Skip to Main Content
Chico State

And the Staff Excellence Awards Go to…

David Turri, Ricardo Carrillo, and Jason Halley pose on campus.
Jessica Bartlett / University Photographer

Customer Service Award recipient David Turri, Staff of the Year Award recipient Ricardo Carrillo, and Wildcat Spirit Award recipient Jason Halley all take a photo together on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 in Chico, Calif. (Jessica Bartlett /University Photographer/CSU Chico)

Chico State is not lacking when it comes to exceptional employees, but there were three whose notable contributions to the University earned them Staff Council’s top honors for 2017. The annual awards celebrate employees’ job performance, years of service, work relationships, and service to the University.

Ricardo Carrillo sits on a stone wall he constructed wearing a white cowboy hat.
Staff Employee of the Year Ricardo Carrillo is easy to spot on campus with his signature cowboy hat. The Facilities Management and Services mason has served Chico State for 26 years.

Outstanding Staff Employee of the Year Award recipient Ricardo Carrillo has been hailed as the “backbone” of Facilities Management and Services (FMS). His catching smile and unshakable “can do” attitude parallel the expert, “second-to-none” craftsmanship and ardent dedication he brings to each job he undertakes at Chico State.

From his 26 years of working as the mason for FMS, to say that Carrillo has his fingerprints all over campus would be an understatement. He’s responsible for Chico State’s beautiful brickwork, concrete work, and tilework—most recently being handpicked to be front and center on the construction of the new Wildcat statue. Whether he’s unearthing or burying a commemorative time capsule, helping adorn the campus grounds and maintain numerous historic buildings, or bouncing around every college and department to complete miscellaneous projects, there is no job too big or too small for Carrillo’s meticulous skills.

But he doesn’t stop there. Carrillo is known for going above and beyond the call of his standard masonry duties, often volunteering his knowledge and expertise to students in the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program and helping them succeed with their projects on and off the University’s campus, such as attending the World of Concrete conference in Las Vegas to help advise CIM students or assisting them with community service activities.

“Ricardo understands more than most why we are here and sees himself as a conduit for the needs of the students,” Wildcat Recreation Center director Curtis Sicheneder wrote in his nomination letter.

Never without his trademark cowboy hat or his humbleness, Carrillo gives his all, and Chico State wouldn’t be what it is today without him, said FMS director Mike Guzzi.

Portrait of David Turri
Customer Service Award recipient David Turri is the “go-to guy” for fixing a freezing or sweltering office in his role in the FMS Boiler and Chiller Operations. He’s known for going the extra mile to make sure employees are comfortable.

Dave Turri was the recipient of the Customer Service Award, and as someone who has been mentioned to “personify collaboration” the honor is well deserved. With 24 years of service in FMS Boiler Chiller Operations, the facilities control specialist has spent much of his time working in the background, but he doesn’t let that get in the way of interacting with people all over campus. Since he is the go-to man for the most challenging HVAC-related issues, if you ever find your office is feeling like the Sahara Desert or, perhaps, the Antarctic Plateau, Turri is your guy.

With the utmost professionalism and amiable demeanor, Turri not only keeps up with his heavy workload, but he always finds time to address any concerns or needs of employees or just to check up on how people are doing—making sure their workspace conditions are comfortable, especially when it comes to those working in the aging buildings requiring constant upkeep.

Turri gives every task a hundred percent and can pinpoint the most minute issues that could be missed by most, ensuring the job gets done correctly and efficiently on the first go. He is also always quick to ask for additional requests, not wanting to leave anyone unhappy after the initial job is done.

“From day one, I was struck by Dave’s professional demeanor. He was friendly, willing to listen to everyone’s ideas and suggestions, and was unfailingly positive in his interactions with everyone,” Steven Eckart, equipment technician in the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management, said about working with Turri on the multi-year project of building a Diesel Engine Dynamometer Lab for the mechanical engineering program.

University Photographer Jason Halley earned this year’s Wildcat Spirit Award. This award honors the passionate employee who epitomizes the “Wildcat spirit,” upholding University traditions and values with pride, showing a dedication to personal and professional development, and a distinct record of service to the campus and community. Halley has demonstrated that he embodies the “Wildcat Way” every single day throughout his four years of service to Chico State.

Jason Halley pauses during a photo shoot outdoors with a camera in hand.
University Photographer Jason Halley, Wildcat Spirit Award recipient, is rarely without a camera in his hand to capture the beauty and excitement of Chico State.

Through his hard work and breathtaking photos, Halley constantly finds ways to connect with the campus community and values the relationships he makes with everyone he works with—faculty, staff, and students. He is a constant advocate for the importance of the visual identity of campus and strives to provide exposure and visual support for the University’s diversity and inclusion efforts. And Halley’s unwavering Wildcat pride frame of mind never goes unnoticed by those he encounters.

“He immerses himself in every photo opportunity to showcase the beauty, excitement, and spirit of campus,” said student photographers Aubrie Coley and Tyler Wright in their nomination letter. “Not only has Jason been a great mentor to us, but he has changed our view of campus. . . . It’s because of this, that our own school spirit has grown immensely due to his contagious passion for what he does.”

Always with a camera in hand, it is not his just his friendly presence on campus that has made Halley a University-wide name—it is his talent to see the beauty in action around him and the way he communicates his admiration for Chico State through his work.

Whether he’s waking up at 3 a.m. to capture the perfect shot of the super blue moon, photographing a weekend basketball game, or travelling off campus to capture students in action, his role as university photographer is more than a job, but an identity, said his colleague Jessica Bartlett, University photographer.

Carrillo, Turri, and Halley were honored during the 47th Annual Staff Awards Luncheon in May. Also during the luncheon, the Staff Council recognized all the of the deserving nominees who have shown exemplary commitment to serving students and the University:

Customer Service Nominees

  • Brenda Berry, Human Resources Service Center/Employment Services
  • Marsail Ford, Business Systems Analyst
  • Lauri Henry, ITSS
  • Rocio Leal, Student Life and Leadership
  • Rhiannon Tice, Associated Student Human Resources
  • David Turri, FMS (Winner)

Wildcat Spirit Nominees

  • Jason Halley, University Communications/Creative Media and Technology (Winner)
  • Melanie O’Connor, Staff Council
  • Katie Sibley, FMS
  • Krystle Tonga, Cross-Cultural Leadership Center

Employee of the Year Nominees

  • Summer Armstrong, Art and Art History
  • Pete Austin, Music and Theatre
  • Laura Bass, Finance and Marketing
  • Ricardo Carrillo, FMS (Winner)
  • Essie Chavez, University Housing
  • Jenn Duggan, College of Business, Student Advising and Services
  • Jessica Edmunson, Gateway Science Museum
  • Tami Henriksen, University Housing
  • Marie Knox, Philosophy
  • Robin McCrea, College of Agriculture
  • David Philhour, Psychology
  • Candice Sawyer, School of Nursing
  • Michelle Berglund-Smith, Computer Science
  • Russell Damien Taysom, North State Public Radio
  • Katherine Vargas, Student Health Center