COLLEGE STATION — Elida Urtado, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office supervisor for Travis County, has received the agency’s Superior Service Award for county office support.
The award, presented Jan. 8 during the annual Texas A&M AgriLife Conference in College Station, is given to those who demonstrate outstanding performance or who provide exceptional service to AgriLife Extension, an educational outreach agency of the Texas A&M University System.
At the Travis County office, Urtado, a six-year employee of AgriLife Extension, coordinates and oversees five administrative support staff, assists the county Extension director and provides support for seven of the agency’s county agents. She also provides direct or indirect support to 10 4-H CAPITAL staff, 32 AmeriCorps members, three VISTA members and four AgriLife Extension assistants.
In her award nomination, Urtado was described as “a valuable resource for handling human resource/ personnel-related issues” and was cited for her “personal pride in making sure all policies and procedures are followed.” She also was recognized for her many contributions to maintaining the day-to-day operations of the office when a heavy rainfall in 2010 caused a roof collapse that led to the agency office in southeast Austin having to relocate to two temporary facilities while repairs were being made.
A letter supporting Urtado’s nomination and signed by all Travis County agents stated “the word ‘coordination’ could have been coined with Elida in mind.” They noted another challenge Urtado assisted with involved the reorganization, training and support of more than 40 staff during a time when no county agent was available to manage and supervise the county’s 4-H CAPITAL/AmeriCorps program. This program provides after-school education to more than 1,800 students at 30 campuses countywide.
In his commendation letter, Skip Richter, an AgriLife Extension agent for horticulture in Houston who served as agency director for Travis County during about half of Urtado’s tenure, stated “Elida’s conscientious diligence to go way above and beyond in providing critical support has helped ensure the success of AgriLife Extension in Travis County.”