Janet Cates Receives the 2017 Helen I. Pontius National Award

Janet began her parks & recreation career in 1972.  She began her career prior to completing of her BFA in Fine Arts from Cal State Fullerton in 1978. Through these 45 years she worked and volunteered at the Boys & Girls Club of Fullerton, City of La Habra, City of La Palma and the City of Newport Beach.  She was a dynamo.  She spoke at numerous conferences, district events and WILS programs.   Her topics included mentorship, to employee motivation, programming by outcomes and more.  She has written many articles and staff training manuals such as “Fit ‘n Fun”, articles for state CPRS magazine and even on the topic of Teen Alcohol Abuse.    In her “spare time” she volunteered for not just the Girl Scouts as a Unit Manager but for the Boy Scouts too!!

She has served in numerous capacities with the Gamma WILS Group.  She has served on numerous committees for events for the Gamma WILS Group and has served as a mentor to the up & coming professionals in the field.   She has served in numerous capacities of CPRS on the District and State level.  She served on the National WILS Board too. Too many committees and board positions to list here!

Prior to this award, Janet has received many awards to recognize her as an outstanding  professional, two special ones were the Mary K. Peterson Award and the Helen Green Memorial Award, given by Gamma.

Gamma member, Cindy Robinson, Assistant to the City Manager, from La Palma Community Services Dept. stated “I could go on & on about Janet’s outstanding professionalism, her creativity with new ideas that benefit everyone around her, her leadership by example, and her continuing community participation, but I truly cherish her friendship above all else…..I have respect for her personally and professionally and she is truly a “forever friend”.

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