Employee Recognition

Outstanding Customer Service Award Logo

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Click here to nominate an employee for their exception service!

Current Recipients

Barbara Szutkowski


Barbara Szutkowski, a member of the Royal Oak Public Library, went above and beyond to help a sick child feel happy and special despite missing the Book Buddies program. According to her nomination,

“My son has been attending Ms. Barb's Book Buddies program at the Library since she's started there. She is always so full of joy and kindness, she demonstrates such excitement towards reading that its infectious and she treats the children with great respect which you don't always find. My son always looks forward to her program. He fell ill for the last one and was terrible upset to miss it. I notified Ms. Barb that he wouldn't be able to make it. She set aside all of the activities for him, wrote him a nice note and took it upon herself to check in on him to see how he was feeling. She really made him feel special and her actions helped to ease the sadness of having to miss out on something special because of being sick.”

Our selection team was impressed by the extra effort Barbara took in putting a smile on this child’s face. Being sick is never fun, especially when it keeps you from doing something you enjoy, and we think it is great Barbara went out of her way to turn that disappointment into something wonderful. Thank you for your service, Barbara!

Ryan Spangler


Officer Ryan Spangler, a member of the Royal Oak Police Department, went out of his way to show compassion and give hope to a man who was down on his luck. According to his nomination,

“While on patrol Officer Spangler pulled a motorist over in the area of 11 Mile and I-75. During the traffic interview, Officer Spangler noticed that the driver was very upset. After talking with the driver for a short time, Officer Spangler discovered that the motorist was unemployed and experiencing serious financial difficulties. Officer Spangler was very concerned about the motorist’s state of mind and offered to buy him a cup of coffee at Tim Horton’s. Officer Spangler spent the next hour just listening to this person talk about some of the challenges in his life. Officer Spangler even contacted a friend who is a hiring manager at a local business to help arrange an interview. 

Officer Spangler’s actions went far beyond his job requirements. Officer Spangler was very concerned for this individual well-being and show tremendous compassion. Rather than simple look at this person as a traffic violator, Officer Spangler looked at him as fellow human being who is going through a very difficult time, and Officer Spangler did what he could to help. As the chief of police I have had a lot of opportunity to highlight some great actions by Royal Oak officers, but this is one of the ones for which I am most proud. Although we may never know the extent of the impact Officer Spangler had in this person’s life, his willingness to reach out in caring way to a total stranger should be commended.”

Our team was impressed that Officer Spangler went to such lengths to help calm this clearly distraught man. The time, effort, and compassion he showed goes well beyond the requirements of his job, and encompass all it means to live Royal Oak. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness, Officer Spangler!