody knows. And Sanchez is willing to take on more and more responsibilities, his boss said.

Sanchez oversees planning for big events such as the Veterans Day Parade; Independence Day Celebration and Jazz in the Park as well as many, smaller functions that residents enjoy and bring a sense of community to Miami Lakes.

Sanchez said staging events in town parks – there are more than 100 pocket parks and two major parks – “bring a lot of people together” and “are a gateway for them to enjoy themselves.”    

Sanchez said he earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Thomas University. He previously worked for the City of Hialeah and became manager of the Parks and Recreation Department.

Sanchez said he was also a grant writer for that city and coordinated program development and media and marketing. 

After 24 years, Sanchez decided to retire from public service and was seeking a job in the private sector.

But he said offers only came from companies that required a commute.

“I wanted to be closer to my girls,” Sanchez said.

The town was an option, though, and Sanchez returned to public service.

Sanchez said he loves his job. He can be found at town hall at all hours. 

Sanchez is the liaison for five town committees:  Economic Development; Elderly Affairs; Veterans; Neighborhood Improvement and Cultural Affairs.

Sanchez attends the meetings and helps those volunteers plan their functions.

“My job is to facilitate their needs to make their events happen,” said Sanchez.

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