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BernCo Board Honors Employees of the Quarter


On Aug. 14, 2018, Certificates of Recognition were awarded to Employees of the Quarter (4th Quarter FY 2018) and presented by County Manager Julie Morgas Baca.

The Employee Recognition Committee presented seven employees to the Board of Commissioners to receive the recognition of Employee of the Quarter.

Each person selected received the highest ranking in their division.

The recognition committee ranked each nomination form submitted and selected the employee from each division with the highest average.

The Board of County Commissioners recognize and appreciate the hard work and dedication of seven employees who have shown exemplary dedication to Bernalillo County.

Division 1 County Manager: Paola Ogaz, Administrative Assistant Sr.

Division 2 Community Services: Shirlee Smith, Voting Rights Act Coordinator

Division 3 Finance: Ken Bruder, IT Technician II

Division 4 Public Safety: Miguel Rivas, Sheriff's Deputy

Division 5 Public Works: Kali Bronson, Stormwater Program Compliance Manager

Division 6 General Services: Nicole Wiggins

Division 7 MDC: Domenique Anaya, Corrections Officer


Read the full profiles of these exemplary employees below:


Division 1 (County Manager) – Paola Ogaz

In addition to providing pleasant and professional customer service, Paola provides a high-level of support to the County Manager’s Office by planning, organizing, training, and helping to implement procedures. Most recently she worked on two projects to make the department more efficient with inventory and document routing.

From the summer of 2010 to spring of 2013, Paola worked seasonally as a cashier in the Aquatics Program under the Parks and Recreation Department, until she was hired full-time as a Clerical Specialist for the Aquatics Program administration office. In June 2016 she joined the Human Resources Department where she worked as an Office Assistant until joining the County Manager’s Office in April 2017.

Paola has been married to her husband Carlos for two years. During free time, she loves spending time with family and friends playing board games, enjoying good conversation and being surrounded by delicious food.


Division 2 (Community Services) – Shirlee Smith

Shirlee joined the county in 1998 as the Native American Election Information Program Coordinator, working to engage the voting rights of the three American Indian groups within our county: Navajo, Keres and Tiwa. In this role, she established extensive outreach programs for the entire election process for School, County, State, and Federal elections. She recruits language interpreters for Keres, Tiwa and Navajo languages, and provides language assistance for candidacy filing, voter registration, poll official hiring, absentee voting and early voting.

Shirlee is Dine/Navajo. She has been married for 30 years, has four children and nine grandchildren. She enjoys outdoor activities, traveling and participating with Tribal Cultural events. She has a major in Accounting, and her passion is teaching the Dine/Navajo language to the younger generation and providing interpretation assistance to the elderly.



Division 3 (Finance) – Ken Bruder

Since joining the county’s IT Department 11 years ago, Ken has consistently excelled in the performance of his duties. From providing desktop support to undertaking complex projects, he demonstrates a positive attitude, expands and shares his knowledge, and offers leadership. He provides ideas for improving processes and conserving county resources, such as through recent research resulting in the purchase of a conversion cable rather than costly replacement of specialized printers that were to be impacted by the upgrade of end-user systems to Windows 10.

Ken is an Albuquerque native and Sandia High School and CNM graduate. He has been married for 16 years, and is the proud father of a 19-year-old daughter who graduated high school this year. He enjoys golfing, fishing and camping, and has been acquiring Superman collectibles since he was a kid. He is also a BIG Minnesota Vikings fan.




Division 4 (Public Safety) – Miguel Rivas

Deputy Rivas began his career with the county by attending the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department Regional Training Academy in 2004. Since that time he has served in many capacities from the Field Services Division as a Patrol Deputy to the Criminal Investigations Division as a Crime Scene Investigator, as well as serving on various teams. For the last five years, his primary assignment has been as an instructor of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program which is taught in elementary and middle schools. It is through this program that he recently and positively impacted the 11-year-old daughter of one of our own County employees, along with her classmates, providing guidance on bullying, gossip and what to do in case of an emergency.

Even when not on duty, Deputy Rivas enjoys working with children, hoping to influence them by being a positive role model. He also enjoys spending time with his family and his dog, Aja, who is a 130-pound South African Mastiff. He loves basketball and recreational shooting.



Division 5 (Public Works) – Kali Bronson

Kali joined the county in June 2016, bringing with her over 18 years of experience in water resources, water resource planning, stormwater management, water quality monitoring, and environmental investigations. She ensures the county complies with the EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit. Within the last 6 months, she has worked with Human Resources to implement on-line training for employees with direct responsibility or expected participation in the stormwater compliance program. She continually performs internal and external educational outreach and promotion of the county’s stormwater program, to include presentations at New Employee Orientations and providing various departments with the tools they need to identify and possibly mitigate potential contamination.

Kali values spending time with family. She also loves yoga, hiking, camping, and exploring the outdoors with her son.



Division 6 (General Services) – Nicole Wiggins

Nicole has been with Bernalillo County for nearly nine years working for the Animal Care Services and Emergency Communications Departments and partnering with the Unclaimed and Indigent Cremation Program. She is currently with the Constituent and Support Services Department, tackling each day with dedication and devotion, and with a high level of pride. She works closely with her Director to support the county’s mission towards Performance Excellence using the Baldrige Framework. She delights in working on special projects and supporting the Department, the Division and all teammates whenever she can. And, she keeps a tight rein on the budget!

Nicole has been married for 14 years to husband Mannie, and has one son Isaiah. When away from work, Nicole enjoys going to the ranch where she and her husband have cattle. She loves to fish, visit the casino, and most importantly, spend time with family and friends.



Division 7 (MDC) – Domenique Anaya

Officer Anaya joined the county in February of 2009 at the MDC, where he is currently assigned to Segregation/Intake. Although he had never been exposed to drugs or violence before, he learned through observation how various drugs affected the body differently. He got to know each of the inmates, and what the drug of choice was for each. He has made several major narcotic finds, thus preventing them from getting to the inmates or compromising the safety of the inmates and staff. His uncanny ability to detect drugs has earned him the nickname “K-9 Anaya.”

Officer Anaya has been married 8 years, and actually met his wife at the jail when she was there as an EMT. They have a very special daughter who, in spite of having various challenges since birth, loves to play in her pool with her daddy, and he loves hanging out with her. He enjoys grilling and is working on becoming an expert golfer. He also has a delightful sense of humor!

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