Friday, March 08, 2019

Grounds Superintendent Brian Beckerman named the UIS Employee of the Month for February

Brian Beckerman has been named the University of Illinois Springfield Employee of the Month for February. He works as superintendent of grounds for Facilities and Services. In his role, he is responsible for managing 746 acres of University property, including water habitats, natural and synthetic turf sports fields, gardens, trees and native grass areas.

According to his nominators, Beckerman is known for his strong work ethic, positive attitude and ability to motivate others.

Beckerman recently led the effort to cultivate a sustainable plant garden at the entrance of the Health Sciences Building. He also led the grounds team in the building of a pond for Japanese Koi on the east side of the quad. In the past year, his team has reinforced campus roadways, planted 86 news trees on campus and reconstructed the sand volleyball court in Rec Park.

“He truly understands the need for the campus to always look like we’re open for business and the importance of the campus’ image has on recruiting and retaining students, faculty and staff as well as visitors to campus. Simply put, his standard is others exceptional,” said his supervisor.

According to Beckerman’s supervisor, he also excels in his attention to detail in budgeting and managing state, institutional and gift funds allocated to his department.

“Brian’s efficient and cost effective use of very limited resources, use of recycled materials (e.g. old cigarette butt containers, reuse of demolished concrete, tree waste into wood chips, etc.) and equipment have ‘stretched the dollar’ enabling significant improvements to the University’s grounds despite significant reductions in state funding,” said his supervisor.

Beckerman also listens to student’s ideas and concerns as a member of the Green Fee Committee, a student committee which implements sustainable initiatives on campus.

“I like that he genuinely takes suggestions from students who serve on the committee with him,” said a nominator. “In addition, when students want to have something like a bon fire or mud pit, rather than saying it will tear up the ground, he helps to find ways to make it happen,” said his nominator.

Beckerman also “goes out of his way” to help co-workers in getting the job done. Whether a plumber needs equipment and materials moved, the safety officer needs help organizing a setting up a training, a professor wants to introduce or include example of work that Beckerman has done on campus in their class, or a biology or environmental studies student has a question, he is always willing to help and often drops what he is doing to assist others.

“Brian is typically on campus around 6 a.m. and often doesn’t leave until 4 p.m. (and sometimes later) to ensure the work is done, his grounds crew is taken care of and things are ready for the next day. This dedication speaks volumes about his reliability and commitment,” said his supervisor.

Additionally, Beckerman is often seen on campus on the weekends watering plants, cleaning up trash in outdoor areas where student events were held and preparing for inclement weather conditions.

“It is obvious Brian takes great pride in his work, better our campus,” said a nominator. “He has hired good people and empowered them to make campus look awesome. His strong work ethic is obvious to those who know him. On top of all of this, he has a great personality that is truly genuine.”