For the first time, City honors its longtime employees with Sapphire Awards.

Honoring the Service Leaders

Story courtesy Council District 2

Active City employees with at least 45 years of City service were honored Feb. 23 with Sapphire Awards.

Gilda Henry (center), 50-plus years of City service, receives her Sapphire Award from Council President Paul Krekorian and Mayor Karen Bass.

It marked the first time for the Sapphire Award ceremony, which took place at the John Ferraro Council Chamber inside City Hall.

Of the nearly 50,000 public employees who serve the City of Los Angeles, 60 have served the City for 45 years or longer, and 22 have served for 50 years or longer. In fact, two City employees have served the City for more than 60 years. 

Those honored are Firefighters and Electricians, clerical workers and Administrators, Attorneys, Accountants and Engineers. They work for Building and Safety, the Chief Legislative Analyst, the City Attorney, Community Investment for Families, General Services, Library, Planning, Rec and Parks, Public Works/Sanitation, LADOT, and the LADWP.

Walter Zeisl (center), 45-plus years of service, receives his Sapphire Award from Council President Paul Krekorian and Mayor Karen Bass.

Council President Paul Krekorian first conceived of honoring the City’s longest-serving employees and proposed this recognition. Mayor Karen Bass heartily agreed.

Each honoree was presented with an appropriate trophy to honor a lifetime of service. 

Those honored at the Council ceremony were the following:

City of Los Angeles

45-Plus Years:
Ruby Burley
James Powers
Avak Keotahian
Clifford Anderson
Gilbert Urrea
Masaru Fujinami
Deborah Peoples
Andre Brent
Elton Louie
Horace Romero
John Kostrencich
Charles Rausch
Marcus Woersching
Paul Medina
Annett Anderson
Robert Anderson
Francisca Arreguin
Sherie Sanford
Michael Patonai
Mellonease Wharton

50-Plus Years:
William Briggs
Honey Lewis
Edwin Krupp
Constance Dosch
Pearl Yonezawa
Patricia Barker
Olivia Mitchell
Thomas Gesinski
Gilda Henry
David Cook


45-Plus Years:
Gene Crisp
Larry Gonzalez
Darreld Dolan
Eduardo Oviedo
Theresa Hildebrand
Michael Silverman
Richard Fujimara
Michael Gibson
Patrick Potts
Jeffery Smith
Oscar Carranza
Walter Zeisl
Ronald Jaramillo
Javier Perez
Phillip Vega
William Santana
Bettye Clay
Judy Roles

50-Plus Years:
Robert Hill
Dale Davenport
Charles Durley
Gabriel Gutierrez
William Murphy
Sherrell Covan
Richard Valenzuela
Robert Castaneda
Gary Jacoby
Clarence Williams
Cedric Yoshimura
Roberto Batriz

Congratulations to all those who were honored with Sapphire Awards. Your examples of service and dedication are stellar and lead the way for all City employees. Well done!