Employee Recognition

Outstanding Customer Service Award Logo

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Click here to nominate an employee for their exception service!

Current Recipients

Jeff Carlson

Jeff Carlson, a member of the Department of Public Services, was nominated by his colleagues for his embodiment of the Royal Oak values and codes of conduct even when off the clock. According to his nomination,

“Jeff Carlson has always held the residents’ and fellow employees’ well-being as a top priority. He consistently does his best to leave streets, driveway, sidewalks, and entire job sites clean and safe. Also, shortly after his Disney training, Jeff was at a local fast food restaurant for lunch and witnessed a manager belittling an employee. The employee left the building very upset. Jeff went outside to console the employee and calm her down. He then went inside and spoke with the manager to express how they could have handled the situation differently. The manager agreed with Jeff, and promised to apologize and speak to the employee again. Jeff always keeps a positive attitude, and is always trying to make the city, and people’s perspective of it, a great place to be/live.”

Our selection team was impressed by the way Jeff carried his Disney Way training beyond his job. Our values and codes of conduct can’t only exist during the work day if we truly want to change our culture; they have to be a part of who we are and how we naturally operate. Jeff’s willingness to turn to these values and look out for others in a situation he could have easily ignored shows just how ingrained his positive attitude and adherence to the Golden Rule are. Thank you for your service, Jeff!


Sgt. Brian Zelakiewicz

Sgt. Brian Zelakiewicz, a member of the Royal Oak Police Department, was nominated for his compassionate handling of an overdose victim and his family. 

The family in question was incredibly thankful for the way Sgt. Zelakiewicz handled one of the darkest nights in their life. In a letter to Sgt. Zelakiewicz, the family described the long battle they have faced with having an addict son, and the long road they will continue to travel. It has not been uncommon for them to encounter negative and judgmental people over the years of dealing with an addict child, but Sgt. Zelakiewicz approached the situation with exceptional kindness and compassion from the first moment. Not only was he comforting towards the parents during the car ride to the hospital, but he returned to sit with the family in the waiting room while they awaited news of their son’s condition, an act that deeply touched the parents.

Our team was deeply moved by this exceptional display of empathy, compassion, and humanity. The extra care that Sgt. Zelakiewicz took in dealing with this family provided some light in an otherwise dark night for them, and from the gratitude expressed in their letter, we are confident it will resonate with them for some time. This is truly an example of going above and beyond the call of duty to the betterment of all involved. Thank you so much for your kindness and service, Sgt. Zelakiewicz!